How to Send Warmth Worldwide by Knitting Squares for Charity
Knitting squares for charity is one of the easiest ways to make a difference worldwide. Here you’ll find the patterns and charities you need to get started.
Recently, I got a heartwarming message from Sandra, a member of the Knitting for Charity community. She once knit 100 squares for a friend whose church group would sew them together. She said, “Lots of small leftover skeins in my stash—and an awesome way to use them for the good of someone!”
Knitting squares for charity is a time-honored tradition in the world of knitting. Knitted squares you can join together into afghans and blankets make the perfect charity projects for several reasons:
- They take very little time
- They’re great stash-busters
- They make fun ways to try new stitches
- When joined together, they make beautiful kaleidoscopes of color and texture.
They’re also excellent projects for beginners because they help new knitters master basic skills. They’re great for experienced knitters as well because you can knit and donate a large number fast.
Ready to go beyond garter stitch?
The Best Patterns for Knitted Squares for Afghans + Blankets
Over the years, I’ve curated this list of the best collections of free square knitting patterns. Below, you’ll find free patterns for beginners, experienced knitters, and everyone in between.
1. Four Super-Easy, Fun Knitting Stitches for Lovely Afghans
Let’s start simple with my own collection of afghan squares! I’ve been enjoying knitting these fabulously textured squares myself. They’re fun and easy to memorize, too.
2. Ghana Project/Key of Hope Patterns
This page has an incredible number of blanket square patterns – well over 50. If you want to ensure that you never again become bored knitting blanket/afghan squares, bookmark this page and knit as many squares as you can!
By the way, this page also includes links to some super-beneficial videos to help you put your squares together to make a blanket.
3. Knitting Pattern Central’s Motifs & Squares
Here is another outstanding page full of square patterns from all over the Internet. Over 70 patterns are linked here. Many indicate the size of the square, too, which is very helpful for when you’re knitting for a charity that requires a certain square size!
4. Warm Up America Patterns
You can find a list of simple patterns from the Warm Up America website here.
5. KAS Free Knitting Patterns for Squares
I love Knit-a-Square’s pattern collection! They range from extremely simple to more complex (and jaw-droppingly gorgeous).
6 Charities Where You Can Donate Knitting Blanket Squares
For more information about exactly what each charity accepts as well as instructions for donating, click the name of the charity to learn more. For example, many of these charities also accept crochet squares.
1. Warm Up America
Perhaps the most well-known blanket square charity, at least in the United States! Warm Up America requests donations of 7″ x 9″ squares, along with completed afghans, baby and lap blankets, or any other items that can help keep people warm. These are sent to social service organizations all over the country.
- Size accepted: 7” x 9”
- Service area: United States
This organization invites knitters and crocheters to create 8″ x 8″ squares to help keep AIDS orphans in South Africa warm. They also accept full blankets, sweaters, hats, vests, and socks suitable for toddlers to teenagers.
- Size accepted: 8” x 8”
- Service area: South Africa
3. Blankets for Canada
This longtime Canadian charity collects 8″ x 8″ squares to sew together for blankets for needy Canadians.
- Size accepted: 8” x 8”
- Service area: Canada
4. Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation
This organization knits and crochets for one of the most heavily poverty-stricken areas of the United States, the Pine Ridge Reservation. Run from a Ravelry group, this is an especially fantastic organization to knit/crochet for if you hate weaving in ends!
- Size accepted: 6” x 6” and 12” x 12”
- Service area: The Pine Ridge Reservation, United States
5. Love Squared
This Michigan-based knitting and crochet charity offers afghans to homeless children all over the United States.
- Size accepted: 8” x 8”
- Service area: United States
6. HAPpy Stitchers Afghan Project
This busy Facebook group creates afghan squares and assembles them into beautiful blankets. These then go to hospitals serving wounded soldiers.
- Size accepted: 6” x 9”
- Service area: Ohio, United States
7. Millie’s Knit With Tiny Tickers
This group coordinates knitters making bonding squares for babies who are in the hospital intensive care unit. Bonding squares came about because when a baby is in intensive care, their parents typically aren’t permitted to hold them for much time. With bonding squares, you keep one square with the baby and the other on the parent’s body. Every 12 hours, you swap the squares, which helps the parent and baby to bond by smell.
- Size accepted: 15 cm x 15 cm
- Service area: United Kingdom
Supplies You Need to Get Started Knitting Squares
The good news is that you probably already have everything you need! Here are the supplies you need to start knitting squares for charity:
- Knitting needles—US Size 7 or 8
- Yarn—worsted weight and most likely acrylic or at least a machine-washable fiber
- Tape measure—a stiff tape measure works better rather than a fabric one so that you can make sure to adhere to the specific size requirements of the charity
Frequently Asked Questions About Knitting Squares for Charity
If this is your first time knitting squares for charity, here are answers to the most common questions you might have:
- I’m new to the idea of knitting for charity. How do I get started? Go to answer
- Which yarn is best when knitting squares for charity? Go to answer
- How many squares should I knit before I send a batch to the charity? Go to answer
- Will the charity reimburse me for my expenses? Go to answer
- Can I knit something else for charity, instead of just knitted squares? Go to answer
I’m new to the idea of knitting for charity. How do I get started?
I’m so glad you asked. I created a free email course just for you! It’s called Getting Started with Charity Knitting, and you can get started here plus subscribe to the free Knitting Nuggets Newsletter.
Which yarn is best when knitting squares for charity?
It depends upon the charity. Most charities require a washable fiber like acrylic, but some allow wool if it’s superwash. However, you’ll need to mark such squares because some folks are allergic. Ultimately, you’ll want to check the charity’s guidelines (usually they’re listed on its website) to make sure your yarn meets their standards before you start your knitting squares project.
How many squares should I knit before I send a batch to the charity?
You can knit as many as you can comfortably afford to ship at one go! All charities currently collecting squares will be delighted with your contribution, no matter how big or how small.
Will the charity reimburse me for my expenses?
No. When you donate squares, you are donating not just your time but also the cost of your supplies and of mailing your finished knitted squares to the charity. Also, remember that many knitting charities tend to be underfunded. If you’re able to donate a dollar or two along with your knitted donation, the charity will be thrilled!
Can I knit something else for charity, instead of just knitted squares?
Yes, of course! Take a look at this post on 7 Ways You Can Start Knitting for Charity Right Away for more great ideas!
Knit a Square to Show You Care
As you can see, you have many choices for charities to send afghan/blanket squares to, as well as plenty of patterns to choose from. Why not make knitted squares your next charity knitting project and whip up a batch?
Click here to sign up for my free email course, Getting Started with Charity Knitting, and subscribe to the free Knitting Nuggets Newsletter.
I am an 80 yer old widow, and have in my later years knitted 35 full bed size blankets both plain and patterned. I paint on the plain squares. ( see Facebook Avenel Grace Albums.
I do not charge for these. Of late , I have had to stop knitting because of a shoulder injury, and am wondering if there is somewhere I can buy patterned squares, as I can use textured materials for the plain painted ones.
Hello Avenel, have you tried looking on Etsy? They have all sorts of handmade items there; I’ll bet you’ll be able to find patterned squares.
Thank you!! Been looking for this information and excited to get started
You’re very welcome. Good luck!
I knitted a whole bunch of squares, sized 5″x6″(not quite 6″). I would like to donate the squares. Is there a group who would like them?
Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge would probably be your best bet. Check out the article linked above for information on how to reach one of the group moderators for a shipping address. (Though your squares aren’t precisely the size they ask for, they usually will take squares that are “close enough.”)
I have got hundreds of knitted blanket squares which I would like to donate .I need some information about who to send them to .
Hello Maureen! The post you’re commenting to has a full list of charities to which you could donate your squares. Just look for the one that matches the measurements of your squares and click the links to find their shipping information. Hope that helps!
Yahoo Groups no longer exist. Maybe someone can remove the links that once took folks to them?
Hopefully someone will, but I can’t change what other people have on their websites, unfortunately. I double-checked all the links in this post, and I found none that lead to Yahoo Groups. (If there are links in my other posts, I do apologize; I have many posts on this site, and I’ve been trying to update them all, but it’s just me so it takes time. 🙂 )
Thank you for organizing all this information. Great to have it in 1 place.
You’re very welcome! I know this is such a popular way to knit for charity. 🙂
Hi ….where do I send knitted hats I have made and squares.
Thanks Anne Roberts x
Hello Anne! Click on the link above for Warm Up America; they’ll almost certainly take your hats, and the squares if they’re the right size. If not, take a look at the other charities listed above; they all take different sizes of squares.
I’m still working on my knitting skills. The tension (?).Too tight, Too loose. Oops! I’ll get there. Practice!!
I am so excited about your squares for charities. Do they take crochet squares? I noticed a couple mentioned crochet. Maybe I should send some crochet squares, while I work on my knitting. Thank you for sharing your wonderful world of knitting. 🎀🧶🎀🧶
Hello Trish! Yes, every charity that accepts squares will indeed take crocheted squares. So feel free to offer those. Thank you for your service!
Hi. I knit a lot of squares but need to find out where i can send them to be knitted up into blankets. Any help on this please.
Hello! The charities I’ve mentioned in this post are the only ones I’m aware of. Hope that helps!
Thanks Nicole. Will get right on one or more of them.
I also knit squares for Project Amigo. They take 6 x 6 squares.
Thanks for this, Sue, I hadn’t heard of Project Amigo!
You missed Happy Stitchers Afghan Project! They are a great charity knitter’s group. I’m sure there are a lot more out there that weren’t listed, but thought I would mention them.
Well darn it! You’re absolutely right, Melinda, I did forget to list them. They are a wonderful group, I agree wholeheartedly with you there. I’ll be sure to add them ASAP!