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How to Knit Socks for Needy Folks: 6 Free Patterns & 4 Charities

Whether you already love knitting socks, or you’re looking for a new way to give, consider knitting socks for charity

knit socks for charity

Maybe you love to knit socks, and while you could knit hats or mittens or scarves for charitable purposes, you wish there was a way that you could offer your favorite project for charity.

Or, maybe you are looking for a new challenge in your charity knitting. You’ve been knitting squares or hats or scarves, or some other simple project. But you’re ready to tackle a project that engages your mind just a little more.

Either way, you are a perfect candidate for sock knitting for charity!

I’m a little in love with sock knitting, and I have been for years. It turns out that I absolutely love working with tiny needles and almost thread-like yarns. I find knitting all those miniature loops and bums mesmerizing.

Many people seem to believe that socks aren’t good candidates for charitable knitting because they can take a long time. Two reasons why this is a misconception:

  1. Not all socks take a long time to knit! Felted slippers take very little time, for instance. (Slippers aren’t technically socks, but they belong to the “sock category” – they count!)

    Socks for babies and younger children don’t take long, either!
  2. I’d really like us charity knitters to get out of the thought that you have to knit a ton to be useful. Every bit of knitting that you produce has the potential to make someone’s life better.

    And if you get more joy out of sock knitting than other projects, then by golly, you should knit socks!

Don’t forget that in many parts of the world, socks are actually a luxury. Many people in developing nations in the coldest parts of the world are literally in constant need of socks. So they can really benefit from your love of sock knitting.

Here you’ll find just what you need to tackle sock knitting for charity.

First, you’ll find 6 free patterns especially good for charity knitting. They are for babies and/or older children, or they can be used with several different colors of yarn.

Second, you’ll find a collection of charitable organizations where you can send your completed socks.

Free Sock Patterns Perfect for Charity

Basic Socks for Charity - Mary Henze
Basic Socks for Charity
Photo: Mary Henze

Basic Socks for Charity: This pattern was designed for the explicit purpose of teaching others to knit socks. It creates a simple set of socks to fit a 6 to 8-year-old child. This is a terrific first pattern for anyone who wants to try sock knitting for charity.

Just Your Basic Baby Socks: Just like the preceding pattern, this pattern’s designer created it especially for charity.

Peter Piper, Blended: This is less a pattern than a technique for blending multiple variegated yarns together in one pair of socks. I really wish I had read this post before I tried knitting my own multiple-variegated-yarn socks!

Cranberry Biscotti: Here’s a striped sock pattern that uses three specific colors of yarn, but you can use this pattern for any three colors of yarn!

Felted Slippers: This, obviously, is a slipper pattern rather than a sock pattern. But slippers are needed in many of the same places that need socks, and these slippers are very easy for non-sock-knitters to make!

Twisted Rib Tube Socks - knit socks for charity
Twisted Rib Tube Socks

Twisted Tube Socks: This is my favorite sock knitting pattern for charity! They’re tube socks, which means you don’t need to worry about turning the heel. They’re also toe-up, so you also don’t need to worry about Kitchener stitch.

Charities Accepting Sock Donations

Wool-Aid: This is a group of knitters dedicated to supply needy children in the coldest parts of the world with warm clothing. You can also reach them through the Ravelry Wool-aid group.

For the Children of Pine Ridge: This knitting group seeks to offer clothing of all kinds to the Ogala Lakota Native American population living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota.

Friends of Pine Ridge Reserviation: Like the above group, this group also serves the Ogala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation. You’ll find guidelines at the first link; at the following link you’ll find shipping information for First Families Now, which operates a clothing closet that greatly appreciates socks.

Your local homeless shelter: Did you know that socks are the item of clothing that is most often needed in homeless shelters? Check with your local shelter and ask if they would like to receive socks for their residents.

(Note: sometimes shelters work with other organizations in the community to receive donations. If your shelter says “no” to socks, ask if another local organization receives such donations.)

Are you ready to knit socks for charity? Let’s do this!

Eager to knit for charity but unsure where to start?
Click here to sign up for my free email course, Getting Started with Charity Knitting, and subscribe to the free Knitting Nuggets Newsletter.

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