How to Help at the Pine Ridge Reservation through Knitted Squares
No need to weave in ends – your knitted squares can help Lakota families through Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation
I have a simple question for you, charity knitter: do you enjoy knitting squares but hate weaving in ends? Maybe you don’t actually hate it, but boy, you’d be thrilled if there was a time when you didn’t have to weave in a single blessed yarn end.
If you’re nodding in agreement right now… I have great news for you! Now you can knit for charity — for a fantastic cause — and you can knit all the squares you want without having to weave in a single end of yarn!
Does this sound too good to be true? Read on!
Welcome to Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation
Here’s a quick refresher about why you might be interested in knitting for the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The Lakota people living on the Pine Ridge Reservation experience perhaps the most desperate poverty in all the United States. In addition to having an incredibly high unemployment rate, the life expectancy is extremely low — 47 for men and early 50s for women.
Teen suicide is also 4 times the national average.
Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation is a great way for new knitters or experienced knitters who love to whip through a lot of pieces of charity knitting to help.
The knitter’s job is to knit squares of any size. They prefer 6”- and 12”-squares, but really squares can be any size. The group is happy to work with any squares they receive, so don’t worry about a square not being exactly this size.
You may have heard of Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation and of how the Ravelry-based group was headed by a Lakota woman named Pam Little Sparrow.
Pam would take every square sent to her and lovingly weave in ends, then seam the squares into beautiful afghans. She then sent the afghans to social service organizations on the reservation.
Sadly, in late March of 2020, Pam passed away.
The group placed gathering square donations on hold as members mourned and tried to decide what to do next. Happily, at the beginning of May 2020, two members – Leigh-Anne and Katy – stepped up to moderate the group and continue Pam’s mission in her loving memory.
As Leigh-Anne told me, “We intend on continuing in Pam’s very big footsteps by changing none of her rules, with the most important one being that no square will go unloved or unused.”
For more ways to knit for Native Americans, take a look at these posts!
Never You Mind Those Ends!
So, you might be asking, what about not having to weave in ends? It is 100% true, and here’s why. Pam wanted to make absolutely sure that every square that becomes part of a blanket is structurally sound and wouldn’t unravel in the washing machine or with years of use.
So she would ask knitters (and crocheters) not to weave in ends. Whenever you change yarn, leave that end out! Ends should be no less than 4 inches and no more than 8 inches.
According to Leigh-Anne, the group has 4 seamstresses to put the squares together.
One other guideline: do not knot an end and then cut the yarn close to the knot. Knots are perfectly acceptable, if you don’t feel comfortable letting a yarn end dangle when you change yarns. You just need to cut the yarn no closer than 4 inches away from the knot.
For all the other information you need, head to the Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation Ravelry group. Be sure to read the “Guidelines” thread for all the pertinent information about the group.
Read the first post in this thread, in particular, to see how to obtain a shipping address for squares. (Spoiler: you’ll need to PM one of the group moderators!)
So knit those squares, let those ends wave free, and know that you’re helping to keep a Lakota family warm at night!
What is the address for shipping squares to Pine Ridge?
Hi Carol, I don’t have the shipping address because there are several, but if you email the moderator at katyallen815(at)gmail.com, she’ll be able to square you away with the address you need.
I appreciate that you explained that this area experiences the most poverty in the USA. My best friend told me that they are planning to give back to the community, and they are hoping to find reliable donations for the pine ridge Indian reservation. Thanks to this helpful article, I’ll be sure to tell him that consulting trusted donations for the pine ridge Indian reservation service can help them with the right planning.
Thank you for your lovely comment, John!
I don’t find an address to mail the squares. Am I missing something?
Nope! In fact, if you look in the comments you’ll find one from a moderator of the Ravelry group; she posted a link to the thread where you can ask for an address to send the squares to. Here’s the link: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation/4044198/76-100#82
Thank you for your interest!
I am Nelly, SpanishRose on Ravelry. I am a moderator in the Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge Reservation group. The thread to ask for an address to send to is here: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation/4044198/76-100#82
We accept any and all squares. Preferred sizes are 6” and 12”.
Use any yarn. We’ll weave in your ends if you don’t want to.
Any questions? Come join the group on Ravelry. We’d love to have you.
Thank you very much, Nelly, I so appreciate this! I probably get at least a request a week asking where to send squares for your group. 😀 This is really helpful!
Thank you for this info – I didn’t realize they accepted afghan squares. I’ve donated used clothing, shoes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, notions, yarn and some knitting and crochet books to Pine Ridge in the past. The people living on the reservation are living way below the US poverty level and need all the help they can get.
This is a great way to work on small items, use up scrap yarn, and learn new stitches.
Tried to send a message thru ravelry but said no such address. I have quite a lot of finished blocks. Unfortunately I have woven in all the ends . Would they still use them?
Also are you only supposed to use acrylic yarns?
Hi Judy! I think it would be fine to send in your blocks with woven ends. Pam’s preference was for unwoven ends, but I don’t think Leigh-Anne and Katy care quite as much.
As for yarn, I believe I read in the guidelines here https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation/4036346/ that they prefer no wool or wool-blend yarn, but they’ll gladly accept squares made with any other fiber.
Hope that helps!
What mailing address do I send these knitted squares to?
I have lots of squares ready to go but don’t find an address to send them. Thank you.
Hi Bette! As mentioned here, you’ll need to contact one of the moderators via Ravelry PM in order to obtain a shipping address. https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation/4036346/
Karianne, as mentioned in this thread, you’ll need to contact one of the moderators via Ravelry PM to obtain a shipping address. https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation/4036346/
You’re very welcome!
Do they accept crocheted squares also?
They sure do!
Are there folks at Pine Ridge that knit or crochet but need yarn and supplies? How would we go about sending supplies to them? Also where to send slipper socks, scarves etc we have made ? Or is this an option?
Hi Linda! I suggest you check out Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. I believe they’ll be able to take all of those items and more. Scroll down this page https://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/ and find the photos with the “donate X” banners on them. You’ll find a box for both art and craft supplies as well as one for hand-crafted items. Hope this helps!
I love to knit and crochet. I have a lot of hats and scarves that I haven’t given away. I would love to send them to people that need them. Also I would love to make the squares. Is there certain colors that you don’t recommend?
Hi Anna! I’d advise you to join the Afghan Squares group on Ravelry linked to in this article. They’ll be able to give you more information about the squares. As for your hats and scarves, try the For the Children of Pine Ridge Ravelry group, also linked to in this article. Thank you so much for commenting! (And I’m so sorry I only just saw this comment!)
I useto knit for the Pine Ridge Native Americans about 25 years ago. I had breast cancer and during my chemo times being real sick I decided to knit for them. I sent out many boxes then the woman who was collecting items retired. I would like to help again. I am 70 and spent most my life knitting for charity such a good feeling my problem use to be geting yarn. I also now knit for Care wear love knitting for babies and nursing home residents. I also help in winter hats mittens scarfs for homeless food boxes etc. Such a good feeling knitting for people who appreciate it. Thanks for reading Nina
Thank you for commenting, Nina! And thank you so much for knitting for charity. I know it is greatly appreciated!
I would like to knit for the native American tribes that might be in need of hats, have lost my contact with the Dakota tribes. Would need to know size and needs plus a mailing address. I have been knitting for our deployed troops for years but their needs have lessened over time. Sent a box of hats last year thru a contact at Wells Fargo, but as I mentioned before, have lost contact. Any assistance you might provide would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Elizabeth! Have you tried For the Children of Pine Ridge? They contribute mostly for children, but they work for families as well. It’s a great group that have solid contacts in the Pine Ridge Reservation. http://www.knittingforcharity.com/charity-knitting-children.html You could also try One Nation, Walking Together: http://www.knittingforcharity.com/make_a_tremendous_in_the_lives_of_native_americans_through_c.html
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I am on my laptop using Internet Explorer 11. The paragraph it appears in is the one that begins with ‘One other request she makes..’.
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How can these ads – whether they are Google or ad choice – be stopped from popping up whenever and, apparently, wherever they want? Is there something I can do on my side to avoid them?
Thank you for your time.
Hi Dianne. Thank you very much for responding to my inquiry. I thought that the ad you were referring to was a Google ad, but I tested this page on IE and had a similar problem to what you’re experiencing. Turns out it’s not a Google ad after all. (Not that that’s important to you, I just don’t want to damage Google’s reputation!)
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