October 11 has been declared I Love YARN Day by the Craft Yarn Council, an annual honor bestowed upon an autumn day to encourage crafters to affirm their love of yarn. In addition to local yarn shops participating in the fun, I Love YARN Day is a worldwide event, with celebrations happening everywhere from England to Brazil.
In addition to the Craft Yarn Council website, other online activities have been set up to foster a crafter's love and passion for yarn. Red Heart has compiled a page of free patterns specifically designed for beginners and instant-gratification crafters, or people who would like to finish a project in one day. The website allfreeknitting.com has turned I Love YARN Day into a weeklong celebration, featuring giveaways and exclusive free patterns on both their blog and facebook page. The Lion Brand Yarn Company is even teasing its customers with surprises they will have in store on Friday.
Here in Chicago, celebrations in honor of I Love YARN Day will be happening at many local yarn shops, but knitters and crocheters do not have to attend any events to celebrate. For instance, the Craft Yarn Council suggests to knit something for charity. Halos of Hope, based in Arlington Heights, donates hand-knitted caps to any man, woman, or child in need who is facing chemotherapy and hair loss. The American Cancer Society's Lincolnshire office also accepts chemo caps, in addition to socks and hospital gowns. Also, the Crafty Angels, based out of the Edgebrook Evangelical Covenant Church, accept any items designed for warmth, such as scarves and mittens. Prayer shawls and comfort afghans are also accepted. The Lord of Life Layette group in Schaumburg puts together infant layettes, and knitted or crocheted cloths and afghans are welcome donations.
There are also several charities which involve animals instead of people. The Internet Min Pin Rescue Service accepts blankets and crate pads for miniature pinschers so they can have something all their own when being connected to their forever homes. The Snuggles Project is an organization which connects donated knit or crocheted small blankets to animal shelters across the country, and provides guidelines to what size the blankets should be on their webiste.
Finally, the Craft Yarn Council encourages people to celebrate I Love YARN Day by teaching someone how to knit or crochet. While some people are more comfortable than others teaching lessons to friends and family, every local yarn shop in Chicago offers lessons on how to knit. Most stores also offer gift certificates, if knitters would like to pay it forward for new crafters. The Windy City Knitting Guild has a list of local yarn shops in the Chicago area, including addresses, phone numbers, and the stores' websites if available.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, celebrating one's love of yarn is important in promotion of crafting, passing its love down from one generation to the next, and showing the world that something handmade is always filled with love. I Love YARN Day is the perfect day to show the world the love of yarn and crafting.
(Click on "Subscribe" to have articles from the Chicago Knitting Examiner emailed directly to your inbox.)