Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Get knitting to help rescued animals for Make a Difference Day

CSV Make a Difference Day – 29 October 2011

This autumn get involved in Make a Difference Day, the UK’s biggest day of volunteering!  It’s on 29 October 2011 and is organised by the Community Service Volunteers (CSV).

Last year more than 70,000 volunteers were involved in over 2,000 events, and this year’s campaign will focus on activities that combat isolation by reaching out to people (and animals!)  who might feel lonely or marginalised.

Organising an event is a great way to recruit new volunteers, make friends and have fun! Activities can range from creating bus stop gardens to renovating community centres, teaching IT skills or helping housebound neighbours.

You can help Make a Difference to some of the many cats and dogs in rescue centres up and down the country by digging out your knitting needles and knitting them some cosy blankets.  CSV has produced a How to Knit an Animal Blanket leaflet, providing a simple pattern and knitting tips, so even novice knitters can get involved.  You can request a copy of the knitting guide by emailing difference@csv.org.uk or I’ve kindly been allowed to share the knitting pattern with you below.



This easy blanket is the perfect way to add a bit of comfort to the life of a cat or dog in an animal shelter. When they find a new home, they can take the blanket home with them to help in the transition to an unfamiliar environment.


Size
22x22 inches

Glossary
CC Contrasting colour
I-cord Narrow tube of stitching
K3 Knit 3 stitches
K2tog Knit 2 together
MC Main colour
RS Right side (i.e. Top of blanket)
Sts Stitches
WS Wrong side (i.e. Underneath of blanket)


Wool
320 yards of super bulky weight wool blend machine washable yarn divided in 2 colours. You will need 1 extra ball of the CC for the optional I-cord edging. The sample blanket is made with Plymouth Encore Mega with burgundy as the MC and black as the CC.

Knitting needles
Size 11 (8mm) needles or size to obtain gauge
Two size 11 (8mm) double pointed needles for optional I-cord edging
Tapestry needle

Gauge
Approx. 2 sts and 4 rows = 1” in garter stitch (knit every row)
Blanket pattern
Note: Each ridge in garter stitch is made from 2 rows of knitting.

Square 1
CO 24 sts with MC. Work in the following stripe pattern until you have 24 garter ridges: Knit 2 rows with MC, knit 2 rows with CC. Bind off.

Square 2
On the left edge of square 1 with RS facing you, pick up 24 sts with MC. This counts as the first row.  Work in the following stripe pattern until you have 24 garter ridges: Knit 8 ridges in MC, 8 ridges in CC, 8 ridges in MC.  Bind off.

Square 3
On the left edge of square 2 with RS facing you, pick up 24 sts with MC. Work as for square 1.

Square 4
On the left edge of square 3 with RS facing you, pick up 24 sts with MC. Work as for square 2.

Finishing
With WS facing you, sew edge of square 1 to edge of square 4.

L-cord edging
If desired, add I-cord edging. With CC, work 1 row of 4 stitch applied I-cord around the entire edge of the blanket as follows: Using double pointed needles, cast on 4 sts.  Insert the tip of the right needle into the first stitch on the edge of the blanket.

Slide the 5 sts to the other end of the dpn.  *K3, k2tog through the back loops (1 I-cord stitch and 1 blanket stitch).  Insert the tip of the right needle into the first stitch on the edge of the blanket.  Slide the 5 sts to the other end of the dpn.  Repeat from * until all sts have been worked.  Bind off. Sew the ends of the I-cord together. Weave in ends.


If you’re not sure where your local animal shelter is, I’m sure your local RSPCA centre would be very grateful for some cosy blankets.   You can find the location of your nearest
centre by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/inyourarea

Request the free CSV Handbook and How-to guides today for some inspirational volunteering ideas! Call 0800 284 533, email difference@csv.org.uk or visit www.csv.org.uk/difference for more information.

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