Knitting at the Library
Yarn Blooming: A Fiber Arts Display (beginning April 15)
Starting April 15, the library will be participating in a community wide public art event along with the Arts Council of Princeton and the Women of Princeton Employees Resources Group. This project will be installed in mid-May, Mental Health Awareness Month, to promote the benefits of yarn crafting and wellbeing. For our contribution to this project, we are hoping to cover the front columns at the entrance to the library with handmade fiber (preferably knit or crocheted) items that celebrate spring such as a wide variety of flowers, ladybugs, bees, or leaves and vines, creating the “yarn bloom.” The Arts Council will also be decorating outside their building.
We need your help! There are multiple ways to participate.
- You can knit at home and drop off your finished objects at the library before May 12.
- Pick up a Take, Make, and Donate kit at the Welcome Desk. Each kit has a selection for yarn and simple patterns to make flowers and leaves and bugs. Kits and supplies for kids & teens are available on the 3rd floor.
- Attend the Workshop: Knit/Crochet a Flower, part of the “Yarn Blooming: A Fiber Arts Display,” at the library in our Community Room on the first floor. Registration is requested but not required but it helps with planning if you do register. We will have a limited amount of yarn, needles, and hooks so please consider bringing you own if you have them. There are two sessions:
- Session 1 is on Monday, April 24, from 10 a.m. – noon.
- Session 2 is on Sunday, May 7, noon – 2 p.m.
- Also on Sunday, May 7, in the afternoon, there will be a self-directed kids activity on the 3rd floor.
- Use the pattern links below or look for ideas in all the usual places (YouTube, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.).
- You can use any type of yarn and your finished objects can be any size. A great way to use up all those little leftover bits.
- Keep in mind that these will be outside and exposed to spring weather, so the sturdier the better.
- Think BIG! Scale up, double your yarn, use larger needles, anything you need to do to make your creation more visible.
- Please tie off all strings and weave in your ends. Block if necessary.
Completed items should be dropped off in the collection basket on the first floor of the library, near the Welcome Desk, along the stairs. The deadline is May 12.
Thank you for making our first public art event a success!
Knit for Others 2022
Our 13th season of Knit for Others has concluded. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our community’s knitters and crocheters, we received over 350 winter items, such as hats, scarves, and mittens. Items have now been delivered to area organizations for distribution in the Princeton community such as Cornerstone Community Kitchen and Princeton Human Services.
If you would like to get a head start for our 14th season, beginning in October 2023, and are looking for pattern ideas, see the Resources section below for simple patterns for mittens and hats from the library’s print collections (books and magazines), as part of our eLibrary collections in Princeton Overdrive/Libby and hoopla or links to free patterns found online.
You can use either wool or acrylic yarns and a pattern of your choosing. We don’t get many requests for tiny preemie hats or small baby hats so please consider making hats from toddler sizes to adult. There is always a need for hats for men so ones in dark colors are always appreciated. Also, there is a need for mittens for preschoolers, ages 2-6.
At this time, we are not accepting yarn donations.
To learn more about the history of Knit for Others, see below.
History of Knit for Others
The story of PPL’s Knit for Others began in the fall of 2010 as the library was preparing for its 100th birthday. The executive director, Leslie Burger, challenged her staff to think of creative and engaging projects or events that had something to do with the number 100. Since a number of staff were knitters, including the director, librarian Gayle Stratton came up with the idea of collecting 100 hand-knitted hats to donate. Time was tight, the plea to knitters went out, the clothesline at the Welcome Desk went up, and immediately the hats came pouring in! We more than met our challenge with a total of 201 hats which were donated to TASK, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
Knit for Others is now an annual event, made possible by the many creative and generous customers who donate approximately 200 items each year to temporarily adorn our clothesline. These are then shared with local organizations for distribution in early January.
During Knit for Others 2021, over 260 items from volunteer knitters/crocheters were distributed to local organizations. This included 143 adult hats, 34 child/baby hats and 47 scarves as well as an assortment of sweaters, mittens, and afghans.
Print Book Collection
The library’s collection of knitting, crochet, and other needlework books can be found in the Home neighborhood on the second floor. Included are learn to knit books, ones for knitting hats, scarves, sock, sweaters for all ages, accessories for the home, toys, knits for pets, and how-to books for specific techniques such as cables or fair isle. All are listed in the online catalog and can be searched by author, title, subject, and keyword.
Here are a few highlights, especially good for Knitting for Others projects:
Want to look at knitting or crochet books without venturing into the library? The library’s eBook collection, found in Libby/Overdrive or hoopla, has a vast collection of recent and classic books to read on your computer or download the mobile apps for reading on your favorite device.
In Libby/Overdrive: Search the subject CRAFTS to find titles such as “Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders,” “More Last Minute Knitted Gifts,” “Cast on Bind Off” and “Knitting Stitches Visual Encyclopedia.” Titles in the Libby/Overdrive collection can also be found in the library’s online catalog.
In hoopla: Use the Advanced Search feature and type in Knitting to find gems such as “Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters Almanac” and newer titles such as “Knitted Animal Friends,” “We are Knitters,” and “Loopy Mango Knitting,” plus ones perfect for beginning knitting such as “Knit a Hat, a Beginner’s Guide to Knitting.” You will also find knitting patterns for babies, adults, the home, toys, dogs, etc. in the over 100 titles included in this collection. All are available for immediate checkout and download.
You need to have a Princeton Public Library card to access our digital collections. If you are unable to get a PPL card, check with your local public library to see what eBook services they offer.
Magazine Collection – Print and Digital
The library has a print subscription to “Interweave Knits” and “Piecework.” Back issues of print magazines check out for 3 weeks. These are located in the Newsroom on the second floor.
Many more titles are available through the Overdrive digital magazine collection. The easiest way to find the knitting/crochet/craft magazines is to search for the subject “Crafts”. Find titles such as “Interweave Knits,” “Simply Crochet, ” “Simply Knitting,” “The Knitter” and more. The digital magazines include the most recent issue as well as the 2 years of back issues. Magazine issues check out for up to 21 days, no due dates, no fines or fees of any kind and no limit to the number you can check out at one time. Read on your computer or download the Libby app for reading on your mobile device. Titles in the Libby/Overdrive collection can also be found in the library’s online catalog.
Creativebug, a crafting database, offers 1000+ online art and craft classes. You can watch the instructor-led classes on your own time, at your own pace. Access downloadable patterns for a variety of knitting or crochet projects. You need to have a Princeton Public Library card to access this database.
Other Pattern Resources
There are thousands of free patterns available on websites of yarn companies, knitting stores, knitters, bloggers, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry, Facebook groups, etc. You can find how-to tutorials as well on yarn company or store websites and also on YouTube. Some favorites patterns are:
World’s Simplest Mittens from Tin Can Knits
Martha Stewart How to Knit Mittens with Leftover Yarn
Purl Soho Speckled Pom Pom Hat
Super Simple Garter Stitch Hat