Knitting at the Library

Knit for Others 2020

Date: Starting Now

Knit for Others 2020, our 11th season is now underway.

We will once again be collecting newly made, hand-knit or crocheted winter items, such as hats, scarves, and mittens.

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 a particular need for hats for men so ones in dark colors are always appreciated. Also, there is a need for mittens for preschoolers.

When you have finished your project, please put it in a sealed bag and drop it off at the library during our opening hours. There will be a collection bin on the first floor near the Welcome Desk. Finished items will be displayed on the clothesline behind the Welcome Desk until the end of the year.

For those who wish to participate and need yarn (or patterns), please register for a free yarn kit which will have enough yarn for a hat or two, or a couple of pairs of mittens, plus a selection of basic knitting patterns. Once you have registered, come to the hold pickup station at the library’s back entrance along Sylvia Beach Way, let the staff know you have registered for a kit and make your selection. Supplies are limited. Registration is now closed. Due to popular demand, we ran out of kits!

If you are looking for pattern ideas, see the Resources section below for simple patterns for mittens and hats.

To learn more about the history of Knit for Others, see below.

Virtual Drop In and Knit (or Crochet)

Date: Wednesday mornings, 11 am to noon
Registration required. Visit our events page to register.

Join us for an hour of knitting or crocheting! This is a virtual event and we are using Google Meets to connect. Registration is required and registrants will be sent the necessary link on Wednesday morning to join. You do not need a gmail account to join this event using Google Meets.

Worldwide Knit in Public Day

Date: A Saturday early in June, date to be announced in Spring 2021.
Location: Virtual event or possibly Hinds Plaza

In June 2020, we couldn’t gather on the plaza to “Knit in Public” like we normally do on Worldwide Knit in Public Day, but we still celebrated the joy of knitting together in a virtual way — and knit outside on our own porches or patios.

Let’s see what happens for June 2021. Please check back in the spring for more information.

To learn more about Worldwide Knit in Public Day in general, check out their website.

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 grand 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 2019, over 260 items from volunteer knitters/crocheters were distributed to local organizations. This included 109 adult hats, 46 child/baby hats and 41 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:

eBook Collection

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 mobile device.

In Libby/Overdrive: Search the subject CRAFTS to find titles such as “Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders,” “More Last Minute Knitted Gifts,” “Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs,” and “Knitting Stitches Visual Encyclopedia.”

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.” You will also find knitting for babies, adults, the home, toys, dogs, etc. There are over 300 titles to choose from and all available for immediate checkout and download.

You need to have a Princeton Public Library card to access our collections. If you don’t, check your local public library to see what ebook services they offer.

Magazine Collection – Print and Digital

The library has print subscriptions to a few knitting magazines and many more available through RBdigital’s digital magazine collection, which has recently expanded to include hundreds of titles in many subject areas. In print, the library has “Knit Simple,” “Interweave Knits,” and “Piecework.” Back issues check out for 3 weeks. These are located in the Newsroom on the second floor.

The RBdigital collection is vast and the easiest way to find the knitting/crochet/craft magazines is to use the filters and search by genre, in this case, Crafts. Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner, choose advanced search, select magazines and select Crafts from the drop down menu in the Genre box. Magazines check out indefinitely, no due dates, and no fines or fees of any kind.

Online Courses

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, 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

No Swatch No Gauge Mittens

Red Heart Mittens for All

Martha Stewart How to Knit Mittens with Leftover Yarn


Purl Soho Classic Ribbed Hat

Purl Soho Speckled Pom Pom Hat

Tin Can Knits Barley Light

Super Simple Garter Stitch Hat

London Beanie