Knitting at the Library

Knit for Others 2023

Our 14th season of Knit for Others is underway and items can be dropped off at the Welcome Desk at any time. We will be collecting hand knit or crocheted warm winter wear through the end of the year for distribution to area organizations in mid-January.

Based on feedback from our community partners about the items they need most, this year we are only going to be accepting hats, traditional wrap-around-the-neck scarves, mittens/handwarmers, afghans, and sweaters.

  • Hats should be in sizes for child through adult. We don’t get many requests for tiny preemie hats or small baby hats so please consider making hats in larger sizes. There is always a need for hats for men so ones in dark colors are always appreciated.
  • Mittens of all sizes are welcome but especially sizes for preschoolers, ages 2-6.
  • Scarves should be at least 5-6 inches wide and at least 6 feet long. Fringe is optional. Traditional styles that wrap and tie around the neck are preferred.

You can use either wool or acrylic yarns and a pattern of your choosing. However, if you are looking for new pattern ideas, see the Resources section below for simple patterns for mittens and hats from the library’s print collections (books and magazines), titles found in our eLibrary collections in Princeton Overdrive/Libby and hoopla or links to free patterns found online.

If you have questions, please email

At this time, we are not accepting yarn donations.

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

Drop in and Knit (or Crochet)

Date: Wednesday mornings, 10a.m. to noon.  Sessions will be held on November 1, 8, 15, 29 and December 6, 13, and 20.

Location: Community Room, with one exception: November 15 will be in the Quiet Room. Both rooms are on the 1st floor of the library.

Bring your knitting and/or crocheting projects and supplies to these drop-in social gatherings and join us for a morning of creativity and companionship. Sessions will not include instruction. Registration is not required.

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:

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 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.

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, 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

No Swatch No Gauge Mittens

Red Heart Mittens for All

Martha Stewart How to Knit Mittens with Leftover Yarn


Purl Soho Classic Ribbed Hat 

Easy Fit Ribbed Hat

Purl Soho Speckled Pom Pom Hat

Tin Can Knits Barley Light

Super Simple Garter Stitch Hat

London Beanie