Thursday, 2 January 2020

2020! onwards and upwards

Happy New Year from made4aid, I hope 2020 will be peaceful and happy for you and yours.

Some new people have been donating items in 2019, and that - together with me having more time - have helped grow made4aid sales.  And that means - growth in our donations to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors without Borders. 

TOTAL DONATIONS from made4aid to charity: 
£7708 / US$ 10,184 total donations
£5725 / $7562 of these donations were to MSF.
(more information on the sidebar)


to everyone who has been interested or involved in made4aid - who has bought something, or donated something; who has shared a facebook post or mentioned made4aid to their friends.

Quite a few of Linda Ann's Christmas stockings sold in October and November, plus some ceramic jewellery made by Amelia, and vintage fabric cushions and bags made and donated by Tanya. Their creativity and generosity has helped grow our sales, thanks so much.

If you are interested in donating any items to made4aid, there is more information about what and how you might donate on the made4aid website. Please email me if you have any queries.

And made4aid is now more active on social media, do follow us : made4aid on facebook and/or on Instagram.

So - lots sold in the run up to Christmas, still lots of nice things in the shop such as:

Contact email for any queries:

Friday, 1 November 2019

Back in action!

The made4aid Etsy shop is now open again, after a brief time off.

I'm working hard to get lots of lovely things in the shop ahead of Christmas. We've had some fabulous items donated.  

Bags and Christmas stockings made and donated by Linda Ann

Handmade ceramic jewellery, made and donated by Amelia - a few examples, lots more in the shop and to come....


 Cushion covers and bags, made from vintage fabrics and donated by Tanya - a few examples, more in the shop and lots more to come....



And I am just finishing a few projects which will be ready for listing soon - a couple of sneak previews:


Thank you to everyone who visits the shop, donates an item, and/or buys something.

All profits from made4aid sales go to Medécins sans Frontiéres / Doctors without Borders. I will be updating our charity donation information (money raised so far) within the next week or so.

Made4aid has ticked over slowly, in a small way, over the past years. I am now going to have much more time to devote to managing and promoting the shop - and especially time for making things myself, which is where made4aid began in the first place, with making and blogging.  I am starting to post again on Instagram, and in the next month or two, there will be items for sale there as well as items in the Etsy shop.

Other craft charity projects
I have also been knitting cannula sleeves for the UK Handmade for Dementia group, working with the Altzheimer's Society - more info here or find them on facebook.  

Soon I hope to be knitting some worry monsters for Knit with Nowt, another UK group providing worry monsters and other puppets and dolls for therapists working with children - more info. here; find them on facebook

There are so many great ways to contribute to good causes, if you can sew, knit or crochet - some are listed on the made4aid website, do have a look and let me know if there any I've missed. 

Thanks for looking and reading!

made4aid can be contacted at, or on facebook.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

charity craft projects

Well, the made4aid shop on Etsy is temporarily closed, as I am recovering from surgery - I'm hoping to open the shop in August.

In the meantime, I've been knitting for made4aid - and also for some other great charity projects.

So if you are a crafter - knitting, crochet, sewing - you might be interested in one of these.  And they are all good for using up bits and pieces of yarn / fabric.

Knitted knockers.   This is an international project.

Fred Neal [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Knitted knockers provide a fantastic alternative prosthetic for women who have had a mastectomy or other breast surgery, and don't want implants or don't find other kinds of prosthetics comfortable. Knitted or crocheted, they are light and soft, and cooler in hot weather than other kinds of prosthetic.

The knockers  are knitted or crocheted in the round, and the various groups provide patterns, and also a list of 'authorised' yarns which must be used, as they have been tested for comfort etc.  The online groups provide patterns and guidance, and help coordinate knitters and link them up with women who need the knitted knockers.

Knitted Knockers - public and international facebook group.   This is an international group which has links to 'local' groups in the USA, Malaysia, India, Canada - and elsewhere. Provides list of recommended yarn, patterns, information about local knitting groups and a lot of friendly chat and encouragement.

UK Knitted Knockers application board - This is where you can send a request here if you want to get involved with the UK charity group, there is an application process to go through.   Once you've 'joined up', you become part of the active online group which is very friendly and supportive. This group provides some quality assurance, to make sure that the items are safe and meet health and safety needs, so with their guidance you can be confident you are producing a knitted knocker thats safe, comfortable and the right size.   The UK group  organises promotional events - they can also provide yarn and gift bags, and some funding - if you need it - for postage to the person who needs the knockers you make.    Knitted Knockers facebook page

Handmade for dementia   

Handmade for Dementia (UK) 

This is a great knitting project for de-stashing and using up left over bits and pieces of yarn. Bright striped cannula sleeves are designed to help prevent dementia patients becoming distressed if they have a cannula, and prevent them fiddling with or pulling out the cannula. The group provides patterns and advice over the knitting, bright colours of double knitting yarn are needed for the outside of the sleeve, and plain / lighter colours for the inside (lining).  Fairly easy to knit and they make up quickly.  Handmade for Dementia UK facebook group.  Those who crochet but don't knit can also get involved making crochet 'twiddles' for the sleeves, and supporting in other ways.
This is my first cannula sleeve.
There is also a group making similar muffs in New Jersey, USA - more information here.

If anyone knows of similar alzheimers projects outside the UK, do please let us know and we can post about them here.

Worry puppets / monsters UK project for children's therapy

Knit for Nowt - worry monsters  (UK) Knitting, crochet, sewing.
This is another great de-stash charity project for all those little bits and pieces of yarn or fabric. Worry puppets or worry monsters are used by therapists working with children suffering from bereavement, neglect or other trauma. The group provide the puppets/monsters to social work groups across the UK.  They provide guidance and patterns, including safety requirements, and they coordinate provision of the puppets to social workers.
Knit for Nowt on facebook.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Christmas items from made4aid!

We have some new artists and craft people donating their work to made4 aid, which is really exciting - the items currently in the made4aid shop (on Etsy) were made by 10 different people; actually more than 10, as we have a number of items donated by the Agapi community in Cyprus, and I have counted their community as one donor.

So there are lots of different kinds of items - art, jewellery, sewn and knitted items and other things - and lots of different styles.

Please do head over, lovely and unique handmade Christmas gifts and stocking fillers, and still time for shipping in time for Christmas or New Year!

Below are just thumbnails - all these items are available in

All profits go to Medécins sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders, except for the items made by Agapi, and for those profits go to the Agapi work with refugees and other individuals and families in need.

Over £7000 made and donated to good causes since 2009, through the generosity and creativity of lots and lots of people.

If you are interested in donated items you have made - or  are/craft supplies - do contact us. There is more information about donating items here.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Helping to support relief work in Cyprus

Agapi is a non-profit, volunteer organisation based in Cyprus, working with those in need, including refugees.

Members of the Agapi community have used items donated to the organisation to make some lovely items, which can all be bought in the made4aid shop on Etsy.

The items include jewellery, bags, cushion covers and a patchwork table runner - all are recycled / upcycled from donated items.

And all profits from the sales will go to support the ongoing work of Agapi - you can find out more about their work and activities on their facebook page . The organisation is registered in Cyprus as an NGO under Association No 4600.

So - have a quick look here at the lovely items, and pop over to Etsy for more detail, and if you want to buy something.

If you have any queries, do email us at, or you can leave a comment on our facebook page.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Knitting for peace, charity, health and happiness!

Four great knitting books I'll be reading and using in 2018.

Christmas gifts I'm very happy with, all of them about knitting for 'causes'. 

This one talks about various projects and groups around the world where knitters make and donate things for a particular cause, beginning with knitters in wartime (from the American war of independence, through world war II, Bosnia and Rwanda in the twentieth century, to the current conflict in Iraq) and looking at projects donating blankets to the homeless, clothing for orphans and other children around the world who need love and support. Knitting donations;  knitting as a means of income for the poor and destitute; knitting as therapy for prisoners; knitting for cancer causes.

The case studies in this book are evidence for the author's claim that:

'We knitters work a powerful magic when we knit for others... we can build bridges.... help to heal... offer a primal sort of comfort, and create peace - however small, and in whatever way that may be - for others and ourselves.' (page 9) 

There are some patterns included in the book, for items which can be made and donated to some of the causes - full information in the book, and some basic knitting instructions.

Knitting for Peace. Make the world a better place one stitch at a time.  By Betty Christiansen, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2006.


This one is historical, and takes me back to childhood memories of my Nan and Grandad - my
grandfather was in the so-called 'great war' (World War I). He lied about his age so that he could go and fight, because he was too young. He survived though with deafness that meant he couldn't fight in the second world war, though he played his part there as an air raid warden and first aid officer. And I'm sure that he had people at home knitting for him.

The book has some fantastic photos - advertising from the day, clothing, knitters, postcards, fashion plates and cartoons from magazines.  And a lot of patterns of very solid looking items of utilitarian clothing which was such an expression of love.  One scheme for providing sweaters for soldiers was set up in London by John Penoyre, and the book quotes him:

'The fact is the human mind is so constituted that in times of very special stress and trouble the little extra personal comforts to which one is attached bulk very large indeed.' (page 17)

Knitting for Tommy. Keeping the Great War Soldier warm.  By Lucinda Gosling, in association with Mary Evans Picture Library. The History Press, 2014. 


Knitting for Good is described as 'A guide to creating personal, social, and political change, stitch by stitch'.

This book begins by talking about some of the benefits of knitting, from a personal perspective.  Some of these benefits  are there in the first two books above as well;  in this one, the author talks from her own experience, and from people she has spoken with, about how knitting has all sorts of benefits - relaxation, therapy as a kind of physical meditation practice, for some even pain relief.  I would add help with sleep - I'm quite sure knitting helps me to sleep better.

Then the book talks about different ways we can contribute to our communities through knitting, and gives some examples.

The third section is about how knitters can have an impact on the world, from personal choices about recycling and supporting handmade and fair trade, through to 'craftivism' - linking craft and activism through the kind of knitting for causes also talked about in the first book above.

There are knitting patterns here too, examples of how people use their creativity to make connections, help others - and the book has a strong focus on how how we can use our knitting in this sort of way, if thats something we want to do, and how we can also benefit from doing this.

Knitting for Good. A guide to creating personal, social, and political change, stitch by stitch. by Betsy Greer, Trumpeter Press 2008. 


This third book is different, as its mostly a knitting pattern book - but its a great example of what the
other books are talking about. There is an introduction about the 'knitting for causes' movement - and the book then has a great set of patterns, contributed by various people.  All the patterns are free for anyone to use for a charity cause, so can be used to make items to sell in the made4aid Etsy shop.  (Its not very clear whether this is the case for the patterns in the other 3 books - they can be used though for donations to the causes they are 'named' for).

There are 25 patterns/projects here in total - some of them will definately be appearing in the made4aid shop sooner or later! 

Knits to Share and Care. by Gerard Allt,  D&C Press, 2008.


And - as we approach the end of 2017, I'll be updating the totals of money raised so far by made4aid. Currently all profits go to Medécins sans Frontiéres / Doctors without Borders.

Made4aid is a very small project, which quietly ticks along and suffers a bit from me being so busy in my every-day life. I'm so grateful for everyone who's ever helped, sent donations, encouraged.  And its so brilliant to hear from other people around the world who are doing similar things or who want to contribute.

The latest is MP, a middle-school student who has donating some fab hand-made cards - now in the Etsy shop, for sale with free shipping in the USA, a set of 10 cards for £8.50 / $12.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Getting up to date!

I find it hard to believe its close to two years since I posted here!  Life goes so fast and often feels too busy.  A year ago I had an accident which slowed me down for a bit, but I was blessed with great care from family, friends and the NHS and getting close to 'normal' mobility again.

Never too busy, though, to have a knitting project on the go, and I manage to find some time for sewing sometimes at weekends or on holidays....

.... and the made4aid shop on Etsy continues to tick over, with some great donations from people who find made4aid online and offer some of their work.

Sue is still making and donating items to made4aid, here are some currently in the shop.

a velvet bookmark

cluster bracelet

  Some great key rings / bag charms, including this great owl one.

Sweet little butterfly earrings,

Sue now also has her own great shop on Etsy, MimzDesigns, with some fabulous steampunk and goth creations and artwork.

We have some unique and attractive and practical bags made and donated by Linda Ann


Sayani, a high school student in the USA is making wax crayons, from recycled left over ends, in funky fun shapes.

And Amar, in India, has donated some of his paintings.


All available (at the time of writing) in the made4aid shop on Etsy.

And me.....  I've been working on bits and pieces and will try to blog about that soon - and certainly sooner than another two years!

Proceeds from made4aid go to Medécins sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders.
We've raised £6678 / $US 9075, since 2009 when made4aid began.

Do get in touch if you're interested in helping!;  and/or find us on facebook.