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Grand Sponsored Knit for Syria
June to September 2018
Red wool and needles
Could you join fellow knitters across the country in a sponsored knitting drive to help refugees living in camps in Lebanon?

Since 2013 EDA has been sending regular shipments of warm clothes to help 60,000 Syrian refugees live through harsh snowy winters in tented camps in Arsal, Lebanon, in the mountains 5,000ft above sea level - higher than Ben Nevis.

Spring is here, which gives time to prepare -- and knit -- for next winter, when the need for warm clothes will return. And we are hoping that with the help of those who sign up to the knitting drive, there will be many thousands of warm woolly things such as hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters to add to the winter clothes we send. And knitted teddies too.

Cold Kids In Class Volunteers sort all the donations in our Granton warehouse and pack them into 10-ton 40' long shipping containers, which are then sent by sea to Beirut Port in Lebanon. From there they are taken on to our Centre in Arsal where our volunteers and local staff see to it that they are distributed promptly and fairly to those in most need.

It costs a lot to ship a container. Around £3,500 when transport clearance and distribution costs are taken into account. However the value of donated goods aboard works out at well over £20,000 in local prices: so its money well spent. BUT we have to raise that £3,500 for every container we send. And we need additional funds to make local purchases of fuel, medicine etc, and to support schools, training and workshops in Arsal.

THAT IS WHY we are asking you, the knitters, not only to knit, but also to raise funds by asking friends and family to sponsor your knitting. .


  1. You, the knitter, choose your own goal. That is you think of a realistic, but challenging knitting project which you could complete by 30st September 2018.
  2. Decide on whether you are going to join in as an individual knitter, or form or join a group.
  3. Sign up online, by phone, or by post (see below).
  4. Ask friends and family to sponsor you to knit everything which you have pledged to make before July 31st
  5. When done, you send the knitting, sponsorship details, and cash or cheques collected to EDA in Edinburgh.
    This may sound rather "woolly" but here are some ideas:
    Set yourself an aim of completing a number of items - eg 20 hats, 10 teddy bears, 6 pairs of gloves - in the period.
    Form a group, or get together as an existing group, to make a set of items - eg sweaters for every age of child, or in every colour.
    Get sponsored to:
    • Finish that project that has been half done for years, or unravel & re-knit that failure!
    • Learn 10 new stitches.
    • Knit non-stop for a certain period, as an individual or a group.
    Encourage your non-knitting partner, children or grandchildren to get sponsored to learn to knit (partners could be fined for every dropped stitch!).
    Hold a knitting party with coffee and cakes and charge an entrance fee.

    If you are a Facebook/Twitter user, do keep in touch with other knitters and groups, and EDA, by posting photos of your progress.

    Signing up / enquiries

    You can sign up as an individual knitter or as a member of a group.
    • online: click here(or use the buttons above);
    • by email: knit2018@edinburghdirectaid.org
    • by phone: call Jeanne at 0131 552 1545 or Ann on 07814949468
    • by post (if you or someone you know would rather not register on-line): write to us at 29 Starbank Road, Edinburgh EH5 3BY. Or, first download a form which you can use to sign up yourself and friends before sending to EDA (Click here for the form: but remember that this is a PDF form for printing and cannot be filled in on-line).

    What to make -- your commitment and challenge

    woolly kitten two Teddies gloves hat and Wrist warmers

    For example you could aim to knit:

    1 dozen teddies; or 4 sweaters; or 6 woolly hats; or 6 pairs of mitts/gloves (or any combination of the above and other items.) Or, if in a group you could set more ambitious targets,dividing up the work according to what each person does best.

    We have patterns for small and large teddies, and easy gloves (on 2 needles), but anything else warm and useful such as sweaters, cardigans, hats that you would like to make would be appreciated.

    For patterns, click here View or print knitting patterns