Knitters Promise a Stuffed Animal to Every Child at Sandy Hook

What started as a small knitting project, grew into a cross-continental campaign to help kids feel a little bit of comfort.

A friendly monster, courtesy of 600 Monsters for Connecticut. (Photo: 600 Monsters)
A friendly monster, courtesy of 600 Monsters for Connecticut. (Photo: 600 Monsters)
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades has previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and a medical writer.

A group of knitters from the popular fiber site, Ravelry, started a unique campaign this weekend− they’re helping the children of Sandy Hook by knitting them each a stuffed animal.

Named “600 Monsters for Connecticut,” the group’s moniker comes from the family of knitting patterns they’re using for the kids’ toys. The goal is to knit one custom-made animal for every child in the town, including the siblings and children of victims.

According to its Ravelry page, when the project began a week ago, it was expected to simply be a “small knit-along”, but it’s since multiplied exponentially, spreading across states and even onto other continents. Current members total over 2,000 people, and moderators are already wondering what to do with the extra stuffed animals they expect to amass.

MORE: Furry Comfort: Service Dogs Console Grieving Newtown

Part of the reason behind the project’s popularity is no doubt that it’s easy for knitters to join and contribute− participants simply need a free Ravelry account, and to ensure each piece is created according to certain sensitivity guidelines.

One of those guidelines includes forgoing the usual “X’d-out” eyes popular in monster patterns and instead making sure each animal has a full set of opened eyes. The moderators also ask that everyone use a pattern from the “monster” family so that when the stuffed creatures are delivered en-masse, they look as if they all came from the same place.

But knitting monsters isn’t the only way to help out. Those who are craft-challenged, can still contribute to the cause by purchasing patterns and supplies for other members of the group.

600 Monsters also recently joined forces with another small knitting group, “Three Irish Girls,” to help spearhead their project, Knitters for Newtown. Focused on the adults in the community− including the parents of victims− volunteers are knitting afghans for the grown-up contingent, who could no doubt benefit from some warmth and support right now.

Monetary donations certainly come with their own benefits, but craft projects like these are wholly intimate endeavors, ones that offer recipients a chance to remember that when bad things happen, good people show up.

Are there other unique ways that you think people could help the town of Newtown? Let us know in the Comments.

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