Crafting to help Australian Wildlife
In light of the recent bushfires in Australia, we've put together a handy list of ways you can use your crafting skills to help.
The pictures and videos of the devastating bushfires sweeping across Australia have captured the worlds attention, and many organisations and charities have stepped up their efforts in support of the people and animals affected.
There is a lot of information out there on ways you can help, so we thought it would be helpful to put as much as we could find in one handy place.
Firstly, if you can help in any way, please consider donating to The Red Cross or any of the other charitable organisations raising funds for the relief effort. As much as we're seeing terrible images of injured animals, it's important to remember those people and communities that have also been affected - many people have lost their lives or been made homeless by this disaster. You can find a full list of relief organisations by ABC news here.
At least 24 people have so far been killed - including three volunteer firefighters - and more than 6.3 million hectares (63,000 sq km or 15.6 million acres) of bush, forest and parks have been burned.
Use you crafting skills to help out
Whether you're a crocheter, knitter or someone of who sews, there's plenty of ways for you to help out. Charities are looking for physical donations of items to help re-habilitate those animals affected by the fires. Charities are looking for pouches for orphaned joey kangaroos and crocheted birds nest, as well as other items. Many of the organisations have also provided free patterns too which you can find by following the links below.
*Before making any donations, please read the individual organisations requirements carefully - some items are not being accepted in certain regions due to an influx of contributions, and some items need to be made from specific materials*
Rescue Craft Co. are doing a fab job of co-ordinating efforts and have many free patterns available. As well as providing addresses to directly send your makes to in Australia, they are also busy organising local hubs that you can give/send your items to who will dispatch them to Australia together to save individuals having to pay large postage costs. You can find their UK facebook group here.
The UK division of the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild are also organising collections and providing free patterns. You can also find information on their local collection hubs within the group page.
Simy's Studio and the Scheepjes team have launched the #CryingKoala project, where you can purchase their super-cute Koala hat pattern (available in both knitted and crocheted versions), with 100% of the profits being donated to Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund. Find out more and get the patterns here!
Throughout January you can purchase this adorable 'George the Koala' pattern by Irene Strange with all profits being donated to help those affected by the Bushfire Crisis. Find the pattern here!
Yarn for the Soul yarn shop in Wiltshire is organising collections and offering free patterns, which can be found by joining her facebook group here! Katy from Yarn for the Soul was recently interviewed by BBC news about her efforts which you watch below, and Katy has also been running knit and crochet groups at her yarn shop where you can pop in to make something for the cause.
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.