Head Start Kids - Need Mittens, Hats, Scarves

Hi All
My dd goes to school at PlayNLearn Head Start with about 100 other children. This pre-school program is offered to lower income families as a means to jump start their education. Being located in Fairbanks, Alaska poses unique challenges to the school. Children must be kept warm while playing outside in weather that often includes snow and temps reaching down to neg 20 degrees F. Many of the children come to school without the proper clothing for playing outside. I am currently working on hats, scarves and mittens to donate. I am blessed to have a MIL who understands the mission and she gives me quite a bit of advice and stash money to keep it going. I was hoping some of you guys might be interested in helping. I would like every child to have a hat and mitten set to take home with them. if your interested let me know and I can post more info.

I thought I would add a couple of things. The kids are 3,4 and 5 years old and would love anything in a wool acrylic blend. Also if time is an issue there is a pattern here that knits up awfully quick even for a beginner like me! http://www.afghansforafghans.org/mittens.html , I would only recommend making the cuff longer and doubling up worsted weight yarn. Thanks for everyone on the KAL board who is volunteering a pair or two. Winter is a matter of days away here and the kids at school are gonna love those warm fuzzies!

I read this post when you first wrote it and had thought about doing a few pair of mittens, but guess what? My daughter just called today and one of my granddaughters started Head Start the other day. Well, it seems that on the first day of “school” she was wearing her poncho that I made for her and one of the teachers commented on it. My daughter told her that I had made it and that I kept the 4 girls in mittens, hats, socks, slippers, etc. The teacher then told her that it was great, but that many children don’t have mittens or hats in the winter and she asked my daughter if she might ask if I could donate any to the Head Start program. Of course I said I would, as I can’t bear for kids to be without warm things when I can help it. So, now besides knitting mittens for the family and for the Battered Women’s Shelter, I am now going to do a few my granddaughter’s Head Start.

I want to wish you luck with getting more done for your local one, and like I said, if I hadn’t been making them for my dgd’s one, I’d offer some. I know it is a great program and they deserve any help that anyone could offer.

So many of the kids go without the bare necessaties it is scary. They need everything for winter, but I thought that hats and mittens would be an awfully good start! :woot:

Awesome idea! I’m just curious about children who live in Alaska and have no mittens or hats? I’m not knocking anything but that seems odd to me.

Nicole, I’ll help. I’ve got a bunch of Lion Brand Wool-Ease - acrylic/wool blend - and wondered what I would use it for. Now I know!!!


Awesome idea! I’m just curious about children who live in Alaska and have no mittens or hats? I’m not knocking anything but that seems odd to me.

Many people in alaska live below or so near the poverty line that they cannot afford the basics for their kids. What they do instead is buy them the best jacket possible and tell them to keep their hands in their pockets and hoods on. That is not sufficient protection from the elements in my hometown. Temps can reach as low as 75 degrees BELOW zero, not freezing, yes zero. And that is all before figuring in wind chill.
A hood on a jacket does not properly protect the ears and have you ever tried to get a three year old to keep her hands in her pockets, not happening.
The cost of living here is so extreme at times that people are forced to think in terms of “heat or eat”, a popular phrase in the area refering to the possibility that you may only be able to afford to heat your house or buy food, not both.

OMG now that I re-read my post it sounds awfully snarky and it was not meant that way. It was only meant as a min ifomercial on what is going on around these parts.

I don’t Think you sounded narky, you sound like you are passionate about the area that you live in and frustrated by the circumstances that some people have to live in.

Have half of my second mitten done, will work on it some more tonight.

Wonderful project! :thumbsup:
Hopefully, I’ll have time to make a set or two.

I was wondering what the address was to send the mittens I’ve made, so I decided to check the internet, and sure enough, they have a website. So I also decided to give them a call and they were thrilled to hear that there are people knitting mittens for them!!!

She said they also could use hats, but that scarves are not something that the children keep on. So I’m going to try to find the size of children’s heads so that I can also knit some hats for them.

For anyone needing their address, this is their website with the address: http://playnlearn.e-siteworks.com/headstart/

I spoke with Lisa at the Fairbanks location.


Lisa is the best.
Any toddler size pattern should work. 3-5 year range.

What a great idea. Has anyone heard of such a programme for the children in northern Canada?

I don’t know about canada, the one in the us is run by the federal government so I don’t think they would have the same program in canada.

These are the hats I finished for Head Start - still have to put thumbs on 4 pairs of mittens - then I’m going to send them all to Alaska.


:woohoo: :woohoo:

You did an awesome job on those -they’re wonderful!!![/B] I really like that variegated yarn you used on those two hats, too! I am slow at hats for some reason, lol. I can knit a pair of mittens in about 3 hours, but a hat takes me forever!!!

You should be [U]very[/U] proud of yourself - think of all lucky children that will wear them! :thumbsup:

Those hats are great! Where did you find the pattern for the ribbed ones?

Thank you Nicole!

I kind of adapted different patterns since I couldn’t find a pattern using size 8 needles and a double strand of worsted weight yarn. Most of the hats I cast on 60 stitches, some are 66 stitches. Then I just did ribbing for 8 or 10 rounds, or in the case of the hat with the folded ribbing, I did the ribbing for about 4 inches. Then I switched to stockinette stitch until the hat measured 5.5 to 6 inches. Did decreases starting with knit 8, K2tog around, then knit a round, then knit 7, k2tog around, then knit a round, knit 6, k2tog, etc., until I got down to knit 1, k2tog. Then the next round I k2tog and pulled the tail through the remaining stitches.

I actually did all of them the same except for the beginning - some are rolled brim (just knitting in the round) but the rest is the same. I used a size 8 16 inch circular needle and then switched to dpn when I had to.

Hope that all made sense and answered your question!!! I can’t wait to finish the rest of the hats and send them up your way!!!

Oh, these are the mittens I’ve done - http://www.pbase.com/soozin/image/103306664.jpg and the 3 new hats I’ve done http://www.pbase.com/soozin/image/103306676.jpg


You do great work!
Thanks for sharing your photos - - they inspire
me to at least send 1 hat & pair of mitts…
Karen G
in GA

This morning there is one and a half inches of snow outside and it reminded me I needed to say thank you to everyone making mittens and hats for the kids. I am sure they will love them!!!