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The Last Chance Charity Knit Along

The best thing about being a published author is having readers.

This is an obvious statement.  But my appreciation for readers goes way beyond the fact that they consume the stories I write.  The truth is, I’ve gotten to know a few of my readers pretty well, and I’ve found that readers give back a whole lot more than just the money they plunk down when they buy a book.

Let me tell you a story about one of my readers.

Grey chunky hatNot too long ago I set up a Facebook group for readers, which is called the Last Chance Book Club.  Some people might call this group a “street team,” but for me, this group is less about marketing and more about getting a chance to talk to readers who really like the Last Chance series.

In the months that the group has been up and running, I’ve gotten to know some of my readers very well.  And, of course, they’ve gotten to know me better, too.  And then, about six weeks ago, one my readers, a woman who is battling cancer, posted a request in the Facebook group.  She knew that I was an avid knitter, and that my next full-length novel features a yarn shop.  So she asked me if I would please let my knitter friends know about a charity called The Hatbox Foundation – a group that provides hand-knit and crocheted hats to cancer patients who have lost their hair during chemotherapy.

She let all of us on the group know how these hats were deeply appreciated.  How the hats provide warmth and protection and even comfort from pain.

Well she touched my heart and I knew right then that I was going to do more than merely get the word out about this charity.  And so, the Last Chance Charity Knit-Along was born.

tapemeasure3This August I’ve committed to only knitting hats for The Hat Box Foundation, and I’ve put out cyber calls to all knitters and crocheters (readers and authors alike) to join me in knitting hats this month.  As an inducement, I’m giving away tape measures for anyone who sends me a completed hat by September 9.  And for every hat completed, the knitter or crocheter will have a chance to win an advance reader copy of my forthcoming full-length book, Last Chance Knit & Stitch.

I’ve knitted about four hats so far this this month and I cannot tell you how nice it is to be supporting a charity in this way.  I love knitting for other people, and knowing that the hats I’m knitting will bring some comfort to someone is a joyful gift — a gift given to me by a reader.

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, I hope you’ll think about making a hat and sending it to me as part of this effort.  The mailing address for hats and other details about the knit-along can be found on my personal blog.

If you’re an author and want to contribute books to the giveaway, please contact me here.  If you’re not a knitter and want to make a donation, I suggest that you contact The Hatbox Foundation directly, because I’m only taking hat donations.

Yes, I love readers for all the usual reasons.  But I also have some pretty terrific people who are my readers and they’ve brought joy to my life in so many other ways, too.  I am, indeed, blessed.

pinkhat

30 Responses to “The Last Chance Charity Knit Along”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    This is so lovely, Hope!!

    I’m not a real knitter, sadly (small blankets and scarves, yes; anything involving shape, no). But this sounds like a wonderful cause, and such a wonderful way to have connected with your readers!

    We always say that the romance-writing community is big-hearted, but it looks like the romance-reading community is big-hearted as well!

    • Hope Ramsay says:

      Elisa,

      It’s a small step to move from making a scarf to making a hat. All you need is a 18inch circular needle and a set of double pointed needles. You cast on enough stitches to make a tube of between 18 and 20 inches. You knit that in the round until it’s about 7.5 inches long. And then you make a series of decreases for the crown. A decrease is just knitting two stitches together. If you wan to try making a hat, I’m happy to walk you through the process.
      ;)

  2. Amanda Brice says:

    This is such a great cause, Hope. Thank you for doing this, and especially thank you to your reader for coming up with the idea!

  3. Cate Rowan says:

    What a fantastic idea, full of heart (and warm heads)!

  4. What a wonderful project, Hope. I crochet to keep my hands busy while I’m watching TV, but the only thing I know how to make are afghans. If you can point me to a really easy crochet pattern for a hat, I’ll try to make one for you.

  5. Liz Talley says:

    Beautiful, Hope! I so wish I could knit, but alas, I haven’t the foggiest about any sort of needlework. But I will be happy to donate a book or two for a giveaway.

    I find it so satisfying to use an author platform to make a difference in others’ lives. Last year you and I did our Twelve Days of Angels blog and I LOVED doing that. It was immensely gratifying to see other authors point out the angels in their lives and to reward someone for their contributions in making their world a better place. So yay to your knitting angels. In some small way we can all make this world warm and wonderful for others. I’m off to spread the word about your wonderful new project.

    • Hope Ramsay says:

      Liz, I felt the same way about our little angel project last Christmas. I do really love that this knitting project is engaging both authors and readers, though. And it is a wonderful thing when you can use your platform to do something kind for someone else. That’s where the joy comes from.

  6. Tamara Hogan says:

    This is awesome, Hope, and I seriously covet both the tape measure and that last hat. ;-)

  7. This is so awesome, Hope. I love what you and your readers are doing. My mother, before she passed, had taken on a volunteer project sewing for vets. I’m not sure what organization it was for, but here’s a link to something similar:

    http://www.sewmuchcomfort.org

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing. The idea is to provide comfortable clothing for wounded vets by altering clothing to include velcro and such, so they don’t have to wear hospital gowns to accommodate their casts and other injuries.

    Lovely post, Hope.

  8. June Love says:

    Hope, this is a wonderful project. The kindness of others to get involved speaks volumes for the giving nature of the romance community. You and your readers are awesome!

    My church knits/crochets prayer afghans. I don’t knit or crochet, but I can donate money, yarn, etc. Anything that people can give is never too small.

    • Hope Ramsay says:

      If you are of a mind, you should follow the link to the Hatbox Foundation and see what they might need in the way of monetary or yarn donations. I’m keeping it simple and only asking for folks to send completed hats.

  9. Kim Law says:

    I love this so much, Hope. I love that you’re doing this, but I also love that the reader brought it to your attention.

    I think people who don’t find ways to give back are missing out on the chance for some very deep and emotional feelings in their lives. Every time I’ve given of myself in some way similar, the reward I got back was so much more than what I’d put into it. Knowing that others are on the receiving end means so much. I wish I was a knitter, and I’d jump right in there with you.

    Thank you for doing this. I shall now FB, on the hunt for knitters.

  10. Hope , you just don’t know how much I love and appreciate you as a writer and a wonderul person!
    You reach out to your readers (fans) and that means so very much to us all. What your doing to help the HatBox Foundation is awesome and so much appreciated.
    You are the most reachable author that I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with.
    I was blown away when I won the goodie bag full of books and other goodies plus the ARC Last Chance Knit & Stitch I was on cloud 9!!
    I only hope the card I sent you did reach you.

    With much affection,
    Belinda

  11. Kathleen O says:

    Readers of romance of some of the most generous people walking around.. And the reason we read authors like Hope Ramsey is because she is such a lovely giving person. Not only does she give us great stories to enjoy, but she gives of herself to help other.. We her readers could not be any different.. I do not knit or crochet myself, but I donate wool and other materials to woman who do for charities like this… God Bless all of you who knit hats for people with cancer of those newborns who need them…

    • Hope Ramsay says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. And thanks for donating yarn. My aunt was a huge knitter in her later years. It kept her hands busy when she became a shut-in. Every week her church friends would stop by and bring yarn for her to knit. And she’d give them finished baby sweaters and blankets for their charity work. Believe me, giving yarn to a knitter is a wonderful gift. :)

  12. Jeannie says:

    This is wonderful. I’ll definitely put out a call for knitters. I crochet a little, but it would take a whole year for me to finish a hat — and it may not fit quite right on a human head

  13. Rita Henuber says:

    Your readers aren’t the only terrific people. You are at the top of the list dear Ruby sister. Thank you for doing this.

  14. This is so awesome, Hope! I’ll spread the word. Way to go, you!

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