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900 Wool Sweaters and Vests for School Kids, Ages 7-18

U.S. Due Date: November 3, 2006

Please visit our guidelines page for current campaign information, new due dates, and information on how to get involved.

The afghans for Afghans project is taking on the challenge of making 900 wool sweaters and vests for school kids, ages 7-18 years.

Our goal is to supply one sweater or vest for each child in the three schools run by Afghans 4 Tomorrow. Two of these schools are in Kabul, and one school is in Wardak. The Wardak school has recently been rebuilt after being attacked twice by the Taliban.

Afghans 4 Tomorrow is a U.S. based nonprofit that operates schools and social service programs in Afghanistan. They have successfully coordinated delivery and distribution of relief supplies for many years. We are excited to have the opportunity to directly provide our handmade gifts to the girls and boys in their schools. You can read more about the work of Afghans 4 Tomorrow on their website.

We just had to say YES to the kids. Please join us.

Of the 900 girls and boys:
* about 60% are ages 10-13 years (so this is the bulk of the sizes we need)
* about 20% are ages 7-9 years
* about 20% are ages 15-18 years

While children in Afghanistan tend to be thinner than North American children, they are tall.

Please use wool or other animal fiber. No synthetics. Read our
fiber memo to learn more. There are no washing machines, and even hot water can be a luxury in Afghanistan.

Please avoid white or very light colors that soil more easily. All hues are wonderful. We don't have to worry about gender preferences for colors. Feel free to mix up a bright and cheery palette. Use up those wool oddballs.

Pattern tips

Please use a favorite pattern or try something new. Think practically. Classic and basic pullover, cardigan, turtleneck, and vest styles are great. Afghanistan's winters are extremely cold, and living conditions remain rough for most. Avoid lacy patterns. A dense fabric is best. Make sure the sweater or vest can be buttoned or zippered properly. Please make sure necks, armholes, sleeves, torsos are all properly proportionate. You may want to have a local child or youth be a test model for you. Remember, these kids do not have a lot of clothes or a lot of anything! The garment you make is going to get plenty of repeated wear.

Pattern links

Here are a few links to free online patterns suggested by volunteers. Or, use your own favorite patterns. Please remember, we need sizes for children ages 7-18. Usually, adult small sizes are appropriate for the older students.

Knitting patterns

  • Striped turtleneck for your sportweight oddballs.
  • Claudia kindly encourages us to make this fast-knitting pullover vest in the larger sizes. Add sleeves for the sweater version.
  • Basic crewneck in x-small or small for the older girls.
  • This v-neck in x-small would work well for the girls or boys.
  • Make the long-sleeve version of this boatneck in one of the larger kids' sizes.
  • Top down yoke pullover.
  • Basic child's raglan pullover.
  • V-neck pullover vest in an x-small for the older kids.
  • An easy pullover with interesting texture in x-small for the older kids.
  • Striped raglan pullover.

    Crochet patterns

  • Puff-stitch cardigan.
  • Buttoned vest.
  • Be sure to add buttons from the neck to waist on this sweet jacket.

    Do you have a link to a favorite free pattern that would be just right for this campaign? Send the link to afghans4Afghans at aol dot com. We'll post your suggestions here, especially if you have tested the pattern.

    What about blankets and other types of garments?

    Yes, we continue to accept hats, mittens, socks, and blankets made in wool and other animal fibers. Each item means one more person will have a warmer head, hands, and feet. If you're short on time, please whip up a quick hat and pop it in the mail before our due date. The hat will make a difference in the life of the recipient.

    As always, we do not accept used items. We do not accept acrylics, unassembled afghan squares, scarves, ear-warmers, ponchos, felted items, quilts, fleece items, store-bought items, loomed items, or toys. We can only send what is on our specific list of needed items. Thanks for understanding.

    General guidelines and mailing addresses

    Please read our general guidelines for more information and mailing addresses.

    Please consider making a wool sweater or vest for the school kids. Please give it your best try. We're going to need as many volunteers as possible to rally so that we can meet this goal of 900 sweaters and vests. We hope you agree that we just had to say YES to the kids.

    Spread the word with our PDF downloadable flyer

    Please let your fiber friends know about our effort. We count on the word-of-mouth to keep our momentum. Email the link to this webpage. Post on your blog and online forums. Download and print our PDF flyer for posting at your local yarn shop and community places, as well as for sharing with guild members.

    Due Date: November 3, 2006

    In partnership with the San Francisco office of the American Friends Service Committee, the afghans for Afghans project started in late 2001 in response to the war that unfolded after 9/11. Who knew that after almost five years, our handmade garments and blankets would still be needed in Afghanistan. The need remains. Thank you for continuing to take action with your own hands to remember the Afghan people.

    Look at some of the terrific sweaters that volunteers have made

    sweaters made by volunteers

  • Afghans 4 Tomorrow school
    Girls at Afghans 4 Tomorrow school in Kabul.

    boy in sweater
    Boy in Kabul wearing one of our hand-knit sweaters.
    Photo by Airline Ambassadors, 2002.



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