From Stitch To Scarf, Livingston Teens Donate To Homeless And Poor


Still a bit warm to be thinking about scarves and hats, but not too early for some teens in Livingston who recently knitted and crocheted these needed items for homeless and the poor.


Through Teen Crafters- a Livingston Library program led by Amanda Winter and Jan Aji- participants ages 12 to 18 learn or strengthen their knitting and crocheting skills. This year students Aarti Contractor and Megan Downey knit scarves for the charity Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative, which provides winter gear for homeless and working poor.


A year long program, students who continue to level two in the winter, can donate their scarves to charity. For Livingston Middle School students Aarti and Megan, donating their finished product was a warming gesture they could not pass up.


“They made scarves,” says Amanda Winter, librarian at Livingston Library who co-leads Teen Crafters. Participants were given the option to donate.


Aarti knitted a scarf and Megan crocheted a scarve. Each 48 inches long, the girls started their scarves in January and completed them in March.


Relatively new at the craft, the girls “take their time” in completing their finished product, explains Winter. The girls donated their scarves to Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative in Morristown.


During the third week in August, they brought their scarves to the charity drop off site, Blue Purl- a yarn store with materials for knitting and crocheting- in Madison, says Winter.


Out of all the charities, “I chose it because it was local,” says Winter. “They are outside a lot; they can really benefit from a warm scarf especially when it’s cold.”


She figured that scarves would be a good item to donate because “I thought for beginners scarves would be a good place to start. They were beginners; Jan and I taught the girls to knit and crochet.”


Although she taught herself how to crochet from a book, Winter says “my mom taught me how to knit when I was an adult.”


The next session for Teen Crafters is set to start Mon., Sept. 21 and will go through Nov. Registration is open. Teen Crafters is open to students grades six through twelve who want to learn or strengthen their knitting and crocheting skills. No experience is necessary. Materials are provided. Space is limited. Ten girls participated in the last session so don’t wait.


The fall session will focus on basic skills and participants will have the option to donate in the winter to charity. They will have the option to make a scarf or small bag.


The program stems from a Knitting Club program back in 2011 which was also for middle school and high school students.


For more information, contact Anna Coats, head of Youth Services at Livingston Public Library, at 973- 992-4600 x255; or email; or visit

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