Project Gracious Parcels

Note: The first Gracious Parcels blanket is complete, as of 10 January 07. I would like to get four more blankets put together by spring of 2007, because we have a new Habitat family moving into their home at that time. They are a single mom and her three children. I would love to be able to give four blankets to the Habitat board that could be presented to them the day they move in as house warming gifts. Any help in making this come true will be very welcome.

Gracious Parcels Knitting Project2007 Deadlines for Gracious Parcels: The deadline for 7″ squares for the blankets described above is February 28, 2007. That will give enough time for me to have the blankets sewn up by April 1st without a problem. Thanks in advance for your help … it means so much!


About twelve years ago a group of people, including my husband, got together to start a Habitat for Humanity affiliate here in our county. Since that time, this 100% volunteer organization has built about one house per year for local families who needed “a hand up, not a hand out.” My husband is a founding member of the group, and as an engineer he draws up the plans for each home, provides blueprints, and performs other miscellaneous helpful tasks as they are needed.

Shortly after we got married and I came here to the farm to live I volunteered to design and build a new, professional website for them. Their previous website was, in their words, “sad.” It had been put together and was maintained by a volunteer who had no experience, but plenty of willingness. It was, I suppose, demoralizing to this fine group of people to have a website that was a bit embarrassing to behold.

Gracious Parcels Knitting ProjectThe thing is, you never know what affect you might have on someone when you extend your hand in friendship and help. After I completed the new website I recieved an email from the lady who is heading up the board saying that, until I redid the website she had thought perhaps they were on their last leg. Seeing a new, shiny and professional looking website, she said, had given the group just the shot in the arm they needed right at that time.

That was much more than I was aiming for … I just wanted to help, and making a website was something I knew how to do. I am grateful to have had an opportunity to help such a fine and loyal group … they deserved whatever boost my meager contribution could give them.


I was thinking it would be a beautiful thing if fellow knitters from around the country and around the world meeting here at my blog would put their needles together and make up some 7″ squares to be assembled into blankets for the local Habitat families.

Gracious Parcels Knitting ProjectI chose the word “Parcels” because the squares would be parcles in the mail, but also as a symbolic representation of “parcels” of land in this beautiful rural area. Each 7″ square will represent a parcel of land, which might add to the imagination and creativity of the knitters who are contributing to the motion.

I chose the word “Gracious” because it represents to me the sincerely humble and giving attitude I have seen exhibited by the volunteers who brought the local Habitat for Humanity alive and keep breating life into it on a regular basis.

I plan to categorize the squares into “seasons” when possible. One complete blanket (49 squares) could have all four seasons in it, or each individual blanket might represent a season all in itself. It will be fun to see what colors arrive, the textures, etc. and to arrange them accordingly.

Gracious Parcels Knitting ProjectIf you look at the photos on this page, you will get an idea of the colors here in this environment that your squares could represent. The crops growing locally include wheat, soy beans (surprisingly pretty fields), corn, hay, and lots of apple orchards. There is also water everywhere … swamps (in New York?) rivers, lakes, Great Lakes, rain, etc.

I would think any stitch pattern would be beautiful … seed stitch would probably be appropriate on some to represent seeds, ribbing could represent rows of corn and wheat, stockinette stitch could represent a field smooth from being plowed recently. Oh, and when wheat and hay are harvested, they are rolled up into large bales and left scattered around the fields for a while. So. bobbles could represent rolled bales.

Gracious Parcels Knitting ProjectI think if each square has either garter stitch or seed stitch edging, it would give the finished blankets a nice look. So, make a 1/2″ to 3/4″ border all around in garter stitch if possible.

The most crucial thing is that each square be as close to 7″ when complete … so be sure to check your guage.

This project began in the fall of 2006, resulting in one complete blanket that was ready for the 2006 holidays. I would like to get as many blankets completed and over to Habitat as possible before Christmas of 2007, but meanwhile I would love to have four blankets ready by April 1, 2007 for the family mentioned at the top of this page.


Here is a checklist of what to do to participate in this project:

Gracious Parcels Knitting Project1.Write a comment to this post (unless you already did so to my earlier post). I will email you personally with the mailing address right away.

2. Knit at least one 7″ square in any fiber worsted weight yarn. If you have wool or a wool blend on hand, that would be preferable because warmth is very important in this part of the country. Please leave a 14″ tail at the beginning or your square, and at the end, for sewing.

3. Create a tag for your square (one for each square you contribute) with the following information:

  • Your first name or your initials.
  • The state (if in the U.S.) you knitted from, or the country if you are out of the U.S.
  • Any words of kindness, friendship, or holiday wishes you care to share with a family who will receive a blanket
  • The fiber content or the square and whether or not the fiber is machine washable or hand washable

Gracious Parcels Knitting Project4. Attach one tag to each square using a safety pin or a removable piece of yarn

5. Mail the square or squares to me as directed in the email you receive.

I will post photos of completed blankets on my blog.

If you are willing to share the pattern for your seven inche square(s), that would be great. You can email the pattern instructions to me and I will create a section here for people to select patterns if they need them.



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  1. […] Unfortunately, I’m pooped … I had to write up the project info for the Habitat for Humanity knitted 7″ squares this morning, make the biscuits for the photos you see here, and now I still have to write up the pattern for the Biscuit Blanket. And then there are my clients. […]

  2. And don’t forget: (as Paul Harvey would say) “the rest of the story”………….

  3. I love this idea. I will try to get my stepdtr, who is a very good knitter for 11 11/12 years old, to contribute as well. 🙂

    Oh those biscuits, too! A recipe for the weekend, perhaps.

  4. You know I’m in! Although i’m still alittle slow at knitting, I can remain constant!

  5. Ok, I’m totally pressed for time the next couple of weeks due to stuff with the kids’ school and getting ready to go out of town. But here’s what I will do, because I a) love to knit, b) have felt a compelling need to knit something for charity, c) am too impatient to knit something as big as an entire blanket, d) love, love, love the Habitat for Humanity project, e) feel a real connection with you, so would love to join forces with you. 🙂

    We will be driving 1000 miles (Phoenix to Austin) on Nov. 26th and 27th to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. It’s about a 20 hour drive with the kids. Whatever time I’m not driving or sleeping, I’ll use to work on knitted squares. I’ll work on them once at my parents’ house as well. I’m a relatively new knitter, so I’m not sure how much I can say will get done. I will mail whatever I have on Friday the 30th so that you have something from me in December. We’ll be driving home somewhere around December 3rd/4th, so once I get home, I’ll again send whatever I’ve come up with. How does that sound?

  6. I got my e-mail and am going to get at mine as soon as I get the hat for the Mr. off the needles and on his cold head.

  7. I’m in on the squares!

  8. I would love to knit a square and send it to you as soon as possible. What a wonderful holiday gift these blankets will be.

  9. I used to plan and help with meals for volunteers during builds here in Winnipeg .. your idea is gracious and connecting. Send me your s-mail addy and I will get one off asap!!

  10. […] Firefly is doing a charity knit. If you want to participate, go here and sign up! 7″ squares. For a good cause. Should be easy for knitters, right? […]

  11. Hello!
    I’m brand new to blogging but stumbled onto your site (through wordpress). I’d be willing to try your project; not exactly sure how many I can commit to but have lots of yarn and would like to give it a try. Please email me your address.

  12. […] After I knit this, I’ve got two small projects: a scarf for my youngest stepdtr, and this. Go check it out. Karma points, anyone? […]

  13. I love your blog and often spend my afternoons here at working reading it or knitting. (I manage a storage facility so customer traffic is mainly at the first and end of the months when most moves take place) Knitting up some squares would be the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

  14. I’ll try to get a square or two to you by early December and then will continue after that occasionally – between the family presents I’ve planned.

  15. I’m insanely busy at the moment, but still think I can handle a 7″ square. Count me in!

  16. […] The first two squares for the Gracious Parcels 2006 project were hand-delivered to me last night by my husband. Winnie of The Buttons (my new nick name for her) made two in a pretty rust color. Winnie is moving away to be closer to her daughters in a couple of weeks, and yet she took the time to knit two squares … what a sweet and dear woman she is. […]

  17. I would very much like to participate in your project. It is a fantastic idea! Please send me the mailing address. God bless!

  18. I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I can use out of my stash. I’d still like to help but I’m not sure if I can get the squares out to you the first week of December. I will try my best though. 🙂

  19. I’d love to help out on this. Also, I’m completely enchanted by your story of meeting your dh.

  20. Please count me in for a few squares! What a lovely idea! I am putting a few squares on top of my “Knitting for Christmas” list. I can’t wait to see pictures of the finished blankets!

  21. I would love to send you some squares, and I may be able to talk my mom into sending some with me. We both just learned to knit, so 7″ squares are great. The dishclothes are great, but getting a little old. If you have any creative, easy patterns to use, please let me know as well.

  22. Okay – measuring and me – we don’t seem to get along. I cast on, I measured – too big. I ripped back, cast on less, I measured, seemed great… three inches later – the width is 8″!! I’m going to finish this 8″ one and save it for another 8″ afghan that is sure to come along and then cast on fewer and do up a 7″ for you. I have BEAUTIFUL yarn. It is working up lovely and it’s too big! sheesh. You’d think I could get a 7″ square right!

  23. […] Ok.  So my scarf for the Knit Your Bit KAL is coming along nicely.  I need only to finish Dad’s sock #2, Mom’s Fuzzy Feet #2, Bananne’s hat, a square for Firefly’s project, and the  KYB scarf before I can begin knitting for myself the gorgeous scarf that graces the cover of Vogue Knitting’s holiday issue.  I truly believe that this scarf is what my alpaca from my Secret Pal wants to be.  Why else would it have steadfastly refused to be knitted into something else?  I can picture myself strolling through New York with JungleJim, wearing this scarf and trying so valiantly not to complain about being nearly frozen to death.  And speaking of my demise: […]

  24. Great idea!! I would love to knit up some.

    Ruth in Colorado

  25. I found you through Pammie’s Place. we have been good friends for over 35 years. I would like to make some squares for you blanket . Please send the information on the address. Thank you Momma

  26. I would love to participate. Send your address along. I am also an endorser for Habitat and love the feeling of community it instills in my cooworkers and family. In our small town of Las Vegas New MExico. Habitat has just finished dozing the land and started to set up the wood for pouring the foundation. I have been setting up and helping collect cans any where I can in the community. I’ve got my work doing it and even some of my patients are helping. “save those cans” My sons school is setting up a drive for the students to also collect. I am very excited to herar of this and will speak with the director of the office and see if I can use the name and get some knitters together to start a couple of blankets for the new families that will be moving in shortly( hpefully before winter. Thanks for the idea. Count me in :o)jan

  27. I’d like to present this to my knitting guild as a project. Project Linus in our area (NJ) presents each new Habitat for Humanity home owner with blankets for each child and we regularly give them completed blankets. This might be nice to use up leftovers and benefit lots of people.

  28. What a marvelous idea!
    I would like to participate as well.
    I always enjoy your blog when I stop by!

  29. I want to participate and will get started on some squares while I await your email.

  30. I am a new knitter and thanks to your wonderful blog and beautiful patterns, my confidence in knitting has grown and it thrills me to say I can manage squares (not saying how many at this point) for project gracious parcels. Please forward details of postal address. Many thanks.

  31. I’d love to send a square or two in exchange for the website for the online dating service. 🙂 I could use a little help in that area. — I’m fast becoming one of your many faithful readers!

  32. I can’t find the address to mail my square to you – is it posted somewhere?


  33. Was lead here by a member of Cloths For Crisis. I’ll be happy to send a square or two:D You’re doing a lovely thing!

  34. […] A 7″ patch in dark green for Project Gracious Parcels. […]

  35. Hi,
    I just ran across your web site and would like to contribute. What is the latest that the squares can be sent in.
    Kind regards,

  36. […] I want to wish all of my blog readers a happy, stress-free Thanksgiving.  If any of you knitters out there have some free time over the long weekend, you might want to consider knitting for firefly’s gracious parcels project.   I will be. […]

  37. I just “bumped” into your blog and I am delighted….your writing is so enjoyable! I would love to knit a square or two, if it’s not too late. Please let me know.
    PS. I am also from upstate WNY..a suburb of Rochester!

  38. I, too, will send on a couple of squares…too late for this year, but in plenty of time for 07.

    Thank you for this opportunity!

  39. havent got the address is it over ?

  40. I have two squares that I can send this week–maybe three if I wait and mail on Friday.

  41. […] These squares were knit for Firefly’s Habitat for Humanity blanket and I used leftover yarn from my very first project!  This is the very first skein of yarn that I ever bought (who knew that I would someday become a yarn hoarder?).  […]

  42. […] And, let’s just say the knitting of this sweater has suddenly lost its fire – I was getting some good progress, just a few inches away from dividing for sleeves and the heaven of knitting a stockinette tube. But I did end up knitting my square for the Gracious Parcels project – out of some beautiful ice blue chunky alpaca I had leftover from a hat/scarf set…. Boy do I love alpaca. It’s enough to cheer a girl up, for a little while anyway. […]

  43. I have only been knitting for a year and still am in the scarf and dish towel category, but plan to take classes in January…love your blog…such an inspiration on so many things…I too live in a very rural area and enjoy the peace and contentment it brings! I would love to join in on the Parcels Project. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.I have become a faithful reader of your site and look forward to reading it weekly.

  44. If it isn’t too late, I’ll try to get a square or two to you early next week! I’ll get my daughter in on it!


  45. I’m in, too! Such a great project! Thank you for starting this and sharing it with us!

  46. I’ve been knitting hats and hats for street people … 7″ squares would be a nice way to use up some leftovers … please let me know where to send them

    just looked at the first finished quilt … well done

    from the west coast of Canada

  47. I am ready to knit! I’m looking for a pattern…

  48. Sign me up. Love the challenge of thinking ‘season’ in regards to blanket square theme and design. After browsing Nicky Epstein’s first book on edgings yesterday, I know what I’m going to do! Now to establish the appropriate gauge. …
    (from southern NH)

  49. What a wonderful blessing you have come up with .. I would love to be involved with the project ..

  50. Please sign me up, I will make as many squares as I can. Warmly, Chayah in Eastern NY.

  51. I’m in again!

  52. I am in again too. But was wondering do you want the same colors as the first one or would you like some spring colors too.

  53. what a wonderful project!! like other folks, i don’t have time/patience to make a whole blanket, but 7″ squares…i can do! please sign me up…

  54. What a wonderful project. Please email me where to send completed squares.

    Anita in Western MA

  55. hi firefly, new to your website…you are a gentle inspiration…i’m a new knitter… would like to participate in the next blanket projects…may i ask the gender and the number of the children in the gender(s) to knit an appropriately styled pattern?…please sign me up…thank you.

  56. Could you send me an e-mail with the address? I have a square ready to send! Thanks.


  57. The pattern I’m using now is for Moss Stitch.

    CO an even number of stitches (I cast on 38 using worsted weight). Knit 4 rows in garter stitch for a border, then begin pattern:

    R1: K4, *K1, P1* end with K4.
    R2: Repeat R1
    R3: K4, *P1, K1* end with K4.
    R4: Repeat R3

    Continue in pattern until almost long enough, knit 4 rows in garter stitch, then BO.

    This works up quickly, even for a slow knitter like me. It looks great with a slightly variegated yarn and also looks more complicated than it is. A very pretty stitch, I think.

  58. I would love to knit up at least one square for the February 28th deadline. Please let me know where to send it.

    God’s blessing’s today!

  59. I haven’t forgotten about you! I was finishing up another WIP, but I’m planning to get started on my squares in the next few days.

  60. Starting a “gracious square” … thanks for the opportunity, and also for your calm, joyous writing!

  61. I would love to knit a square or two for your project.



  62. This sounds like a great idea, AND a great way to use up some left-overs from other projects! Count me in 🙂

  63. Please count me in too.

  64. Count me in…I’ll send at least one. I’m rather busy with another project, but if I get time, I may be able to send more than one.

  65. Very good post.

  66. I would love to join this effort! How nice of you to organize this and what gorgeous photos on your site! Count me in.

  67. I would love to knit a square! Count me in!

  68. You have a lovely Web site. It’s really artful.

    I will gladly knit a square for your Habitat project.

  69. I love the idea of the Gracious Parcels for Habitat for Humanity. Since we live in the desert, I’d like to knit for someone who really needed something warm! I was wondering, though, does everything have to be in worsted weight if it’s 7″ square? For instance, I have some Musique by Crystal Palace and some SoHo by Debbie Bliss. Neither is worsted weight, but would make some pretty wonderful squares.

  70. I just finished a 7″ square and would like to send it to you. (Where do I send it?) I need to wash and block it, but it’ll be ready by tomorrow. I chose a simple pattern — played with a lot of lacy patterns, but they are very wavy at top and bottom, and I don’t know how well they’ll sew up into an afghan. So I chose a simple tile stitch, using raspberry-colored wool. Looks pretty good on the back side, too. And it’s warm! It was a great pleasure working on this simple piece.

  71. I love your blog! I would love to knit up a square for your Feb. 28th deadline! Just let me know where to send it!


    Fishers, IN

  72. Hi!

    Count me in for a square or two. I just need the address.



  73. I wanted to follow up because I never heard back from you. I’m working on my squares but need to know where to send them. Please let me know. Thanks.

  74. I’ve got a couple of squares to add to your project. Address please?

  75. Hi! I have a couple of squares to send. Please email me the information so I can get them to you in time for your deadline.



  76. Hi,Iam sorry I haven’t e-mailed. Yes, I have received the yarn (2 blue & 2 green); they are pretty colors. Thank You, Kay

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