Every now and then, here at Knitting for Charity I come across a knitting charity that is just so unusual yet so helpful that I just about leap for joy and think “wow, I can’t wait to tell my readers about this one!” Leggings for Life is just such an organization, and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Leggings for Life has so many things going for it, as a knitting/crochet charity. First, it’s a charity for animals: specifically, for disabled animals. (I have your attention already, right?) Second, it’s a fantastic opportunity for charity knitters who have lots of excess/leftover yarn that they’re not sure how to use up to make items for people. Third, it’s also an opportunity for those who would like to make items that are a little more challenging than, say, squares or scarves. Here’s how Leggings for Life helps disabled animals. If you’ve ever seen an animal with a paralyzed or deformed limb, you may have noticed how the animal tends to drag a leg, or even lean heavily upon the legs that can be used. (I once had a cat with one paralyzed paw from an unfortunate incident with a car engine, and he not only had a slightly wonky walk, but he also would rest his weight on the foreleg of that leg, rather than on his paw.) Unfortunately, because of the irregular walk adopted by animals with deformed, paralyzed, or otherwise disabled legs, ulcerations can form on one or more of the legs or paws. Even if ulcerations don’t form, this type of walking can be very uncomfortable for the animal. Enter Leggings for Life. These crocheted or knitted leggings are placed on the leg that causes walking to be uncomfortable, whether it is because of dragging or because of another type of irregularity. The extra padding of the leggings prevents ulcerations and other discomforts. Animal owners in the past have used special kinds of tape to prevent these kinds of problems. But tape can be expensive, must be replaced periodically, can’t be reused, and restrict airflow to the limb. Crocheted and knitted leggings have none of these problems – they are inexpensive, are completely reusable, and allow airflow.
How You Can Help Leggings for Life
Leggings for Life requires a bit more of a commitment than some knitting charities. Many charities will take whatever you can make. Leggings for Life works a little differently. Since every animal is unique and has a different size, shape, and need, vets and pet owners make direct requests to Leggings for Life for leggings. Leggings for Life then matches up the leggings request to a volunteer knitter or crocheter, who will make leggings specifically for the animal in question. This means that before you can start making leggings, you need to let Leggings for Life know that you want to volunteer. Go to this Facebook page and you’ll receive specific instructions for how to volunteer. Please note that while they will gladly and gratefully accept volunteers from anywhere, they could really use knitters and crocheters from outside the United States! If you are either a new knitter or crocheter, or else you’ve no idea how you would go about creating animal leggings, go to this page for some very helpful ideas and a starter pattern (from which you can make alterations as necessary). I also did a search on Ravelry and found several knitting patterns for mittens, socks, slippers, and leggings for both dogs and cats. I think that with some experimentation, these could be altered to fit the dogs/cats in need of leggings. Check these out! Kitty Tube Socks Four-Paw Felted Mittens Princess’s Shoes Flashdance Doggie Legwarmers Doggie No-Lick/Chew Socks Leggings for Kitty or Small Dog This is a tremendous opportunity to give a helping hand (or paw!) to wonderful animals all over the world. Why not join Leggings for Life today?