The Charity Knitting Challenge

The 2021 Inspire Charity Knitting Challenge is Knittinghamshire!

Knitting and crafting for charity has become an enormous success in Inspire libraries. 

Every year we support a different charity and 'call out' to groups and individuals that want to be involved and take part. The annual theme is announced in the spring and the resulting work is collected and put on display. 

This year the Miner2Major Landscape Partnership Scheme and the RSPB at Sherwood Forest are joining Inspire to support Nottinghamshire crafters to take part in The Innocent Big Knit and raise money for AgeUK.


The Inspire Charity Knitting Challenge Exhibition is now over and the hats are on their woolly way to The Big Knit

Click here for Knittinghamshire highlights and images from the exhibitions.

Juliet Bernard, hand knitting guru, designer and former editor of The Knitter magazine designed a miniature Robin Hood hat for Notts crafters to knit and crochet!

Download the patterns by clicking on the PDF below:

Juliet has created two helpful videos so everyone can have a go!

Tiny knitted and crocheted Robin Hood hats

There are so many reasons to join in with Knittinghamshire for the Innocent Big Knit: 

  • Innocent Drinks will give 25p to Age UK for every hat-wearing smoothie drink that is sold. 
  • Little hats on bottles have been supporting Age UK for 17 years.
  • Innocent have asked everyone to begin making hats in 2021, so hats on bottles are ready to buy in 2022. 
  • You can join in at home.
  • Creativity is good for your wellbeing – and that is official!
  • It’s good to have a reason to get creative and donate to a worthy cause. 

Sewing the hat and base together

To sew the hat and base together:

  • Thread a blunt needle with some left-over wool from the hat.
  • Turn the brim of the finished hat up and place it squarely on the completed base, the base is like a tree stump in the forest.
  • The hat should be placed on the base with its sides apart (as if to make room for an imaginary head).
  • Stitch the hat along the fold of the turned-up brim, so the stiches are hidden.
  • Make two or three stitches on one side and tie them off securely.
  • Make two or three stitches on the other side and again tie them off securely.
  • This should be enough to hold the hat in place and give the hat a good finished shape.

What size should the hats be?

We expect the exact size of the base and Robin Hood hats will differ from maker to maker, but all are welcomed by Innocent. This is what the people at Innocent say about the size of all tiny hats in general on their website:

Hats on bottles for scale

"The best way to test your hat fits is to nip to the shops and get yourself a smoothie (we would say that, wouldn’t we?) If you can’t do that, when laid out flat, your hat dimensions should measure about 5 to 7cm along the bottom and at least 3cm high."

"Every hat is important, whether it’s as neat as a pin or as homemade as a pasta portrait."

Join in and make a difference...

All this year's wonderful woolliness was displayed in two exhibitions from Tuesday 20 July to Saturday 25 September 2021 at Edwinstowe Library and at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre on Robin's home turf!


A very big THANK YOU to the following Nottinghamshire independent wool shops

For promoting and supporting Knittinghamshire by giving away free wool (while stocks last), why not drop in to say hello - and get knitting!

Andrea's Treasures 656 Mansfield Road NG5 2GA

The Artful Buttoner 5 Kingsway, Kirkby in Ashfield NG17 7BB

Button Moon 12 The Marketplace, Arnold NG5 6ND

Knit Nottingham 9 Trinity Walk NG1 2AN

Knitworking 5 Main Road, Carlton NG4 3HQ  

Marshall Rowell & Co Ltd 97 Nottingham Rd, Eastwood NG16 3AJ 

Merry Maid New Ollerton 35 Forest Road, New Ollerton NG22 9PR

Stitches 31 Potter Street, Worksop S80 2AE

The Two Knits 28-30 High Street, Mansfield Woodhouse NG19 8AN

The Wool Shop in Sherwood Forest Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre, Forest Corner, Edwinstowe NG21 9RN

Supporting partner logos including Miner 2 Major, National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Innocent Big Knit, RSPB and Age UK

There's a range of Online Leisure and Culture Courses from Learning and Skills to suit new and more experienced knitters and crocheters. Click here to find a course.


Take a look at our past charity challenges here