The Great Creator

Cosmic Raven

Cosmic Raven
by Jane Wolfinbarger

Northern Native Americans, such as the Koyukon of interior Alaska, believe that Dotson'sa, the Great Raven, created and recreated the world. The second creation came after a large flood that killed all animals except those Dotson'sa had placed in pairs on a raft.

Meet Jane Wolfinbarger


My name is Jane Wolfinbarger and I am She Wolf. I live in the western United States, am happily married (for 30 years), and have four (mostly grown) children, three Labrador retrievers, and a variety of birds. In addition to writing, I enjoy reading and I am a voracious reader. Fantasies and mysteries are my favorites; I also read a great deal of young adult and juvenile fiction even though my own children have outgrown it. 

I see myself as a storyteller, a spinner of tales: tales to distract the audience from the cares of the day, tales to amuse and send everyone off with a smile on their faces, and occasionally, just every once in a while, a tale to leave the audience looking over their shoulders a bit nervously when they are done.  I told my stories to myself for many years, amusing myself as I worked at jobs that used my hands rather than my head, and now I am greatly pleased to share them with whomever would  like to read them. I am the She Wolf.

She Wolf was born when I screwed up my courage and asked to join an on-line group I had been lurking on the edges of for several years – Soul Food Café. I joined the group at Riversleigh Manor shortly after that. I needed a name to write under, and I decided that my alter-ego would be She Wolf. She Wolf is the creative part of me, and has flourished in the fertile grounds of Riversleigh Manor and Soul Food.

Pictures and photos often inspire my stories. The story “Once Upon a Winter’s Moon”, was inspired by a beautiful full moon rising in a wintery landscape that I photographed as we drove home from a trip one winter’s evening. I also like to take a normal, everyday situation and imagine what would happen if something unexpected were added to it. What would happen if the view of reality shifted slightly? I often write fantasy set in an ordinary, everyday setting based on this.

In addition to writing, I also enjoy digital photography, paper crafts like card-making, and knitting and sewing, and gardening. If it is a creative medium, I have probably tried it and likely enjoyed it.

A Virtual Collection

Wolf Dreams
These are the tales told as part of a dream.
The Wandering Path
Welcome to the wandering path through my garden. I find it to be a place full of magic and wonder. Feel free to join me for a while in a quiet nook and enjoy my stories.
Wooly She Wolf
I know, I can hear it now. "She Wolf, don't you think you have enough blogs already?" Well, yes, I did. Then someone I know suggested that I start one for my knitting and spinning. Since I do not write about these on any of my other blogs, I thought that perhaps this was not a bad idea. So this blog was born. It is for my knitting, spinning, and dyeing, and other needlecraft and fiber arts as well. Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to leave a comment.

Creative Christmases


When my children were small, one of my own personal Christmas traditions was of a creative nature. I sewed their little Christmas outfits every year - or almost every year. (The boys’ things could be handed down to a little brother.) For the boys, I did this most years until they were about four or five, and then moved them into store-bought shirts, ties and slacks. For my daughter, I sewed her Christmas dresses until she was about 10.
I have always loved the innocent look of childrens’ clothing from earlier times, when childrens’ clothing was made to look like children’s clothing, not scaled down adult clothing. Therefore the boys tended to have little suspendered shorts and Eton jackets and shirts with big, round collars. I bought knee socks for them and they looked so old-fashioned and sweet! (Clearly this had to end when they were old enough to realize that the other boys didn’t wear those things!)

Gingerbread Man

When our oldest son was about one and a half or two, I found some light grey brushed corduroy that looked like grey velvet. I made a little Eton suit from it. He wore it that year with a red and white striped, round-collared shirt, and then two years later his younger brother wore it, with a new red Christmas print shirt. It was perfect for the Christmas season. Later outfits would feature red suspendered shorts, plaid shirts and a blue dress jacket that I bought second hand and cut down a bit to fit.

One year when my youngest was two, I went all out. I made him a  red, white and green plaid shirt with a smocked inset featuring gingerbread men, and some green corduroy knickers that buttoned on to the shirt. He wore tights under it so we wouln’t have to worry about falling socks. I loved that outfit, and he was too little to care what he wore!
My daughter’s dresses always had a lot of work, and love, in them. The earliest ones were just confections of Christmas colors and lace, but later on I learned to smock and most of the dresses featured pretty patterns smocked onto the bodice. (Smocking is done by gathering the fabric into tiny pleats and then embroidering either geometric or picture designs on top of, and through, the pleats. It is a lovely embellishment for children’s clothing.) I usually chose a dress pattern of the sort that would have been popular anywhere from the 30’s to the early 60’s,  with the smocked bodice, puffed sleeves and a full skirt and sash.

One year, our daughter got a special doll, and I made the doll a matching Christmas dress. That year, the dress was a dark blue calico print with a white pinafore with ruffled shoulder straps. The smocking was on the bib of the pinafore - snowflakes in blue. The doll’s pinafore had the snowflakes embroidered on. She was delighted not only with the doll, but with the matching dresses.

The last Christmas dress I made for her was a red and metallic gold striped fabric. The smocking was done in a diamond pattern in metallic gold floss, with little gold beads in the corners of the diamonds. I found a wide metallic gold ribbon to use as the sash. It was a little more grown-up looking since she was growing up, too.

When she finally outgrew the Christmas dresses, I was a bit sad. On the other hand, I was relieved. Most of Christmas Eve usually had been taken up with last minute finishing and the hemming of the dress - and I used two full widths of fabric on the skirts, so hemming took a long time! Still, I was always delighted to see how pretty she looked in her Christmas dress. She always got a new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes to wear with it - the one package under the tree that she was allowed to open on Christmas Eve.
Sometimes I still miss it all  - the planning of the dress, finding just the right pattern or making alterations to another pattern, picking out the fabric and embroidery floss and lace, and making something lovely at Christmas time.
-She Wolf

More Christmas Memories

Christmas Cooking


I have been making this pound cake since I was about 10 years old. Now, pound cake is sort of a Southern specialty, and I always had a pound cake as my birthday cake when I was growing up, and at Christmas there is always plenty of it around. My grandmother would make a pound cake around Thanksgiving and then spend the next month regularly soaking it with alcohol - I’m not sure what sort. I just know that I was never allowed near that cake, and you could smell it across the room!

My grandmother’s recipe was literally pound cake - a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, etc. But when I was a child, my mother was given a recipe for a sour cream pound cake, which I thought left regular pound cake in the dust. I make some every year at Christmas, both for the family and for gifts. I have made it for so many years that I have the recipe in my head; the paper copy disintegrated a few years ago. I have been threatened by the Denver relatives that they might not let me in the house if I don’t have the pound cake with me! Anyway, since I believe that yummy things should be enjoyed by all, here is my recipe!


3 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted with
 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and
 1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1/2 lb (2 sticks) of butter, softened
16 oz of sour cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla

 Preheat oven  to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Add flour alternately with sour cream, beating until smooth. Add vanilla. Grease and flour either one tube pan or two loaf pans (this is a great gift size!) and then bake for about 1 and 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in  the center of cake comes back clean. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove and finish cooling. Keep significant others and children away from the cooling cakes if you want any left. Trust me on this.

I have learned that at our altitude (7200 feet), I need to cook the cakes a little bit longer. You may need to play with the oven temp, too, depending on your oven, but the cake is always cooked in a very slow oven.

This makes a dense, moist, rich cake.

She Wolf Knitting Socks


If  you knit in the round on double pointed needles a lot, like both my characters and I do (I always have socks on the needles), don’t do what I do all too often, and just stick them back in the bag when you stop knitting. Put point protectors on the ends of your needles. This will solve two problems – both the way the needles will poke holes in your knitting bag (and by extension, you), and having to pick up the dropped stitches that have fallen off the needles every time you take out your knitting again. I could probably have knitted several more socks by now just by not having to pick up those pesky dropped stitches!

Take a small project with you wherever you go. Socks, mittens, a simple hat – put the materials into a small bag in your purse and you’ll be set for those boring moments waiting at a doctor’s office or while waiting to pick up a child after school. Some people even knit while waiting in a long line. I’ve gotten half a sock done waiting for a child’s sports physical to be finished.

Have you ever put down your knitting in the middle of a row and then wondered which way you were going when you picked it back up again? Have you ever accidently reversed in the middle of a row and ended up with a finished item with a strange place in the middle with an extra half row? (Short rows are a great shaping technique, but only if you’re doing them on purpose.) Here’s the solution: your yarn is coming off the side you are working to. It is always attached to your new stitches. Just keep going in that direction, working to the same needle, and you’ll be fine!

A word about gauge. Check yours. It does matter. Ask my friend whose gauge changed in the middle of the hat she was knitting her husband (she was a new knitter) – she needed to felt the hat to make it small enough. I hate doing a gauge swatch as much as the next knitter, and maybe even more (but we all think that, don’t we?), but gauge does matter, so check it. Unless you want your new socks to fit Godzilla.

The Rookery - Day Ten

All the words and stories I saw back in the labyrinth are with me still, slightly faded, like dreams,  and I know which ones I want my writing to be like- exciting, vibrant, intoxicating. I have come to my wanderer’s rest.

Wander's Rest


I have been wandering for quite a while- across dry plains and up arid mountains, searching for something I caught glimpses of in the distance.

I came upon a labyrinth one day, and chose to go inside it. The walls were dry and dusty, quite plain, and as parched as the landscape I had been wandering through. But as I journeyed through the labyrinth, I began to notice something strange.  On the walls were words. Plain, ordinary words, written in a plain, ordinary hand. They dotted the walls here and there. And here and there, in the dead ends,  I saw the dusty remains of skeletons, and bones.

I persevered, and soon the words become sentences on the walls, still plain, making simple statements about ordinary things. A few more skeletons remained in the dead ends here, dried out from the heat. Farther along, I began to see paragraphs and stories, all written plainly, ordinary, with nothing of any particular interest in them. The skeletons were fewer here; obviously fewer people stopped here. Perhaps fewer people made it this far.

Still I walked on, with my eyes on the changing walls. The path here began to show a little  mossy vegetation, a few vines were trying to grow up the walls, and the nature of the writing began to change. Stories appeared, exciting and interesting. They were written in all sorts of fancy handwritings and bold colors. They shouted “Read me!” and “Come journey with me!”.  I read them, and journeyed with them, deeper and deeper into the labyrinth.

The air was fresher now, and sweeter, and the dead ends were fewer. I could hear birds singing and hear a breeze rustling through leaves. I had been quite tired, and wanting to stop (although the skeletons made this seem quite ill-advised) but now I felt energized, and walked quickly through the last few turns to the center of the maze.

I stepped out into a forest. The labyrinth behind me was gone, and all there was was a forest path. I breathed deeply of the sweet fresh air and sipped water from a streamlet flowing from a rocky outcrop. The path ahead beckoned, and I set forth with a good heart. It wasn’t long before the forest gave way to a garden, and set in that garden was a large and lovely manor house. It looked so peaceful, and restful. I was filled with a longing to go and knock on the door, to see if there was a place for a wanderer to rest amid the beauty and the peace.

I sat in the garden for a while, my heart racing with trepidation, and screwed up the courage to go and knock. Finally, I approached the front door. As I came up to it, a woman came out. She looked at me and said, “You look as though you need a place to stay. Would you like to join us, here?”

I smiled, with a smile as huge as the wanderings behind me, and said “Yes, please.”
I am installing myself in a room now. It is not a large room, because they are too echo-y and chill for me.  I have a window seat, with blue embroidered cushions, that overlooks the garden through leaded glass windows with tiny diamond shaped panes. I have put down a slightly threadbare oriental rug, and set a big comfy chair near the window.  A blue knitted afgan with cables is draped over the footstool. The walls are full of bookshelves and books and paintings of the sort that I can fall into, and my favorite tea cup is on a table by the chair, along with lots of fresh white paper and smooth flowing pens in vibrant colors.

All the words and stories I saw back in the labyrinth are with me still, slightly faded, like dreams,  and I know which ones I want my writing to be like- exciting, vibrant, intoxicating. I have come to my wanderer’s rest.

The First Full Moon

winter moon

 The first full moon of winter rose over a landscape made smooth by a cover of crisp white snow. Harsh lines were made gentle, deep colors were made soft, and noises were dampened by the snow. The flakes had fallen until about the time the moon began to rise; then the clouds had parted and drifted away, making room in the night sky for its sovereign. The full disc sailed higher and higher in its jewel-strewn setting, sending down gentle beams of pale light onto the fresh snow.

Its light outlined a set of footprints in the deep smoothness, making them stand out dark and harsh with shadows. The moon followed the prints out from the shelter of the forest and up and down hills, once losing them briefly in an ice-bordered stream before finding and following them once more through the isolated whiteness.

As the moonlight grew closer to the source of the tracks, the crunching of snow underfoot could be heard, and a quiet, desperate sobbing. Desperate indeed, for who else would be out in the bitter cold except one who was desperate - whether desperate to get away from something or desperate to find something, it made no difference. Only one who truly had no choice would be out tonight under the first full moon of winter.

The moon’s beams moved closer. The sound of the footsteps had stopped and only the sound of the sobs remained. Gently, the light from the moon stole over a dark figure sprawled in the white snow. It was barely moving, barely able to make the heart-wrenching sounds issuing from it.

The beams paused and lingered over the form. A girl, or perhaps a young woman, with wild and tangled dark hair flowing out over the snow and a woolen cloak that was not nearly warm enough for the cold of the night, lay front-down in the snow with her head turned to the side. She looked exhausted and nearly frozen, but still her sobs came quietly.

The moonlight stayed on her, trying without success to warm her; the sun had that power but the moon did not. So lovely did she look, and so sad, that the moon was moved. Quietly, it whispered to her.

“Girl, why are you out in this cold night of mine? Why do you cry as though your heart has broken?”

The girl was silent when she heard the voice. She knew there was no one except for her in the winter wilderness and was puzzled.

“Girl, if you do not arise, you will freeze to death and I can do nothing to save you.”

The male voice urging her to get up was a gentle one, full of concern.

The girl had no one left to feel concern for her, and thought that perhaps she was dreaming this in one last dream.

“Girl, there is a cave nearby that I have soared over many scores of times. It will shelter you from the cold. You must rise now and go to it. My light will lead you there.”

The girl slowly moved, climbing from her icy bed of snow and staggering to her numbed feet. The moonlight that had paused on her began to move again slowly.

The girl spoke. “If this is a dream, then I will go along with it. If I have fallen asleep in the snow, I will not awake again in this world, and I might as well go where the dream takes me. It will surely be better than where I am now.” She stumbled after the moonbeams, following the path they made.

The cave they led to was deep, with an autumn’s worth of leaves drifted in it, and sticks near the entrance that could be used for a fire. The girl shook her head, and said, “It is a miraculous dream indeed that leads me to a place where I can get warm and sleep softly in a bed of leaves without freezing.”

The moon’s light hung over the spot while the girl took out a flint and steel and made a small fire to thaw her feet and hands. The moon watched, curious, as she pulled a little tin cup out from under her cloak scooped it full of snow and  put it by the fire to melt into water. Finally, it spoke again.

“Girl, you clearly want to live. Why were you out in the cold of the winter’s night, alone? Is there no one who would worry about you?”

“No one. I am alone, lost, and starving. My family died of a plague in the autumn, my fiancée died in an accident, and I was turned out of my home to make way for a strong family with many sons that could work the land and turn a profit for the landowner. He offered me a place in his household, but I knew what happened to young women in his home, and I turned him down. He sent me away with only the clothes on my back just as the first flakes of winter snow began to fall. Since then I have been wandering, looking for somewhere to spend the winter where I might not freeze.” She shrugged. “It seems I was not successful, for it must be my last dream in this life that gives me this shelter.”

She put a few herbs for tea into the cup of snow melt and moved it closer to the little fire. “At least my last dream is of warmth and someone caring about me.” She looked up and around. “Who am I dreaming of - who speaks to me?”

The moon had been watching her carefully as she spoke, and she had captured his heart with her strength and her beauty and her spirit.

“Take my hand and pull,” he said. There was the faint outline of a hand in the closest beam of moonlight. Amused at her dream, she reached up, took the hand and pulled.

As she pulled, the man in the moon stepped down from his throne, down through the heavens spattered with bright stars, down into the snow and cold of the winter’s night to stand before the young woman.

She gasped, started by his sudden appearance. He was as pale and fair as the moon itself, dressed in silver and palest of golds, handsome and gentle and smiling at her. He reached out a careful hand and touched her face. His hand felt warm and real, and she was startled, and said, “OH! You’re real!”

“I am the moon,” he replied, “I am indeed real. You have seen me for all of your life, sailing my disc through the heavens. I have not seen you until today, for the world is full of things to see, and I think that is my loss.”

He took her hand, and pulled her down to sit again by the fire. They talked long into the night, as the disc overhead moved along its usual path without its master, so accustomed was it to its course.

As it hovered on one horizon and the sun pushed impatiently at the opposite one, the moon looked up at the sky and said, “I must take my leave now, or my ship will sail on without me. Over the next big rise, about a day’s walk in the direction you were going, lies an abandoned house. No one has lived there in many a year that I have seen as I look over the area in my travels. Go there, make a home for yourself. I will come and see you again if I may, when my disc is full again.”

The girl smiled at him, and said, “I will, and thank you for your kindness, man of the moon,”

He smiled back at her, kissed her hand, and as the last light from the disc he rode left the sky, he stepped up onto it and was gone.

When the sun rose and tried to warm the chilly landscape, the girl left the cave and followed the path the moon had told her to take. Sure enough, just as dusk filled the sky, she came upon a little abandoned cabin made of stone with a sturdy roof of slate that, while clearly abandoned for some time, had withstood the elements well. The door was hanging off its hinges and there had been four-legged residents over the years, but the fireplace still worked and soon the girl was once more huddled by a small fire, drinking her thin herb tea and eating the few crumbs of food she had left.

When the moon rose, she went out and looked up at it.

“I see you have found the place. Good.” The man in the moon spoke to her.

Although she had been expecting it, she was still started by the voice which came from no where.

“I did, but now I must ask another favor. I will need food to live. I have nothing left - I ate the last bits tonight. Is there anything nearby to eat?”

The moon cast his gaze over the landscape. It was truly isolated, with no houses or humans for scores of miles. Finally he spied something that might help - a goose that had been injured and could not fly away with the rest of the flock. The moon told the girl where to find it, and that night she ate roast goose and collected the first feathers for a bed.

Each night the moon spoke with the girl, and helped her, although she was very self-sufficient and needed little. He grew to enjoy her company. Since it was winter and the land was resting, his duties were small and he spent more and more time speaking with the young woman.  

On the night of the second full moon of winter, he stepped down once again from his sailing throne and joined the girl by her fire. She was making the little place into a home with the help of the axe and saw and hammer she had found, left behind by the previous occupants. They talked all night, and she was as sad as he was when he told her he must go and stepped up into the sky once more.

The third full moon he was there again. He told her of grains growing nearby that she might glean seed from to plant, and some vegetables that remained, tough and half-wild, in the remains of the old garden. Spring was coming, and she must be ready.

“I will not see you again, for winter is nearly done and I am the winter’s moon,” he said. “Spring, summer, and autumn are busy times for the earth and I must help with much. I will come and visit you again with the first full moon of winter when the earth rests once more. Fare you well.” He smiled, and kissed her gently on the cheek, and stepped back up into the sky, leaving her with tears streaming down her face and her heart aching.

The young woman busied herself with making a life for herself in the little cabin. With the melting of the snow, she found growing things to eat and a few wild descendants of the previous owner’s livestock to tame. She was busy all spring and summer and autumn, and while she missed her man from the moon, she was so tired at night that she fell asleep before the sun had fully set most nights.

The moon glanced down at her once in a while, but he too was busy helping the earth which was burgeoning with new life in the growing seasons.

When the first snows of winter drifted down, the young woman smiled, and when the first full moon of winter rose in a deep dark sky full of twinkling stars, she stood waiting.

The man stepped down from the moon and into her arms, each with eyes only for the other. They clung to each other, and he told her, “What life you have brought to this place. It is beautiful and bountiful where once it was sad and barren.”

“Like me,” she answered, “I had nothing, but thanks to you, I have a life and a home.”

That night the man in the moon did not return to his pale throne, and it placidly sailed on without him, following its well worn path through the heavens.

He stayed until the last full moon of winter fill the sky. “I must leave you now, fairest one, but I shall return once more with the first full moon of winter.” And he stepped up and away, leaving her with tears in her eyes.

But she would not be alone. At the first full moon of autumn, she bore a son, as pale and gentle as his father, and held him up for the moon’s light to fall on him. “This is your son. Come soon and let him know his father.”

The moon had to wait until it was time, but then he hurried down to hold his son, standing on the crisp white snow and laughing with delight. The woman and the infant laughed with him.

And so the years passed. The little cabin was soon bursting with sweet, gentle sons, big and placid like their father. They helped their mother and smiled at the world.

Each of the sons had been born in the autumn under the light of the full moon. One year, the child was late. It stayed within its mother’s belly all through the autumn, growing larger and heavier with each passing day. The first snows of winter began and still the child clung within the mother. Finally, on the night of the first full moon of winter, the woman went to stand beneath the night sky to welcome her husband home. As she stood there, her pains began and as her husband stepped down into the winter night, the child was born. The father caught the infant as she slipped from her mother’s womb. He held his daughter up into the light from the silvery disc over head and said, “Welcome, daughter of the moon.” She was born with a head full of dark thick hair like her mother’s, not pale like her father’s and brother’s, and she howled loudly her indignation at being born. He laughed at his spirited child, and took her and her mother inside.

The girl was a stormy child, wild and spirited. She was bright and beautiful and a torment to her gentle brothers. Her mother sought to tame her wild ways in the spring and summer and fall, but in the winter her father laughed and shook his head and said, “Let her be. She will need her strength of spirit. She is like her mother, and I would not change that.”

Now the daughter was wild but she was also caring and loving and very observant. She saw how sad her mother was when her father stepped back up into the moon each spring. And as the daughter of the moon, born under the first full moon of winter, she felt the pull of the moon each time it was full overhead.

One year, just as she went from girl to young woman and the last of her brothers left to make his way in the world, she had an idea. “I’ll jump up into the moon when my father steps down. Then he can stay with mother and they won’t be sad. They’ll see that I can do it, and everything will be good.”

So on the night of the first full moon of winter, she lay in wait. As her father stepped down from his throne, she jumped up and grabbed the moonbeams, swinging high up into the sky. And as her started parents watched, she went up into the moon, calling back, “Now you can stay together. This will work out. You’ll see!”

As good as her intentions were, the daughter had no idea of what to do. During the winter, all that she needed to do was to ride the moon and look down at the earth below. But she was young and inexperienced, and all winter long the storms raged and the winds blew. When the last full moon of winter came, her father and mother tried to pull her down, but she was afraid and clung to the disc as hard as she could. So she was still there when spring began. Spring and summer were full of violent storms and floods and tides so high they ate away miles of land. The girl saw this happening and cried, and in her grief, there were frost and cold snaps. Crops refused to grow or were washed away. In other places, the rains did not come and plants withered in the fields. Autumn brought a little respite. So worn out was the daughter that she did little, and the earth quieted early. Snows fell, but they were gentle ones, blanketing the ravaged earth and letting it rest.

When the first full moon of winter came and her father and mother reached up to pull her down, she didn’t resist, and fell into their arms sobbing.

They didn’t scold her - they didn’t need to. She had seen for herself the damage she had done. They just held her close and soothed her, pushing back her wild dark hair and telling that her they loved her. She was nearly inconsolable knowing the pain her rashness had caused for so many. “All I wanted to do was be kind to you and mother,” she sobbed. “I didn’t want to hurt things!”

All winter she cried, and just before the last full moon, she came to a decision. “I must go out into the world and work to make right the things I have made wrong. Even if I can help only one person at a time, this must be so.” Resolved, she packed her things.

Then she turned to her mother and said, “I am sorry to be leaving you now, mother, right before father must go back to his throne, but I can waste no more time. I know you will be lonely.” She hung her head.

“No, child,” her father smiled at her, “She will not be lonely. I have waited for this day for many years. I am taking your mother with me. She has been with me so long that she and I are part of one another now, and she can easily come with me. We will not be parted again.”

The girl’s parents smiled at each other and at their daughter. Her mother spoke, “This home is yours now, to do with what you will. Use it to rest when you need to or send it a family to love it as we have. And do not forget that we love you. We will visit you each year, on the first full moon of winter.”

-She Wolf (c) 2007

Give a Gift of Love

Give a gift of love – there are quite a few organizations out there that will gladly take hand-knitted items. Some take hats, some take sweaters, some take blankets and afghans, and one even takes knitted prosthetics for breast cancer survivors. This last is one my local yarn shop supports, and the collected “Tit Bits” are knitted with soft yarn and lots of love and then given to the local oncology unit. These are quick and easy to knit, and sometimes people knit them in really cheerful colors.  A quick search on the internet will yield all sorts of places happy to receive hand-knitted items - try putting in "knitting for charity".