How to Contribute

There are several ways that you can contribute to the Diversity Project–and please, should you be so inclined, we’d love to have you contribute in more than one way.

    1. Knit a square (patterns can be found here).
    2. Crochet a square (patterns can be found here).
    3. Provide a quote relevant to LGBT identity.
    4. Dedicate a square in memory of someone you know from the LGBT community that is no longer with us.
    5. Donate yarn.
    6. Donate spare needles.
    7. Financial contributions of any amount via Paypal.
    8. Donate time, if you’re in the Lexington area.
    9. Send your auto-biography with ANY contribution

Please scroll down to read general guidelines about these contributions. Due dates for your contributions and details can be found here.

Now, you’ll also need to get your contributions TO us, and we’re still working out the finer points of that so please bear with us. We’re hoping that very soon we’ll have some collection points in and around Lexington where you can safely drop off your knitted/crocheted squares or other donations. We’re also aiming to get a mailing address for the Project established in the next couple of weeks for out-of-town contributors. In the meantime, though, if you have something ready to send to us, please email us at ukdiversityproject@gmail.com and we’ll let you know our temporary mailing address. If you have a quote or a dedication, again you can email the project at ukdiversityproject@gmail.com.

We’re very excited about receiving your contributions–this Project will really start to feel REAL when your contributions start arriving!

1. Knit a square (deadline 1st December 2011)

All squares should be 8″ x 8″. That’s the only restriction and that’s only because it will make the construction of the finished blanket so much easier. Other than that, please, feel very free to make it YOUR square. There are some general guidelines for you to bear in mind, but they’re not rules. Here they are…

  • Stockinette/Stocking stitch is preferred. This makes an easier surface for us to embroider quotes and dedications on. But if you’re a beginning knitter and haven’t yet got to grips with purl, please don’t worry–garter stitch squares will be fine, we’ll just have to leave those squares without any embroidery.
  • Rainbow colors are preferred. The aim of the project is to reflect the LGBT community so it’s obvious that we should lean towards rainbows and rainbow colorways. We’d very much prefer to stick with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple/pink, but if you’re stash-diving for this project and don’t have any of the six Pride rainbow colors, just knit with what you have. We’re trying to avoid browns and blacks, though, so please bear that in mind with your color choice.
  • We’re going to need a good variety of plain one-color squares and funky, fun, patterned/multi-colored ones. We’ll only be able to embroider on the plain squares otherwise the beautiful needlework just won’t show up. But for interest, we’ll need lots of other types of squares as well; if you want to do  something a little different, think about multi-colored yarns and textured yarns (dare I say fun fur?)–they’ll add a lot of additional interest to the Project. If you want to knit more than one square (which we absolutely encourage!) think about knitting one plain and one funky.
  • We’d prefer squares knitted in either sport, double-knit, or worsted weight simply because they’ll be relatively fast to knit, they’ll be easy to join together, and they’ll provide a nice surface for the embroidery. That said, fingering weight yarn would also make a beautiful knitted fabric but will (obviously) take much longer to knit up. If you want to knit in fingering weight, please do so, but we haven’t included a pattern for this on our pattern page. The only weights we’d prefer not to work with are bulky and aran weight (basically anything heavier than worsted) as they’ll be cumbersome and difficult to integrate into the finished blanket. But again, if that’s all you have then please, we’d rather you knit a square in that than didn’t contribute at all.
  • Think also about knitting one of the LGBT symbols into a square. There are plenty of symbols to choose from (we’re hoping to get some images and charts up in the near future) and they’ll definitely add an additional dimension to the Project.

That’s it for the knitting guidelines. You can find some very simple patterns here which will help if you’re a beginner knitter, but if you’re a more confident knitter, just do what you already do!

2. Crochet a square (Deadline 1st December 2011)

As with the knitted squares, all crocheted squares should be 8″ x 8″. That’s the only restriction and that’s only because it will make the construction of the finished blanket so much easier. Other than that, please, feel very free to make it YOUR square. There are some general guidelines for you to bear in mind, but they’re not rules. Here they are…

  • Rainbow colors are preferred. The aim of the project is to reflect the LGBT community so it’s obvious that we should lean towards rainbows and rainbow colorways. We’d very much prefer to stick with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple/pink, but if you’re stash-diving for this project and don’t have any of the six Pride rainbow colors, just knit with what you have. We’re trying to avoid browns and blacks, though, so please bear that in mind with your color choice.
  • We’re going to need a good variety of plain one-color squares and funky, fun, patterned/multi-colored ones. But for interest, we’ll need lots of other types of squares as well; if you want to do  something a little different, think about multi-colored yarns and textured yarns (dare I say fun fur?)–they’ll add a lot of additional interest to the Project. If you want to crochet more than one square (which we absolutely encourage!) think about crocheting one plain and one funky.
  • We’d prefer squares crocheted in either sport, double-knit, or worsted weight simply because they’ll be relatively fast to make, and they’ll be easy to join together. That said, fingering weight yarn would also make a beautiful fabric but will (obviously) take much longer to work up. If you want to crochet in fingering weight, please feel free to do so. The only weights we’d prefer not to work with are bulky and aran weight (basically anything heavier than worsted) as they’ll be cumbersome and difficult to integrate into the finished blanket. But again, if that’s all you have then please, we’d rather you make a square in that than didn’t contribute at all.
  • If you’re a smart crocheting person (which I’m not) think also about crocheting one of the LGBT symbols into a square. There are plenty of symbols to choose from (we’re hoping to get some images and charts up in the near future) and they’ll definitely add an additional dimension to the Project.
  • The final thing to bear in mind with crocheted squares is that given the nature of crocheted work, we won’t be able to embroider onto crocheted squares.

That’s it for the crochet guidelines. A rather wonderful Ravelry member has very generously donated three of her own patterns which you can find here, but please feel free to use any pattern you like within the required dimensions.

3. Provide a quote relevant to LGBT identity. (Deadline 28th February 2012)

  • This can be ANYTHING you like, although do try to keep it PG rated as the blanket will be displayed in a public space and thus viewed by children. If there are expletives in your quote, we reserve the right either not to use the quote or use &%$#@ symbols where inappropriate words appear.
  • Quotes should be 15 words or under, to ensure that they can be embroidered onto a single square ans still be visible to the blanket’s viewers.
  • We’d really love it if you gave us your own words about what it means for you to be part of the LGBT community, or if you don’t directly identify as LGBT, then some words about people you know and love and their identity. Quotes should be affirming and positive, it’s very much a message of love and positivity that we’re aiming to communicate.
  • You can also use quotes from LGBT-relevant movies, poetry, and books. If it is meaningful to you then it will definitely be meaningful to someone else. Please, though, be sure to tell us where you got your quote if you choose this option as it will be necessary for us to cite all sources properly for copyright reasons. If we are unable to identity your source we will not be able to use your quote.

Email your quotes to ukdiversityproject@gmail.com, putting “LGBT QUOTE” in the subject line.

4. Dedicate a square in memory of someone you know from the LGBT community that is no longer with us. (Deadline 28th February 2012)

Sadly, many of us have lost partners, family, or friends. Sometimes these losses have been because of AIDS, or suicides, and sometimes we have simply seen our loved ones die from other causes. As well as embroidering quotes onto the blanket squares, we also plan to dedicate squares to the loved ones we have lost by embroidering their name, their date of birth and the date that they died onto the square. If you wish to offer more details, then please do. You are also very welcome to send a short (one paragraph) biography of your loved one which will be included in the complementary publication that we plan to create alongside the blanket.

Email your dedications to ukdiversityproject@gmail.com, putting “LGBT DEDICATION” in the subject line.

5. Donate yarn (Deadline 1st December 2011)

  • The blanket is going to take somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 yards of yarn to complete.Whilst we hope that much of the blanket will be composed of donated squares, there is still a great need for extra yarn. We plan to host several community knitting events in Lexington in the next 3 months (hopefully in conjunction with local LGBT groups and the Gay Straight Alliances at local high schools) and for those events we will need to provide yarn and needles. Any donations of yarn will be very gratefully received, but as for the knitted/crocheted squares there are some general guidelines to be born in mind:
  • Rainbow colors are preferred. The aim of the project is to reflect the LGBT community so it’s obvious that we should lean towards rainbows and rainbow colorways. We’d very much prefer to stick with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple/pink, but if you’re stash-diving for this project and don’t have any of the six Pride rainbow colors, please donate what you have available. We’re trying to avoid browns and blacks, though, so please bear that in mind with your color choice.
  • We have absolutely no preference when it comes to fiber type, anything goes, be it wool, cotton, acrylic or anything else! The finished blanket will probably be far too delicate (especially with all the embroidery) for practical use or washing so fiber content is not a concern. Please also feel free to donate fun/textured yarns in appropriate colorways.
  • We’d prefer yarns in either sport, double-knit, or worsted weight simply because they’ll be relatively fast to work up, they’ll be easy to join together, and they’ll provide a nice surface for the embroidery. That said, fingering weight yarn would also make a beautiful knitted fabric so we’re also very happy for donations of fingering weight yarn. The only weights we’d prefer not to work with are bulky and aran weight (basically anything heavier than worsted) as they’ll be cumbersome and difficult to integrate into the finished blanket. But again, if that’s all you have then we’re still very grateful for your donation and will find a way to work it into the Project.

6. Donate needles (and hooks!) (Deadline 1st December 2011)

We’re going to need a stock of needles (and hooks) for our community knit-nights so if you have any spares or duplicates, we’d be very grateful for your donations.

7. Financial contributions of any amount via Paypal

One of The Diversity Project’s ultimate aims is to raise money for a one-off LGBT scholarship. If you can donate towards this worthy cause, please do so–any amount is more than welcome.

Your donation may be used to help cover some of the very small costs incurred in the running of this Project–such as (but not limited to) buying paper for posters, paying for a Post Office Box, buying knitting needles for the knit-in events. If you object to this and prefer your donation to be used solely for the scholarship, please indicate this when you donate.

8. Donate time, if you’re in the Lexington area.

There’s a limit to what one person can physically achieve and although there’s been plenty of use of the royal “we” when talking about the Diversity Project, it is in fact being organized by just one person (with, thankfully, an incredibly supportive and tolerant partner). As the Project progresses, lots of help will be needed in a variety of ways–most of which I’m still trying to fathom out. Off the top of my head, help will definitely be needed:

  • publicizing the Project (maybe pinning up posters around campus and throughout the city),
  • organizing community knitting events,
  • being on hand at knitting events to teach non-knitters what to do,
  • photographing and cataloging donations as they arrive,
  • arranging local collection points for donations to be dropped off,
  • embroidering quotes and dedications onto the squares,
  • crocheting borders on the squares and putting together the finished blanket,
  • stitching a fabric backing onto the blanket.

There’s probably a lot more than that to be thought of but for now that’s enough of an overwhelming list! Basically, if you’re local, send me a message or an email registering your interest in helping with the practical side of things and I will get back to you just as soon as I know what needs doing.

9. Send your auto-biography with ANY contribution.

This is REALLY important. The Diversity Project is very much about the community and the people that have contributed and as such, we feel it is essential that everyone contributing is recognized properly. We want to put together some kind of publication that will be (hopefully) available for sale showing the individual squares and the blanket as a whole. But the most important part of this publication will be short auto-biographies about the people who have donated their time and love in making it possible. Here’s what we’ll need…

Your name (doesn’t have to be your complete name, just your first or last will be fine if you prefer)

Your general location (city, state, or country, or any combination thereof–we will NOT publish street addresses under any circumstances)

One paragraph telling us a bit more about yourself–are you LGBT, or an ally? Why was it so important for you to get involved in the project? What does it mean to you? Tell us about your family, your pets, your favorite food–anything fun and interesting, tell us what makes you unique.

Of course, we ABSOLUTELY recognize that everyone has a right to anonymity, especially in a project of this nature. Many people may prefer to remain anonymous for very personal reasons and we have no wish to infringe that right. Should you choose to remain anonymous (either in terms of your name, location, auto-biography, or any combination thereof) then your contribution will still be recognized, we’ll just note “anonymous” alongside it. That, in itself, sends an important message. We very much hope, though, that you will feel comfortable enough to share something about yourself.

Wow, that was quite a list of instructions! Can’t wait to get your contributions, and THANKS!

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