I knit. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for gifts, always for entertainment. After talking with some other great prepper ladies, I convinced them, and my family that my hoard of yarn is, in actuality, a prep in itself. I can knit hats, scarves, sweaters and the list goes on.
Where I live, it gets pretty damn cold and in a SHTF situation, not everyone can knit, therefore not everyone will have what they need to stay warm once their original stuff wears out. I think I should be able to barter a blanket or a hat for something I might need, be it a can of soup or a few rounds of ammunition etc.
Now depending on feedback, I may give a quick beginner’s how-to for knitting. But for the meantime, find some basic patterns and make up some stuff. Hats, mitts, blankets etc. Don’t worry about the room they take up, if you put them in freezer bags and squeeze all the air out, they get quite small. Or even better, use a vacuum sealer machine for foods and they’ll get super small.
Doesn’t snow where you are? You could make simple things such as pot holders or wash cloths, a lot of people cooking over fires are going to get burned and will want the protection. How about children’s toys?
Here’s a basic hat pattern my DH’s grandmother taught me:
Cast on 76 stitches (more or less depending on weight of yarn, but keep in mind it stretches well).
I use a size 8US needles for an adult hat, smaller needles for smaller heads. (Get needles here! )
Knit row 1
Purl row 2
Continue alternating in this pattern for around 6 inches.
When ready to decrease, do so on the knit side.
To decrease: knit 5, knit together 2, knit 5, knit together 2 (continue this pattern to end of row)
Purl next row
Knit 4, knit together 2, knit 4, knit together 2 (continue this pattern to end of row)
Purl next row
Continue this pattern
When at end, knit 2 together all across. Then purl row.
Cast off final knit row. Sew together. Voila you have a basic rolled brim hat.
If you don’t like the roll, just knit every row instead of alternating purl rows. If you do this, I find its better to do more than 6 or so inches so that you can fold up the brim for better fit.
These hats are simple to throw together, they don’t take more than a few hours to make one and they are very forgiving if you happen to make any mistakes. Good luck!