The Thin Blue Line Afghan
Honor Those in Blue Who Protect Us With This Charity Afghan
We developed our Thin Blue Line Afghan to raise money for a fallen police officer, but also with the hope that local yarn shops and knitting groups would use the pattern to help in their communities. The Thin Blue Line afghan is designed to be completed by multiple knitters, each knitting one or more squares to complete the project. (Just make sure everyone adjusts their needle sizes so each square is knit at the same gauge!)
Here are some tips for starting your own Thin Blue Line Afghan project!
  1. Identify a need in your local community or region. People tend to be more willing to squeeze one more thing into their busy schedules if the finished product will be of benefit to a person or cause that is local or important to them.
  2. Recruit a coordinator who is willing to oversee the entire project construction. This should be someone both willing and able to piece together blocks that may vary a bit in size. Adding the borders can be done by the coordinator or another individual. To maintain quality in the finished project, have one person complete all four borders.
  3. Recruit a person/group to handle publicity and/or delivery of your finished afghan. If possible, work with other local groups who may be raising money for a specific benefit. (Through the efforts of one of our group members, we delivered the finished piece to the Panhandle Parks Foundation, who did all the advertising, and most of the display and ticket sales.) Work with others in your community for a successful outcome.
  4. Recruit a photographer to record the progress of your project and the members of your group who participate, so you can share your project on social media; maybe other groups will see it and want to knit an afghan, too!
  5. Establish a timeline and build some ease into your deadlines. Schedule a deadline for blocks to be returned, a deadline for piecing them together, and a deadline for finishing the borders. Schedule a delivery date and be sure everyone knows what that date is.
  6. Break the project up into bite-sized pieces. If each participant can finish two squares within your given time frame, it’s not too difficult to complete a large afghan within a reasonable amount of time. Our knitters had two weeks to complete two squares each. A few even did more! Some completed their blocks at our open knits.
  7. Wind the yarn into balls for your volunteers. The completed blocks for our afghan weigh about 1 ounce each, with the two colors fairly evenly distributed. That would mean you could safely wind off three 1+ oz. balls from each skein. Retain at least one full skein in each color for finishing.
  8. Use large Ziplocs to contain two balls of yarn, one in each color, and printed directions for completing the blocks and finishing the ends. Your knitters can then return their finished blocks in these same Ziplocs, along with any leftover yarn.
  9. Keep a numbered list of kits and a sign out sheet with names and phone numbers. Have each volunteer write their info on their bag.
  10. Plan on making up some extra kits. With group projects, there is almost always some small loss of participants, and you want to be able to take that element into consideration and still get your group project finished.
  11. Be sure to record blocks as they are returned, so you know who may need a gentle nudge.
  12. Wait until all pieces are in to arrange the blocks. This way, it is easier to compensate for discrepancies in sizing.
  13. Piece the top and apply the borders. Finish all ends.
  14. Make a label for the back of your afghan. Record the name of the project on the label. You can add the date, if you like, as well. As your volunteers return their blocks, have them sign the label (we used an 8” X 8” muslin square with
    finished edges) with an extra fine permanent marker. Recruit someone to hand stitch the completed label to the back of your afghan when it is ready to be delivered.
The best part of this project just might be delivering your afghan!

Giving a handmade item is so rewarding, especially if it will help a cause, a family, or whatever you choose.
We had a wonderful experience throughout the entire process of our Thin Blue Line project, and we hope you will, too!