the knitting primate

the basics

I knit all the time (seriously, I bring a headlamp with me on the long drive to the cottage so that I can keep knitting.) In the interest of sharing my skill and passion, and in doing something good with this activity I do all the time, I decided to design and sell knitting patterns and knitted items and donate a portion of the profits to charity. 15% of proceeds are donated to a charity of my choice, and I regularly cycle through different charities, and add new ones. Proceeds from a three-month period will go to one charity, and then the next three months will go to another. I’ll try to make it clear which charity is being donated to for each cycle.

I am also creating paper art, specifically note cards and buttons featuring original art by myself and my incredibly talented husband, these are also being sold through theknitingprimate etsy store

Please check out the ravelry store (for patterns) and my etsy shop (for knit items, custom orders, and for my paper art); and read below for info on the charities I support and my history with knitting.


the charities

these are charities I am now donating to or have in the past

Ugly Mutts

This is a dog rescue operating in southern Ontario. They rescue dogs from high kill shelters as well as accepting surrenders from owners who no longer want or can no  longer care for their dog. I adopted my dog Bella from this organization and she is the cat’s pyjamas. The organization is entirely volunteer run and yearly they are able to save 200-300 dogs and find them new homes.

Dogs are one of those animals that simultaneously live in some of the best and some of the most egregious situations. Ugly Mutts and other awesome rescues  like it work very hard so that more dogs live in the best of conditions rather than the worst, and that is laudable.

Orangutan Foundation International

OFI is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of orangutans and their rainforest home. You may remember the organization and its founder, Birutė Galdikas, from the documentary Born To Be Wild.  (go check them out:

From OFI’s website:

OFI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild orangutans and their rainforest habitat. Founded by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas and associates in 1986, OFI operates Camp Leakey, an orangutan research area within Tanjung Puting National Park. OFI also runs the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) facility in the Dayak village of Pasir Panjang near Pangkalan Bun, which is home to 330 displaced orangutans, and helps manages the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, where rehabilitated wild born ex-captive orangutans  are released into the wild. Through its field programs, OFI also provides employment at these facilities for over 200 local Indonesians.

Borean and Sumatran organutans are currently listed as endangered and critically endangered respectively. They are among my most favourite animals and I can only hope that their populations can survive in the wild into the future so that later generations can know their wonder.

Toronto Wildlife Centre

Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC): The TWC is a wildlife rescue centre that rehabilitates injured, sick or orphaned wildlife and engages the public in education and outreach about local wildlife. The idea of people mending injured wildlife and getting it back out into the world makes my heart grow 3 times in size. You can find their mission statement below, but check out their site too. They have a lot of information about to deal with interactions with wildlife and what to do when you find an animal needing help.

From the TWC’s website:

It is the mission of Toronto Wildlife Centre to promote the peaceful coexistence of people and wildlife by providing education and expert advice about wildlife situations, and providing medical care to sick, injured and orphaned wild animals with the ultimate goal of releasing healthy animals back into the wild.

I chose this charity because 1: my heart bursts thinking about poor lost or hurt animals being cared for and released back into the wild. And 2: urban nature is a vital aspect of the broader ecological context that support virtually every part of our existence (water, air, food, recreation, aethestics, mental and physical well-being, etc). Preservation and education regarding the nature and wildlife that surrounds us in urban centres enhances our awareness and appreciation of it, and hopefully our willingness to conserve it as well as more remote ecosystems.


knitting history

My first brush with knitting occurred when I was a young girl. My mother taught me the basics and I started a scarf out of scrap yarn that just kept growing but never had any of the tails sewn in – I think it still lays abandoned in my mother’s winter apparel drawer. I reconnected with the craft about 5 years ago and since then have rarely been without my needles (and i now always weave in the ends). My affair with knitting has been one of progression, wherein I started simple and just kept adding to my skills and repertoire until I was mostly creating my own designs. 

Out of my passion for knitting and a desire to be a good global citizen, I started ‘the knitting primate’ (in March 2013). It started initially as a store in 2 parts: I sold hand-knit items of my own design on etsy, and drew up patterns for my designs to sell to other knitters on Ravelry. I quickly began to focus on designing patterns rather than selling the finished products, as this is where my passion lies.

For the first (almost) 2 years of theknittingprimate, the primary goal was to support charities I am passionate about. During this time, 75% of the profits raised were donated. Moving into 2015, theknittingprimate is changing slightly as this hobby shop becomes more of a focus for me and as I devote much of my time and energy to it. Beginning December 9th 2014, theknittingprimate will be offering additional new types of handmade items, such as note cards and magnet buttons, and will be donating 15% of the profits to charity on the same 3 month schedule



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