In New Zealand, prime minister Jacinda Ardern is expecting her first baby in June. Although she won’t be the first premier to give birth while in office, there’s been a great interest worldwide in her pregnancy and the imminent arrival of her baby.

On Twitter, Kiwi ex-pat Heather McCracken was inspired to start a campaign – #knitforjacinda – to get people involved in making clothes and toys for needy babies. At first, she said, she wanted to make clothes for Ardern’s baby but then she realised that the prime minister’s baby wouldn’t be short of anything and that it might be nicer to channel her knitting energies into making things for other, less fortunate children. Her hashtag quickly spread and soon knitters and crocheters were sharing pictures of the things they’d made for the children’s department of the Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

The great thing about knitting for little ones is that projects are often quick and easy to make. And baby clothes and accessories need only small amounts of yarn – making them an ideal way to use up some of your stash! If friends or relatives are expecting a baby then you have the perfect excuse to whip out the needles and create something that’s sure to be cherished. But if you don’t know anyone who’s expecting, then knitting for a charity is the answer.

So if you want to knit (or crochet) for a worthy cause, then join the ‘knit for Jacinda’ campaign or search online for other charitable knitting and crocheting projects. And whatever you do, don’t forget to share pictures of your makes with us.