This month we will travel across the continent of Africa with most of our attention on South Africa.

We will explore the treasures of the Egyptian pyramids, the wonders of the Okavango Delta, the majesty of Victoria Falls, the flowing waters of the Nile River, the smells and colors of a Moroccan Bazaar, the sands of the Sahara Desert, the snow capped mountains of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the beauty of our beloved South Africa.

Our squares, blankets, toys, hand-warmers and beanies can show us the colors of this continent from the people...

...to the animals...

...to flags...

...and designs...

In past years, Knit a Square has had many distributions on Mandela Day, July 18. We try to have many blankets and items that focus on South Africa, animals, colors and culture.  Our theme is early enough so that we can post our items to be included in this special event.

Since gold can be found in many of the countries in Africa our Color of the Month (COM) is gold/yellow.  Our Pattern of the Year is the Plain Jane, a square of one solid color, usually made with a single crochet or a garter stitch, but they can also be made with other textured stitches.

KAS PatternBook


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I'm not sure how you are going to count this PJ, Amy.   Made in Tunisian Simple Stitch, I think of it as a T-PJ, but you might have a better name.  (Yes, it does curl, as Simple Stitch always does, but it will be fine in a blanket.)

And I started with a PJ, but then just had to add the elephant in cross stitch.

Sharon, what gorgeous work.  Your elephant is a real gem - with a moveable tail and all :))

I'm not sure how Amy will want to count TC squares.  They are definitely PJs, but since they are not knit in garter stitch or crocheted in sc (or dc for our UK friends), then in my opinion they must be PERT PJs.  What do you think?

Gloria, you are the Tunisian Master and Queen, so if you like it as a PERT PJ, that works for me. 

But you are also much better at the clever acronyms than I am, so I will leave you to figure out if there is a special name for Tunisian squares, some in plain ole Simple Stitch, and some in the pretty textures that you create.   Whatever we call them, the children will call them WARM. (and that's a good thing.)

I defer to Glo in the naming of PJs.  She is the pro for sure.

Oh my goodness.  I can just picture that little elephant moving across the savannah in several countries in Africa. And like Glo, I love the movable tail.  Can't you just see little fingers playing with it?

Thank you for sharing your creativeness.   

Glad you like the elephant, Amy.   I believe I got this pattern from the KAS Pattern book a long, long time ago.   I will attempt to re-locate it for reference.

Aww, I LOVE your elephant, Sharon.  :))  I can just imagine curious little fingers giving its tail a tweak, as they lay, being warmed by a beautiful KAS blanket.

Two lovely squares - my favourite colour and my favourite animal!  Mmm - I might just have to think about cross-stitching again, if only I can find an extra few hours in the day :((

This cross stitch elephant idea is inspired - just so effective and clever.   Fab!

Sharon, this elephant pattern and the Africa square from the intro can be found in the Member Patterns section of the Forum.  Yes, a little unknown area of the Forum that just hides in a corner.

Here is the link to the elephant ladies, it is on page two of the discussion.  Africa is on page one.


Thanks for finding the pattern for us, Amy.   It is an easy and fun pattern to follow.

Just want to add, that it was Gloria (aka Glo-Bug) who figured out the beautiful sunset pattern behind the elephant in the picture used in your introduction.   Doesn't that elephant look so peaceful?

Okay, my dear friends, the verdict is in regarding the names of various PJs.  Actually, the verdict was in in November 2014.  I was to host a theme in May of 2015 and was searching for a definition of a Plane Jane (PJ).  So I asked Linda - and Anne - yes, both of them - several times ...

After going back through the various e-mail exchanges between me, Linda M. and Anne P, (and in between fits of laughter) I discovered several things.

1.  I somehow picked up the nickname 'glo-bug' ... hehehe

2.  Linda M was digging out from a snowstorm ...

3.  Anne P. woke up one morning thinking about PJs ...

4.  After a 2-against-1 discussion (a very friendly one, please note :) the definition of a PJ was cemented.  This is what I was told:

Here is The final definition of a Plain Jane square: Any solid coloured, basic square done in garter stitch or single crochet.  This has been the term we have used for these squares since we started ...
Diagonals and mitres involve increasing, decreasing, counting, stitch markers and other little annoyances and so do not qualify as Plain Janes.  A beginning knitter/crocheter would not start out making these.
Double crochet often produces a square that is too loose and not thick enough (especially since there are yarn variations and we know some countries "worsted weight" equates to Canadian sportweight, so the squares are thin) The stitch is a little more complicated and it requires a little more thought, especially at the end of a row when you need to do two chains before turning.
Afghan/Tunisian stitch is uncommon and most of our square-makers don't know how to do it. 
Crocheted squares, started in the middle, also require increasing at the corners plus they are not as easy to start because you have to get the centre right.
PJ is a PJ, a diagonal is a diagonal, a mitre is a mitre, Tunisian is Tunisian, a Chain Stitch square is a Chain Stitch square, textures are textures, fancy patterns are fancy patterns, Grannies are Grannies.
So after pulling all this information together, this is what I came up with:
You can find this theme, along with photos of the incredible PJs created by our contributors that month
Dear Linda, if you should happen to pop in and see this discussion, please note that  we must add that a crochet PJ is a sc (called a dc by our UK friends :)  And you thought we were finished with that discussion ... hahahaha ... xo



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