This is where you can find all of Leanne's episodes for 2021, Season 2
Episode 1 - Finding Freedom Within Limitations
Episode 2 - A Spell In The Park
Episode 3 - The Rewards of Reaching Out
Episode 4 - Reflection On A Year Like No Other
Episode 5 - Friendships On The Knit a Square Forum
Episode 6 - Where Our Blankets Go
Episode 7 - Celebration To Cheer The Children
Episode 8 - Volunteers At Work
Episode 9 - Kindness In Action
Episode 10 - Blankets To Keep Out The Winter Chill
Episode 11 - Castles and Picture Squares
Episode 12 - Keeping It Real
Episode 13 - The World Needs Our Help
Episode 14 - Dangerous Conditions
Episode 15 - The Backbone of Any Blanket
Episode 16 - Therapeutic Benefits of Knitting
Episode 1 Notes:
Welcome to 2021, a very different start to the year from what we are used to. Everything is limited, from travel to access to yarn, and so we have to make adjustments.
In this episode, Leanne takes the opportunity to share some thoughts from her own experience dealing with visual impairment. We hear about her latest knitting projects and ideas for connecting with friends. Even if your world has grown smaller, she tells us, it’s still possible to find wonderful ways of celebrating the things we care about.
Episode 2 Notes:
Ronda and her husband Peter contracted COVID while visiting family in the Cape over Christmas. In this episode of the podcast, she shares with Leanne how they managed to make the most of a bad situation and benefit from the extra time with loved ones.
Ronda also reveals her deep passion for the bush as she describes their subsequent stay at Ngwenya Lodge on the Crocodile River near Kruger. We hear about her new home and garden, as well as news about the post, the volunteers from Soweto and the ongoing work at the barn.
Episode 3 Notes:
Patricia Gribble shares with Leanne how her work with visually-impaired people led to a meeting with the Prime Minister and the establishment of the St Pancras Knitters in Plymouth. Her group has contributed 600 blankets to Knit-a-Square to date and formed strong relationships in the process which have sustained them through their year of lockdown.
Trish also gives us a glimpse into her life in Devon, including family holidays to the Scilly Isles and France. She doesn’t go anywhere without her knitting and her enthusiasm for Knit-a-Square and vulnerable children in South Africa is truly infectious!
Episode 4 Notes:
Estelle has been at the forefront of operations at Knit-a-Square over the past year and chats to Leanne at length about what it was like, both at the barn and on distributions. We hear about some new volunteers who have joined the team and their impressions of opening days.
If you like what you hear and would like to participate in the work of Knit-a-Square, please get in touch via the website. There are many ways to get involved, from volunteering at the barn to knitting, and from donating directly to purchasing items from the online store. Plus, we have a wonderful warm Square Circle Forum which we are sure you will find super inspiring and informative!
Episode 5 Notes:
Gloria Grandy, editor of the KAS Snippets, joins Leanne on this week’s podcast to talk about the wonderful people she has met on the Square Circle Forum and how her life has been enriched as a result of helping South Africa’s vulnerable children. We hear about her deep friendship with Anne Powell and the origin story of the River John Square Knitters group. We also find out about Tunisian crochet, one of her special loves.
Gloria’s family wrote and recorded the delightfully catchy Knit-a-Square song, so that is included in this episode. If you like what you hear, please visit the KAS website, join the member forum and browse the discussions to see where you can best offer your crafting skills!
Episode 6 Notes:
Squares sent in to Knit-a-Square get sewn into cosy blankets and distributed to vulnerable children at day care centres, crèches and informal settlements around Gauteng and beyond. In this episode, Leanne speaks with two of Vivienne’s contacts in the Northern Cape to discover more about their work at the Early Childhood Development Centres and what the blankets and toys meant for the little ones.
We hear from Sienah Motshabi from the Tswelelopele Community Crèche and Lerato Kgadiete who used to work at the Atamelang Day Care Centre, both in Warrenton. Just learning about how difficult conditions are for families living in that area will help you appreciate the enormous impact that your handmade donations can make on the children who receive them.
Episode 7 Notes:
Amy Pettigrew is one of our most active moderators, keeping members up to date with various discussions on the Square Circle Forum and regularly overseeing Knit-a-Square’s monthly themes. In this episode she joins Leanne from her picturesque home in Houston, Texas to chat about crocheting and her busy online role.
We hear about the first trip she made to South Africa and how it exposed her to the needs of the children. Memories of that trip continually serve to remind her of what she can do to help. With enthusiasm and curiosity, she dreams up monthly themes that motivate and excite our members. The May monthly theme entitled “Celebrations” is an invitation for knitters and crocheters everywhere to jump on board, learn about South Africa’s unique festivals, and contribute beautiful squares for inclusion into warm, colourful blankets.
Episode 8 Notes:
In this episode, Leanne chats to several of the volunteers at the barn. Ronda measures herself against a mountain of blankets, Sue bubbles over with wonder at the creativity of so many contributors, Wandi anticipates packaging up 90 bundles for distribution at two separate crèches, and Estelle shows off a pair of gorgeous crocheted blankets sent in by Patricia Underwood.
May is the start of the chilly season in South Africa, so plans for getting blankets, beanies, hand warmers and toys into the hands of vulnerable children are ramping up. If you have not yet joined the warmest crafters on earth and wish to do so, the Knit-a-Square website contains everything you need to know and more. Join the Square Circle Forum and be inspired!
Episode 9 Notes:
Knit-a-Square is an amazing community of caring people, brought together by our shared commitment to keep South Africa’s vulnerable and orphaned children warm. This episode of the podcast celebrates our connections at every level.
Susanne Leverton was raised by her mother to think of others and spent her working life serving in the arid region of Central Australia as a remote nurse among indigenous people. Now in retirement, she lives on the coast and enjoys knitting picture squares and crocheting blankets to send off in the mail to the barn. We hear her story and the motivation behind her work in this episode.
Episode 10 Notes:
The term “informal settlement” is frequently used in describing where our vulnerable children live but the actual location, history and conditions relating to such settlements seldom get discussed in our reports. This episode goes a little deeper into the challenges our children face, both physical and developmental.
Georgie Purdon from the Angels Care Centre in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, chats to Leanne about a recent distribution of Knit-a-Square blankets to children under 5 years old. Together with beanies, hand warmers and toys, the blankets brought them delight and warmth ahead of a particularly icy snap.
Such a good idea to post all these episode notes in one place, Amy. I've already found a couple that I missed.
Episode 11 Notes:
Tuesday, June 29 2021
Marion Davies lives within sight of the historic Conwy Castle in North Wales and shares with us her passion for crocheting picture squares to incorporate into the beautiful blankets that get distributed to orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa.
She also tells Leanne about an unfortunate craft-related injury she sustained and how she manages to avoid further disruptions in her crocheting of squares. We can all learn from her experience. To be unable to knit or crochet for an extended period is extremely frustrating, especially when you see photographs of what others are producing on the forum!