SQUARES SQUARES SQUARES!

Squares as always are what we need the most.

To make our lives easier, please only leave a tail 50 cms long. We bundle the squares into 50's and they can get into a terrible mess with very long tails.  We would appreciate it if these tails could be neatly butterflied and laid on top of the square and all other ends stitched in.

Send the squares flat with the tails neatly wound on top of the square.  Folded squares or rolled squares with the tails bound take a long time to flatten and sort.  

Neaten the ends. Some squares arrive with the end just snipped off and this may lead to a blanket unravelling.

Be creative - it is lovely to include one creative square in each blanket among the plain jane squares, so if your mood is creative do send us embroidered or other creative squares if you feel like it.  They add yet another dimension to our beautiful blankets.  And please send brightest colours, even luminous, where possible. However, all squares will be used no matter what the colour. We totally understand that using up old yarn is a common situation. Here is a link to the challenges to help with your creative sparkle, please join in! http://forum.knit-a-square.com/forum/categories/challenges-1/listFo...

Please include a note with your name, address, email address and a list of the contents of the package.


GARMENTS

Yarn - please use yarn (either wool, acrylic, bamboo or cotton) which is soft or softish to touch. 

Square vests – please do not use the pattern from the website. The pattern will soon be removed and replaced with a Slip-Over pattern or a simple vest /tank top pattern, longer in body length. 

Newborn items – sorry for the confusion in this regard. We most definitely DO want newborn items, but our current stock is unbalanced in favour of small items at the moment so before the coming winter it would help enormously helpful for us to receive items in the pre-school/creche (2-8 yr) age group bearing in mind that this is the age-group to which we have greatest access.

Slip-Overs - these garments should definitely be made in soft, yielding yarn as they are either warn directly against the skin or are stretched over other items for added warmth.  They can be made thicker (with two strands of yarn) but perhaps then they should be knitted or crocheted on bigger needles. There are very specific instructions under the SLIP-OVER category on the forum.

Hats – at this point we need these items for children two years and older, again in line with our stock requirements going into winter. Please make sure that some of the hats are large enough to fit a two year old (proportionally a two year olds head is almost the size of an adult, so please keep that in mind when you are knitting/crocheting away!) – sizes medium and large preferred for the next few months.

Jerseys, cardigans, jumpers and baby clothes – again sorry for the confusion! Please keep sending these. We need them. Cardigans are perfectly acceptable in fact Ronda says “we love and adore these items”. As she explained, the very tiny sweaters as per the website pattern tend to have a high neckline which is not comfortable for very small babies. But “own” pattern items, specifically designed for infants are most welcome – plus bootees and mittens.  We have a large collection of teeny beanies at this point.

KASCuddles

We love these! Please keep knitting them. Here is a link to the knit-a-long that we had last year: http://allfororphans.com/kascuddleknit-a-long/

Please send all of these items to OUR knit-a-square address, here is the link to our postal instructions page: http://www.knit-a-square.com/postal.html


DUTY

Please ensure that NO VALUE, NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE and FOR CHARITY ONLY is placed on your custom labels and parcels.  We have to pay a small mandatory handling fee on any box, so if your squares will fit, please send them in a package rather than a box.


OTHER ITEMS

Plastic rain ponchos - these are the most desired of all the 'slip-ins'. We will use every rain poncho sent for the children in the informal shack settlements. The rain comes in deluges and everyone in a shack would be saturated during a rain storm. The ponchos will be used during summer and winter to stay dry inside and outside. 

Stationery - pencils, erasers, sharpeners and ball point pens are most welcome. 

Toys – the toys go down an absolute treat as you would have seen from the photos on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Knitasquare . Please keep sending them!


DONATIONS

As always KAS needs your donations, even just a small amount of money per month makes a big difference. Here is the link to our donations page. Every cent is used in South Africa to allow Ronda and our amazing volunteers to do the work that they are doing: http://www.knit-a-square.com/knit-a-square-donate.html


Two new projects: 

The first one requires funds for Ronda to buy school shoes for Africa Ablaze. Africa Ablaze are currently running a rural school shoe appeal. We do not want shoes sent because they are too heavy, expensive and will definitely incur duty. However, funds donated to KAS can be used toward this appeal, so if you feel like giving some rural children school shoes, please donate here: http://www.knit-a-square.com/knit-a-square-donate.html

The other project we are working with is Aurora Schools project, which is to try and beat the Guinness Book of World Records largest hand-made blanket which is 2500 sq metres (MASSIVE) by Mandela Day THIS year! We have promised them knitting needles and double-knit, or other suitable yarns, to get them started in March. We are getting publicity through their effort and have also promised 250 - 400 blankets to fill in IF required on the day, and also we will help them lay out and cobble together (loosely) the 35-square blankets so that they may be UNcobbled afterwards and distributed. Therefore, knitting needles and yarn are greatly needed as well as plastic and steel wool-sewing needles! (Please send these items to the usual KAS address).

So there you are, the official 2012 wish list. Thank you all for your patience, and please remember, this is just a "wish list" a guideline for what makes our lives easier. It does not matter if you have not done these things, please still send the goods anyway they will all be used!

Just a thought – we are promised SUCH a cold winter here, if people want to pop just one undervest (singlet ?) and one pair of sox in each parcel they would be very welcome indeed.

I have about 6 vests in stock, but of course they sit here waiting for sufficient numbers to gather before I can distribute them.

The sox are flying out – they are extremely popular !

Again, sizes 3 – 10 yrs in all items are the most useful just now.

Just a little reminder for the kind people who purchase them please to remove any price tags or plastic clips - as Customs regards these a saleable products, and, therefore subject to Duty!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Laurie!  What a wonderful thing you are offering to so many of us!  I will be looking into sending them to you before long!  That is very kind of you, and I will pray you also get lots of donations!  I am also praying a door opens up here at home if I am to mail them regularly.  I'll look over your blog, and tonight I will add you to my blog!  www.Jesus-thelambofGod.blogspot.com  I have been telling people about www.knit-a-square.com.

I also have 2 ladies from church working on the squares with me.  They aren't doing them like we are, but every square counts!!!  ♥Cathy

Hi Laurie...I thought I answered your wonderfully sweet offer here!  I'm getting a little mixed up I think because I don't see it.  Anyways, I love, love, love your blog and offer to help!!!  I WILL be sending you many squares and I believe my cousin in San Diego will be mailing them to you too!  I think you will have more than 500!  I have been so excited about this project, and will continue to knit squares as long as they are needed!  My daughter feels the same way!!! 

I will be posting you on my blog tonight!  (see, I think I did say this before...anyways) THANK YOU Laurie!  ♥Cathy

Thank you so much Cathy! You are very sweet! I'm off to read your blog now!

Great idea Laurie!

Just a quick question about the Africa Ablaze project, Kalai. Is the web address you give above the same as the one we use for Paypal... and if so how do we designate the funds for Africa Ablaze as opposed to our regular monthly donation??  I should try it before I ask, I suppose, but thought you might know before I jump in.

 

Great that the shoes will be purchased there...so correct style,  size range etc. will be looked after.  Hopefully the project will raise enough to buy a heap of shoes and maybe be able to negotiate a wholesale price.

 

I notice in a lot of pictures that many kids seem to wear a school uniform... who on earth pays for those????

Hi Anne.  All the children in South Africa have to wear school uniforms to school - a very costly exercise to say the least!

The schools uniforms are pretty expensive too. But, the parents have to pay it.

As an example, I have a domestic worker here to help once a week. Her pay is R120 for the day, but it costs R24 in transport just to get here. Her son's school shirts cost R105 - more then a day's pay. He's lucky because he has 3 shirts (I bought one new for him this year and he has 2 from last year) and 2 pants. Other kids in his school might only have 1 set.

Uniforms are worn till they can practically walk to school on their own.

There is also a massive informal economy & secondary market. If a kid grows out of their clothes - if they are still wearable, mom (or dad) will sell them to another parent in the neighborhood. Even a few rand can help with the cost of replacements.

Thanks for enlightening us, Michelle.  It just horrifies me to think some families simply can't afford the cost of uniforms and I wonder what that means for the child...no school???

I am not sure what the rationale for uniforms is... I suppose it's a great equalizer.  Here in Canada, almost no schools require uniforms except for very exclusive private schools. On very rare occasions the subject comes up in the public school system... or in individual schools...and is always quickly shot down

As an Aussie, most schools (priate and public) that I know of have school uniforms. They didn't always, but the trend is inexorably heading in that direction. The main motivators are:

- Identification. Kids skipping class are easily identified, and the schools are quickly contacted by people in the community if/when they see kids in school uniform out of school.

- Bullying. Regardless of family incomes, all kids are dressed similarly. It makes it hard to pick (and pick on) the poorer kids.

- Acceptable (inoffensive) dress codes. It can be very hard to explain to modern teenaged girl why her neckline shouldn't plunge *quite* that far, or to a teenaged boy why his trousers should sit at his waist and not his knees. ;) Fashions often encourage kids to wear clothing which is vastly inappropriate for a learning environment. It's exceptionally hard to write an unambiguous policy for appropriate school dress when anything is an option. If school uniforms are mandatory, then it is easy to explain to both kids and their parents what is and is not appropriate clothing for school.

Personally, I think school uniforms are an excellent idea, although I do wonder at some of the schools which take it as an opportunity to wring extra money out of the parents...

I agree Erica, many children in UK schools are voting for the re-introduction of a uniform for these reasons.

As a teacher, I come down pretty strictly on uniform. It's generally been my experience that if you are firm with 'little' things like uniform, then bigger more important things fall into place more often. Obviously there are exceptions and situations which call of special consideration, but 'hard line' is my usual approach. Shirt tucked in, tie on properly, hat on, hair neat, shoes polished! My students have very different circumstances to the SA kids, however.

All this sounds like a bit of heaven.  Definitely would cut down on shopping trips for school clothes, "keeping up with the Jones's" and gut wreching morning discussions "What am I going to wear??"..... Can you tell I had two daughters and now three grandaughters???

I suspect this will never happen in Canada though... but it would make life a lot simpler for a lot of Moms.

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