If you want a peek inside the barn on opening days, this is where you'll find it. I'm Leanne Hunt and I've been attending opening days twice a month since 2017 with my driver Bongi and my guide dog Tango. Here is where I record what I see and hear for the benefit of overseas members who don't have the opportunity I do. I trust you'll find it interesting.

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Stay safe and healthy. 

Thanks again Leanne for your update on our call this morning. As you mentioned it’s not always easy to get a word in and with all of us chatting at the same time it’s confusing sometimes. Athelé and I have chatted at length about the distributions happening as soon as possible as our weather is turning colder. I have about 130 blankets, beanies and hand warmers in my sitting room which Athelé and I were going to distribute in Clarens plus over 20 I’ve received and made since our lockdown.  This trip was unfortunately cancelled due to our lockdown, so we are both anxious to get those blankets distributed. As Leanne mentioned Ath is trying to get a permit for us to move around and for me to help her get the blankets to Kaya Sands. Unfortunately I cannot go into the Settlement with her this time but will give her all the help she needs packing blankets at the barn. 

I've been watching reports of South Africa on Al Jazeera.  It is good to see the community police helping as they seem to be quite harsh in some places.  Lots of volunteer groups helping but so many people needing help who usually have work but at just above subsistence level like one lady who said that she did people's laundry and she didn't know what to do.
https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/level-5-4-south-africa-plans-reo...

WONDERFUL news!! Hoping Ronda and Ath stay safe.  xo 

Another week in lockdown and there's not much to report from SA. We are still hoping that Athele can organise a permit from the Community Policing Forum to take a carload of blankets, beanies, hand-warmers and toys to the children at kaya Sands informal settlement. There has been some resistance from government to NGO's distributing food parcels without authorisation, so this might explain why the application for a permit has not yet been approved.

There is a new episode of the Knit-a-Square podcast available on the podcast page of this website. Alternatively, you can search for it on your podcast app. In this episode I interview Ronda, Estelle and Athele about their experience of the lockdown and reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on our work.

Finally, Rebecca is running a Knit-a-Square KAL [knit-along] which combines several patterns of squares in a blanket of her own design. It began on 1 May and will be running for several weeks, although there is no time limit on completion. I've not quite started yet but have managed to pick my colours, which is a start! Please jump in and join us if you feel like it. You can find the discussion on the latest issue of Snippets.

Here is the link:

https://knit-a-square.com/kas-podcast/

If you click on the large PODCAST logo at the bottom of the main page it will take you to all of Leanne's Podcasts.

One of Estelle's current projects.

One of Athele's current projects.

oh my these are glorious blankets!

In todays blog post, I want to highlight the Knit-a-Square podcast, which has now been running for a full month.

The trailer episode went live in mid-April. In it, I introduced myself as the show host and gave some background about the organisations work. The second episode featured interviews with Ronda and Bongi, while the third focused on the COVID-19 with Ronda, Estelle and Athelé giving their points of view. This weeks episode, which went out yesterday, includes a conversation with Wandi about how distributions are run and the help our members gave to needy families in Soweto, as well as an interview with Rebecca Price about the recently-launched KAS KAL or knit-along.

Podcast analytics are what we use to gauge the number of listens that each episode gets. Being rather new at this game, I’m struggling a bit to get stats from Google, but the stats I have from Apple and Acast, my podcast hosting platform, show that there have been over 270 downloads altogether. This is quite good as far as a new podcast goes but less than I would like to see. With so many members around the world, I think there is a lot of scope for expansion. Perhaps we haven't made it easy enough to find?

If you still haven't heard an episode, i urge you to do so by looking for the link at the bottom of the main page of the Square Circle Forum. You can also find a link to the latest episode on the Facebook page. Alternatively, you can do a search for Knit-a-Square on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. These are free podcast apps for your smart phone that make listening to your favourite podcasts really easy because they let you subscribe. Once you've subscribed to a podcast, episodes are automatically downloaded onto your phone for you to listen at your leisure.

Other news is that our volunteers have managed to retrieve more bags of blanket packs from the barn for sewing up. The volunteers had practically run out of squares and were itching to get their hands on some more. Lockdown regulations have been very strict, making it illegal to visit the barn, so it was a relief when Ronda managed to obtain a permit to do so. Now our volunteers are hoping to be able to arrange a distribution to a large squatter camp as soon as a permit for that can be obtained.

On a personal note, i've joined Rebecca Prices knit-along. It started at the beginning of May and is aimed at encouraging us all to try out the different square patterns available to us. So far, we have tackled plain Janes and diagonal squares, and we are now working on stripes. I am thoroughlyenjoying participating with others in a joint project. If you haven't yet joined the KAL, there's still lots of time. Simply join in with the current striped square and catch up at the end. The discussion for the KAS KAL can be found on the main page of the Square Circle Forum. Happy knitting everyone!

Lovely blog Leanne, thank you so much once again.

It's been good to visit the KASbarn once more after 6 or 7 weeks, and we are holding thumbs for post to start trickling through once the sorting room gets - well - sorted !!!!  Will keep everyone informed.

Sending love and hugs and prayers for the safety and good health of ALL our mods and members and friends.

xoxoxoxoxo

Hello Leanne!

I have been listening to your podcast and must say,I really enjoy it!Your voice is very calming and lovely to listen to.I enjoyed the inrerviews and found it all ever so interesting!So thank you and please keep up this good work!Rachel

Massive congratulations for the inspired idea and fab presentation of the podcast.   I love a good listen when I have quiet time to myself knitting.   I had no idea beforehand that Leanne has visual impairment - in fact there are so many other pieces of interest and characters of folk that I've picked up on - it makes me feel a lot closer to you all, K xx    Thank you

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