KNIT-A-SQUARE WISH LIST 2016

Over the years Knit-a-Square has grown rather organically and kindhearted members have been sending an ever increasing variety of goodies, but it has become essential for Knit-a-Square to have an appraisal and re-evaluate its whole approach in order for the office team to comfortably handle the number of items arriving. 

In future Knit-a-Square will ONLY be able to distribute squares, assembled blankets, hats, hand-warmers and cuddly toys. All other items, as mentioned below, will be distributed through a third-party and not directly by KAS.

The focus for the coming year, and for some time to come will be :

 

 

Squares for blankets   -   Hats & Hand-warmers   -   Cuddly Toys

In order to make life easier for the office team we need the following assistance :

 

SQUARE REQUIREMENTS  

  • Please lay the squares flat for posting, and avoid rolling into sausages.
  • Please do not wrap the squares in plastic cling wrap - they arrive smelly!
  • Bundled into square packs of 35 if there are enough of them.

 

  • You are welcome to sew your squares into blankets of 5x7 squares (see chart at bottom of the page) but must only declare that your package contains knitted squares. [Crocheters often find it easier to crochet the squares into strips and then crochet the strips together.]

 

 

HATS & BEANIES

  • Ronda mentioned that the ribbed hats are the best as they grow with the child. Sizing - if it fits the knitter then it will fit the child comfortably.
  • However, please avoid square hats, as for some reason the children get ridiculed for having "ears"!

 

 

HAND-WARMERS

  • Again hand-warmers that are ribbed are comfortable and grow with the child.
  • Please place one hand-warmer inside the other in order to keep them together.
  • Please avoid tying them together or using safety pins as these must be removed prior to distribution and it is fiddly and time consuming.

 

CUDDLY TOYS

  • The children absolutely adore receiving their own personal 'present' of a cuddly toy - and they bring joy beyond measure for so many children who have never experienced the wonder of "ownership".
  • Hand knitted toys or store bought toys are welcome, but all price tags must be removed to avoid customs problems.
  • Second hand toys are accepted as long as they are in good condition. 

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS THAT ARE WELCOME

  • Yarn - we always need yarn to sew together and edge the blankets.
  • Yarn needles - we always need these for sewing the blankets - both plastic and metal are great.
  • Crochet hooks - 4.0mm (US size G/6, UK/Canadian size 8) for edging the blankets so they remain strong.
  • We do not need any more knitting needles at this stage - we have a box full!

 

 

TO HELP US COPE AND STREAM-LINE THE OFFICE OPERATION, THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE LIKELY TO BE DISTRIBUTED THROUGH A TRUSTED THIRD PARTY IN THE FUTURE :

 

Jumpers and Grace Vests : Have already been successfully distributed by Erica Lüttich from the Outreach Foundation. However, although Erica sent lots of photographs of the children wearing the garments, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible each time.

 

Toothbrushes, tissues and toiletry items : A third party distributor has yet to be identified, but church outreach departments will help.

 

Store bought or second-hand clothing : Will be distributed through Wandi and the Methodist Church quarterly outreach gatherings.

 

Underwear : All underwear will be given to the Rape Crisis Centre in Beoni which deals with many children up to the age of 14 in all crisis situations.

 

Socks : A third party distributor has yet to be identified.

 

KasCuddles & Baby Items : Will be distributed via Hotel Hope and Sister Susan at the Baragwanath Hospital Maternity Ward.

 

 

GENERAL POSTING & PACKING NEEDS

  • Completing the Packing Slip is a huge help to the team at the office - thank you. Here is the link to the discussion page where you will find 3 documents including a large print version listed on the bottom left : Revised Packing Slip


  • The new message to be printed on parcels is : 

BONA FIDE GIFT

FOR CHARITY

NO COMMERCIAL VALUE

  • Customs Ticket - please only write a value of '0' or '1' - anything higher will result in Knit-a-Square being charged duties, which they well cannot afford, resulting in parcels being returned to customs authorities for re-assessment. THIS can result in non-receipt in the long run.
  • Please do not register or insure your parcels - it automatically assumes a "monetary value" on the parcel and this is what causes the problems with SA Customs & Excise!
  • Please continue to use the usual address at Bryanston, as this branch is re-opening in a new location on 21st December!

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Hopefully Juli, we'll reach a point whereby we'll have enough funds to ensure we can pay the Gogos to sew the blankets together.  Now we have the new shop with funds going directly to South Africa, finances will improve. Helen's wonderful initiative raised enough funds for Ronda to pay the Gogos to clear the backlog and more.

However, if you feel you would like to sew a blanket by all means go ahead, the main thing is that it must still be declared as knitted squares - the reasons are two-fold. 1. KAS would be charged an import duty as completed goods by Customs & Excise. 2. It doesn't put temptation in the way of someone who feels a full blanket could be easily sold - thus, over the years, KAS has had very few parcels go astray!

Thank you for clarifying that. I thought I couldn't sew them together due to customs. I will try to sew a few together and ship them as knitted squares. 

It's great to have an updated wish list for 2016.  Also to know that the increasing work load in the S A office will be easier to manage.  I will concentrate on fingerless mittens, medium hats and a few squares next year myself, but I also wish to continue making cloth books.  Should I enquire for an address to send them to Little Libraries rather than sending them to KAS?  I hope someone can help.  I wish KAS a prosperous and trouble free 2016     Roz x

Little Libraries really appreciate the soft or quiet books - Craft Tea for Charity in Edinburgh have been sending to them as well Roz. Thank you for all your good wishes!

A quick question for KNITTERS of handwarmers......

I have started my first ever pair, but I am knitting with two strands of acrylic mohair, using 3.75mm needles. I began with 44 sts, but after about an inch, I measured the width and it was approx.  7",  not stretched (I think).. I unpulled it and took the sts back to 40 and didn't measure it 'til I had knitted 3". This time it was 6.5", probably not quite fully stretched. My question is, what is the width of your handwarmer, lying flat, unstretched and before sewing up the seam, please? I have read the pattern and can only find a length measurement, not a width. Thanks.  :))

Hi Bev, great that you are knitting handwarmers.  The pattern asks for 4.00 needles and 36 stitches which should make about 5.5 inches wide.  Mohair is notorious for stretching as you knit !   [I once attempted a mohair sweater....but that's another story]  I'm not sure about acrylic mohair but if it's fluffy maybe try one strand with the 3.75 needles and see what happens? Hopefully Wendy will comment as she makes lovely HWs.

Hi Bev,

Have just knitted one hand warmer and it measures 4 inches across, this is ready to sew and lying flat, not stretched ( it measures slightly more at the bottom and top but that is because of casting on and off).  I use 4mm with DK and 36 stitches.  I have used this every time and the gloves always turn out fine.  Hope this is helpful.  Happy 2016:))

Hi Bev. I have just finished stripes in a jumper with acrylic mohair. I knit a strand of baby nylon or 3 or 4 ply wool with it to help maintain shape so it doesn't stretch so much

Hi Ladies. Thank you SOOO much. I did try knitting one strand sock yarn with one strand mohair, but the mohair was taking over and sometimes I 'missed' taking the thread of sock yarn along with it......by the sounds of things I had better give it another try as I don't want the handwarmers toooo stretchy and not keeping their shape. The mohair seems rather thin, kind of like a 4 ply. I have oceans of it in lots of colours(never can resist a bargain!!) 

Thanks for providing the measurements for the width....I was way off the mark....lol....I know I do have broad hands, myself....lol. I really appreciate you knitting one to measure, Diane.  :))

I have knitted a jumper (for KAS, over a year ago) with one strand 8 ply & 1 strand mohair, so this explains why it ended up being so much bigger than anticipated, Susanne.....lol.....8ply was obviously way too thick.

Thanks again, everyone, I will give it another go (or two).  :)) 

Hi

I've been adding little things like vests, socks, pencils & tooth brushes to the weekly shop  to send ....are these still acceptable?

Alternatively is there a centre that I could send these directly to (blankets still being sent to you of course)

Thank you Heidi, KAS is still accepting these items, except the pencils, and, they will be distributed by other trusted charities or church outreaches. Also, Hotel Hope and other emergency organisations approach Knit-a-Square for some of these goodies - nothing is wasted. The main issue was waiting until there was enough to take to a distribution - many day centres have 20-40 children and was important that each child receives the same number of items. 

Hi All

Thanks for the 2016 Wish List. I have started with squares which I plan to start posting at the start of 2016. And will be starting on beanie hats, hand warmers and cuddly toys shortly too.

Can any body help me with a few queries I have ?

1. Has the postal situation been remedied. Are sent parcels now arriving at their destination safely ?

2 What is the best way for me to keep track if my parcels are arriving safely ? I sent 8 across on Nov 2015 and cannot see them on the Nov Update list. I am hoping they will appear on the Dec 2015 list. The post mistress informed me that sometimes such parcels are destroyed if there is no sign of paid postage ! But couldn't expand any further. I want to be as proactive as possible to ensure that this does not happen to parcels I'm posting out.

3. On the Wish List I cannot seem to find out if scarves are still needed ?

4. Which is preferable for me to send squares across ( I'm thinking to send in batches of 5) or stitch a blanket together ?

Looking forward to some helpful hints. In the meanwhile I will keep crocheting 

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