Thursday, 15 March 2012

The knit-a-squillion challenge is going strong!

I can't tell you the incredible feeling I get when I receive a package in the mail and realize that it is for Knit-a-Square! To have the tangible proof that we are so many people in so many different places working for the same goal, is overwhelming! Whenever I'm feeling down, I think of you, your squares and these beautiful children and "then I don't feel so bad!"

I received two such packages this week!

From Laura, these beautiful squares, 7 of them and 2 skeins of wool for making more! Thank you so very much Laura for your generosity!

And an incredible family effort, a box of 20 squares!! Our blogging friends Melinda and her daughter Taylor, Melinda's Mom and her two other daughters, Riley and Jordan all worked together to make these beautiful squares! Thanks so much to all of you!!

We have a new person who has joined us this week, Deborah from Florida. Welcome Deborah and thanks so much for joining us!

Our total this week: 
82 squares! That's 2 + blankets !!!

Some information to share:

Let me say first that for my part of the Knit-a-Squillion Challenge, there are no rules, no requirements. You send me items. I ship them to South Africa. You receive coupons from Hands with Hearts. If you live closer to SA than Canada (or for any other reason) and would rather send the squares directly there, please do. My ONLY goal in promoting Knit-a-Square is to get as many warm items as possible to the children of South Africa!

Every year KAS takes an inventory of what they have and and what they need and compiles a Wish List.
This is the official Wish List for 2012 from Kalai Mcdonald.

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.

Photo by Rachel A., KAS website
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!
Please include a note with your name, address, email address and a list of the contents of the package.

Don't you love Hello Kitty? Square and photo by Karen Ann Evans
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 – 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 be 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.
Photo from KAS FB page
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 – 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.

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.
Isn't it extraordinary to be a part of this? photo from KAS FB page

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.
Distributing to the children - photo from KAS FB page
Toys – the toys go down an absolute treat as you would have seen from the photos on facebook: .

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:

So, there you have it! Another week of giving, receiving and being part of something extraordinary! Thank you all so much!!


Melinda said...

Yay! Very glad they made it to you safe and sound. I'm so happy that your stash is growing by the week, it's such a worthwhile cause! Just think... before you know it you'll have a room full of squares, and anytime you're feeling blue you can head in there and roll around in them. That's sure to brighten anyone's day. ;)

Fellowship By Design said...

Awesome post Laurie and I'm so excited for you my friend! I ran across a really pretty, orange skein of wool, I just had to buy it!! I knew there was a reason and it came to me today! The squares I make from that ball of yarn are coming to you, to count towards your challenge! :oD
You go girl! So proud of you!

Laurie Fortier said...

Thank you so much for your support Mary Anne! I can't wait to see those orange squares!!

Fellowship By Design said...

When you get a chance, look for "orange delight" in the photo section of the first square from that ball of yarn!! :o)

Sonya Kanelstrand said...

Wow, how amazing! Melinda and the girls have done a great job and Laura's squares are also beautiful! I am so excited, Laurie! Mostly because of the same thought you mention - that people from all over the world are working together for a single cause!

Thanks to Mary Anne I got the pattern she used for her squares and now I am going to make several more using it :)

Additionsstyle said...

How wonderful Laurie! It looks like your collections is getting bigger every week.
Everyday Inspired

Taylor Lynn said...

Haha, it's so cool to see our squares up there. :) 82 squares is amazing - keep up the good work, everyone! :)

And I love all of the KAS photos - how awesome! Thank you for sharing, Laurie!


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I'm ready to mail you my squares. What are other U.S. senders doing about customs? Can I put a $0 value on the contents? I don't want you to pay customs fees, and really there is no real monetary value to the squares. Can you please advise? Thanks!

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