Square Circle Forum

Dear KASers...

I really do need to begin this post with a huge apology for the lack of comms over the past weeks.  As most of you know, Sandy and family arrived in SA on 19 March for a holiday/KAS on the ground investigation/family reunion etc.  From a family point of view, it was indescribably wonderful to have them here - we are a very close family, for which I am so grateful, but so terribly fractured by the geographical distances between us all on a day to day basis...  We had a very busy but wonderful time in the weeks that the McDonalds and Zanny (Sandy's mum) were here and we managed to achieve a lot as far as KAS is concerned.  Sandy kept a wonderful blog (www.allfororphans.com for those of you who have not yet seen it) of their time here too - very special and a great read for all involved in KAS.

On a personal note, for those of you who have been onto www.allfororphans.com, you may have read that we lost, very suddenly and unexpectedly, a very special family member just after our wonderful family reunion in Port Elizabeth (which was incredibly special and auspicious to begin with, but is even more so now in light of this terrible loss).  Our Pete Lovemore, father to 4 daughters and a son, grandfather to two grandchildren and another on the way, brother to Charmian Huggins, Zanny Blew (Sandy's mum) and Ronda Lowrie (my mum), uncle to 4 nieces and a nephew (on our side of the family), great uncle to 7 great neices and 2 great nephews and friend to so, so many, passed away very suddenly in the early hours of the morning on 26 April 2010.  The entire family is still, two weeks later, reeling.  Apart from a long, long list of wonderful attributes, Pete was a philanthropist in so many ways and we will take inspiration from that for our continuing work with KAS...

Now that life is returning to some form of normalcy, I will be updating you all on what's happening 'on the ground' much more regularly again.  Thank you for your understanding for the lack of information being provided over the past few weeks under the circumstances.

With love,

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Well just let me know if I've to send 4 by 6 blankets and I will. I am happy to do what is required.
Your figures look pretty good and do-able. Well done.
I too would be happy to sew 6 x 4 squares together to make toddler blankets. I guess I'm just waiting to hear if this will cause duty to be paid. My impression is that it won't - as long as we send in packages and not boxes, and write "no commercial value" on them, my understanding is that duty isn't paid.
That's what I'm hoping too, Mary.
As I get given a lot of squares I do join some of them and over the past few weeks I have sent several 6x4 blankets with toddlers in mind. I do hope that they didn't cause duty to be paid - as far as I was concerned they were 24 squares which is what I recorded. They fit quite neatly into a postal envelope and aren't very expensive to send.
Christine, that's what I've done before. I've actually been given 4 by 6, 5 by 7, and two queen sized blankets already joined together which I've sent over. I've just marked them with the usual "Knitted squares only", "For charity only" and "No commercial value". I'm hoping as well that no duty is charged. I get given a lot of squares and join them together myself too.
Juniors in June/July is a great idea for a theme.

Before we put out a call for baby blankets or KASCuddles, we need to get a handle on what is already in stock. My impression is that we are overstocked with baby blankets from last year and don't need any more. Several cuddles have been made (see album - and they are not all in there), so we want to be careful not to get overstocked with those too.

The March Challenge produced hundreds of hats - many of those will be suitable for the younger children 1-6.

As far as the toddler blankets (4x6), perhaps we need some feedback on how the blankets going to each creche are assembled. With several groups over there sewing, this may well be in hand already.

The floor mat situation is a conundrum. I suggested once before somewhere in this forum, that perhaps the folks in SA could approach carpet stores for the samples they throw away each year. I have a friend who owns a carpet store and most of her samples (12-15" square) end up in the trash. These could be joined on the back with duct tape producing an instant sleep mat at no cost and no postage. Other solutions like purchasing the "jigsaw puzzle" foam squares might be another inexpensive solution - sanitary, no shipping costs.... and maybe less confusing and more permanent for the creche than blankets, pillowcases etc.

If, as Sandy has said, they will only be able to service about 20 creches this year because of logistics, we might want to be careful what we ask for. We are not just producing for these creches and there are hundreds of other blankets needed and being distributed through non-creche situations.

Perhaps some feedback from Erin and ronda would be helpful at this point so we can focus our efforts and postage $$ on what is needed most.
Any news yet about whether or not we should sew squares together into 4x6 toddler blankets? My fingers are itching to sew one together....

May I just throw in that I think the pillow case idea is wonderful! Perhaps, as I said above, we could use the really thick squares to make a mat-type thing and then slip the pillow case over it - that way, you would still need only to send squares (but specify that they are meant for sleeping mats) and pillow cases... It is, as Sandy mentioned, very important to us that the postage costs etc do not escalate too much for anyone.

Sands, that number sounds more or less right. We would prefer to concentrate on a viable number of creches and be able to really help them effectively, rather than spread ourselves too thin. At this stage, we would defintiely aim at about 30 creches immediately, yes.

Wonderful stuff!
And another thing... Anne is quite correct in that our main focus is making the blankets and distributing those to, not only the little ones who are in the creches, but those that aren't too (of which there are thousands!).

The foam jigsaw puzzle pieces are also a wonderful idea - and not too heavy to post either.

Ronda is away at the moment in Cape Town, but will be back early next week. She and I will defintiely have a chat about this subject as soon as she gets back - perhapos, if you wouldn't mind being a little patient, I could get back to you all with her input then?

xoxo, again...
Sounds good Erin. I find if I start thinking too much, overthink things it gets mind boggling, so I'm sticking to working on squares and slipovers and waiting to see if anything else is called for. :)
Erin, one more idea to consider. There has been some discussion over in the UK group about how best to use old T-shirts that have been turned into yarn. I just wondered if these could be knitted or crocheted into, say, 12" squares - 6 squares would make a mat 36" x 24". I know we don't want to be distracted from making blankets or overwhelm the ladies in SA with more sewing but I just thought I'd mention it.
By my calculations, the blanket folded in half would be 16" x 24" (4 squares across/32" x 6 squares high/48" divided by 2). A conventional (twin) pillow case is 20" x 26", a queen size is 20" x 30", and a king size is 20" x 36".

For those of us who don't sew, could we purchase some flannel ones instead? I think the twin size would work great for the 4x6 blanket. :o)



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KAS supplied blankets, hats, handwarmers and toys to over 5,500 children in 2017.  If Ronda’s wishes come true, in 2018 even more children will receive the gift of warmth and love from around the world.




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