KAS WISH LIST GUIDELINES FOR 2014
This year, Knit-a-Square is declaring 2014
THE YEAR OF THE SQUARE
The most important items that we distribute to our vulnerable children are the wonderful snuggly blankets made possible by the squares that you KASfolk create with such love and care. Not only do they keep the children warm at night all year round, but when folded, they wrap around to form a protective coat during the cold winter days. Our blankets may, in some cases, be the first things children have of their very own and their warmth and the love they represent will last for years.
Over the past year, things have gone a little out of balance. Thanks to the generous donations of our knitters, we have now in stock a large supply of hats, enough in fact, that we have almost two or three hats for every blanket we can make!
That is why, for the next year, we are asking that you consider helping us make this the YEAR OF THE SQUARE and perhaps make 3 squares instead of 1 hat.
Here is the 2014 WISH LIST. We appreciate receiving many different items as you will see below, but now you will not be surprised to see that our top priority is
SQUARES, SQUARES and more SQUARES
Whether you prefer to make bright coloured plain squares or fancy squares, wool or acrylic (we no longer separate these), every single square you send will make a difference to the life of a child.
If you are looking for inspiration, you might want to check the Photo tab on the menu bar, the current month’s challenge or take a peek at our KAS Pattern Book.
TAILS - Through experience it has been found that we only need a 'tail' of 50cm (20 inches) - We would appreciate it if the tails could be neatly butterflied. It's as easy as 1,2,3
LITTLE ENDS - It would also be very helpful if the little starting tail/thread and all other ends and all joining yarn are sewn in before posting. This would save valuable sewing time for our teams of blanket stitchers. [Please avoid cutting little ends as some squares have unraveled, even with gentle handling.] Also with the ends safely sewn in, there are no threads visible to become temptations for little nimble fingers!
PACKING - The parcel opening team in South Africa would greatly appreciate receiving your squares bundled in groups of 5 or 10 if possible. The updated Package Inventory Slip is a great help to the team and will get you an email response when your parcel arrives.
CREATIVITY - We welcome squares of all colours, yarns, textures, plain or with designs - they all come together to create beautiful blankets that immeasurably lift the spirits of the children! The children adore bright colours, especially luminous ones - look out for these in bargain yarn baskets! However, squares made from the remnants of previous projects are perfectly acceptable and welcome!
Please don’t forget to add your squares to the KAS Reaches Great Heights for Children.We are hoping to create a stack of squares tall enough to reach the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa during 2014!
LONG SLEEVED SWEATERS
There is a real need this year for long sleeved garments for the children to wear during the winter months. You will find several KAS designed and approved patterns in the Pattern Book. These are boxy sweaters, knitted or crocheted, with very generous armholes, so that the children can wear them as an outer garment over their other clothes.
PLEASE NOTE – ADJUSTMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO SOME OF THE FOLLOWING PATTERNS AND ARE MARKED 'REVISED' – IF YOU ARE MAKING ONE OF THESE, PLEASE PRINT OFF THE NEW VERSION OF THE PATTERN
KAS Go-Over - a pattern for people who have never made a garment or just like making squares, either knitted or crocheted. It is so easy, anyone can make it, and it is roomy enough to fit over other clothing
Kathy’s Cosy Jumper – a wonderful roomy knitted go-over sweater, slightly more advanced, but still very simple Link here
Chain Stitch Hexagon Sweater – slightly more advanced, but still simple crocheted garment. Fun to make. Link here
Stripes and Triangles Go-Over – for slightly more advanced crocheters, this G-O is not only beautiful, it fits extremely well. Link here
Heather’s Winter Warmer – a very pretty knitted sweater – tighter fit for wearing under light jackets or the boxy sweaters above. Link here
We also welcome sweaters made from commercial patterns, but would greatly appreciate roomy raglan sleeves.
We have several excellent patterns in the KAS Pattern Book. We ask that you use very soft yarns.
This past year, we have received proportionately more vests than garments with sleeves, so you might consider trying one of the above long sleeved garments to keep things in balance.
We have noticed that many vests have very tight armholes, so the straps will not fit easily over the shoulder. When making a vest, please make sure that the armhole is one-third the total length of the garment, measured from the shoulder to the side seam. On an 18” long vest, the side seam should only be sewn up 12” for a more comfortable fit.
Always welcome and in demand. This is our version of a baby sleep sack which should fit a child up to the age of 9 months. Since many of our little ones sleep on the floor, the KasCuddle is more effective than a baby blanket which can be kicked off. It is also useful during the day on cold winter days.
A few Cuddles have been sent that are too narrow and too long. Please make sure to measure as you go. When finished and laid flat, the Cuddle should measure about 15" wide and 30" from the beginning of the body (excluding the collar) to the bottom seam.
The Cuddle pattern as written is made all in one piece to allow for maximum stretch in all directions and therefore will fit a baby for several months. If you choose to make a Cuddle in several pieces (like squares or rectangles), please ensure that when assembling you stitch the seams in such a way that it will not remove the stretch from the garment.
Here's a 9 month old - still fitting into a Cuddle
SOCKS and UNDIES up to 6 years old
Very welcome indeed, always needed, and the children really enjoy receiving new panties, undershirts (singlets) and socks. Please be sure to remove all packaging and labels so they qualify as “used”.
TOYS AND OTHER SLIP-INS
We have all noticed the smiles on the faces of our children clutching their new cuddly toy in the distribution photos. It is a happy day when there are enough toys in stock so that each child can receive one. Whether you send purchased cuddlies or make them, you can be sure you have made a child very happy.
Other slip-ins that are treasured both by the care-givers and the children, are things like pencils, crayons, small picture books (purchased or homemade), toys like balls and skipping ropes, or anything you can think of that would delight a child. Posters, pictures etc. that will brighten creche walls are also very welcome.
There is an ongoing need for plastic sewing needles for assembling our blankets, so these are very welcome slip-ins.
Please be sure to remove all labels, price tags and packaging so items will qualify as ‘used’ for customs purposes. ALSO PLEASE JUST SLIP THESE ITEMS IN WITH YOUR SQUARES AND DO NOT MENTION THEM ON THE CUSTOMS SLIP. Ronda has been hit with some hefty customs charges if these are declared.
Knit-a Square, Private Bag X900, PO Bryanston 2021, South Africa
Please send all of items to the above address. Link to International Postage Mailing Instructions
Please ensure that NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, FOR CHARITY ONLY is written on our parcels. We have to pay a small mandatory handling fee on any boxes, therefore, if your squares will fit comfortably, please send them in a package rather than a box. On the Customs Tickets simply write "GIFT" and the value as '$0' or '$1' (or whatever currency is used in your particular country)
As always KAS needs your donations. Even just a small amount of money per month makes a big difference. These monthly donations are used in South Africa to allow Ronda and our amazing volunteers to continue distributing the blankets, hats and garments. As well, they help to support other costs we often don't think about, like expenses to keep our website and forum online so that we can be in constant touch with our fellow Kasfolk.
You may also wish to visit the KAS Shop where you can purchase items like, gas for the KasVan, snacks and even a ream of paper for the children.
You will find an easy to use Paypal link on the right hand side of every page of the Forum and website which you can use for the all-important monthly donations by using "Subscribe", or for one-time donations use "Donate".
The above suggestions are guidelines only, but reflect the most pressing needs for the upcoming year. Everything you send is used, so this list is not meant to be rigid.
Thanks Anne for getting this together for everyone to guide us through the rest of the year!
Thanks for this Anne, It's good to be reminded of what's really required....X
Hi Anne...just double checking....yarn and knitting needles/crochet hooks still on the list??? I know its on the 2014 tally...just want to make sure...though having asked I plan to send my parcel while you are probably still asleep....but have told myself no more knitting til this lot is 'in the mail'...so it must go NOW!!....lol.
Thanks Anne you are a champ It is so good to have a list of the most needed for the year. I am very much a squares person so squares it is and few saved for Go Overs. Seeing squares turn into a garment is so much fun! Just a word I have had a bit of trouble with commercial pattern sweaters being disappointingly small in the neck openings too.
We are still stressing 3-9 for garments, Sue. Ronda suggested 3-6 for the undies this year. It could be that this is the age group that needs them most, and it may be easier to distribute them to the younger ones.
Sue, I couldn't agree more! We always need to consider that sweaters may be worn over other garments and nothing makes a kid more uncomfortable than a neckline or underarm that binds. Makes me itch just thinking about how it must feel!
The KAS patterns take this into account, and while they may seem a bit 'boxy', they are comfortable and should fit for a long time.
Wendy's mom, Sylvia, who sends such amazing sweaters, always uses patterns with generous raglan sleeves and she picks up extra stitches when doing the neck so they are very stretchy and comfortable. Wise woman!!
LOL Anne! Yes, my Mum is wise, but it took a little convincing on my part about necks on garments for her to alter the patterns. The first one she made the neck seemed very tight (it was a type that you double over and then sew down). I very carefully explained that though it was lovely it would be a shame if it didn't fit over the prospective recipients head.
For a while after she did jumpers with slash or button up necks so they would be an easier fit, but then she had the idea to pick up extra stitches so they would be looser. They are now also made single with the cast off row done loosely for extra stretch.
I didn't want to discourage her as she LOVES to knit and knitting for the KAS kids brings her a lot of pleasure. :-)
Wendy your mother makes beautiful sweaters and it would have been very disappointing if they had not fitted over the children's heads. She has hit on a bright idea of picking up extra stitches. Her slash neck jumpers are great too ! We LOVE her work and I can't believe how quickly she makes them!
Yes Bev - yarn needles, hooks etc. are still very much needed. They are the all-important tools that let the Gogos get involved in assembling blankets or making squares for themselves. I expect we may hear more about what is needed for the Gogos as the year unfolds.
Feeling jealous that you got your parcel in the mail! I have just finished my annual fundraiser and needed to hold back hundreds of squares as part of the display. Now I have to pack and mail them. The upside of this is that once I have posted them, I might discover that I still have a den - I know it's there somewhere under the piles of squares.
Sorry Anne...just reread what I asked you...was wondering if we were still sending skeins of yarn and knitting needles...I did read that yarn (sewing) needles were still needed....just didn't phrase my question properly....lol. I sent yarn anyway......lol....even if it only comes in handy for crocheting around blankets. :))
Glad you sent the yarn, Bev. I think it is very much needed. They probably do receive many squares without tails and having balls of yarn for assembly is essential. Speaking of tails...... I am in the process of adding them to a huge stack of squares - not getting much else done this week - but adding a tail is faster than making a whole square so I plod on...