It all started in February 2011. Our son and his Canadian wife and their baby daughter visited us from Canada. We went to an Alpaca farm in Ridgley Tasmania to buy a scarf. We finished up buying wool and I taught my daughter-in-law to knit.
I had previously tried to knit for Africa and had a pink hat in the cupboard that was not good enough to send. It actually fitted my granddaughter so she wears it with pleasure. That pink ball of wool beckoned me.
After the visitors had gone I decided to give knitting for Africa another go. I googled 'knit a square' as I had heard of this idea. I choose knit-a-square.com because I did not have to sew the blankets together.
I started knitting but did not join the forum for a few months. It was amazing to have encouragement from so many lovely people.
At the time I started the squares I also decided to photograph the process to make a book for my granddaughter. I had made her ten books previously using digital photography and water colour artwork. Well the book was printed in Japan via my MacBook Pro and then I wrote another one. I asked Sandy and Kalai if I could put 'visit www.knit-a-square.com' on the back of the second book. They agreed.
I am retired and I live on my savings and one day I was in the local shops. I had fifteen dollars in my wallet. I asked myself what should I do, buy some food or mail my parcel of 500g to Africa. I posted the parcel and had vegemite sandwiches for dinner. I thought I have to find a way to finance that postage. I buy wool in various places and some friends have gifted wool to me.
I devised a plan to publish the two little books into one with forty pages and a cardboard template to cut out a wool-girl. I decided to put the knitting pattern under "knit patterns" for the outfit on the KAS website, to encourage visits there.
The characters in the book have a life outside the pages and they live that life on the Community forum on-line in the cyber-world of KAS.
I have had amazing fun knitting the squares and some small vests etc. It has been a positive influence on my health and well being and while it might seem there is some risk in financing a book, CD of a slideshow of the book, and greeting cards to raise funds for KAS. It spurred me on when I read about Ronda Lowrie's almost bald tyres on her blanket-carrying car.
Thank you to all the community members who have given me love and encouragement and to Team South Africa and to the McDonald family.
Look out for that pink ball of wool when you read "Wool-Girl and the Balls of Wool"
Maudie Bryan - I swim, I beach-comb, I bush walk and I knit squares for Africa.
I am just experimenting so see if the blog on "MY PAGE" also appears under the link via the DiscussionsCategories - under Meeting You and Members Personal Blogs link.
Maudie, what a lovely progression of events that culminated in your Wool-Girl book.
Thank you for your comment. I have all the details in my Wool-Girl and the Balls of Wool discussion under Spread the Word and I started a blog on my page with 'forum only' comments and thoughts. Yesterday when I was reading Andrea P.'s blog I was able to share her year's photo of squares on Facebook and then realised that my blog could be shared on Facebook too.
I leapt out of bed and deleted all my blog posts via my page because some of the comments were private and not suitable to be out in the world.
I am still trying to sell my books and still knitting. :)
Do new people realise they can buy your books and donate them to crèches via Ronda? Or just buy the books?
Well there is no system to let people know. Pam usually puts a 'heads up' in the KasSnippets once a year. So I could send her a little blurb covering your idea Susan dear.
I will post some news tomorrow re a new outlet for Wool-Girl and new knitters for KAS>
Just back from a road trip and puffed out but thank you for your comment.
Below is the list of retail outlets where Wool-Girl and the Balls of Wool is now sold.
The Wool Shop Main Road Moonah,
The Salamanca Wool Shop, Salamanca Place Hobart,
Oatlands Handmade in Oatlands,
The Stash Cupboard in Liverpool St. Hobart,
Lyrebird in Liverpool Street Hobart.
Wool Sew 66 Alexandra Road Ulverstone
Here is a photo of the latest shop - Wool Sew -
Maudie I am only now discovering the blogs here and I must say this is the best use I've ever seen of a fashion mannequin!
Now then....I'm wondering if I should invest in an outfit like that. If I do, both my husband and cats will leave home double quick. Although I think they'd probably make me leave!
I'm so pleased your books are being retailed in lots of stores. I think the idea is fantastic.
Ha ha wouldn't it be fun to photoshop someone's head on top. Don't hold your breathe that will not be coming from me!!
That's a very inviting name for a store, I'd be sure to get lost in there for an hour or two!
I see my dream job.......and the perfect name for a store!!!!!!