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.
Ooooh myyyy, look at all the lovely spindles for spinning thread, the paddles for combing it and so on. And all beautiful naturally colored wools too. Lovely!
Love the look of the shops. Each one has its own character. Kudos to the ownwers for stocking Wool-Girl books!
I totally agree!
I have just had an exciting email from Lulu.com. My Wool-Girl and the Balls of Wool e-book will be available on Kindle from next week. They will also offer it to other companies so that the range of devices on which it can be viewed will increase. All I need now is sales and it could be flying high for KAS. Fingers crossed.
Wonderful news, Maudie! Without your persistence, this wouldn't happen.
Thank you Mili. All good.
I was so excited when Lulu.com told me I could see my Wool-Girl ebook on Kindle but alas I have been on to the site and I need to be a USA citizen to list on Kindle and Kobo. I have got my book on MY Kobo by downloading it and then uploading it from my computer hard drive but customers cannot be expected to do that. People just want to download things to their device.
So alas I am disappointed again.
I have just been checking Lulu.com reviewing and so on and it is far out of my budget to do any of that so I wonder how anyone will ever find my little fund raiser book hidden in the the iBookstore, Lulu.com, iTunes and GoogleBooks.
Mmmm that is funny I put it on iTunes and GoogeBooks myself and the tax issue was not mentioned there. Who knows.
Wool-Girl is still out there spreading the word for KAS. A friend is raising money for a well in a village in Tanzania so i gave her 20 copies of Wool-Girl and the Balls of Wool to sell on their stall. I also gave her plenty of book marks to give away so one day someone new in Tasmania will start knitting for KasCare I am sure.
I have just had an email from GooglePlay to tell me that they are now reaching an additional 32 countries with their products so one day someone will surely see the e-book and buy it.
I am currently knitting myself a vest. A friend gave me three balls of wool for my birthday - it is very bright - orange, yellow and green. I bought three more balls to do the back, as I was feeling a bit stripey. I just used the ideas I use when I knit the squares for the children.