Square Circle Forum

SQUARES SQUARES SQUARES!

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.

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! http://forum.knit-a-square.com/forum/categories/challenges-1/listFo...

Please include a note with your name, address, email address and a list of the contents of the package.


GARMENTS

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 – sorry for the confusion in this regard. 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 help 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.

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 – again sorry for the confusion! 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.

KASCuddles

We love these! Please keep knitting them. Here is a link to the knit-a-long that we had last year: http://allfororphans.com/kascuddleknit-a-long/

Please send all of these items to OUR knit-a-square address, here is the link to our postal instructions page: http://www.knit-a-square.com/postal.html


DUTY

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.


OTHER ITEMS

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. 

Toys – the toys go down an absolute treat as you would have seen from the photos on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Knitasquare . Please keep sending them!


DONATIONS

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: http://www.knit-a-square.com/knit-a-square-donate.html


Two new projects: 

The first one requires funds for Ronda to buy school shoes for Africa Ablaze. Africa Ablaze are currently running a rural school shoe appeal. We do not want shoes sent because they are too heavy, expensive and will definitely incur duty. However, funds donated to KAS can be used toward this appeal, so if you feel like giving some rural children school shoes, please donate here: http://www.knit-a-square.com/knit-a-square-donate.html

The other project we are working with is Aurora Schools project, which is to try and beat the Guinness Book of World Records largest hand-made blanket which is 2500 sq metres (MASSIVE) by Mandela Day THIS year! We have promised them knitting needles and double-knit, or other suitable yarns, to get them started in March. We are getting publicity through their effort and have also promised 250 - 400 blankets to fill in IF required on the day, and also we will help them lay out and cobble together (loosely) the 35-square blankets so that they may be UNcobbled afterwards and distributed. Therefore, knitting needles and yarn are greatly needed as well as plastic and steel wool-sewing needles! (Please send these items to the usual KAS address).

So there you are, the official 2012 wish list. Thank you all for your patience, and please remember, this is just a "wish list" a guideline for what makes our lives easier. It does not matter if you have not done these things, please still send the goods anyway they will all be used!

Just a thought – we are promised SUCH a cold winter here, if people want to pop just one undervest (singlet ?) and one pair of sox in each parcel they would be very welcome indeed.

I have about 6 vests in stock, but of course they sit here waiting for sufficient numbers to gather before I can distribute them.

The sox are flying out – they are extremely popular !

Again, sizes 3 – 10 yrs in all items are the most useful just now.

Just a little reminder for the kind people who purchase them please to remove any price tags or plastic clips - as Customs regards these a saleable products, and, therefore subject to Duty!

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Replies to This Discussion

It would be good to have clarification.  I'm assuming box means rigid sides.

Hey Linda, I have no idea why South African post does what it does, but I'll write to Ronda and see if she knows.

Hi Anne

Please don't change the way you post. This is just a guideline. Only if possible we ask that people send squares in packages but if that's not possible boxes are fine. Thank you very much for raising this.

I think the fees change all the time (South African post has a mind of it's own) but of course all donations are gratefully received. We just ask that people donate where they can and if they can send parcels great. Otherwise carry on as you were.

Handling fees in SA are different at every post office. Maybe even different for every postal worker and customs agent who looks at the package. Asking "why" will get you some strange looks!

First - the handling fee. If Customs pulls your package for inspection there is a flat fee for customs to do paperwork. The flat fee is usually R25 or R35 (I've even had a R15 fee once). R35 is US$4.67 or GBP2.93 or CAD$4.62.

If the customs agent decides that the package doesn't incur additional fees then the flat fee of R25 is all that is due before the package can be released. However, sometimes the customs agent will decide that the items have value. They will then assign charges based on the declared value. 14% for VAT plus an import duty which could be between 20 and 40%.

If you send 100 squares and declare the value to be $1.00 each - then Ronda could be faced with a duty of R303, VAT of R106 and the R35 flat fee. Ouch. But remember this is just a worst-case scenario!! And it definitely does NOT happen just because you packed a box instead of a envelope.

Box shaped packages seem to get pulled out by customs (and assigned the flat fee) more frequently then envelope shaped packages. So the request for packaging other then boxes is just to get as much as possible through customs without any fees.

Thanks for clarifying some of this, Michelle.  I guess all we can do is hope for merciful customs agents. It's too bad that the government doesn't have some sort of policy to protect projects like KAS when the need is so great.

Thanks so much for all the information Kalai! Would it be all right with you for me to post this directly on my blog? Congratulations on the new projects!

Please do Laurie!

Super! Thanks so much!! :)

Thanks Kalai !

Large birdseed and dry cat and dogfood bags turned wrong side out so printing on inside make great bags to send donations and will hold as much as a box. Just secure well with packing tape.Yarn I order from China comes in packages like that.

The dog food bags are a good idea, but won't work for me. I send, from our church, a large volume of squares. Between July and September 2011, I mailed 61 boxes - that would be a lot of dog food - don't know how I would ever find that many bags. The other problem is staying within the 90cm limit to take advantage of the "small packet rate". The post office measures every box - one cm. over the limit and I have to pay double since it moves up into the next size category.

Don't you just love it when the parcel is over by a cm....my postal clerks smashed down the box for me to get it under the limit.

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