Square Circle Forum

KNIT-A-SQUARE WISH LIST 2016

Over the years Knit-a-Square has grown rather organically and kindhearted members have been sending an ever increasing variety of goodies, but it has become essential for Knit-a-Square to have an appraisal and re-evaluate its whole approach in order for the office team to comfortably handle the number of items arriving. 

In future Knit-a-Square will ONLY be able to distribute squares, assembled blankets, hats, hand-warmers and cuddly toys. All other items, as mentioned below, will be distributed through a third-party and not directly by KAS.

The focus for the coming year, and for some time to come will be :

 

 

Squares for blankets   -   Hats & Hand-warmers   -   Cuddly Toys

In order to make life easier for the office team we need the following assistance :

 

SQUARE REQUIREMENTS  

  • Please lay the squares flat for posting, and avoid rolling into sausages.
  • Please do not wrap the squares in plastic cling wrap - they arrive smelly!
  • Bundled into square packs of 35 if there are enough of them.

 

  • You are welcome to sew your squares into blankets of 5x7 squares (see chart at bottom of the page) but must only declare that your package contains knitted squares. [Crocheters often find it easier to crochet the squares into strips and then crochet the strips together.]

 

 

HATS & BEANIES

  • Ronda mentioned that the ribbed hats are the best as they grow with the child. Sizing - if it fits the knitter then it will fit the child comfortably.
  • However, please avoid square hats, as for some reason the children get ridiculed for having "ears"!

 

 

HAND-WARMERS

  • Again hand-warmers that are ribbed are comfortable and grow with the child.
  • Please place one hand-warmer inside the other in order to keep them together.
  • Please avoid tying them together or using safety pins as these must be removed prior to distribution and it is fiddly and time consuming.

 

CUDDLY TOYS

  • The children absolutely adore receiving their own personal 'present' of a cuddly toy - and they bring joy beyond measure for so many children who have never experienced the wonder of "ownership".
  • Hand knitted toys or store bought toys are welcome, but all price tags must be removed to avoid customs problems.
  • Second hand toys are accepted as long as they are in good condition. 

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS THAT ARE WELCOME

  • Yarn - we always need yarn to sew together and edge the blankets.
  • Yarn needles - we always need these for sewing the blankets - both plastic and metal are great.
  • Crochet hooks - 4.0mm (US size G/6, UK/Canadian size 8) for edging the blankets so they remain strong.
  • We do not need any more knitting needles at this stage - we have a box full!

 

 

TO HELP US COPE AND STREAM-LINE THE OFFICE OPERATION, THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE LIKELY TO BE DISTRIBUTED THROUGH A TRUSTED THIRD PARTY IN THE FUTURE :

 

Jumpers and Grace Vests : Have already been successfully distributed by Erica Lüttich from the Outreach Foundation. However, although Erica sent lots of photographs of the children wearing the garments, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible each time.

 

Toothbrushes, tissues and toiletry items : A third party distributor has yet to be identified, but church outreach departments will help.

 

Store bought or second-hand clothing : Will be distributed through Wandi and the Methodist Church quarterly outreach gatherings.

 

Underwear : All underwear will be given to the Rape Crisis Centre in Beoni which deals with many children up to the age of 14 in all crisis situations.

 

Socks : A third party distributor has yet to be identified.

 

KasCuddles & Baby Items : Will be distributed via Hotel Hope and Sister Susan at the Baragwanath Hospital Maternity Ward.

 

 

GENERAL POSTING & PACKING NEEDS

  • Completing the Packing Slip is a huge help to the team at the office - thank you. Here is the link to the discussion page where you will find 3 documents including a large print version listed on the bottom left : Revised Packing Slip


  • The new message to be printed on parcels is : 

BONA FIDE GIFT

FOR CHARITY

NO COMMERCIAL VALUE

  • Customs Ticket - please only write a value of '0' or '1' - anything higher will result in Knit-a-Square being charged duties, which they well cannot afford, resulting in parcels being returned to customs authorities for re-assessment. THIS can result in non-receipt in the long run.
  • Please do not register or insure your parcels - it automatically assumes a "monetary value" on the parcel and this is what causes the problems with SA Customs & Excise!
  • Please continue to use the usual address at Bryanston, as this branch is re-opening in a new location on 21st December!

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Joan, this is a beautiful set for a young lady!!!  I love the colors in your yarn ... especially the blue part :)  And your little butterflies are absolutely precious!  xo

Lovely start to the New Year and they have run out of handwarmers so you are right on the ball !

I have three questions, all pertaining to bundling squares.

1. I note that you request us to bundle squares in groups of 35 if possible. Yet on the FAQ page it says this:

- Each blanket is made up of squares from dozens of different countries. That means that when a child wraps themselves up in that blanket, they're getting a hug from the whole world. A 'global blanket of love'!

If you're requesting us to bundle squares in 35, presumably to make up one blanket, does mean that creating blankets made from squares from all over the world is no longer a priority? I've always liked the idea of giving the children an international hug, but I understand if that is logistically difficult.

2. For squares that don't make up 35, do we still bundle them in 5's and 10's?

3. And a question I've always wanted to ask – what's the preferred method of bundling groups of squares? Tying them with yarn, putting them in plastic bags, wrapping them in paper, or some other method?

It sounds like plastic bags get smelly if cling wrap does !   I  think Ronda likes to recycle all she can so paper would be better but just what is convenient for you. 5's and 10's allows for them to be mixed with others around the world. Even when sending 35 it is probably easier to wrap them in smaller lots. Someone else may be able to give you other advice. Thank you for asking and for considering the team in SA when the squares arrive.

Hi Ladies. Just went back to page 1 of this discussion where Wendy from Oz asked Pam if ziplock plastic bags were ok for packaging squares and Wendy H replied (thru Pam) that ziplock plastic bags are fine, its the cling film that (probably doesn't allow the squares to breathe at all) creates the 'smelly' squares problem.

"I note that you request us to bundle squares in groups of 35 if possible."

I think that with the increasing number of squares being received in South Africa, it has become necessary to possibly have some squares 'pre bundled' in a blankets worth to try to ease the burden on the limited number of volunteers available in South Africa, Maggie.  I am imagining that it is quite time consuming collecting 35 squares of a similar size, complementing colours, etc to put into a blanket pack......but this suggestion of sending blankets worth of squares is just a suggestion to save a little time, if and where possible. Knit A Square will always greatly appreciate any squares that our caring friends make and send, whether they be in bundles of 5, 10, 35 or any other quantity that our creators are able to send.

I tie my squares in bundles (up til now, in 5's or 10's) with left over scraps of yarn, then either put them in zip lock bags or in a big plastic bag, wrap and send.

Thank you for your questions.

I have mine in groups of 10 tied round with yarn a few times 1. for stability of the parcel of 10 and 2. so the yarn could be taken off and used for sewing up if needed.  I have then put them into plastic posting envelopes or large rubble bags sealed down for posting.  If I have had to use a card container to post, I have put them in carrier bags - the cheap ones you used to get free from the supermarkets here in the UK.  As I am posting off stuff from a large number of knitters I am nots sure that I can afford to pay for the posting materials and also the ziplock bags, which are a bit expensive here and only seem to be sold in one of the town's supermarkets (not the one I usually use, of course!).

As I am sending 100+ at a time - sometimes 200 or 300 - I find I need to have the 10s to get near to the 2kg for the post office economy post.  I will see how many I can get into my parcel and then see how many I pack them into - 10s or 35s or a mix of the two.

Rebecca, bundling in groups of 10 is fine. When you are sending that many there will definitely be more than 35 in a parcel and you do want to maximize the parcel.  A concern is with smaller parcels containing 2 or 3 squares.  This was the original request when Knit-a-Square started and some people think this is how the squares should be sent.  It would be lovely to have the squares sorted into batches of 35 all ready to send to the Gogos but that isn't always possible !

Don't worry about the ziplock bags, they are only a suggestion.  As long as the parcel is waterproof the squares will be fine.

The numbers suggested, into 10's, into 35's, is just for those sending larger square amounts. Even flat bundles of 5 squares is just great.  It's keeping the squares flat, sewing in any tiny ends and butterflying the longer end, that matters most.  Not everyone is sending huge amounts of squares and you do not have to wait to have 35 squares before you mail them in. :)

Thanks for the replies, Sue and Bev. I'll be bundling my squares with yarn, in whatever quantities I have.

I 'm not a natural beanie knitter, can anyone tell me how long to knit a ribbed beanie before the decreases?  Is a brim required or not?   Many thanks  x

Hi Roz

Here is a copy of Wendy's new beanie pattern (you can see some made by a few folk in the photo section in the past week or so), which should give you a guide.  :))

Double Knit Chunky Rib Hat

Materials:

Approximately 55 grams of 8 Ply Acrylic Yarn. 7.5 mm knitting needles (can be circular or straight needles as preferred, I used circular). Yarn needle for sewing up.

Using 7.5 mm needles & 2 Strands of 8 ply yarn, Cast on 60 stitches.

Knit in K2, P2 rib until hat measures 6.5 inches

Crown Shaping

Row 1: K2T, P2 (45 sts rem)

Row 2: K1, P2

Row 3: K1, P2T (30 sts rem)

Row 4: K1, P1

Row 5: K1, K2T (20 sts - rem)

Row 6: Knit

Row 7: K2T (10 sts rem)

Cut yarn, leaving a long end (for sewing). Thread yarn into yarn needle & thread through remaining stitches. Draw up tightly & fasten off securely. Stitch seam.

Many thanks Bev, 6.5 inches it is...........x

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