KasSnippets - February 2014
REPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Reporting KAS in South Africa :
YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD OR TOO YOUNG TO HELP KAS !
Towards the end of last year Wendy and I visited a lovely retirement home – Waterval Retirement Village. Established in 1983, Waterval Retirement Village is located on Johannesburg’s West Rand. There are 162 units of varying sizes and design that are set in wonderful gardens within a quiet and friendly environment. A group of the residents get together on a regular basis and knit squares and beautiful toys for KAS. We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea and a slice (or two!!!) of cake with these ladies before leaving with a KASvan full of their goodies. We are hoping we will be able to get some more retirement homes on board and see if they cannot help with our backlog.
To read the full report please click here
WE NEED OFFICES!
As you can see from the above photograph, the situation is almost intolerable for Ronda and the team, and, unless, we do something it will grind Knit-a-Square to a complete halt. Wendy has been desperately searching for replacement offices, and, in order to prevent us being thrown out at a moments notice, we will need to pay rent and sign a lease. Eventually we hope to attract BBEE funding to help pay for some of the rent, which is likely to be in the region of $600 per calendar month.
Please see the appeal below with a link to the donation page which has been specifically set up for the rent appeal - we will report back on the fund and progress made in next months KasSnippets.
Sorting Space Appeal
Help our volunteers to sort and sew squares in a warm, safe environment by supporting our sorting space fund.
For over six months in 2013, KAS in South Africa was housed by a generous local sponsor, but unfortunately that wonderful arrangement drew to a close at the start of 2014. The South Africa team have been scouting for some time now to find a suitable replacement facility, and in February they found one!
This facility covers all of their needs, and will allow the team to get back to sorting and making up blankets in a proper space rather than ‘hopping’ between people’s garages. It does come at a price though, and while we will be searching for another corporate sponsor we will still need to pay rent for the first few months at least.
If you are able to help us pay rent on this new space, we would appreciate it massively! Anything you are able to donate through the accommodation fund will go towards the rent and to other costs associated with moving into, setting up, and operating within this space.
Here is the link direct to the Appeal Donation Page
As Ronda said in an email to me today, "We have arrived literally at the precipitous choice - move on or wind down."
ADDITION TO THE KNIT-A-SQUARE SHOP
A SEWING KIT FOR THE GOGOS !
Help older women in the communities to assemble blankets, and learn the skills to make their own hand-crafted items, by buying a sewing kit for $9
This new item was specifically created in response to some of the feedback in January that members wanted to (a) be able to support the Gogos who do such a fantastic job assembling squares in South Africa, and, (b) have more options to make donations for less than $10. We bandied a few ideas back and forth with the SA team, and borrowed some thoughts from the New Year thread, and we have a few great ideas for future shop items. This is the first of them!
Gina Shepherd is going to lead on this, providing the tuition and liaising with the various Gogo Groups who very much want coaching and guidance. This progressive step forward will start as soon as we have found new offices. Gina has promised to start a discussion to provide members with updates, development progress, and, photographs.
Erica keeps a record of all shop purchases and we try our best to ensure that there is at least a 1-to-1 match with South African purchases. If you choose a sewing kit, there will absolutely be one additional sewing kit purchased for the Gogos!
The sewing kits may vary, as one of the Gogos might be interested in learning to knit, so she might get knitting needles in her sewing kit. Another might want to crochet and therefore provided with a hook instead.
Long term our desire is that the Gogos will be able to mend clothes for family, friends or neighbours and become very self-sufficient. Repairing their own clothes, or making small items for themselves more cheaply than buying new, whilst, at the same time, recycling materials. It will also help to raise their personal self-esteem to know that KAS members value their services and wish to be supportive.
The Sewing Kit Link
To read more about this KAS development please see
also, on page 1 of the discussion, Erica answers in full detail a valuable question from Jeanne, in regard the whole process of purchasing from the KasShop.
Please go to the Knit-A-Square Shop today and purchase something special to support the day-to-day operations (KasOps) directly in South Africa.
"KAS REACHES GREAT HEIGHTS FOR CHILDREN"
A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD !
This challenge is going to take us around the planet whilst reaching great heights & piles of squares - 178,000 to be precise, in order to reach the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town in South Africa!
We are going to need 50 squares for every foot climbed!
During the past month we have dashed back and forth across the globe, visiting Australia, France, Russia, the USA, Japan, Canada, Africa, and Colombia! Currently we are in London, but probably not for long!
Our 5th target in this challenge was the delightful Greyfriars Bobby's statue who sits at the corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland - and was suggested by Mary who has gone on to use him to spread-the-word about KAS!
Mary managed to get a picture and mention in The Herald, one of the two daily Scottish broadsheet papers!
Then this sketch was captured by The Edinburgh Sketcher, who is a sort of drawing diarist and added the picture to his blog today. Mary reported that on the day Bobby still had his blanket and the pictures were being shared widely on Twitter and Facebook.
The wonderful contribution by the Granny Greens promoting Knit-a-Square!
7.5 feet or 2.3 metres of squares required to reach the top
KAS still has a surplus of hats & beanies, therefore please would those of you who make hats switch to squares as essentially, 1 hat = 3 squares and will help build the piles to reach our target just that bit quicker!
Here is the link to KAS Reaches Great Heights for Children
WHAT'S GOING ON IN SOUTH AFRICA?
More distributions will take place soon, however, we have a report only received in December regarding the distribution of Knit-a-Square goodies on Mandela Day 18th July 2013 to the Emndeni Children's Home in Zola.
KAS didn't participate in this particular distribution as we had 3 of our own to deal with! Three young Canadian women who are currently (or were) volunteering with the Department of Health in Soweto performed the honours as part of their Mandela Day outreach.
To see the report and photographs, please click here
You might also enjoy reading a report from Mama Ntombi Community Projects
Olwethu promoted to Grade 2 !
Just three weeks into the new school term, we were informed by Olwethu's Teacher that she is doing so well at school that they feel she should be promoted to Grade 2. You will recall that Olwethu was abandoned when she was one month old and rescued by social services. Her father came to know about his child and took her home to live with him and his mother. When Olwethu was 6 years old and enrolled in Grade 1, her mother came to the school and abducted her. She made her beg on the streets and when she did not bring enough money home, she was beaten up. At 9 years old her plight was once again brought to the attention of social services and she was reunited with her grandmother and father. Her father is unemployed and her grandmother is old and sickly. MNCP is therefore taking her of all her school requisites and providing other relief to the family.
by Anne Powell
The list is put together each year in consultation with Ronda and the team in South Africa, to ensure that we meet the needs of the children in the best way possible. The list covers squares, garments, KasCuddles, as well as suggestions for slip-in contributions. We do appreciate members not only checking the requirements, but spread-the-word about the new sizes, and, that we have an over-load of hats per blanket ratio.
SQUARES, SQUARES and more SQUARES
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.
Here is the link to the KAS Wish List Guidelines for 2014
THE BLANKET ROOM COLLECTION !
The Blanket Room Collection - is still being added to despite the current lack of offices! One blanket in particular (see below), sparked a wonderful worldwide team-working effort in an attempt to work out how the squares were created! Thankfully, Gina stepped forward and made contact with Anne Connor (Canada) where they originated from. Anne has now joined the Forum and provided the details, and, because of the interest, this square will be added to the KAS Pattern Book.
& Stitch Witch News
Last year the Stitch Witches made contact with Ons Tuiste residential home. Recently they broke their previous record and provided 550 squares for more blankets for the children of the JBay Recycling Project!
On one of the hottest days of the year, one happy customer still opts to spend her tokens on a beautiful Stitch Witch blanket! (Does she know something we don't!)
Other news from JBay : This week, they have received calls from Community Chest PE and Child Welfare Bloemfontein, both are keen to visit the project to assist, or, set up their own swop shops!!!
Please click here for Latest JBay Photographs
SORTED IN AFRICA
Here are a couple of opening day photographs. To see more open day photographs please go to Sorted in Africa
We do have to say thank you and farewell to our wonderful USA volunteer - Lesley - who has been helping Ronda and the team, but sadly (for us) has to return to America. Thank you Lesley from the worldwide membership of KAS!
A final hug from Ronda!
Unfortunately, due to yet another postal strike there is very little to share this month, however, here is a lovely photo of Abegail with more blankets and a reminder of our former offices!
SPREADING THE WORD!
Knit-a-Square has been given a lovely big space, which the team are planning to yarn-bomb. There will be an area where the public can come and sew blankets, or knit and crochet!
The goal is to create awareness of Knit-a-Square and hopefully attract more volunteers, funding and crafters who will make items for us. Its a great opportunity and the audience at the show is perfect for KAS. The exhibition attracts around 30,000 visitors. Gina's been given a very restricted spending budget from her husband!!!
To read more details please click here
The Knit for Life Team
Last chance to vote - the competition close on 28th February.
Pam Johnson & Elaine Jones are trying to win £300 ($450) to buy yarn for their teams of ladies to knit squares for KAS! You can help by voting for them every week (I do on a Monday). The competition started on 4th November and runs for 16 weeks. Although Knit for Life hasn't won yet, but we are amongst the most viewed profile - so they are in with a very good chance! To read more go to Knit for Life.
To vote, please go to the Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund
Maureen (Maudie) Bryan continues to support Knit-a-Square through her Wool-Girl books
We know that Kasers already give very generously, but some of you may have friends who would like to help Maudie (Maureen) Bryan help KAS with money for fuel the KasVan.
The soft cover forty page book is now available free shipping from www.tassiestore.com and can be mailed anywhere in the world or by adding a note can be sent to the children in the creches in South Africa via Ronda.
The e-book which has a different cover is available in ePub format from Lulu.com and can be read on many devices which are listed there, an ePub reader is a free download; iBookstore, iTunes and GooglePlay.
KAS MONTHLY CHALLENGES
Lead by Linda Maltby (Canada)
Here is the list for the rest of the year!
MARCH - AROUND THE WORLD IN 30 DAYS! - Bev Jeffery
APRIL - COLOUR COLLISION - Elaine Jones
MAY - MELLOW YELLOW - Sunshine, flowers & all things yellow - Sue Gillman
JUNE - DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD - Robin Monsees
JULY - STRIPES, ZIG ZAGS & TEXTURES & MANDELA DAY THEME - Anne Powell
- Susan Haines
SEPTEMBER - VARIEGATED YARN - Gitta Seyfert
OCTOBER – FAVOURITES – favourite yarn, patterns etc - Mary Anne Fellows
NOVEMBER - BUGS, SLUGS & HUGS - Linda Maltby
DECEMBER - UN-CHALLENGE - time to relax, have fun, and get ready for the holidays - Susan Haines
TALLY or ITEM COUNT
January Square Lists are ready for viewing.
Received in January : Squares 14,290 (408 blankets);
Tops 166 and Beanies 691
MARCH PATTERN OF THE MONTH
by Linda Maltby
Wheel Spoke Square
a crochet pattern by Linda
The wheel-style centre adds an interesting focal point to this solid crochet square.
The wheel spoke is also effective when made with one colour.
Working with one colour is recommended when making the pattern for the first time.
Here is an attractive variation.
Using a contrasting colour for the wheel spoke creates an impressive centre.
The colour change in the borders adds extra pop.
The Wheel Spoke crochet pattern
is one of the many patterns to be found in the
If you see another pattern you would like to try, please do!
OF THE MONTH AWARD
Edited this month by Pam Antink
The Square Heart Award for February 2014
is for Laurie Fortier,
Quebec City - Canada
Laurie joined the Forum in January 2010 and has been incredibly active and supportive ever since! In addition to creating squares, Laurie generously sent other peoples' squares alongside her own.
Laurie has a very busy lifestyle and teaches at Garneau College in Quebec City, and, is a Moderator for Knit-a-Square. On top of this she writes the KasBlog, has been hosting the Square Heart Award, looking after Pinterest for KAS, and helped me with posting on Facebook! Sadly, Laurie has had to step down from all her work and the roles for KAS due to an extreme attack of Rheumatoid Arthritis. We are all holding Laurie in our hearts and are hoping that with rest and peace, she will make a complete recovery.
To read the rest of the award, please click here
KAS FACEBOOK PAGE
Karla from the Czech Republic created this beautiful square to commemorate the Sochi Winter Olympics - KAS style!
it was the lovely words that Karla used to describe KAS members that touched our hearts.
"I was inspired by all KAS knitters. We are also from different countries all over world, but we don't compete - we co-operate. We don't want to be better than others, but we help/advise each other. Sometimes, when I read your comments, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you, fellow knitters, for your kindness."
A sentiment with which we will all agree with!