KasSnippets - July 2015



by Ronda Lowrie

Ronda and Wendy and the team have been very busy with distributions and MedLemon Training, but will be catching up with reports very soon. 

Ronda did find time to mention that Mandela Day was great – we have a list of 14 activities in which KAS was involved, directly or indirectly.

Spoor & Fisher chose Knit-a-Square for their company's 67 Minutes for

Mandela Day

Sandy and Wilma delivering the contribution from all the staff at Spoor & Fisher

along with a much appreciated collection of R1,000 towards the office rent!

To read the full story please click here





Pay the Office Rent for a Day



Every year, on July 18, the world celebrates Mandela Day, birthday of Nelson Mandela. We honour him by giving 67 minutes of time to helping a good cause of our choice. This year, we Kasfolk decided to form a team called MANDELA MAMAS to honour him, by donating to our Pay the Rent fund to enable Ronda and her team to carry on our important work.

When we started this team, most days in July, August and September were green (unpaid) on the Pay the Office Rent calendar. We have managed to turn all of July pink (paid) and we've even spilled over a bit into August.

We became a team of 42 MANDELA MAMAs (and a couple of PAPAs) and we have managed to pay for 26 days!  On behalf of Ronda, an enormous thank you to everyone who participated.

Did you miss it??? Are you disappointed?

The pressing need to help Ronda and her team goes on.... Don't worry...something BIG is coming...Here's a clue...


Dear KasFriends
You are cordially invited to
attend Ronda's 70th birthday party. 
RSVP: ANYTIME during August
Last year on her birthday, Ronda found great happiness in distributing OUR contributions to some darling little children.
Here is the link: My 2014 Birthday Treat
This year it would be really special if WE were able to surprise Ronda by paying the office rent for the WHOLE of her birthday month. Imagine the relief Ronda would feel in not having to wonder where the money  was going to come from, for a whole month.....so.......please, let's present Ronda with the ultimate KAS birthday gift from our wonderful community.
A friendly suggestion that may enable you to participate: Stashbust your existing yarn supplies this month and with the money you may have spent on yarn, contribute to Ronda's birthday gift (i.e office rent) instead. 
Image result for free images for curly cues 

We would love for you to join us in giving Ronda a party she will NEVER forget. Become one of Ronda's Revellers!

Pay the Office Rent for a Day





In South Africa, it is often the women of the community who help KAS to assemble squares into beautifully hand-sewn blankets for the children. To help support these women and their families in turn, we like to provide a small, per-blanket payment in appreciation.

These women are a vital part of the KAS team. With the huge volume of squares we are receiving, they are the ones who make it possible for us to wrap ever more children in warm blankets.

We have just heard from Ronda that Blanket Support this month has amounted to R5000 - that's equivalent to $500USD - and represents a lot of blankets assembled and a fairly large outlay of funds from our strained budget.

To purchase a Blanket Support and help Knit-a-Square continue to say thank you to these ladies, please visit the KAS SHOP HERE


Members have mentioned that school supplies are on sale right now in the northern hemisphere and it is very tempting to stock-up on pencils, crayons and other goodies to send as slip-ins.

Since these goodies are heavy and expensive to mail, we would just like to remind contributors that the KasShop has items such as Colouring Books & Crayons, Reading Books, Learning Posters and a Ream of Paper, each of which sell for only $5USD. By ordering through the KasShop, members can save themselves the cost of postage and Ronda can make choices and quantities suitable for the needs of the day-care centres she visits.



 The KASVan is making its way towards the Knit-a-Square Offices.  Every 250 squares the Van moves 100 metres(328 feet) on the track.

The real KASVan is much busier than the graph shows:

  • Many times during the week it travels to the Post Office to pick up parcels. 
  • On distribution days, it delivers blankets and other items to the needy crèches in areas surrounding Johannesburg.
  • A few weeks ago, the Van took parcels of completed blankets back to the Post Office to be sent to Cape Town. Once there, Ronda’s daughter Sian along with Camille Quine of Little Libraries, distributed the blankets to poor children in the area.    

To add your squares to the total : please click here




Sadly another 10 parcels had an import tax levelled at a total of $105 for Knit-a-Square because people keep writing values on the customs ticket in the country of origin - as we cannot waste valuable donations, they are returned to South African Revenue & Customs in the hope they will be re-assessed, even so we will still be required to pay something in order to bail them out.

The parcel was valued by the sender at $50 - which received an

import levy charge of $17!

Consequently, these parcels cannot be added to the Received Square Lists until they are returned.

The Post Master at Bryanston Post Office has suggested changing the message on the front of the parcels to :

Please visit the 2015 Revised Packing Slip

to download new slips and mailing label found at the bottom left-hand corner of the discussion.

Also, Sharon B (USA), has outlined how USA members can save 10% off the cost of postage by using the USPS online forms, also to calculate your postage : 

please click here and scroll down.

Please note that the over-valuing of parcels is a world-wide issue and we'd appreciate your help in spreading-the-word to anyone you know who is sending parcels to Knit-a-Square that customs tickets must have values of "0" or "1" at the most so that we are not wasting valuable donations paying import taxes that could be better used to pay the brilliant Gogos!

Also, the new message for the front of the parcels. Thank you so much.




BUYE and SONTHO who run 45 daycare centres in Dobsonville -

came to collect 20 more blanket packs and we will join them for distributions in August/Sept. 

Ronda commented : Marvellous women

See more pics : here




Link to recent photographs



Report from Little Libraries Facebook page : On 23rd July,  thanks to the generosity of Knit-a-square, we distributed 60 blankets to 3 schools in need. It was an array of colourful squares of love sewn together to counter the wet and cold weather we have been having in Cape Town.
Thank you so much to all who knitted those lovely squares and to

Knit-a-Square who made these blankets a reality

Link to Little Libraries Facebook page


 Mama Ntombi Community Projects

Our Breakfast Club is growing!

Solomon is now feeding 235 children every weekday morning from 6.00a.m.until 8.00am. The porridge is sponsored by JAM for which we are so grateful. It is a highly nutritious porridge which takes care of 75% of a child's nutritional requirement for the day. For many of the children this is the only nutritious meal they would be consuming for the rest of the day. We are grateful to all our partners who make it possible for us to continue the work we are doing.

Sandra Pillay commented : We are already seeing the benefits of this nutritious meal. The runny noses has stopped and the hair is no longer a reddish colour which is a sign of malnutrition but is black.

There are several news reports from Mama Ntombi and

Little Libraries to read them please click here



by Andrea Palmatier

Time to Celebrate!

July starts out as a festive month in my household, which is half American and half Canadian, as we celebrate both Canada Day on July 1 and Independence Day on July 4. Fireworks, barbecues and warmer weather abound to mark an official start to summer. But it’s also a reminder of how lucky we are to live in a place like North America and be able to give our time and energy to the children of South Africa.



To read the rest of this blog and others by Andrea

 please click here




 Knit-a-Square UK Big Day Out - July 18th 2015

On Saturday July 18th, nine KAS 'sisters', who had never met each other before, came together in York, in the north of England, to knit and crochet together on Nelson Mandela Day.

Moderator Heather Mensah organised this wonderful get-together for  KAS Members - result, enough squares to make a blanket and donations amounted to pay the office rent for a day! Plus a good time was had and more friendships consolidated through commitment to Knit-a-Square.

To read the full report and see lots of photographs 

please click here


Staff and students of Mairehau High School

Christchurch - New Zealand

have just completed our first blanket - it will be on its way soon. What a wonderful project this has been, and will continue to be. More people are getting involved every day - we couldn't get all the students in one photo but have boys and girls, ages 13 - 18, learning to knit and helping to create squares. Likewise, many of the staff are beginners - there are a few wee mistakes in the squares but they are definitely all made with love.



Put together by Christine Johnson

A gorgeous mixture of blankets from January onwards!

The Blanket Room Collection



for July 2015

Hosted by Susan Gillman of New Zealand

and Debbie Posmontier in the USA


Glorious Greens and Reds

As usual members must have been secretly planning their contributions, as right from the 1st of July, the Christmas squares started being posted on the photo tab in abundance!

July 2015 Royal Blue Sparkle SnowflakeJude's first Christmas colours square!July ThemeReindeerChristmas StripesJULY 2015 THEME - sparkly Christmas starJuly 2015 Christmas Wreathimage12.07.15 Xmas in July theme square no 3July Christmas theme: Red and whiteJULY THEME - Christmas: Glorious Greens and Reds!JULY 2015 THEME - Christmas: Glorious Greens and Reds!July - Tunisian Christmas StripesJuly 2015 - Christmas - Glorious Greens and Reds - Mandela DayXmas in Zuid -Afrika.Crocodile Stitch Dahlia20/7/15 July theme square no 7JULY 2015 THEME - Christmas: Glorious Greens and Reds!July 2015 - Christmas - Glorious Greens and Reds - Mandela DayJuly 2015 - Christmas - Glorious Greens and Reds!

     Here are some of the other goodies and much needed PJ's

My first 20 squares - Made in NYC - shipped from LondonHandwarmers and teddycuddle # 4Red SquareElephant toyMum's squareMarilyn (RJSK) and her Little PeopleJumper 61KAS CuddleJuly Chrismas Theme...Handwarmers 31 - 39JULY Christmas squaresJuly Theme.....scraps10 navy scarves and 40 squares!June Stripes (3)Colorful handwarmers/CLMeth

AUGUST -  "Flags - the international KAS community" - Heather Mensah

SEPTEMBER - Fabulous Faces - Smiley faces, Animal & People faces - Robin Monsees

OCTOBER - Grannies & Garters - Susan Donaldson

NOVEMBER - Oceans/Land/Sky/Space Valerie Zalewski supported by Linda Maltby

DECEMBER - Year End UFOs, Stash Busters, Plain Janes, Easy Peezies and other Favorites - Susan Haines


by Linda Maltby

The June Squares List is available.  

Visit www.knit-a-square.com  Click on “Received Squares”  

Updated Graphs are available HERE

In June, 18 239 squares were unpacked, sorted and made into blanket packs of 35 squares each.  This is an enormous job for the volunteers.  One way we can help is to bundle our squares in packs of 5 or 10.  

The volunteers are working very hard to make their way through the mountain of mail.  The Van goes to the Post Office at least twice a week to pick up the wonderful parcels arriving from around the world.

[See photos in Sorted In South Africa]

Squares: 18 239 (521 blankets)


by Linda Maltby

Framed Stripes square

A knit pattern by Anne Connor (Canada)

This is a lovely pattern for knitters because of the interesting

and attractive centre.

For anyone new to Intarsia knitting, the easiest way to cross the yarn and ensure that there are no holes when changing colours, is to take the strand you're knitting with, hold it firmly under the thumb of your left hand & bring the new colour up over it. 

Here is a YouTube demonstration:


The video also explains the use of bobbins. Bobbins are helpful with Intarsia knitting, but not necessary.

The Framed Stripes square pattern

is available in

The KAS Pattern Book




edited this month by Gloria Grandy





In January 2012, Arlene's gorgeous work (and her artistic way of photographing it) began to brighten up the pages of our monthly themes.  

Her work is designed to provide the children with warmth and a bit of pleasure.

This adorable little zebra found its way into a child's arms and put a huge smile on a tiny face!

To read the full report please click here


Sorted in South AfricaSorted in South AfricaAnimal CrackersimageTeddy Bears 13 - 16July Christmas ThemeBunny!Sorted in South AfricaAll in one BearElephant toy

Knit-a-Square broke through the 10,000 Likes (followers)
We have received an additional 156 Likes on the Facebook page so far during June-July period, taking our total to 10,195 !  
Also you might like to know that the KAS Song Video has now had 4,037 listens!

A number of Knit-a-Square members are not receiving group notices sent via the forum email system.  We have attempted to rectify this problem but it is not possible.  The change must be made by the members not the Ning system.

Mass mailings tend to be caught by spam filter programs.   If the forum messages have been caught in your spam folder, and you wish to receive emails from Knit-a-Square in the future, please do the following:

  1. Mark Knit--a-Square emails as not spam. 
  2. Add the Knit-a-square email address to your contact list.  [mail@forum.knit-a-square.com]

If the Spam filter is not the problem please change the settings on your profile page.

  • Click on ‘Settings’ on the top right side of the forum page. 
  • Go to ‘Email’ and tick all the boxes under ‘Square Circle Forum Messages’.


TOUR de FRANCE stage 14 win on 18th July for


Brilliant timing by Britain’s Steve Cummings, wearing an orange helmet to mark Nelson Mandela’s birthday, celebrates the stage 14 win. Cummings was riding for  MTN-Qhubeka, which is a Professional Continental cycling team based in South Africa. The team made history as the first African registered team to take part.


The MTN-Qhubeka rider Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the King of the Mountains' polka-dot jersey during the 2015 Tour de France

Now the pundits are saying, that they expect more talented cyclists from Africa to be standing on the podiums at the end of the stages of future Tour de France!



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  • I understand, Pam. These are new pictures I took of my first 20 squares before were shipped. There are not a new pile - I have 4 new ones ready, though - If this won't be confusing for KAS members I will change the setting. 



  • Great report Pam thank you. 

  • Thanks Pam , yet another great read.Money seems to be a real struggle, is it any worse than it normally is ?
    • We have to have an office Sharon, where the goods can be stored, a safe environment for Ronda and the volunteers to not only work in, but a relatively short safe driving distance. Wandi & Lindi come quite a distance from township areas. South Africa can be very volatile and dangerous at times. Ronda, used to work from her living room, but the parcels are arriving a rate that would fill her whole house. Not wishing to depress members, but without financial support we may have to consider running things down. Our lease finishes in February. We are likely to have to ask our kind-hearted members to consider taking a sabbatical from purchasing yarn to help keep things going. Sadly, one reads about donors giving thousands of dollars to charity and it gets wasted, yet Knit-a-Square which takes direct action and does make a difference struggles. Everyone is doing their best!

      • Oh my goodness! This has upset me greatly and can't be allowed to happen. The ladies do such a magnificent job and work really hard to make sure that our items find their way to keep a vulnerable child warm and comforted. I can't promise not to buy yarn, but I can make sure I can offer some financial support to pay for office space and I'm sure others can too. For purely selfish reasons, I have no idea what I would do without KAS. Let's hope it doesn't come to that, and fairy god mothers or angels come to the rescue!
        • Cath, I totally understand your distress, I feel the same too! We all need to put our thinking caps on.
          • I agree Christine. I have done nothing but think - but haven't come up with anything solid yet the Ronda Revellers should sort out August, but we need something longer term.
      • Thanks Pam - totally agree KAS needs an office.It is very frustrating when you see how much money other charities get and as you say the way they waste it. I think that is why Knit a Square is so special as it does make a difference. I will certainly not be buying any yarn for the next month or so and  will contributing towards the office space. 

  • Thanks, Pam, for another great issue!

  • Thanks Pam! A very informative piece. 

    Did you like the new pictures of my first 20 squares, right? Thanks!


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