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

Thank you for this clear list. I will buy some rain ponchos today ready for the next parcel. So simple, so cheap and impossible to guess how much they are needed. I read in a crochet pattern this week to leave a 2M tail so things have changed a lot over time.

Plastic wool-sewing needles. I've found a bulk option for 1000 of these at approx 0.27US each. I can't afford these on my own, but is there a mechanism for combined contributions so we could buy these? I'd be glad to handle logistics...

Wind-up flashlights: I haven't seen these mentioned but I've used a source to buy in bulk and contribute to US charities where they are very popular. These flashlights are 3 LED personal flashlights that fit in the palm of your hand. They don't require external batteries; there is an internal battery that is charged by pumping by hand (a crank or trigger) - so easy a small child can do it (and they love it).

Would these be of use and do-able with respect to shipping to South Africa?

 

I should clarify - the internal charging system isn't a "battery" in the typical sense. The flashlight ships and can be stored with no electrical hazard as it is "dead" without cranking. After cranking, it will perform for a few minutes and does not hold any long-lasting charge. This is not a problem in use since re-charging is literally "at hand".

At home, we store these in our cars, camping and emergency equipment, all the family receives them at Christmas, etc. They are very useful. See sample below

Hi Cindy..... no doubt the kids would LOVE these flashlights.  Perhaps we should check with Ronda before sending them.  One problem is that if caught in a customs inspection, she would have to pay duty on them and KAS funds are limited.  The other question I would consider is quantity.  I could be wrong, but it is my impression that when Ronda delivers soft toys, for example, to a creche, she tries to have one for every child there, or else it would be unfair if someone were left out.  Perhaps when Kalai catches up with this message, she could give some advice.

Hi Cyndy, these actually sound amazing! I will just double check with Ronda before we give the go ahead but I imagine these would be really, really useful for the children and their families. Hang ten while I find out!

Hi Cindy

Ronda said that she thinks the kids will love them! So please go ahead and see if you can find people to help share the costs.

Thanks again x x x

Hi I have made some vests using the pattern on the website now I find that you don't want us to use this pattern, doe's that mean I have pull them back. xx

I think the old pattern was too short and left bellies exposed and it also had a small-ish head opening. You probably don't have to pull them apart if you can lengthen them a bit and make sure the head opening is large enough.

If you can, post measurements (and maybe a picture too) so that a knitting expert can help suggest the alterations that might be needed.

Sorry Joyce, this should have been changed long ago, now the website is being updated almost as we speak.  However, if you don't want to mess around with making changes I'm sure the garments will be forwarded to Zimbabwe as they have absolutely nothing whereas Ronda has enough baby-stock for the time-being.  Michelle is spot on about the exposed bellies and the head opening not being big enough. Please would you share this info with your Knitting Group.  Thanks.

Thank-you Pam and Michelle I'll just pull them back and knit up to the new pattern xx

Spoken like a true knitter !   Grace Weir has a lovely pattern that many knitters enjoy making.

http://forum.knit-a-square.com/forum/topics/knitted-ribbed-slipover

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