If you want a peek inside the barn on opening days, this is where you'll find it. I'm Leanne Hunt and I've been attending opening days twice a month since 2017 with my driver Bongi and my guide dog Tango. Here is where I record what I see and hear for the benefit of overseas members who don't have the opportunity I do. I trust you'll find it interesting.

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What a wonderful vista!!

Thank you for another peek into the KAS barn, Leanne.  You bring it all to life so beautifully.  I didn't know what a podcast was until Andrea enlightened me :)  It sounds like it will be a good way to raise awareness.  I look forward to being able to listen to it.

How super to have a visit from Amy!!!  It must have been a fun day ... xo

Thank you for sharing news of Amy and Richard's visit to the KAS Barn, Leanne. What a treat!! 

Sounds like a busy day, Leanne. I look forward to listening to the podcast. How wonderful to see the empty shelves filled up with so many blankets.

February in Johannesburg is an extremely hot month and yesterday was no exception. Bongi and I travelled to the barn without Tango because we needed the space in the car for a load of blankets intended for a distribution near my home. Besides Tango, Mabel was also absent, but the rest of the volunteers were all present and lots of Square-matching got done.
There were several big boxes from Croatia and some other post to sort, but most of the time was spent clearing the table of nearly 100 piles of squares which, for whatever reason, hadn't yet found their way into blanket packs. Generally, this happens when squares come in that are much smaller or much larger than the required 8 x 8 inches,or 20 x 20 centimetres. Sometimes they are hard to match because they are an unusual yarn wait, or because they are more rectangular then Square.. Just a reminder to please keep to the regular size as much as possible.
If, for some reason, you have a collection of different-sized squares, we advise holding them back until you have enough for a complete blanket. As long as there are enough squares for a 40 x 56 inch/100 x 140 centimetre blanket, it is fine.
Another request from the volunteers is that hand-warmers not be tied together with yarn. Please rather tuck one hand-warmer into the other. This makes sorting much quicker.
Ronda shared with me a lovely new idea inspired by Amy‘s visit. We have several very large bears which have not been handed out because they are so much bigger than the average toy handed out at distributions. We will, in future, be taking extra large soft toys to teachers and handing them over as "Comfort Bears". The idea is that the bear/toy can keep an unhappy child company at pre-school. Thus, if a child is grieving the loss of a family member or has scraped his knee, he or she can be comforted by a special, non-judgemental friend.
In telling me about this, Ronda was reminded of a doll which arrived in the mail in2015. She was handmade out of fabric with blonde hair fashioned from yarn and special silk panties. After thinking about where to donate the doll, KAS eventually gave her to a rape counselling service in Benoni which dealt with children. The organisation was over the moon with the donation and the doll, named Rosie, helped the children enormously to talk about what had happened to them without feeling utterly alone in their pain.
Finally, an update on the Knit-a-Square podcast: I have been recording interviews with various people at the barn and liaising with Sandy McDonald about setting up a page on the KAS website. There will be a podcast player right there on the page so you won't need a podcast app to listen if you don't already have one. I hope to have the first episode edited and launched by the end of the month, so watch this space!

Leanne, I'm looking forward to listening to the podcast.  Thank you for investing your time to bring us closer to what goes on behind the scenes at KAS!

Thank you for the update from the Barn, Leanne. Always good to have a reminder about how to make things flow well for all the lovely volunteers in the Barn.

I look forward to listening to the podcast and thank you so much for thinking of we techy challenged folk who don't 'do' apps.  :))



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