KasSnippets - November 2013

KasSnippets - November 2013

 

FIVE YEARS AND A FAREWELL

 

Obviously the momentous news of the month is the departure of Sandy McDonald - after 5 years of unstinting work, guidance, and indeed, sacrifice, during the development of Knit-a-Square.  The entire McDonald family  - Sandy, Roger, Kalai, Cressida and Zanny - brought Ronda's blanket dream into reality.

 

If you have not read the story, please do! Sandy has written about the origins of Knit-a-Square, its development, evolvement and the future!  Here is the final paragraph : 

 

A Farewell...

What a five years it has been. But now, it's time for the McDonald team to say farewell.

In time, we'll take up the work again to introduce programs to school children, so that they can help children less fortunate than they. Knit-a-square is a wonderful program for school children, to learn both to knit and the power of making a difference.

For now, we will watch with delight as KasCare moves onto the next stage of its journey in the safe hands of Erica and her board.

Our grateful thanks for the journey, the opportunity to learn and grow from you all and now to teach others the remarkable benefits of community. I tell them, inspired by you: 

What we can do together is yet to be imagined.

With love to you all

Sandy McDonald, co-founder.

Without Sandy's dynamic vision and energy KAS would not have the strength that it has in order to move forward, above is a bouquet to say thank you and farewell from all the knit-a-square members.

 

Extra news from Sandy : 

A wonderful donation of $500 for KasCare was received from the Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga in Australia.

Noreen Elliot passed the cheque to Sandy when she was invited to speak at the CWL Conference. Noreen has known knit-a-square for many years as she used to work for Sir John Bushell (papal knight) who was our long term cherished client and has become something of a personal mentor to us.  He is well versed with all matters KAS and has taken a deep interest in its development over the last five years.

 

Recently Noreen wrote that St Peter's Parish Epping had a monthly meeting and held a raffle for the upcoming Father's Day.  They sold tickets at all four masses on the weekend of Father's day.   The prizes were meal vouchers, the tickets were $1 each and they raised $602 (which is a lot of tickets sold for a single parish).   The members decided whatever was raised would be given to KAS to help with our fundraising. They have donated $800+ in the past.  So they have KAS in their hearts which is wonderful.

REPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Reporting KAS in South Africa : This is why we do what we do......

Here is part of this report outlining two wonderful heart warming stories - Olwethu :

Another organization we have supported for a while now is Mama Ntombi’s Community Projects (MNCP), also based in KwaZulu Natal.  Sandra Pillay, a Project Manager at MNCP and our contact there reports, “Just this morning we are intervening in the life of little 9-year old girl, Olwethu Shezi.  We found her this past weekend at our Wayside Sunday School in such a state of neglect.  We thank God that one of our Sunday school children invited her to come along for the first time.  

  

 

To read the rest of the report please Click here

 

For other recent reports :

 

Taking time to remember....              A flood of new friends!

 

IN THE NEXT EDITION OF KASSNIPPETS WE WILL HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE NANCEFIELD GYM RESTORATION - THANKS TO A USA GROUP LEAD, INSPIRED FUND RAISING EVENT! TO READ THE FULL REPORT PLEASE GO TO

 Report from South Africa

 

THE KNIT-A-SQUARE SHOP

 

Please go to the Knit-A-Square Shop today and purchase something special to support the day-to-day operations (KAS Ops) directly in South Africa. This month we are highlighting Snacks - an important element of the distributions.

 

During the Kido's Distribution in 2010, some children were watching the events rather forlornly through the fence - fortunately the team had some spare beanies, biscuits and apples to share with the children!

 

 

 snacks

Snacks for Distributions

 

"KAS REACHES GREAT HEIGHTS FOR CHILDREN"

A JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD !

KAS REACHES GREAT HEIGHTS FOR CHILDREN

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 ofTable Mountain, Cape Town in South Africa!

We are going to need 50 squares for every foot climbed!

We have zoomed along quite nicely so far! We soon rang the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, topped The Little Mermaid (Copenhagen) and Greyfriars Bobby (Edinburgh). Members have covered Stonehenge, Daibutsu Buddha, The Hollywood Sign, a number of Lighthouses & Castles. Recently, we conquered The White House in Washington, National Monument for Remembrance for those who died in WWI & WWII in Amsterdam.  We recently conquered an unusual bridge in Norway, Buckingham Palace and have recently arrived at the Brandeburg Gate, Berlin!

 

KAS 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?

  

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM KAS DISTRIBUTIONS

The major distribution period is over, but there will be more exciting photos to come - watch out for the installation of desks and other items purchased for Nancefield through the USA lead appeal!

 

Have recently added some photographs of previous distributions that have not been previously seen, so do take a look!

 

 

Jacqui Grieve recently posted this message on the KAS Facebook page : 

I want to thank all the wonderful people around the world who support this worthy charity. I am involved in a Catholic charity in Johannesburg and we support very poor families in a shanty town called Diepsloot. Because of your kindness I am going there today armed with loads of items. And when winter arrives, I will be able to give every single one of our families warm blankets and beanies.

 

 

Today, our Catholic charity group took one of your beautiful crocheted blankets to the knitting society we have started in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. With the wool kindly sent in by some of you, these ladies are going to copy the style of this blanket, and hopefully we will be able to help them sell them! After all, if you create work for a mother, you feed a whole family! Thanks again to all you wonderful people. God Bless you all.

 

 

 

 

You might also enjoy reading a report from Mama Ntombi Community Projects - 

One Child at a Time

 

Sabelo goes from the first photo until he reaches the final thumbs up!

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLANKETS

 

 The Knit-a-Square Blanket Album - continues to grow,  you may even spot some of your squares!  

 

 

 

The JBay Recycling Project & Stitch Witch News

 

These thoughtful youngsters used their tokens to purchase blankets created by the Stitch Witch Group for their grandmothers!

 

 

The Stitch Witch Group have been running a competition in order to get as many teddies as possible to give to the children as a Christmas gift!

 

November Challenge - Teddies for the children of the Jbay Recycling ProjectNovember Challenge - Teddies for the children of the Jbay Recycling ProjectNovember Challenge - Teddies for the children of the Jbay Recycling Project November Challenge - Teddies for the children of the Jbay Recycling Project November Challenge - Teddies for the children of the Jbay Recycling Project

 

ISSUES - WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH !

 

For sometime now Knit-a-Square has been trying to convey a message to our wonderful contributors about the teeny weeny garments we are receiving, and, thankfully, the flow has reduced as people have switched to the newly re-sized garments in the KAS Pattern Book.

 

We know that people love to knit for babies, and the garments are quick to do! However, although KAS has some connections with organisations that deal with babies, it is increasingly becoming difficult to distribute these loving made, but tiny garments. It is an issue that is increasingly affecting a number of charities who work in Africa.

This letter from the Greenfields Africa Charity  addressed to all "Fish & Chip" knitters, asking them to switch to other items, or garments for 2-3-4 years of age. These were originally designed for babies born with AIDS. However, the good news is, that, more and more babies are being born in Africa without AIDS.

 

Essentially, the natural age group Knit-a-Square is dealing with is aged 3 - 9 years. Please help spread-the-word about the sizes of garments that KAS and other charities supporting children in Africa in 2014 need. 

 

KAS SQUARE MEASURE

Lovingly created, but variable sizes !

Another issue we need help with, in spreading-the-word is the sizing of squares!  As you can see from the above photograph of variable shapes and sizes that are being received, that we need help in ensuring that as many people as possible know that the squares KAS needs are to be 8x8inch (20x20cm) or as near as possible to those measurements.

Increasingly, the team are receiving rectangles which are very difficult to insert into a blanket.  Sadly, all these well-meaning items are having to be frogged, and, the yarn is then re-used. But this is such a waste of time and energy, especially when one considers the cost of posting to South Africa.  Ronda is loathe to upset anyone, but the situation has got rather out of hand. We are not sure why this is occurring, it may well be that the word has spread about squares, but not the actual sizes!

To help the situation we have created the The KAS Square Measure, which was one of the last tasks Sandy completed before leaving KAS. The measure acts as a jig which can be placed over the top of a square to ensure everyone knows when to stop!

 

Once printed, and, if possible laminated, they make an excellent flyer to give people as well as being the correct size, it contains all the vital information such as postal address, tail size and how to butterfly the tail.

 

SORTED IN AFRICA

Here is a special opening day photo - to see more open day photographs please go to Sorted in Africa

 
Ronda's sister Charm was visiting from the UK and volunteered to help with the parcel opening session!


(and by all events, had a great time!)

 

Over the years Ronda has received lots of wonderful and charming letters from school children who want to help.  We'll share them gradually that came from the 3M class, Ambleside, Tasmania Island (Australia) :

 

Nixon Street Primary - Tasmania Island, Australia

 

 

KAS GROUP NEWS &

SPREADING THE WORD

 

A great way to help spread-the-word about Knit-a-Square is to send lovely Christmas Cards!  Anne Powell has added them to the  

Resources category in time for the Christmas season, and, where Anne has made some suggestions about printing etc! 

 

 

The beautiful cards are available as free download from

Knit-a-Square Christmas Cards

 

* * *

 

 

The new KasBlog - One Square at a Time 

 

written by Laurie Fortier (Canada) can be found on the Forum menu bar KasBlog.  We have added a new box on the right-hand side of the Forum front page which will alert you to when a new blog is available.  Laurie regular updates the blog and there are several already to browse!

 

The Knit for Life Team

 

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, it is the 3rd 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

 

 

 

 KAS MONTHLY CHALLENGES

 

The November 2013 Challenge Toys, Games and Teddy Bears has really brought out an amazing array of items!

 

NeptuneRabbit or puppy?Nov Challenge Teddy 2November 2013 Challenge - Toys and Games and Teddy BearsTeddy 2 (Nov 13)Teddy puppet and a ball.Teddies and squaresNovember 2013 Ollie OwlThree SoftiesGot this as a gift todayNOVEMBER 2013 CHALLENGE - toy carValerie's BlockToy ballNovember 2013 Roly-Polies 1&2November 2013

 

 

 

The December Challenge is being lead by Carol Playford

"Squares for KasCare Aids Awareness Month -

December 1st Worlds AIDS Day"

 

Well it is that time of the year when we start again, here is the list for next year!

 

2014 Challenge Themes

 

JANUARY - WINTER DRIVE - Anne Powell (emphasis on long sleeved garments)

FEBRUARY - HEARTS - RED, WHITE & PINK - Laurie Fortier

MARCH - VARIEGATED YARN - Gitta Seyfert

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

AUGUST - THE BEAUTY OF BLUES - Susan Haines

SEPTEMBER - AROUND THE WORLD IN 30 DAYS! - Bev Jeffery

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

 

SQUARE LISTS - TALLY - ITEM COUNT

 

 VITAL MESSAGE : PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO ADD "NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, CHARITY ONLY" ON YOUR PARCELS AND GIVE A ZERO VALUE ON THE CUSTOMS TICKET, OR THE SMALLEST SUM THE POSTAL SERVICES WILL ACCEPT. 

Please avoid writing such things as "value UNDER $50 or £20" or use similar phrases.  South African Customs Officials do comprehend the word "under" and whack a massive tariff onto the parcels. Recently KAS as been forced to use valuable donations to pay over-the-odds for some parcels.

For example : KAS RECENTLY GOT CHARGED £13 ($21) CUSTOM DUTY ON A PARCEL CONTAINING 14 SQUARES !

 

November 2013 Heather's Hexagon Hugger 1NOVEMBER 2013 - Another 'bear square'November - Peggy's Cove BearMauvellousgumnuts decemberIron Bridge MedallionMy first squareP1050917Grace Vest Nov 201320131027_112843

 

Square Lists for October are ready for viewing. 

Received in October : Squares 11,323 (323 blankets);

Tops 575 and Beanies 793

For further details go to the discussion page Square Lists - Tally - Item Count for previous months.

 

 PACKAGE INVENTORY

The  Package Inventory develped to help make parcel opening day easier for the team in South Africa has proved a great success in speeding up the whole process.  Now the team have 'test driven' it for several months, Gina has modified the design so that it truly meets the office needs. The file is below, or, click on the link above in order to read the discussion.

 

KAS Package Inventory.pdf KAS Package Inventory.pdf

 

DECEMBER PATTERN OF THE MONTH

by Linda Maltby

 

Crochet Alphabet Squares by Andrea Palmatier (Canada)

 

 and

  

AIDS and poverty are the twin perils affecting the children of South Africa. 

Let us replace these perils with Love and Hope.

The orphaned or vulnerable children are struggling with bereavement and illness.  The loss of their parents  plunges them deeper in poverty. 

The Love they once had is gone and any Hope for their future is bleak. 

What better way to give the children comfort than by having the words right in their blankets.

in the form of a warm blanket to protect a child from the cold and misery associated with poverty.

 

 that with this blanket, a child will feel the care offered by the world community

and

know they are valued and special.

 

 

Although this is a crochet pattern, knitters are invited to utilize the graphs to fashion the letters with needles

 [Link to pattern and graphs

 

Perhaps you would like to create the complete alphabet !   Andrea has designed a graph for each of the letters.

 [Link to 26 alphabet letters] 

 

Love and Hope are among the many patterns to be found in the

KAS Pattern Book.

If you see another pattern you would like to try, please do!

 

 

 

SQUARE HEART

OF THE MONTH AWARD

Edited this month by Laurie Fortier

 

This month the Square Heart Award goes to

mother and daughter team

Cathy Smith and Joan Todd

These two wonderful ladies from the USA, knit and crochet tirelessly for the children of South Africa. Their work embodies the quiet love and dedication of every member of Knit-a-Square.

 To view the rest of this lovely award please click here

 

 KAS FACEBOOK PAGE

Lovely blanket for the Album!

We have received an additional 137 Likes on the Facebook page so far during October-November taking our total to  6456!    We also copy the messages etc received on Facebook to the Forum for anyone who is not a member of FB.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 
Please do check out Anne Powell's Christmas fun page!
The discussion was only posted on the 19th and has already received some wonderful, interesting and amusing Christmas stories!
Here is a taster from Gloria Grandy :

Letters to Santa remind me of when my youngest son (now 39) was about 3.  He visited Santa and sat on his lap.  When we got home, I asked what he had asked Santa for.  He said, Can't tell ... Santa knows.  He was very excited because Santa was going to bring him something.  However, Mom didn't know what Santa was supposed to "buy" !!

We spent days trying to pry it out of him, but he wouldn't budge.  He wouldn't say because "Santa knew".  I had a lovely neighbor who came to the rescue.  One day she dropped a letter to my son into our mailbox.  It was from Santa.  In short, it said that the day we had visited he had seen so many good little girls and boys that he had completely forgotten what my son had asked for.  Could he please write to him c/o the North Pole and refresh his memory?

Since my son could not yet write a letter by himself, I had to do it for him.  We secreted ourselves in his room and he dictated his letter.  He wanted a Fisher Price Record Player !!!  Well, folks, Santa brought him that record player. 

A couple of years later a local group was collecting toys for very needy families in our area.  When they came to our door and explained what they wanted, my son ran upstairs and brought down his Fisher Price Record Player.  I asked him if he was sure he wanted to part with it and he said yes, he was very sure. I explained that if he gave it away, he would not be able to get it back.  He said that was okay ... he seemed to understand that some others had so much less than he had and he wanted to share. He hugged his little record player and passed it to the lady at the door. He might have been around 5 years old.   I realized then that he knew what Christmas was all about 

 

and another from Jeanne Haessler :

Our Christmas socks...it wouldn't be Christmas without them! (except for hubby who's all business)