KasSnippets - January 2014

KasSnippets - January 2014

 

REPORTS FROM SOUTH AFRICA

 

Reporting KAS in South Africa : 

INTO 2014 WITH a BANG and a CRASH !

Into the new year with an eviction notice and a collapsed ceiling … NOT the way one imagines starting off, but we are looking on the bright side in any event !

On 20th December, while Peter and I were enjoying a relaxing holiday in the Cape with all our  immediate family members, Wendy received the news that we may need to vacate the office premises so kindly allowed to us, free of charge, by Robert.  Exactly a week later that possibility became an urgent reality and KAS needed to be “out” within a week !!

 

Wendy has gone away for a week’s well-deserved rest, and once she is back we will look for new solutions to the question of how to find suitable new premises for KAS SA in 2014.

In the meantime, I spent yesterday cleaning out the garage with the help of Oti’s nephews, Bheki and Prince, and we have made a fresh home for KAS there, for as long as is needed.

 

To read the full report please click here

 

For other recent reports :

We are making Progress !

Excitement in Evaton

THE NEW WEBSITE IS HERE!

 Erica is delighted to announce that the knit-a-square.com website has had a massive overhaul !

www.knit-a-square.com

The re-work to the site has been a monumental effort, starting back in September of 2012. The project has taken fifteen months to get right, and we're all really excited to see it working!

To read more about its development please go to Erica's discussion : A New Year, a New Site, and, Some Questions

The new website has a lovely easy-to-read menu bar on the left-hand side, and, you will notice the team in South Africa now have their very own page!

We all owe Erica Smith (Australia), who performed a heroic effort in designing and creating the new website, a rather large bouquet and thank you. A number of us assisted in the proof-reading and updating the material. However, the technical side was entirely Erica's work!

THE KNIT-A-SQUARE SHOP

The new 2014 edition of the KAS calendar is now available for purchase in the shop!

You can buy it now for $9.95.

 

Many thanks to Sandy for designing next year's KAS calendar, it is full of beautiful photos of the kids and your knitting masterpieces. The money from every purchase helps us to continue the distributions and support for the kids, their carers, the creches and the gogos of South Africa.

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. This month we are highlighting Snacks - an important element of the distributions.

 "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!

Since the last month we've had another whistle-stop tour across the globe, we left Cornwall in England for Italy and the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  Since then, we visited Sydney Opera House, Tees Transporter Bridge in Yorkshire, China, Wales and are just about to leave the Czech Republic for another visit to Australia!

Church of Our Lady before Tyn - Prague

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

 

More distributions will take place soon, however, we found some photos from 2011 - Ithumeleng - This is the place run by Mavis which was going to be closed down, but for the arrival of KAS 48 hours before the dead line with much needed sleeping mats and blankets etc., Ronda and the USA Volunteers visited her again earlier this year, and, Ronda describes her as a wonderful woman.   

Also, the final batch of pics from the Big Smiles Day Centre!

 

Knit-a-Square received this thank you letter from Big Smile Little Faces who we recently distributed to.  As it is a little difficult to read, have typed out a copy below!

"Dear Guys,

We started the Day Care Centre in 2011 with the aim of helping those who are less fortunate.  We have created a safe environment for many children who are disadvantaged and disabled. It makes us proud when people visit us and it also makes us stronger. We love you guys so much and we thank you for everything you have done for us. May God bless each and everyone of you. Those kids are aware and would also like to extend a word of gratitude to you. It is a pleasure to see you and you are always welcome to visit anytime. Thank you, Siyabonga."

Ronda waving goodbye to the children of Big Smiles!

 

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

One Child at a Time

Nolwazi Ntuli will be going on to Grade 8 this year but she has no-one to support her as she is an orphan. Her father died when she was still a baby and her mother passed away in 2011. MNCP has stepped out in faith to cover her educational costs and support her in every way we can. She is currently living with her Aunt who is unemployed and there is no income at home. Please pray for Nolwazi that she will get a place at the ML Sultan High School, which is the closest school to where she lives (Jika Joe).

Thank you to all our financial partners who make it possible for us to support orphaned and vulnerable children like Nolwazi.

FOLLOW-UP NEWS! 

Great News!!! Nolwazi has been given a place at ML Sultan High School. MNCP Team will be going to purchase her uniforms and stationery tomorrow (18th Jan). We will also be responsible for her school fees as she is orphaned and has no-one supporting her. She starts school on Monday 20th January! 

Nolwazi's first day in High School!                   

Please pray for Nolwazi that she will focus on her studies and be able to achieve her dreams of becoming a Medical Doctor. 

THE BLANKET ROOM COLLECTION !

For 2014 we are starting a new album and have renamed it The Blanket Room Collection - an unfortunate choice as it turned out due to the KAS being without a proper blanket storage room - again!  However, onwards and upwards as they say! No doubt it will not be too long before we have new premises.

 

 

The JBay Recycling Project for Children

& Stitch Witch News

The Stitch Group created 8,500 squares with 200 completed blankets, 300 teddies and over 500 beanies by the end of 2013! Here are their targets for 2014 :

Photo: These are our goals for this year after we had such a huge success last year :0

Just in case the writing is to small, the targets are 2000 pairs of fingerless gloves, 1000 beanies, 350 vests, and, lots and lots of squares!

The children started trading again this Monday and brought in 2.6 tons of recyclable material!  Please click on the heading for a direct link to see a selection of this weeks photographs. 

 

SORTED IN AFRICA

Here are a couple of opening day photographs.  To see more open day photographs please go to Sorted in Africa

Our temporary offices - Ronda & Peter's garage!

We received a wonderful Yarn Winder from Mr. & Mrs. Nakagome of  Yokohama, Japan, to help Yvette with re-winding some of the squares that arrive mis-shaped or have started to unravel!

POSTAGE FUND RAISING and

SPREADING THE WORD!

 

Christine Chiplen from Wales, has come up with a novel way of raising postage - she is selling off her collectibles! 

Christine posted : In a Cardiff Tea & Cupcake Shop, they rent shelves out for a month to crafters to display and sell their crafts. They kindly allowed me to sell some of my 'collection' of vintage china to help with postage etc. I priced things low, and apparently children were happily buying pieces for 'mummy and granny' for Christmas. I was so pleased that some of my bits and pieces not only raised some money for KAS, but were bought and given as gifts by children.

 

I also had a table at a Christmas Craft Fair, and sold 'vintage china'. There was a pretty display of Victorian wall plates and jugs, as well as numerous smaller pieces. I still have plenty left, so will do something similar before next Christmas.

It seemed like a good way to use the boxed items in my loft! I put very affordable prices on things and the stall was popular. I also gave out numerous Knit-a-Square info cards and laminated 8" squares to those who seemed keen!

* * *

The new KasBlog 

One Square at a Time 

IMG_5868

 

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.

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, 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

 

KAS MONTHLY CHALLENGES

January 2014 Challenge - The Winter Drive

Long Sleeved Garments for the South African winter,

and, more squares lead by Anne Powell (Canada)
 
Please check out the KAS Pattern Book as many garment patterns have been modified to ensure they fit more comfortably for the children. All patterns that have been amended are marked 'Revised'.
Crocheted no - sew Go OverJANUARY 2014 CHALLENGE - rust and green Go-OverJanuary14 Go-over 2Crocheted Go Over Jan 2014Jumper 32 Dec 2013JANUARY 2014 CHALLENGECardiganJanuary 2014 Heather's Hexagon Hugger 2Chunky Go OverJanuary Challenge-Revised Hexagon sweaterWinter Warmer 2 (Jan 14)Kathy's Cozy Jumper no. 4 (revised pattern)SDC13269Kathy's Cozy Jumper no. 6My first Go-Over
                     
KASPlainJaneRainbowsTunisian Honeycombgumnuts pic jan 2014022image
The February Challenge - Hearts - Red, White & Pink will be lead by Laurie Fortier 

 

 2014 Challenge Themes

Here is the final list! 

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

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

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

AUGUST - THE BEAUTY OF BLUES - 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

 

SQUARE LISTS

TALLY  or ITEM COUNT

A is for APPLE blanket My first 65 squares, and one beanie  Iblue cuddle 70 Squares Jan 2014 Baby Owl

Square Lists for December are ready for viewing. 

Received in December : Squares 6,652 (192 blankets);

Tops 158 and Beanies 353

All the Square Lists (current and previous lists) can be found on the new website www.knit-a-square.com - click on Received Squares on the menu bar that goes across the top of the page.

COURIER SERVICES

Please could we remind members, where possible, not to send parcels by Courier service companies, and, we would very much appreciate your help in spreading-the-word. Courier services cannot deliver to the Knit-a-Square address because it is a PO Box number. 

Unfortunately, the courier companies will not take the time to check our website or Facebook page for our contact telephone numbers, and, consequently, we receive all sorts of urgent emails from senders in far away places trying to set up a delivery! Some courier companies even threaten to destroy the parcels if they do not receive an answer within about 48 hours.

If you do have to use courier services, please give them our Contact Telephone number in South Africa 082 655 5150 to prevent any problems arising and a smoother delivery. Thank you.

 PACKAGE INVENTORY

Please do not forget 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

 FEBRUARY PATTERN OF THE MONTH

by Linda Maltby

 

Hearts of Love

Knit heart pattern by Christine Johnson (UK)

Crochet heart pattern by Rachel Andrus (USA)

 

Crocheting and knitting for vulnerable and orphaned children is an act of love.

And what better way to show our love than by making a heart !

 

 Since the heart is the universal symbol for love,

the children will understand the message sent by knitters and crocheters around the world.

Whether you crochet or knit a heart,

the square will be lovingly stitched with 34 others to make a warm blanket for a cold child.

As Ronda has stated:

The blankets are a currency we use to tell the children exactly how beloved they are.

We tell them they are the future, unique and special.”

 

                     [Link to knitted heart pattern.]                  [Link to crocheted heart pattern.]

                      

The crochet and knit heart patterns are two of 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

Our first recipient of the Square Heart Award in 2014 is

Heather Mensah

from York, England

Heather has been a devoted member of Knit-a-Square since 2012. Her needlework is beautiful and abundant! She is committed to making a blanket's worth of squares each month. This was her gorgeous contribution for the September Education Challenge.

Heather created a jumper pattern specifically for the needs of our KASKids,Heather's Winter Warmer. It is featured in the KAS Pattern Book and in this month's challenge, Long Sleeved Garments.

 


 This  gorgeous version was made in the colours of the South African Flag.

 To read the rest of the award, please click here

KAS FACEBOOK PAGE

 hand warmers - owls

We have received an additional 126 Likes on the Facebook page so far during November-December taking our total to 6,701!    We also copy the messages etc received on Facebook to the Forum for anyone who is not a member of FB.

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Emma Jacques from Cumbria in the UK spotted her squares that had been stitched into a blanket by Gina Shepherd, a member of the South Africa team.

 

The conversation went :

Emma : I am over the moon, this is the first time I have seen any of my squares on pictures. Thank you very much Gina for turning my squares into a fantastic blanket, very beautiful and very neat xxxEmma :

 

Gina : Oh Emma, I am so pleased that you spotted your squares. They were a real pleasure to work with.

Isn't that the joy of knit-a-square - we are all team-working in harmony to create warmth for the vulnerable and deprived children of South Africa. 

Let us pray that all children who are suffering right now, especially in the war zones, have such kind people reaching out to them.

 

 

Three white doves working together in partnership and friendship holding an olive branch as a symbol of fraternity and hope.