SPECIAL REPORT - THE NAVY BLUE SCARF PROJECT

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Knit-A-Square partners

with SA business!

Knit-A-Square is excited to finally reveal details of the navy blue scarf project we have been hinting at for the last few months and to share with you details of another very exciting project at the same time!

 

 

Following two successful ‘GSK Scarves for Schools’ drives in 2013 and 2014, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) approached KAS with details of a similar, but bigger and better campaign for 2015 and we are delighted to have been invited to get involved.

The idea is to ask our contributors, as well as the people of South Africa, through various campaigns, to help us knit or crochet 6,700 navy blue scarves which will be distributed to underprivileged school-children by April this year, ahead of our winter. 

Learners cannot concentrate in class when they are very cold.  Many learners come from informal settlements where some of them live in shacks and do not have appropriate clothes to wear when the weather turns cold.  GSK and KAS are asking you to assist in keeping as many of these learners as warm as possible.

Various needy primary schools in Soweto, have been identified as the potential recipients of the scarves and the principals, staff and children of those schools are eagerly awaiting the handover of the promised scarves, which will make a significant difference in the learning process to all who receive them.

Thanks to our unquestioning contributors, we have already started to receive navy blue scarves and have been furiously knitting/crochet ourselves.  But, we have also been creating scarves for another purpose….

KAS has always wanted to help the communities it serves … in more ways than simply providing blankets and other items to the children. We want to make a sustainable difference within those communities - and what better way to do this than to teach people a skill which will enable them to uplift themselves and their families, making ripples in the community “pond”?  And, again, what better skill to teach them than one that is particularly close to our hearts – knitting/crochet.

So, when Med-Lemon, a GSK brand, approached KAS to gauge our willingness to set up and manage a knitting/crocheting skills development programme funded by them, we were all ears.  We have met to discuss this several times over the last few months and have now committed to setting up this programme in Soweto and Diepsloot.  It is our goal, over a period of 8 months, to train 300 women in the basic skills of knitting/crochet and we will achieve this by running a “train-the-trainer” week long session where we train a group of ladies who in turn will train others at venues we have earmarked for the purpose.  Each of the ladies who join us for the training will receive a Med-Lemon and KAS branded kit containing:

 

2 balls of navy blue yarn

1 ball of a different coloured yarn

1 pair of knitting needles

1 crochet hook

1 pair of scissors

1 tape measure

1 yarn needle

 

The trainees will be taught the following:

  • The basics of knitting/crochet including yarn types and the importance of tension;
  • Casting on
  • Knit/plain stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • Joining new yarn
  • Casting or binding off
  • Sewing in ends
  • Making tassels/fringes
  • Reading a basic pattern

They will practice by knitting 20cm (8 inch) squares for KAS and, once they are comfortable with the techniques, they will each knit a navy blue scarf for the Med-Lemon project, for which they will be paid once their completed scarf has been returned to us.  At this point, knitters will be afforded the opportunity of knitting/crochet another scarf, thereby generating further income for themselves.

In return for our involvement to promote their brand, Med-Lemon will assist KAS by collecting our mail on a weekly basis (no more back breaking work for our SA team) and they will also donate R50 000.00 towards our 2015 office rental.

We are looking forward to embarking on this new pilot venture with GSK and Med-Lemon and hope to knock their socks (scarves) off and ensure that this becomes a long term relationship to warm groups of school-children throughout South Africa and also help to uplift and encourage the amazing women of this country!

So, please help us to impress our new friends and knit or crochet those navy blue scarves!

The specifications are easy:

 

KNIT PATTERN

  • Use NAVY BLUE yarn only, in the following weight: Worsted yarn (U.S.)/Double Knit (UK)/8 ply (Aus).  It is important that we make them all navy as requested by the principals to fit the basic school uniform requirement in SA.
  • Use 4mm / US 6 knitting needles
  • Cast on 40 stitches. 
  • The width of the scarves will vary anyway depending on your tensions – ours ranged between 16.5cm and 22cm (6.5 – 9 inches)
  • [An 8 inch (20cm) width would be good to aim for as members use this measurement for squares.]
  • Knit until the scarf is 110cm (approx. 43.3 inches) in length
  • Cast off and then add 10cm (approx. 4 inches) tassels/fringe to both ends of the scarf

 

CROCHET PATTERN 

  • Use NAVY BLUE yarn only, in the following weight: Worsted yarn (U.S.)/Double Knit (UK)/8 ply (Aus).  It is important that we make them all navy as requested by the principals to fit the basic school uniform requirement in SA.
  • Use 4mm / US G  or 4.5mm / US 7 hook
  • Chain 30. Use hdc throughout [hdc (US) = htc (UK)] to create a warm scarf without being ‘gappy’.
  • The width of the scarves will vary anyway depending on your tensions – ours ranged between 16.5cm and 22cm (6.5 – 9 inches)
  • [An 8 inch (20cm) width would be good to aim for as members use this measurement for squares.]
  • Hdc in each stitch until the scarf is 110cm (approx. 43.3 inches) in length.
  • End. Add 10cm (approx. 4 inches) tassels/fringe to both ends of the scarf.

To whet your appetites, take a look at this video detailing last year’s project:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pFrjKKuK3c

 

NOTE:  We will continue to collect and make scarves beyond the April deadline as we hope this will become a long term project.

As always we are enormously grateful for your warm, enthusiastic support and dedication to all our needs and requests!!

Please send completed scarves to the usual address :

Knit-a-Square

Private Bag X900,

Bryanston 2021,

South Africa