SHORT UPDATE - final list of queries
Thank you for your patience, if I have not yet returned an email. This is a the last update until the March e-zine, but there were a number of remaining common issues/queries and/or confusions, I thought I should address before then, to assist you in moving on with your knitting/crocheting and sending squares.
Sending boxes: There have been a number of queries, particularly from Square Circle Groups who would like to send boxes of squares. Anyone wishing to do that, please just contact me to let me know when it was sent, and from where, so that we track it. Thank you.
Cheaper postage rates: Many of you have asked for advice to make the postage more affordable and in particular, whether there are depots in your countries to which you can send the squares, as that would be cheaper. This is something we will investigate in the future, especially if the volume of squares being sent warrants it. But in the meantime, some of you have sent in great ideas which I would like to share.
Anne from Canada suggests non knitters / crocheters from her church group could donate stamped addressed envelopes as a way of contributing to the project. Ingrid from Belgium has approached the mayor of her town to ask for funding for postage for her Square Circle's group of knitters.
Others have mentioned fund raising within their church groups, or if it is a knitting group, each putting in a little money to send one parcel. Local yarn shops could be approached to help, if groups are purchasing yarn from them as could local businesses. You could use the flyers, mentioned below to explain what you are doing and why you need help.
Zanny is a pensioner. She sends three squares each time she receives a pension payment. If all you can afford is one square that is more than good enough.
Thousands sending one square, still makes hundreds of blankets.
Wrong knitting needle size
There is an incorrect needle size on the first instalment of the 'How to Knit' e classes. It says size 4 (USA) 10 (Canada, UK), it should or course say 10 (USA) 4 (Canada, UK), this has been amended. I apologise to everyone that this has confused or inconvenienced, it was a typographical error, my fault I 'm afraid.
There is still a range of different descriptions for 8 ply. Many of you are doubling 4 ply, some suggestions are that 8 ply is the same as worsted/fisherman and others worsted/aran/afghan. Can I suggest that I send someone some Australian 8 ply wool and it is identified that way - any offers?
In the meantime, Zanny says as long as it is an 8 inch square, we will have so many squares it will be easy to match yarn weights to make blankets, so just knit and crochet whatever you've got. Wise woman!
Some people have asked whether they should post direct to Hotel Hope. We have discussed this, but we now believe it will be better to post everything to Soweto Comfort Club as they have the resources to make up the blankets which will then be distributed to Hotel Hope.
So from now on, please post everything to Soweto Comfort Club at the address on the site. If you have sent to Hotel Hope, don't worry, Ronda does some work for them, so she will be able to collect them as well as transport the clothes and blankets once they are complete.
Here's Oliver from Hotel Hope opening some of the square packages, looking very happy.
There have been some enquiries about wool shrinking if it is washed in hot water and whether people knitting with wool should purchase non-shrink wool. The children who receive the wool blankets will rarely have access to hot water. If the blankets are washed it will be most likely in cold water, so please knit or crochet with either. I will make up some care instructions for the volunteers distributing the blankets.
But what we should keep in mind here, is that even a dirty blanket, or a felted blanket will keep a child warm when they were cold before.
Many of you have requested flyers you can download to distribute to your groups. Thank you for spreading the word. The flyers will be available by Saturday 28 February: http://www.knit-a-square.com/charity-knitting.html or the page 'spread the word'.
Contributions to the site
There have been many wonderful contributions to the site. There is now some great information regarding yarn weights, needle sizes, how to easily make an 8'"square, plus patterns for squares and knitting tips. You have all been so generous in taking the time to share this, thank you. So please have a look on both knitting help and yarn weights , and of course, we would love your input too.
Finally, I am very grateful for the patience and kindness that you have shown me as we have navigated through some of these teething problems, particularly the wool and acrylic issue. I am happy to say that in our early research, we have discovered that many acrylics have fire retardant qualities too. All of this information will be on the site in the next few weeks.
Have a very happy month knitting and crocheting. I am excited to think that by the time I next write, many of your squares will have arrived, and we will have blankets, jumpers and vests on many children. Please visit knit-a-square during that time to see what else we have put up. There must be a dozen pages of wonderful information, patterns, ideas, tips and techniques to get up. Lots of work!
Stay safe, with grateful thanks, Sandy
PS. It may be a day or two before I restart answering your emails, after a little rest, so please don't stop writing. I have loved hearing from all of you.