A little more about that happy day!

A little more about that happy day!

While there is still so much colourful news from the first sewing bee, I hope you will also read about Ten Thousand Homes. They are a Christian based organisation operating in South Africa who have asked if knit-a-square can extend it's knitting project to help warm some of the children they look after. These heartening and hopeful stories of their children, like little Sweetness will surely both touch and inspire you, and anyone you tell about them.

STOP NEWS: The squares are arriving very safely, in envelopes packets and boxes. If they are registered they are routed via customs and Ronda has to pay duty on them. Please do not register your parcels, just put on the outside, FOR CHARITY, NO COMMERCIAL VALUE. Thank you.


Have your squares arrived?
You'll just have to read right to the bottom of the ezine to find out!
Just a little bit more about that happy day!
Colourful Soweto
Ten Thousand Homes
Oooh la la Texas Group
Must have' knit-a-square t-shirts!
What do you call a non-knitter? Posted by Laura
Knit-a-square stats

Forum – the race for April
Ravelry.com tally
Facebook photographs
Square a day journal


Site Map
Knit-a-square heroes – a must read!
Free crochet patterns
Teacher Parent Resource




Thanks to the Oooh la la Knitting Group, from Tezarkana, Texas who sent us this photograph and lovely message, which made Jo very happy.


A little more about that happy day!
Apart from wishing you could have been at the event itself, it would have been special to have shared with you the photographs to help illustrate the atmosphere and happiness of the day. I wonder if any of you recognise your squares in some of these blankets or indeed the blanket young Jamey was given?

Kugenka (in the middle) from Soweto Comfort Club looks out for this little HIV AIDS affected family, Kedibone, who is completely blind, Trudy and David. Sonja, who also volunteers for SCC, sewed this blanket and wrapped Kedibone in it which the entire family will share.


Daniel learns to knit and Hannah teaches little Batilele to draw
Daniel (Ronda's grandson) was so taken with the whole idea of knit-a-square, he insisted Erin (his mother) taught him to knit. I'm waiting to hear when his first square will be done, but as he is only 6, this is will be inspirational for all young children, especially boys!



While he was busy learning to knit, this beautiful little girl, Batilele (Bat-ee-lay-lay), who is looked after by her guardian and GREAT grandmother, Naomi Maele, (on the left), attached herself to his sister Hannah, who gave her some drawing lessons.

Batilele and her Great Grandmother, reflect the huge responsibility that has come to rest on so many African grandmothers and great grandmothers, parenting at a much older age, without the support from their children who have so often fallen prey to HIV AIDS.


Soweto Comfort Club Ladies
Here are all the ladies of Soweto Comfort Club together with some volunteers from neighbouring parishes. White City and Moletsane, and Pastor Sibusiso, leader of a flock in a local squatter camp, assembled on the day to hear Father Francis of Phiri Parish bless the occasion.

Colourful Soweto
Soweto is about more than poverty and home to hundreds of thousands of child headed families and AID orphans. There exists a wonderful sense of 'community spirit' in Soweto. For example, wedding receptions are impromptu affairs and very often on a 'bring and barbeque' (braai in South African parlance) basis, so that as many friends as possible can come along and celebrate – no restrictions and no costs involved.

Like all sprawling urban cities, Soweto scenes range from squatter towns to public amenities like this lovely public park right next to Regina Mundi church in Soweto. The church featured prominently in apartheid days as a refuge for 'enemies of state' and has bullet holes in the walls to this day to prove it. It's the biggest church in Soweto and heaves every Sunday, with the most fantastic atmosphere.


Heart-felt and heartening stories from Ten Thousand Homes
We are really excited about this project. Ten Thousand Homes is a young and vibrant children's charity working in South Africa to create more than just a home for the children. They have asked us if we could extend our knitting project to some of their children, and provided us a list of names.

Their video, recently released, aptly describes both the sadness and the hope.

For all of us, it is the message of hope that best fuels our desire to help. You will see in the faces of the children, as in the stories on the site, that given just a little in the way of education, home life, friendship and care, they respond with laughter and a willingness to learn, which may help to pave a future for themselves.

Please watch the video, and read more about Ten Thousand Homes and the knit-a-square project. Sweetness will make your heart ache, but she will also persuade you that we can, and must, help. Petros will fill you with joy and a sense of great hope. For these and all children who receive a gift of the hat, vest or blanket, it will mean more than warmth. It may give them a sense of belonging to a wider world, just a little glimmer of future possibilities.

Ten Thousand Homes have provided us with a list of names of children for whom we can make either a hat, vest or blanket. It is on the site together with a contact form. If you wish to knit and crochet for this project or toward a blanket for a specific child, please use the contact form. Kerry and Kalai have agreed to co-ordinate the list and let everyone know as we fulfil it.


Must have tee-shirts
We have a knit-a-square store! We have designed several t-shirts for young children, teenagers, women with the knit-a-square message or the Square Circle logo. I really hope you like them and would love – you guessed it – feedback!


What's going on the groups
There are some very lively conversations going on in the the forum and the ravelry.com group The most exciting is Race for April started by Kyla, being administered by Kerry and taken on board brilliantly by lots. Thank you all.

Here is Kerry's report as at 7.45pm GMT 6/4/09. Bellalou- Ravelry- 15 (1 hat)
Mbreeding – Forum -10 (4 hats)
Lola – Facebook- 8
Kokkole- Ravelry -7 (3 hats & 2 Vests)
Kerry Paris- Forum – 7
Kmouse2- Forum -7
Kyla (squareaday) – Ravelry- 6
Dumelaisuzu -Ravelry -5
Vortex12- Forum -4.5
Vortex's Grandma – Forum -4.5
Paulette Pronk – Forum – 4
Jeanne- Forum – 3
Zanny -Facebook -3
Andrea- Forum -2
Bev- Forum -2
Ruth – Ravelry -2
Kalai-Facebook -2
Kbeck -Ravelry -1
Erin -Forum -1
Michelle Gibson -Facebook -1
Lalaree -Ravelry- 1

So there we have it! 96 items in 6 days. That's an average of 16 items a day!

What a fantastic effort. I hope you will all join in this race and look forward to reporting on the total in the ezine at the end of April.

It is well worth joining the groups, as there are some wonderful photographs of great work, many shared patterns and just a sense of a developing community, all committed to making this project of ours work.



What do you call someone who is not a knitter
Laura posted in revelry.com
"Is there a word for non-knitters/crocheters like muggles in Harry Potter?
Along with a whole lot of ways non knitters/crocheters could help without lifting a needle/hook:

1. donate yarn, needles and hooks to people who can and will work on the squares (seniors who can’t afford supplies but make beautiful squares might appreciate this)

2. donate envelopes and shipping supplies

mail in squares on someone else’s behalf 3. post flyers at local community centers or churches

4. make an announcement at a local SnB session

5. make an annoucement on your fave social network sites or your blogs

And in answer to her muggle question, here is one of several responses from Roger (my husband).
Definition of a non-knitter. A knotta – when I knit, I not. That makes knotta lotta use as a knitter, and
knysteryI don't know how they do it.

I will post the rest to the ravelry group and the site when the knit wits page is up. We challenge you to come up with the best new terms to be announced in April's ezine.


New on the site

Knit-a-square heroes

I've been busy! Most importantly, PLEASE visit the heroes heroes page. These are the stories of the people who in these early stages have championed this project with energy and commitment. They are all doing extraordinary things.

Kyla who pledged a square a day as a busy, young college student, plans to visit South Africa when she has all the squares done and is now organising the first knit-a-square-on-the-go day at a local high school craft fair. Kyla also keeps a Square-a-day Journal and has been recruiting knitters wherever she goes.

Kerry who both created the forum and administers it and is doing a great job, initially had the idea of a-square-on-the-go for the i-knit-weekender craft show in London in September and is keeping a wonderful tally of the April Race.

Laura who started the ravelry.com group and continues to contribute regularly although she is just about to have her first baby. We all wish her well and look forward to letting you know in the next ezine.

Debbie who started the first school Square Circle and has a very committed band of young girls madly knitting squares, many of which have already arrived in South Africa.

Veronica, who aged 12 has already engaged people in her school and church to make squares and raised $100 that she may use to buy yarn and needles for poorer people who cannot afford to knit. (Two wins here, which is just great).

Jill, who has been so generous with her time in sending crochet patterns on the turn, when so many of you were asking if you could crochet.

Mary, who has contributed so many free crochet patterns and photographs, and is a great support on the forums and the group.

Several of you, including Kathy and Hedy, have made personal pledges of a hundred squares or more and have involved others in the same goals.

And many, including Paulette and Deacon Joy who have done a lot of investigation into the best way to mail parcels and boxes from the USA and whose information will soon be on the site to help you.

If we are to succeed at making 10 000 children warm this year, it will be in no small part because of the wonderful community spirit that you have created and continue to foster. You are a hero if you are knitting and crocheting squares, thank you.


A site map
The site has doubled in the last 6 weeks. I was getting completely lost myself. So here is a site map that tries to group the various aspects of the site from the project itself, the charities we work with, the community, patterns and so on. Please give me feedback. I greatly appreciate any comments that will facilitate more blankets for more children.


Parent and Teachers' Resource
At long last the Parent and Teacher Resource page is up. The goal here is to introduce the project to schools, teaching young children three things: why it is important to give, about the AIDS orphans (without overwhelming them) and what they can do to help – knit or crochet just one square. This project will empower children to believe they can make a difference.

I hope that you will take the time to read the page (especially if you are a teacher – I would love someone to actually review the book). It is on sale for $17.95.


Free Crochet Patterns
Great new vest pattern – courtesy of Mary.

Heritage Blanket
A different kind of a pattern book by Zanny and me, coming soon. It is almost done and I hope to have it up on the site in the next 10 days. Please have a look if you are visiting during that time.

Other news

Frequently asked Questions.
There is now so much information on postage, yarn weights and patterns. Kalai and I are slowly sifting through all this information and compiling it all to make a comprehensive set of FAQ's pages. This will happen through April. Thank you for your patience with some of the postage issues in particular. I hope you will stick with the project despite some of these teething problems.

PR and Press
During April we will start to write to magazines, newspapers and radio stations. Press releases will be on the site for you to download, if you would like to have a go at informing your local media about the project, all you have to do is top and tale them with news of your group or what you are doing, or just send them as is. The more who know, the more squares, the more blankets.

A Survival Guide
A thought from the middle of the night! Many of these young children head up families without the benefit of parents to guide them. What information and in what form, would help them with just some simple aspects of life, when they have so little: learning, first aid, nutrition, crafts.

If a young one in their family had a cold, for example, without medication or knowledge, how would they treat it? I thought perhaps eucalypt leaves (gum trees abound in South Africa) in a bowl of hot water may help.

Tamara from Mexico has given me a range of ideas already and lots of research to do. Perhaps we could compile a small knit-a-square illustrated, manual to go with the blankets, to which you have contributed any ideas you have. Just a thought.

If you think it is a good idea, please post a topic to the forums and contribute there.

Knit-a-square stats
Here are some stats to ponder on. I am sure they will be greatly increased by this time next month. March 27 03 09: 1831 squares; 9 vests; 22 sweaters; 1 shrug; 2 beanies. 1 220 feet (371 metres) knitted or crocheted.
If the average number of stitches per square was 1 000 that would equal 183100 stitches!

Before you go onto look for your name in the long lists below, I will sign off for now, wish you a very happy Easter, April race and many thousand of stitches xxx, with love and blessings, Sandy



The squares and garments that had arrived up to 27 03 09

Many hundreds of parcels had no names on them. Ronda has done her best to capture every parcel as it was opened and so it is not in alphabetical order. We apologise if there are any errors in the spelling of names or number of squares but ask for your generosity in accepting the speed at which much of this had to be done. We have not recorded vests, pullovers and hats in this list. We will publish that next ezine, when our record keeping is a little more mechanised!

Here you are then:

Received from the USA 08-11 March 2009

Alice Reynolds – 3sq, 3sq, Nanci Ziegler – 1sq, 3sq, Ms M Wendy Watson – 4sq, Nancy Burkitt – 6sq, L Hissiger – 2sq, 3sq, 4sq, Ms Cynthia Kandel, Judy Baer – 3sq, 3sq, 3sq, Marilyn Moran – 3sq, D Tonino – 2sq, Welsh – 2 sq, Irma McConnell – 3sq, Richard/Jean Dousay – 1sq, Marcy Stong – 1 sweater, 1sq, Kay Hunter – 3sq, 3sq, 3sq, Kathy Bittle – 1 sq, Kaija Alford – 3sq, Catherine Hovey – 2sq, Mary Chapdelaine – 3sq, Phyllis Wood – 4 sq, R Forbes – 4sq, Phyllis Albers – 3sq, Susan Bawden – 1sq, Gale Sokol – 8sq, Sibyl White – 3sq, T Belangia – 4sq, Jeanne Sample – 1 sq, Cecilia M Viegas – 5sq, Ms Christine Patch – 1sq, Melissa Langer – 4sq, Carol Weston – 1 sq, Susan Brickowski – 5sq, 5sq, M J Byrne – 3sq, Joan Emmanual – 3sq, Carter – 2sq, 2sq, Susan A Stein – 3sq, Debra Carpenter – 4sq, 4sq, 3sq, 4sq, 4sq, Micheline N Eldridge – 4sq, 4sq, Claudia Green – 3sq, Roberta Union – 3sq J Daniels – 3sq, 3sq, Donna Overton – 3sq, Mrs Elaine R Cooper – 3sq, Lucretia Vanolst – 3sq, Janice Kirkwood – 2sq, Alma Barocio – 1sq, Anon – Penn Valley CA, 1sq, Mrs Pat Clark – 3sq, Gary & Shirley Hickey – 3sq, 3sq, G Reekie – 3sq, Lucy Gedrites – 3sq, Gayle De Groot – 3sq, 2sq, Plunkett – Bornoke – Carm Charnas – 1sq, Ms Nancy Horney – 3sq, Marty Brosnan – 5sq, Culbreth – 3sq Karen Fontana – 8sq, Sheilah Vaccariello – 6sq, Jane Woodruff – 13sq, 14sq Karen Mondshour – 4sq, Maya S Patel – 6sq, Laurie Hake – 20sq, Yvonne Shreck – 3sq, 1sq, St. Andrews Knitting Group, Joan Adis and Gloria, Michigan – 7sq, Katherine C Sabia – 3sq, Janice Hill – 4sq, Barbara Wyka – 2sq, Mr/Mrs Richard Wyka –, M Lorch – 2sq, Ms Jeanne L Olson – 3sq, 3sq, 3sq, Eileen Hosey – 4sq Ms Libby Christie – , Oceanside Middle School – 4sq, 4sq, 4sq,4sq, Jane Woodruff – 8 sq +, Bob and Roxy Thorpe – Rumpf – 2sq, Ms Arlene P Walsh – 3sq, Mr/Mrs Walter F Brickowski – 1sq, Valeree Phipps – 4sq, 4sq, Cynthia Reamsnyder – 17sq Mrs Barbara Levine – 2sq, 3sq + more, Ms Betty J Ramsey – 4sq (+2 books) Florence Blum – 6sq, 6sq, 3sq, Nanci Tousignant – 3sq, 3sq, Geraldine Yee – 17 sq, Swarthout Family – multiple env. + sqs !!, Anon, Kingsford MI – 3sq, 3sq, 3sq


Received from USA – 14-18 March 2009(br> Rossman – 3sq, Ms Lynn Terrien – 3sq, Maureen Kaskel Wenger – 4sq, Kaye Garner – 1sq, 3sq,3sq, Mrs Sonia Van Zyl – 3sq, Wendy Harrington – 4sq, Ms Susan A Stein – 3sq, Miri Waterhouse – 1 vest, 3sq, 1 sweater, M Pelgrim – sq, Patti Swilley – 1sq,2sq, Mr/Mrs Michael Swilley – 4sq,3sq, Lauren Stanton – 1sq, 1sweater, Kathryn R Crouck – 1 sweater, 3sq, S Nielsen – 5sq, Bill & Joyce Tucker – 3sq, 3sq, Marnie Marino – 6sq, Eileen Hosey – 4sq, Nancy Schlimmer – 2sq,3sq,3sq,3sq, Carolyn Benes – 6sq, Mary E Amundson – 5sq, Gail L Betzig – 11sq, Gloria Barbiero – 3sq, Anon – Conway Arizona – 6sq, Pam Howser – 1sq, Jacobsen – 3sq, Rita Bator – 3sq, Nancy Wisman – 3sq, Faye Cheesman – 3sq, Joann Buettell – 3sq, C A Kunsman – 4sq, Arcata Bay Llamas – 3sq, Geri Anderson – 1 vest, 2sq, 5sq, 1 sweater, Kathy Braun – 5sq, Jeri Clark – sq, Sonja Cartwright – 3sq Patricia Parent – 1sq, 1sq, Barbara Corey – 3sq, Arlene Szabo – 1sq, 1sq, 1sq, J Pannaman – 1sq, Mary Smith – 3sq, Convery – 6sq, 4sq, Alyson L Desens – 3sq J Elliott – 6sq, Judith R Sargent – 4sq, Jim & Beverley Clark – 3sq, Anon. Carbondale IL – 3sq


Rec’d from USA – 20 – 23 March
Melody Dobbie – 12 sq , 4sq, Marian Bell – 2 beanie, 1 sweater, 1 vest, Ms Katherine C Sabia – 1sq, M Anderson – 7sq, L Minor – 3sq, Suzanne de Falco – 2sq, Barbara Volpicello – 3sq, 3sq, Guardian Angels Knitting/Croch Group. 12sq, Pamela Melton – 3sq, Mrs JoAnn Pochciol – 3sq, Jean Tokar – 3sq, Nancy Eastwood – 28sq, Mr Walt Weston, Eastview, KY – 1sq, Ms Linda Nelson – 3sq, S Vickery – 8sq, Mary Lynch – 5sq, Janice Kirkwood – , Lori Orr – 3sq, L Fissel – 10sq, Kathie Croce – 1sq Gabriele Forrester – 3sq, Geiger – 3sq, Susan A Stein – 3sq, Sharon A Crosby – 3sq Joane Duran – 17sq, Mrs Pamela van Melton – 3sq, 3sq, Bob and Donna Posvar – 3sq Susan Patt – 3sq, Rachel J Amado/Henry C Heil Jr – 7sq, Ms Mara L Williams – 3sq Ms Marcia Capella – 3sq, D Welker – 10sq (f), Joyce Morimoto – 1sq, 2sq Ms Marilyn Moran – 3sq, 3sq, Virginia Otto – 1sq, Ms Lisa M Miller – 1sq, 6sq Ruth Ray – 2sq, Doris Thompson –, Nancy Y Cory – 1sq, Michele Ross , 1sq + Maria Ward – 3sq, Holley Downs – 2sq, Gloria Folson – 3, Carol Montifiore – 4sq, Carol Hovey – 3sq 1sq, Tracy Jacobsen – 6sq, Anon. Van Wert – 4sq, Doris Thompson – 3sq, Lorna Duck – 6 sq, K D Williams – 3 sq, Jill Schoenig – 3sq Diane M Nowak – 4sq + letter, Mandana Ghaffarian – 4sq, Mrs Peggy Adams – 5sq Charlotte Biggers – 2sq, Ms Hanna Russo – 3sq, V Musgrave – 4 sq, Janet C Rhodes – 3sq


Ex USA … Opened after 23 Mar
Merrilee Pascaris – 3sq, Sue Gibson – 3sq, Maureen Genna – 4sq, Marsha McGahan – 3sq, N Nugent – 3sq, Christine Patch – 5sq, (f), 4sq, D Posmontier – 9sq, (env. torn) CA93112 – 1sq, Ms Enid Sparr – 1sq, Valerie A Nugent – 3sq, 3sq, 3sq, Su Clift – 1 sq, 1 sq, 3sq, 1sq, 3sq, S Ballance – 4sq, Tiffany Lampe – 4sq, B Del Pozo – 4sq Ms Giusti – 3sq, Marcia Field, Ms Marcia U Desalgado – 3sq, Ginny Taylor – David & Carol Duda – 2sq, Gilbert – 3sq, Gwen Kessler – 3sq, Vera Edwards – 4sq N Zecca – 3sq, Carol Hovey – 3sq, Bill & Wendy Clark –, Honour P Brinlee – 1sq Jean Montanti – 3sq, Olive St Clair – 4sq, Ms Tilda Sumerel 3sq, 3sq, 8sq, Ms Sunshine Redline – 4sq, Una Ratmeyer – 1sq, Ms Judith A Watson – 2sq, K Sansone – 4sq, Anon. Mentor OH – 3sq, Maureen O’Neill – 1sq, The Hodgells – 3sq Irma McConnell – 3sq, 3sq, Cathy Alford – 1sq, Alma Barocio – 1sq Anon. Jameson MO – 1sq, Jo Ellen Engert – 1 sq, Susan Van Winkle – 3sq, Cheryl Myrick of the Oooh-la-la knitting group, Texarkhana, – 14sq, Micheline Eldridge – 6sq, Janice Gassman – 6sq, Christine Pierce – 2sq, Iris Weissman – 4sq Beverly Eisenhaur – 3sq, Lee – 3sq, Valerie McCaffrey – 7sq, Mr Bryan Carlisl – 3sq Judy Laurin – 6sq, Nancy Robinson – 3sq, Betty Williams – 3sq, Kathie Grace – 1sq Helga Hachem – 3sq, Sorbeck – 4sq, Anon – NY11795 – 3sq, Jane Barnhart – 3sq Barbara Andrea – 8 sq, Anon. Joshua TX – 3 sq, Ms Sandra Jackson – 9sq


Last minute list from Ronda :
Mary M Jewell, R Lorshin, Melina E Hawkins, Deborah McQuillan, Joyce Scales – box Mountain View Community Churc -box, Donna E Wolf- box Joan Briar -box Andrus – Rosamund -box, Paulette Pronk – box, Sadhna Bangdiwala -1, Linda Silvan -2 Anne Lokke -6, Anne Warburton and Mark Earle – 6, Robyn Cottell -13, Sue Thumbedos- 11


UK: Karen Gentleman – 4, H Strachan – 13, Rev R. Almond – 3, Sutton Baptist church – 11, Anon. WR24VG England – 6, A Gilbert – 4, Angela Moss – 3, Pam Lee – 4, Sarah Nixon – 1, Elaine Jones – 3 , Jean Andrew – 2, Julia van Aardt – 2


Square Circle- Apology


I am so sorry, but my efforts to send you a long and very newsy ezine tonight, as promised, written and ready to go, have been gravely frustrated by technical issues outside of my ability to fix it.

I have contacted support and hope very much that you will receive an ezine full of news of the latest blanket distribution and the wonderful women who are helping us, very soon.

In the meantime, please drop into the site. There are quite a few new pages.

Look forward to sorting this problem out as soon as possible.

Kindest regards, Sandy

URGENT UPDATE re: Using Wool and Acrylic Yarn


We can use Acrylic Yarn

So sorry to be bombarding you with another message so soon after the last. As fast as I try to reply to you, new messages come in, which is truly wonderful. My inbox has bounced, like a trampoline, from 690 emails to 470 and then back to 580 unanswered emails! I now just have to accept that it may be days, or perhaps longer, before I can answer you.

Your messages have been so supportive and encouraging and full of enthusiasm for the project, I feel I must address, with urgency, the confusion regarding the use of acrylic yarns or wool.

Many of you have already knitted squares using acrylic yarns and are now confused as to whether to send them or not, given my comments in the last Square Circle (02/21/09).

If you have knitted squares using acrylic or are currently knitting them, PLEASE SEND THEM.

As I have explained to some of you, we will continue to recommend wool or wool blends or other yarns, once we have completed the research on which have good fire retardant qualities, but we can still definitely use acrylic yarn squares and clothing.

Uses for wool
Squares and clothing items knitted out of wool and wool blends and other fire retardant fibres, will be used for the children who live in the poorest areas of the townships or squatter camps, where the primary source of light and fuel is naked flame, (candles, camp fires and paraffin stoves).

Uses for Acrylic
Acrylic squares and articles of clothing will be used for the children who live in orphanages or live-in-care homes, such as Hotel Hope. Some children do live in homes with electricity, albeit under great poverty, and we can supply them with acrylic blankets and articles of clothing.

I apologise greatly for the concern this has caused. In recommending wool as our first choice for warmth, I had not considered how many of you had stocks of acrylic yarn to use for the squares. And of course, I am sure you too would be deeply concerned not to put any of these children at further risk, as I was, in considering Rebecca's excellent advice regarding any potential fire risks. (It's among the comments at the bottom of the knitting help page.)

However, I hope you will think this is a good solution and will continue to knit or crochet if you only have acrylic yarn.

In the long term, the need is so great that both wool and acrylic should be well used. I will rely on the feedback from Soweto Comfort Club as to whether they have more need either way and let you know as we progress. To help them, we would greatly appreciate it, if you could mark on your packages: ACRYLIC.

And of course, we will put up the information we are gathering both from you, and our research, as to the best fire retardant yarns to use in the long term.

I hope that everyone knows now that we are very happy to receive crocheted squares. I put up Jill's pattern on crochet a square , yesterday.

Thank you for again for your willingness to contribute.


PS For those who you have may have come on board in the last two days, thank you for subscribing, and if you wish to catch up on the issues discussed here, you can read the previous issues here.


Parent/teacher resource update

The parent teacher resource will go on site next week. It started out as a small manual and has grown to 36 pages. It is loaded with information, and while some of it is from the site, it has the convenience of being in one logically flowing document for ease of use.

We are very much hoping that teacher's and parents will take up the resource as a way of teaching their pupils and students, firstly the importance of giving, and then teaching them a craft by which they can do so. The book will be for sale on the site, through clickbank.com.

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.

8 ply
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!

Hotel Hope
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.

Washing wool
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.

Raining squares


It's raining squares in South Africa


Raining squares

Firsts from Ronda

Sewing bee

The knit-a-square forum launched today

Ravelry.com group

New on the site

Tip of the month

As Ronda wrote to me yesterday, "this is marvelous – the deluge has started and I may just disappear for ever under an avalanche of little packets. When I arrived at the post office this morning my new friends, Hilda and Stone, were as excited as I was – they had completely filled the brown bag and had been obliged to improvise and find another bag to start holding the envelopes in. At the last collection recently, there were 12 envelopes containing 31 squares. I have yet to count, but am SURE there are many hundreds now."

Ronda has started a list of firsts and bit of a competition as you will read beneath the photos.

But we extend a huge thank you to you, from all of us, for starting the ball rolling. I know from the hundreds of wonderful emails I have received, that envelopes, packages and boxes and boxes of squares are on their way. What an inspiring example of 'from small acorns, large oaks grow'.


There is a list at the bottom of this e-zine of those opened squares with addresses from before this current deluge, but please bear in mind that no parcels from the UK or USA have been opened yet. Volunteers will be doing that this weekend.

These are all firsts, all beautiful, bright squares:
First 3 envelopes from Aussie (not from family!) – COME ON AUSSIES!
Germany – Carola Ewler (8)
New Zealand – Marlene Scheider (3)
Canada – S Roach, (6) with embroidery on them, lovely.

Here are the piles from the UK (right) and USA and Canada (left).


I did say that the next ezine would only be at the end of March when we could show you the first blankets. But I hope you would all want to know the progress of the squares arriving, and also the news of our knit-a-square forum and Ravelry.com. group.

Firstly, the sewing bee is scheduled for March 28 now with Ronda, her daughter Erin and friends, we hope all the Soweto Comfort ladies, including Florence, Lucy, Ruda, Josephine and Euna as well as Kylie who lives in Johannesburg, but found out about knit-a-square from Lion Brand, in attendance.


Kerry Paris, wrote from London and volunteered to investigate, work out how and then create a knit-a-square forum. She recognised that many of the issues around postage, yarn weight, gauge, types of yarn and so on, plus news of the the project, as well as a community of like minded people would be well served by a forum.

It was an act of amazing generosity, but as Kerry said, something about this project and the plight of the children we are working for had touched her heart.

That was 6 days ago! Today the forum went live, with a little bit of help from Matt, who works for us. Thank you Kerry for a wonderful effort. She is also the moderator for the UK, Kalai (our daughter) is for Australia, Erin (Ronda's daughter) is for South Africa.

We will need moderators for the USA and Canada, hopefully some of you will be happy to volunteer. Please feel free to give us feedback on how we can improve it. But for now, let's just get chatting.

We are so excited, this is really the very best way for us to talk to each other. Please all join as soon as you are able, so we can share our knowledge, issues, ideas and successes at spreading the word with each other.


Laura Zalesak from the USA has opened a Ravelry.com group. You have to join to be invited and that takes some time. I am still waiting for my invitation, but it looks like a wonderful site full of knitting and crocheting news and patterns. Thank you Laura for your kindness in volunteering to do this and to answer queries as they come in.



Spread the word
All this information and more is contained on a new page called spread the word. You can download flyers and a poster and there is a list of ideas about how to widen the knit-a-square circle. The need is so great, that we alone cannot cover all these children with their own warm blankets. We need to enlist the help of every knitter and crocheter and school child we can, so please have a look and see if there is anything suggested there that you can do. EVERY SQUARE COUNTS.

Hearts to crochet
Rachel from the West Coast USA, very kindly sent in this pattern and graph, for a delightful crochet square with heart puffs. Perhaps the children will sleep especially well under their blankets with this extra sign of love sent to them from afar. Thank you Rachel.


From Marilyn Labadie
Marilyn wrote to suggest using a "seal a meal" vacuum packaging machine (Foodsaver or Rival are two brands she knows). This way you can fit 15 squares into a small parcel which means the squares would cost approximately 55c each to send.



At last count there were another 14 'must do' pages to put up on the site, much of it the fantastic volume of information you have sent. Many of you have already contributed to the site on the knitting help and yarn weights pages, and there is a fund of great tips there, so do have a look. I look forward to contacting you at the end of the month having completed much of this work, and to show you the first blankets.

With apologies, I won't be answering mail until Monday next week. Have a good weekend, and bless you for your commitment and contributions – Sandy


This is the list of envelopes which had names on them before the massive influx of this week. The bulk of the envelopes have arrived unnamed:


Sandra X UK, Jennifer Binns UK, Margaret Counter Aus, Mrs M Ohrman UK, Mrs Moneypenny UK, Doris Zubillage USA, Mrs M R Keen UK, S Gascoigne UK, Jennifer Wilson UK, Kerry Paris UK, Kirsty Frame, Anita Hodgkinson Anne Warburton SA, Pam Lee UK, Monica Pothecary UK, Denise Henderson USA, Brian and Chris Jones UK, ? Misso UK.


Thank you. Your squares will soon be in a blanket keeping a cold child warm.

Watch a child wrapped in your love and warmth.

Our dear KAS friends,

We're so excited to bring you this first ever Square Circle Video ezine.

Be prepared to shed a tear when you see the children wrapped in love and warmth and know that your squares, hats and jumpers are all doing similar work.

When you've watched it, please join us here in the forum to talk about the children, ideas for future videos, knitting and crochet ideas and patterns and to tell us if you belong to a group and how that came about.

We look forward to meeting you in there very soon. Sandy, Ronda and the KasTeam worldwide.

You can join the Square Circle KasCommunity here.

Join in the latest Christmas Challenge, being run by Linda Maltby in the forum and give the children a Christmas square as a gift.

Join us for a discussion on future topics for the Square Circle Video Ezine.

To help us raise funds to buy a suitable van for transport and establish warehouse facilities, you can donate here (Just mark on your donation what your intention is, thank you).

Otherwise please contribute a small amount of $5 or more a month to help us keep the operation going in South Africa.


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