to KasSnippets


What is KasSnippets?

KasSnippets is our monthly newsletter intended to keep readers informed of what is happening at Knit-a-Square and throughout the KAScommunity.


Who reads KasSnippets?

We hope that all Forum members and possibly non members read our newsletter.  In short, KasSnippets is available to readers from all over the world from many varied backgrounds and cultures.


Why Invite Guest Writers?

It doesn’t matter where you live in our great big world, if you are helping to create warmth for the children in South Africa, you are a valued member of our KAScommunity.  Since KasSnippets is our community newsletter, we would like to give everyone an opportunity to contribute.

KasSnippets is a perfect platform for anyone who would like to try a hand at writing a one-time blog, share a good idea, inform us of something wonderful, make us giggle, or share a good news item.


If you would like to be a Guest Writer, please remember these few things:


– Keep your piece around 300 words.  Remember we are a “snippet”.

– Always be respectful, upbeat, and positive.

– Don’t share personal views on politics or religion.

– Remember to consider how others will perceive what you write.



– History of the Square Circle Forum

– Insights into the beauty of your part of the world

– A poem or something humourous.

– Something factual such as success stories of a SA child who made it out of the informal settlements and built a life

– An informative piece on JAM,

– Profile someone you know who is “giving back” by serving in Africa or in their own community.

– There are many good news stories … you aren’t limited to things KAS-focussed.


If you need to lay down your needles and hooks for a bit, perhaps you will “pick up a pen” and share your writing talents with us.  We would love to hear from you.


Submissions may be made by Private Message to either

 Gloria Grandy or Valerie Zalewski.




As the Seasons Change

Autumn is one of those weather-crazy seasons in Canada. In a span of 24 hours, it could be sunny, warm, rainy, cold, windy and snowy. Just the other day we had brooding clouds, rain, sleet and hail, all mixed with sunny breaks. Out come the woolen items from their summer hiding places, whether handmade or store bought.

IMG_9472I know that South Africa is coming into their summer months but I can’t help but think what it’s like to go without a pair of handwarmers or a hat on a cold day. To know there is nothing to protect you from the elements is a harsh reality for many. Luckily, KAS members are there to help.

Recently I watched a show about glass. It followed the invention, innovation, tinkering and collaboration that has brought us to a time where, among many other things, we can share photos. From spectacles to mirrors, fibre optic cables to cameras, glass has transformed the way we understand the world.

Now, imagine for a moment that we couldn’t share photos of our achievements, squares, distributions. We would miss so many opportunities to innovate, tinker and collaborate. We have made our very own social network with KAS. Like the lenses in a microscope, ideas build on each other and create a whole new way of seeing the world. Through the sharing of photos we have single-handedly broadened our experiences of humanity.

The Colours of our Mettle

For the first time in Olympic history, Canada has topped the medal standings at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. This goes for the Summer Olympics as well. We’re now tied for second place but for quite a few days we stood at the number one spot.

Medal Standing

I don’t typically watch sports but there’s something about the Olympics that turns me into a tense, raving, rabid patriot. David thinks I’m crazy for yelling at an athlete to go faster or for being concerned when someone crashes on the luge track. I guess it’s because I have a competitive streak and I’m a proud Canadian. I’m flabbergasted that we’ve done so well, being used to Canadians getting shut out of a medal in fourth place or not making it to the top ten. I’m so proud of our athletes and wish the athletes from around the world all the best.


Here’s a photo of blanket three for Michael’s:


And here is blanket four:



Hi everyone!


We've got a new item up in the shop today, specifically in response to some of the feedback in January that you wanted to (a) be able to support the Gogos who do such a fantastic job assembling squares in South Africa, and (b) have more options to make donations for less than $10. We bandied a few ideas back and forth with the SA team, and borrowed a few thoughts from the New Year thread, and we have a few great ideas for new shop items. This is the first of them!


Sewing kit for a Gogo


Our wonderful team of Gogos (older women) in South Africa use these sewing kits to make up all of the donated squares into blankets, but that’s not the end of it. A sewing kit also makes it possible for them to repair or even make their own clothes, blankets and other valuable items.

Depending on individual needs and interests, a sewing kit might include some combination of scissors, needles, thread, pins, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fabric, or various other vital crafting tools and materials. Your donation will be helping these women to help us, and to help themselves.


For just $9, you can purchase one of these sewing kits now from the Sewing Kit page on the KAS shop.

All the other shop items are still there too, so keep an eye out for something which touches you, maybe Fuel for the KasVan or some Snacks for a Distribution?




* Please note $9 is strictly representative of the average cost of a kit, as precise costs can fluctuate from case to case. All KAS Ops Sponsorship donations are added to a common fund, used to cover operational costs in South Africa.

35 Squares

It takes 35, 8 inch (20 centimetre) squares to make one blanket for an AIDS orphan.


Many members of Knit-a-Square are fiber artists. They create magnificent images on a canvas of wool to the delight of all who see them.


By Anneke


By Linda


By Robin

The most important square for the orphans of South Africa however, is the

Plain Jane

A Plain Jane is a simple one yarn, one stitch square. When possible we sew one artistic square with 34 Plain Janes to make our blankets.

One of our members, Anne from Canada, has written a beautiful poem that explains of the importance of “PJs”:


Knit Plain Jane


I’m just a ‘plain Jane’ square

Nothing fancy, nothing grand!

Just a ‘plain Jane’ square,

Made by a loving hand.

You think I’m not important?

Well, think again, my friend!

‘Cause many other ‘plain Janes’

When they’re joined end to end

Crochet-Square-Plain_JaneWill keep an orphan warm at night,

Wrap ‘round them on cold days,

And tell them that they’re loved

In, oh, so many ways!

Even if you have never knit or crocheted before, you can master a Plain Jane in no time!

Won’t you give it a try? Here are the links to free KAS patterns:

Knit Plain Jane Pattern

Crochet Plain Jane Pattern

Friday spotlight

Every Friday, on the Knit-a-Square blog, I will be introducing you wonderful people who make up KAS, sometimes volunteers and sometimes, like today, our reason for being, the AIDS orphans of South Africa.


Sweetness, is a small AIDS orphan who is being helped by Ten Thousand Homes, a charity for children, in South Africa, for whom the knit-a-square community are knitting and crocheting.

Here is her story, by Brittany who works for Ten Thousand Homes.

Her name is Sweetness.

She is barely three years old and already her eyes reflect the harsh reality that is her life.


Orphaned as an infant, Sweetness has been passed around from relative to relative before landing on the doorstep of a widowed uncle.

Out of necessity, he is gone most of the day at work, leaving the three year old behind to fend for herself.

Infected with AIDS, his death will follow swiftly on the heels of her parents and Sweetness will soon be orphaned for the second time.

When I first started work in Kabokweni, Sweetness was shy and would not approach me willingly. She is too solemn for one so small and often stares at her feet rather than respond when I try to talk to her. Sometimes I pick her up whether she acknowledges me or not and hold her close. She doesn’t fight, but lays passive in my arms and keeps her head down. I feel the hard, roundness of her stomach. She looks like a pregnant toddler, but I know that this is often caused by malnutrition.

Yesterday, I was playing a game with about fifty of the kids. They were being loud and acting more rambunctious than normal, but still for the most part good-natured. There was a lot of noise, that amazing crescendo unique to children and, while I was laughing and yelling along with the rest of them, organizing a game was fast becoming impossible.

And in that moment of chaos, I felt tiny arms encircle my leg and a small body pressed itself close to me.

This alone was not unusual, but as I glanced down and saw Sweetness, her cheek resting on my thigh her eyes raised to me, I felt near tears. She stayed glued to me the rest of the day and I let her cling all she wanted. Or maybe it was she who let me cling.

This is why we knit and crochet for Knit-a-Square. Won’t you join us?