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.
FIRSTS FROM RONDA 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.
SEWING BEE 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.
Ravelry.com 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.
NEW ON THE SITE
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.
TIP OF THE MONTH 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.