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.

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