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Thursday, January 5, 2012

'Thoughful Thursday'- Knit a Square Project

Every thursday throughout 2012 here on Knitting Galore is 'Thoughtful Thursday' and we will be featuring a Charity that will benefit from the help of knitters everywhere. We start off with the very worthy  KasCare. Aid for Aids orphans. Knit a Square Project.

The knit-a-square project was started as a family project in 2008 and are now a registered charity under the name of KasCare, with the family still 100 percent involved. They are:
The McDonalds, Sandy, Roger, Kalai, and Cressida and Sandy’s, mother, Zanny, who are all in Australia and Ronda Lowrie, Sandy’s aunt and Zanny's sister, and her daughter, Erin who, live in South Africa.
Ronda visited The McDonald’s in 2008. She told them of the scale of the disaster facing so many children in South Africa whose lives are greatly compromised by the twin perils of HIV/AIDS and poverty. She explained she often gave out blankets to children as she drove around Johannesburg, and of her frustration—too many children, too few blankets.
Many of these children are AIDS orphans or have been abandoned. Many live in great poverty in shack settlements. Some head up families of their siblings together with other children. Some live alone, without shelter, in hills and dumps around the cities.

Can you help the challenge?

The knit-a-squillion challenge officially started, July 11, 2011.
The goal is to send 1,2 million squares to South Africa by July 10, 2012.
To do this, first download the Knit-a-squillion flyer by filling in the form below. This explains the challenge.You can find this on the web site:
http:// www.knit-a-square.com

Over and above charity knitting, for every square you knit and every person you tell about it, you are all contributing to changing the world's awareness of the plight of these children.
Every additional blanket keeps another abandoned child or AIDS orphan warm.

At it's heart, knit-a-square really is a simple crochet and knitting for charity project. To make and send 8"/20cm squares takes little time, costs little and DOES make a difference. And all while you do what you love - knitting and crocheting.

Knitting Instructions: For one 8"/20 cms square, you will need:
Yarn from a 100 gram (3.5 oz) ball of yarn or scraps of yarn or wool.8 ply (Aus), worsted (USA), double knit (UK)
Size 6mm needles (Aus) 4 (UK, Canada) 10 (USA)
A yarn sewing needle.
1. Cast on 32 stitches (try to make your stitches neither too loose nor too tight to help ensure uniform squares)
2. Row 1: knit
3. Row 2: knit. These two rows form the 'garter' stitch knitting pattern for your square
4. Continue knitting as per these two rows until you have knitted a square
5. To ensure you square is 8"/20cm either use a tape measure or form a triangle by folding one corner of your square over to meet the opposite corner - if all sides are equal - then you have a square!
6. Cast off
7. Use your yarn sewing needle to sew in all the yarn ends using a darning method
Leave a one metre (one and a quarter yards) length of your yarn attached to your work after you have cast off. This will be used to join the squares together.Or be a little bit creative! If you're an experienced knitter and enjoy working with different stitches, (eg stocking, moss, basket weave) or a combination of stitches and patterns, then please enjoy yourself and be creative with your squares.The children will treasure these blankets for their warmth, texture and colour, as well as for their knitted patterns.

This months challenge is: January Jewel's - asking for squares that are vibrant & jewel like.
Other patterns such as hats, pullovers & vest are available from web site:

please knit a square (or more) and send them to Africa to make up blankets for the children.
Crocheting and knitting for charity, especially for children in need, is a meditative act of love. More importantly, it makes a difference. There are many millions of abandoned and vulnerable children and AIDS orphans in southern Africa, who live in dire poverty. Many lack the very basics we take for granted—love, shelter, food, education and warmth.
Your contribution of squares to this crochet and knitting project will add to the many thousands of 8"/20cm squares from around the world, which are joined into blankets and distributed to these children.
The finished blankets add more than warmth to the children’s lives. As co-founder of KasCare, Ronda said in a South African press interview:“ They are a currency we use to tell the children exactly how beloved they are. We tell them they are the future, unique and special.”

Make a Financial Donation
Kascare are also a volunteer organisation and would be deeply appreciative of your support. This will help continue the grassroots movememt to raise awareness of the AIDS orphans' plight. They need your help to continue this work to keep warm every child who is cold, who has been abandoned or orphaned, who is infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and who lives in extreme poverty.
In order to do this, KasCare must fund help for the hard working volunteers who collect, sort, record and bundle the thousands of squares and garments that are arriving every week. They must have proper working, storage space and adequate transport for collections and distributions.
They also need to sustain the resources required to find, persuade and inform the millions of knitters and crocheters throughout the world to contribute, so that they put tens of thousands of blankets on the children next year. To warm just the 500 children a day who become orphans in South Africa would need several million squares!.

You can find the details of how you can donate on the website www.knit-a-square.com and you can aslo subscribe to their newsletter Square Circle. As your squares arrive, they are collected, sorted and bundled into blanket packs by the KasCare Volunteers They then organise sewing and distribution days which are recorded in the Square Circle, so you can see and enjoy the results of your wonderful work.

Every 14 seconds a child will become an orphan!

We all understand how awful it is to be cold, but many of us have not experienced the misery of being cold all night, every night, hungry, and perhaps sick as well. Many of the children are themselves infected by HIV AIDS. As it is an auto immune disease, keeping warm helps their ability to stay well.

Keeping a child with HIV AIDS warm is vital
Please help if you can.