Aug 3, 2011

262 - 264: Knit A Squillion With Me!

A few days ago on Ravelry a friend in a forum posted a note about Knit A Square’s newest campaign – they are hoping to have 1.2 million squares donated between July 2011 and July 2012!


The folks they work with in Africa have the ability to sew together 100,000 squares a month, which would mean blankets for 3,000 kids. That number staggers me. Three thousand kids a month can be helped by simply knitting or crocheting squares and sending them off.

To get to 1.2 million, a lot has to happen – the community already involved in Knit A Square needs to get busy, and they need to start asking for help. For those of you who are interested, here’s how it breaks down:

They’re asking everyone like me, who already has donated to Knit A Square, to commit to making 5 squares a month, or 60 squares total over the course of a year. On top of this, they’re asking each of these folks to find five friends who can commit to sending in 25 squares each over the course of the year. If folks want to go further, their website has tons of great ideas for asking schools, businesses, knitting groups and more to join in.

As I read this, I thought to myself, “Self, you sure can make more than 5 squares a month! And self, I bet you know a few knitters and crocheters who’d be willing to make at least 25 squares over a year!”

With my goal to donate 10k handmade items to charity in my lifetime feeling a bit stalled as of late, I’m taking up this challenge in some pretty big ways. I’ve got a bunch of acrylic yarn remnants that can be put to good use, and I’m about to have my knitting and crochet time changed up dramatically – I’m betting while I’ll have time to put a few rows on a square, I may not have time to knit up huge items for at least a few weeks!

I’m also blessed with the community that’s formed around this blog – you folks band together to donate to charity, to share what’s going on here, and to support me in my audacious goals in some pretty crazy ways!


So here’s what I’m thinking …

One – I’m going to challenge myself to knit or crochet 10 squares a month for Knit A Square. This doubles what they’re asking of each individual, but is a super attainable goal for me. For the next few weeks I’m pretty sure I can actually make a lot more than this, but I’m hopeful even once the baby arrives 10 squares a month will be do-able.

Two – I’m challenging you all to donate 25 squares each as well! If just 20 of you took up the challenge and knit or crochet 25 squares in the coming year, this blog community would donate another 500 squares to Knit A Square!

A few things to note about this challenge …

>> Sending squares to Africa can get expensive. I’ve heard people say to estimate around a dollar a square, so keep that in mind. On the Knit A Square website they have super detailed shipping instructions, which you should definitely follow when sending out your squares – they can help you cut down on costs as well as make it much easier for the folks in Africa to get your donations.

>> Squares need to be around 8”, and can be either knit or crochet. When I glanced at the photos on the Knit A Square website, many of the squares look to be made using simple garter stitch or single crochet stitch – nothing fancy, and using many different colors and types of yarn. This is perfect for beginning knitters – I’m going to post the simplest of tutorials about this next week to help you get started!

>> Knit A Square asks that you use acrylic yarns for their squares. They do accept squares made of other materials, but if you send them, they need to be packaged separately and labeled and such, so this is the perfect time to grab all your old acrylic and put it to good use!

>> Yarn weight does not matter! You can use your sport weight acrylic, your worsted weight acrylic, and even your bulkier weight acrylic for this project! They truly accept all squares, so dig as deep into your stash as you can to find yarn that you want to use up!

>> Be sure to download Knit A Square’s PDF about the project. It includes four shipping labels, so you don’t have to worry about labeling your box incorrectly, and comes with tons of links to help answer any of your questions about the organization or this particular drive!

 I’ll be updating here regularly, sharing the squares I’ve whipped up and asking you to do the same. Each Wednesday I’m planning on posting a squares update in fact, and I’ve figured out a fun way for you to link to your squares right within the blog post, so we can all see the fun squares folks are making! Even if it’s just one square, that square can help keep a child warm who desperately needs it!

{These are charity knits 262 - 264/10,000. I'm knitting 10,000 items for charity in my lifetime as part of my Ten Thousand Project.}

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