Katarina already has a passion for building wells, and has been saving money to send for that (I did not make her do this, she saw it one day while I was watching James Robison and it rocked her world that those kids didn't have water), but since we have been reading this book, she has been concerned about AIDS orphans. This gets a little interesting when she starts telling the supermarket check out woman statistics about AIDS deaths in Africa (apparently this is not what six year olds are supposed to talk about at the supermarket), and it has gotten us more than one strange reactions, but we are all about education and information in our family.
She has been discussing what she could do to make a difference.
I found a perfect opportunity to combine her new passion with something she has wanted to do for a long time - knitting. Katarina has been begging to learn to knit since I started doing it last year. I tried teaching her right at the beginning, but I think that the combination of her fingers being a little to small and maybe some motor skills that hadn't set in (she was only 5) were just too much, and she couldn't do it. I promised her we could try again, after she turned six, but I haven't had the time to sit down with her and work on it.
I was reading Beautiful Dreamer last night, and she had a post about a new project that she is involved with - knitting hats for orphans. That got my curiosity up, and I had to investigate. Here is the scoop...
Knit a Square. You knit or crochet 8x8" squares, and send them to Africa (not just to Africa in general, there are very detailed postal directions on the website). Women in Africa sew all the squares together to make blankets for AIDS orphans.
On the website they have a message board you can join, which of course I did, because I never do things halfway. I wrote the most obnoxiously long post full of questions, and already five people have responded and answered. I am loving the sense of community they have going on over there.
When Katarina woke up (because y'all know all this took place at 3am, the time when I do everything but sleep), I showed her the website and we watched the videos together. She was so excited...jumping up and down excited. We got out my yarn and needles, and she started working on a knit stitch.
Her first stitches aren't bad. She is ssssssssslllllllloooooowwwwww, but that is to be expected. She did ten rows of knit stitches today, and by the fourth row she was doing it pretty much without any help from me.
One of the orphanages they work with has asked for small books made out of construction paper. This is a simple project, they want to have brightly colored pictures in the books. Katarina can't wait to get her crafty little hands on that project, so she is going to make some of those as well.
Do you knit? Do you crochet? Have you ever wanted to learn? If so, please go check this out. It is so awesome. Especially for someone who is just starting to knit, there is nothing more simple than a square. Anyone can do it - my six year old is doing it! If you are ready for a challenge you could make a hat or a go-over, and if you need help there are free knitting patterns on their website.
When I looked at the pictures, I saw these sweet blankets with all these squares that came from Australia, Canada, the UK, the US, and other places, all sewn together to give warmth to a precious child in Africa. I couldn't not get involved in that. I hope you will be inspired to get involved, too.