From Tracie: Knit a Square

Friday, October 23, 2009

Knit a Square

I am very excited. A couple of weeks ago I read Take Your Best Shot - it is about a young boy who started a foundation that helps AIDS orphans in Africa through basketball tournaments. I am reading it again, this time with Katarina (this isn't an independent reading book for her right now, because there are some things in there that involve more explanation than her dictionary is going to give her). In the book, he talks about figuring out what you have a passion for, finding something you love, and putting the two together to make a difference.

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.


  1. I wish I had the artistic ability to do things like knitting. Knit a Square sound interesting. I will tell my aunt who knits about it. Happy VGNO! Thanks for entering my contest!

  2. That project sounds great! I don't knit but that makes me want to learn. My mom taught me all sorts of crafts growing up, but there was something about a right handed mom teaching a left handed daughter that stopped her from teaching me to knit. Guess I'd better go find a left handed teacher!

    Have a great weekend & Happy VGNO!

  3. I am hopelessly not adept at anything involving the use of my hands :-)

    But I loved this blog. It's good to know there agre good people out there.

  4. This is an swesome idea! And I love to knit. Thanks for sharing this!

    Happy VGNO to you :)

  5. I am in. I'm going to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

    Silly Saturday #4 - Purdie Pyrate's Halloween

  6. Tracie,

    When I'm done with all my knitting for these orphans I'm going to have to make myself one of those afghans created out of random squares. Aren't they so beautiful? I never would have thought of simply sewing non-matching knitted squares together!

    I'm glad you're getting into this, it's such a worthy cause.

    Cheers! (Picture us raising our knitting needles and tapping them together lightly as we make a toast!)

  7. Ummh. No. I don't knit.

    But we do have something in common.

    I'd rather blog than cook.

    Any day.

    Visiting from SITS.

    Sweet dreams.

  8. visiting from sits. I am now a follower. Enjoyed your writing. Have a fantastic night... Dont tell my hubby I am blog hoppin and not folding laundry lol

  9. Hi Traci, thank you so much for visiting my blog. Sounds like we are soul sisters where the love of bare feet come in!

    This organization sounds wonderful. I crochet but don't knit. This may encourage me to learn to do so. What a wonderful thing you are doing teaching your daughter about helping others. I believe it is really the most important lesson in ife.

    All The Best!

  10. That's a great idea! I recently learned about the Linus Project, women who make quilts and blankets for kids who are experiencing trauma to bolster their sense of security.

    I don't knit anything but words.

  11. That sounds so nice. I knit, but just very basically.

  12. That's cool!

    My daughter would love to make some books! Do you have information pertaining to that?


  13. I have always wanted to learn knitting. If I knew how, I would def. get involved in this worthwhile cause!

  14. Love it. Love it. Love it. Katie is going to be such a wonderful responsbile adult who cares about the world and social justice issues. I bet she would love my refugees... I am going to check this out, too!

  15. This Christmas my daughter & I learned to knit from her aunt & grandma (and YouTube how to videos!). Our squares are looking a bit more kite shaped, but we're getting there. This is totally something that will inspire us to knit! ... if we can do it, anyone can!

  16. I am so going to do this! I haven't picked up my knitting needles in over 3 years! I MUST do it again. I want to learn to crochet too. :)