Worth Reading

I have a new homeschooling club plan. “Oh, because you’re not organizing enough of the world and have so much free time?” asked the cynical and over-worked part of me.  ” Too bad, Sarah,” answered my heart, “look at those pictures and tell me teaching kids to knit a square isn’t important.”

I’ve never knit a square. Not the kind for blankets. I’ve never been interested to, either. My charity knitting has centered on thick socks, mitts, or hats. But I followed a link on the Minimalist Knitter blog and was hit by the Knit a Square Project. The pictures drew me in. Beautiful big eyes peeking out from thick blankets. How could I say no?

I like the breadth of their goals:

“This knitting project has as its first goal to supply a blanket for every child in need in the Phiri Parish. From there, we hope to expand to the rest of Soweto, then to nearby squatter camps, and beyond, in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

That goal may seem unachievable, but a small 8″ x 8″ (20cm x 20cm) square is easy and cheap to knit and send.”

Little actions with big results.  They want to blanket the continent.  Literally.  And it doesn’t take long to knit a square.  Nelson Mandela wants us to do it, and he’s pretty sure we have the 67 minutes it takes. Seriously.  I can’t disappoint Mandela.

What’s more, they’re making it easy for me to make this work.  Realizing that many of the people sending in squares were children, they developed a Teacher Guide with lessons not just on knitting but also on southern Africa and AIDS.

My plan is to invite interested families over and teach them to knit.  The next session I’m going to teach them the Grandma’s Favorite Dishcloth pattern.  Because it’s diagonally constructed, no gauge swatch is needed.  That means that the kids can just start knitting and measure it as they go. When a side is 20 cm or 8″, they can start decreasing.

Squares to change the world. I like it.

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One thought on “Worth Reading

  1. GailV says:

    Wow, I’m thinking about how to integrate this into our knitting and crochet co op class now. Thanks so much for pointing it out.

    It’s a perfect project for a class — can be very, very simple, or can be more complex, depending on the skill of the knitter. Plus they can do it for the crochet part of the year, too. Right now I’m thinking about making it optional after they make dishcloths.

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