Event: My birthday knitting goal
Date: Saturday, 26 January 2019
Fundraising target: R5600
I’ve done it! I’ve reached my goal of 100 knitted beanies! These have all been lovingly crafted with my own hands and each one is absolutely unique in appearance. It’s been a long project but fun and satisfying, knowing that each beanie will find its way to a child whose life is otherwise lacking in colour and comfort.
If you have not sponsored me yet, I appeal to you to help me meet my financial goal. The charity I’m supporting does great work, bringing together people from all walks of life and living in countries around the globe. From the gentleman in a retirement home in Scotland to the expatriot wife in Tokyo; from the high-school learner putting in hours of volunteer work to earn service points to the gogo at the community centre who sews squares into blankets; from the volunteer who opens parcels to the person who distributes cosy items to vulnerable children—everyone has his or her place and is blessed to participate in such valuable work. Your contribution will help pay the rent on the barn, fill the van’s petrol tank or pay the Post Office’s handling fees, and you will know the pleasure of helping to wrap some smiling child in a beautiful, hand-knitted blanket.
Thank you for reading this, for taking an interest in my fundraising campaign, and for helping me to help a truly worthy cause.
25 March 2019
Well, my birthday has been and gone and I’m still determined to reach my goal of 100 knitted beanies for pre-schoolers at informal creches. After a long break on account of summer’s heat, I’m back on track. Now that the finish line is in sight, I have renewed motivation and things are going fast, so hopefully I will be able to hit my target well before the weather gets cold!
10 January 2019
Summer came with a vengeance this year. I discovered, not for the first time, that knitting in a heatwave takes real stickability. There were days when I couldn't face picking up my needles and wool, even though I had a deadline to meet and an obligation to fulfil.
Happily, the new year brought fresh resolve along with a bout of cooler weather. As the rain fell gently on the garden and the dogs snored on the carpet, I drank copious cups of tea and made steady progress on my beanie fundraiser. I'm getting to the stage where I have lots of scraps left over from bigger projects, hence all the riotous colour combinations! Hopefully, the children won't mind the random striping and will appreciate that their beanie is a one-of-a-kind creation, knitted with cheerfulness and love.
I can't believe I'm up to 63 beanies! Doing this project has reminded me of my grandmother, Sandy Ritchie, who used to knit hats and socks for servicemen during the war. I feel as if I'm following in her footsteps. I remember so clearly the sheaf of Royal Air Force patterns she gave me to try out, and how I knitted my first set of gloves while thinking about all the soldiers who received hand-knits from home.
Well, I guess there's a lot of crossover between her knitting for the servicemen and me knitting for the children. We live in a different age when the problems of society have changed, yet there is still space for knitters to share their craft and for others to benefit.
As I press on towards my goal of 100 beanies by 26 January 2019, my thoughts are with all knitters around the world who will be celebrating Christmas and other family festivities. May they all know the pleasure of knitting for others, and may their lovely hand-knits be well appreciated!
With the arrival of spring I’ve been lured out into the garden to trim creeper, transplant shrubs, prune trees and top-dress my lawn. Knitting has taken a bit of a back seat, but the beanie challenge continues. I’m now up to beanie number 52 and have another on my needles as I write this. I have one box completely full of numbered hats now, and each one is unique. The holiday season should afford more time for knitting if I’m lucky but who knows what the new year will bring? Watch this space to see how the next couple of months pan out.
5 October 2018
Thanks so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far. I’ve been slow in publishing updates but the knitting is still going strong! As the weather warms up, I’ve also been out in the garden, pruning, clipping, planting vegetables and potting seedlings. Having an ongoing, easy knitting project to work on is perfect for the times when my back and arms are aching and my feet are crying out for a rest. Paired with a cup of tea and a good audio book, they fill me with cosy pleasure!
13 September 2018
I was fortunate to spend a relaxed week at a trout farm in Dullstroom this month, which naturally gave me lots of time to knit beanies.
One thing I like to do is make a "magic ball" out of scraps of yarn, knotted together with special fisherman's knots that are strong and practically invisible. Sometimes I knit the magic ball on its own, which produces random coloured stripes; other times, I knit from a base colour and the magic ball simultaneously, alternating the strands to produce narrow stripes with random colour changes thrown in.
At a total of 26 beanies, I'm just over a quarter of the way through my knitting challenge. All the beanies are packed away with their numbers in a plastic storage box. I can't wait till I have 100 completed hats to photograph and a long list of sponsors to celebrate. Please come to the party and add your donation in support of Knit-a-Square!
10 August 2018
Some variations to the rib pattern on the brim of these beanies has added variety to the knitting process. I use straight needles for the rib section then switch to circular needles for the body of the hat. For the crown, it is necessary to switch again to DPNs [double-pointed needles], which looks very technical to onlookers but is, in fact, really simple.
1 August 2018
After paying a visit to my local haberdashery store and stocking up on a dazzle of new, vibrant colours of wool, I've had fun playing with stripes! Aren't these little hats cute? Remember, each beanie has a number so i can keep track and you can pick the one you want to sponsor!
Or you can just donate to the cause, which would be great too! All the beanies will eventually go to pre-schoolers living in informal settlements. The children have very few things to call their own, so a bright, cosy beanie is something special. Won't you please hop on board and sponsor me to reach my goal?
Knitting is something I learnt to do as a child, before I began losing my sight. Throughout all my difficulties, it is the one thing that has remained constant, a source of relaxation, creative expression and spiritual fulfilment. Knitting is more than just a hobby for me, it's one of the ways I give my life meaning, using my skills to help others.
At the peak of my creativity, when my eyesight was still good enough to read patterns and charts, I tackled cables, Fair Isle colour-work and lace, making everything from jerseys and coats to cushion covers and teddies. But over the years, working from patterns has become hard. Even matching tonal colours yields too many bizarre mistakes to be funny! So I've progressed to simple squares and beanies which can be knitted in plain stitches and bright, random colours.
When I found Knit-a-Square, it was an instant fit for me. At Knit-a-Square, there are gogo groups [teams of elderly women] who sew squares together for a small stipend, and a distribution network where volunteers hand out blankets, beanies, hand-warmers and soft toys directly to pre-schoolers at under-resourced creches. It's a wonderful organisation comprising amazing people and a community of knitters around the world.
Recently, though, something has happened which has put a strain on the organisation's funds. The Post Office has begun charging a handling fee on all parcels arriving from overseas. I want to relieve the burden, so I'm asking you to kindly help me raise some extra money.
Please sponsor my birthday knitting goal! At a rate of one beanie every two days, I should hit 100 beanies by January 26 and be able to make a healthy contribution to Knit-a-Square's running costs!
|Leanne Hunt||Sponsoring beanie number 0 and looking forward to seeing every colourful creation matched with a donation from here on!||24-Jul-2018||50.00|
|Keryn House||Have fun knitting! I want to sponsor two of the beanies like Gills I think it number 2 the green and blue one love Keryn||27-Jul-2018||100.00|
|Benjamin Nobbs||Go Leanne! Kirsten loves crochet and knitting too!||28-Jul-2018||100.00|
|Ocea Garriock||I've always admired your knitting Lee. This is a gr8 initiative. Well done. Lots of love. From Singapore.||01-Aug-2018||200.00|
|Elaine Thompson||Happy knitting for happy children.||14-Aug-2018||250.00|
|Tammy||So proud of you, Mum!||25-Sep-2018||500.00|
|Chris and Janet Warmoth||Good luck and thank you!||28-Sep-2018||1,500.00|
|Pat Ketley||So proud of you Leanne. Hope you make your target||05-Oct-2018||200.00|
|Joan Anthony||My card is in sterling so the amount is an estimate. Good luck with the challenge. It is going well so far.||17-Oct-2018||336.00|
|Vivienne Channon||What a wonderful project||16-Nov-2018||200.00|
|Elizabeth Clark||Love your so o o thoughtful idea Leanne, en-joy your Gorgeous! Knitting. Much Cosy Love to you all, Lizxx||29-Nov-2018||300.00|
|Kimberley Kemp||Lee our grandmother would be so proud - you have continued the art of knitting in our family. I still have loads of knitted coat hangers!! Wonderful to make a difference and have fun doing it. Good luck!||12-Dec-2018||200.00|
|Gill Bagshawe||Lee - your grandmother was born with knitting needles in her hand and your mom and I seldom saw her without them. Grandad would only wear pure wool socks that she had made. Clearly its in the blood !! Well done - I am so proud of you. Love Gill||13-Dec-2018||100.00|
|Diana||Many Thanks for all you for "our children", Leanne. Love your hats. Blessings, diana||10-Jan-2019||100.00|
|Tony Bagshawe||Hi Lee - what a fantastic way to help others and at the same time honour our grandma - who can forget knitted coathangers we all received every christmas. Love Tony Bridget Brandon and Amy||20-Jan-2019||250.00|
|Shirley Bennie||Well done Leanne! Your Beanies are beautiful||18-Apr-2019||50.00|
Doing it for ...
We receive knitted/crocheted squares from more than 65 countries worldwide via the post, with beanies, handwarmers and soft toys. The squares are stitched together into blankets by informal settlement gogo groups for which a small payment is made, and once back in our office, we sort, bundle and distribute the items to orphaned and vulnerable children within the informal settlement areas of SA, mostly Johannesburg, but we have visited poor areas in all the other major centres plus Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana etc. We distribute with words of encouragement to each child that they are made by God, unique, with a plan and purpose behind their lives and no matter how hard the struggle is we ask that they remember their beautiful blankets come with love and prayers from all over the world, that they are not forgotten but known and loved.. Read More...
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