Knit-a-square is a charity knitting organization based in Australia. It is seeking knitted or crocheted squares for its project to provide handmade blankets to orphaned children, victims of AIDS, or left alone when parents died of AIDS in South Africa.
Sandy McDonald writes at the charity’s Web site that the idea is to make blankets for children in a way that takes little time and costs only the price of a standard international stamp to send it to South Africa. Her goal is to collect 400,000 squares this year, enough to make 10,000 blankets — “acres of blankets,” she writes.
McDonald recommends that squares be knitted or crocheted of wool yarn because it is warmer than other fibers. Acrylic yarn may be used if the sender of the squares indicates on the package that the fiber is acrylic so those squares can be sewn to other acrylic squares.
Each square must be 8 inches by 8 inches. Twenty-four will make a baby blanket.
The Web site includes all the information one needs to take part in the project, including instructions for knitting squares, how to knit and postal instructions.
The Web site also has a history of knitting page, a men knitting page and knitting records page, including the fact that a woman in Great Britain ran a marathon while knitting a scarf.
Men who knit are encouraged to participate in the Knit-a-square mission.
The Web site is easy to use and includes many useful links. At the site, one may subscribe to the Knit-a-square newsletter.
Before knitting or crocheting squares, visit www.knit-a-square.com to become informed about the project and for instructions on how to participate. When knitting for a charity, it’s always important to follow the guidelines set for the project.
Squares, no more than three at a time, may be mailed in a letter-size envelope to Knit-a-square, Soweto Comfort Club, Private Bag X900, Bryanston 2021, South Africa.
• A red, white and blue quilt bearing the names of 709 people who served at Dow Air Force Base 1955-1968 is part of the military exhibit at Cole Land Transportation Museum, which opens for the season at 9 a.m. Friday, May 1, at 405 Perry Road, Bangor. The quilt, made by Nancy Gruman of Florida, was a project of the 2005 Dow AFB Reunion members.
• If you have an old apron with a story to tell, the University of Maine Page Farm and Home Museum wants to see it and hear it. If enough aprons come out of the linen cupboard, museum staff will plan a program to let the aprons speak. Call the museum at 581-4100 to obtain more information or to volunteer your apron story.
• LA Arts Gallery, 49 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, will present “Fabricating Arts: A Show of Textiles” May 13-June 27. The opening reception is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 13.
• Rape Response Services in Bangor extends thanks to members of the community who donated to its recent Denim Drive and helped raise awareness about sexual assault. The agency has received such overwhelming support and so many generous donations that it is ending the denim drive early. The donated denim will be recycled by area quilters and quilts made from the fabric will be donated to the Penquis Journey House in Dexter. Organizers of the drive said so much material was received, they now need more quilters. Those who wish to volunteer to do quilting for the project may call Rape Response Services at 973-3662 for more information.
Journey House will provide temporary housing and a nurturing environment for young women age 16 and 21, who have children or are pregnant. To learn more about Journey House, visit www.penquis.org.
• Stitchers who admire historic clothing will be interested to know that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a center for the study of 18th- and 19th-century European clothing. Recently, the museum added to its collection 250 outfits and 300 accessories created between 1700 and 1915. The new acquisitions are predominantly French, with some items from the Netherlands.
The first exhibition featuring the new acquisitions will be in the fall of 2010, when the exhibit “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915” will open. Included in the exhibit will be “a man’s knitted silk waistcoat designed as a statement of support for the French Revolution; a hunting ensemble composed of a red wool coat, white leather breeches and black riding boots; and a black silk-satin gown embroidered in gold thread and sequins that belonged to Queen Maria II of Portugal,” according to an AP article about the planned exhibit.
• Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=999ph8iRT4o to watch a film clip of actress Betty Hutton singing “The Sewing Machine Song,” or do a Google search using the words Betty Hutton Sewing Machine Song.