Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hello friends!  I just couldn't wait to share this photo with all of you.  The child in the center of this photo is holding up a sweater that I made!  Can you imagine my delight in seeing the fruits of my labor?  I feel honored and humbled by the photo.  This distribution was made to a small farming village on a freezing cold day; thank God for everything the Knit A Square organization is doing, although sometimes it seems like an impossible task!
There are literally thousands of people knitting and crocheting squares and I’m sure most of them don’t get the opportunity to see their work in action.  But they aren’t doing it to receive credit or laudation.  These men and women knit/crochet, from the heart, because they see the need  We all do this hoping to make a difference, that one more child might be warmed and know they are cared for.  It can seem overwhelming, knowing how huge the challenges are for these kids.  But we can make a difference, one square, one dollar, one prayer at a time!  St. Francis of Assisi said: “Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.”  It is not an easy task, but it can begin with the smallest of actions!
St. Francis is also quoted as saying:  “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”  Knit A Square began with two families, doing what was necessary.  It has grown into a worldwide organization doing what would have seemed impossible just four years ago!  How awesome to see the growth of this organization and community!
On July 14th, we are hoping to see the largest handwoven blanket ever!  Below are the “gogos” ( Zulu word for grandmothers) sewing the squares together to make one GIGANTIC blanket!  What a task and what beautiful work they do!  This is all part of the Curro Aurora School challenge to create the world's biggest handwoven blanket.  It is to be displayed in the CocaCola dome in Gauteng for the Mandela Day celebration.
After this event is over, it will be separated out into 2,000 individual blankets that will go toward keeping orphaned children warm!

Thank you for reading my blog today!  Leaving you with St. Francis of Assisi’s most famous prayer:

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

St. Francis of Assisi

 In love and fellowship,

Mary Anne

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Work in Progress

Hello dear friends!

I apologize for having been absent from my blog for so long!  I do have a hard time quitting my "projects" long enough to write and sometimes, I'm just not sure what to say!  
Here are my squares from May ("Pick it from the garden challenge), which I just posted to S. Africa....I love making the daisies!

In addition to crocheting for charity and a trip to Michigan to see my grandchildren, I've been doing a lot of reading and research on blogging.  All in the hopes of becoming better at the craft of blogging :)

In the process of educating myself I discovered a blog, written by one of the founders Knit a Square (Sandy McDonald)!  How appropriate, since my blogging is ultimately about finding ways to give more to the KAS charity!  If you are looking for great information and insight on how to blog, you will find that Sandy (and others linked to her blog), have a generous amount of information available at no charge!. You can find Sandy's blog here.

As part of my ongoing effort to help children of South Africa, I am offering a few  of my hand crafted items for sale (you will see two items at the end of this post).  If you purchase anything through my blog, one hundred percent of proceeds will go toward posting items to South Africa! 

You may also have noticed that I added a "donations" link to my blog.  If you feel inspired to give, I only ask for one or two dollars.  If several people were able to commit to that small amount monthly, it would help tremendously in funding shipping.  Imagine the good we can do when each of us gives a small amount to help those less fortunate!

One of the reasons for the increased cost of postage is that I have started accepting items from other ladies who are creating squares and hats for the children of S. Africa!  Postage is quite expensive, as you can imagine, and thus they are unable to mail these much needed items!  The photo below are beautiful items created and donated by my friend in California, L.J. Roberts.  Even though L.J. is currently unemployed, she is still able to give back in this way!  How awesome is that?!

Donated by L.J. Roberts

As I mentioned previously, I do have a couple things for sale this week.  These shawls were created by me, with prayer and love, that whomever receives them will be truly blessed!
NOW, without further adieu!

This first shawl is orange and tangerine, with a high cotton content.  It also has a silver sparkle thread running through the yarn.  Very light weight and perfect for summer!  Completely machine washable, although I suggest washing on delicate.  If you don't already know this, orange is THE color of the summer!

Orange shawl:  $45
Approximately 28 inches long, from center to point.
Approximately 50 inches, corner to corner, at the top.
Free shipping within the U.S.!

The second shawl is another pretty color for summer, blues and teal.  Colors of the ocean maybe?  It also has some sparkle in it; high cotton content and machine washable, but wash on delicate to be safe.

Blue Shawl:  $40
Approximately 24 inches from center to point.
Approximately 40 inches in width.
Free Shipping!

To purchase either of these shawls, please end me an email at and I will set up a PayPal invoice for you.

Last, and certainly not least, I am pleased to tell you that a photo of one of the sweaters I crocheted was posted in the KAS newsletter!  I felt quite privileged and honored that it was included.  The newsletter is a great way to see all of the good being done by this organization and I urge you to read it.  I think you will find it quite heartwarming!  You will find the link here.

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think of today's blog, or any suggestions you might have. I would love to know what kinds of items you might want to see for sale here as well!
Thank you SO much for reading my blog.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all!

In fellowship and love,

Mary Anne

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hope For A Closer Knit World!!

I thought this photo was really neat and I wanted to share it with you!  It represents a key dynamic for the Knit-A-Square charity, which is that a small effort by many people around the world, equals a large benefit for the children of South Africa.

Many people in the US  feel strongly about giving back locally and rightly so.  I am in full agreement with giving to your local shelters and charities.  In addition to crocheting for KAS, I also give hats, shawls and other items to area shelters.  I think it is important that we all look for ways to give back in our own communities.  Often this requires no financial investment.  However, I also believe it is important that we open our eyes and awareness to the abject poverty affecting children in South Africa.  These children are coping with multiple issues; abandonment, AIDS, and malnutrition, to name the most serious.  I think sometimes, when we see such a HUGE need, it feels overwhelming and seems like we can't make a difference.  But we CAN make a difference, at home and globally!

Clearly, we cannot begin to meet all the needs of these children.  But, if we each do something small,  then all of those tiny drops from all over the world, combine into an ocean of love, warmth and intention, to make a difference in the lives of many children.

  Here is a beautiful video of one daycare that was the recipient of blankets from KAS.  It warms my heart to be a part of this!

I also want to tell you about the exciting project that I and my fellows KASers are working on!  Along side several schools in South Africa, KAS is working toward making the world's largest handwoven blanket!  This blanket is set to be finished around the middle of July, and displayed in the CocaCola dome in Gauteng and is meant to coincide with Mandela Day.  This is so exciting, because not only will it give KAS a great deal of exposure, but this huge blanket will be split afterwards into 2000 blankets!  Those blankets will then be given to KAS to distribute to the children in need.  This will come at a really critical time in the S.A. winter.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it can get very cold in S.A. during their winter (our summer).  The day time temperatures in S. Africa are warm, but at night it is often below freezing!  The homes have no insulation and no real way of heating.  Having a warm blanket is critical!

Profile Picture

I hope you will consider Knit-A-Square when deciding upon what charities you donate toward in 2012.  You can donate as little as $5: to help  wrap thousands of children in warm, hand made blankets!  Just the price of two cups of coffee every month will make a powerful difference!!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for considering KAS the next time you make a charitable donation!!

In love and fellowship!
Mary Anne

Friday, February 24, 2012


Hello dear friends!

I love hats....I've always loved hats.  I don't wear them so much now, but I used to love to fancy up and wear them to church!  Fortunately, I have never had to be concerned with having enough hats to keep me warm.  I am so thankful that all of my children and grandchildren have all of their most important needs met.  I also love making hats and have enjoyed making them for several charities as well as family and friends.  This is my favorite picture from S. Africa, you have most likely seen me post it more than once!  The pure joy on her face is worth more than any amount of money!!

Every year Wal-Mart put’s all their cold weather hats & gloves on sale, 50% off.  The hats are very inexpensive to start with, so at 50% off they are only 65 cents!  When I noticed this last year I bought 10 or so hats and donated them to a local charity. This year, I went on a mission to get these hats for the orphans in S. Africa.  As you may know, Africa will be coming into their winter as we approach summer.  What you may not know is that the average winter temperature in S. Africa is 39 degrees F (thank you Laurie Fortier for that information!).  People often ask me why making the blankets and hats is so crucial for these children.  Many of us have a preconceived notion that it is always hot in Africa, but clearly that is a misconception.  I’m so thankful that I happened on to this charity, as it has given me such a clear purpose in helping these children.  Knowing that even one child, a continent away, will benefit from my help is an amazing feeling!
When I found the hats on sale at Wal-Mart again, I quickly grabbed up over 30 hats to send to the KAS community.  With this in mind, I would like to challenge each of you to grab a couple hats the next time you are in the Wal-Mart store.  Pick a local charity or shelter and drop them off.  Better yet, invite your friends to do the same and donate them wherever your heart tells you to.  Or, if you would like, you can send them to me and I will forward them on to S. Africa! I know I can’t meet all the needs of these children, but I feel I’m being urged to keep pushing, to get more people involved!   It takes so little to make a huge difference in these children’s lives!  Five hats are less than $3.00, which is the same as a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  I think I can pass up a few designer cups of coffee for the knowledge that I have helped someone stay warm!  (As you can see, I picked up a few other things for them as well!)

I will be tucking a dozen squares into the package with the hats.  Starting with Lent, my goal is one square every day.  By the end of Lent, there will be enough to make a blanket (it takes 35 squares), with a few left over!  I apologize for the quality of this photo, I was having issues.....

I am also working on how to monetize my blog.  I hope that when I have added that piece, you will come back and help me spread the word!  Everything earned will be used for sending these items to S. Africa.

For all the gorgeous women in my life, I would like to share Kitty's Fiber Journey with you; her blog today features an incredible YouTube video.  .  There is also a button above, to the right of my post, that you can use to get to her blog.  Please do watch it and I hope you will share it with the girls and women in your life!  It would mean so much to me!
(After watching, scroll down and read her earlier posts regarding KAS.....Laurie has blessed me by including my blog in an earlier post as well!)

I wish everyone a warm and joyful weekend!
Hugs to all,
In fellowship,
~Mary Anne

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blueberry in Raspberry sauce...its tootyfrooty with a little lace!!

Hello dear friends!  In my last post I mentioned that I would be posting some pictures of the crocheted squares, which I will be mailing to KAS ( tomorrow!  I have been SO busy crocheting away and then making cards in between my crocheted squares!

I have also become involved in the KAS Forum and what fun that has been!  Meeting ladies all over the world, who are knitting and crocheting for the children in South Africa.  It has been so energizing and I feel like I have a whole new set of friends to share ideas with!  If you are a crafter or an artist, you know we tend to get so involved in our craft sometimes, that we forget to take time to interact with others.  I am probably even more inclined to not get out and socialize, due to my physical  limitations.  (it isn't that I'm unable to go out, it just causes me a lot of pain if I sit for very long ;o).  However, when we do take the time to chat with others of like mind, it is so refreshing and rejuvenating!

Here are a couple pictures of the children in South Africa that I am especially moved by......their smiles are so precious and I want so badly to reach out and hug each and every one of them! The hats and squares that I send are my way of sending a hug across the continents to them :o)......
Look at these smiles!  Wow, they have so little and look at that joy!  We could really learn from them, don't you think?

This little guy is SO serious....what a beautiful child.  I wish I could give him a big hug; I thank God that KAS is there to give him some warmth and make his life a little bit less harsh!

I hope that some of you will be touched by these pictures and perhaps moved to do some small thing or to pass this message along.  As I have mentioned before, there are millions of children who are orphans in South Africa; and whose parents have most likely died from the AIDS epidemic.  Children as young as 4 years old can be seen carrying their baby sibling on their back!  As stated in my new friend Laurie's blog:  There are an estimated 1.9 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. 500 children a day are made orphans by the combined ravages of AIDS and poverty.
Please take a moment to check out her beautiful blog!  :

So, finally, here are a couple photos of what I have been working on!

I have about 16 of these now and I'm actually starting on this month's batch.  In order to motivate us even more, the KAS forum has come up with a monthly incentive for trying out new colors or patterns.  This month is:  French Lace, Frooty Tooty, Fantasy (Fairies, cartoon characters​, wizards, dragons, elves etc)"......LOL, that's quite a list!  I found a neat pattern online through Ravelry and revised it to come up with my "blueberry in rasberry sauce" square!  Ta da!

It's definitely lacy and not as solid as I normally make them.  I learned through the forum that they like to have one really fun square to put in each blanket, so one lacy square won't make a difference in the warmth.  I''m crocheting several more in my favorite pattern (the one I used on previous photo).  I will probably do a couple more in my "blueberry" motif ;o).  By the way, if you knit or crochet, there are several pretty squares (with free patterns) on the site where I found this pattern:

Some of you may be wondering, if you don't knit or crochet, how you can help.  If you go to the KAS website, you can donate any amount or pledge any amount that you might feel comfortable with;  Even $5.00 a month can make a huge difference in a child's life!

In addition, I discovered that they are in constant need of socks!  So I'm planning to add some socks to my packages every month!  Would you like to help me with that?  You could send socks to me to add to my packages, which would be much cheaper than you mailing them to South Africa.  I will then cover the postage of getting them there.  The other option, of course, is that you can mail socks directly to KAS and they will be more than happy to put them to good use!!  Postal instructions are here:

So please, take the time to check out this organization and think about some small way you might help!

Lastly, I would ask that you keep all the wonderful volunteers who give so much of themselves and all of the children that are cold, hurting, hungry and/or orphaned in your prayers!

In love and fellowship,
~Mary Anne

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Friday! Time for Christine's Coloring Challenge!

Happy Friday dear ones!  I have been crocheting quite a bit this week, getting ready to send another package to South Africa.  I read some older posts on the KAS blog and noted that they have a need for socks.  So I think I will hop on over to Walmart and stock up on some socks to include in my package!

On another note, I am entering a card "challenge" @, my first ever.  I finally completed the card, which you will see below.  I love these designs by Mabelle, @; she has become a great inspiration to me!  Mabelle makes you feel so involved in her creative process and I'm so happy to have discovered her illustrations.  I have a whole new set of friends who regularly post and share on her FB page and that has been a great blessing for me!  I'm learning so much!

I love the sentiment, don't you?  It seemed perfect to got with the little bears holding hands.

I will post some pictures of my crochet in a couple days, I keep hoping it will get sunny enough to take some pics outside!  Ugh, it's not been very nice here in Georgia the last couple weeks!  I can't complain, it isn't snowing ;o)

Wishing you all a creative and blessed weekend!
Love and hugs, in fellowship,

~Mary Anne

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Letter from South Africa!

Hello dear friends!  It's a new year and one of my goals is to be more consistent with my posts (I think I may have said that last year!) 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year's celebration!  I have been learning to use Copic markers with my card making, but also spending time every day crocheting.  I wanted to share a letter with you that I received from a woman in South Africa who works for the KAS (Knit-a-Square).  This is one of the charities that I send crocheted items to.  I felt so honored and so blessed to receive this, I had to share ;o)  I hope it touches you as well and possibly inspires you to give back in some way!

"Dear Mary Anne
Thank you so much for your wonderful contribution of “pillow pets”, hats, vest and needles towards our project to provide blankets and warm clothing to the orphaned and vulnerable children of South Africa. Please accept my apologies for the long delay in my being able to acknowledge your contribution and lovely letter which were received some time ago now ! You sound a most courageous and generous person and we are touched that Knit-a-Square has received such an warm response from you and from so many other similarly “giving” people in more than 40 countries worldwide !!
Whenever we distribute these items to the children, we make a point of encouraging them to know that they are unique and special, beloved of God and created to fulfil a special purpose here on earth, and that in those terms each one of them is vital to the future of this country. We are keen to emphasise this message always because so many of them live in sad or difficult circumstances and all of them live with poverty.
It is people like yourselves who so generously sustain our efforts in this direction – truly, we could not do it without you.
We have several large projects to fulfil this coming winter and very much look forward to your continued support. The “pillow pets” are delightful and although our main drive is for the 20cm x 20cm squares, we would like you to feel free to make for us whatever you enjoy creating most !!! And do, please, keep us in your prayers as we remember you and all our wonderful contributors in ours.
If you are not already subscribed to the free online Ezine please log onto and go to Square Circle … Sandy includes reports on all our distributions with photographs of the children, so you may even recognise your own squares wrapped around a child, at some point !
We thank you again – most sincerely
May God bless you always

Ronda … and all the volunteers in Johannesburg"

Today, I sent another package to South Africa and I have some children's hats to donate to a local charity.  I have been so blessed in so many ways, it is very heart warming to be able to give back a little!

As I mentioned, I have been making cards and here is one I just completed, using the Copic markers.  This was a fun little digital stamp that I purchased from Whimsy & Stars studio; love her images!(

Wishing you all love and blessings in 2012!!