Friday, July 2, 2010

Help for the Children

If you are a crafter with a big heart, the Share A Square Project might be right up your alley! Read on for more information and look for us on Facebook!

What in the world is “Share A Square?

We are inviting people from around the world to help crochet afghans to give to children who will attend Camp Discovery (a summer camp for children with cancer sponsored by The American Cancer Society) in the summer of 2011. Our plan is to blanket them with our love! Each afghan will be made up of 80 different squares … each crafted by a different person.

What do you want from ME?

Crocheted squares! Each square should be 6″ by 6″, with a 12 inch “tail” of thread on the last row (for stitching the afghans together). Make one and send it to me (the address is at the bottom of the page), or make 150 (but no more than that per person, because only one of your squares will be on each afghan). For each square, send me a tag the size of a business card that includes your name and your location in the world (For instance: “Best wishes from Shelly T. in Denton, Texas”). I will laminate them and affix them to your square.

How many afghans are you making? What size are they?

We are making 150 afghans, made of 6″ by 6″ squares. Each afghan will be 8 squares wide by 10 squares long (42″ by 60″).

Why so big?

We want the children to be able to use them when they survive to a happy and healthy adulthood!

Can I knit the squares?

No. We want crocheted squares only. In 2008, we accepted knitted squares and mixed them together, but it makes for a sloppy look because the knit stretches too much.

But, I can’t knit or crochet! How can I help?

TELL PEOPLE about it! I bet you know someone who is a crafter. Send them our way! If you want to donate to the camp, contact the American Cancer Society at the link above.

Do I have to use any particular pattern?

Any pattern you would like to use is acceptable — as long as it is 6″ x 6″! Here is a link for an easy pattern from Deb’s Crafts called “The Never Ending Blanket Square.” It works up very quickly!

But, my square is only 6 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ (or 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″)! Why are you so picky about the size?

The last time we made these afghans, volunteers spent a lot of time re-working many of the squares that were the wrong size. I don’t want the volunteers putting together the afghans to have to think about adding rows or removing stitches. In fact, since we are sewing the afghans together, some of those volunteers might not even know how to crochet! (gasp!) Pretend that you are making these squares for your own grandchild … you don’t want it to look sloppy, do you? The easiest way to assure that you get the right size is to make a cardboard template to use as a guide. You might find that you have to adjust the hook size to get the gauge but size matters!

Can I use fancy yarns? What about using wool yarns or baby yarns?

PLEASE do not use wool! We don’t know if the children will have allergies or if they will have sensitive skin due to their cancer treatments. It helps if all the yarns are similar. Use a sports worsted weight yarn, such as Red Heart (or the equivalent). If you want to use those “eyelash” yarns or other fancy ones, double them so that the thread is the same weight as the worsted weight. Please DO NOT use bulky yarns. It just doesn’t work well.

Last time, you rimmed the squares in black yarn — will you do that this time?

I considered it, but decided against it. I want to save the time and the expense. Many of my volunteers who put together afghans shelled out extra money for the black yarn. Instead, we will stitch them together using that 12″ tail of yarn that you are going to leave on the last row.

Do I have to tuck in all the ends?

PLEASE do! Again, we don’t want these to look sloppy. Use a tapestry needle to help you hide them.

Why is that tag so important? I don’t want to give my name and I don’t want a thank you card!

When we delivered afghans last time, the children were fascinated by the exotic locations where they originated. You don’t have to give your full name … and you don’t have to give your street address. The kids will save these cards and remember you for years to come! In fact, we are going to give them “binder rings,” perhaps attached to a necklace, so they can compare their cards. I think they will enjoy that.

What is your deadline?

I would love to have most of the squares collected by December 31st of 2010, so we can begin putting them together in January (the sooner, the better). Last time, I started putting them together as the squares came into my mailbox. The first afghans made didn’t have the variety of locations (some of them were all from people in Texas). I’d prefer that you start sending them on August 18th … because we have a child getting married in the first week of August and I think I’m going to be swamped until then.

Enough, already! Where do I send them?

Shelly Tucker

P.O. Box 2241

Denton, Texas 76202

If you have a question that I didn’t answer, feel free to voice it, or join the discussion on Facebook!/group.php?gid=139510982731321

if you can help please leave a message or contact via facebook......thanks for your participation



Gale said...

I don't croquet...but I shared about this on my blog:

Elaine said...

I wish I new needle work but I can't knit or croquet.

I will tell my niece Tammy about it and Gwen.

Hope you are having a nice 4th of July weekend.