Have you recently had unusual challenges?

Maybe it’s been the economy. Your family. Or the weather.

So far this winter has been unusually cold here. It’s been 20 to 30 points below normal. Water frozen outside in the morning — and even the afternoon some days. This is the longest stretch of cold weather in this area in about a century. Of course, the cold weather brings it’s own challenges. Like, not one but two mice decided my dryer vent was a nice entrance into my warm house.

At least I hope it’s only two! 😕

This week, my problems challenges became very small. The earthquake in Haiti dwarfs many concerns.

Crafters helping Haiti

If you’re  like me, your first instinct is to help. But how? And where?

Knitters and crocheters have a unique opportunity. Sure, we can donate money to appropriate places.

We can also donate our handiwork.

Ravelry has a new group that is looking for afghan squares. Knitted or crocheted. Sizes from 6 inches to 14 inches are being offered. The group even has links for knitting instructions.

I like the idea of making a square or perhaps a few and sending them. Imagine hundred or thousands of knitters and crocheters sending just one or two squares. And they can be made from your stash, or even leftovers.

The group, Hugs for Haiti, wants washable squares. It looks as though that’s the main requirement.

Here’s the first square I’m working on:

Log cabin afghan square in progress

Log cabin afghan square in progress

Log cabin is one of the free patterns the group links to. I like log cabin quilts, and knitting a log cabin square reminds me how much rebuilding the Haitians need to do.

If you don’t feel up to making a complex square, make a simple one.

Free garter stitch square pattern

Garter stitch is easy to make a square. Its Rule of Thumb is two rows for each stitch makes a square. So, if you cast on 10 stitches and knit 20 rows you have a square. Or approximately. Usually I need to knit a couple of rows less than twice the number I cast on when I’m knitting with acrylic or cotton. It’s still easy to make a square.

For example, if you want to make a 12 inch square and have 4 stitches per inch: cast on 48 stitches.

4 stitches / inch X  12 inches = 48 stitches

Knit approximately 48 ridges, or 96 rows. In my case, it’s 44 or 46 ridges. Bind off.

A slipped stitch edging helps the square lie flat, and more square. Here are my video knitting instructions.

Join Hugs for Haiti now: you do need to be a Ravelry member to join. Ravelry is free and well worth your time if you’re a crafter. 😉

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