Saturday, December 29, 2007

Young girl with baby

Young girl with baby, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

At the informal settlement near Margate, we came across this delightful young girl with responsibility for the baby. She had a quick and ready smile, but certainly had some pain in her eyes. The baby did not even have a diaper. We would like to provide diapers for the baby and clothing for both of them.

Children at informal settlement

Children at informal settlement, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

These children are wearing all the clothes they own to keep warm in the unseasonably cold temperatures of 50-60 degrees F. They are still barefoot, however.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Safe House "Ready Packs:

Along with the Baby Packs that Val continues to assemble, there is a need for older children's clothing. A "Safe House" in the area provides a place of refuge for children in danger from abuse or neglect. The children range from 18 months old to 16 years old, and frequently arrive in only the clothes they stand up in. The Child Welfare responsible for the children would appreciate "Ready Packs" of sets of clothing for boys and girls of different ages. AC4C members are assembling packs and duffel or tote bags for the children, along with a small toy or game.
For girls, we would like to include:
  1. dress or skirt
  2. pair of shorts or capris
  3. pair of jeans or slacks
  4. blouse
  5. t-shirt
  6. underwear (panties, slip and undershirt)
  7. pyjamas
  8. ankle socks
  9. sandals or flip-flops
  10. sweater or jacket
  11. knitted or crocheted cap
  12. toiletries ( toothbrush, comb, washcloth)
  13. toy or game
  14. The bag to put it all in!

For Boys:

  1. Shirt
  2. T-shirt
  3. slacks or jeans
  4. shorts
  5. underwear (boxers/briefs, undershirt)
  6. pyjamas
  7. socks
  8. sandals
  9. sweater or jacket
  10. knitted or crocheted cap
  11. toiletries (toothbrush, comb, washcloth)
  12. toy or game
  13. The Bag to put it all in!

Gently used clothing would be appreciated as would handcrafted items. Many AC4C members are making sewn tote bags or crocheted bags. A simple skirt can be sewn from a rectangle of cloth, with a simple elastic waist. Please keep on the lookout for sale items.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hope For Our World

Award -winning fiber artist Hollis Chatelain graciously gave permission to show her AMAZING quilt called "Hope For Our World." The quilt depicts Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa ministering to the children of the world. This quilt was judged the Best in Show at the Houston Quilt Festival. Hollis's other work includes "Sahel", which was named one of the top 100 quilts of the 20th century.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Namaqualand Wild Flowers

Namaqualand Wild Flowers, originally uploaded by Martin_Heigan.

Every Spring the desert comes alive with wonderful color. This beautiful picture captures the vividness. Do you see why I love bright colors and where I got the idea for the colors of the little girl's dress and bloomers seen below? Just look at the bright, bright blue of the sky.

Lilac-breasted roller - Coracias caudata

A beautiful bird from South Africa whose colors would make another beautiful outfit for a little one.

African Crowned Crane

twycross 22082007-044, originally uploaded by Walwyn.

South African National bird. Wouldn't a baby outfit in these colors look just adorable for a little boy? A little hat with a pompon on top would crown it off beautifully!

Handknit sweater

Handknit sweater, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

Another handknit sweater that the owner enjoys showing off. Her face is hidden as she is in a safe house in KZN somewhere. These children arrive with only the clothes they are standing up in, and the need is desperate.

Handknitted sweater worn with pride

More handknit worn with pride, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

This young girl lives in an informal settlement near Margate. She obviously cares about her appearance and she has tried to coordinate her T-shirt and sweater. She was also wearing a green skirt. I'm sure she would appreciate something else to wear. What a beautiful smile she had. Imagine parenting at such a young age, living in a makeshift dwelling. The baby on her hip did not even have a diaper. The BPP has a great need for simple single layer flat cloth diapers; each pack includes a single diaper or nappy.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Baby girl outfit for BPP

Baby girl, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

Love the bright colors. Kwik-Sew Pattern 3035. The bloomers are SO cute.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Doll worn around waist

Doll worn around waist, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

Little girl at informal settlement wearing her doll on her back.


Babywearing, originally uploaded by rsa1980.

Little girl at informal settlement wearing her doll in the way she has seen babies carried

Soccer Fever in South Africa

South Africa has been selected to host the 2010 Football (Soccer) World Cup. The South African team is Bafana Bafana, and its colors are yellow and green. Baby Packs and children's clothing in these colors would go over very well. Soccer themes would also be great. Link to South African Football Association page with pictures:

Baby Packs being sorted

Baby Packs being sorted at the Baileys', South Africa, November 2007 originally uploaded by rsa1980.

Assembled Baby Packs under window in plastic bags. DH's ear at bottom right; he's unpacking items from the suitcase we took with us. Val took more pictures which she is going to send along with a DVD detailing more of the clinics served by the Baby Pack.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Back from South Africa

Arrived back from South Africa 3 am Monday Dec 3 South African time. Just a little jet lag after 25 hrs of travelling! What a wonderfully inspiring trip. I'll be posting more pictures as the days go by, but here are a few to start.

Monday, October 29, 2007

January 2008 Baby Pack Drive at AC4C

Details for January Project:

Goal is 90 completed Baby Packs. They typically give out about thirty packs per month, so this would give them three months' worth.

Diapers (flat single layer, cotton or terrycloth, about 30x30), as many as possible
Diaper pins as many as possible
Baby sweater or cardigan 90 (45 girl, 45 boy)
Waterproof diaper cover 90
Bib 90
T-shirt or onesie 90
Booties 90
Receiving blanket (45x45, flannel) 90
Baby afghan 90
Knitted, sewn or crocheted animal 90
Bonnet or hat 90

African animals and birds
(there are no tigers in Africa, except in the zoo!)
Lion, leopard, cheetah (goldy-yellow and brown, yellow with black spots)
Giraffe (light brown/beige with darker brown patches)
Crocodile (alligator works for this one)

Flag colours (solid colors to mix and match)
Sleepers with different color arms, legs, cuffs, etc would work great

Ethnic/African colors/themes
Black and brown
Mudcloth black/white abstract
Adinkra symbols
Kwanzaa symbols (Kwanzaa is a purely American holiday, but the symbols are good)
Beige and brown
Bright ethnic prints

Baby Pastels
Peach/pale orange




Fire engines
Rocket ships

Nautical (sailor suit, for example, or middy type sweater)

Cake (Arlene’s cupcake hat for example)

Funky modern

Rugby (football prints would work) South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 2007!
Cricket (those of you in the UK or Australia know what this is)
Surfing (best surfing beaches in the world are in South Africa)

This should give you plenty of ideas!

The items will be shipped together via surface cargo, probably in late February or early March.

Special Request:

Local schoolteachers asked Val for help in providing underwear to little girls who came to school without any, being unable to afford even such basic items. Let’s have a special drive for these little girls.
90 pairs of panties (good coverage, not bikini type)
Ages 4-16

We will also be collecting underwear for boys, ages 4-16. Much debate on AC4C about boxers vs briefs. Any type will be gratefully received.
Goal 90 pairs

They will also find good homes for clothing for older babies and toddlers, gently used are fine.

Siyabonga (Zulu for Thank you) for helping the little Zulu babies

Sunday, October 28, 2007

All Crafts 4 Charity and Ravelry

Hello, and welcome to those of you who have found your way here from AC4C or from Ravelry. Please look around for some information about the Baby Pack. There are lots of links to patterns; check the side bar to get there quickly. With regard to fibers and yarns, please remember that the recipients of the packs do not have access to washing machines or dryers. The clothing may be washed in a river or pond, or under a cold water pump. Synthetics or blends are likely to dry faster in the subtropical climate than wool. Cotton would be nice, and breathable, too.

The contributions are starting to arrive. Some of them will go with me in my luggage on my upcoming trip to South Africa. Val Bailey, who coordinates the project, will be taking me to visit some of the clinics receiving the Baby Packs. I'll post lots of pictures, hopefully from South Africa, if the bandwidth permits.

Please leave a comment or suggestion; I'm always looking for new patterns and ideas.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Umuntu is the Zulu word for person, and bantu refers to people. The indigenous peoples of Southern Africa are Bantu tribes. There is a Zulu concept or philosophy of social responsibility that is exemplified by the traditional saying:

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu

Which translated means "a person is a person through other people." The concept goes much deeper than that, however. Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has summed it up like this:
"Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. When we want to give high praise to someone we say, "Yu u nobuntu"; "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours." ......... We say, "A person is a person through other persons." ..........A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed............What dehumanizes you inexorably dehumanizes me."

In helping the people who benefit from the Baby Pack Project, we participate in the spirit of Ubuntu, and contribute to the common good. We become part of the connectedness of humankind. For someone to say of us that we have Ubuntu is something to which we can aspire.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Suggested colors

South African flag : South Africans refer to themselves as the Rainbow Nation, and the flag certainly exemplifies this.
Zulu beadwork is very colorful and symbolic.
The following and more can be found at:
Meaning of colors are as follows:
(negative symbolism in parentheses)

  • White: spiritual love, purity
  • Red: Physical love, strong emotion (heartache, impatience)
  • Pink: High birth or rank, an oath or promise (poverty, laziness)
  • Green: Domestic bliss (Illness, discord)
  • Yellow: Wealth, a garden, industry, fertility (Thirst, badness, withering away)
  • Blue: Fidelity, a request (ill feeling, hostility)
  • Black: Marriage, regeneration (Sorrow, despair, death)

Young Zulu maiden wearing traditional beadwork:

Sports teams
Amazulu: Green or white (all green or all white)
Golden Arrows: Green and yellow (Yellow top, green bottom, or green top yellow bottom)
Maritzburg United: Blue and White or red and white
Sharks: Gray and black or yellow and black
Local Produce
Bananas, Pineapple, sugar cane, papayas, citrus fruits, mango

Local Wildlife
Elephants, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, crocodile, rhino, zebra, antelope, baboon, monkeys

Crochet pattern suggestions

Yarn suggestions:
Avoid wool, it won't dry easily in the humid climate. Synthetics, cotton, or bamboo would work well
Hat/ Bonnets
Baby Derby
Adriafil Formentera
Noodle Baby hat
Adriafil Giava
Bernat Hat and Booties
Bernat Toque
Coats and Clark Froggy hat

Abominable Baby Slippers
little feet
Socks with afterthought heel
Baby sock
Bunny booties
Bernat Booties and Bibs

Baby it's Cold Outside
Bernat cardigan
Bernat Hoodie
Caron SS Baby jacket
Baby ensemble
Caron Bright Baby Hoodie
Coats and Clark Toddler Set
Coats and Clark Baby jacket
Coats and Clark First Love set
Coats and Clark hat and cardigan
Coats and Clark Cute as a Button
Coats and Clark Elfin Stripes
Coats and Clark Pretty Baby
Coats and Clark Naptime
Coats and Clark Sunny Outing
Field of flowers

Baby Dolls
Twinkle twinkle moon and star
Amigurumi eel
Rose Tyler doll
Doctor Who doll
Drops Dress, hat and bag (British terminology)
Uthando crocheted doll
Crocheted crib toys
Crocheted Rainbow mobile
Infant jogging suit

Diapers for Baby Pack

The Baby Pack has a great need for simple cloth diapers. Single layer, about 25 to 30 inch square cotton flannel, terry or birdseye type.
Old towels would work fine as a source of terry cloth.
Fitted or all-in-ones would not work as they would not dry easily, and would become mildewed.

Thanks for helping out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Zulu Phrases

Some Zulu phrases and words; could be embroidered, sewn, knitted, on items to personalize them

Sawubona Hello, good morning etc ( to one person)
Hamba kahle Go well (saying goodbye to someone leaving you)
Sala kahle Stay well (Saying goodbye to someone you are leaving)
Lala Kahle Sleep well
Ubisi Milk
Umfana boy
Intombazane girl
Intombi young lady
Isipho gift
Babazeka beautiful
-mnandi sweet (eg intombazanemnandi sweet girl)
Uthando love
Ikhaya home
Injabulo happiness
Ingane baby, child
Usana newborn
Igugu precious
Ukuthula quiet
Duduza comfort
Isimomo beautiful girl
Insizwa young man
Imbube lion
Ukudla food
Amanzi water
Inhlanzi fish
Ingwenya crocodile
Izenze flea

Knit pattern suggestions

Yarn types suitable would be synthetics, cotton or bamboo. Anything that wears well and dries quickly in a humid climate; wool may mildew before it can dry out,

Anything from P2 . Fabulous site with tons of beautiful patterns. Thanks, P2.

Or Bev’s Country Cottage:
Many, many patterns gathered from all over. We appreciate you, Bev.

Sweet Baby Cap
Viking Hat
Ruffled Baby Hat
Cupcake Hat
Pineapple Hat
Bunny Beanie
Drops designs Hat, scarf and mittens
Christmas Pudding Hat
Erssies Easy Beanies
Feather and fan hat
Toque to match Berry sweater
Stegosaurus hat
Chevron Lace hat
Beatrix hat
Lamb's Pride hat
A Little Hat
Latrodectus (funky spider) hat
Cute Converse booties
Converse #2
Saartjes bootees
Lace booties to match Bev's hat
Pirate booties
Knitty Gritty Suede booties
Booties to match Berry Sweater
Bunny booties
Lace up booties
Renaissance booties
Offset Wraplan
Super natural stripes
Baby Om
Eyelet baby cardigan
Sorbet Sweater
Wee Pocketed Cardigan
Mossy Jacket
Peach Blossom Jacket
Middy top
Bunny Hop Baby Ruffle
KnitList Baby Coat
Sock Yarn Set
Caron Baby Caftan
Jimmy Bean's sweater set
Moss stitch jacket
Little tux
Berries and cream sweater
Tied Shrug
Baby shrug
Basic Baby Sweater
Top Down cardigan
Berroco Pie Garter stitch kimono

Teddies for tragedies worked in the round

Norberta Dragon
Amy Doll
Garter stitch elephant
Bliss's dolly
Lola Bunny
Lucy the Lamb
Guinea Pigs
Molly the Mouse
Bobbles the Clown
Little Dudes
Noah's Ark
Baby blanketBear and Blanket
Bear Family
Teddy ( may not be best for baby)
Uthando knitted doll
Blanket and Bear
Cielo Baby blanket
Houndstooth blanket
Honeycomb blanket
Sunny Blanket

Bib Overalls
Baby Bell Bottoms
Baby blue jeans

Starting Out

Mont-aux-Sources in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg Mountains:
Having joined AC4C (All Crafts 4 Charity) on Yahoo groups, and seen what a wonderful group of kindhearted people could do when they work for a common goal, I asked the group to consider taking on the Baby Pack Project in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. This blog is a way to get the information out to a larger group of people, and supply ideas and suggestions for things to make and send.

From the website:

The Baby Pack Project is a small charitable project aimed at providing under-privileged mothers of newborn babies on the lower south coast of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, with a pack of the most basic items needed for a new born baby. The Baby Pack Project came about in 2005 when local lady Gill Richardson, saw newborn babies leave Ntabeni clinic in Kwa Zulu Natal wrapped in newspaper because the mothers had nothing else to wrap them in. The Baby Pack Project has grown out of that small seed of compassion sown by Gill back in 2005.

Each pack contains:

a flat cloth nappy (diaper) and pin
a waterproof (vinyl baby pants)
a jumper (sweater or cardigan)
a baby gro (sleeper)
a bib
a vest
booties or socks
a blanket
a little knitted toy

Please consider helping this cause, and send items to:

Baby Pack Project
c/o Val Bailey,
Box 654,
Shelly Beach, 4265,
South Africa