Each time we visit Nepal we take beautiful hand knitted blankets made from squares made by our supporters in Australia.
We leave baby sized blankets for the babies born at the APS birth centre. Each baby born there goes home with an Australian blanket and a handmade beanie to keep them warm.
We have also left larger blankets for the midwives to wrap themselves in when they are working night shift. In Nepal it is common to have openings in the walls like a grill door or decorative mesh fretwork in the concrete walls. This makes it impossible to heat and the temperature in winter gets down to zero overnight.
But the midwives working overnight can keep themselves warm with our knitted square blankets. Many of these midwives are volunteers and their remuneration is enough to pay their bus fare and a bit left over to buy food.
Since the earthquake, we have far fewer people coming regularly to Nepal so most of our luggage is filled with medical equipment. We ask that supporters send their knitted squares and beanies directly to Nepal. Postage from Australia is expensive, but it’s really the only way we can get them there now – unless you know someone who is coming to kathmandu.
We use two different sized squares – 200mm x 200mm for the babies and 300mm x 300mm for the adult blankets. There is no specific number of stitches because it depends on the ply of wool, size of needles and tension of the knitting. You are also most welcome to crochet squares or to knit or crochet an entire blanket.
Beanies need to be a small size. Nepali babies are smaller than Australian babies and are generally around 2.5kg when they are born.
One of the best ways to knit squares is on the diagonal.
Row 1: Cast on 2 stitches.
Row 2: Knit to end of row.
Row 3: Knit 1, increase 1, Knit to end of row.
Repeat Row 3 until the side of the square measures 19 cm/7½ inches.
Next row: Knit to end of row. Do not cast off.
Row 1: Knit 1, k2tog, knit to end of row.
Repeat Row 1 until 2 stitches remain.
Next row: Cast off. Leave a 50 cm or 20” tail so we can sew the squares together.
There are plenty of free patterns available on the internet for beanies and different types of squares.