Nine years ago Carolyn Steyn accepted a challenge issued by the late Nelson Mandela’s PA, Zelda la Grange, to make 67 blankets for the needy in time for Nelson Mandela Day.
Realising she’d have to ask for help, Carolyn posted a plea on Facebook. Incredibly, she was soon flooded with hundreds of pledges for blankets.
Fast forward to 2023, and this has blossomed into an international movement for good. In South Africa alone volunteers, “KnitWits for Madiba”, have made and distributed over 120 000 blankets and many thousands of scarves. These hand-made items are donated to children and adults who are disabled, homeless, elderly and otherwise in need of real warmth during the winter months. 67 Blankets also has branches in other countries around the world.
In just nine years, 67 Blankets has smashed several Guinness World Records, most recently for the world’s longest scarf at over 29 kilometres in length. KnitWits laid thousands of lovingly made scarves end to end at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site outside Howick, then stitched them together to form the longest continuous scarf the world has ever seen. After Guinness representatives confirmed the length, the scarf was divided back into individual scarves that were donated to needy people around the country.
At Springside Cafe in February, KnitWits hosted a Valentine’s knitathon – where participants knitted and crocheted squares to be joined together to make blankets for this year’s #LocalBlanketsIsLekka winter campaign. As part of the festivities, over 80 blankets already made by Highway KnitWits were on display in all their multi-coloured glory.
KZN members of 67 Blankets meet regularly at various venues. Anyone who would like to learn to knit or crochet is welcome to attend, and 67 Blankets welcome donations of wool, squares and adult-sized blankets to keep needy people warm this winter.
FOR MORE INFO:
- 079 999 2443