Posts Tagged ‘Charity’

Nice little surprise

A parcel arrived in the post today … imagine my surprise to find enclosed two tiny Fish and Chip baby vests to add to the collection.

Thank you very much Bridget, they’re beautiful.

More information about the Fish and Chip baby vests can be found here.

Cordelia (c) 2015

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Fish and Chip Baby Knitting Patterns:

I really thought that my mother had finally lost the plot on the phone last week when she said that she was knitting jumpers for the fish and chip babies!!

Finding information on the internet about the scheme was difficult at first but it does appear to be something that started in New Zealand a couple of years ago and progressed world wide.

Babies born in some of the poorest areas of Africa are wrapped in newspaper, hence the name “Fish ‘n’ Chip Babies”, to keep them warm when mothers have no clothes for them so in addition to the jumpers/vests people are also knitting tiny beanies.

I’ve made three this week so far with some left over wool:

Fish and Chip Baby Jumper/Vest

Here are the original knitting patterns which are circulated worldwide:


  • 8 Ply Yarn (double knitting)
  • 5mm needles (tight knitters) or 4.5mm needles (loose knitters)
  • Cast on 44 stitches
  • Work 18 Rows in K2, P2 rib
  • Work 30 Rows stocking stitch (1 row plain, 1 row purl)
  • Cast on 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows and at the same time change to K2, P2 (for sleeve)
  • Rib 22 more rows.
  • Next row: Rib 21, cast off 26 stitches, rib 21
  • Next row: Rib 21, cast on 26 stitches, rib 21
  • Work 22 rows in K2, P2 rib
  • Cast off 12 stiches at beginning of next 2 rows
  • Work 30 rows stocking stitch
  • Work 18 rows, K2, P2 rib
  • Cast off
Eagle eyed amongst you will notice that I tinkered with the original pattern when I was knitting the one on the right! They do ask that you don’t use white or baby pastels as they’re unlikely to be washed very often.
  • 8 Ply Yarn (double knitting)
  • 5mm needles (tight knitters) or 4.5mm needles (loose knitters)
  • Cast on 64 stitches
  • Work 14 rows in (K 1, P 1) rib.
  • Knit 24 rows, or work until 11 cm from cast-edge
  • Shape Crown as follows:
    Row 1 : K 6 K 2 tog; repeat to end of row (56stitches)
    Row 2 : Knit.
    Row 3 : K 5, K 2 tog; repeat to end of row. (48 stitches).
    Row 4 : Knit
    Row 5 : K 4, K 2 tog; repeat to end of row (40 stitches)
    Row 6 : Knit
  • Continue decreasing in this manner until (K 1, K 2, tog) has been completed and 16 stitches remain
  • Knit 1 Row
  • Break yarn and thread through remaining 16 stitches 


The Ruth Mailbag, Ladysmith, South Africa.

EDIT 10th February 2016


Thank you for your support of our group over the past 13 ½ years, however, it is with regret that I have to advise that our group will be closing on the 6th February 2016. If possible could you kindly publish a small item to this effect, so, that the community may know that we will no longer be collecting items for the needy of our community?
Once again, many thanks for your support.
Joy Coetzee – Founder – The Ruth Mailbag Group”

I have had several people telephone and email me since the beginning of 2016 looking for alternative charities and addresses to send donations. I’ll add them here as I find them.


EDIT 20th February 2016:

Message from Joy Coetzee:

GROUPS – Please continue to support these groups:
Beanies And Blankets For Babies – We knit, crochet, sew and donate items to babies and moms in King Dinuzulu and Murchison Hospitals, KZN, larger sizes go to Creighton, southern Drakensberg
Bowlers 4 Babies – We aim to make up gift packs to give to the new mothers at the local Provincial hospitals. Inspired by The Ruth Mailbag Group and Joy Coetzee

Amor Group works for the babies born at Steve Biko in Pretoria

Ten Thousand Blocks for Amor works for the Amor Group

Bertha Gxowa Hospital – Address for donations: Maternity Ward, Cnr. Angus & Joubert Street, Germiston. Postal: Private Bag X1035, Germiston, 1400 South Africa. Name of staff liaison person: Mrs N J Korong. Telephone number of staff liaison person: (011) 089-8500 Ext 1244. Fax: (011) 825-5425. Email: Jeanette.Korong@gauteng.gov.za. Needs: Kangaroo Abbas, vests, jerseys, booties, hats (prems and full term new-borns). General: Receiving blankets. Contact person is Alison Beattie at https://www.facebook.com/alliebt

Morag Macneill Van Deventer lives at Fordmouth, Baynesfield and works for various charities e.g. Nels Rust School, mums in Edendale Kangaroo Mother Care unit. Edendale Burns Unit (Burns Care Trust), Mahagu children, etc. She calls her charity group, “Kuvela Orhandweni”. Please visit her page at https://www.facebook.com/morag.m.vandeventer for more information.



Reproduced here with kind permission from THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP

I could not find a long-sleeved version of this vest although I saw that someone suggested just extending the 12 cast on stitches for the sleeve.
I felt that this could make for rather a bulky finish under the babe’s arm so came up with this solution.

1.     Work as for the original but do not cast on the stitches for the sleeves.
You will end up with a straight piece going from one ribbed edge to the other.

2.     Where the sleeves should be, pick up and knit 44stitches.(22 either side of the neck slash.) This is the exact number of the rows of rib before and after neck slash and proves very easy to do.
This join looks virtually seamless and will provide no irritation for the baby.

3.      Work 5 rows in st. st. ending with a purl row.

4.      Continue in st. st. decreasing one stitch at each end of every knit row until you have 28 sts.

5.      Change to K2. P2 rib for 8 rows and cast off loosely.

You should have something that looks like this:

You should finish with this:

I do not have a baby to try this on but cannot see why it shouldn’t work.


Thank you to Anne who commented on this blog and left these very useful addresses:

Knit-a-square in Soweto

Loving Hands (Scottish charity knitters)

Baby Pack Project South Africa


Thank you also to Bek who commented on the blog and left this address:

Mowbray Maternity Hospital
12 Hornsey Road
Cape Town
South Africa




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