Think outside the square blanket challenge

Years

Volunteers

Blankets

2024 Challenge: 1 April – 31 July

What is the Think Outside the Square (TOTS) Blanket Challenge?

Simply put it is a challenge for volunteers from across Australia to participate in doing some good in the world. We ask participants to knit or crochet 20x20cm squares that we then sew (yes, more volunteers) into blankets for those most in need in our community.

We have set a lofty goal of donating 650 blankets which is insane as we have never come close to even donating 600 blankets.  We hope that you can help us reach our target.

If you can’t knit or crochet we always need help to sort squares or sew them together.

If you are a school, this is a great social justice activity to do within your classes, retirement villages have been amazing in helping us too. We welcome any age group and love it when we see our men getting involved. Scroll further down the page for our FAQ’s.

Join the Challenge

Join our community at our Free Sewing Bee

If you would like to come along to our FREE Monthly Sewing Bee’s – come and help us sew squares, knit blankets, learn to knit or even crochet – there is always someone here to show you how, enjoy a cuppa, few nibbles and meet other amazing members of our challenge!

You can book your free spot on the dates below:

Wednesday 3 April 2024 Sewing Bee

Wednesday 1st May 2024 Sewing Bee

Wednesday 5th June 2024 Sewing Bee

Wednesday 3rd July – Final 2024 Sewing Bee

We are happy to take squares and your completed blankets throughout the year but our TOTS Blanket challenge officially runs  from April- July each year. 

Lets aim for 650 blankets in 2024!

If you have any other queries you can contact us on 1300 722 896 or email [email protected]

TOTS Blanket Challenge results from 1st 2023 Handover

An incredible 329 blankets were handed over to our charity partners on Friday 2nd June. Most of these will have now found their way into the hands of those who need them most in our community, we couldn’t help but be moved beyond words. 
TOTS community.. our journey is far from over. To achieve our ambitious goal of 650 blankets, we still need 321 more.  We call upon each and every one of you to keep knitting, crocheting, and sewing, as we continue spreading warmth and love to those who need it most.
Thank you, TOTS community, for your unwavering dedication and endless compassion, it just goes to show that together, we can create a world where everyone feels the warmth of love and kindness.🌟

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Challenge run?

Our official challenge dates run from 1st April through until 31st July. We understand that people are knitting and crocheting all year round, so you are welcome to drop off your squares or completed blankets to us throughout the year.

I'm not in Western Sydney, can I still participate?

Of course you can! We have volunteers from Darwin to Adelaide and everywhere in between. We love hearing about the people willing to join our challenge, so if you are posting squares or blankets, please add a note and/or photo so that we have a story to share about your contribution.

What size needles should I use?

You can use any size needles – whatever you are most comfortable with. Most volunteers have used size 5 or 6 needles.

How many stitches should I cast on?

We need the squares to be 20cm x 20cm. A ballpark number is about 45 stitches, but the number all depends on the size of your needle, and how tight you stitch.

What ply wool should I use?

We recommend 8 ply acrylic (instead of pure wool) so that it’s easy to wash.

Can I crochet instead of knit squares?

Absolutely, we have had some beautiful crocheted squares donated.

Should they be brightly coloured or more muted tones?

When choosing what coloured wool you will use, keep in mind who you are creating the squares or blankets for. Rough sleepers would prefer muted or darker tones to not stand out, whereas families who have left a violent relationship would be more uplifted by brighter, more colourful squares. 

Is there a pattern to follow?

No pattern is necessary, just simply knit or crochet 20cm x 20cm squares in any style you like – we will put them with other similar squares.

How many squares make a blanket?

30 (5×6) squares makes a moderate sized blanket, however for a medium sized blanket takes 42 (6×7) squares. If you are wanting to create a  great big wrap around kind of blanket you will need 48 ( 6×8) squares.

Can I donate completed blankets?

Of course you can! If you decided to provide completed blankets we recommend 6×8 squares.

When are the squares and blankets due?

Round 1: Squares should be to us by 28th May to ensure enough time to be sewn together for an early June handover.

Round 2: Square will need to be to us by 28th July for an early August handover.

Who are the blankets donated to?

We like to support a variety of charities to ensure that people from all walks of life can benefit from these blankets and get wrapped in love and the kindness of others. They are given to organisations such as WestCare, Platform Youth Services, Penrith Community Kitchen and WeCollect.

They go to the homeless, women and children escaping domestic violence, our youth in crisis and the old, lonely and struggling. By joining this challenge you really are helping make a difference to someones life and we thank you for your kindness.

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