MES knittathon and community market day cape town

A few months ago, while chatting to Franita Knudsen, the marketing manager at MES Durbanville, a little seed-of-an-idea was planted:

Franita mentioned that every winter, the MES team sends out a desperate plea for beanies and blankets, to ensure that the homeless in their charge sleep warm. We immediately offered to help arrange a beanie and blanket drive, with the aim of collecting 100 beanies and 100 blankets by June. Gulp! A little scary, but we could try, right?

As an avid knitter, I was thrilled at the idea of knitting a few beanies myself. And as my fellow knitters/crocheters will surely agree, any excuse to go yarn shopping!

The seed popped open and out came a little green seedling, slowly burrowing its way to the surface, seeking light and air: What if we could encourage more people to knit a couple of beanies and blankets, and we create a little community around it? Creating together, with a common goal for good.

We dubbed it our 'Knittathon'!

Shortly after this revelation, the little seedling developed into a sprightly little sapling: What if we also hosted a market day, with local vendors and music and charm! Thus not only a plea for beanies and blankets, but 'n community-driven project to create awareness around MES' amazing work to uplift the destitute, as well as raise funds for their worthy work. And we would be empowering local entrepreneurs at the same time. AND offering a networking opportunity for some of our other Outreach Partners, who are all driven to fight for the greater good.

POP! There stood a full-grown tree...

For weeks now, we have had knitters and crocheters from all over the country creating with us. Random strangers that offered up their time and talent, opened their hearts, to help knit for change. We had a rough start -- our first Whatsapp group was spammed like crazy! Who would have thought that people would abuse a charity knitting group to advertise their smut...?! Thankfully, we are now going full steam ahead, and it already looks like we've reached our 100 beanie goal, thanks to our yarn angels. You know who you are - THANK YOU.

After months of dreaming and planning, our Artisan Market Day and Knittathon @ MES, is just around the corner. We are incredibly excited about the line-up of vendors. No, not vendors - artisans! These creative individuals make a living from their home-grown, hand-crafted products. We have curated an impressive variety, ranging from unique fashion jewellery, hand-painted glassware, whimsical wind chimes, delightful knitted stuffed animals, edgy T-shirts, proudly South African decor, fun art starter kits to inspire and unwind with, boho-chic clothing... Apart from a strong theme of 'upcycling' (using waste materials to create something beautiful and functional) amongst these creatives, we are also very proud to uplift community members from Fisantekraal (you might even be able to meet some of our infamous "7 Pillars" soup kitchens ladies, that feed hundreds of people multiple times a week!).

For the kids, there will be a 'Making Experience', where, for a nominal fee, they can learn how to make something lovely to take home, under the watchful eye of our resident pro crafter. All while mom and dad take a little me-time in the shade, sipping a delicious coffee paired with something yummy! Oh, did I not mention the fresh coffee, delicious pancakes, sour dough bread, home made jams, baked goods and fresh produce?

If this isn't enough to intrigue you, it's important to mention that all our artisans have committed to donating a portion of their sales to raise funds for MES. We also have some fabulous prizes up for grabs, in the form of a raffle. All these prizes have been donated by our wonderful makers. That kind of community spirit is simply inspiring!

We'll also have a convenient central pay point (all major cards and cash accepted) and there is ample safe parking just across the road at the Durbanville Shoprite Centre.

This may be a small market, but it will pack a big punch on many different levels! If your heart beats for supporting small, local, hand-crafted, community-inspired, good-hearted-people, this is the market for you!


Hosted at the MES Centre for Hope in Queen Street, Durbanville on Saturday, 7 May, from 09:00-14:00, visitors can expect the following:

  • Free entrance (but donations of blankets, warm clothing, yarn, knitting/crochet supplies are most welcome!)
  • Ample safe parking at the Durbanville Shoprite centre just across the road
  • A selection of highly curated, hand-crafted artisan goods
  • Divine coffee and mouth-watering home-made eats
  • A making experience for the kids (and young at heart!)
  • A convenient, central pay point (all major cards and cash accepted)
  • Lots and lots of really, really good people (some of who may be knitting/crocheting -- feel free to join us!)

Help us reach our goal of collecting 100 blankets by the end of May! Make a donation towards the drive:

Account holder: The One Percent Movement
Bank: FNB
Account number: 62924632749 (Gold Business Account)
Branch code: 250655
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Please use BLANKETS as reference when making payment.

artisan market day and knittathon at MES Durbanville

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