A Stitch in Time Does a Lot of Good at The Backpack


The bar at The Backpack is one of the best chill-out spots in Cape Town. It’s well-stocked, has a broad patio and a great vibe – and is the home of the “Vallies Stitch and Bitch” project, which backpackers across South Africa are taking to heart.

The project is named in comemmoration of The Backpack owner’s mother, Vallie. Hostel guests who belly up to the bar are invited to “stitch” – crochet – a length of yarn into a small square. When they’re done, the squares are collected and eventually knitted together to make blankets for HIV-positive babies.

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The knitting is easy (and surprisingly relaxing – no bitching required!) – and the project is catching on at other hostels, like Swaziland Backpackers and Nothando’s of Plettenberg Bay. The recent Backpacker Tourism South Africa‘s annual meeting was the scene of much “needling” (see pic), and several new blankets were the result. So far, over 400 blankets have been knitted and donated. It all starts with a small square!