social activism

Welcome Blanket Gathering at TKTLA

 

WB-statue

Photo from the Welcome Blanket website

Have you heard the news? Pussyhat Project cofounder Jayna Zweiman has launched a new effort: the Welcome Blanket Project.  This new craftivism project takes the length of the proposed 2,000 mile border wall (between the U.S. and Mexico border) and re-conceptualizes it into “welcome” blankets for U.S. refugees.

Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?

A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”

– from www.welcomeblanket.org

Like the Pussyhat Project, there are patterns on the website for knitters, crocheters, and even quilters! If you are new to knitting, they have a tutorial with step-by-step instructions (including images) to help you along the way with their Come Together knitting pattern. The Come Together knit blanket calls for bulky superwash wool, and we suggest Cascade 128 Superwash as a great yarn for it!

Each blanket must also be accompanied by a Welcome Note, which includes: your name and city, your family’s immigration story, and words of welcome and advice about living in the U.S.

 

wb note

Pictured: Welcome Note Template. Photo from Welcome Blanket website. Printable version of template can be found on the website.

These blankets, along with the welcome notes, will be displayed at an inaugural exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, beginning July 18th through December 17th. The blankets will be distributed to refugees and other immigrants through resettlement organizations after the exhibition ends.

The Welcome Blanket Project needs about 3,200 blankets (that are 40″ x 40″ each) to reach 2,000 miles of length. All blankets must be sent to the Smart Museum of Art by September 5th. In order to help them achieve this number, we will be hosting a Welcome Blanket Gathering on Sunday, August 6th at 12pm (during our usual Sunday Brunch!).  We can help you get started on a blanket, or you can sit with us and continue working on one. Feel free to bring a friend, partner, or spouse along – we hope you will join us!

Classes, essays

Embracing The Granny Square!

The 1970’s were particularly crafty times for my family.  I had 3 sisters, a brother, an artist/crafter father, and a mom who never stopped making.  We had little money, and back then it was actually cheaper to make things ourselves (sigh).

In between macrame plant holders and latch hook rugs, we were stuck on crochet. We made lots of these:

gs5 Vintage vest from the 1970’s found on Etsy.

I loved making  projects with my family in our attempt to stay fashion forward.

So now the granny is back (many of my friends are grannies now, so it’s fitting!).  But, as always in the fashion world, it has been tweaked, refined, and used in unusual ways like:

Crochet dress-Moschino Resort 2017, Crochet dress-Alejandra Alonso Rojas 2017,  Men’s sweater-J W Anderson Fall 2017.  BTW, those shoes are taking the GS a bit far-but that’s how it goes on the runway (hope he didn’t slip)!

I saw all of this going on in the periphery with “oh no, not again” in my head.  But then a beautiful thing happened.  I noticed my extreme makerist friend, Ana Petrova, making tiny granny squares with very fine yarn and a tiny hook.  These delicate little squares, just under 2″ each, transformed the once clunky grannies into items of elegance.

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I was so taken by these beauties, and was certain that the GS had come back to my future.  I wanted the tiny lovelies to be mine!  So, here I am…me and the granny…in love…again!  Here’s my attempt made with Lang Mille Colori Baby fingering yarn on a C hook.

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I love these little jewels so much that I begged Ana (who does not teach much anymore) to teach a  GS class, and she said yes!

20170615_153110-1.jpg You can sign up here if you have the GS urge too!

I have been so happy working on these squares, thinking of my family laughing and goofing around.  I warms my heart to know we were hip makers before our time!

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Here we are in all of our 1976 glory (I am the goofy one on the far left)!

essays

Start-O-Mania!!

It all started innocently enough.  I had just finished 2 big projects that had hard deadlines.  It was like cramming for finals.  I freakin’ Wonder Womaned it and raced to the finish.

Then I was done…with no more projects…nothing on the needles…empty project nest…hell on earth.

I skulked into the shop not sure I could make it through another projectless minute. Then, a miracle occurred. The new 5th Anniversary issue of Pom Pom arrived!  Oh, brighter days were ahead for sure!

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I voraciously combed through the pages and came upon this beauty:

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A comfy cozy sweater called “Soiree” by Emily Foden.  I picked out the perfect yarn and all was well.  But wait, what about that project from Pom Pom Spring 2017 that I have been lusting over?

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“Tinea” by Rachel Brockman had been calling my name like a distant siren…

Ok, I’ll start 2 projects – it will be fun!!  So, I picked out the gorgeous organic, US made and milled Jagger Green Line yarn in just the right shades and got started.

But, OMG, look at that delicious new pattern by Lisa Hannes called “Martha’s Meadow!”

20170609_073559It’s geometric, but soft and textured.  I really don’t think I can live without it!  And, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use my Left Coast Dyeworks Urban Lux Papel Picado colorway. And look how perfect Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Luxury Capital Lace goes with it!!  Could life get any better?  I think not!

So now I have 3 new projects and am happily distracted from all the troubles of the outside world.

Life is good!

Uncategorized

Are You Ready for Some Tree Scouts?!

We are excited to announce our
TKTLA Tree Scouts starting this summer!

Tree Scouts Beret

What are Tree Scouts?  Join me this summer to build your crafting knowledge. As a Tree Scout, you will try a new craft every Sunday from 2-4pm (starting on Sunday, July 9th). The first project is our sash of course! I’m going to assume that most of you know how to knit. This is a very easy  scarf on the bias that is then joined at the bottom. You can find the sash pattern at the end of the blog post.

The best part is that you can decorate your sash with button badges that you have earned for each skill!!

Besides knitting the sash, some of the other projects for button badges include:

  • Crocheting our beret
  • Embroidering our troop number (Troop 1031!)
  • Macrame bracelet
  • Tunisian crochet headband
  • Weaving coasters (and much more!!)

You will receive full instructions on the skills you need to make each project. You will also get to hang out with other like-minded crafters wearing their sashes and berets! I wonder who will get the most badge buttons????

At the end of the summer there will be a ceremony (party) to honor all Tree Scouts!

Join today at: theknittingtreela.com

Please make your sash before our first meeting on July 9th. Our colors are brown for the sash,  and green for the beret.  However, feel free to express yourself with whatever colors you’d like!

Cost: $10 per week (not including materials) OR $75 if you sign up for all 8!*
*Please note that we will provide any special materials for a small fee. 

Materials for Sash:  Approx. 200 yards of worsted weight yarn for the sash.  I used a Cascade 220 heather.  Size 8 needle, or needle to obtain gauge.  Gauge = 4 sts/in in Garter St.

 

Tree Scouts Sash

 

Pattern for Tree Scout Sash:

Cast on 28 sts (or more if your “girls” need more coverage)

Row1: (WS) knit

Row 2: (RS) Kfb, knit to the last 2 sts, K2tog, place marker on the right side of your work (your pattern row)

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures approx. 50″

Sew as indicated in photo.

Wear proudly!

Tree Scout Pledge:

On my honor, I pledge to craft to the best of my ability

to weave and tuck in ends cleanly

to maintain a sunny disposition (unless my cat has eaten my needles again!)

to help out a fellow scout in need

and to follow directions, but bust a groove when the spirit moves me!

Annette Tree Scout

 

 

Uncategorized

Needful Notions

Blog1Every knitter knows you need more than just needles and yarn to get by. We picked out a few necessary items that can come in handy for any crafty person.

Blog4

Fiber to Fabric Magic Needle Keepers have become an absolute favorite at the shop! The perfect way to prevent your stitches from slipping off of your circular needles when you throw your project in your bag in between knitting sessions. They also keep your needle tips from stabbing your knitting!

Blog5

This handy Knitting Accessory Kit by Clover is the perfect starter pack for a beginner! It contains a great collection of basic knitting tools such as stitch markers, stitch holders, tape measure, point protectors, row counter, and a needle gauge. Every item in here is bound to come in handy as you expand your knitting vocabulary.

The (in)famous Knit Kit is another great package of knitting essentials with the added bonus of coming in a compact case that’s perfect for travel, or just grab & go for all your summer errands!

Keep your hand made items looking fresh and neat with the Gleener Fuzz Remover. It removes pills and fuzz balls from the fabric and even works as the best lint brush ever. And yes, use it on cushions and car seats too!

crochet patterns, knitting patterns

Fun Knit and Crochet in the Summertime!!

Summer is nearly upon us and there is no need to put down your needles!  I have been working on some light and fun projects to welcome the warm weather.20170519_120531

I was so inspired by the Summer 2017 issue of Knitscene Magazine! The cover tank top called my name, as did Queensland Savannah Yarn in minty green and black.  The yarn is made of a yummy combo of linen and silk.  It has a beautiful drape and feels great against my skin!20170519_120506

20170519_123625_HDR.jpgThere are some other great patterns in this issue like my next project:

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So, we’ve had Katia’s Washi  and Washi Print yarn (a bamboo, polyester machine washable tape) in the store and I’ve been dying to make a summer hat.

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It crocheted up in a couple of hours and I was so surprised by how pliable the brim came out!  Word got out and everyone at the store started making one for themselves.

Bonus:  The pattern is free with purchase of yarn (we’ll send it with an online order, or come in the store)!

Enjoy your lazy, hazy, breezy fiber filled summer!

essays, knitting patterns, social activism

Women’s March Brings Knitting to the Front Lines

by Annette Corsino-Blair

Things have been buzzing at the shop for the last month or so.  Building to a crescendo of energy that I have not seen in quite a while.  People who haven’t knit in many years are blowing the dust off of their needles, wanting to take part in The Pussy Hat Project.

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MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE MARCH

It’s a simple thing really:  make a hat with cat ears out of bright pink yarn and give to someone attending the Women’s March in Washington January 21, 2016.  But like any one effort when multiplied, that sea of pink at our nation’s capital and in many other states around the country and world will be a show of strength and solidarity.

It will be a reminder that women are are strong, valuable and relevant. We plan on rising up time and time again to stand up of our rights.

Did you know that women and children knitting socks and stockings helped finance both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars?  The call was put out and women stepped forward with action.  Always the silent heroes, they started The Sanitary Commission which later became The Red Cross.  When situations become challenging, women band together and get s*#% done!

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YES WE ARE!

I have to admit that it’s been really fun reteaching these passion filled students.  May they be reminded of the importance of working with their hands in a community.  Knitting (and all of the fiber arts) brings us together as sisters and brothers of a common cord.

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WE STILL HAVE LOTS OF PINK YARN IN STOCK!
new in store, Uncategorized

New in Store: Neons, nettle, and plant-dyed yarn

PicMonkey CollageMaxima

If you saw our Facebook post about it, you know how excited we are to have Manos del Uruguay’s Maxima in stock! Manos is one of our favorite yarn companies, because they back up their saturated colors and soft textures with Fair Trade status.

Continue reading “New in Store: Neons, nettle, and plant-dyed yarn”

knitting patterns

Three for Free Friday: Knit Cables

fathermoonshine

Who doesn’t love a cabled slouchy beanie? Father Cables is a hot pattern on Ravelry this week, no doubt due to its stunning cable pattern and the fact that it’s been generously published as a free pattern by YOTH Yarns. The pattern calls for a softly plied, worsted weight Rambouillet wool yarn, which comes from a breed of sheep known for its soft, fine fiber, much like its close relative the Merino sheep. Fantastic yarns for this pattern would be two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, Malabrigo Rios, or Juniper Moon Farms Moonshine. Continue reading “Three for Free Friday: Knit Cables”