What? Didn’t I talk about this on the blog yet? I guess that was a few months ago. So, let’s catch up!
In May, the Melrose Historic Commission were very supportive of the project! Catch me at their booth at the Victorian Fair on September 9. In June, at the Melrose World Wide Knit in Public Day, knitters gave me good ideas for the Yarnstorm. Such great energy! Many signed up for the newsletter and will decorate Melrose with yarn creations while the quilt is in town. For more info, head over to the Melrose History Quilt Yarnstorm to learn about how you can be part of the action.
Inspired by the Snowflake block, I created a knit version for the Yarnstorm. Many thanks to Paula Velluto for test knitting the bulky version of this pattern. At this time, the pattern calls for bulky weight yarn, but there’s no reason you couldn’t take the basic instructions and work them in any gauge. Download the pattern on Ravelry to add it to your pattern library, or find this knit pattern on my web site.
As written, the pattern calls for a 10.5 US/6.5mm knitting needles and a total of about 190 yards of bulky weight yarn (110 yards Color A, 30 yards Color B and 50 yards Color C). The Victorian inscribed quilt is red and white, so you’d need 110 yards of red and 80 yards of white.
Worked in garter stitch with a stockinette border, the pattern begins at one corner, increases and works diagonally to the other corner. Stitches are picked up on both sides of the center block and out to the corners. Triangle stitches are picked up from the center and along the edges. Working in the round, the final border completes the square, which measures 20″.
Once the Yarnstorm passes, this block could be used to create cushions or a car seat/stroller blanket.
It was my lucky day. I attended Local Environmental Action 2018, where keynote speaker Loretta Ross emphatically (in her folksy way) made her case for all aspects of human rights. Loretta would like to see a culture where we can “call in” and build connections rather than “call out” and isolate people.
In group sessions, I marveled at the different paths life leads us and heard motivations for attending the Conference. International approaches to reducing our carbon footprint and adapting to the change inspired me to keep moving forward. Strategies learned at a session inspired by research from NNOOCI give me a framework to communicate in ways that can build consensus. I even won something in the silent auction!
At the closing keynote, Mariama White-Hammond encouraged everyone to protect our progress, build connections in our community and envision a future that will result in a more equitable and sustainable future.
It was an inspiring and tool building day.
There was a moment when my face wrinkled: When Carol Oldham praised the efforts of Jane Palmer leading a knit in to protest a proposed pipeline in VT, she had to pause while many in the audience giggled. Oh, dear, not again.
Does “knit in” make you laugh? Let me call you in (a chance practice what I learned).
I cannot deny the stereotype of knitting as an activity of the elderly women, which is somehow not perceived as cool as… Beyoncé or Juan Manuel Santos. Not that many years ago, knitting was a necessary activity done by all ages. In the US, knitting and protest trace back to the Revolutionary War. While the decline in handwork was dramatic in the 1950s and 60s, activity rebounded beginning in the 1970’s. In this millennium, motivation and passion for not just knitting, but all kinds of creation are growing in a new way.
Even Stephen Colbert half heartedly recognizes this, making a short attempt to learn to knit on air.
We hold that all communities should have the means necessary to meet every essential need of their own people.
To that end, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle calls upon people everywhere to take up the struggle through the tools of local production. We shall bring forth not only our voices raised for global justice, but we shall rise together, with the tools to liberate local communities from the shackles of global corporatism.
By sharing in the skills and resources of our communities, we shall become free to cast off dependencies on global trade for our subsistence. In so doing, we shall all be able to enter fairly into meaningful and equitable trade of not only goods, but also those cultural intangibles that are necessary if we are to bring about understanding, justice and peace to truly enrich our individual lives and our communities.
I do not know exactly why Jane Palmer chose to knit at Vermont Gas. Perhaps, like me, she enjoys making each moment productive and doesn’t leave the house without her knitting. Perhaps the rhythmic, repetitive movement of their hands calmed everyone’s minds. Perhaps they were creating an installation to raise awareness of the proposed pipelines’ pathway. Whatever their motivation, knitting is part of their activism tool box.
You, too, can learn to knit. I’d be happy to teach you, and lead classes at Lucky Cat Yarns. If you’re not nearby, find your local yarn shop, pick up a book at your library or look online for videos to begin your journey.
[Knit 2, purl 1] to last three stitches… so goes a current sequence on a new Thorn by Bristol Ivy, which I started while sailing last week. Having knit this in 2014, I know that attention is needed with each new section of this easy yet detail specific scarf.
My second Thorn in the same Claudia Handpaints laceweight colorway.
Sequences appear to be a trend this September. As I declared in my last post , the 8th and 9th were days of sequence knitting. Thanks to the Common Cod, Cecilia Campochiaro set a group of knitters off on a day of sequence exploration. Cecilia is an attentive and flexible speaker and teacher who shared her discoveries and a glorious stack of knit samples from her first book.
The Common Cod Class morning results of sequence knitting samples.
On Friday, Cecilia presented the essence of sequence knitting and her path that led to the book’s creation. Like any innovative researcher, she sought to solve the problem of “what can I knit that is interesting but appropriate for traveling?”
If you’ve not had a chance to explore Sequence Knitting, do take the time. The knitting itself is a bit like Soduku. As you settle into different patterns, the resulting fabric that slips off your needles. 8
Many of us experienced “Aha” moments during the class. I enjoyed playing with the different ways to write out serpentine pattern sequences… it was just like junior high math! Cecilia’s class also brought up the cold hard fact that I own a sweater’s worth of indie dyed superwash dk yarn which I don’t want to use…. any takers?
As she works on her second book, Cecilia used the face time with knitters to ask questions about format, layout and undoubtedly, she observed what made students swoon or a moment of pause. Those who love knitting for touch and fabric should dive into her first book now. I would heartily recommend spending the day knitting with Cecilia, which definitely jump starts your comprehension and inspiration.
As I reset professional sequences in my life, many of Cecilia’s observations touched home. How fortuitous to concentrate on a series of knitting riffs as I develop the pattern for the next section of my work.
The 397 page exploration of knit an purl has been on my wish list for two years – I’m sure the price deters my family from buying me another knitting book. Well, it’s time for wishes to come true.
The Common Cod Fiber Guild is hosting a talk and class with Cecilia on September 8 and 9, 2017 (oh, no, I didn’t have ANYTHING to do with that….). Yours truly will be at both events.
And, I bought myself the book, to continue to play with the joys of knit and purl. There is much to enjoy and do during these glorious summer days, but I can’t wait to spend a Saturday indoors and explore.