Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Tree of Life and Thousand Oaks

I am so sick and tired of seeing our flags at half-mast so frequently because of another mass shooting.   It’s hard to think of what to write when so much has already been said by those who are much more eloquent than I in expressing their anger, frustration, fear, hurt, and so many more emotions that pierce us whenever the news hits and our flags are lowered again.

I tend to go numb now.  It takes me at least a day to sort through the emotions.  I see the headline once and then I shut down the news because I don’t want to go through the cycle of “how many victims?” “thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and families” “the shooter was a troubled individual” “a good guy with a gun could’ve prevented it”

That is when craftivism comes into help heal just a little bit.  Crafters come together and create.  The goal is to embrace a devastated community and shower them with kindness; to remind them that good people do outnumber the bad; to show that Love does conquer Hate.

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Technicolor Hat

The sweater with the beautiful green yarn I casted on for my kiddo is on hold. Every time we went to my LYS he kept pulling different colored skeins off the shelf and saying he wanted me to add it to his sweater. I want to please him, but I also want to knit a sweater that will look good on him and not make my eyeballs bleed.  So I quickly made him a hat from a skein of Yarn Hygge’s SW Merino, that colorful yarn I got at Rhinebeck. It looks really small, but a simple rib pattern on bulky weight yarn and it even fits me!





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Yarn for Braaaaaiiiiins at Rhinebeck

Happy Halloween!

Like my Zombie Hat?  I made it for my 5yo, but wore it to Rhinebeck earlier this month.  I never have a sweater done in time to wear it to Rhinebeck, so I make do with a silly hat.  It’s a crochet pattern found on Ravelry that’s pretty easy to do, and surprisingly I am the only other person that has made it besides the designer.  The hanging eyeball ring I found in the Target dollar section and didn’t think twice about using it in this project as soon as I saw it.  Unfortunately my son isn’t as much of a fan of it as I am, he wore it a few times but now wants a hat with a happy silly face instead.  It’s not really a bad thing to have a sensitive little boy who isn’t into monsters and gory things.  It’s too tight on me to wear regularly, so I might just pass it on to another little kid who might enjoy it.

Zombie Hat

The festival was fun this year, as it always is especially when the weather is a beautiful fall day.  I started the day off just accompanying two friends that had never been before, once you’ve been to a fiber festival so many years in a row it’s good to tag along with people that are OOoohing and Aaaahing at everything with fresh eyes.

I wasn’t in a “MUST BUY ALL THE PRETTY YARN” mindset, I’ve actually been pretty good at using my stash to make projects lately (like the zombie hat above).  The only thing I knew I absolutely wanted to buy was a new pair of glass needles from Michael and Sheila Ernst.  I can’t get enough of them!  Which is how I ended up with a 16″ circular in a size 10 –  I don’t recall them making short cable needles in the past, but it’s a good size to have for quick bulky hats.  I absolutely love how sharp the tips are, how thick the cable is, how smoothly the yarn slides off the glass and how beautiful they are.  In all the years I’ve had them the only time I’ve actually broken a pair is when I accidentally closed my sliding glass door on one and true to their lifetime warranty, I mailed it in and got them back good as new.

Eventually, the enthusiasm of my friends and ALL THE PRETTY YARN got to me  and I shopped!  Just the four skeins of yarn, the glass needles and a metal cable needle that can also double as a shawl pin.  While everyone else was obsessing over the Miss Babs booth (I get it, but I wanted the needles and more variety this year) I was was browsing across the way at Lisa Souza booth. The middle yarn pictured below was the one skein that stayed on my mind all day as I walked around, so I went back to buy it.  It sparkles!  I’ve already started knitting with the colorful one below it, to make a happier hat for my 5yo.  The other two were on clearance and I couldn’t pass it up, might make something for my husband with them.  The rest is just pictures things that wowed and amused me around the Festival.

Were you at Rhinebeck this year? How did you fare?

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Craftivism at the Fair

Last weekend was my town’s local fair and I submitted a few items into craft competition. My entries were a crocheted Handmaid’s Tale amigurumi, a knitted black trans pride hat, and an embroidered “Love is Love is Love” badge.

I also participated in the town parade leading to the opening of the fair with the my local Moms Demand Action group. We received a pretty warm reception from the community and it was a lot of fun.

Last bit of news is my fresh off the needles hat. It’s a destash project using some Rowan Lima yarn and had I known how wonderfully squishy it was to use, I would’ve bought sweater quantities before it became discontinued. I used a little bit more than a skein to make this hat, and in the spirit of destashing, I gifted the leftover skein to a friend so she can make a hat for her 7mo.

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Seasonal Knitter

I think I am a seasonal knitter. Not sure if that’s a real thing or not, but now that Autumn has arrived in New England I am happily casting on and working on projects I want to make.

Or maybe it’s having an enthusiastic little boy ask you to make him a sweater and get super excited about choosing out some yarns for said sweater. Okay, so maybe I picked the yarn from my stash (STRANDavarious DK an individual hand painted fiber artist I discovered during my cross country yarn crawl) because his color choices might clash a bit. Although, I am going to let him choose a self-striping yarn to add to the body of the sweater so it is more colorful. His joy is contagious and he is SO knit worthy.

Pattern: Rumpus jumper Designer: Sashka Macievich. Here I am knitting at the Board of Education meeting waiting to speak up about bullying in our town.

In Craftivism news, I won this awesome new book via an Instagram contest. It has some great projects in a variety of mediums. I recommend following Sayraphim Lothian on Instagram, she knows what she’s doing and is very inspiring.

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Back to School #Sewpplies

Remember a few months ago when someone suggested that teachers should be armed and educators responded with the hashtag#suppliesnotguns ? Well, it’s back-to-school season and teachers are getting their classroom in order for the upcoming academic year. I have a friend who teaches first grade in a neighboring town and she asked me for help creating chair slipcovers with pockets for her classroom. In order to accommodate the mobility needs of her pupils in her incoming class. The students’ desks, which usually provides individual storage, are being replaced with tables to open up some floor space.

One down, two dozens more to go!

This was the trial run for the chair pockets, I used a kid’s chair I have at home

I thought that the sewing machine is what intimidated me from learning how to sew, but now I remember it was really my hate for ironing. Learning to love the process.

I am volunteering my limited sewing abilities to help her out and I am sure there is a teacher out there that could use yours crafty skills too. If you don’t personally know a teacher check out it is a wonderful website that allows you to find teachers that really care about their pupils’ education but have very limited resources. I recommend doing a search with the filters “More than half of students from low income households” plus one or more of the following:

  • Warmth, Care and Hunger – often asks for winter accessories for classrooms with not heat
  • Special Needs – often needs sensory items for learning
  • Art Supplies – you’ve been meaning to clean out your craft closet, now you have a good reason
  • Projects With No Donations

Now, the website original intention is to get funding from donors, not the actual items requested. So if you’re willing to knit 30 hats or make 12 flexible seating or provide any of the requested items on a teacher’s wishlist, check the status of their request. If the project doesn’t get funded, the the classroom gets none of the items needed. Try finding a school in your state and reach out to that teacher that you are willing to contribute some handmade goods to enhance his/her learning environment. They might happily accept something made with so much care a lot more from a person in their community.

Or you can just make a donation directly through the website, at the time of this posting the lowest amount needed to complete a project is $7, but sadly the only donor is the teacher who posted the project, so I’ve fulfilled it. Teachers really shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to do their job, but more than that, students should have a safe learning environment with the materials they need to succeed.

Now lets see if we can make this small post into a movement, use #sewpplies if you decide to make something for a teacher and share it widely in all social media outlets.

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Immigrant Yarn Project workshop

Wednesday was an amazing day! I assisted in a Craftivism workshop for United Way in the San Francisco Bay area. I attempted to present on Craftivism, but I was a nervous mess and ended up rambling quite a bit. I can talk your ear off on a one-on-one basis about how craftivism is a great tool in spreading knowledge and bringing awareness to an issue, but I am very much out of practice in presenting in front and f a crowd.

It’s a good thing Cindy Weil took the lead on this workshop, she was great at presenting to the group. It was about her craftivism installation the Immigrant Yarn Project. She has worked with girl scout troops, survivors of Japanese internment camps, the populaton of skid row, and countless of other people. I was amazed at her progress so far and was happy to add a little piece of my craft and my family’s story to the installation.

Say what you will about #craftivism movements, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment and it empowers me to keep on resisting.

End of the day feeling extremely accomplished

My conference badge

A poster by United Way

Made this badge to wear with my “I am an immigrant” shirt, decided to contribute it to the Immigrant Yarn Project installation

These are my scraps and swatches joined to be my contribution to the IYP

Photo credit: Immigrant Yarn Project

A close up of me in the corner with my piece

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Immigrant Yarn Project

Have you heard of the Immigrant Yarn Project? It’s an installation happening in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it’s kind of awesome. I’m actually visiting family out here on the West coast, and I am excited to get a chance to meet Cindy Weil, the founder of this project. I’m volunteering at one of her workshops, providing yarn assistance to those attending as well as sharing some of my own activism and craftivism experiences.

That’s not for a few more days, and until then I brought some of my scraps to join and contribute to her craftivism project. Of course, reading Krista Suh’s DIY book is great inspiration while adding to this project. And keeping hydrated is also important. All great ways to keep the anxiety and irrational fear of potential earthquakes and aftershocks at bay…

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Yarn chicken at the courthouse

I played a mean game of yarn chicken today. I have been working on a pair of single sock (it’ll only be a pair of I don’t get 2nd sock syndrome) for my hubby. It has been the mindless project in my purse for weeks now, something to keep my hands busy when I have 5 minutes of down time or need to fight off some anxiety.

Which is a good thing I wasn’t done with it yet, because today it provided me with about an hour of anxious free time. You see, today I went to Federal Court for a hearing on a case of immigrant families that were seeking asylum, but got separated instead. Security took my phone, but I was able to keep my WIP which is what brought about this game of yarn chicken.

Check it out:

So satisfying!!

Something else that caused a sigh of relief is knowing that there are now two sets of parents reunited with their kids here in Connecticut. They are on probation for a few months and activist groups here hope that they will be given a path of citizenship so they can have the life that all immigrants hope for by coming to this country. You can read more about that story here:

It was a roller coaster of a day. Going into the courthouse I felt a sense of gloom, but coming out that feeling was replaced with Hope. Counting the stitches – 25 – as the tail of my yarn shrunk made Doubt consume me, but with 5 stitches left I knew I’d win the game of yarn chicken. Woohoo!!

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Blog Ressuraction

I’m afraid to even peek….

Is anyone still here??

This is so embarrassing…

OK, deep breath…

Here goes nothing….

Hi again! It’s been a while, I’m not sure I am even able to reach anyone on this blog anymore, but I thought it was time to try a little necromancy and see if I can bring this baby back life!! Please comment below so I know I’m not just yelling into the internet abyss… thanks!

Unintentionally, this post has started off with some much darker imagery than I had planned for, but something kept telling me I needed to work on this blog again. So here we are…

See, what has been happening over the past two years is that I’ve become an activist. The Pussy Hat Project was my first introduction to craftivism and it gave me a sense of purpose in the days following the 2016 presidential election when I felt so powerless. I volunteered my newbie sewing skills and made as many hats as I could and sent them to friends, family and like-minded strangers all over the USA. My next craftivism project was the Welcome Blanket hosted by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. I recruited friends from my knitting group to each make a square and we submitted two finished blankets to the give to immigrants and refugees. Currently, I am learning to sew so that I can make a Moms Demand Action Dream Quilt to honor victims and survivors of gun violence in my home state of Connecticut.

I won’t lie, it has been emotionally draining and has taken a lot out of me. I’ve had some hard days – really, really hard days – but it is not something I can just stop doing. I can escape from it for a few hours and I sometimes I will force myself to step away for a day or two – but inevitably I come back to fight for one social cause or another. I feel like I am just coming to a point where I am going to create my own Craftivism project. I have a few ideas floating around in my mind and now I just need to take that leap of faith to get it going .

Which is what brings me back here to post today. I started this blog a few years ago with the intention that I would share my knitting knowledge, fun yarny news, do some yarn crawls and review some LYSs, delight over craft festivals finds, and show some of my finished works. I will continue to do that (ideally on a more regular basis than before), but now the focus might shift heavily to Craftivism in social causes against the current Traitor-in-Chief and his Goons.

Thanks for sticking with me in this transition… here we go!

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