Procrastaknit

Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

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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Craft + Activism = Craftivism 

I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

– Edward Everett Hale

Has anyone heard the term Craftivism before? I admit that I didn’t even know it was a thing before I started the pussyhat project.  It’s a term coined by Betsy Greer (craftivism.com) and it is just what I was looking for when I was left wondering what to do after the Women’s March.

I have been crafting for a long time (I grew up in the dark ages when kids didn’t have their own tablets) but I am so very new to activism.  Truthfully, it was when Trump was announced president of the USA that I felt a shock so powerful it left me in disbelief.  My bubble was burst and the fear was numbing.  I felt defenseless and imagined threats all around me and my loved ones.  Once I came to my senses, I looked for what else I could do with my crafting abilities and Google led me to the Craftivist Collective.

The Craftivist Collective is a wonderful organization in the U.K. led by Sarah Corbett.  She puts together different projects that uses craft as a form of gentle protest.  Her current project is The School of Gentle Protest which is partnered with 1215 Today.  I have registered (it’s free so join in at any time) and am doing the best I can with the curriculum.  The crafting is the easy part, it’s the gentle protest part that has me struggling.  

 We are talking about Inner Activism in this week’s lesson and it’s hard to face the truth:

  • I am overweight and eat more than I should. 
  • I watch TV, play a game on my phone and check FB on my tablet all at the same time.  
  • I say “Oh, I can get that cheaper online” a lot.
  • I clean using products with powerful chemicals and disposable wipes/towels/sponges.

I am a wasteful consumer that takes things for granted, but that’s just the tip of my “first world problems” iceberg.  This is where I am part of the problem, identifying them was part of the homework.  The other part is figuring out where how to be part of the solution.  

  • Over eating has become more obvious since spending the last few months here in Italy. For starters every Italian home I have been in has a refrigerator that is 1/3 of the size of those in the USA.  The food here also has less preservatives, so doesn’t last as long (i.e. Cheese).  Once my husband and I realized this, there was no point in shopping for groceries like they do in the States “it’s on sale now and I can cook it over the weekend”.   We have to adapt to the Italian way and only buy what we need when we need it and eat it fresh.  There is no need to have a fridge that is constantly so full you forget what’s shoved all the way in the back.  Keeping this mindset will be the real challenge when we go back to the US.
  • This one is a pretty easy fix, just shut down 1, 2, or all 3 gadgets to save some electricity.
  • Buying online will be hard to adapt, everyone has a budget and staying within it isn’t easy.  Since finding the Craftivist Collective, I’ve been searching for ecofashion that I like.  But the plus size style of green fashion is either pin-up replicas or loose linen bohemian, neither really speak to me.  I’m also thinking of giving up the major craft stores where I buy some of my fabrics, thread, coloring books, and miscellaneous other hobby supplies.  But one of the things I do is accept hand me downs (my son’s wardrobe is mostly from his cousin) and shop at consignment stores/ flea markets/ yard sales, etc.  I have done this mostly because of cost, not as a reason to reduce clothes going to landfills.  I’ll have to change my way of thinking about fast fashion and really respect the craftsmanship that goes into a well made product.
  • I’m on Pinterest a LOT, but there is only so much that baking soda and vinegar can clean.  Some jobs require bleach.  I’ll have to do some research on the brands of soaps and detergents we use in order to be more informed.  I’ve been considering switching to cloth towels and napkins, but that would mean doing more laundry – does it balance out?  I don’t know, will have to get better informed on this subject.

These are some examples of how to help save the environment by reducing waste.  In the resistance against Trump these small efforts will be of help to the National Parks Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.  I’m still working on what to do in the social issues that are under attack.  As an immigrant, a person of color, a woman, a mother, and an ally to different communities there is just so much to do for so many causes.  Being this overwhelmed can be just as numbing as the the fear that I first felt back in November, but I’ll get past it and persist.

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Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year to you!!

A lot has happened since last I posted.  Fall of 2016 was busy.  My family and I all submitted items to our local fair,  my husband in the baking category, my 3 year old did some general crafts,  and I entered my knitting.  We all came home with ribbons, my Christmas stocking even got best in show in its category!

I also went to two book signings at my LYS, Knit New Haven.  I had a total fangirl moment when I approached Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweeds!  I got him to sign his new book, “Woolens” and one from my library “The Knitter’s List”.  The other book signing was from a regular to our weekly knit night, Gale Zucker, a very talented knitter and photographer.   The book is called “Drop Dead Easy Knits” and it has some beautiful designs.  I have already bookmarked some of the patterns in these books to start knitting them soon.

But first, I am sewing!  I’ve also taken a basic 101 class at a local studio that recently opened downtown called Sew Crafty.  The sewing machine no longer intimidates me and it’s not hidden in my craft closet either.  I have it out in corner of my living room and I’m using it regularly.  I am in the process of starting my own craft business and sewing is my medium.  I am working on the branding and marketing of it right now, once it’s ready I’ll debut it here.

Another use for my sewing machine is craftivism.  I think most of the knitting community in the US has now heard about the Pussy Hat Project.  I had every intention of knitting as many of these hats as I could manage, but turns out that wasn’t many.  Even with bulky yarn I was only able to make one hat a day, after I made two hats I turned to my sewing machine to mass produce them for the cause. I’ve made about 8 a day!  I’m planning on handing them out to people going to the Women’s March in Washington, DC or to any of the sister marches happening nationwide.  I’ve gotten requests from friends in California, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachussetts, New York and here in Connecticut.   If you want to help me in this cause, I can still use more materials, please check out: https://www.gofundme.com/378k9reg

The march is just days away and I have no time to spare – off to make more #pussyhats!!

 

September 12, 2016 Woolens book signing with J. Flood

September 12, 2016 Woolens book signing with J. Flood

Oct. 18, 2016 - Drop Dead Easy Knits Book Signing

Oct. 18, 2016 – Drop Dead Easy Knits Book Signing

January 4, 2017 - made my first knitted pussyhat in a day and then moved to sewing

January 4, 2017 – made my first knitted pussyhat in a day and then moved to sewing

January 2017 - the first round of sewn pussyhats

January 2017 – the first round of sewn pussyhats

 

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