Thursday, November 24, 2016

Just a short note as I pause between stuffings and table setting and yelling at my kids who are supposed to be cleaning the bathroom but are instead arguing about whose turn it is to do the shower vs. toilet.
After screaming at them,  I walked away to cool down and - as always - I find myself here with you guys.
Thank you so much for being here, for supporting my business and for allowing me to do what I do. In the past, I’ve just felt lucky to be creative, meet amazing women, have an excuse for all the drinking and the knitting, and bundle all that into a job that brings a little cash into the house. This frivolous little career has made me incredibly happy, justified the yarn purchases, allowed me to travel, and brought so many of you into my lives.
But this year, it has even more weight, and even before November it seemed less frivolous.

I’ve been able to connect with people around the world this year and I've thought so much about our industry, my responsibility as someone with a voice, and what I should be doing with that.

Also, I always knew that my yarny endeavors were helping, but this year I realized that this career is the thing that allows me to send my girl (assuming she cleans the damn toilet) to whatever college she wants. Which was huge and empowering and made me really proud and happy and so appreciative of what Ravelry and this community has allowed me to do.
Recently, Ravelry and BabyCocktails and all of you have been a much needed distraction, giving my fears and frustrations a much needed outlet.
I know it’s a business and you aren’t supposed to get political, but the PMs and emails and conversations I’ve had with you guys both publicly and privately give me hope that so many of us are good people at a time when my belief in that as a given has grown kind of shaky. Thank you.
And as you all know, this job allowed magpiefibers and me to channel some of that worry into a cause that helps at risk young girls get to college.  I just spoke to Dami and between both yarn and pattern sales, we made $3,000!
So I’m really, really thankful to send $600 off to Women of Tomorrow from all of us. With a note and some yarn and some needles and a pattern. Maybe we can create a knitter while we are at it?
I wish you all safe, happy holidays this weekend, and remember -- just keep knitting if the conversation gets tough.
Thank You. Much Love.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hello, lovely knitters. Regardless of your thoughts on the new direction our country might be headed, I believe strongly that everyone can agree on two things.

One  This change came for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that the people struggling in this country feel like they can't find a way out. They didn't benefit from the economic trends of the Obama administration and they don't see educational opportunities in their futures -- and they feel like they haven't for a long time. A thousand of these individual struggles created an opening for one big movement.

Two  Many programs that focused on helping the poor and many policies that promoted education will struggle to have a voice in the years ahead. As priorities, they have not been part of the conversation that's entering our White House right now.

I'll insert a hat photo so you don't click away yet. I know you are here for knitting part. It's coming.

As I process my own feelings about all of this, I find it really important to find ways to counteract the things I am afraid of, and I feel that organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood  and Big Sister/Big Brother will find support and be heard by people who care. It's smaller organizations I fear for. Organizations on the ground in all of these cities and communities where people need something to be hopeful about.

Plus, I strongly believe that education is the answer to so much of this. As a mother of a daughter in the midst of our own college process, I'm finding the challenges to both get to and afford school are many. And I'm a lucky one. My emotions are all over the place and I can sit here and say all kinds of things, or I can do something. I plan on doing lots of things in the future, but here is a small one. And as a knitter, I know lots of small actions will make a strong fabric.

My new pattern, Rob Roy, is knit is Dami Hunter's beautiful Magpie Fibers Domestic wool. I am donating 20% of all sales on the pattern and Dami is donating 20% of all sales on the yarn for the next two weeks to Women of Tomorrow, a charity that helps at risk girls in inner city public schools get to college.  They focus on mentoring and scholarships and they do wonderful, important work. Even if you don't feel like knitting the pattern, maybe check them out and give them a bit of support?

If you buy two skeins of yarn, you can knit the hat twice, as I did.  It can be worn either snug and folded or long and slouchy, or you can give one away or you can just have fun pairing two of Dami's beautiful colors together.  And knitting cables is kind of comfort food.

The pattern is up on Ravelry for $5.50 and all the details are on the pattern page. The Ravelry code is LOVE.

I'm sorry if anyone is annoyed at my vague/not so vague political thoughts, but at the end of the day, I just think we all need to be actually, physically involved in helping to change the things that worry us. It makes me feel better to do so -- and since I have this space with a few people who listen, it makes me feel better to say so as well.