Pause to reflect

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No two weeks in a small business look the same. This week, I was focused on making structural preparations to hire someone to care for the shop during a few short absences this year. (The first comes at the end of this month, when I’ll be attending The National Needlework Association Winter Market in Portland. More on this soon.)

And in most weeks, I think to myself that I should be more engaged with social media. It’s a complicated landscape, affected by powerful commercial and political forces that leave me feeling uneasy much of the time, AND, as a card-carrying introvert, it can feel exhausting. But it’s also a place where communities engage, and where real conversation happens.

In the last week, Instagram, in particular, has been a forum for conversations about how black, indigenous, and people of color feel marginalized in the fiber world. As a shop owner, this Instagram highlight

from Sukrita, a spinning teacher in Sydney, broke my heart. My sadness, though, is not important. Finding a way forward is important.

I had begun to write about something else entirely for this week’s newsletter. It didn’t feel right. I am going to link to some of the voices in this conversation, instead. I hope you’ll join me in listening to what they have to say.

(Often, you’ll find extended thoughts pinned as highlights, below the Instagram profile information, and above the dynamic feed. On a mobile device, you can tap and hold on a screen if it is advancing too quickly to read.)

(And: this conversation is happening primarily on Instagram, but if that is a platform you don’t interact with, this blog post from Atia, and this one from Heather Zopetti speak to some of the same issues. There is also a discussion thread on Ravelry here.)

Grace Anna Farrow is @astitchtowear

Sukrita is @sukrita

Korina is @thecolormustard

Tina Tse is @tina.say.knits

Ocean Rose is @ocean_bythesea

Jeanette Sloan is @jeanettesloan

Lorna Hamilton-Brown is @lhamiltonbrown

Heidi Wang is @booksandcables

Atia is @thebrightblooms

(For context: the blog post that catalyzed these conversations can be found here, along with the author’s apology and acknowledgement of how her words hurt other people.)

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...to learn

 
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CURRENT CLASSES & EVENTS

Project Circle

December 28, 5:00pm-7:00pm | no charge

Join us to work on your longer term projects.

Magic Loop: The World’s Simplest Mittens (1 place remaining)

January 16, 23 & February 6, 5:00pm-7:00pm | Instructor: Ann Miner | $30 + materials

If you have been frustrated by using double pointed needles for small circumference projects, the Magic Loop is a method that can allow you to knit small numbers of stitches with one 32” or longer circular needle.

We will use The World’s Simplest Mitten pattern from Tin Can Knits, which will give you size options from toddler to adult large, and yarn choices from fingering to chunky.

Please note: final class date has shifted by one week.

Winter Sweater KAL (join in any time)

January 4, 11, 18, 25 & February 1, 8, 15, 22, 5:00pm-7:00pm | KAL format | materials only

We’ll be devoting Fridays during January and February to sweater knitting—possibilities include the January Gansey, something from the Strange Brew collection, or if you’re looking for a first sweater project, Flax or Harvest. Knitalong format—assistance available, but no formal instruction.

Look for a two-color brioche class coming in February!

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...to anticipate

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Malabrigo is moving their warehouse, so my last order arrived in two parts. Here is Rios, Worsted, and Rasta, including a couple of new colors—Syrah Grapes in Rios, Ausangate and Azul Profundo in Worsted, and Queguay in Rasta.

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We continue to be delighted with Berroco Ultra Wool as our workhorse worsted superwash wool, in no small part because of great customer feedback. A fun thing about developing a “relationship” with a new line is that for quite awhile, there are new colors to order—this time Hibiscus (a bright pink), Mocha (a warm medium brown), and Lake (a gorgeous medium blue).

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...to inspire

 

Since it is January, let’s revisit my favorite kind of snow. Knit or crochet snow. No shoveling required, and it makes for perfectly safe driving conditions. Not only that, there are lots of ways to suggest snow in a project: stranded colorwork, illusion knitting, mosaic knitting, textured stitches, crochet, beads, sparkly yarn…so many options!

Find Yarn Folk’s Let It Snow Ravelry bundle here.

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...to stitch

 
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January Gansey

As part of the Winter Sweater KAL (every Friday, 5-7pm—join us!), I’m working on the January Gansey in Kenzie, color Pavlova, a slightly tweedy oatmeal color.

This week, I knit well into the cabled body (this sweater is bottom-up, in the round up to the armholes). But I have plenty of cables ahead! Knit on US 3s to a gauge of 6 stitches per inch, this is a dense, warm fabric.

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Top secret

My other knitting project is under wraps until this summer’s Slow Yarn Crawl PNW. But here’s the tiniest of previews.

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Ann