July 4th holiday, and some words about Ravelry

yarnfolk dividing line (1).png
public.jpeg

Yarn Folk will be closed on July 4th, but catch me on Instagram or Facebook for progress updates on the first day of the Olive Knits 4 Day KAL! I’ll be casting on for the Foxtrot Cardigan, and posting pictures throughout the day! The fun will continue on Friday, when I’ll host a work party at Yarn Folk from 1-7pm.

 
Foxtrot4daykal1_medium2.jpg

CURRENT CLASSES & EVENTS

July 4th — Closed

Yarn Folk will be closed for the Fourth of July—but posting updates from first day of the Olive Knits 4 Day Knitalong!

4 Day KAL Work Party

July 5 & 12, 1:00pm-7:00pm | no charge

Participating in this year’s 4 Day KAL for the Foxtrot Cardigan? Stop in any time for support and company!

Cast On/Bind Off

July 27, 10:00am-2:00pm | Instructor: Sandy Buzzelli | $40 + materials

The look and fit of our knitted items is greatly influenced by the cast on and bind off methods we choose. If we need stretch for the cuff of a sock, we might choose one of several variations of the long tail cast on for cuff-down socks or the suspended bind off for toe-up socks. For a beautiful finish on a ribbed collar, we might choose the tubular cast on/bind off. If we are binding off after knitting garter stitch, we might use the sewn bind off.

We’ll explore these and many more ways to get stitches on and off our needles (crochet cast on and bind off, Emily Ocker’s cast on, 3-needle bind off, I-cord bind off), and we’ll come away with a general understanding of when and how to use each method.

As an added bonus, we’ll also discuss how to deal with two pesky issues that crop up when binding off: that loose last stitch when doing the traditional bind off and the jog that happens when binding off in circular knitting.

Prerequisite: you should know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.

Felting By Hand

August 8, 10:00am-1:00pm | Instructor: Sandy Buzzelli | $30 + materials

You’ll never run out of uses for this adorable little felted basket! It’s perfect for holding jewelry, keys, business cards or your favorite candy. Tucked near your knitting spot, it’s an especially pretty way to keep your knitting notions handy.

The basket knits up very quickly and easily, and felting it by hand gives it a classic, finished look.

You’ll be knitting your basket on your own before class meets so that we’ll be ready to jump right in to exploring in-depth how to felt by hand (vs. felting in a washing machine).

Please note: felting by hand is a mildly physical activity. It involves standing, bending over a sink, and lifting a large bowl of water. In addition, we’ll be swishing our knitted baskets in hot water for up to 30 minutes (with the opportunity to take short rests if needed). Please be sure you’re physically ready to felt by hand.

Prerequisite: you should know how to cast on, knit, purl and bind off.

Kumihimo Bracelet

August 15, 10:00am-2:30pm | Instructor: Sandy Buzzelli | $40 + materials

As knitters and crocheters, we all have leftover bits of yarn in our stashes. Kumihimo, a Japanese form of braiding, can be a perfect way to use up some of those leftovers. In this class, you'll have the choice of making an 8-strand spiral bracelet or a 20-strand flower bracelet.

A kumihimo bracelet kit is available for purchase at Yarn Folk -- it contains all the supplies needed to make the kumihimo bracelet class project.

yarnfolk dividing line (2).png

...to anticipate

public.jpeg

Oh hey, look what arrived from Leading Men Fiber Arts! Show Stealer fingering weight, merino/cashmere/nylon yumminess!

yarnfolk dividing line (2).png

...to inspire

ravball.png

It’s not often that the fiber arts make their way to the national news, beyond the occasional health or human interest feature.

This past week was different, however, when a policy change enacted by Ravelry.com garnered coverage in the New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the BBC, NPR, and more.

I shared my thoughts about the situation in my Instagram stories, a format I chose specifically because the national attention had captured the interest of many outside the fiber world, and if there was a vociferous response to my thoughts, I wanted that to be directed at me, and not shared in a way that would be hostile to others.

I do want to use this space to let you know why I continue to support Ravelry, both personally and professionally. I hope that in doing so, I can convey the deep gratitude and respect I have for all my customers, while also being transparent about the fact that my life and beliefs are fully integrated into the way that I operate my business. All of us are different in some ways, and we are the same in others, and those similarities and differences are fluid and shifting all the time. What follows is what I published on Instagram.

One of Ravelry’s greatest strengths is that it is built by its users. The very small team at Ravelry—comprised of Casey and Jess Forbes, and four employees—is responsible for the structure of the site, and for the editorial point of view communicated through its front page blog, but everything else comes from the site’s users. Photographs of projects, thousands of patterns, extensive details about specific yarns, forum posts—all of it is uploaded by users. 

Like every digital platform, Ravelry has “terms of use” which place some limits on what can be shared. The terms of use have prohibited content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable” from the beginning. (The revision history is transparent, and available on the site.)

With the policy change put in place on Sunday, a specific subject of content has been prohibited. I have heard rumors about what led to the decision, but I have no way of independently verifying the specifics. 

That said, in my eleven years of using the site actively—I am user #3553, and there are 8.5 million today—I have never observed anything that would lead me to believe that this was a capricious decision. 

As business owners, Jess and Casey Forbes have made it clear that they value diversity and inclusion as fundamental expressions of their humanity. I share those values. As it is written, the policy change maximizes opportunity for continued participation within Ravelry—it does not apply retroactively, users are prohibited from baiting others into violating the terms, project data is always preserved, and more. 

Ravelry is me, as it is every user who has ever logged in. But it is a platform that its owners bear ultimate responsibility for, and if a series of events led them to make a very targeted choice in the interest of creating and maintaining a vision of community they believe is the best expression of our shared world, I understand that decision and support it. 

I would do the same thing, but I probably would not be as transparent about it. 

I’m old enough to have a degree in women’s studies before you could get a degree in women’s studies. (It was labeled a “thematic” at the time.) I believe that the personal is political. I believe it is possible to engage in political discourse with civility and an open heart. And I believe that it is okay to have boundaries. Ravelry chose new boundaries, and I have reason to trust that they were chosen carefully. I stand with Ravelry. 

At the center of what this means to me going forward is the concept of inclusion. This is vitally important to me, and is at the heart of many decisions I’ve made. Yarn Folk is open in the early evening hours for people who may work the standard day shift, and is open both weekend days to accommodate the widest range of schedules. I have always tried to stock quality yarns at a range of price points. I choose shop models with an eye toward using yarn efficiently. I work to expand representation among the dyers and designers whose work I promote. I look for patterns that have a wide range of sizes, and I am a Custom Fit shop. I am always open to conversations about how I can do better. Ravelry will continue to have a strong presence at Yarn Folk, and I am happy that you are part of the community here.

If you have made it this far, please know that I appreciate your willingness to consider my thoughts! All of you are important to me.

yarnfolk dividing line (2).png

...to stitch

 
public.jpeg

Arcana

Completing Arcana prior to beginning the 4 Day Knitalong does not seem likely—but at least there is forward progress to report!

yarnfolk dividing line (2).png
Ann