One of my New Year's resolution is a monthly post of the new patterns released from the past month and appeared on Fiber Happenings. There are so many beautiful, original designs that come out each year that it's hard sometimes to keep up with it all. So, make sure to check back at the beginning of each month to see what patterns you may have missed OR to take a look at the pretty things again.
Liz Corke Knits: Nathair-Sgiathac
I discovered Liz Corke while creating The Fiber Indy List and she is now one of my favorite knit designers. Her work just speaks to me, even if I can't always pronounce the Gaelic names. (I'm the problem, not the Gaelic) This pattern blew me away when I saw it. It features two stranded color work patterns: one side the tough hide of a dragon, the other side the soft belly.
Click to see more of the patterns that were released in January 2021! Patterns appear in the order they were released.
First Some Background
A KAL for February!
And I am now starting a KAL for February 2021. I have been promising to get this together for MONTHS. It is finally happening. From February 1st to February 29th, I will be hosting a KAL for my Mera Fingerless Glove. This is one of my all time favorite projects. I dreamed this up while watching Aquaman and reminiscing about my own childhood fantasy of being a Mermaid. This pattern is free for those taking part in the KAL. To join sign up for my Fiber Group: Knits Where It's At. Right now I have the introduction to the pattern posted so you can start gathering your supplies and, if you want, start a swatch. (Want to learn all about making a swatch in the round? I have a video on that!)
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Why Are You Not Doing All this On Ravelry?
It's New Years Day. I planned on getting this blog post up sooner, but life...what else is new. Going into this New Year I am, as always, cautiously optimistic. You may have heard it's been a tough time in the world. It has. I do not know what 2021 has in store. But, to paraphrase Andy Dufresne, hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing.
On Fiber Happenings I try not to play favorite with designers and their new pattern releases. But, I'm only human. Of course, I have patterns that spoke to my heart and soul strongly. So, in no particular here is five of my Favorite patterns that appeared on The Fiber Happenings. (I have more and hope to show off some more favorites from 2020 as we move into 2021!)
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Lovely fiber friends,
First, thank you for stopping by. It's truth time: I did plan to write a blog post to explain what to do after casting on a toe up sock using Judy's Magic Cast On. I still want to write up this blog post. However, I am a little zapped right now.
In addition to be a full time human, wife, mother, YouTube creator, knitter, new spinner, keeper of The Fiber Indy List and Fiber Happenings....I have been volunteering as a texter for the Joe Biden campaign. I try to keep politics out of this space. (I promise, I do try.) But, there are three week until the most consequential election of my lifetime. (The second most consequential was 2016). I have to believe that in the end I did what I could to make a difference.
Not everyone may agree that getting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris elected is the best thing for the United States. But, for me and my family it is. In the midst of everything I am doing, something has to give. For right now it's the blog space. The good news is there is only three more weeks until Election Day - the last day of Election Season. But, until then, unless it's something I can rip off quickly, I'm going to put a pin in the blog.
With that said, I'm going to ask you a favor: in the next three weeks you will likely get your phone blown up by political campaigns. Trust me, I get it. These texts can be annoying and feel intrusive. But, I ask you to assume that on the other end of that cell phone connection is a human being volunteering their time from home in the Unites States. Please respond to the text like you would a human being standing in front of you.
The people volunteering to text and call are not paid. We do not want to annoy you. We do it to identify supporters, recruit volunteers and encourage people to vote.
You are very likely getting similar sounds texts from different organizations. Every group gets their contact lists the same ways: publicly available information in voter rolls. If you are getting too many texts all you have to do is text STOP and you will be opted out. If you get another text, it's most likely a different organization with a different list created from the same database of information: voter rolls. Text "Stop" again.
Profanity does not get you off the list. Sending GIFS or images does not get you off the list. There's a good chance the tester can't even see it. Responding with nonsense does not get you off the list. The best way to ensure you get off a list is text "Stop"
Okay, thank you for understanding.
Happy Health and Happy Knitting!
When learning to knit we are told to "knit a gauge swatch" That's it. But, knitting a fabulous gauge swatch is more involved than just doing it. And when we seek help from other knitters we often get bad advice and incomplete information.
But, I have good news, we do not have to keep living this way. We can get better results from our swatches by following some easy steps. Yes, some of this is about paying attention to details. But, paying attention to details is the difference between handmade and homemade.
To find my top 10 tips for getting an accurate gauge swatch click below to keep reading
Accessible "I Dissent" Projects
Dissent Cowl by Carissa Browning*: $5.00 Currently 20% of sales will be donated to the ACLU. Fall is coming and this gorgeous cowl will keep you as warm as the quiet fire Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought to a dissenting opinion. The cowl features textured stitches and baubles to mimick the beading of many of Justice Ginsburg's jabots.
Ginsburg Coller by Sheila Toy Stromberg: $2.00 Lovely crochet lace collar. This would work up quickly and easily added to a sweater set, Halloween costume, or to wear when you go out to vote. Perhaps make it up in Purple to allign with emPower People Project. (Information on emPower People is on the TFIL main page under Fiber Happenings)
RBandG Tank Top by Stephanie Erin*: $7.91. This very cool top down tank top has a neckline inspired by RBG's Dissnet collar. No need to wait until sweater weather to show off your admiration for the Notorious RBG.
RBG Doll and Finger Puppet*: $5.75 Keep the Notorious RGB memory alive by making one of these toys for a favorite child in your life. Or make the doll for yourself to keep on your desk, a shelf, anywhere you might need to occassionally look up and feel inspired. Because sometimes we all need to ask "What Would Ruth Bader Ginsburg do."
Dissent by Andra Rangel: $10.00 Beautiful, stranded color work yoke cardigan that evokes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent coller. Andrae Rangel also has a pullover sweater version of this project.
Dissent Cowl by Carissa Browning: Mosaic Pattern* $5.00. Currently 20% of sales will be donated to the ACLU. This is a knitted Cowl pattern by Carissa Browning. This cowl features mosaic pattern work and is a top down construction. It will also keep you as warm as the steely determination Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lifted weight.
Some things to do:
Want to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Here are some suggested reading.
*As an Amazon Associate I may earn on qualifying purchases.
As often happens lately, it all started on Twitter. Someone asked, “Do we really want to go back to life before Ravelry?” It is wise to not assume a tone when reading a tweet. But, the conversation that followed made clear some think without Ravelry, knitting would return to a primordial world where we knit by candlelight and have to rely on knitting magazines for patterns.
My knee jerk reaction was, "What is wrong with life without Ravelry?" Setting aside NuRav and ableism for a moment, Ravelry is helpful for many things. Personally, I think the best thing is seeing other knitters and crocheters finished objects so you can see what a pattern looks like in the wild. It is also very useful for yarn substitution.
But, the fact is, lots of people right now are living their best knit life without Ravelry. It might be by choice or by necessity - cause you know the migraines and vertigo. Also, there are still yarnies who do not know about Ravelry. (Yes, there are lots of knitters and crocheters who have never heard of Ravelry.)
Now I have to again confess my own relationship with Ravelry. I am not longer on the website. Even when I was a member, I was a casual user and it was never the center of my knitting universe. I am way more active on Facebook knitting groups. (It is the primary reason I do not just leave that hell site.)
So often I see it on the Intertubes
Well, I am here to tell you, PROVISIONAL CAST-ONS ARE WORTH THE EFFORT! And I promise if you can cast on, you can do a provisional cast on, and they are totally WORTH THE EFFORT.
Besides turning flat pieces into seamless tubes, with a provisional cast on you can:
If you are thinking, "Okay, great, but I cannot do Provisional Cast-on. I have tried it," I promise you are incorrect. The truth is there is no one provisional cast-on. Provisional Cast-on is a type of cast on and there are several methods of accomplishing it.
I do not want to discuss Ravelry and NuRav. Not really. I mean nothing has changed since my videos on it, and likely nothing is going to change. Ravelry continues to be ableist while claiming they are inclusive. But, their latest blog post has triggered such a hard eye roll it's distracting me from my sprained ankle.
Let's Catch Up on Ravelry
Since Jess's letter when Ravelry threw Cassidy under the bus and sort of apologized, Raverly has proceeded to do nothing substantial to address the situation.
A group of designers sent a letter asking for Ravelry to hire a consultant and assure the fiberverse they are working to fix their problems. There were four asks:
Below is the Instagram post sharing Ravelry's response to the letter. I would summarize Ravelry's response as: "think we covered it with Jess's later that was non-committal about a consultant. But, thanks a bunches. byeee" â
Raverly released a new Beta function on Raverly called Swatches. It's only accessible through NuRav, so people who can't use Ravelry can't be part of Beta Testing. When announcing Swatches on twitter, Ravelry utilized twitter's new safety features to turn off comments. And on Facebook, they deleted comments from people discussing disabilities. Yes, they able-washed their announcements.
A person on Twitter reports they saw a comment on a Ravelry forum regarding an interaction with Raverly TPTB. Basically, the person used Swatches and sent feedback that brought up issues for people experiencing migraines due to NuRav.
So, yea, that letter from Jess that threw Cassidy under the bus and gave some people a glimmer of hope that Raverly was going to make a meaningful pivot? ð¤·ð»ââï¸.
My interpretation is that Jessica's letter was for show, and the team's intention is to forge ahead believing that people experiencing migraines, vertigo, eye strain, and seizures, are not real? Making it up? Insignificant? And that leads us up to today.â
A New Knot in the Yarn
âToday, the first of September Raverly has a new announcement.
Ravelry is so proud of this step. They are so excited to talk to Ravelers about emPower People that they have again shut off comments on Twitter. I mean, of course, it makes sense that Ravelry is sharing emPower People and craftivism. They are, after all, the inclusive space for yarnies to get together. Well, inclusive for everyone except people who inconveniently experience migraine, vertigo, and eyestrain when using NuRav.
I believe Raverly would promote emPower even if NuRav had never happened. But, the fact is, NuRav did happen. It's still happening. For Raverly to wrap themselves in the cloak of craftivism while they silence and erase disabled crafters is tone deaf and hypocritical. â
What to do: Support emPower and Craftivism, Be a Craftivist
I want to take a moment to plug the emPower People project. It is a craftivism project "aimed at uniting crafters across all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement, and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights." â
I have nothing but positive things to say about emPower People and joining in with craftivism to effect positive change. The fact is, we are living in a perilous time. So many marginalized people in the fiberverse are being actively harmed by racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, ableism, and prejudice of all kinds. (FYI: If you are a White Trump supporter, you're not marginalized. I'm not talking to you. Buh bye.)
âI really encourage you to check out the emPower People website, raid your stash for purple yarn to make your own emPower People Purple Bandana. Or if you don't have purple yarn, buy some.
emPower People is a group of BIPC indepenent dyers. If you can afford to purchase yarn from them please do so. On their page is a list of indepedent dyers.
Personally, I've had some purple yarn in my stash waiting for its moment. I believe its time has come!
NOTE: I have updated this blog and removed some affiliate links. It was thoughtless of me to include them in the first place, and I centered myself when I should have been amplifying the message and cause behind emPower People. I am truly sorry.
But, don't just knit or crochet a purple bandana. Make a plan to vote. Your vote matters. Don't miss out.
As for Ravelry: Be a Craftivist
Again I sincerely encourage you to check out emPower People and take part in the Purple Bandana Project. Also, consider how Ravelry fits into your craft life and craftivism. If you are not prepared to leave Ravelry all together, please consider not buying patterns through Raverly. If there is a pattern on Ravelry you want to buy:
The last two days have been uber frustrating. Long story short, my hard drive failed. It's not completely catastrophic - I don't believe it's physical damage. I think there are corrupted files. But, the result is I am trying to back up data, some of it is working. Bought a new hard drive, that was expensive. (If you'd want to help support my channel please use one of my affiliate links, or buy me a coffee. ?)
But, the biggest problem ... The one that's breaking my heart is, my latest video is trapped in digital limbo.
I have been trying to rescue her. But, it's not going well. Pretty sure whatever is going on with the disk is right where the file is living. I can't get it to copy over to my back up hard drive.
The good news is I still have al the raw media files so I can always start over editing....from scratch...like I'm just back at the very beginning.
No, really it's going to be fine. One thing about starting an edit from scratch. (?) are you already made a lot of decisions and you do not have have to make them again. Now that I think about it, it is not unlike knitting and frogging. The thought of starting over is so much worst than the actual starting over. Once I buckle own and do it, it will be fine.
The Comfort of Low Tech
All of this technology failure has got me thinking of the comfort of physical, low tech stuff. Maybe this is why I prefer pen and paper for knitting patterns and recipes. It's definitely why I have never embraced knitting apps to track my work. Paper is easy to replace, a tablet is not.
So how do I keep track of my work? Stitch makers!
And this week I had a really fun twitter discussion about stitch markers and progress trackers.
I learned a couple of new from this conversation
1. There are things called progress trackers. They are used to mark rows of knitting and track shaping
2. Progress trackers are distinct from stitch makers
3. The tools used for progress trackers and stitch makers seem pretty much the same to me
4. I have been using stitch markers as progress trackers for years. Why did no one tell me there was a name for it? Rude.
If you have watched my vides: What's in My Notions Bag, or Intro to Knitting Fundamentals, or Tracking Shaping Rows with Stitch Markers (oh I guess that would progress trackers) then you know I have strong feelings about my bulb pins and plastic interlocking stitch makers.
I ❣️ them.
In addition to bulb pins, scrap yarn makes great progress trackers and stitch marks. Knitters and crocheters, we always have scrap yarn. In my notions bag, there is always a small wadded up ball of it, ready to grab and use to mark out a repeat.
And because my bulb pin or scrap yarn is part of the work it never goes missing the way row counters, ore scraps. of paper can.
The thing is I usually love computers and technology and finding an app to make my life easier. I have a much easier time keeping files on my computer organized than pieces of paper in my house. But, actual, tangible things can be comforting and satisfying. And don't we all need a little bit of comfort and satisfaction right now.
I'm Carrie CraftGeek. I've been knitting for 20 years and crafting my whole life. I love to share my passion with the world!
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