Letters From The Editors
The scoop from the editors
Knitting in tough times
This is not what I expected to be writing about this issue. Much of the world is staying in their homes, hoping to quell the spread of COVID-19, the new Coronavirus. It's gone from concerning to alarming in just a few weeks, and now we're all becoming familiar with the concepts of social distancing in order to help prevent this bastard virus from spreading.
We, as knitters and crafters, are lucky. Because being stuck in our homes isn't such a horrible prospect. Hopefully we have yarn and needles or hooks, fiber and a wheel or spindle, fabric and thread, canvas and embroidery needles, looms and yarn. We can make things. We can focus within the home and help self-soothe with the act of creating something beautiful, practical, comfortable.
Our small business friends, yarn dyers, yarn and fabric shops, and crafty teachers, however, have significant financial concerns to deal with, in addition to trying to keep their kids occupied. With fiber shows being cancelled, so many people have lost the opportunity to earn a big chunk of their annual income.
Those of us with the money available to spend, then, need to support those people out. Without them, we would have nothing but craft acrylic to work with. Here's what you can do:
- Visit our SOS page, where we list cancelled events. Click on the Vendor Lists and browse. Buy something, or somethings. Bookmark this page, because things are still being cancelled daily, and we're adding them as we learn about them. Look at the Teacher lists too - perhaps your favorite teacher is offering an online class, or sells patterns or books that you can purchase to help support them.
- Don't forget your LYS! Call your favorite shop and see what they're doing to get you yarn. Some are offering curbside service so you don't have to go in; some will mail or deliver your purchases to you.
- Click on the ads in Knitty and make a purchase if you find something you love.
This issue of Knitty may contain a pattern that you love. We hope you cast on and the knitting helps keep your hands and brain occupied and comforted. There are more patterns coming in our Spring+Summer surprise, too. And if you don't find anything in this issue, remember our Library where you can search 17 years' worth of patterns, or browse the issues by cover.
We want to send a special thank you to our Patrons who continue to support us and keep us alive and thriving! We absolutely would not be here without their support. Every dollar they contribute helps, and we'd love you to join them. We offer really neat rewards, too, starting at the $5/issue level!
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Spinning together in the dark
Even though this winter wasn’t bad as far as weather goes, it was extra dark for me. There were family health issues, more than the usual amount of deadlines, and of course, all the politics.
And now we’re dealing with the new coronavirus. We’re staying home, staying apart, yet holding each other close in other way. It’s spring but it’s still feels dark. Maybe that’s why this spring I’m really feeling the need for spring-cleaning or at least, spring tidying. I need to feel lighter, to see light and space.
I’m no fan of Marie Kondo, and definitely not a minimalist, but I feel like the tide of fiber is rising around me. It’s making me feel stuck, especially being home because of the virus. I feel like this is a chance for me to contemplate just what I want to do with all of my fiber and yarn.
I have a three-step process for my personal stash:
- Give Away
I do it like ripping off a band-aid, fast without remembering the stories of how the fiber came to me. I am so sentimental, if I start playing the stories in my head I have to stop for the day, nothing will end up in the Giveaway bag. Once I put something in the Giveaway bag, I cannot remove it. The Spin bag gets more than one pass, to make sure I want to spin it. Spin vs. Giveaway is so very hard, but soon my personal stash will eclipse my teaching stash. I really have to stop storing away all of my Hello Yarn fiber like a squirrel that’s found golden nuts and just spin it already. I know Adrian is dyeing more. I also know there are many spinners who might like some fiber, especially now that money is tight.
The fleeces are different. I don’t typically have them, and maybe with just a few I can get in front of the train I see coming down the track. I want to hurry up and finish processing the fleeces I wasn’t going to buy at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year, before I go back in a month and don’t buy more. I’m looking for Icelandic this year, and anything else Maggie and Judith tell me to buy.
Within that feeling of finishing, I feel like I may be turning away from just sampling, and actually work on some whole and large projects into my year.
All of this is very different and exciting to me; I’ve always had a more than giant nest, and have been 100% process in my spinning. Being a finisher was never important to me once I figured out the crux to the yarn I was making or pattern I was knitting. Now I want to finish some things.
I will always sample, it’s how I learn, and yes there is another #samplealong coming.
In this issue’s Knittyspin, I explore in a little more detail the idea of marls and marling. Specifically I talk about what I refer to in my classes as single and double marls. Marls are a really easy way to mix color, extend braids, and generally add excitement to handspun cloth. I hope the idea excites you too.
Remember we’re spinning together even though we’re apart.
If you have fiber, spindles, books, or other spinny products or tools that you'd like us to review, you'll find information how how to get your products in to the hands of our reviewers here. I love to talk about it all.