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When knitting projects attack

7 Jul

My knitting turned on me this morning. My mild-mannered fingerless glove suddenly resembled an enraged sea urchin out for blood. What caused this disturbing transformation?

Variegated yarn.

I have a long and painful knitting history with variegated yarn. It looks so pretty in a skein, but then it knits up into stripes. Stripes! I could make stripes by simply trying multiple pieces of yarn together. It disappoints me again and again… but I keep coming back for more.

I bought the yarn for this current project in Copenhagen last year. It’s all greens and blues, so I forgive it for making stripes. It used its calming colors to lull me into a false sense of security so it could strike when I least expected it.

Today, it added a new dastardly trick to its arsenal of knitting woe – provoking seven needles with live stitches in a moving car.

It all started because I wanted the thumb of my glove to be the same color as the body. I couldn’t knit it in after the body of the glove was finished because a color change was coming up, so I had no choice but to try to knit it in before casting off at the top – which resulted in four needles around the finger opening, plus three for the thumb.

The good news is the gloves are done and I love them. Take that, variegated yarn!

Garden of Alla in Handspun

10 Jun

This gorgeous shawl is made using handspun yarn from the Qinghai Spinner’s Cooperative and this free pattern from Ravelry. My friend Yang knitted it – she’s amazing.

I have lots more of the yarn if you want to make one yourself.

If instant gratification is your thing, Yang liked the pattern enough that she wants to make a few more. send me an email or leave a comment if you’re interested.

Now all I want is some cool Autumn weather in which to wear the shawl!


Spinner’s Cooperative in Qinghai

2 May

Alert: Shameless promotion of a project I’m involved in!

Below is a fundraising flyer from Shokay for the new Spinner’s Cooperative in Qinghai. Last year, I did several trainings for the spinners of Hei Me He (archive post here).

Rather that just buying yarn directly from the spinners, Shokay and I are helping the spinners form their own co-op. The plan is for the co-op to be self-sustaining within two years. We’re all working to help the co-op grow to include more women and provide more livelihood work in Qinghai.

If you’d like to get more information on supporting this program, please email