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June 2020

Listening, learning, supportingTime offTentativeBluprintKeeping busyOn my needles

Listening, learning, supporting

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that during the month of June I’m running a fundraiser for Campaign Zero. They’re dedicated to ending police violence through policy change based on solid research. Want to know more? Check out their program, or read this thoughtful interview.

The fundraiser is simple: buy a pattern from my Ravelry store and I’ll donate all the proceeds to Campaign Zero. I’ll also match all donations, up to $250. You get the pattern of your choice. They get the funding they need.

Update: Gwen Borter has announced she’s going to DOUBLE match my match! All the more reason to get a pattern now.

Don’t care for my patterns? Support the BIPOC community by buying from these BIPOC crafters instead.

On a more personal note, I’m saddened that a fundraiser like this is necessary. I’m also taking the time to listen and learn about racial injustice. I encourage you to do the same.

Buy a pattern, support change

Time off

Just after I sent out my May newsletter, the Northern Isles Knitting Cruise was cancelled. This came as no surprise, really.

Shortly after that, I decided to back away from traveling to teach for the rest of 2020. It felt like the right decision to make, from the standpoint of not taking a chance on getting sick and – more to the point – not taking part in an event where many people might get sick.

And then I read this article. This bit resonated with me:

“Social distancing guidelines don’t hold in indoor spaces where you spend a lot of time […]. Social distancing rules are really to protect you with brief exposures or outdoor exposures.”

Am I succumbing to confirmation bias? Am I overreacting? It’s possible, I suppose. Maybe washing hands, sanitizing surfaces, and wearing face masks will be enough to keep people safe in airports, airplanes, hotels, and classrooms. But I don’t relish the idea of wearing a face mask while teaching, so I’m taking time off from teaching in person. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do so.

What do you think?

Tentative

Having said that... ironically, I’m still scheduled to teach on cruises in 2021: the Southeast Asia and China and Japan cruises in January, and possibly a Northern Isles cruise in July.

These cruises, of course, are all tentative. We have yet to see how the pandemic plays out, and whether various countries allow cruise ships into their ports.

Bluprint

You’ve probably heard by now that Bluprint (formerly Craftsy) is shutting down. This is a shame, especially when so many are turning to online learning.

According to this letter, Bluprint will be offering a way for people to download the classes they’ve purchased. That’s all I can really tell you at this point – but when I know more, I’ll share it here.

Keeping busy

In lieu of teaching, I've been keeping busy at Stitch-Maps.com.

Most recently, I've made a number of changes to ensure that searching on the site – browsing through the patterns, the collections, or the patterns within a collection – feels as smooth and responsive as possible. When you change a search option now, just the search results get updated, leaving the rest of the page untouched: sidebar panels that you’ve opened remain open, and the spot to which you’ve scrolled on the page remains stable.


These are the sorts of under-the-hood changes I wouldn’t bother to mention except that they might behave differently on your browsers than on mine. And so you need to know:
  • You’ll likely need to refresh your browser to see the smoother searching.
  • If you notice any bugs, or even just general weirdness in how the site behaves, please let me know! I can’t fix bugs that I don’t know about.
Other under-the-hood changes are in the works too, but they’re likely to be even less visible: things like fixing an obscure bug that was brought to my attention yesterday, and extending the site’s security mechanisms yet again. Downright boring stuff, even for me. (And you thought the life of a knitting professional was all about playing with yarn, eh?)
Read more at Stitch-Maps.com

On my needles

I have some lace projects I can’t quite show you yet... but would you like to see their swatches?





Things to note about these swatches:
  • I always block my swatches. You have to. Otherwise, you don’t really know what fabric you’re getting.
  • I don’t weave in ends on my swatches. Life is too short for that.
  • Sometimes it takes a lot of swatches to figure out what combination of yarn, needles, and stitch pattern want to play nice together.
  • The blue/green yarn is Fleece Artist Saldanha Two, 100% merino, 800m per 100g. I love the subtle color variation – enough to be interesting, but not so much as to distract from the lace patterning.
  • The ivory yarn is Juniper Moon Findley, 50% merino and 50% mulberry silk, 730m per 100g. This yarn is a dream; the silk simply makes it glow.
As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’m still enamored of using markers to indicate my daily progress.


But as this particular piece grows bigger, the rows are getting longer, and I can get fewer rows done in the same amount of time each day. Those markers are getting awfully close together. Maybe I ought to wrap up this newsletter and get back to my knitting...
See the stitch patterns
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