Handmade Activism

Brag: New Bag

I just want to take a moment to thank K.C. over at blackbunchedmassmom.com for sharing about this awesome tote from Gather Here, a yarn and craft store in her city. Thanks to K.C., I finally found a bag worthy of my buttons. 😉

It’s a nice quality canvas bag with enough room for a larger knitting project, but not so larger that it becomes unwieldy. Plus, I just love the phrase on the front of the bag. It’s appropriate and accurate.

And I didn’t have to feel too guilty about buying yet another tote bag because 10% of the proceeds are going to support the ACLU in Massachusetts (where the store is located).

Peace. ❤

Craft Markets

Next Up: Handmade Toledo!

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I am very excited to announce that Purl You Crazy was accepted to join the Handmade Toledo Spring Maker’s Mart on May 12, which will take place at Handmade Toledo’s brick and mortar at 1717 Adams St. in Toledo.

We will have a few NEW items appropriate for the (hopefully) much warmer weather.

If you live near Toledo, come see Jen and I!

💕

WIP Updates

Sock Saga Continues

img_5608It’s 5 days into March and my February socks are mocking me.

No, really. They are laughing at me. They are beautiful and soft and delicate and very, very …. unfinished. I have yet to turn the heel. As a matter of fact, I have yet to even APPROACH the heel. 😦

For those of you who do not make socks, turning the heel is the hardest part of knitting socks and it’s also the marker by which people define just how close to finished they are. If you’ve turned the heel, that means you are well on your way to completing your socks and sliding them onto your feet to keep your toes warm and cozy. Mmm. This is the point at which is becomes clear that you are making socks and not gloves or wrist warmers. Again. I am not even close to turning the heel. Luckily, I’m pretty sure Jen is also behind on her socks. So there is still hope to beat her!

I keep hearing that January lasted a year, but February was over in the blink of an eye and March came out of no where. I’d have to say that is exactly how I felt about this winter. Amid the chaos of the holidays, we bought a house at the end of December and decided to gut it. I have never owned a home and I am certainly not handy. This has been a crazy experience for me. I’m learning a lot about renovating a home. Mostly I’m learning what not to do by examples left beyond by the previous owners.

So, life has been a bit crazy and I have decided that I am not procrastinating on my socks. I am prioritizing! Which is way more respectable, right?

WIP Updates

January Socks Done!

I finally finished my January socks and am now on to February! Thank goodness. I can’t let Jen best me in the sock challenge. 😛 I’m still trying to decide if I should gift my socks or save them all for myself…

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I’m really excited about February socks. I’m using a very simple but beautiful faux cable pattern. I made a pair of socks with this pattern for myself last year. And then lost them on a road trip. 😭 I’m excited to use this pattern again. It’s so beautiful. However this pair may end up being a gift.

What projects are you working on?

Peace.

Q & A

Boys Knit, Too!

27786904_10112197171627104_524007781_oMeet Calvin. He is 7-years-old. He loves video games, is on the 2nd and 3rd grade basketball team, had a lot of snow days this year so far, loves playing outside with his little sister Rylee and he’s totally into knitting. Yes knitting.

There is a common misconception that knitting is “for girls”. It’s pretty funny that this is the assumption because knitting actually has a rich history full of men. (Bros & Rows: The Real History of Men Who Knit and The Ultra Manly History of Knitting are a good place to start if you want to know more about the history of men in knitting.)

I’m always excited when I see little kids knitting – or just making something with their small hands, big imaginations and inexhaustible tenacity. But the fact that Calvin is unknowingly breaking stereotypes is even better. Not to mention, he gets his basketball team in on the action!

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Calvin’s mom, Nicole, is friend of mine and I just had to know: What is he making? How did he get the team involved? Are the other parents making a fuss about their boys doing something “girly”? Nicole humored me with a little Q&A.

Purl You Crazy: I love that Calvin is knitting! What prompted him to start?

Nicole: His sister got a hat loom kit for Christmas and she put it in the bottom of her closet and had not looked at it since then. Calvin was looking for things in her closet and found it and instantly wanted to make the hat. So I showed him how to get it started and off he went and he LOVED it! After he finished his first hat he said “Mom I have a new hobby. No video games for me.” I highly doubt that, but I love that he found a new hobby that he can enjoy.

Nicole: I think when it is their idea to start a hobby, sport, musical instrument, or whatever it may be they are more invested in it and excited about it. Which makes that “thing” stick longer and more fun for them.

PYC: Sounds like he loves it. He’s interested is selling his knitting now?

Nicole: Yes he is very interested in sell his hats. Right after he made his first one he said, “I think I could sell these.” Then he made up a plan that he was going to set up a stand in front of his grandma’s house and sell them. I told him we may have to wait until it’s a little warmer out.

PYC: What does he want to knit next?

Nicole: He is working on finishing a hat for himself now and because of posting the picture on Facebook we connected with another little boy named AJ who knits scarves. He is going to make a video and send it to Calvin showing him how to knit scarfs. He is pretty excited to make a matching scarf for him and his sister.

PYC: So was this hat on the loom the first thing that Calvin ever knitted?

Nicole: Yes. He made his first hat for his sister, Rylee.

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PYC: I love that he got the basketball team involved in making the hat. Have you or he gotten any push back or criticism?

Nicole: The only “push back” would be that everyone giggles a little when I have said he is making hats. I think knitting is thought of as a girl thing to do, hence his sister getting it for Christmas and it being all pink things that came with it (which she loved she is a pinkaholic). Everyone is supportive though and think it’s very cool.

Nicole: I would have to say I think the best part of his new hobby is how confident, excited and proud he feels about it. I really feel like having little things that make a child feel special or different are great for helping them build You-niqueness!

Calvin, I hope you continue to build your You-niqueness around knitting. I’d share a craft market space with you any day!

Peace. ❤

WIP Updates

Lessons In Patience

On Friday, I taught some of my co-workers how to knit as part of our half day staff retreat/meeting.

Wow. What a reminder that knitting truly is a test of your patience, a talent and some serious dexterity skills.

I had four people in my knitting class. And I learned that teaching someone to knit is really hard! Explaining how to hold the yarn (I knit contentinal) and how to go through the stitches is actually super difficult. I need to watch some lessons on how to teach lesson!!!

I must have done something right though! Everyone in my “class” learned how to cast on and got their first row of garter stitch going. We’re planning to meet up during our lunch hour next Friday for a second lesson.

I’m so excited to share my love of knitting with other people. 💕 I’m thinking about doing some YouTube videos on how to knit for my site. What do you think? Go for it?

WIP Updates

New House, New Socks

I’m making slight progress on my January socks. I should finish them before the end of the month if I manage my time right (like knit instead of playing Horizon Zero Dawn every free moment I have… But it’s so good!) I’m not too sad about the slow pace though because Rox and I are making great progress on the house we bought over Christmas.

We’ve taken on a fixer upper of a home to say the least. We are gutting it. 😮 It’s an intimidating job and I have ZERO experience in home renovation. I mean zero. I have lived in apartment after apartment. Every day that we work on the house I learn something new – about housing or about how to manage my anxiety about the house. All of this work is legit overwhelmimg. 😬

But all the evenings we come home completely exhausted will be worth it in the end. The house will be exactly what we want it to be. I will be able to wake up and go for a walk in the woods on our property with our little daschund and I’ll have a new pair of socks to kick back and relax in at night.

Peace.

WIP Updates

Sock Challenge!

Jen (my PYC second half) has challenged me to a once a month sock making challenge.

Oh lordy. Socks take like 20 hours. A pair a month? I don’t know about this! Well… it’s a good excuse to make something for myself AND to buy new sock yarn. 😆

I’m ahead of the game with a pair of crazy colored socks that I started making for myself around Christmas. I’m using yarn I bought on the trip Jen and I took to Toronto. I don’t remember the brand but it’s soft and adorable and knitting up really nicely.

I love it so much.

Jen and I went to our favorite local bar and got our first “business meeting” of the year in. We talked about potential models for our products, craft markets, new products (including whimsical BLANKETS!) and of course, gossiped.

I’m excited for 2018!

Wish me luck on this damn sock challenge. 😘