Knit Together: Blanket square

knit together 2.jpg

My blanket square for the Knit Together Project, organized by the wonderful Melissa at Knitting the Stash, is done.  I had a lot of fun working on this one.

My square uses a combination of fibres: the main colour is from the Stonehedge Fiber Mill – a farm in East Jordan, Michigan, that has been around for all of 157 years. This worsted weight blend is Stonehedge Fiber’s amazing Shepherd’s Wool Yarn in the Autumn Gold colour way: it is incredibly soft, probably the softest and cushiest blend I’ve ever knit up (more on Shepherd’s Wool Yarn here).  Doubling up strands to work the yarn on size 11 DPNs produced a soft, billowy, marshmallowy square.

The Square Story

I wanted to reflect, through my square, on the kindness and generosity of crafters and makers. The square’s streak of bright blue is taken from the mini-skein of fiber that Melissa sent in the mail, and so includes her kind gesture (thank you, Melissa!). One of my favourite knitting stories on this theme is the children’s book Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett. Have you heard of it? (there is an enthusiastic Youtube reading, if you’re interested). Apart from John Klassen’s fantastic illustrations of a community connected by knitting, I think that Extra Yarn is a beautiful story about the intrinsic gift-nature of knitting – one that, as the story explores, threads people together, and comes from an invisible but inexhaustible source of generosity.

Extra Yarn reminds me of Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the modern World (2007) which makes the very similar case that a creative process relies on gift-giving and what he discusses as the logic of “the gift” – things freely given with no set conditions for return or reciprocity. These gifts – whether out-of-the-blue ideas, resources, tools, knowledge, time – often have mysterious or unexpected origins (his reading, for example, of The Shoemaker and the Elves sees the tale as an example of gift-logic at work). the gift coverThe logic of the gift is what enables makers to produce and generate new ideas, making acts of gift acceptance and gift giving the heart of creativity. What’s more, Hyde suggests that each artist’s unique contribution adds to and enhances the whole (and so Hyde makes the case that artistic works be treated as social endowments and kept accessible to the public).

The message of Extra Yarn and The Gift seemed to echo the underlying spirit of the Knit Together. I was oddly starting to feel as though I was being reminded, from various sources, of an important message. I have come to see and appreciate how much knitting (and knitters) have given me, and the importance of finding ways to share and re-circulate what I’ve learned.

 

extra yarn2

From Extra Yarn. Copyright 2012 Jon Klassen

DPN Tag (a.k.a. would you like to contribute a square?)

Speaking of sharing and circulating… Part of the Knit Together Project includes co-creating a blanket by circulating shared tools: sets of DPNs.

knit together3.jpg

Several DPNs are circulating  through a system of tagging; I received these DPNs in the mail and now that I’m done with my square, I’m to tag a few other knitters to participate and find someone to pass the needles along to. In other words, it’s time to set the DPNs free and find them a new home so that the blanket-knitting can continue.

I thought of the knitting bloggers whose words and works I’ve come to enjoy and learn so much from over the past year. I highly recommend reading these exquisite knitting blogs!

Are you interested and available to join the Knit Together Project?  :

Agnes of Ready to Knit
Karen of Nothing But Knit
Melinda of Knit Potion
Tony of The Yarn Blabber

(I’ll send the single-set of DPNs above to the first tagged person who agrees in the comments)

To the tagged: The idea is to send an 8″ x 8″ blanket square to Melissa (knittingthestash.wordpress.com) who is collecting all the squares. They will be seamed together, and a draw will be held among the square-contributors to receive the blanket FO(s).

The tag to knit a square (and tag another fellow-knitter) is still extended whether or not DPNs are sent directly to you.

Finally, I completely understand if this is a busy time that may not easily lend itself to an extra blanket square. No worries if you choose to decline. 🙂

All the details + the project’s contact e-mail are available on the Knit Together Project Page.

Looking forward, friends. And Happy Knitting to you.

 

Blanket square swatching

I’ll keep my update very brief: just a little bit of swatching and research, today, for a first foray into blanket squares! 

blanket square 1.jpg
August 7th: Some sunny day swatching.

This little swatch is towards the ongoing Knit Together project, coordinated by the wonderful Melissa at Knitting the Stash.

The aim of this very exciting Knit Together is to circulate sets of needles (DPNs) by post to knitters across the country (and now, it seems, beyond!). Each DPN-recipient is requested to make an 8″x 8″ blanket square, with an emphasis on local/special fiber that has meaning to them and tells a story. Then, they forward the DPNs to another knitter (and can tag a few others!) who will contribute a square of their own, and so on. The squares will be collected and seamed together by Melissa, and the plan is to have a draw once the blanket(s) is/are made. Each contributing knitter is automatically entered to win the FO(s)! Like so many knitting undertakings, this one’s long-term, and the project is anticipated to go well into 2018.

In her DPN mailing to me, Melissa was so kind to include an adorable little skein of some local-to-her fiber, and a splendid stitch marker. This little gift brightened my day, and got me thinking about potential themes and ideas for my blanket-square contribution. I love the idea of telling and sharing different stories in ways that materially bring people together in acts of crafting!

I just came from the mailbox today to discover that the DPNs from Melissa @knittingthestash have arrived! They are for the Knit Together Project: sets of DPNs are circulating by mail to make blanket squares which Melissa will seam together when all is said and done, with a big draw for the completed blanket(s). I can't think of a more beautiful project to express the ways knitters are (now literally) connected by the craft. She also was so kind to include a fibre-y treat! Thank you, Melissa for brightening my day. 😊  I can't wait to get started on some blanket-square research. To learn more about this wonderful knitting project, visit https://knittingthestash.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/knit-together-project/ #knitting #knittingthestash #knittogetherproject #knittersofinstagram

A post shared by S C Yeung (@scyeung_knits) on

As of today, I’m still in the pre-knitting phase of the blanket square (my characteristic slowness is revealing itself, here), but I hope to be done in the next few weeks. By then, I will be ready to tag a few WP knitters here on the blog (!) and ready to pass on these lovely DPNs to the next person. Stay tuned, and Very Happy Knitting to you!

For more details on this project, and to get involved, visit Melissa’s Knit Together info page.