We need to do better.

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This isn’t a post about yarn. It’s about how whiteness in the fiber arts community is damaging and harmful to the people of color in the fiber arts community. Please read on…

The fiber artist POC are hurting and our silence on these issues only exacerbates this pain. This week I have watched white fiber artists I respect and admire dismiss what a POC was explaining to them was racist, painful, and unacceptable. I have seen many others choose instead to just stay silent.

I implore you all to take a moment to listen to what POC are saying, learn from it, and work to do better.

We can all do better. And we (the ones who hold white privilege) owe it to POC to be more mindful about our actions, words, and participation.

Believe POC. Listen to POC. Amplify POC.

Lots of people with more experience and expertise have lent their knowledge and energy to explaining what is currently going on in our fiber arts community and why it is important. Please go read (on Instagram) what they have to say and take it in. Start with @su.krita ‘s post. Read what @thecolormustard  and @ocean_bythesea and @astitchtowear and @tina.say.knits wrote.

Thank you to everyone who spent their energy and time trying to help us white fiber artists do better. I appreciate you.

If you have a platform in this community to speak to this issues and keep the dismantling going, use it.

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I Sell On Etsy!

Do you ever have one of those things that you always intend to do, but can’t find time for, and said project just stays on the back burner, year after year? My forever-on-the-to-do-list project was selling my patterns and knitwear on Etsy. Every time I set out to do it, I was overwhelmed by all the of the details I needed to work out before my shop could even go live, and that sense of “this is going to take me forever to do” made me push it to the bottom of my to-do list again and again.

I’ve done a lot of custom knitting and commissions orders, and I regularly design and knit for a local alpaca farm, but none of these things seemed to fit inside of a typical Etsy shop. After publishing a few knitting patterns last year, non-knitters began to ask me how they could buy the actual items and were surprised I wasn’t selling them on Etsy.

For whatever reason, I had a let-go-of-expectations moment and I just decided to make it happen, even if it wasn’t perfect or complete, I would list the items they were requesting and see how it went. So… I finally opened an Etsy shop! I’m planning for it to be a one stop shop for my made-to-order knitwear and knitting patterns and I will keep adding items as I am ready. Check it out here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/JustineChenelKnits

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Let me know what you think, and if you’re working on any projects this year that seem to always stay on the to-do list, I’d love to hear about what made you finally decide to tackle them in the comments section.

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New Year, New Socks

What are you casting on for New Year’s Day?

New Year’s Day is a great time to cast on a new project, and this year I’ve chosen a pair of socks. Not just any socks, these are worsted weight socks specially designed for my husband, Dano, to wear with his work boots.  And by design, I mean I’ve taken bits of this and bits of that to create my own sock recipe. They feature ribbing across the top of the foot and the leg/cuff for a snug fit. They are extra durable and reinforced because I hold darning thread with my yarn while I work the toe and heel, and then I hold elastic thread for the top inch or so of the cuff. I also enjoy working two-at-a-time toe-up socks on magic loop because I have a pair when I finish knitting (I suffer from single sock syndrome ha!). I split the yarn into 2 balls using a scale for accuracy, or if I’m feeling extra adventurous, I’ll use both ends of a center-pull ball at the same time.

If you’d also like to make a customized pair of worsted weight socks for yourself or a loved one, follow my recipe below.

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Favorite sock knitting supplies

Dano’s Favorite Worsted Weight Socks

You will need:

  • 200 yards worsted weight yarn (I prefer superwash wool, and my favorite is Malabrigo Rios, pictured above in color “Ivy”)
  • US size 6 40” circular needles (for two-at-a-time socks on magic loop)
  • Darning and reinforcement thread (I prefer Regia brand) in a coordinating color
  • Elastic thread
  • Other sock hardware: stitch markers, sock blockers, sock ruler, darning egg or mushroom, yarn needle, scissors.
  • Size and gauge note: Check your gauge, measure foot, and then use the Super Sock Calculator to determine your sock size and number of stitches/rows for your sock. My sock recipe is for a 9″ foot circumference, 10.5″ foot length, using 16 sts/4 inch gauge.

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