Tag Archives: knititng

Marking Stitches

So, I sat down to write this post about an hour ago.  Then I decided to check Facebook, where I discovered that someone had posted videos of the Crufts dog show from last weekend.  Needless to say,  I got rather distracted watching the agility trials, and an hour later, I’m just getting started writing.  So it goes.

(This has nothing to do with knitting, or this blog, but you have to watch this video- It’s amazing!)

Right?!

Now you’ll be sucked down a dog show YouTube rabbit hole, and I’m not even a bit sorry.

Aaaaaanyway, let’s talk stitch markers.

I’m taking a metalworking/jewelry class at the local community college, where I’m learning jewelry soldering.  I made some rings, earrings, and even a little box.  I’m halfway through a necklace that’s made of lots of pieces of sea glass set in silver.  It’s so fun to learn a new skill!

But, I think my favorite pieces (or at least the pieces I’m getting the most use out of) are my little stitch markers.  (My teacher was confused as to why I was making so many little jump rings, and wanted me to turn them into a chain.  I tried to explain what a stitch marker was, but she remains unconvinced.  She is clearly not a knitter.)

(Also, this picture turned out pretty cool- It looks like my stitch markers are just floating in spaaaaace!)

They’re square copper wire, plated with silver and twisted to make the cool spiral design.  Then, I formed them into little circles using a special jig and a tiny saw, and soldered them shut.  Super simple, especially compared to some of the projects people are making in my class, but really satisfying and oh so practical.

I like these little guys because they’re seamless (and therefore can’t snag), they’re low-profile (so they don’t get in the way), and they don’t have any charms or beads on them (which, while pretty, can get annoying if you’re making a project where you need dozens of stitch markers).

I’ve got one class left before the end of the quarter, and I’m half-inclined to just spend the three hours making more stitch markers, instead of finishing my big final project.

Do you have favorite stitch markers?

Inspiration: Feminists

Some day, this blog will go back to being a silly knitting-only blog where we just talk about patterns and yarn.  But today is not that day!  I’m still all riled up about the election, and still energized by the March.  So, today let’s look at knitting patterns inspired by three totally amazing feminists.

First up is Susan B. Anthony, suffragette, abolitionist, and OG badass.  From the time she was a teenager, Anthony was involved in what today we’d call “grass roots activism.”  She collected anti-slavery petitions for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  And, when she wasn’t allowed to join other political groups because she was female, she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (another amazing early feminist), founded their own groups like the Women’s Loyal National League (an abolitionist group), and the New York Women’s State Temperance Society so they could keep fighting.  Then, in the late 1860s, they founded the American Equal Rights Association, which campaigned for equal rights for everyone (including women and African Americans!), and went on to found more activist groups, working for women’s suffrage.  She didn’t just talk about suffrage, either!  In 1872, as an act of civil disobedience, she voted in her hometown and was arrested and convicted at trial.  Unfortunately, she didn’t survive to see the 19th amendment passed (that’s the one that gives women the right to vote), but she is still remembered by women across the country every time they get to vote.220px-susan_b_anthony_c1855Next time you go vote, ladies, remember Susan B. Anthony, and maybe bring along this very cute bag.

Vote Tote by Deb Richeyeco5_vote_tote_op_medium1So, you know how most families these days have two, maybe three kids?  Not seventeen, like they used to have back in the 1800s?  You can thank Margaret Sanger for that!  She was a nurse and birth control activist who did amazing work in the early part of the 20th century.  When Sanger started work as a nurse, the best form of legal birth control available was basically crossing your fingers and wishing really hard.  She was prosecuted several times for distributing information about family planning, and once had to flee to England to avoid arrest.  She founded the first birth control clinic in the US in 1916, and worked tirelessly to give every woman access to safe birth control (so they wouldn’t have to depend on dangerous back-alley abortions).  In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League which later changed its name to become Planned Parenthood (heard of it?), which she lead until 1959.220px-margaretsanger-underwood-locCelebrate your access to safe and effective healthcare by knitting up a very cute little nurse doll!

Red Cross Nurse Doll by Joanna Marshallred_cross_nurse___florence_nightingale__6__medium21And, finally, this tough lady needs no introduction these days.  Hillary Clinton has led a life full of political activism, from when she was a young lawyer working for children and family rights, all the way through the 2016 presidential election (and, I’m sure she’ll keep working!). When she was First Lady, she used her position to help fight for healthcare reform and gender equality.  She served as the first female senator to New York- even getting re-elected!  Then, she teamed up with former election opponent, Barack Obama, working as his Secretary of State.  And, of course, in 2016, she won the majority of the popular vote for president.  Talk about a powerful feminist!hillary_clinton_official_secretary_of_state_portrait_cropMake yourself a blazer, just like Secretary Clinton wears!

108-27 Jacket with structured pattern by DROPS design

a-168-2_medium21Who are your favorite feminists?

Stellar’s Jay Sweater- Sleeves

My Stellar’s Jay Sweater is roughly based on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s EPS (Elizabeth’s Percentage System) sweaters.  EPS sweaters are based on the idea that the size of someone’s arm is roughly proportional to their bust size, which is roughly proportional to their neck size.  It’s not perfect for people with more unusual body types, but I’ve found that most people can make the EPS work for them on the whole.  It’s a great basic sweater recipe that you can customize, tweak and otherwise futz with to make yourself the sweater you’ve always dreamed of.

My Stellar’s Jay Cardigan is knit from the bottom up, which means that make the body first, from hem to armpits.  Then I cast on the sleeves at the cuffs, and knit up the arm.

I wanted a slightly fitted, tapered sleeve, so I cast on 22% of the stitches I used for my torso.  It sounds weird, but EZ spent years perfecting her formulas, until she figured out that a cuff should measure about 20-25% of the torso in diameter.  (Crazy, right?)

Then I slowly increased (increasing 2 stitches every 8 rows in a line along the inside of the arm) until I reached 64 stitches, which was my planned upper arm measurement (about 35% of my torso measurement).  Then, I knit along, without any more increases, until my sleeve was long enough for my arm.

The result was a gently tapered sleeve, that perfectly fit my arm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next thing to do was to join the arms to the body.