Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I used to think that I hated this holiday, but I’ve come to terms with my gooey, squishy marshmallow interior. For example, I’m wearing a pink/red shirt today! I ordered adorable heart-shaped stitch markers for the shop! And look at these lovely little knit hearts by Susan B. Anderson that I found on Ravelry!
But seriously, I do like Valentine’s Day — I just like to celebrate it my way. No heart-shaped boxes of candy for me, no diamond-studded jewelry, and definitely no trip to the movie theater to watch the latest installment of pre-packaged “romance”. Instead, I’m going to spend quality time with the people I love the most. My mom and sister were my valentines every year when I was growing up, and we always gave each other silly cards and high-end chocolate. (I’m a firm believer in Galentine’s Day, too. True friends are always there for you, and deserve to be celebrated.) Tonight, myself, my family unit, and my most excellent, breakfast-in-bed-making partner are going out for cocktails and tasty appetizers.
This holiday places so much emphasis on a narrow Hallmark definition of love. But I want to encourage all of us to embrace a broader idea of Valentine’s Day. We can celebrate it any way we want — by showing love for ourselves, the planet, our friends, our pets, or humanity in general. With that in mind, I’d like to invite you all to join me in a bit of charitable giving. I’m going to donate the cost of a movie ticket to New Hope for Women, an organization that works against domestic violence in our area. The inspiration for this donation is my frustration with the romanticization of abuse in popular culture. I could talk your ear off about it (and if you want to discuss it with me, let’s grab a drink and talk!) but suffice it to say that I have $10 in my pocket, and would rather give it to New Hope for Women than go watch the glorification of stalking, possessiveness and controlling behavior for 1 hour and 58 minutes.
Well, that’s a bit more like it! I firmly believe that February in Maine is supposed to be snowy. I’ve stockpiled hot cocoa mix, dug out all my winter gear, and even got a brand new pair of snow shoes. My cross-country skis have been shooting me reproachful glances from beneath a thin coat of dust. There are some sheepskin slippers calling my name, and I’m halfway through a new TV show. Yes, indeed — I’m heading home shortly to enjoy this winter weather.
My Sharpie yarn came out a little lighter and more pastel-colored than I had hoped, but I still like it. It makes me think of unicorns, and I’m tempted to pair it with a strand of sparkle yarn for some true rainbow-unicorn fabulousness. Next time, I’m going to go all-out with the Sharpies, and really put some pigment into the yarn. I still have some experimenting to do, but it was a fun learning experience, and way easier than mixing boiling vats of dye on my tiny kitchen stove. This is the kind of crafty project you can do with the kids on a Sunday afternoon (but definitely with ventilation for those marker fumes, folks!).
The Azel Pullover really is a fast knit, I swear. However, mine is taking FOREVER, because I only ever manage one row here and there. Between calling my senators, reading news reports, and hiding under my bed because it’s all just too much, I haven’t been knitting as diligently as I should. That’s why I’m going to layer up and trudge home right now. I’m going to make a mug of Bixby & Co. hot chocolate, put on my slippers, and knit up a storm. I will not log onto social media. I will not turn on the news. I’m just going to make the world’s coziest poncho. And then I’m going to wear it.
Mim has declared that “Tuesdays are for trying something new”, and has encouraged us to join her for testing out fun and unusual fiber crafting techniques. Today, she encouraged me to leave my messy desk and meet her in the kitchenette, where I found a table covered in plastic sheeting, some white skeins of yarn, and a truly impressive number of Sharpie markers. Mim is going to be teaching a class on Sharpie Art Yarn on Tuesday, February 21st at 6 pm, so I got an opportunity to test it out! (Perks of working in a yarn shop, you guys.)
I should warn you ahead of time that you might want some ventilation while you’re scribbling away with Sharpies. But aside from that, this is a great project for all ages. I love the idea of using fairly common household items to handpaint your yarn at your kitchen table!
Look at all the colors! Wearing gloves was very helpful, as was the plastic sheet on the table — I definitely drew on it more than once.
Everyone chose different styles for their yarn: Mim went for tonal speckles, I chose color blocking, and Lauren went for a multicolor blend.
Spraying the yarn with alcohol really made the colors intensify, and made me wish that I’d chosen neons.
Stay tuned to see how these colors turn out once we rinse and heat set the yarn! I’m guessing it will fade a little, and perhaps blend a bit. I can’t wait to show you more! Again, sign up for our class, Sharpie Art Yarn, if you’d like to try this fun activity on Tuesday, February 21st.