Today is March 14th, which makes it Pi Day! This day, which can be written 3.14, is a fun excuse to celebrate all types of pi(e). Other than the obvious (and delicious) option of making and/or eating a pie, we knitters can also observe Pi Day by casting on a project inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann! Knit author Kate Atherley, writing for Interweave, explains that the Great EZ “realized that the application of a simple fact of geometry could make knitting a circular shawl significantly easier and more fun”. Atherley’s article, “Demystifying The Pi Shawl: Create Your Own One of a Kind Circular Shawl” is a perfect quick read for today.
EZ’s full original pattern for the Pi Shawl is in the Knitter’s Almanac and Knitting Workshop, both of which we have on the shelf at the shop. But one search in Ravelry will show you the influence that she has had on the knitting world. When I searched “pi shawl”, I got eight pages of results! The beauty of EZ’s genius is in the way it empowers knitters, and transforms complicated or tedious concepts into inspirational springboards. One of my favorite designs on Ravelry is Mwaa Knit’s “EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Camping” pattern. The designer pieces together four carefully chosen motifs to create a stunning shawl that is a tribute to EZ’s writings, specifically her tales of wonderful camping experiences. The final piece is a work of art.
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.
As I was eating breakfast and browsing Facebook this morning, an article caught my eye, and I knew I needed to share it with you. It was on an archaeology website (many of you already know that I’m an archaeology nerd), which isn’t my typical source for knitting news. The title of this article on digventures.com was “Guy Knits Jumpers Of Famous Places, Then Goes There And Wears Them” and it’s as amazing as you would hope. The fiber artist’s name is Sam Barsky, and since he started knitting 16 years ago, he has made over 90 sweaters. (I don’t know about you, but I suddenly feel like a slacker.) One of my favorite parts of the post was the statement that, “Sam realised that he didn’t have to stick to patterns, he could just knit whatever was in his head”. You guys, this is what our Boss Board is all about! We want all of our knitters to feel as confident as Sam. It also makes me happy to read an article about a male knitter that isn’t, “Men Can Knit Too!” or “Man Bucks Stereotypes, Knits Sweater”, but instead just treats him as any other (extraordinarily talented and creative) fiber person.
I’ve also been overwhelmed by the number of you who are knitting pink hats for the Pussyhat Project! I never expected it to take off the way that it has, but it warms my heart every time someone comes in looking for pink yarn. If there are any procrastinators out there (*cough*me*cough*), I’m going to try to order in some pink super bulky yarn for some last-minute hats. All of you have gotten me thinking that perhaps it’s time I took a stand myself and attended the march in Augusta on January 21st. Just now, when I typed “Pussyhat” into Ravelry under “projects”, I got 105 pages of results! That’s 105 pages of strong, confident knitters and crocheters who will not be ignored. Fiber folks are the best.
Finally, my faith in humanity got a nice boost this morning from another Facebook post, this time from Rockland Main Street. Apparently some kind soul has been tying fleece scarves (ok, so not knitting, but give me a break on this one) to lamp posts on Main Street in our town, with lovely notes. These scarves are free, and anyone in need is encouraged to take one and stay warm. This time of year, I worry for members of our community who might not have adequate winter layers. I saw a man walking down the street in shorts a week ago, and desperately hoped that it was by choice and not because he had no other clothes. If any of you know this good samaritan who is working to warm people’s hearts and necks, please give them a hug for me!