I am lucky enough to work with a great group of ladies here at Universal Yarn. We mostly consist of Yonca (sales manager), Heather (social media goddess), and Katie and Jackie (customer service wizards), me (Amy) the design person. We’re a small group of 5 women, but we all knit, crochet or both. There’s hardly a day that goes by where one of us is not wearing our handmade preciousness.
Thus begins a new series I am calling “IRL”, or In Real Life. Every day I come to work in a building that houses more yarn than you can imagine. It can be overwhelming to look at it all boxed up in the warehouse, sitting on shelves, or piled on my desk. It’s always calling to me, “knit me! make something out of me!” We sell yarn here, but we also love using and wearing it. I thought you might be interested in some of the things we make, so here goes.
I’ll start first:
I’m wearing a scarf I knit up last year made out of Whisper Lace. With just 2 balls of color 103 Harbor, I came up with a whopping 20″ x 60″ scarf/stole. It’s long enough that I can keyhole it, or when it’s really cold, double wrap around my neck like the photo above. The pattern is a modified Wisp by Cheryl Niamath, free on Knitty. I didn’t add buttons; I just cast on extra stitches, added a couple of random vertical garter stitch columns for interest, and knit until I ran out of yarn. For me, a person who almost exclusively knits garments, it was a refreshing change!
How about you, what Universal Yarn are you wearing today?
We are looking forward to summer, partly because it gives us more excuses to use this great raffia yarn. Yashi (40g/99yds) has a papery texture, but is much softer and more pliable than others we’ve seen. It’s easy to work with and is proving a fast favorite around the office for crochet.
Because it’s so soft, with a project like this very wide hat, we’d suggest you crochet it tightly and maybe give it a little starching to stiffen the brim. You’ll start at the top and work your way out.
I can see myself lounging in a chair by the pool in this hat, reading a good book and sipping… uh… tea.
The challenge for Denise was to take all these vastly different yarns and weave them up into something awesome. I didn’t make it easy for her, but I at least softened the blow by including coordinating shades in each different yarn. Well let me tell you, Denise passed this challenge with flying colors (so to speak, at least in greys and blues!).
Check out the Schacht newsletter for details on the finished project and a great how-to for repairing a float, or skipped warp thread.
Romare Bearden (1911-1988) has a special place in my heart. He hails from my hometown of Charlotte, NC, just down the road from Universal Yarn. He moved to New York and contributed to Harlem’s vibrant arts scene in the 30’s and 40’s, often using imagery from his home state. Romare Bearden was that fortunate artist who gained respect and recognition in his lifetime, with his works displayed in important collections around the globe. If you’re ever in Charlotte, take a pleasant stroll through Romare Bearden Park – then come up the road and see us.
What I love about this picture – and about all of Norman Rockwell’s work – is that it tells a story. The eraser on the floor shows that her students wrote on her board in a rush and then had to scramble back to their seats. The eraser on the student’s head shows that maybe they’re not always little angels. And the fact that Miss Jones isn’t bothered that they’ve ruined all her multiplication problems shows that she’s the kind of teacher who values her children’s high spirits and appreciates their thoughtful intent.
Today is my birthday, and like Miss Jones, I recognize this as an opportunity to reflect on generosity and intention. I am truly fortunate to have the kind of co-workers here at Universal who will bomb my office with streamers and present me with the traditional Universal Yarn Birthday Tiara.
This is a time to be thoughtful and ask: what opportunities can I seize in my life to show un-asked for care to others? Am I showing generosity to myself as well as to others?
Today I will practice gratitude for the abilities that I have – to think, to craft, and to love. And I will be grateful, too, for those who appreciate those gifts.
What will you do today to bring joy to yourself or someone else? Whether you create a garment or a moment, know that what you do has value.