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Here's to helping others!
It's time to buy with heart! We have over 30 different handmade pieces listed in the 75 Squares fundraiser! Each one is $150.00, and that donation is enough to serve 75 meals to those in need.
Click the image or HERE to be directed to the shop.
Here's to helping others!
It's time to announce the call for submissions to the 75 Squares fundraiser! This event benefits Project Open Hand; a nonprofit whose mission is to provide "meals with love" to seniors and the critically ill.
In one of their larger programs, a single, healthy, well-balanced, "square" meal costs Project Open Hand about $2.00.
75 Squares is a fundraising sale of handmade scarves, cowls, wraps, and shawls that is planned to launch Saturday, September 26, 2015.
As a donating artist, the "feel good" comes from contributing a piece (and the time it took to make), and watching that item be the reward for another person who makes a contribution to Project Open Hand. Then, the knowing that as the piece is loved and worn, that the wearer carries the story of how through this fundraiser they were able to help provide nutritious "meals with love" to so many.
Please consider donating a scarf, cowl, shawl, or wrap that you've made to the event. Each piece will be listed for sale online for $150.00, and all the proceeds will go to feed the clients of Project Open Hand. Each item sold in this fundraiser will feature a 75 Squares label, reminding the wearer that 75 wonderfully nutritious meals were served to those in need as a direct result of their purchase.
Note your interest by filling out the sign-up form HERE, and send in your work as soon as possible. All items must be received no later than Friday, July 31, 2015.
Questions? Email me HERE.
San Francisco has mild (but unpredictable) weather. Traveling across the city folks who live here know it's wise to always carry a jacket. In the cooler times of year, a finely knit cowl or scarf also comes in handy. Inspired by architectural detail in San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, Cabaletta is a fine knit that uses two different yarns from Crystal Palace to create a lightweight (but warm) cowl.
The name “Cabaletta” is a term in Italian opera defining a brisk aria that usually follows a more contemplative one. The word was derived from the Italian “Cavallo” (horse) and often the music accompanying the cabaletta can be reminiscent of a horse’s gallop.
I love the way this cowl feels. It's the perfect weight... I also think that for colder climates this design would be nice if the height was doubled.
The pattern is available on Ravelry (via the link below).
Full details about this design are included on the pattern page HERE.
This men’s half-zip pullover uses a gently shifting motif to create a modified houndstooth motif. Carefully tailored with set in sleeves, and solid cuffs and hem, a zipper finishes off the neckline and completes this timeless design.
This pattern is worked flat and requires basic knitting knowledge, including knit/purl, increasing, decreasing, reading charts, stranded knitting, and finishing.
Yesterday I spent the day at the Museum of Craft and Design in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, assisting Arline Fisch in her workshop that provided participants the opportunity to knit and crochet with wire.
I met up with the Museum staff a few minutes before class began and, along with Laurel, another volunteer, had a crash course on the projects we were making. The workshop (and the speaker series event on Friday night) were arranged to compliment the current exhibit: Creatures from the Deep, which displays a beautiful collection of sea creatures crafted from wire.
The class was sold out, with folks even flying in just for the workshop. Yes, Arline is THAT well known; her work is even in the collection of the Smithsonian. Others talked about week-long retreats they had attended led by this artist decades ago. Students brought in copies of her books and asked for autographs. It seems most (if not all) of the books are out of print now. I looked through a few of them and was overwhelmed with the creativity and inspiration they contained. For those interested in jewelry or metal arts, I'd suggest getting one (or many) of her books as budget allows.
As the workshop progressed, we circulated, offering help with projects. For this workshop, students were first able to make a little jellyfish, then a bracelet using special wire and a round knitting loom. The process of using the loom was pretty easy, and working with the wire was surprisingly fun!
As we worked, Arline related the workshop to the exhibit, explaining how she used the same technique for many of the pieces in the show.... even explaining how she had custom rings made for projects of varied scale.
Arline was generous with her time, even staying during the lunch break to answer questions about the workshop or projects that students were working on. I was pleased to hear how everyone had a great time at the workshop, and it was a joy to watch this woman who has spent much of her life devoted to the art she loves, enjoying the experience as much as her students!
The participants came from varied backgrounds - social workers, engineers, social workers, landscape architects and gardeners - and it was really neat to watch them work as they were gathered by this common interest.
At the end of the day, students filled out a survey for feedback about the workshop, gathered their new creations, and headed out into the beautiful Saturday afternoon. We cleaned up the room, folded up our aprons, and got ready to go. Arline gave me this sweet little jellyfish that she had created as thanks for helping out with the workshop. She gave Laurel a knitted bracelet. I was giddy with excitement to have a work made by this legend and asked to take a photo with her.
Leaving the Museum, I realized how important craft is to my life, and I look forward to being a part of their workshops in the future!
I'm working on a swatch for a design proposal at the moment. It's taking a bit of my time away from progressing on things that I can talk about on the blog. I'm happy with how it looks and (some day!) I hope to share it with you!
After a fun day working with Arline, I came home to a little gift! John remembered how I had wanted the "Space Needle" drop spindle by Cascade Spindles when we were at Madrona last year, and ordered one for me. So... last night, after having a beautiful dinner outside, I gathered up an art batt made of wool, alpaca, llama, firestar, angora, mohair, AND silk/soy silk from Lush Fiber Farm and started practicing on my new beautiful drop spindle.
The first time I tried working with a drop spindle I didn't like it because it took a long time. Last night when I was experimenting with it, I realized that using a drop spindle means I can take spinning with me! - (yes, I know, that portability is one of the major reasons for using a drop spindle... I just had never thought I might want to take my spinning WITH me!)
What fun. (now I can start hunting for other drop spindles to add to the collection!)
© 2013 Kyle Kunnecke
I'm happy to share with you my latest hat pattern! This time it's a design inspired by old quilt patterns. Using a number of different colors throughout the hat, it's fun to knit... and the pattern would be a great opportunity to use scrap yarn (perhaps some leftover sock yarn?)
What's involved in this pattern? It starts with a provisional cast on and a lining worked in the round using a main color and smaller needles. Once a turning row is completed, the stranded knitting begins. I worked most of this hat on circular needles, switching to double points for crown shaping. (Some people would use magic loop at this point.)
Once the project was complete, it was time to find a place to do photography. I did a lot of research, looking for an exterior location that would offer the right feeling. I settled on the Palace of Fine Arts. San Francisco is an amazing city for photography - lots of hills, water everywhere... and even the fog can make things interesting. Anyway, The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo. Built out of paper mache, It was only meant to exist for a few years and actually fell into disrepair until the 1960s. After some generous contributions, it was re-created out of concrete and lasted for a good while. The past few years brought a re-furbishing of the monument and visiting it was truly a magical experience. I look forward to discovering more places in my hometown for photoshoots!
© 2013 Kyle Kunnecke
We took photos in a few different spots at this location. The doors in the background of this photo are used in a lot of wedding photography. I thought it was really interesting how the pattern in the door is almost identical to the motif in the hat!
Knitting this pattern went pretty quickly. The chart is easy to follow, and the color changes encouraged me as I worked. I am excited to see the color combinations others come up with!!
I'll leave you with a few images of the architecture around the Palace of Fine Arts. I hope you like the new hat!
$4.00 (.pdf download)
I'll be the first to tell you I LOVE the view from my house. It's probably one of my favorite things about where I live, and I didn't think it could get any better than this. At sunset it's fun to watch the sunlight bounce off the buildings as the city and bridge light up. See that big tree to the left? It seems that although it looks beautiful and green, there were bits of it that had begun to die. The owners of that property made the hard decision to remove the tree for fear that it would fall and cause some serious damage to the homes of their downhill neighbors.
So, this week, the work begun. Workers with ropes, chainsaws, big scary chipping machines and strong work ethic started to chop away. After the first day (a full day!) of work, they had removed this much of the tree (see the photo below) - and you know what it means? an even more expansive view of the city!
They finished the visible part of the tree removal yesterday and now I can see the entire skyline of San Francisco from my front window. There's still a smaller tree in the view and I think it helps to add a bit of scale to the view. We can see the dome of City Hall now!
In other news, there are lots of things going on in the studio, most of which I can't talk about; which can be frustrating! I have sent in quite a few pattern proposals in the past few weeks and have a few more to complete and turn in. In addition, a number of projects have flown off the needles recently and have found their way to their new homes for tech editing and publishing. I want to share with you what I'm up to, but I have to wait.
Yesterday, a friend and I went to Building RE Sources - a non-profit business offering a place for eco-conscious folks to donate and/or purchase recycled building materials. We had a great time wandering through the aisles of doors, windows, plumbing fixtures and tiles, and spent some time thinking creatively about what we could do with the different items.
We were hunting for something specific (and didn't find it) but DID find tumbled tile and glass that is produced by The Red Shovel Glass Co.; a division of the same organization. They offer tumbled terra cotta, random tiles and a variety of ten different colors of glass. These repurposed mini-gems could be used in planter beds or flower pots, and the glass versions look very similar to sea glass...
The textures and patterns in these salvaged objects are inspiring to me - the cracked paint, worn out and bent metal railings, broken tiles, antique doors... drawer after drawer of card catalogs filled with cabinet hardware... inspiration for knitting patterns is everwhere; we just have to look!
Our field trip was great fun and while there is no major building project happening currently, I think that visiting places like this from time to time is helpful to show what's available within the community. It's also a great place to consider recommending for those in the area who are doing major remodels - how nice to donate (and get a tax deduction) for the old windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures in a home instead of sending those things to a landfill! Salvage centers such as this are located all over the United States. Search online for one in your area!
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I knit for many reasons. I knit because it's creative, relaxing, fun, inspiring... I have discovered through my knitting that it is also a great way to start conversations. When I knit in public, people seem curious about what I'm making; they ask about the techniques, the patterns, the yarn... This is part of the reasoning behind my series of patterns that are designed to raise awareness of different issues. This pattern, CURE, features a "virus" motif, one red ribbon, and was created to encourage HIV/AIDS awareness. Beyond the knitter gaining access to the included information sheets about the virus, transmission, testing and various online resources, I hope this information is shared with others while the project is being knit, or perhaps the fact sheets are included with the hat as a gift to someone. Being able to share facts and resources is one of the greatest gifts we can offer our communities!
In addition to these wonderful benefits, 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of this pattern are donated to Project Open Hand; a non-profit organization offering “meals with love” to people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses and to seniors in San Francisco and Alameda Counties since 1985. Learn more at www.openhand.org.
Following this pattern, it’s easy to create a custom hat supporting HIV/AIDS awareness! Knit one for yourself, make another for a friend or charity! Share the knowledge you gain with those you love to help raise awareness about the virus and how it is transmitted, and feel good about your purchase; knowing that you're helping Project Open Hand do the wonderful work they've been doing for over 25 years!
If you're interested in knitting the hat, click the "buy now" button below and complete your purchase for an instant download. Another way to show support? Click the buttons at the bottom of this post to share this post with your friends on facebook or twitter. Encourage your knitting group to each purchase a copy of the pattern and do a knit-a-long. Thank you for your support!!
100% of net proceeds from CAUSE hat pattern donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer
As an additional note, the other pattern designed to raise awareness, CAUSE, benefits Living Beyond Breast Cancer. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to an amazing nonprofit in PA. Founded in 1991, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers specialized programs and services for the newly diagnosed, young women, women with advanced breast cancer, women at high risk for developing the disease, African-American and Latina women as well as programs for caregivers and healthcare professionals to help them better meet the needs of women affected by breast cancer. Learn more at www.LBBC.org.
To purchase this pattern, click the "buy now" button. Thanks for helping to spread awareness of these important issues while helping me to raise money for these worthwhile organizations.
November has been a month full of changes. I made many life altering choices, including the one to say farewell to my home in Los Angeles and head north to San Francisco! Change is not always easy, but often these differences in location and change of scenery offer more good than we can imagine! On Sunday November 20, 2010 I headed north with a friend after loading my (cute) little 10' Uhaul truck. As we drove it rained softly and we were presented with rainbow after rainbow after rainbow...
We drove about halfway and stopped near Fresno for the night, and woke up the next morning to a clear, crisp day... clean roads and postcard-perfect views all the way into the bay area...
We kept getting closer and closer to HOME - and I finally decided to post on Facebook that I was making the move - messages from all over poured in congratulating me on the decision - it wasn't easy - we often face crossroads in our lives (insert violin music here) and the opportunities we have should be seized! I am moving to this wonderful new city, leaving my previous job (and career) with the goal of entering into the non profit sector. Initially I will be seeking work as a voulenteer as an HIV counselor - administering tests and offering information to clients. In time I will find the right job for me... one that makes a difference in the lives of those in my community.
I thought for a while if I might want to work in a fiber-related field, and I am still undecided about that - I think that I prefer doing something else that I love, and leaving the knitting and fiber fun as a passion - I may change my mind at some point, but for now, that's the road I chose.
We arrived safe and sound around lunchtime - John parked the Uhaul carefully and it only took around 10 minutes to unload into the lobby of the condo. As the Uhaul was returned I hauled as much as I could up the stairs. a few days have passed now and almost everything is put away, and the kitties are acclimating to their new home. They have discovered the wall heaters, and the pidgeons outside the windows. I think they like both.
Here's Willow sharing Dewey's bed in front of the wall heater - they love the heaters early in the morning, but really prefer the sunbeams... San Francisco is a gorgeous town full of character and interesting people. I look forward to the adventure here and learning as much as I can about this glorious city!
p.s. Winky is safe in SF too but didn't want to be photographed :)