Knitting Together


UPDATED! Meetup postponed to Saturday, January 14 (updated image above).

If you live near Atlanta, please join us for a knitting meet-up this Saturday at Intown Quilters in Decatur. We’ll be knitting hats for the Pussy Hat Project to wear at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21. If you knit, but can’t make it to the march, you can knit a hat to pass along. It looks like there will also be a local march here in Atlanta.

We’d love to have you join us at the meet-up even if you don’t quite know how to knit. My skills aren’t great, but this is a very simple, straightforward pattern. As you can see below, all I can manage is a straight basic knitting stitch, but I’m getting the job done. You can also crochet or sew a hat. You can do it!


Protest Knitting


Have you heard of the Pussyhat Project yet? If that word offends you, you’re not alone. I had to explain it to my daughters this fall after they saw the news.

The creators of this knitting project are reclaiming the word for female empowerment and using the color pink, “Wearing pink together is a powerful statement that we are unapologetically feminine and we unapologetically stand for women’s rights.” Knitters can make the hats for themselves or others to wear at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21. Since crafts have traditionally been viewed as women’s work, knitting as protest speaks to our collective experience.

You can find the pattern on their website or on Ravelry. The pattern is simple because you just knit a rectangle, then seam it together, so no double-pointed needles to close up the top of the hat! There are crochet and sewing patterns available too. You could even re-purpose an old sweater to sew a quick cat-eared hat. I bought this yarn locally from Intown Quilters and we’ll be planning a meetup soon to knit together. Come join us!


MAKE GOOD: gather here

make-good        gather-here


As part of my Make Good series, I’ll be featuring craft businesses that support their community. Local independent fabric shops often donate to charity, assist with community projects, and provide space for group meetings. This type of grassroots philanthropy that starts in our knitting circles and quilting bees can have a tremendous impact, connecting people and building community.

One such business that serves its community is gather here, a fabric and yarn shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Owners Virginia and Noah recently relocated to a new, larger space and have renewed their commitment to support meaningful issues.


A hate crime over the summer made them consider how their personal belief in equality is not just ancillary to their business, but in fact an integral part of what gather here represents. When a 12″ swastika was carved into their shop window, Virginia and Noah channeled their anger into action. They shared the incident on social media and received an outpouring of support from customers and neighbors. Virginia describes how she suddenly realized that her personal values were intrinsically connected to her business:

But in that one act of hate I realized that WHO I am, my identity is linked to WHAT gather here is. That swastika wasn’t just carved in our front window. It felt like it was carved on my body. On the body of my half-Jewish partner.  WHO owns gather here is a public statement now. And acts of hatred in our community are immediately condemned. Our business has embraced making political statements because we cannot shy away from WHO we are.

Since the incident, they have raised money for victims of a local fire, collected handmade winter accessories for low-income families, supported the Southern Poverty Law Center, and now actively promote gather here as a welcoming place of inclusion with a 7′ tall cross stitch advocating hope, love, respect, equality, and community. And like many open-hearted businesses, they have posted a sign to let everyone know that people of all races, religions, countries of origin, sexual orientations, and genders are welcome in the shop.

When a member of a gather here knitting circle died unexpectedly last year, their group knit a memorial piece that hangs in the shop, reminding us that the connections we make through craft are genuine and meaningful. The places where we gather to make things can become social spaces, mourning places, and even centers of action. In this time of uncertainty, it is reassuring to see principles at work in business.


Make Good


This month I’m donating 50% of my Etsy shop sales to the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.


I’ll also begin a weekly series featuring nonprofit organizations that use handmade to help others and highlight ways that you can get involved. To get things started, here are a few organizations that accept donated quilts:

Project Linus for children in crisis situations.

Quilts of Valor for service members and veterans in need of comfort.

Quilts Beyond Borders for under-served children around the world.