Wednesday, January 28, 2015

supporting the fiber community

At the beginning of this year, I thought about setting a goal to make one hat per month during this year. The major ideas behind this were that I wanted to learn new techniques, knit something for myself, and support independent designers. 

The more I thought about this project, the more excited I got about choosing to support individuals doing good work in the fiber community. It's hard work to be a designer. I know this, and I've only dabbled in designing- self publishing one or two patterns on the side while I go about my day job. Of course, I appreciate the free pattern now and then, but I don't want to make a rule of knitting from free patterns. 

Sometimes I hear knitters exclaim proudly that they do not knit from patterns but rather only make their own designs. It's no secret that I love to knit up my own designs- there's something so liberating and exciting about imagining something in your head and then creating it just as you've envisioned. But I think knitting from other people's patterns is a great experience- it challenges you to learn new techniques, maybe knit something in a new way, and to make items or learn stitches outside your own comfort zone. AND it gives you the opportunity to support someone else's hard work. 

But back to the hat project.

I quickly realized that what excited me most about this project was the opportunity to support others in this community. And here's the thing- I just don't need that many hats. So, I'm changing up the idea a little bit, shifting my focus to fit with what's getting me excited right now. Each month I will choose a project that is either a paid-for pattern written by an independent designer, OR knit from hand-spun or hand-dyed yarn purchased from an individual or small business within this community. 

My hope is, that at the end of the year I will have 12 treasured hand knit items for my handmade wardrobe. That I will be able to see how my knitting has progressed as I've improved and learned new techniques. And of course, that I will have been able to, in my own small way, contribute to and support the fiber community that I love so much. 

I'll share January's project next week!


  1. That is an amazing idea, I have a huge stash of yarns I bought at fairs and such but they are all once off and I kept wondering what on earth am I going to do with them, this is a wonderful idea for how to get better as a knitter/crocheter and use up my stash before buying more yarn. Hope you don't mind if I copy.

    1. I totally don't mind- you are MORE than welcome to copy! The more people doing this the better :)

  2. such a great rule! I am all about the free patterns, but you've inspired me to chip in a couple extra bucks for something someone else made for me, you, and others. such an easy task. thanks!

  3. it is a good idea and purpose. please let me join you, and also to get out of my comfort zone! I do not knit a lot of clothes, but I knit a lot of toys, and I would like to find something interesting and new for their design. I want to learn to use needles, because while I knit mostly crochet :)
    Thank you for your post, your ideas. you really inspire me. I wish you success and enjoyable knitting!

    ps sorry for my english, I just started to learn this language, and it is very difficult to build a grammatically correct sentence and find the words.

    1. I would be happy to have you join in! Thank you for your sweet comments.
      Your English is wonderful- I understand what it's like to look for words and build sentences in a new language. It can be so difficult & overwhelming. Thank you for commenting!

  4. That's a wonderful idea, I'm so looking forward to seeing what you come up with :)

  5. Somehow I had missed this super post! What a truly wonderful idea!
    I've only really very recently started delving into the realms of independent patterns - all the time I lived and knitted in the UK I was always spoiled with a fantastic array of up to date knitting books in my local libraries so I wasn't even aware other options existed until this time last year when I got a strong knitting urge again and had no sources of inspiration!
    I shall look forward to seeing what discoveries you make in new designers, patterns and yarns these coming months!