National Parks 2020: Mt. Hood National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Mt. Hood National Forest is located in Oregon, east of Portland and south of the Columbia River Gorge.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

The Molalas, Kalapuyans, Chinookan Clackamas, Shinookan Wascos, Northern Paiute peoples, and Sahaptin speakers all lived within the area and many of them called the mountain Wy’East. This name has continued to live on in the community through names of streets, businesses, and schools.

When was it established as a National Park?

July 1, 1908

Why is this park amazing?

Spanning over a million acres and home to vastly different terrains, Mt. Hood National Forest boasts 8 federally-mandated wilderness areas, encompassing about a third of the entire forest. Mt. Hood itself, a dormant volcano capped by glaciers, is home to ski trails, alpine lakes, and the 1930s New Deal-era Timberline Lodge.

Why did we choose these colors?

Mountain berries, and most especially LJ’s favorite salmonberries, sprinkled throughout the lush forest, are the inspiration for our Mt. Hood National Forest colorway. We here at Knitted Wit are fortunate enough to be able to get to Mt. Hood quickly and easily, and it’s a great escape from city life.

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Glacier Bay National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Glacier Bay National Park is located in Southeast Alaska west of Juneau.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

The Tligit were inhabitants of this land until the glacial surge forced them to abandon their settlements, but they continued their connection to this land through the hardships that the surge inspired. They returned to Glacier Bay after the glaciers receded, and it is now known as Sit’ Eeti Gheeyi or “the bay in place of the glacier.”

When was it established as a National Park?

December 2, 1980

Why is this park amazing?

This is one heck of an interesting park. It appears that the lands upon which Glacier Bay National Park is located were habitable up until about 300 years ago, when a glacial surge caused human inhabitants to flee. The glacier covered the area until about 200 years ago, when ice melt occurred to an extent that the lands were once again uncovered. As recently as 1750, a single glacier thousands of feet thick filled what is now a 65-mile long fjord. This glacial retreat has exposed a resilient land that hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life.

Why did we choose these colors?

Our Glacier Bay skein contains blues, blues, and more blues, paired with the blue grey of the rocks that litter the glacial remnants and waters.  

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Gateway Arch National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Gateway Arch National Park is located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

The land on which sits the city of St. Louis has a long history of housing native peoples, and an ugly history of colonizers decimating those populations. One of the first cultures apparent were the Mississippians, a civilization that built complex earthworks across much of the continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. After them came the Osage, Miami, Sioux and Haudenosauneega (also called Iroquois, which was actually a confederacy of six indigenous nations, as opposed to a singular culture). Experts have suggested that 90% of the native population was lost through war, enslavement, societal disruption and, very most especially pandemic disease, including smallpox and measles. Yikes and ugh.

When was it established as a National Park?

February 22, 2018

Why is this park amazing?

Well, we don’t know about amazing, but the Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.

Why did we choose these colors?

The Gateway Arch sits in an urban park, so our colors reflect the metal of the park, the blue of the sky, the white of the clouds, and the green of the grass and trees. 

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Canyonlands National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Canyonlands National Park is located in Southeastern Utah.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

Current Canyonlands National Park has been home to many peoples over the last few millennia. From Nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers roaming throughout the southwest from 8,000 BCE (Before Common Era) to 500 BCE; to the ancestral Puebloan (formerly known as Anasazi) and Fremont people who first began to domesticate animals and plants on this land; to the Utes, Navajo, and Pueblo peoples who began to populate this land in around 800 BCE, Southeastern Utah has a rich history of peoples and culture. Petroglyphs and rock art abound in this park, as well as dwellings and settlements. 

When was it established as a National Park?

September 12, 1964

Why is this park amazing?

Canyonlands is a stark wonderland, filled with countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves.

Why did we choose these colors?

We chose an image of Canyonlands with a dusting of snow, because we wanted to show the stark beauty of this place. The skein contains it all: the orange rocks, the white snow, the purple shadows, the greenery that survives even in the harshest conditions. 

For more information:

HerStory July 2020: Susan La Flesche Picotte

July’s HerStory recipient is Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American woman in the US to receive a medical degree.

Inspired by witnessing the tragic death of a Native American woman because a white doctor refused to treat her, Dr. La Flesche Picotte pursued her education aggressively. Her childhood was, in a word, complicated. Both parents straddled the worlds of European and Native American ancestry, and the resulting struggle between cultural pride and a belief in assimilation-for-survival surely affected and inspired much of what Picotte accomplished. Her father became Chief of the Omaha tribe, but his leadership pushed the tribe toward white acceptance. Picotte was not given an Omaha name, and even though her mother in particular spoke Omaha exclusively, Picotte was encouraged to speak English. This seems to be a fitting metaphor for what the First Nations people as a whole were struggling with at the time (mid-to-late 1800s, but also, honestly, now too): the balancing act between honoring their culture and traditions, while making themselves “safe” for and from the white colonizers. 

Picotte was able to navigate this tight-rope well; in applying for grants to attend medical school, she made sure to indicate that she’d teach hygiene to her fellow American Indians, as well as treating them medically. You see, the mission statement of the Women’s National Indian Association included “civilizing” the “Indians” by teaching them about cleanliness and godliness. (Excuse us while we vomit into our knitting bags). She graduated from medical school, not only the first Native American woman to do so, but also the first person, period, to receive federal aid for professional education. She returned home and provided medical care to all who needed it, working diligently on the reservation both as a doctor and as an advocate for Native American’s rights. She pushed for prohibition, as she saw alcohol abuse as a huge problem in her community, used primarily by the colonizers to take advantage of her people and keep them down. She helped to found the first hospital on a reservation, and inspired many Native American women to pursue medicine. She worked tirelessly for her community, fighting her way through the convoluted land-ownership laws and policies, so the Omaha people could gain more autonomy in their ownership of and inheritances of properties. She aspired to and achieved great things in her short 50 years on the planet, and has earned her place in HerStory. 

Our Omaha colorway is our homage to her persistence and hard work. Her legacy is long-reaching, and we are honored to be honoring her this month.

Discontinuing the Boy Who Lived Color Line

We are discontinuing the entire Boy Who Lived color line, which was created to show love for the Harry Potter book series. The creator of Harry Potter, JK Rowling, has shown time and again that she is anti-trans and downright bigoted, and we cannot in good conscience continue to support her in any way. This last week she began tweeting virulently anti-trans statements (not the first time she’s done so, but she was much more bold in her bigotry this time), stating that gender is fixed and that being trans is not a valid plane of existence. She seems to see gender and sex as a zero-sum game, whereas it’s a spectrum that has been forced into a binary by a society that loves labels. This is very similar to the All Lives Matter folks who counter the very real pain and heartache that has inspired the groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement (viva this revolution!) at this moment in time with an “all lives matter”.

Knitted Wit is against all forms of hatred and discrimination, and at the very core of our business is the knowledge that equity is tantamount. We believe in Trans Rights, we believe that Black Lives Matter. We cannot support folks who peddle in hatred and bigotry.

To that end, with the remaining skeins we have in the studio, we are going to donate 100% of our profits to Trans Lifeline, a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.

We are going through the colorways and picking out our favorites, which we will keep and rename in a colorway set honoring voices in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

First things first: Black Lives Matter. Unequivocally. We at Knitted Wit are committed to anti-racism, and there is no place in our community for anything else. We are white women, so we are not the ones you should come to to get educated, but we do have some resources that we’d like to share with you, our fellow white women who are committed to anti-racism, too. As you are learning, make sure you pay for the labor that’s been done. Many of the educators we are sharing have books out that you can purchase, Patreons that you can subscribe to, Ko-Fis that you can donate to, etc. 

Why Black Lives Matter is important (and why saying All Lives Matter is dangerous):

Rachel Cargle (a wonderful anti-racist educator) wrote this piece in 2016: Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter.” Read it, and then follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Patreon.

The workbook:

Layla F. Saad’s book White Supremacy and Me is THE resource for deep-diving into the deeply-ingrained racism. Follow her on Instagram, support her on Patreon, and buy her book.

Books to read and re-read:

Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race is a life-changing primer on racism in America. Purchase the book, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and support her on Patreon

Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning (a history of anti-black racism in America) and How to be Anti-Racist are must-haves on your anti-racism book shelves. 

People we follow on Instagram:

This is a list of Black women we follow on Instagram from whom we’ve learned a lot. Please remember that we are guests in these educators’ spaces, so our role is to listen and learn (and to pay them for the work they’re doing and the education they are sharing). This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good start:

Organizations to donate to:

HerStory June 2020: Sophie Blanchard

“Up, up, and away, in my beautiful balloon…” So goes the Fifth Dimension song from the mid-1960s. Adreamy song for a dreamy diversion, floating along in the basket beneath a hot air balloon. This month, we are honoring the first female aeronaut, Sophie Blanchard, who made a name for herself
floating across France before her untimely death at 41 with our Up, Up, and Away colorway. She had the distinction of being both the first female to pilot her own balloon AND the first woman to die in a balloon accident.

Madame Blanchard, as she was known, was the aeronaut of choice for two world leaders; NapoleonBonaparte named her “Aeronaut of the Official Festivals”, and, upon the restoration of the monarchy in1814, after performing for Louis XVIII, she was named his “Official Aeronaut of the Restoration”.

She married professional balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard in the late 1700s (who was by all accounts kind of an asshole who left his first wife and children to suffer in poverty so he could gallivant around Europe ballooning), and learned the profession from him. After he passed away in 1808, she continued in the family profession, working to erase the debts her husband had left her, and attempting even more daring feats of derring-do. The basket she used was tiny (seriously, the thought of standing in it
floating under a hot air balloon sends our heart a skittering), and she was a true performer, utilizing pyrotechnics and trick-flying, often at quite a cost. She passed out on at least 2 occasions due to the extreme altitudes at which she flew, and experienced very scary take-offs and landings on other occasions. She gained a huge following, and lots of support and enthusiasm, and her flights were always heavy on the wow factor, a fact that surely contributed to her demise.

Blanchard’s final flight was to be a night-flight, one of her favorites. Against the advice of many, the flight included a pyrotechnic display, as she floated in Tivoli Gardens in Paris. The fireworks caused an actual fire to start in her balloon, and, in trying to guide herself to safety, she became entangled in her ropes and fell out of the afore-mentioned teensy basket and to her death. She was 41 years old.

Madame Blanchard’s death was indicative of the danger that ballooning represented, and the public nature of her death helped to usher in the beginning of the end of this golden age of aeronauts. Her legacy, however, lives on to this day. She and her fellow female aeronauts paved the way for women in all fields of aviation, and her fearless determination inspired young women in the early 1800s to realize there was a world outside of that which seemed to be prescribed for them. She was brave and shewas strong and she proved that women can fly high as a bird, up, up, and away, in a beautifulballoon… We hope you have dreams of floating in the clouds (in a safe and secure way, of course) as you knit with the balloon-inspired skein of Up, Up, and Away.