HerStory April 2020: Zahida Kazmi

Our April colorway, Paxi, is inspired by the story of the first female taxi driver in Pakistan and the legacy that her courage has left. 

In 1992, as a newly-widowed mother of 6, Zahida Kazmi took advantage of a government assistance program to purchase a yellow cab, and began ferrying people from the airport to their homes all over Islamabad. Although Pakistan was more moderate then than it is now, jobs like driving taxis were reserved for men and men alone. She fought against not only the societal misogyny that surely followed her throughout her career, but the ingrained misogyny carried by her family members. At first, she covered up as much as possible, wearing first burkas and then hijabs, but as her business and her presence became more established, she stopped covering her head. Over the years, Kazmi gained the respect of her fellow taxi drivers, as well as her customers, and eventually became the chairperson of Pakistan’s Yellow Cab Association. 

In 2017, as a response to a study published by the International Labor Organization which identified a lack of safe transportation as a major contributor to the low number of Pakistani women participating in the workforce, Paxi was formed. Paxi is a fleet of pink taxis whose purpose is to provide a safe route to work for women. Public transportation in Pakistan can be unsafe for women, many of whom face sexual harassment or worse while just trying to get to work. Paxi offers transportation specifically for women, aiming to create a safe environment and remove the transportation barrier to women’s ability to work. It’s not perfect (it’s much more expensive than even regular taxi service, which means many lower-income women are totally priced out of it), but it’s a definite step forward in safety and an attempt to support women who want to/need to work. So, as you cast on your Paxi socks, spend some time and send some good energy to those women who break barriers out of necessity and pave the way for more equity in our world. Thank you, Zahida Kazmi, for doing what you needed to do for your family, and thus helping other women to have a bit more autonomy and safety.

Designers’ Dogs: Kirstan Graham and Beezly

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Kirstan Graham…

A lover of greyhounds and that kid that stopped to pet every critter (ok, still true, just add yarn) – Kirstan is the artist and maker behind DKGraham, turning her whimsical illustrations and yarn parodies into fun and functional notions for knitters & crocheters.  A fusion of fandoms and fiber, this yarn geek is always excited about sharing her many passions and geeking out together!

BEEZLY’S GOTCHA STORY

Hi, my name is Kirstan and I’m a dog person. Since before I could walk my bestest friend ever was always a dog, firstly a farm dog named Petey, then pretty much any dog I met! I’d loved all my family’s dogs growing up, but when I was old enough and allowed to finally choose a dog of my very own I knew without a doubt I wanted to adopt a greyhound, but it was Trixie that chose me. Hounds have had me ever since.

Later, after years of growing up, moving out into the world and adulting long days in corporate America I was worried Trixie was lonely so we got a smaller hound to be her buddy, a whippet named Qeynos. Sadly, my girl was already an older dog then and after a  few years when she left us I was so very sad, but Qeynos was devastated and simply wouldn’t go on without her. So, we got him a friend, another whippet – Beezly!

“The Boys” were inseparable for years, they did everything together. We had grown as a family and added a baby human to our pack. I’d battled cancer and won. It was a full and busy time in our lives. So when my sweet little mammas boy Qeynos said goodbye, I was devastated, but just couldn’t imagine adding another dog to our pack. Beezly cried and cried, but eventually adjusted to the perks of being an only dog – extra treats and walkies, and getting to go on trips two dogs just couldn’t manage. But I was struggling, (I’d also lost my dad that same month) and just couldn’t put the pieces together. I’d stopped knitting, stopped making, just stopped.

I had to do something to snap out of it. So, even though I didn’t feel creative or inspired I got on Instagram and started challenging myself to make something, anything, everyday. Photography, hand lettering, illustration – all the skills I always admired but never thought I could do. I drew a lot of dogs. Slowly it started being fun again, I started knitting again, and then by chance I shared an illustrated map of Rose City Yarn Crawl that I had made in a workshop – which led to a whole new world of fiber fun and community! We invested in a laser engraver so I could turn my yarn parodies and whimsical illustrations into pins and notions, and I just couldn’t stop making geeky goodies and connecting with fellow makers and new fiber friends. When I was asked if I’d be interested in being part of a collaboration of designers and thier dogs I couldn’t imagine a more perfect project to work on – Sadly, my Beezly boy has since passed away, before this project was complete. But my heart was comforted by all the amazing dogs in this collection I’ve been honored to work with, that now each feel like a part of an extended pack of furry friends! It is as if my life has come full circle – It was the love of dogs that led me to art, and now my art has led me to dogs that have led me to love again… I hope you enjoy this collection as a celebration of everything we all love about dogs & yarn!

Designers’ Dogs: Kate Atherley and Dexter

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Kate Atherley…

I grew up with a Dalmatian, but lived without a dog for many years, until I met my husband. He was a package deal: he came with a yellow lab, and a cat. I knew that I’d found my family when, after a few months of serious dating, I woke one morning at Norman’s apartment, to find the dog spooning with me. The yellow lab is dearly missed, particularly when Dexter isn’t paying attention to us. 

DEXTER’S GOTCHA STORY:

My husband’s a writer, he said it best: https://nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/finding-dexter-how-a-stray-dog-was-rescued-in-toronto/

Designers’ Dogs: Kira Dulaney and Dash

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Kira Dulaney…

Kira Dulaney is the designer behind K Designs, a line of original knitting and crochet patterns with a streamlined and eminently wearable aesthetic. Kira’s designs include garments and accessories in a wide size range, featuring clean lines and intriguing details that are both interesting to make and easy to wear. Kira has been teaching fiber arts classes and hosting crafty events in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond since 2002.

DASH’S GOTCHA STORY:

Dash has a mysterious past, and came to us with skills of standing on his hind legs for remarkable amounts of time, running like a racehorse, and happily eating anything (and everything) that might possibly be edible. He joined our family when we decided that our dog Friday wanted a playmate and they wrestle together most days, although Friday isn’t very interested in him at other times. He’s quite oblivious of that and enjoys cuddling with her whenever he can, leading to many adorable photos that I post on Instagram.

Designers’ Dogs: Lisa Carney-Fenton and Luna

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Lisa Carney-Fenton…

Lisa Carney-Fenton was born & raised and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Her patterns have been published by knitty.com, Brooklyn Tweed and by The Yarnery, as part of their Wearwithall Pattern Collection. To learn more about Lisa’s pattern designs, her Studio Knitting class offerings, knitting business and related endeavors, visit: www.handworksnw.com and/or IG #HandWorksNW. 

LUNA’S GOTCHA STORY:

Luna is a sweet, large, Shepard-mix rescue dog and the inspiration for the Designer’s Dogs collaboration with Knitted Wit yarns. Neglected and caged for most of her 4-month start– a submissive, fearful and very shy puppy when rescued in 2018. Luna has since blossomed into a loving, loyal and gentle giant who loves every human, canine and feline friend. 

Designers’ Dogs: Scott Rohr and Rowan

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Scott Rohr…

Scott Rohr is the co-owner of The Yarnery, St. Paul, Minnesota. He also likes to design simple accessories, and has an unhealthy obsession with short rows. In addition to his independent work, Scott’s designs have been published by Brooklyn Tweed, Shibui Knits, Wearwithall (The Yarnery’s in-house brand), and Woolfolk. Scott lives in St. Paul with partner Mark and dog Rowan. Follow @rohrknits to see pictures of knitting, houseplants, and food.

ROWAN’S GOTCHA STORY:

Rowan is a sweet, spoiled Italian Greyhound mix. He can jump incredibly high from a sit, which is disconcerting when you’re standing at the kitchen counter and all of the sudden Rowan is staring at you at eye level. Rowan is named after the British yarn company: Scott adopted him nine years ago and their first stop was The Yarnery. You can follow Rowan on IG (@rowanrohr) where you’ll see him looking more chill than he is in real life.

Designers’ Dogs: Shannon Squire and Bowie

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Shannon Squire…

Shannon Squire loves to design simple designs that showcase texture and lots of colorplay. She never (and I mean NEVER) thought of herself as a dog person; she’s been allergic to dogs and cats since she was a wee child, and never really understood why people would want to share their homes with a furry animal. Until she had kids, and those kids dreamed about having a pet. Shannon and her mister started researching hypoallergenic dogs and started visiting potential pets at the humane society, where Shannon would bury her face in the dog’s fur, to see if she could live side-by-side with one. Turns out she could (if the dog was a very specific kind), so they surprised their kiddos with a Snorkie pup for Xmas one year. Frida was the best little friend a family could have, but she was tragically hit by a car last summer. The family mourned and through their mourning, realized they were actually now people who needed a dog in their lives. They found Bowie at a local humane society, and he fit so perfectly into their lives that they can’t imagine life without him. He is a very good boy, curious and snuggly and pretty much perfect, and Shannon’s family feels complete.

BOWIE’S GOTCHA STORY:

After the tragic loss of their first pup, Frida, Shannon’s family wasn’t sure what to do with all of the love they had for their little Fri-Fri. They found that what seemed like the perfect pup had been surrendered to a local humane society, so they headed out to meet said pup first thing on the first morning it was available for adoption. The girls and the pup fell madly in love, and he went home with them that night. As Shannon was setting up a crate for pup to sleep in, she realized he had already found a place to sleep: in her 8-year-old’s bed. That’s when they all knew it was meant to be.

Designers’ Dogs: Lorajean Kelley and Luna

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Lorajean Kelley…

Lorajean Kelley is the fearless leader of Knitted Wit, an indie dye company with an eye for color and a heart for social justice. She loves the following things (although not necessarily in this order): her family, her puppy Luna, chocolate, any food, tattoos, sewing, knitting, reading romance novels. She hates the following (again, not necessarily in this order): racism, misogyny, intolerance, mixing yarn bases, neutral pants.

LUNA’S GOTCHA STORY:

A few years ago, I started really wanting a dog. It just so happened that a friend of mine in the Bay Area found a pregnant mama pup and was looking to rehome the puppies. Their rehoming time coincided with a Beyonce concert I really wanted to go to in San Francisco, so it really felt meant to be. Luna is my wee shadow, and she loves nothing more than crawling into my hood and laying on the back of my neck, which she can easily do, because she’s less than 6 pounds!

Designers’ Dogs: Jami Brynildson and Lyla

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Jami Brynildson…

Jami Brynildson learned to knit in 2003 and became instantly obsessed, opening Knitting Bee in her hometown suburbs of Portland, Oregon the following year. Her proudest moment as a designer came when a contestant on the tv show Jeopardy! competed while wearing one of her shawl designs. Jami can also be found watching bad television, enjoying good food & drink, and hanging out with friends & family … usually with her knitting bag by her side.

LYLA’S GOTCHA STORY

Originally from Texas, Lyla found me at an adoption event at a Petsmart in Portland, Oregon. She was only three months old and a little shaky from a long road trip, but she immediately rolled over for a belly rub and stole my heart. The event was organized by Mutts & Meows, a private, foster-based group that rescues animals from shelters in the Houston, TX area and sometimes brings them to Oregon for adoption events. They told me that Lyla’s mom was rescued from a kill shelter and gave birth just two days later to Lyla and her litter mates, so Lyla almost didn’t make it into this world. Lyla enjoys removing the squeaker from dog toys, smelling all the smells, and going for walks with her big sis Addi.

Designers’ Dogs: Rebecca McKenzie and Maybee

We are so excited to be sharing our Designers’ Dogs collaboration with you today! Please check out all of the posts here: http://knittedwit.com/category/designers-dogs/.

The collaboration can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/designers-dogs. You can purchase the entire collection for $33 through 4/4/20, or you can purchase individual patterns from each designer. 

10% of each skein sold will be donated to the Oregon Humane Society, which is one of the best humane societies in the nation.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet Rebecca McKenzie…

Rebecca is the knitwear designer behind Raging Purlwind Knits. She enjoys designing colorful, whimsical, and vintage-inspired knitwear that can be a staple in your everyday wardrobe. 

MAYBEE’S GOTCHA STORY:

Maybee is the most snuggly toy poodle you will ever meet.  Sometimes she seems more like a stuffed animal than dog. Her favorite things to do are nap, play with her green dog  toy, get rubs and snuggle with people.