HerStory 2021: Tammy Duckworth

US Senator Tammy Duckworth is our October HerStory recipient. She is a decorated veteran of the war in Iraq, and was the first disabled woman to hold a seat in the US House of Representatives, elected in 2012. She moved from the House to the Senate in 2016, and has spent her time in Congress fighting for both Veteran’s rights and Family Leave. When she had her second child in 2018, she became the first person to give birth while serving in Congress. She then proceeded to load her 10-day old baby up and bring her to the floor of Congress to cast an important vote on a presidential appointment that she opposed.  

Duckworth wanted more than anything to be a helicopter pilot, and even after being shot down and losing both legs and the full use of one arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack, her recovery was focused on once again getting into the cockpit. A friendship with a sitting US Senator changed all of that. This senator encouraged her to run for office, and once it became clear that her injuries were going to preclude her from flying, she threw her hat in the ring on a congressional seat, which she lost. Undeterred, Tammy Duckworth took that loss as an opportunity, and her new life trajectory was begun. Shortly after, she was appointed as Director of Veterans Affairs in Illinois, and in 2012, she ran for a House seat, won that, and has been in politics ever since. Two causes she has consistently supported are family leave rights and veteran’s issues. 

Like many of our HerStory recipients, Senator Duckworth was the first of many things: the first first female double amputee from the Iraq war; the first Thai American woman elected to Congress; the first person born in Thailand elected to Congress; the first woman with a disability elected to Congress; the first female double amputee in the Senate; and the first senator to give birth while in office. Her strength and commitment are an inspiration to us all, and our Veteran Affairs colorway, dyed to look like the camouflaged uniform she wore while in the service, pays homage to the armed forces, for which she continues to fight. Because she was the first in all of these ways, the path is clearer for others to make their own way.

HerStory 2021: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor, or Sonia from the Block, as our colorway that honors her is called, is the third woman, the first (and currently only) woman of color, and the first Latina to serve on the United States Supreme Court, having been nominated by Barack Obama in 2009. She grew up in the Bronx, in Puerto Rican neighborhoods, and self-identifies as Nuyorican (a portmanteau of New York and Puerto Rican, referring to members of the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York City). After initially dreaming of becoming a detective like her hero Nancy Drew, at 10 years old, Sotomayor changed gears and zeroed in on a future in law, inspired by Perry Mason.

Sotomayor received a full scholarship to Princeton, and her acceptance into the Ivy League school was assisted by affirmative action, in which she believes deeply. She has spoken up about the inherent biases in many standardized tests that make it harder for people from disadvantaged communities to thrive; affirmative action levels the playing field and gives opportunities to those with fewer advantages. During her time at Princeton, she advocated for the University to engage in more fair and inclusive hiring practices, and her work resulted in the first Latinx faculty members being hired, and more voice given to organizations centered around people of color, in particular Latinx folks. She became interested and invested in Critical Race Theory, which, unlike the culture war now raging would have you believe, is a body of legal scholarship that examines social, cultural, and legal issues primarily as they relate to race and racism in the United States. She closed out her college career by winning a top prize for undergraduates that honored both her work at school and her advocacy and volunteerism.

After law school, Sotomayor worked for a spell in the prosecutor’s office in NYC, and vigorously prosecuted violent crime. She deepened her commitment to community involvement as well, fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised in her post-prosecutorial career first as a lawyer and then as a judge. As she rose through the judicial ranks, she became known as a strict but fair jurist. She’s also the judge who saved baseball in the mid-1990s (her injunction against the MLB effectively restarted the stalled season). Her first case as a Supreme Court justice was Citizen’s United, and she argued against the rights of corporations in matters of campaign finance.

Time and again, Sonia from the Block has argued in favor of equity and fairness, handing down rulings with a strong but balanced hand, and advancing the causes of justice and equity. She’s a role model for all young women, in particular young women of color, as they navigate a world in which they might just need to advocate for the changes that will allow them to thrive. As we all navigate this very difficult world, may we all remember that fighting for what is right is never wrong, and may we all look to Justice Sotomayor for inspiration and guidance. Our Sonia from the Block colorway was inspired by the Puerto Rican street art in Sotomayor’s beloved Bronx, the colors and visual textures that reflect and inform the culture of the Nuyoricans that live there.

We’re Hiring!

Yarn on Table

Hello!! We are in search of a new team member at Knitted Wit. Is that you? We are looking for an individual who can be trained in all aspects of Knitted Wittery, including dyeing and processing yarn, labeling, and shipping. Read through our ideal employee list and see if you’d be a good fit! Directions for responding to the job listing are below; please do not leave info in a comment. Send us an email at hello@knittedwit.com if you are:

  • Organized, with an attention to detail
  • Able to multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Able to complete tasks within a deadline
  • A self starter with the ability to work alone from a list of tasks
  • A team player and comfortable with your role within the team
  • Flexible, as tasks change daily
  • Able to lift 50 lbs
  • Able to work 8 hours on your feet
  • Available 30-40 hours a week

Tasks include*

  • Dyeing: moving wet yarn around, handling dye, wearing a mask, following formulas, rinsing yarn, hanging yarn up to dry
  • Twisting yarn: using our equipment to twist skeins to specifications
  • Labeling yarn: being familiar with yarn bases, color names, using the computer to print labels

* Dye experience is not necessary, we are happy to train. Training is an investment for us and we would like to hire for the long term. 

If you are interested in the job please send an email to hello@knittedwit.com. A resume and letter making the case for you being a great fit would be appreciated! This position is open asap, and would start training immediately. Masks are required while working. Vaccine required. Expectations outside of work are mindful pandemic living.

Wheel of the Year

Our Wheel of the Year colorways are each named after a different witchy holiday, and the colors themselves transition through the seasons, from the bright, vibrant greens of spring through the pinks and reds of the flowers of summer through the deep red and brown rusty colors of fall. Starting at the greenest, we have: Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule. 

We initially debuted these colorways as a part of Witch in a Box kits, in which we paired a full skien with holiday-specific items from our friend Debby from Chicken Coop Botanicals. As we worked our way through the year, exploring the changing of the seasons through yarn, we started to develop a collaborative way to share the colors and celebrate the holidays. 

In Fall 2019, we debuted Let’s Get Knitted Wit-chy, a collaboration with some of our fave designer friends, pairing the Wheel of the Year witchy holiday colors with really amazeballs designs they came up with. The patterns are all still available through these designers, so check them out and support the heck out of them, and the yarns remain, to this day, one of our favorite offerings. For the collaboration, we paired mini skeins of 6 of the witchy colors (Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, and Mabon) with full skeins of Canopy (green), Pollen (gold/yellow), Wild Orchid (purple), and Samhain (brown variegated).

Our amazing designers are (their Instagram names are included, so follow away!): Angela Tong: @atongdesigns; Caroline Dick: @cdickdesigns; Corinna Ferguson: @craftstarstudios; Dawn Henderson: @dawn.landix; Debbi Stone: @the_debbi_stone; Kira Dulaney: @kirakdesigns; Larissa Brown: @larissabrownauthor; Makenzie Alvarez: @hanksandneedles; Noriko Ho: @norichanknits; and Shannon Squire: @shannonsq.

National Parks 2021: Hopewell Culture National Historic Park

It’s time for the annual National Parks Club/KAL!

Every month from May-August, we’ll be releasing 4 new parks colorways. We have exhausted all of the traditional US National Parks, save one, so this year, we’ll be showcasing other National Parks areas, such as National Recreation Areas, Heritage sites, etc. Most will fall under one of 4 categories:

  • National History – Eastern USA
  • National History – Western USA
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Human Rights Leaders/notable people

Check out our Socks and Hats on Vacay/Staycay summertime KAL with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-hats-on-vacay-staycay-2021/ 

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/parks-2021/

Where is it located?

South of Columbus, Ohio, near Chillicothe.

Whose land does it reside upon?

The Hopewell Culture NHP is located on land that many different tribes used as a gathering place. The tribes were cultural descendants of the Adena people.

When was it established?

March 2, 1923

Why is it amazing?

Nearly 2000 years ago, Indigenous tribes built dozens of monumental mounds and earthen enclosures in southern Ohio. These earthwork complexes were ceremonial landscapes used for feasts, funerals, rituals, and rites of passage associated with an American Indigenous religious movement that swept over half the continent for almost 400 years. There were likely not many residential communities here; it was more a gathering place for specific events.

The term Hopewell describes a broad network of economic, political, and spiritual beliefs and practices among different Native American groups. The culture is characterized by the construction of enclosures made of earthen walls, often built in geometric patterns and mounds of various shapes. The culture is known for a network of contacts with other groups, which stretched from the Atlantic coast to the Rocky Mountains. This network of contacts allowed the Hopewell to amass a collection of materials such as mica, shark’s teeth, obsidian, copper, and marine shells.

Why did we choose these colors?

Our Hopewell Culture NHP colors are reminiscent of the views that can be seen throughout the park; the greens of the rolling hills created by the mounds, paired with the bark of the trees and the greens of the leaves. 

For more information:

National Parks 2021: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

It’s time for the annual National Parks Club/KAL!

Every month from May-August, we’ll be releasing 4 new parks colorways. We have exhausted all of the traditional US National Parks, save one, so this year, we’ll be showcasing other National Parks areas, such as National Recreation Areas, Heritage sites, etc. Most will fall under one of 4 categories:

  • National History – Eastern USA
  • National History – Western USA
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Human Rights Leaders/notable people

Check out our Socks and Hats on Vacay/Staycay summertime KAL with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-hats-on-vacay-staycay-2021/ 

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/parks-2021/

Where is it located?

Glen Canyon NRA encompasses the area around Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon in Utah and Arizona.

Whose land does it reside upon?

Glen Canyon has been periodically used by a a variety of human groups from about 11,500 years ago through the present, including nomadic big game hunters during the Paleoindian period (11,500–8,050 BCE), segueing to settlements during the hunter-gatherer period, and occupation by the Fremont and Anasazi people. Paiute groups lived in the area after the Anasazi, followed by sparse populations of Navajo, Paiute, and Hopi.

When was it established?

October 27, 1972

Why is it amazing?

It covers 1.25 million acres of mostly rugged high desert terrain, and includes Lake Powell. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history. 

Why did we choose these colors?

We played with the deep blue of Lake Powell, the brown cliffs and canyons, and the vegetation that pops up in sometimes unexpected places. 

For more information:

National Parks 2021: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

It’s time for the annual National Parks Club/KAL!

Every month from May-August, we’ll be releasing 4 new parks colorways. We have exhausted all of the traditional US National Parks, save one, so this year, we’ll be showcasing other National Parks areas, such as National Recreation Areas, Heritage sites, etc. Most will fall under one of 4 categories:

  • National History – Eastern USA
  • National History – Western USA
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Human Rights Leaders/notable people

Check out our Socks and Hats on Vacay/Staycay summertime KAL with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-hats-on-vacay-staycay-2021/ 

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/parks-2021/

Where is it located?

Near Harrison, Nebraska, in the prairies of the Nebraska panhandle.

Whose land does it reside upon?

At least 15 tribes have been identified as hunting or occupying the area where the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is. The Pawnee and the Arikara lived in this part of the land the longest. Other tribes that either lived or hunted in this area include the Omaha, Ponca, Oto, Teton Sioux (Lakotas), Arapahoes, Cheyennes, the Great Sioux Nation, Missouri, Meskwaki, Dakota, Fox, Sauk, and Winnebago.

When was it established?

June 14, 1997

Why is it amazing?

This National Monument intersects many different categories of sites in our National Park system: natural history, indigenous history, and colonizer history. You can see the actual Agate Beds, which contain the fossils of extinct Miocene mammals, species that were previously only known through fragments, a discovery that unearthed the history of what’s now known as the Age of Mammals. You can visit the interpretive center, which features many instances of indigenous culture and storytelling. You can see the Cook collection, a wide-ranging collection of indigenous artifacts collected by the white settler of that land (much of which was given to him as a result of his friendship with Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota).

Why did we choose these colors?

We used these soft pastels because many of the images we’ve seen of the park are so soft looking. The rolling hills, the fossils themselves, the big soft sky, we felt we needed a soft and gentle color to reflect that central plains beauty.

For more information:

National Parks 2021: African Burial Ground National Monument

It’s time for the annual National Parks Club/KAL!

Every month from May-August, we’ll be releasing 4 new parks colorways. We have exhausted all of the traditional US National Parks, save one, so this year, we’ll be showcasing other National Parks areas, such as National Recreation Areas, Heritage sites, etc. Most will fall under one of 4 categories:

  • National History – Eastern USA
  • National History – Western USA
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Human Rights Leaders/notable people

Check out our Socks and Hats on Vacay/Staycay summertime KAL with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-hats-on-vacay-staycay-2021/ 

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/parks-2021/

Where is it located?

African Burial Ground National Monument is a monument at Duane Street and African Burial Ground Way in the Civic Center section of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Its main building is the Ted Weiss Federal Building at 290 Broadway.

Whose land does it reside upon?

Manhattan was the indigenous land of the Lenape people, who called the island Manahatta, meaning “hilly island.”

When was it established?

February 27, 2006

Why is it amazing?

In 1991, construction began on yet another high rise in Manhattan. Skeletal remains were discovered while excavating, and further careful excavation discovered intact human skeletal remains 30 feet below the city’s street level on Broadway. A 6-acre burial ground, dating from the 1630s through the late 1790s and containing upwards of 15,000 intact skeletal remains of enslaved and free Africans who lived and worked in colonial New York was discovered. The Burial Ground is the nation’s earliest and largest African burial ground rediscovered in the United States.

Civic engagement and advocacy led to the ancestral remains’ reinterment within the original site of rediscovery. An external memorial, an interpretive center, and research library were constructed to commemorate the financial and physical contributions of enslaved Africans in colonial New York and honor their memory.

Why did we choose these colors?

As we scrolled through the images on the NPS site, we were struck by the beauty of the traditional African garb worn by celebrants, and used that as inspiration for our colorway.

For more information:

HerStory 2021: Mumilaaq Qaqqaq

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq (she shares how to pronounce her name here) rose to prominence in Canada when she made an impassioned speech in the House of Commons on International Women’s Day in 2017. She was a part of a group called Daughters of the Vote, which empowers young women to speak up about what they want their votes to accomplish, and what their visions are for the future of their communities, both small (town) and large (country). Qaqqaq, an Inuit, spoke about suicide rates in Indigenous people, and her vision for a Canada in which Indigenous issues are front and center. She was approached by the New Democratic Party to run in her home territory of Nunavut (a largely Indigenous territory, and the newest, largest, and northernmost territory in Canada). She won her seat in Canadian’s Parliament by running on a platform that centered the basic human rights of Inuit people, including suicide prevention measures, securing more food security, insuring access to safe water, and increased access to safe housing. 

Throughout her tenure in Parliament, Quaqqaq worked hard on Indigenous issues and rights, but felt her momentum stymied at every turn. Earlier this year, she announced that she isn’t going to seek reelection. The racism she endured, both on a personal scale (she admitted to never feeling completely safe at work in a stirring speech on the floor, discussing how Parliamentary security would often question her rights to be there), and on a systemic scale (the futility she felt at trying to make change in the face of a bureaucracy that is steeped in historical white supremacy and systemic racism) was inescapable, and she came to the realization that she could do more good outside of the political structure. With the time she has left in her term, she has been advocating for stronger climate change policies, and, most recently, a reckoning for the harm perpetrated by the residential schools throughout Canada, pushing the Canadian government to formally investigate the crimes against humanity that we are learning more and more about. 

Our Aurora Borealis colorway in an homage to the otherworldly-seeming light displays that can be enjoyed in Mumilaaq Qaqqaq’s beloved Nunavut, and to the light that Quaqqaq is in Canadian activism. We hope you enjoy learning more about her, and keeping an eye on her as we are sure she will continue to advocate for the Indigenous peoples of Canada. She’s only 27, after all.

HerStory 2021: Geraldine Roman

Geraldine Roman is a role model for girls and women (heck, for people interested in being good human beings) everywhere. She is a force to be reckoned with in the political landscape of the Philippines, where she was the first trans person elected to Congress in 2016. Plus, she wore the most amazing princess dress of our childhood dreams in her official portrait!

Roman’s life and political philosophy embody the term “intersectional.” She fights for Indigenous rights, she fights for LGBTQIA+ rights, she fights for health rights and veteran’s rights and environmental stewardship and sustainability. She truly believes that in order for anyone to succeed, everyone has to have the chance to succeed. She’s the kind of person you want at the table with you, gently and lovingly steering conversations to difficult places, and leaning in to the humanity in everyone.

She has done much for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Philippines, but her work goes far beyond that. Her political platform, EQUALITY, is an acronym for her many intersectional advocacies: Education, Environmental Quality, Universal Healthcare, Agriculture, Livelihood, Infrastructure, Transparency, and the Youth. “Equality means giving all Filipinos equal rights, equitable opportunities and chances to improve their lives, to become happier citizens of this country regardless of their personal circumstances,” she declares.

We wanted to celebrate the beauty inherent in this wonderful woman, and the beauty that is the Philippines themselves, in our HerStory colorway. We created Waling-Waling, inspired by the Waling-Waling orchid, which is considered to be the Queen of Philippine flowers and is worshiped as a diwata, or natural spirit by the indigenous Bagobo people. We hope that, as you admire your skein of Waling-Waling, you do a little something for a community that is less privileged than yourself. It’s what Geraldine would do.