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. 

Designers’ Dogs: Anne Hanson and Cardigan

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 Anne Hanson…

Knitspot owner and designer Anne Hanson, a life-long knitter with a background in the fashion and graphic design fields, teaches and writes about knitting, spinning, and designing at her blog, knitspot.com. Anne lives and works in Ohio with David, who loves wool, too; together they are the owners and creators of the renowned Knitspot yarn clubs and the Bare Naked Wools yarn label.

Anne’s design work has been featured in Interweave Knits, Brooklyn Tweed Wool People, Knitty, Sock Knitting Master Class, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters, The Knitter, Twist Collective, Sock Club, Brave New Knits, and My Grandmother’s Knitting. She has produced popular instructional videos with both Craftsy and Interweave Knits. Anne’s complete catalog of patterns is available for purchase in the Knitspot Pattern Shop and on Ravelry.com.

CARDIGAN’S GOTCHA STORY (click here for complete blog post):

I first saw Cardigan two days after Christmas in 2016 during a snowstorm; as I was returning home, she ran out from behind our garage, where she had taken up residence atop our compost pile, probably dumped there by a previous owner or breeder. While curious to check out all activity in our busy back alley, she did NOT like to be approached, and refused all invitations to come in from the the wet and cold. Over the next three months, we befriended her from a distance; I put a blanket on the leaf pile and left food each day, luring her closer and closer to the house; she watched me carefully as well. We set up a video cam to record her frequent visits to our yard, all the while trying to entice her inside. Each day she roamed the neighborhood and each night she curled up in her compost burrow, safe with us. By spring, we were very close; she was eating food tossed from a short distance and considering the open back door.Then the dog warden got her on St Patrick’s Day and a series of unfortunate events landed her in a rural town 20 miles away, once again running scared—this time in completely unfamiliar surroundings. I volunteered to help search for her and enlisted a local rescue expert to help. It took 10 days to locate and rescue her, though a humane trap was necessary. FINALLY this dog was coming home—and the real work began. Rehabilitating a feral, completely unsocialized dog has been an incredible experience—the mutual trust and respect required is both intense and heart-swelling. It has been the honor of my life to work alongside this beautiful dog, opening our worlds one step at a time. March 27th will be the anniversary of the day she came home.

Designers’ Dogs: Adrienne Torrey and Emma

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 Adrienne Torrey…

Adrienne is a knitting instructor who lives in Portland Oregon with her husband, kids, 4 dogs and 2 cats. She is dedicated to learning and teaching knitting skills and techniques. Whether it’s in the classroom, at a workshop or knitting event, on YouTube, or on Instagram, she always has a lot of knitting to do. 🙂

EMMA’S GOTCHA STORY:

Emma came to us as a rescue over 6 years ago. She was 4, overweight, and could not chase a ball. But oooh she was a sweetie and even though we were only fostering her she won our hearts. She has trimmed up, sped up, and is a perfect part of our family.

HerStory March 2020: Libby Riddles

Every year in early March, teams of people and dogs race across the Alaskan landscape for upwards of 1,000 miles, each trying to best the other in the annual Iditarod Dog Sled Race. It began in 1967 as a short race, and was a commemoration of the emergency dog sledding treks to Nome to help battle a diptheria outbreak in 1925. In 1973, the race that has evolved into the current-day Iditarod was first run. Teams consist of a musher (driver) and 12-16 dogs, and, depending on weather and other factors, the Iditarod can take 10-20 days to complete.  

In 1985, Libby Riddles, a 28-year old Alaskan originally from Wisconsin, became the first woman to win the Iditarod, pushing herself and her dogs to drive through absolutely awful conditions to triumph. While many of her fellow mushers hunkered down at a checkpoint to wait out the worst of a massive storm, Libby set out on her trail to victory, and kept up her lead throughout the rest of the race. Her win was so inspiring, not only because she was the first woman to do so, but because she came out on top by being the most courageous musher on the field. Her win catapulted dog sled racing into the mainstream, and inspired countless young women to pursue dreams in the once-typically-male domain. 

Not only a consummate musher, Libby is also an animal-rights activist in the dog-sledding circuit. She won Humanitarian Awards for Best Treatment of Dogs in the Iditarod, the Kusko 300, and the John Beargrease Races (three big dog sled races). She continues to raise and train dogs (her kennel is called Blazing Kennels, and hosts 20-40 dogs at any one time), and she’s written three books about her career: one memoir and two children’s books. She is a public/motivational speaker, and continues to inspire young women with her story of strength and perseverance. 

Our Mush colorway is inspired by the varied colors of the coats on the dogs that pulled Libby to victory all those years ago. Working as a seamless team, musher and dogs traverse unforgiving landscapes over the course of a long and lonely 2-3 weeks. This skein is an homage to those dogs and the woman who pushed them to victory, paving the way for more equity in the sport. We hope you give the sweet doggos in your life behind-the-ear scritches as you knit your Mush socks, and think about the perseverance it took for this brave team of pups and their fearless leader, Libby Riddles, to ride through the storm and win that race.

HerStory February 2020: Bessie Coleman

For our second HerStory of the new year/decade, we’re soaring through the air with Bessie Coleman, who had the wonderful distinction, in 1921, of being BOTH the first African American woman AND the first Native American woman to pilot a plane. The daughter of a black maid and a Cherokee sharecropper, Bessie fought against the “can’ts” her entire life; she worked at picking cotton with her mother during harvest season, giving up her education for the season, she had to drop out of college due to financial constraints, and there was just plain never enough money. When she was a young adult, she moved to Chicago to live with her brothers and got a job as a manicurist in a local barber shop. She became obsessed with the idea of becoming a pilot, thanks to some brotherly teasing (they had served in WWI and knew that, in France, it was actually possible for a woman to learn to fly. Of course, that wasn’t an option in America.) Bessie worked hard, learned French, and applied to flight school in Le Crotoy, France, where she received her international pilot’s license. Honestly, just that, in the 1920s in America, was a ginormous accomplishment. But Bessie did not stop there.

She came back to the US in 1921 and began performing as a “barnstorming” pilot, loop-de-looping all over the place (this was well before commercial flight, and there weren’t many options for pilots other than paid performing). She flat-out refused to speak or perform any place that was segregated, and she prioritized the lifting up of other black women over anything else. Her activism and advocacy paved the way for future female (and male) pilots of color, and she never once compromised her morals, even it it meant a deferment of her dreams. In fact, she was asked to star in a film production, which would have helped a great deal in her goal of owning her own plane, but when she saw that she’d be cast in a stereoptypical and derogatory role, she refused. Bessie Coleman was not about to feed into those long-held perceptions about black people, even if it meant her career would suffer.She didn’t live long enough to fulfill her life’s mission: opening a flight school for black women. She died as she lived, flying high in the sky, a definite loss for so many communities. But, Coleman’s legacy is long-lasting, and felt even today, every time a young woman of color pushes through the “can’ts” and the “not for you’s” and achieves what had previously been thought of as insurmountable. As you knit your Queen Bess socks, take a moment to reflect on the heights Bessie Coleman soared in her short life, and what she was able to achieve. Fly like the wind, and don’t compromise your beliefs to get ahead. A lesson we can all stand to learn, especially in this emotionally difficult and sometimes frightening world.

HerStory January 2020: Junko Tabei

As we brainstormed HerStory 2020, one overarching theme kept cropping up: firsts. We wanted to honor women who were the first to do this or the first to accomplish that, both for the very real spearheading they did, but also, (and maybe even more importantly), for the opportunities they uncovered for others by being the first to ____. To that end, our first HerStory recipient is Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mount Everest and complete the Seven Summits.

Tabei came to mountain climbing through sheer force of will; her family didn’t have the money to support her burgeoning hobby as a child, so it wasn’t until she was in college that she was able to fully pursue her mountaineering dreams. She founded the Ladies Climbing Club in 1969, whose slogan was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.” It was revolutionary, to create a woman-only club focused on a male past-time such as mountain climbing; many men thought Tabei’s interest was feigned, solely to secure a husband. 

Mountain climbing is not an inexpensive endeavor, so a part of Tabei’s focus was in funding her club’s expeditions. Securing funding for the summiting of Mount Everest seemed an insurmountable obstacle, but Tabei and her team were finally able to do so (while still being tasked with coming up with the equivalent of a year’s salary each) in the early 1970s. They were told, quite frequently, that they “should be raising children instead,” but their passion for climbing carried them through. The climb itself was arduous, as any climb to the summit of Mount Everest is. Tabei and her team were caught in an avalanche (like literally buried in snow), but still persevered, and on May 16, 1975, Tabei and her Sherpa guide Ang Tsering reached the summit of Mount Everest, the first woman ever to do so. But Tabei didn’t stop there; over the next 30 years, she would go on to become the first woman to complete the Seven Summits (the highest points on all seven continents), and would eventually summit mountains in over 76 countries, all while raising a family and, for the final four years of her life, fighting cancer. Her personal life-mantra was: “Do not give up. Keep on your quest.” She kept on her quest, throughout her life, inspiring countless other women to push through the sexism, misogyny, and complete unwillingness to recognize that a woman could and would want to summit mountains and explore the limits of herself, as well. 

Junko Tabei aspired to and achieved Great Heights (the colorway you hold in your hand) in her lifetime, and has earned her place in HerStory. We are honored to share her story for our first HerStory of 2020.