This week, we’re heading to red rock country in Utah to explore Capitol Reef National Park. Capitol Reef is chock-full of things you might not expect from a desert-dwelling national park, like historic orchards, full of pears and walnuts, and and actual wrinkle in the earth (scientific name: monocline). But it’s also full-on desert, with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges.
North Cascades National Park in Washington State is home to over 300 glaciers and the rugged and breathtaking Cascades Mountains. It’s lauded as an important place to study the effects of climate change and global warming, and features temperate rain forests and alpine peaks and woods. It’s less than 3 hours from Seattle, which means I should definitely plan a trip there…
Park number three in our series is Wrangell-St Elias in Alaska is 13.2 MILLION acres. As the park webpage states, that’s as if Yellowstone, Yosemite, and all of Switzerland were combined. MASSIVE! The park itself ranges from the ocean all the way to mountain peaks, so imagine our delight when we realized the colorway could be anything and everything? We believe we chose well in the colors we used to represent this beautiful public space… what do you think?
Our second National Park of 2019 is the gorgeous Channel Islands. From the National Parks webpage: “Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.”
Check out the Channel Islands Instagram page for aaaaaalllll of the inspiration!
The sample for Shannon’s Lickity-Split socks was made in Channel Islands.
Saturday, June 8th is National Best Friend’s Day, and we here at Knitted Wit could not be more happy about it! We’re celebrating with a colorway that brings Lorajean’s soul-color (purple) and Shannon’s soul-color (lime green) together in one deliciously interwoven colorway. We are also celebrating by texting Golden Girl’s theme song lyrics to each other aaaaallllll day long! Wanna play along? Get ready for a wonderful ear-worm:
Thank you for being a friend…
Traveled down a road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant
I’m not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow
And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
Well, you would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say
Thank you for being a friend…
Thank YOU for being a friend, too! For exploring these off-the-grid holidays with us, for supporting and loving us, for being our pals and confidants. Spend some time on Best Friend’s Day reaching out to the people in YOUR life who deserve the biggest and best gift, who will travel those roads with you, who are your people.
Our June HerStory recipient, Nnedi Okorafor, is a Nigerian-American sci-fi and fantasy writer who delves into what she refers to as Africanfuturism in her varied works. She is a second-generation Nigerian-American who spent her formative years in the midwest, kicking ass and taking names both athletically AND mathletically. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age, and considers Nigeria, which she visits frequently, to be her muse. It was her bout with scoliosis at 13, and the resulting short-term paralyzation, that inspired her deep-dive into creative writing, and caused a “what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up” swerve from entomology to fiction writing.
Her books, and the histories and backstories of her characters, are deeply inspired by African themes and culture, and thus are so very different than the histories and cultures that have long dominated the genres she writes in. Both sci-fi and fantasy have long been the realm of the white male, focusing on Euro-centric histories (see: JRR Tolkein, CS Lewis, etc), and it’s only recently that women and BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People/Person(s) of Color) have been gaining a foothold in the mainstream of these genres. Reading Nnedi Okorafor’s work, one gets a sense for the magic and mysticism that informs the lives of her characters. She deftly weaves deep-rooted tradition with far-reaching technology (as in the Binti series) or a magical world that’s co-existing quietly with non-magical society (as in the Akata Witch series). And then there’s the straight-up feminism inherent in her books. Her heroines are young women, working against a still-existent and oh, so pervasive mysogyny that threatens to stymy their abilities to reach their full potential. But, through hard work, inherent skill, and learned knowledge, they survive and thrive. Much like real-life heroines like Nnedi Okorafor.
Our June HerStory colorway is inspired by the book cover of Akata Witch, the first book in Nnedi Okorafor’s young adult series about a young woman coming into her own in a world she never knew existed (but explains so much). It’s been referred to as the “Nigerian Harry Potter,” but it’s so much more. The story is so rich and beautiful, and Sunny’s journey is so amazing and fraught with stress and tension. If you are a fan of sci-fi and fantasy (or just a fan of good storytelling), grab the book and cast on a pair of socks to honor it and Nnedi Okorafor today.
The first Sunday in May (which happens to fall on May 5th this year) is National Lemonade Day. Not only is this a day to celebrate the delicious beveragey harbinger of summertime, it’s also a day to celebrate young entrepreneurs, by encouraging the humble lemonade stand (or any youth-driven entrepreneurial initiative). We are fully of the camp that adding a bit of pink to almost anything is a good thing, so we are sharing two very different recipes for Pink Lemonade; one more involved, one less involved. Both will be absolutely delicious. The first one we found here: https://www.thereciperebel.com/easy-homemade-pink-lemonade-recipe/. The second one we made up.
Pink Lemonade Recipe (more involved):
- 1 cup granulated sugar.
- 3/4 cup water.
- 1/3 cup lemon peel strips (about 2 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberry puree.
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberry puree.
- 2 cups water, either still or bubbly.
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add lemon peel strips, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced by almost half. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Place a fine mesh sieve over a pitcher. Pour the lemon syrup through the sieve into the pitcher, followed by the lemon juice, strawberry puree, and raspberry puree. You may have to use a spatula to stir the liquids around and press through, but it will work.
4. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
5. Serve with desired amount of water, club soda, and ice cubes (roughly 2 cups).
Pink Lemonade Recipe (less involved):
- Lemonade mix of your choice, plus the appropriate water.
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberry puree.
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberry puree.
1. Mix up lemonade mix in pitcher, leaving room for puree.
2. Place a fine mesh sieve over a pitcher. Pour the strawberry and raspberry puree through. You may have to use a spatula to stir the liquids around and press through, but it will work.
4. Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Drink and enjoy!
Here’s the thing about our May HerStory recipient, Emilie Flöge: she was amazeballs on her own, and we are plotting out pretty much all of the sewing projects in her style as we type. But, she was one of those women lost to history, consigned to a supportive role in a man’s story. Most of us recognize the name Gustav Klimt, and even if we don’t, his iconic painting style is surely familiar. But less familiar to us is likely his companion, his partner in life AND artistic expression, Emilie Flöge. And this is a not-uncommon predicament we find ourselves in here at Knitted Wit as we explore HerStory: the artistic (or scientific, or insert-anything-here) talent of a woman is often hidden behind the man she was associated with during her lifetime. Not because she objectively has less talent, and not because her entire reason for being was to “support her man,” but because we live in a patriarchal society, shored up by white supremacy and misogyny.
At any rate, we are in love. Emilie Flöge was a trailblazer. She eschewed the established rules of fashion design AND what a woman’s life was “supposed” to look like. She threw away restrictive corsets and close-cut silhouettes in favor of voluminous a-line dresses and empire waists. She used bright colors and bold prints. Along with her two sisters, she founded a retail store that catered to women who were also status-quo-breakers, and created absolutely amazing pieces of wearable art that broke the rules, fashion-wise. She never married, and had a lifelong partnership with Klimt that seems to have been based on mutual respect and admiration. They collaborated and inspired each other; she’s often referred to as his “muse,” but it seems more likely that each was the other’s muse, in a very egalitarian way. The reasons she’s not a household name whereas he is are multifold, but come down to what she was making (clothing for women) and what sex she was. Plain and simple.
So, drink in the beauty of Klimt’s painting of her. Realize that the colorful and flowing pieces his subjects wore were directly inspired by the colorful and flowing pieces his life partner created. And let’s all try to learn more about these artists on the margins, and bring them to the center of the stories, where they belong. And let’s all make long, flowing dresses in honor of Emilie Flöge, ok? Our Boho Chic colorway is directly inspired by the painting Klimt made of her. She’s powerful, and beautiful, and colorful. Let’s use this colorway to make something that will reflect all that Emilie Flöge was.
We are getting ready for Socks on Vacay 2019, and this year, we’re turning it up a notch, by offering some yarn-shop-only incentives AND by starting it a bit earlier than last year! This year, the whole event will kick off on Wednesday, May 1st (instead of Memorial Day), and, if you take part through your participating yarn shop, you’ll have the opportunity to collect awesome prizes!
Starting about now, shops will be receiving their first four National Parks color ways in our Sock base. They also have the cutest little postcards that indicate the National Parks color ways for 2019. If you purchase a skein of yarn a month from your LYS (so, four skeins throughout the summer), you will get an LYS-exclusive Knitted Wit patch to sew on your jean jacket or backpack or any old thing. If you purchase all four skeins every month from your LYS (so, sixteen skeins total throughout the summer), you’ll get an LYS-exclusive Knitted Wit enamel pin! SO EXCITING!!
And that’s not all, because we’re also doing the Instagram-centered #socksonvacay Summertime Sock Knitting Extravaganza, where you knit socks using our yarn and Shannon Squire’s sock patterns to be eligible for prizes and bragging rights. The KAL portion of the event begins on May 1st and runs through Labor Day, so get your needles ready, folks. Shannon will be releasing her fourth Socks for Busy B’s collection starting Thursday, May 9th, and, like last year, the pattern releases will be staggered for three weeks, and, like last year, the pricing will go up with each release. Make sure you’re signed up for her newsletter to get all of the details!
Also just like last year, we aren’t entirely sure what kinds of things we’ll be looking for during the IG KAL, but to give you an idea, for the last couple of years, we gave prizes for:
- Most Exotic Photo
- Most Finished Socks
- Coolest Place to Knit
Among other things. Just knit socks, and have fun doing it, and you’ll be entered to win!
The rules are simple:
- You must make socks between Wednesday, May 1st and Monday, September 2nd, 2019 (aka May 1st and Labor Day here in the US);
- socks must be made with Knitted Wit yarn;
- socks must be made using one of Shannon Squire’s sock patterns; and
- you must share photos on IG and use #socksonvacay #socksonvacay2019 AND tag @knittedwit and @shannonsq.
And that’s it! Try to cast on and bind off between those two dates, but if you have a wee bit started before May 1st, we’ll try not to ding you.
We’re getting so excited about spending our summer surrounded by sock knitting once again, and sure hope you’ll join us! And please do check out the yarns at your LYS, because they are a treasure trove of amazingness (and they might even be hosting some sock KAL nights throughout the summer!)