Wake Up the Earth--Squares of Hope

by Judy Tucker

A guild friend of my invited me to join her in making a block for Squares of Hope for the banner that JP Knit & Stitch is creating.  The banner will be used in Jamaica Plain's annual "Wake up the Earth" celebration event which will be on May 6th this year. 

On one side of the JP Knit & Stitch banner the squares will be knit, crocheted or woven and the opposite side the block will be fabric--either a quilt block or an embroidery block. Each square should be 6 inches finished (fabric squares should be trimmed to measure 6 1/2 inches to allow for seams).  The block should "reflect a community value you wish to champion including (but certainly not limited to) environmental protection, arts education, social justice, and human rights."  It's fine if they are abstract.

I chose environmental protection. Amanda Jean Nyberg (crazymomquilts) has a quilt pattern, Bright Birch Trees, that I thought would make perfect block. Since this is Spring, I added appliqued leaves and embroidered French knots to her design.  It's a fun block to make!

Then I got an idea about a polar bear block. When I was a kid, I'd often try standing on a kick board in the pool. It didn't have enough buoyancy to keep me on the surface, so I'd sink.  So in my square above, poor Polar Bear is standing on a melting ice floe that isn't large enough keep him on the surface of the rising sea. Sad--and true.

JP Knit & Stitch is hosting Stitch Nights at their shop on April 21, 28 and May 5th for folks to work on these blocks. If you are sewing at home, they've asked to have blocks dropped off by April 29th since they need to sew them together!  Click the link above for all the details about making the squares, sewing days and the May 6th event.

Boston people:  Do you have an idea for your own Square of Hope?  Join in the fun! Post your block on social media using #WUTECraftactivism.  Happy Crafting!

Knitting: My Sky Scarf

by Judy Tucker

Have you heard about Leafcutter Designs' Sky Scarf conceptual knitting project?  The concept, and the knitting, on this project are straightforward.  Each day you look at the sky and pick 2 colors from your small collection of yarn that best represent the sky you see that day.  Then you knit 2 rows using those colors.  In twelve months you have a nice scarf AND a weather report for the year!

This sounded like too much fun to miss. Leafcutter Designs has a lovely kit with yarns which you may purchase at the link above. I picked out my yarns at JP Knit & Stitch, my local quilt/yarn shop. I decided to add a bit more color so I chose a couple of balls of yarn to use on days with stunning sunsets. 

It's really interesting.  I'm purposely looking at the sky everyday now, really appreciating UP and feeling more connected to God's creation.  

The most difficult part of knitting this scarf is picking the colors for the day.  On the days when it rains all day or the sky is bluest of blues, it's easy.  But you know that adage about Boston weather:  "If you don't like the weather here, wait a minute"?   It is so true!!  I'll think I know what my yarns for the day will be and then an hour later the sky is completely different!  It can be a real challenge!

The little bit of knitting every evening is really nice, a quieting calm space in each day. 

Here's my first month of knitting:  June 27 to July 28, 2015.  

Weather report: July 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts

Weather report: July 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts

The first row with red is July 4th.  The red and white rows symbolize the fireworks over Boston's Esplanade.  I didn't see them, not even on television. In an effort to keep my noise-sensitive English Springer Spaniel calm and quiet, I was watching a show about the British monarchy with a narrator who has a very calming voice!  (The show, and a lot of training for the past year, really helped Tipper a lot)!

The brighter rows up near the needles are a recent sunset.  In July I had expected a lot of deep blue rows.  But it turns out we have a lot of blue days with clouds.  So, lots of bright blue and light blue and white.

My yarn is a mix of fibers. It's from Denmark. I can't read the label but I think it is wool and cotton. I love the colors and it has a nice feel knitted up.

If you want to see other folk's Sky Scarf projects, check out #skyscarf on Instagram.  And join the party if you knit!