Even to someone who lives in a self-imposed news blackout it hasn’t escaped notice that serious concerns have been raised about the wisdom of holding the 2014 winter olympic in a town in Russia, and no wonder, with Russia’s record on LBGT rights as appalling as it is.
I wasn’t thinking about this, or indeed anything much beyond the beauty of her hand-dyed knitting yarns when I landed on the Old Maiden Aunt Yarns (OMA) site this morning. Where, I wondered, had all these yarns been all my life? Why, I asked myself, had I never taken note of them before?
Not only are the yarns just awesome (and the website is very impressive too, to this newbie) but the lovely personality of the dyer-in-chief, Lilith, comes across clearly in her blog. It was there that I read her post to russia, with love which deals with her dilemma over participating in Olympic knitting-related activities (the “Ravellenic Games”) on the knitting site Ravelry. She says:
as a member of the LGBT community, i’ve experienced discrimination and hatred firsthand, and try my best to actively work for equality. and as a queer business owner, i feel like my business & associated activities should also reflect my personal and political beliefs. i thought long & hard about even bringing this up, as i definitely don’t want to discourage anyone from participating in the Ravellenics, or ruin the experience for you. it’s always so much fun, and i’m really happy that my customers want to participate and compete for Team OMA!! but i also felt that by not saying anything, i was rather letting myself down.
so, here’s what i’d like to propose for Team OMA – for every team member who successfully completes their Team OMA Ravellenic Games project, i’ll personally donate a minimum of £5 to Stonewall UK, an organisation who works towards LGBT equality both within the UK and internationally. i may end up being able to donate even more per person, depending on how many/few of you complete your projects!!
i’ve also created “nothing to hide” (kermit the frog fans should recognise the reference!), a rainbow-hued sock yarn that i’ll be dyeing from now until the official start of the Games in february.
What a superb way of tackling the dilemma. A skein of the wool, nothing to hide, is winging its way here already (I hope).
Whether I get into the whole “knit a complete object during the course of the Olympics” again remains to be seen. In 2012 I joined in for the first time and made a cardigan which I enjoyed very much and wear frequently. It also, tangentially, meant I saw the opening ceremony which I would otherwise have deliberately missed and found it to be rather inspiring.
The uncertainty hasn’t stopped me from looking at possible patterns, though. I’m inclining towards the aptly named Victor (from the recent book Op-Art Socks by Stephanie Van Der Linden) with the spirals (which, with a stretch of the imagination might resemble the Olympic rings) in a deep shiny black.
What is certain is this won’t be my last acquisition of Old Maiden Aunt Yarn.
Remember Kaffe Fassett’s fabulous Design Line colourways for Regia sock yarn? Six different colour combinations which knit up either in stripes (“landscape”) or marl (“mirage”)?
I’m making a pair of socks for my father in mirage earth:
Well, seems Regia have just released a new set of yarns by Kaffe Fassett – Design Line Exotic Colors.
Six new palettes, and just look at how they knit up.
“Self-striping” seems an inadequate term for that patterning.
I wonder whether the box shown on this site is for shop display purposes or a kit for purchase containing two balls of each colourway. Unfortunately I don’t speak a word of German so can’t understand the text on the page, but the latter wouldn’t surprise me at all given the popularity of the first edition and the fact that it is being sold in complete sets (although not in wooden boxes – and no cheaper per ball than buying them individually).
Also I’ve just discovered that it’s possible to buy transparent wellington boots in order to ensure that the beauty of your hand-knitted socks is not obscured even in wet weather. OMG.
The sock family.
My father looks as though he has elephantiasis because his sock was retrieved from the laundry basket and he insisted on putting it on over the thick one he was already wearing.
FirstSpawn’s sock has a huge hole under the heel (not visible in this picture) because he’s been wearing it almost constantly since he got it, half the time sliding around on wooden floors without shoes on. He has ordered me to darn it. I have ordered him to take more care of it.
The next sockage will be long ones for my father probably based on this golf hose pattern which dates from when he was two years old.
It is, in our collective experience, quite true that hand-knitted socks are warmer and more comfortable than shop bought.
So clever this modern wool. One ball per sock, bog-standard basic pattern but funkadelic wool makes it look like fairisle and they even appear like a properly matching pair. Being DK weight (ie thicker than that of the other two pairs) they’re knitting up like shit off a shovel. These are birthday-Christmas-thankyou hiking socks for J, our new-year hostess.
Third pair of socks in less than a month. Where have they been all my life? Still, better late than never. The structure of them is so pleasing. Everything divisible by four. And no seams to sew up at the end, all marvellously 3D and sculptural by virtue of the nest of needles.
Next project has to be bed socks in the cashmere yarn I got in the summer sales. It’s a rather nasty colour, but it’s the warmth that’s the point. For ME. Because my feet get horribly cold in bed in the winter, and if I don’t make them soon winter will be over.