Spring Charity KAL/CAL: Warm Up America!

We're hosting a charity Knit-along & Crochet-along this spring in our Ravelry group! Benefitting Warm Up America!, we're challenging our fans to see how many squares they can make during the month of May - and we're providing FREE knitting needles and crochet hooks to any participants who need them! Keep reading to find out how you can join us in making the world a better place with knitting and crocheting.

Warm Up America! accepts knitted or crochet squares that are 7” x 9” which are used to make afghans that are distributed to individuals and families in need. The foundation maintains a database with requests from social service agencies at a community level as well national chapters organizations such as the American Red Cross. As afghans are received and assembled, they are shipped to the agency at the top of the list.

All squares need to be made with machine washable and dryable acrylic yarn, and you can find free knit and crochet patterns here on the Warm Up America website.

Knitter's Pride will provide US 7 single pointed knitting needles or H8 crochet hooks to all participants who need them; click here to submit your request by March 22 so that we can ensure timely delivery.

Between now and May 1, we encourage you to check your gauge to ensure that your squares will meet the specified dimensions; the 7″ by 9″ template was selected because it is a convenient size to form blankets of varying dimensions, and receiving donations that are uniform in size make it easier  to join sections knitted and crocheted by different people across the country.

To make measuring easier, you can cut a 7"x9" piece of cardboard or card stock to use as you knit or crochet.

Click here to join the conversation in our Ravelry group, where you can share your tips for making squares, which colors you'll be using, or other charity projects you're currently working on. Sharing photos is encouraged!

At the end of the KAL/CAL, we will award prizes to the participants who make the most squares between May 1-31 as outlined below. Prizes will be announced and awarded in June.

We hope you'll help us spread the word by sharing this blog post with a friend, inviting them to join our Ravelry group, sharing on social media using the #knitterspride and #KPcharityKALCAL hashtags, or sharing this post on Pinterest using the graphic below.

Diversity & Inclusion at Knitter’s Pride

Over the last few months, there has been a serious conversation in the knitting community surrounding diversity and inclusion; to be clear, Knitter’s Pride welcomes every maker, regardless of age, ability, gender identity, national origin, race/color, religion, sexual orientation or size. We value our diverse community of crafters and seek to provide an environment safe for everyone.

With that in mind, we would like to share with you the mission of our brand and the actions we are already taking to put our words into practice.

Our Workforce
More than 900 people work together to create our products; each needle passes through more than 40 pairs of hands before it reaches your knitting basket. Our workforce comes from diverse backgrounds, but they all have one common goal: to excel at whatever they do. To help them get to work safely we provide them with transportation - buses to carry the women safely to work, and bicycles for the men to ride.

Employment for Women
As a matter of policy, we have reserved most of our job openings for women who approach us for employment. At present, 350 members (almost 40%) of our workforce are women. For many of these women, this is their very first job. The money they earn helps them run their households but more importantly, it helps them ensure that their kids get the best education and health care.

While some of the women that join us may be apprehensive at first, it is not long before they are confidently working on the machines, attaching the cable to the needle tips, and packing and checking the needle tips in the most rigorous way to ensure that the best possible product reaches our customer.

Education for our Children
Part of every purchase you make from Knitter's Pride is used to manage and operate a school for underprivileged children who do not have access to formal education. Apna School (which means ‘Our School’) provides education to more than 900 kids, most of whom cannot afford to spend even one US Dollar every month on their studies. Knitter’s Pride runs this school with the help of village elders as a community project and ensures that no child within a cluster of 4 – 6 adjoining villages goes uneducated. Over the last 30 years, the extreme poverty rate in India has fallen more than 30% and the World Bank strongly believes that education is key to poverty reduction.

Oxfam recently reported that 78% of children who don't have access to primary education are girls. Studies show that when we educate girls, we help them reduce poverty rates and child marriage. Educated girls have higher engagement in personal, familial and community decision making.

Everyone at Knitter's Pride is extremely proud of our role in these global humanitarian efforts. Thank you to everyone who has ever purchased our products because YOU also have a role in that effort.

Charitable Work
Beyond our own community, there are so many wonderful charities which accept handmade items for donation. Over the years we have donated Bamboo needles & hooks to the Mother Bear Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations.

Mother Bear Project believes that the simple act of providing comfort to a child in the form of a bear can have a very large outcome; they have been knitting together people of all generations, abilities, and faiths for nearly 12 years to provide bears to children unconditionally across Africa whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

About our Social Media Channels 
 It is important to us that all of our associates around the world reinforce our brand values for inclusion. Our US-based social media team will be undergoing diversity and inclusion training on how to effectively manage complex discussions in our media feeds.

Our position is to ensure that we continue to listen to the community about this important topic while also ensuring a respectful, safe place for all crafters.

Please understand that if we determine that our social media channels ever become a platform for intolerance or previously published content no longer aligns with our brand mission, we reserve the right to close commenting, block users or delete content.

We hope that you will continue to join us as we work to make the crafting community a more diverse, inclusive space for all crafters. After all, we believe- and we have demonstrated for over 30 years-that through knitting we can make the world a better place.

Shirish Jain on behalf of the entire Knitter’s Pride family

The Basics of Knitting with Chain Plied Yarn with Vickie Howell

Do you stare at gorgeous hanks of lace or fingering weight yarn and cringe at the thought of knitting them up on tiny needles? Is one of your new year's resolutions to use up your stash, but you have a lot of oddball skeins you aren't quite sure what to do with? Then today’s post is for you!

Vickie Howell used our needles to demonstrate the basics of chain plying (also commonly referred to Navajo Knitting) in Episode 103 of Ask Me Monday, and ever since we've been intrigued. Chain Plying comes from the world of handspinning: it's the process of plying a single strand (ply) of yarn back onto itself to create a 3-ply yarn. This is achieved through an elongated crochet looping method.

Applying this concept to your knitting means that you can take ANY yarn and twist it back on itself by using an elongated crochet chain so that you’re then knitting with three strands of yarn all at once. If that sounds complicated, don't worry - it just takes a little practice to perfect, and then you're on your way to reinventing your yarn stash!

For instance, when you chain ply lace weight yarn it can be knitted at a worsted weight gauge, sport weight yarn can be knitted at a chunky weight gauge, and worsted and bulky yarns can be knitted on jumbo needles or even used in arm knitting! This is also a great way to mix and match different yarns in your stash.

While we're speaking in generalities here, these are just guidelines to help you choose the appropriate needle size for your resulting yarn weight. Knitting a gauge swatch or measuring WPI (wraps per inch) will give you more accurate information. Here, we've chain plied a variegated lace weight yarn and knitting a triangular shawl with the resulting 3-ply yarn on US 9 Needles from our Knit & Purr holiday gift set:

Pattern Inspiration
Chain Knitting can be applied to just about any pattern, and we've rounded up a few popular free patterns to start with: Create a cozy hat with Pennyroyal by Tracy Lambert, just add a pom pom and you’ll be stylish all winter long! The Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho would be perfect for using up a gorgeous skein (or three!) to knit this wonderful winter accessory. If you have some huge skeins of lace or fingering weight that you're dying to use, try Reyna by Noora Backlund, a simple shawlette worked in garter stitch and mesh lace. To use up your heavier weight yarns, Jen Geigley’s GAP-tastic Cowl is an excellent choice.

PRO TIP: Since you’re triple-stranding your yarn, your total knitting yardage will be ⅓ of the length listed on the skein label! 

We can't wait to see what you make - please share your projects with us in our Ravelry group or on Instagram using the hashtag #knitterspride!

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Contest: Tell us your #CraftyProblems!

Happy New Year! Whether you're new to crafting or have been been crafting for a while, there are a unique set of problems which those of us who work with yarn face. Share your favorite #knitterproblems, #crochetproblems and #yarnproblems with us in our Ravelry group for a chance to win one of these great prizes: a set of Ginger Interchangeable Circular needles, two Knitter’s Necklace Kits, and two Shawl Pins!

Contest rules:
1. Must be a member of the Knitter's Pride Ravelry Group (we'll send you an invite you can accept if you are posting as a guest). 
2. Share your #knitterproblems, #crochetproblems or #yarnproblems with us in this Ravelry group thread. You can enter as many times as you like, and your creativity is encouraged!
3. The contest thread will be locked on Thursday, February 7. Our winners will be selected at random and announced on the Knitter's Pride Blog on Friday, February 8.
4. Sharing your entry on social media is encouraged, but not required! Be sure to use the #knitterspride hashtag along with #knitterproblems, #crochetproblems or #yarnproblems.
We’ll get you started with a few problems you may have experienced:
We've all told ourselves "Sure, that mistake will block right out!" While we firmly believe in the magic of blocking, there are a few things that even blocking can't fix!

That feeling when you pull your yarn out of your project bag, and it's a tangled mess!

Even the most experienced knitters can have things go awry...

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Crafty Resolutions for Knitters & Crocheters in 2019

Will you be making any yarn-related resolutions for 2019? The new year will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to set some goals to guide your knitting and crocheting next year. Here are some ideas you might want to try in 2019!

2019 "Make Nine" Challenge
If you only had time to make 9 projects in 2019, what would they be? We've gotten lots of inspiring pattern ideas just by exploring the hashtag #2019makenine on Instagram. The "Make Nine" challenge  is self-described as "A gentle, self-guided slow fashion initiative for fabric and yarn lovers," meaning that it's low-stress AND easy to customize for your preferred craft and skill level. You could challenge yourself to make 9 simple baby hats or 9 adult-sized steeked color work sweaters if you are so inclined! Following along with what other folks intend to make and how they progress throughout the year will be just as fun as sharing your own to-do list and progress.

Ravelry Project Challenge
Let's face it, most of us knit or crochet more than 9 projects in one calendar year - that's where a new feature on Ravelry can come into play! Earlier this year, Ravelry introduced the Project Challenge. If you look in your Notebook on Ravelry, on the menu bar at the top right (under your profile), you’ll see a Challenge button:

Simply click on that button and enter how many projects you wish to complete in 2019 to set your personal goal for the year, and Ravelry will automatically update your running count of projects for each one you mark complete in your notebook. Similar to #2019MakeNine, this is also a self-directed challenge that can be as high or low stress as you like!

Maybe you’re looking to try a new technique in 2019? There are so many groups on Ravelry that you’re sure to find a group of people who love the technique you want to try. Have you always wanted to learn brioche but were scared to try? The Brioche Knitters group can help. Wanted to cable, but were intimidated by the addition of a cable needle? Check out Cable Lovers. Have a life-long goal to tackle that Niebling lace? Try the group dedicated to the work of Herbert Niebling. We’re confident that there’s a group for you no matter what you want to try.  

Did you want to focus on crafting a certain type of item in 2019? Are you a sock addict? Try Sock Knitters Anonymous for those who just can’t stop knitting socks. Bump it up a notch and knit 12 or 19 sweaters in 2019 with this ambitious group! Or take on the 12 Shawls Forever challenge and knit 12 shawls in 2019 and beyond. Whatever you want to knit, there’s a group for that!

Yarn Tourism
A great way to meet fellow yarn lovers and dive deeper into your craft is to a attend special events and classes. There may be several fun events happening right in your own backyard, but have you ever thought about traveling to a special destination to celebrate all things yarn?

There are knitting events held worldwide that are amazing to attend, destinations such as the NY Sheep & Wool Festival (often referred to as simply Rhinebeck, for the name of the town the event is held in), Maryland Sheep & Wool, and the Taos Wool Festival, are popular destinations for fiber enthusiasts. Stitches Events and Vogue Knitting Live events are held at different times of the year in various cities around the country. If you live outside the U.S. or are up for big travel try the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in Scotland or Knit City in Canada.

You can also check out what your local or regional fiber guild has to offer or plan to attend one of the big shows elsewhere in the country; Clara Parkes keeps an extensive list of events here on the Knitter's Review website.

Make Yarn A Part of Non-Crafty Resolutions
At the start of a new year, lots of people pledge to get better organized or start a new health or workout regimen - and wouldn't you be more likely to stick to those resolutions if they somehow involved yarn?! That's what we thought!

There are lots of fun bags, bins, and boxes you can knit and crochet to take control of the clutter in your life. Here are a few free patterns to try: Small Hanging Basket by Hobbii Design (Crochet, shown below)Geometric Basket by Jamey from Dabbles & Babbles (Crochet)Piece of Cake Basket by Ladybug Designs (Knit) or the Sandhills Basket by Winnie Marie Designs.

You'll be less likely to blow off yoga class if you have a lovely hand knit or crocheted yoga mat bag to show off! Try the crocheted New Year, New Yoga (Mat Bag) by The Yarn Engineer or Miriam Katherine's knitted Behold the Spirit Yoga Mat Bag, both of which are available for free on Ravelry. For FitBit users, there are a few free knit and crochet patterns cropping up on Ravelry (see them all here); shown below is the Fitbit Pocketby Mwaa Knit, which looks like a fun way to use up leftover yarn to create a colorful necklace to keep your fitness tracker safe. 

We'd love to hear about your crafty resolutions for 2019 (or how you plan to incorporate yarn into your non-crafty resolutions!). Share your resolutions in the comments for your chance to win a Knitter's Magnetic Necklace Kit! Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll randomly select one lucky winner to announce on our first blog post of the new year on Friday, January 11. Good luck!

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Last-Minute Gifts to Knit & Crochet + Holiday Giveaways!

Last week, we shared a free knitting pattern for a quick cabled washcloth (click here if you missed it), and today we'd like to share a few more free patterns for last-minute holiday gifts! Grab your favorite Knitter's Pride needles and hooks, then click the links below to view each pattern on Ravelry.

The Nollaig by Seoige Crafts features a cute tree motif and is topped with a giant pom pom. 
The Tiny Columns Cowl by Louis Chicquette knits up quickly in bulky weight yarn.

Can't decided between a hat or a cowl? The Groovy Hat and Cowl by Julia Swart is both, and knits up quickly in super bulky yarn.

Queue up a few of your fave holiday movies and whip up a pair of Three Movie Mittens by Lani Stanistreet. This unisex pattern is great for just about anyone on your list.

This Gingerbread Man by Sachiyo Ishii makes a cute topper on a present which can then be used to decorate your tree.

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The Alyssa Beanie by Azucena Crochet Designs is a simple hat that works up quickly in worsted weight yarn. Use leftover yarn to make a pom pom, or try a trendy faux-fur pom as pictured here! 

Perfect for using up leftover yarn in your stash, The Basic Headband by Little Red Knits crochets up quickly using a size L hook and super bulky yarn.

The Hideaway Cowl by Jess Coppom is a beginner-friendly unisex accessory using basic crochet stitches and bulky weight yarn.

The name says it all: Easy and Quick Fingerless Gloves by Erin Castellaneta work up fast using any worsted weight yarn. 

Add a whimsical touch to your holiday with this cute Cactus Ornament by Spin a Yarn Crochet!

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'Tis the season! We have lots of fabulous prizes up for grabs this month, starting with our Holiday Wish List Contest happening here in our Ravelry group! 1 lucky person will win a Bamboo Interchangeable Gift Set on Friday, December 14.

This month, all of our current newsletter subscribers are automatically entered to win 1 of 2 great prizes from our new collection: a Ginger DPN Knitting Needle Set or a Ginger Tunisian Crochet Hook Set

If you already subscriber to our newsletter, you are automatically entered in this drawing. Don't get our emails? Click here for more contest details & to sign up. We'll notify our lucky winners via email on Friday, January 4, 2019. Good luck! 

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Free Knitting Pattern: Silver Sands Washcloth

The holidays can sometimes be a stressful time of year - whether you're making gifts for loved ones or just trying to check everything off of your to-do list, you can always find a bit of peace when you pick up your needles! This lovely washcloth pattern features a simple cable pattern that reminds us of crashing waves and beautiful beach days. Allow yourself to be transported to your happy place with each row you knit!

Make one and add some scrumptious handmade soap to spoil yourself or present a loved one with a thoughtful, handmade gift.

Silver Sands Washcloth
By Laura Cameron

Finished Measurements: approx. 7.5” square

Gauge: 18 sts & 28 rows = 4 inches St St


Special Stitches:
3/3 RC (Right Cable): Slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k3, k3 from cable needle.
3/3 LC (Left Cable): Slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold to front, k3, k3 from cable needle.

Notes on Cables:
If you haven’t worked cables before, this is a fairly simple pattern to start with. Cables are created by adjusting the order in which you knit your stitches. In the simplest terms, when you create a cable, you will be pulling a few stitches off the needle and holding them aside (either to the front or back of your work) and then knitting the next few stitches. Then you will go back and knit the stitches you have pulled aside. This essentially twists the stitches together to form your cable. When you are first learning cables, the easiest way to practice is by using a cable needle. We used the Magnetic Knitter’s Necklace Kit to work the cables in this pattern.

To make cloth:
CO 42 sts.
Work 6 rows garter stitch (knit every row).

Begin Patt Stitch:
Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 and all WS rows: K3, p to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 5: K3, *3/3 RC, k6; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 7: Knit.
Row 9: Knit.
Row 11: K3, *k6, 3/3 LC; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 12: K3, p to last 3 sts, k3.

Repeat Rows 1-12 a total of 3 times, followed by Rows 1-6 only one final time. Or work until cloth has reached desired length.

Work 6 rows garter stitch (knit every row). Bind off.

Weave in ends and wash with your favorite fiber wash. We recommend using KnitPro Blocking Mats and Knit Blockers to block to finished measurements like so (your edges may be a bit wavy because of the cables):

Allow to dry, then enjoy a moment of peace this holiday season!

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