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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