Saturday, February 13, 2010

Square 92: Spinners

Square 092

This square is for three friends with whom I like to knit, but they are also spinners: Erin, Lori and Danny. I deny that I'll ever learn to spin, and with friends like these, who needs to? I have received some lovely handspun yarn for this blanket square. The charcoal grey comes from Erin, the blue and variegated red-and-blank from Lori, and the "kitchen sink" yarn from Danny.

Lori and Erin also inspire me with their activism and community-building activities.

The first time I met Lori she learned that I was a knitter, and encouraged me to start a knitting group for the queer community. More than a year later I organized Rainbow Knitters, which meets at Out On The Shelf the third Saturday of every month from 1:30 to 3:30. I look forward every month to sitting down for an afternoon of creativity and good company with interesting people.

Just as these friends add another layer of rootedness to my life, what appeals to me about spinning is that it adds another layer of creativity to a project. It goes a little deeper. Handspun yarn can be as simple or as complex as you please. Who knows, maybe someday I'll stop the denial and go the extra mile to making my own yarn.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sqare 91: Knit-a-thon

On January 30, we held the second annual knit-a-thon to raise funds for Out On The Shelf, Guelph's queer library and resource centre. About 40 people participated in raising approximately $3,400, enough to cover OOTS's operating expenses for several months. The knit-a-thons have been the library's most successful fund raising events so far. When we started organizing the first one, our goal was to raise $600; nobody dreamed how it would take off. It's amazing what can happen when you get a bunch of knitters together.

The knit-a-thons have been a lot of fun, too. People were asked to form teams of four. Individuals could come and knit for 90 minutes, running relay so the team would have someone working there for six hours. But most people wanted to hang out for the entire time. We sat around on couches, chairs and the floor, talking endlessly. Workshops went on in another room. There was food. There were door prizes, and special prizes to the teams and individuals who raised the most money.

During the knit-a-thon I knitted a super square about three times the size of one of these regular ones. I used rainbow colours. This square is a scaled-down version.

It was a lot of work for a few people to organize the event, but it was so much fun I'm already looking forward to the next one.