Yarny links for your clicking pleasure

Well, this has been quite a fortnight, hasn’t it? By which I mean, of course, the time when craftivism made it onto the covers of both Time and The New Yorker (and I haven’t managed to get hold of either). Crazy days, my friends … here’s Elsewhere for you—

Brief history of the brassiere

– How many of us have the same relationship to knitting that Einstein had to music? (Not that any of us is Einstein)

“Hygge” trending toward “lagom”

– Food for thought: What would an import tax do to fast fashion? (thx, Angela)

This note from Martha McQuade about “cost per wear”

How much yarn is too much?

Beyond brilliant

Most heartbreaking needlepoint I’ve ever seen

Most blood-pressure-reducing photograph I’ve ever seen

– And an excellent response to the spurious suggestions that the pussyhats weren’t the handmade, grassroots phenomenon we know them to be: “Mr. Cohen, these hats are crocheted.” (Whatever your feelings about pussyhats — and mine are decidedly mixed — I will fervently honor and defend my fellow knitters’ rights to make and wear them and get the credit they deserve!)

AND SHOP NEWS: There are some spectacularly fantastic new Bookhou pouches at Fringe Supply Co. today, along with reloaded shelves of Bento Bags, both volumes (now Olga and Michele) of Brooklyn Tweed’s Capsule series, and lots more! Go have a look

And have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Thanks for being here—



39 thoughts on “Elsewhere

  1. Really ready for the year of not plucking Scandinavian words to grossly commercialize (which completely misses the meanings these words get at in the first place) – can I fast forward to then? – but otherwise, a lovely list of links, as usual!

    • Right? I don’t even really surf the web much anymore, but the number of times I’ve seen mention of “the hygge trend” in my own inbox is incredible. So I had to laugh at the “lagom” thing.

      • Also good: Scandi Lifestyle. It almost forces you to dislike Scandinavia (which, of course, will never happen), but I sincerely hope they’ll soon find other countries for the next hype so that Scandinavia will be left alone (and you can be on your own liking it ;) )

  2. Love the “Is my stash too big?” link (sending it to a friend who will immediately identify with it) as well as the bunnies, having just adopted a bunny of our own (Gord aka Gord the Adored). There’s much to consider here – thanks!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing the link on haldi dood. My grandmother used to make it for me when I was little, and I feel a similar sense of frustration at seeing it become so popular now. I remember being laughed at for the turmeric stains on my fingers after eating leftovers for lunch at school, and the earthy smell of haldi only become acceptable after, as the author put it, “the colour of the hands preparing it or consuming it” changed from brown to white. I’m glad to see more people embracing traditions that I have loved for so long, but sometimes it’s hard to accept the breathlessness of exoticism.

  4. Wear a pussyhat out in public, and tell me your feelings are still “decidedly mixed”. They communicate a lot without one word needing to be said.

    • My feelings are also mixed. Good: solidarity in crafting! Yet unconvinced: it creates an image of feminism where I don’t see myself. I question whether it really reclaims symbols (pink, pussy) that people think it does or whether it just reinforces them. That’s just my deal – I love that people are bringing knitting to the resistance even if I don’t personally relate to the symbols.

    • I marched, but I didn’t make a hat. The pink hats don’t make me feel powerful. I’m a grown woman and I wanted to feel like a grown woman, not like a nonthreatening child/teenager/eccentric older woman. But when I was marching, I did appreciate instantly knowing who I could approach for directions/solidarity/help if I needed it.

  5. I’d also like to hear about why you’re not totally on board with the entirety of the pussyhat movement? Is there something I’m not seeing that is raising questions in your mind?

  6. I add my voice to the chorus of people curious to know more about your “decidedly mixed” feelings on the pussyhat. Any chance you’d care to share?

  7. Great links. Also, I know the above questions about mixed feelings are for Karen, and I am very interested in her thoughts if she cares to elaborate. But I share the mixed feelings, and many of them are addressed in this piece others might find interesting: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/24/magazine/who-didnt-go-to-the-womens-march-matters-more-than-who-did.html?_r=0.

    Personally, I didn’t wear the pussyhat at the Women’s March, nor at the next protest I attended (at the San Francisco Airport, protesting the de facto Muslim ban). I think they are meaningful and important and I don’t disparage their value to anyone who wears them–in fact I was moved to near tears by the sight of the first two women I saw wearing theirs out (the day before the Oakland Women’s March). But they don’t specifically represent what I want my own acts of political resistance to be about.

    • Hi Genevieve,
      Thanks for the link to the NYTimes article. While I thought it made some interesting points, I’m surprised that the Times let it go to print, in that the statistics the writer cites (as to percentage of white women who voted for Trump) veer pretty dramatically, from the numbers of updated polls, including that of the NY Times. As it turned out, Hillary did receive the majority of votes of white women.

      • Oops, no … sadly, I’m wrong. I was reading the stats on women overall. Sheesh…
        Anyway, thanks for sharing the piece. I had not seen it and it is interesting. I hate the title, though. :-(

        • Ah that’s a little disappointing–I thought maybe you had found some stats that would relieve some of my [insert emotion: shame, incomprehension, anger, sadness] but thank you for updating to clarify.

      • Hi Clare,

        Could you link to the updated polls? Having trouble finding them — mostly still seeing the 52 or 53% of white women voted Trump numbers, and I’m genuinely curious if that’s a false narrative.


  8. I didn’t take “napagal’s” remark about wearing a pussyhat being “decidedly mixed” to mean that is how she felt, but rather, wearing a pussyhat in public leaves no one in doubt about how you the wearer feels, without saying one word.

    • I have no mixed feelings on the pussyhat. I was commenting on Karen’s post in which she says she has “decidedly mixed” feelings. And I think Carol’s question was directed to Karen as well.

      I made 18 of them, and my hats marched all over the country. Four of them, were on the heads of my husband, myself and the dear friends with whom we stayed in Washington when we flew there for the March.

      I am also interested in hearing Karen’s response, and then I will share my takeaway from DC, which has much to do with the impression that the pussyhats left with the 15 college age women who were at a potluck dinner I attended the night of the March.

      • I made 4 hats in 36 hours and found it tremendously cathartic and purposeful. (I was knitting during the Inauguration.) I prefer to call them “cat hats”-b/c that’s more consistent with my sensibilities. However, our President chose to use language that was demeaning to women and men. I’m interested in knowing more about your experience, Clare, as well as others, and also to better understand Karen’s remark. Thanks to all.

  9. It’s a complicated subject and I’d love to have a big, juicy discussion about all of the nuances of it with everyone gathered around a big table. With drinks. But it’s difficult to communicate this way, especially for me, as whenever I voice opinions on even the most innocuous subjects people tend to take it in any variety of wrong ways. If I say I don’t like the color red, or that I didn’t want to wear a pussyhat to the march, it’s assumed I mean anyone who does like red or wore a pussyhat is Wrong, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. For me, it’s our differences that make the world interesting. Talking about our differences, however minor or major, is my favorite thing to do! The last thing I would ever want is to diminish anyone’s enthusiasm for whatever they’re enthusiastic about, whether it’s a yarn or a technique or a color or a hat.

    So with that caveat, I’ll just say that A) I personally feel too much anger and alarm to put a pink hat on it. (I completely honor that others feel otherwise.) And B) we have a very lazy media in this country, and I wanted the stories to be about the numbers of marchers and the issues at hand, not about pink hats. (There was a good piece in the Washington Post last month comparing it to the bra-burning situation — https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-womens-march-needs-passion-and-purpose-not-pink-pussycat-hats/2017/01/11/6d7e75be-d842-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html — which made some excellent points.) BUT C) I could not be more proud of the community for what they accomplished. Seeing the photos of dozens of bags of hats waiting at pick-up points, the seas of women in various cities in their handmade hats, is so awe-inspiring it makes me want to cry. To have such an amazing visual representation of a grassroots feeling is incredible. And I am especially moved by all of the women who knitted hats and sent them off for someone else to wear (in most cases a stranger) because it was a way for them to be there if they otherwise couldn’t.

    It’s awesome.

  10. Thanks Karen! I appreciate your perspective and also how you honor that we each experienced this via our own individual sensibilities. My reaction was different than yours-and I was present during the bra burning phase too! For me, the hats created community. I marched with my 20 year old daughter in Portland, Ore. My 27 year old daughter marched in the District of Columbia and my husband marched in Penna. I love that knitting brought us all together! And, again, the hats never would have been conceived, if the President hadn’t made his crude statement.

    • I marched here in Nashville with my husband Bob, my male best-friend/coworker DG, and Ann Shayne. Ann and DG were both wearing pussyhats, as were thousands of others. And again, I totally support that.

      • And Ann gave some to strangers! It was like Picasso was handing out doodles but no one knew.

  11. Thanks for sharing! There is no right or wrong way to interpret or express this movement.

  12. Karen, (and All),

    Thanks so much for your response, Karen. I completely understand your anger and alarm. I wake up every morning wondering what to expect and go to bed every night with a lump in my throat. I understand that not everyone feels this way, but I have to think if you are paying attention, you must be worried about what is happening in our Oval Office and in our country.

    The March was amazing, and the sea of pink, was astonishing. I had said to my husband, that he should expect to see a fair amount of hats, but I had no idea they would be everywhere. The day of the Inaugural was when I first started seeing them. The streets were pretty empty, it is true that there was a meager turnout for Trump, so the hats really stood out, even then. But very early on the morning of the March, I looked out the window of our friends’ Georgetown apt, and noticed huge groups of young women, most wearing pink hats, moving with purpose. The closer you got to the Mall, the more hats there were. Those hats bolstered all of us, brought us together and yes, lightened the mood. I appreciated this, because, in the DC March, there were moments when the squeeze of bodies was scary. Like, I found myself imagining what could happen if there had been a loud pop, or if someone panicked. When things got tense in the squeeze, I heard women (mostly the older ones), gently saying things like, “everyone stay calm”, “breath”, “don’t panic”. And everyone listened.

    So, to move along, (sorry….so darn long!) we marched and it was amazing, and then that night, we attended a potluck dinner that was taking place at a friend of a friend’s home. The hosts, parents of a college student, had put up about 15 other young women, who had all met up in DC for the March. It was cathartic to sit and share the day with so many bright, caring people, ranging from a Civil Rights attorney, to artists, to professors, and these students. Towards the end of the evening, one of my artist friends suggested we go around the table and each give our takeaway from the day. The comments were all insightful, some hopeful, some, not so hopeful. But when we got to the young women, I was stunned to hear many of them bring up the pussyhats. Now mind you, they admitted that only one of them had a hat for the March, so I am guessing they were not knitters, as a rule. Anyway, the things they said, had to do with how touched they were that so many women from around the world had made them specifically for Marchers, whether they themselves, could attend or not. They also mentioned how impressed they were by all the older women who were marching, many of whom had traveled, the busloads of them that disembarked, wearing their hats. One talked about the actual “making” of them, the time and effort, the creativity of the different hats and how she felt that imbued the March in a unique and special way. They seemed to connect all of it with the power of women, in general. Needless, to say, this made me cry. I am still processing all of it, but the hat was made even more special for me, by hearing their impressions.

    I wore my hat around DC in the days after the March, and the smiles, and thumbs ups I got from total strangers, was wonderful. I intend to keep wearing it now and then, just to remind people we are out here, watching and working. But I also appreciate that it brings a smile to lift my worry and outrage.

    I love all you makers, btw. You inspire me on a daily basis. And thank you Karen, for inviting us to tell our stories. I think sharing them is good, no matter our differences.

  13. Thanks for recognizing the Pussyhat knitters! Many of us knitters are gearing up to knit hats (lighter ones) for the scientist in their March for Science in Washington, DC, Earth Day, April 22nd. There will also be sister marches in many cities around the US and world. The scientists would like for this to be an un-politicized event focusing on the importance of science. Their web page describes it more eloquently – https://www.marchforscience.com/. I put out a blog on hat ideas and yarn talk, I include 29 possible hat patterns (many free through Ravelry). I encourage people to stick to a green and with some blues for an earth theme, and visual impact. Lots of brain hats out there being made and I’m trying make sure this isn’t a sea of pink again. Please share with friends, I’m unable to repost on many knitters’ sites because it’s considered political, sigh. http://lovelyyarnescapes.blogspot.com/2017/02/friday-ideas-for-march-for-science-hats.html

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