Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
I spend about half my time these days away from home, standing in front of classrooms full of knitters, teaching them how to do things. That’s my job. I have an awesome job.
I teach these knitters to do all kinds of stuff: how to knit lace, how knit with color, how to put colors together, how to cut knitting, how to sew knitting. And that’s just the top of the list. If you want to make a living in this business, it pays to have many strings to your bow.
No matter what I’m teaching, one sort of question always comes up.
“What if I…?”
For the ellipsis, read any of the following:
…do the opposite of what you are telling me to do?
…try doing the same thing in a way I just thought up?
…try doing something that is not at all this thing we are talking about, but is some other thing I think might be kind of cool?
Or variations thereupon.
I grin, because one über lesson underlies all my lessons:
Play around. Whatever you’re doing, play around.
Can you crochet a granny square? Great! You’re on your way to making an awesome pixel crochet afghan.
What is pixel crochet, you ask? Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me offers this explanation, “basically a pixel crochet blanket is made up of a series of granny squares where each square represents one pixel of the picture. When joined together, the squares (pixels) make a large image.”
So for example, if you wanted to make a Lola afghan, you’d find your favorite Lola image and convert it into a chart using a tool like KnitPro 2.0. Each square in the chart you see below represents one granny square.
It’s easy and fun to do. Below are some examples of crochet pixel afghans. Click the images for charts and explanations for each project.
|8-Bit Avengers Blanket, made by Jessica Jamey – design a pattern with your favorite charts and make it with Modern Baby® *||Crochet Cupcake Pixel Blanket by Repeat Crafter Me – make it with Vanna’s Choice® *||Tetris Afghan by Bethany A. Hamilton – make it with Vanna’s Choice® *||Hello Kitty Afghan made by Tarmine626 – make it with Babysoft® *|
|Pixel Storm Trooper Afghan made by InAnotherCastle – check out the chart and make one with Modern Baby® *||Pick of the Litter Afghan – make one for yourself (or for our resident cat lady, @ShiraRoars!) with Vanna’s Choice® *||8-Bit Transformer Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® *||8-Bit Pinkie Pie Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® *|
* Not a Lion Brand pattern
Too often, knitting and crocheting is seen as antiquated or “old school.” As a millenial-aged knitter, I know this simply isn’t true. I learned to knit because I love crafting, and knitting
was a family tradition I’d always observed, but never participated in. Once I started knitting (almost a year and a half ago now), I couldn’t believe I hadn’t started sooner.
I’ve knit on crowded subway cars, in the park, and in work breakrooms. In fact, when I knit on my lunch-break at my old job, I got several other co-workers hooked! Soon, we had a couple of round looms being passed around so everyone had a turn making hats for the winter.
What I’ve found with knitting public is that it opens up a dialogue. People feel compelled to tell you about the knitters and crocheters in their family and the gifts they’ve received. They ask what you’re making, how long it takes you, what have you made previously… The list goes on! If you take your knitting out of the house, I’m sure you’re familiar.
Knitting can be a social hobby, which is what makes World Wide Knit in Public Day so special! It’s a day to celebrate your passion, join up with fellow crafters, and share your projects in progress. This year’s WWKIP day is June 13th. Guilds all over the world are posting their meet-up spots to celebrate the occasion; chances are, there’s one in your area!
Even if every day is “Knit in Public” day for you, it’s fun to acknowledge a shared interest. Use hashtag #wwkip on social networks to keep up with other knitters, and post your own pics!
Where will you take your knitting to on June 13th? Where’s your favorite place to knit (in public or not)? Share with us!
The Chinese New Year is represented by a rotating cycle of twelve animals. There are years named for dragons, and others named for dogs, snakes, and even rats! This new year, which begins on February 19th, is the Year Of the Sheep! It’s the cutest animal and the yarniest animal … definite reasons to celebrate. If you’re giving a baby gift to a baby born in the next twelve months, this is the gift – try our Little Lamb Sock Critter as your first project for the new year!
Below are a few of our favorite sheep-inspired patterns for your knitting and crochet enjoyment this year!
|Knit Cute Cabled Lamb||Crochet Little Lamb
||Knit Cabled Sheep||Knit Fluffy Little Sheep|
Our number one trend prediction for 2014 (Big, Bigger, Better) was right on target and will continue to be one of the most important trends in 2015. This year we’ll be seeing more chunky knits and fast-finish crochet projects as the most popular yarns of the last year continue to be important. In our line, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Heartland Thick & Quick® and Country® are all category 6 super bulky weight yarns that make your projects work up quickly while being on-trend with lush, big stitches. Big yarns not only work up quickly but they also have rich texture and great stitch definition that you don’t usually see in store bought items. With the maker revolution in full swing, crafters want show that their work was made by a human being!