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Knitting Tips and Tricks

A non-homogeneous view of the Middle Ages

I've been thinking a lot about the role of medieval literature in our modern times. I recently read The Devil’s Historians: How Modern Extremists Abuse the Medieval Past by Amy S. Kaufman and Paul B. Sturtevant. This book explains how some people misuse their (false) ideas about the Middle Ages to support agendas of white supremacy and other power structures. Defining the problem So what is the problem? First, let’s think about history. As Kaufman and Sturtevant write, “History isn’t the same thing as the past. History is our way of rendering the past into stories. Our whole view of an event...

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Working with cotton yarn

As we head into the summer, a lot of fiber crafters, especially in warmer climates like here in Texas, will turn to something like cotton to make “summer knits.” Cotton can be a great fiber to work with, but cotton has very different qualities from wool, so it’s important to understand the strengths and limitations with cotton and choose projects accordingly.  First, the obvious: cotton is a plant fiber as opposed to wool which is an animal (protein) fiber. Specifically, cotton is a seed fiber, which means the fiber is found in the pod in which cotton seeds are covered...

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Do you ever want to hold two yarns together? Finding patterns

Laceweight yarn blends with mohair have been pretty popular this year and a number of patterns have used that yarn held together with another yarn to create a fuzzy halo in the finished item. But it was a challenge to find those patterns on Ravelry as there wasn't an easy way to search it (beyond searching for patterns that use mohair yarn, which didn't always bring up these types of patterns). But now Ravelry has added another search option: search by Yarn Held Together. You'll find this search option over in the Advanced Pattern Search feature on Ravelry. If you're not familiar with how to use the Advanced Pattern...

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Frogging and reusing yarn

At a trunk show at JuJu Knits, I was chatting with someone who had frogged parts of a project a couple of times and noticed that the yarn was starting to look pretty worn, so we talked about some things she could do to "freshen" up the yarn. I have two big suggestions, the first if it's a smaller section of yarn that needs freshening up and the second if it's the full skein of yarn. Smaller Section - Steam If you have a small section of yarn that you want to refresh, the easiest way to do that is to hit it with a bit of steam....

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Toss out those unhelpful "rules"

As I started working through my WIPs for the WIP Quest challenge, I realized something that had been holding me back from working on one of my projects: I had created a "rule" for myself and this project went against that rule so I felt like working on the project didn't count or was breaking the rule and therefore I shouldn't really be working on it. And you know what? The rule isn't a rule at all. It's something I imposed on myself that has no basis for being a hard and fast rule. It's a rule that is perfectly...

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