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Knitting Drive for Boise Bicycle Project

Giving a handmade gift is one of the most warming sensations that knitting offers...

Have you heard of Boise Bicycle Project? BBP is dedicated to making biking safe and accessible to all in the Treasure Valley. As one of my favorite non-profits doing outstanding work, I'm happy to broadcast one of their programs that could use a bit of help from our fiber arts community.

BBP is looking for donated hats, mittens, scarves (any warm gear) to give to families as part of their Holiday Bikes Giveaway program on December 16th. At this event BBP donates over 500 bikes to kids around the valley!

The program gives kids the chance to draw their "dream bike." Then, bike mechanics at BBP take donated bikes, spiffy them up to match those dream illustrations, and present them to their new owners. Many of these kids come from a refugee background, and this is their very first opportunity to own a bike.

Oftentimes families show up to bike donation day without warm clothes. Perhaps they haven't experienced winter in Boise yet and are not equipped for the snow.

In addition to bikes, BBP wants to supply these families with plenty of warm weather gear!

BBP reached out to myself and I Yarn for Ewe to spark up some interest in donations.

Between now and December 15th, you can bring warm-weather clothes (hats, mittens, scarves, jackets, etc.) to I Yarn for Ewe.

If you want to participate even more, BBP is looking for volunteers on the day of the event.

What could you make for the drive? How about a hat?

I'm a big fan of hat knitting, because they can be quick to knit and are small enough of a project to try new techniques without getting overwhelmed. Here are a few of my favorite hat patterns that introduce new techniques:

I've knitted this hat several times and have always been delighted by the pattern that uses the stitch: KFB, knit-front-back (knit into the stitch, and before sliding the old stitch off the left needle, enter into the back loop and knit again). KFB is an increase stitch but paired with a knit-2-together, it creates a diagonal stitch that mimics a cable.

I highly recommend this pattern for newer knitters. If you try it, make sure to use stitch markers to section each repeat!

I stumbled upon this hat pattern in a yarn shop in Lisbon last year. The shop, Retrosaria, partners with small farms to support native Portuguese sheep populations. The yarn at their shop was exquisite and jaw-dropping affordable.

I left Portugal with a suitcase stuffed with vacuum packed wool... and enough yarn to make several of these hats!

This hat is great for folks interested in color-work (using two colors in the same row). While the hat looks complicated, I can assure you the pattern itself is straightforward. I knitted this version with DK yarn (not fingering), which produced an extremely-large hat. Then I felted it down to size. It's warm, thick, and quite unique.

It's about time I knit Brackett again.

A compilation of cable stitches, this hat was entertaining, engaging, and satisfying to finish.

For those practicing cables (and who maybe just finished my cabled-headband class), this project would be a nice next-step.

FYI: this pattern is written in chart form, so here is another chance to practice chart reading.

Have no idea how to knit a hat? I have spots open in my Hat Class for Adventurous Knitters on December 2nd and 9th at I Yarn for Ewe. In addition, I Yarn for Ewe has several new classes on the calendar into the new year.


Private Lesson Special!

From now until the the end of the year, I'm offering a special for private lessons: get 3, 1-hour lessons for $150. (Typically $75 per hour).

This package would be an excellent gift for yourself or someone you know who would like to expand their knitting skills or simply learn how to knit.

Private lessons are an excellent way to advance your knitting skills in the direction of your choice and at your preferred pace. From problem solving stitches to working through brand new projects, I would love to guide you through mastering new knitting skills!

Lessons cover any topic of your interest including:

  • Project specific help: sweaters, socks, hats, pattern reading

  • Techniques: cables, short rows, cast-on methods, color-work, lace, double-knitting, brioche

  • Quality: hand positioning and control, tension, gauge

  • Problem solving: dropped stitches, stitch reading, mending, frogging, tinking

Private Lessons are held at I Yarn for Ewe, yarn shop in Boise.


Consider Stitching to Donate!

I hope you consider contributing to Boise Bicycle Project's warm gear drive! My goal is to knit two hats, using some fingering weight wool held double.

The contribution of your skills is far reaching to families in need, many of them new to Idaho's frigid winters.

Thank you for reading this month's newsletter and happy stitching!

- Natalia 🧡


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