STEM education and scholarship fundraiser

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving, TX 9th-grader who took a home-made clock to school and was arrested for a bomb, then charged with making a hoax bomb — even though he only ever called it a clock.


Ahmed has received a huge outpouring of support on social media — just check out #IStandWithAhmed on Twitter — and invitations from the President, NASA, and too many other places and people to count.

But there are still far too many other children in the USA who face systemic inequalities and prejudices that get in the way of them making home-made clocks or learning about biology, or becoming engineers. Helping Ahmed is the first step: helping correct some of the educational barriers is another step.

So I’m running a fundraiser to raise money for STEM education. Here’s how it works:
-You buy something from my ETSY store, KnitSpinQuilt
-I mail it to you
-I donate the entire purchase price to charity


That’s it! You get stitch markers or a project bag or earrings or handspun yarn, and I donate the full amount you paid toward scholarships for low-income children to go to the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer program run by Johns Hopkins University.

So far, I’ve raised $133.00 – I’m hoping to hit $250.  I’ll put an image in the sidebar, and together hopefully we can help send a kid to CTY to learn that there are lots of other geeky, talented, academically-minded kids just like them, regardless of their family’s income.

Pre-MASW update

I’m going to the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and decided to turn it into a long weekend out of town visiting friends.

And what do you do when you visit friends who knit? You bring them yarn they commissioned. (I sometimes spin for friends if they buy the fiber.)

First some Gotland handspun for a sweater:

Then some Abstract Fibers Targhee in the colorway Bandon. My cat had claimed it, but fortunately the friend to whom it is going also has cats.

I also brought them houseguest presents, as one does.

An Avengers knitting bag with a yellow lining for Iron Man:

Ladybird stitch markers:


Spinning more, quilting less.

Most of what I’ve been working on recently has been spinning, or English Paper Piecing or knitting. I blame the fact that my sewing table is COVERED IN STUFF.

In any case, here are the two projects that I’ve been working on recently of which I have pictures. First is my cat supervising my spinning during the Ravellenic Games:

Next is some singles I’ll chain-ply into a 3-ply yarn for a sweater:
I just moved up to a sublet in Inwood (upper, upper, upper Manhattan) for the remainder of the semester, because the hour and a half commute was getting to me. So now I’ve been drop-spindling a lot, too, because those take up less space than a wheel. (That said, my travel wheel — the little one in the previous picture — is here with me.)

This is a Blue Faced Leicester/Silk blend, dyed by Spunky Eclectic.
photo (1) photo

Apologies for picture quality: I forgot to pack my camera, so these are all from my iPod, whose camera is indifferent at best.

Housebound? Handspinning time.

This has been the weather recently:
Snow 02:13:2014

For the Ravellenic Games (the “knit something challenging during the Olympics” challenge) I decided to do a spinning project and a knitting project. I haven’t finished the mittens yet — not even the first one — but I did finish the yarn.

This is a 3-ply, chain-plied (chained with itself, also called Navajo plying) yarn that comes in at 19 wraps per inch — that means it’s a light fingering weight yarn, a little thinner than a very thin sock yarn, a little thicker than lace.



And when I finished that, the spinning bug hadn’t let go yet, so I made this from pin-drafted roving. It’s the first time I’ve ever spun bulky yarn, or plied it with thread, and I’m really not sure how I feel about it. I tend not to like bulky yarn to begin with.

I’m planning on putting several of the things I make during the Ravellenic Games up for a charity raffle after the end of the Olympics. I might throw in a pattern or two and a couple of sewn things as well.

More spinning

I picked up a good bit of fiber at the Mass Sheep & Wool fair two weekends ago. The majority came from the Spunky Eclectic booth, where I sort of fell down on my credit card, and got four braids of beautifully dyed top. They had a merino/superwash merino/silk blend that was just beautiful to the touch, and a merino/yak that caught my eye. I picked up two of each, in reds and in greens.

But wait — that’s only three! Well, yes. I got impatient and spun up one braid before I even got home:

It was 4 oz. of the merino/superwash merino/silk and it practically spun itself: it was absolutely gorgeous, and such a joy to work with. I just spun on my “default” setting for yarn, which was easy and fun, and got a yarn that’s somewhere between a worsted and a DK.

I didn’t just fall over in the one booth, though. I also picked up some sock batts (10% nylon, hooray — otherwise I go through socks like they’re made of tissue paper) and some beautiful autumn-colored silk at A Touch of Twist. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the silk, but it just called my name so nicely, and it will be a lot of fun to spin up.

I’m already looking forward to Rhinebeck, in October. Hopefully by then I’ll have spun most of this, so I can justify picking up a little more.

Handspun instead of quilting.

The quilt I’m working on has been very stubborn today, and I’m about to rip out a piece of sashing for the second time in the hopes that this time the squares will line up on either side. Needless to say, I’m not going to post about that today in any more detail: maybe Friday.

Meanwhile, I’m on break from classes for the next several days, so yesterday I sat down, turned on the TV, found a movie I wanted to watch, and spun on my Ashford Traditional. It was really relaxing, and it was nice to sit down and just spin at my ‘default’ yarn without putting too much thought into it.

4 ounces of fiber came out to about 200 yards of 3-ply. The fiber was a Ultraviolet BFL roving from Fiber Optic Yarns.

I picked up several rovings from Fiber Optic Yarns when I was at Greencastle a little over a year ago. And while I really want to knit with them, the colors are just so gorgeous that I’d been having a hard time making myself spin them up. Thankfully, the My Precious Quilt-Along has reminded me that, really, working with the pretty materials can be a good thing!

I’m really happy with this yarn: the color doesn’t come through clearly in the picture, because it’s been raining and awful all day, and the light is completely flat. Go look at the picture I linked to: there you can see how the purple dips into and out of an almost black hue.