Spirit of America
100% Merino wool | fingering weight | single-ply
420 yards | 384 meters per skein
Knit | 26 - 30 sts = 4in or 10cm | US 1 - 2 or 2.25 - 2.75mm
- 20 stitch markers.
- No less than a 32-inch circular US size 5 needles
- This project was made with:
- Tosh Merino Light, one skein of each red, white and blue.
- Model is made as a small and measures as follows:
- 22 inches from base of tip to neck line
- 32 inches across the neckline, this will change with size changes
- 80 inches from first base to last base tip. This will also change with size choice.
If you are working in the Red white and blue as in the photo you will work 3 sets of blue, then 6 sets of red and 5 sets of white, alternating the colors. You will end with 3 more sets of Blue for a total of 17 sets.
If you are working as a color fade, you may want to work fewer large sets or more small sets. Working smaller sets gives you more curve in the neck line where working larger sets makes a larger neck line and over all larger finished piece.
This piece was inspired by a cumulative of events bringing a certain recognition to me. Sometimes, well most of the time, we come to a place where we assume things just are the way they are, and we forget they are not the same for everyone. For the most part I have learned people are not that different. What causes us to think and act different is our circumstance, and the ideas and environment we were raised in because of those circumstances. Sure we all function at different levels but what I have come to focus on with this design has more to do with how we function based on what our privileges are.
In 2018, close to the 4th of July, I decided I wanted to knit a patriotic project. I went to my favorite web site to look for a pattern and I found a whopping 4! I expanded my search and was only able to find 10 projects and some of which were converted from other items to be red white and blue. I realize the 4th of July is in the middle of the hottest part of the year but I was determined.
In May, I was on my way back to Kansas from the east coast around DC when I happened across a brand-new yarn shop located in Pittsburg, PA. McWalker Yarns had Just opened within the month! This shop was well stocked for being new and it was apparent to me that the passion the owner had was deep seeded and burning bright. I had the joy of visiting with her and discovered she was a law attorney full time and shop owner strictly out of her passion for the art of fiber. Here is a woman who has invested YEARS of her life in education learning how to help people wade through the legal process and yet she is allowed to open her own business in the hobby industry. I used the word allowed for a reason. The culture in many other country’s determines an individual’s occupational outcome. Not only would someone have a pre-destined path based on their economic status and education level, they would NEVER be aloud to change that course simply out of desire, especially a woman! This really hit home for me as I have had the privilege of experiencing many different entrepreneurial choices and career paths in my 40+ years. At this point my wheels were spinning.
In Late July of 2018 I found myself back on the east coast working in Maryland, Delaware, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania. I happened across another shop less than a year old in York PA called Ewe and Me. The owner of this shop is a college professor and top administrator. Again, I was moved at the commitment of time and energy invested based on passion for the arts. She works as a team with a shop coordinator and the two of them have an amazing following. I sat in on an open stitch night and enjoyed to warm and welcome environment created by these two wonderful women. It was here I found the inspiration and the Tosh Merino Light in the perfect Red, White and Blue that created the pinwheel of colors and the design that grew into the Spirit of America. This one had a couple prototypes (what I call my redos) but the finished project came out just as versatile and flexible as I had hopes to represent our ability to control our life choices in the beautiful country we live in.
While the original is made in the patriotic Red, White and Blue, I look forward to exploring the ability to work this one in fades and slow color changing yarns. To me these represent our ability to change and grow in our country without the suppression of choice other are forced to experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!