October (nearly) always means Sukkot, and the harvest we associate with the holiday certainly included needlework this year, in spite of the demands of campaign work. I added a knitted and felted etrog to my growing collection of handmade harvest bounty. A knitted lulav is alos underway. (Lulav and etrog patterns available here shortly).
I managed to finish some new political knitting – a pair of Encouraging Hope hats which kept me and others warm during the long and cold final nights at voter registration tables on the street. And to help get out the Jewish vote, I charted the candidate’s name in Hebrew to share as Oy-Bama! knits (blogged here).
A final push during the wee hours of the night one week enabled me to finish the Israel-Palestine flag for the 198 Countries Peace Project. The continued conflict in Israel-Palestine is a constant source of pain for me, and the mortuary image by Ada Jacobowitz is an apt visual metaphor for the imminent crisis of the conflict. My flags unite the flags of Israel and Palestine with a twining trunk of an olive tree, reflecting their shared history, texts and terrain, and are intended to communicate some measure of hope for a just and productive resolution of their conflicting claims (more here).
Other flags were needed for this peace project. But with time so constrained by the campaign, I volunteered to paint a few: the flags of Flags of Slovenia, Turks and Caicos Islands and Kyrgyzstan.
I made my first foray into the world of fiber “swaps” in October: the Ravelry Day of the Dead Swap was a fun challenge to take on, and produced both projects to be exchanged and also numerous designs for future projects. This project was especially fun to work on, since it entailed new research into the symbols and rituals of the Mexican holiday. My DotD swap partner was a new knitter, Jacob (Knit-to-Bond) and his family (wife and young daughters); planning the project for the entire family opened the project up to some special fun – the package included:
- a knitted Catrina Calavera Tea Cozy (for a 6 cup pot; pattern loosely drawn from the One Skein Wonders pattern), topped with a hat full of crocheted roses and marigolds (the latter are prized on the Day of the Dead for their scent, which is believed to attract the spirits), felted skulls embellished with buttons and pearl cotton threads
- a pair of cloth skeletons I painted for Jacob’s daughters
- a box of skull and crossbones (Pirate) band-aids
- a trio of hand-made honeyed Jabonita Day of the Dead hand soaps from dugshop (on Etsy)
- an embroidered Calavera patch from Lizmiera Embroidery (on Etsy)
- a box of Ibarra Mexican spiced hot chocolaté bars, from The Cantina, Reading Terminal, Philadelphia
- 100g “marigold-infused” sock yarn, Opal’s Hundertwasser Modern Art collection
- a melamine goblin plate, ready to serve visiting spirits
- a skull lace dishcloth
- a Dia de los Muertos CD (Mexican music and other music)
- chocolate skull treats
- 2 skeins purple cotton KnitPicks Crayon yarn
- a set of calaveras paper weights wildflower pellets
- a Monarch butterfly magnet
- a pattern for an amigurumi Mexican doll
Carol’s package was a real treat, and I’ve spent many hours with the music she thoughtfully selected for me. The skull cloth is a pattern I’ve been working with on a curtain for a son, and we’ll save it from the sink so that it can be turned into a pillow cover.
(Barack-o-Lanterns channeled the seasonal spirit at Yes We Carve!)