"Seasonal"

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Sponge Cake Shawl Kits in Wonderland Yarns’ Mad Hatter

Go "bonkers" for the delectable "Sponge Cake" Shawl!
Kits in Mad Hatter from Wonderland Yarns ...

This wonderfully simple "Sponge Cake" shawl combines the best of two worlds ... a strikingly colorful piece and remarkably fun and easy knitting! Anything but ordinary, the "Sponge Cake" shawl lets you have your cake and wear it too!

FiberWild Exclusive

Sponge Cake Shawl Kit

by Amy Loberg

Arftul color changes and bold stripes join together in squishy garter stitch to create this marvelous shawl. The center blocks are worked with the mini skeins in five different colors; the sides are then picked up to add long colorful stripes. Knit completely in garter stitch, this project is a piece of cake without any of the calories!

Finished Size 14″ × 65″ after blocking
Materials Sponge Cake Shawl Kit
Shown in Cats in the Coffee/Un-Birthday/Dreamworld
Needles
32″ or longer Size US 6 [4.00mm] circular needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Gauge 20 sts = 4″ in garter stitch
Care Instructions Care: Machine Wash, Cold, Dry Flat
Skill Level Easy

Shop Sponge Cake Kits

"Sponge Cake Shawl"   |   Mad Hatter Kits

Shown in Cats in the Coffee / Un-Birthday / Dreamworld

Shop Sponge Cake Kits

Yarn

Sponge Cake Shawl Kits

Stephanie (at Frabjous Fibers) and Amy put theirs heads together to bring you five delicious colorways … so grab a cup of tea, some needles and let the colors do the talking!​

Each kit contains two full skeins of "Mad Hatter" yarn and one "Mad Hatter Mini Skein Pack" (and of course, the pattern). Mad Hatter is a sport weight superwash merino wool with excellent stitch definition. This yarn creates a super springy yet cozy fabric with lovely drape and flow. It’s hard not to lose your head over this curiously soft and wonderfully hand dyed yarn!​

Fiber Content 100% Superwash Merino Wool
Full Skein Yardage / Weight 344 yds in 113g
Mini Skein Pack Yardage / Weight 86 yds in 28g per skein - 5 skeins per pack (430 yds in 141g per pack)
Gauge 20 - 24 sts over 4″ on US 4 - 6 [3.50 – 4.00mm]
Care Instructions Machine Wash, Cold, Dry Flat

​Shop Sponge Cake Kits

Back to School Time!

It's Back to School time!  But why do kids get the summer off, anyway?  I'm guessing your boss didn't tell you to take three months off and come back in September!

The myth has always been that kids get the summer off because of the agricultural cycle.  Go to school in the winter when there's not much to do around the farm and take the summer off when they are needed at home to help with the farm work.  But that's not how farms actually work! The busiest times on a farm are planting season in the spring and harvesting in the fall - not summer.

From the early beginnings of our country, public education has always been a priority, starting with the Massachusetts Bay Colony's 1647 law mandating that every town establish a public school.

School Children with Teachers, 1850-1860.  Library of Congress 38823

School children with their teachers, 1850-1860.  Note that all of the teachers are men!

Why? In a monarchy it is important that your prince (the future king!) is well educated, but if the rest of the country is full of uneducated peasants, that's ok. But in a democracy it is important that all future voters be well educated so that we learn how to read, think independently and gather information so that we can make intelligent decisions in the voting booth.

"The boyhood of Lincoln—An evening in the log hut" painted by Eastman Johnson, 1868

"The boyhood of Lincoln—An evening in the log hut" painted by Eastman Johnson, 1868

Today most schools are open 180 days per year, but early schools were open nearly year-round with a short break between the four quarters.  In 1842 Detroit's school year was about 260 days, New York was 245 days and Chicago schools were open 240 days.  So with all that schooling those kids must have been geniuses, right?  Not really, because school attendance wasn't mandatory in most states until the 1870s.  Abraham Lincoln famously called his own education "defective" and it has been estimated that all of his days in school may have added up to less than 12 months of actual desk time.

So when did they go to school?  Generally farm kids went to school for a bit in the winter and summer and stayed home for the busy spring and fall planting and harvesting seasons.

Urban kids generally went to school in the spring, winter and fall, but not in the summer.  Why?  Well, it was hot.  In the days before air conditioning or even a simple electric fan, schools were hot!  But the complaints over hot schools had to do with more than just students' comfort.

Germ Theory (the idea that disease is spread by microorganisms too small to see) is accepted by everyone today, but was just starting to be understood in the late 19th century. In the 1870s Joseph Lister (yup, the guy that Listerine was named after) advocated sterilizing surgical equipment and cleaning wounds with carbolic acid (now known as phenol) to prevent the spread of germs. Joseph Lister is the reason your doctor washes his hands between patients today - a crazy new idea in Lister's time!

So folks started to wonder if crowded cities, with streets littered with horse poop and the flies that go with it, were harboring disease-carrying germs.  In addition the manure smelled worse in the summer, as did dead animals in the streets.  The upper classes left the cities for the summer to vacation in cooler, less-crowded and better smelling country resorts, and the copy-cat middle class followed them. 

A horse creates an average of 22 pounds of poop a day plus a quart of urine, usually spread along the city streets on its route during the day.  Ugh! (sorry, that was a little graphic! ...)

School Children, about 1899

School Children, about 1899

With many of the urban kids gone for the summer, it just made sense to close the schools. When states started standardizing their school requirements (instead of the former system of letting each community decide) the urban schedule was set as the standard. And today, school is out for the summer.

For the knitter's annual seasonal calendar, "Back to School" means it's time for holiday knitting!  Sure, you can whip out quick stocking cap the week before Christmas, but if you are planning to gift a sweater, a  shawl, the Knit-Swirl coat or a dress - you had better get started now!  Give us a call if you need some ideas and inspiration!

Happy Knitting . . .  Scout

Can't get enough of horse poop?  Check out "The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth Century American City" by Joel Tarr and Clay McShane. 

Happy Holidays From Everyone At FiberWild!

FiberWild-2015-Christmas-Card-V1The shopping, decorating and anticipation has all come to its peak: Christmas is here! Merry Christmas from all of us here at FiberWild!

The store will be closed on Christmas Day while Sean and I and all of our staff enjoy the day with our families!

Funny Tree - www-crazywebsite-com-free-holiday - christmas-tree-clipart-mobile01_gifSo who’s the crew?  From left to right: Amber, Sean in the goofy hat, Me in the red sweater, Wendi in front in black, Taylor with blond straight hair, Jessie with blond curly hair, Matt in the back row, Nicki, Vera in the back row, Suzy in the front row, Deb in back and Karen on the right.

Psst:  A note to procrastinators—e-mail Gift Certificates can be ordered up until noon Central Time on Christmas Eve.  It’s not too late!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

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