You may have already read about the Barbara Walker Knitting Project in the pages of Vogue Knitting or even at pre-Covid Vogue Knitting Live!
Regardless, this short essay by Jordana Munk Martin is worth a read.
Jordana is "the founder of TATTER, an organization dedicated to the examination and celebration of the essential role of cloth in human life." TATTER (meaning roughly - a loved and well-worn cloth) is a library, a school and a supporter of textile artists around the world.
Not long ago, Jordana decided that she wanted to reach out to the textile world and attempt to create a community-boosting project for lovers of fabric. Being a knitter (as well as an accomplished artist of many other disciplines), she chose Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns as her inspiration and put out the call to knitters to collectively knit the book - all in blues!
"Knitters worldwide reached out. We gave them directions. Loosely: knit your assigned swatch, in any blue fiber you wish, in roughly a specific dimension. But also this: tell us where you are from, when you learned to knit, what knitting means to you, what BW and her treasuries mean to you."
Not quite realizing the power and enthusiasm of the knitting community and their devotion to Walker, Jordana was truly overwhelmed by the response!
What resulted is a stunning collection not only of swatched stitch patterns, but of heartfelt and intriguing stories about the role that knitting has played in so many makers' lives.
I love the simple beauty of the humble swatch. Think about that the next time you're dreading that essential beginning of a project!
p.s. Check out the TATTER Journal while you're at it. Amazing.
p.p.p.s. Thank you, Lauren!