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The Traveling Knit Afghan 2021

I’m so excited to be organizing and hosting The Traveling Knit Afghan 2021! The Traveling Afghans, sponsored by Lion Brand Yarn Company, is a year-long project wherein designers from all over the country design individual squares to then be joined together to form one fabulous afghan.

Makers are able follow the progress of the afghan as it travels from designer to designer across the country and into Canada. And while makers follow the afghan’s journey they are also able to create the squares and eventually the blanket themselves as each month designers release their square designs for free!

Starting in January, the Traveling Knit Afghan will journey from California, across the country and into Canada, meeting a new designer each month. Each designer will create a 20"x20" square to add to the knit blanket before sending it off to the next designer. For 2021, there will be 13 designers – one for each month and 1 designer work an afghan border. This year-long collaborative effort will feature stories from the designers about their paths as makers and will give you the opportunity to learn new stitches and make new friends in the community along the way.

The 2021 Traveling Knit Afghan will carry the themes of comfort, community, and kindness. It is entitled Purl it Forward which is derived from the concept of Pay it Forward. The phrase ‘pay it forward’, was most likely coined in 1916 by author Lily Hardy Hammond in her novel In the Garden of Delight, where she wrote: “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.”

Although, the 2021 Traveling Knit Afghan has a lineup of amazing designers from many walks of life, this year the blanket’s creation highlights BIPOC and QTBIPOC designers - raising voices which are normally marginalized and muted.

Over the years, the concept of ‘Paying it Forward’ has been summed up as ‘You can never pay back but you can pay forward’; therefore, with a wink and a nod to those who have come before us, paving the way in many facets, we do the work, leaving doors wide open for those right behind us – paying forward what we ourselves have received!

Join us in the making of the 2021 Traveling Knit Afghan.

Here's how you can participate:

1. Purchase the yarn now for the Traveling Afghan so you have everything you need to get started with us when the first square pattern is released in January. Note: you’re welcome to use any yarn you like, including what you already have in your stash! But it is recommended you use Lion Brand It Feels Like Butta along with size US 7 (4.5mm) knitting needles. The main blanket will use Feels Like Butta in colors #158 Lemon and #108 Dusty Blue. (you’ll need 2 skeins each month and each month EXCEPT for 3 and the border will use 2 colors - this means for the border and 3 of the 12 months you'll be working with a single color - those months are September, October and November)

2. Visit this page for the itinerary and master list of all designers of the afghan and links to the designers’ sites so you can follow along as it travels around and new patterns get released.

3. Follow the designers on social media to get updates on their pattern releases and learn about their maker journeys.

4. Host a KAL with your local maker friends! Get together throughout the year virtually until we can get together in person and create with friends – community!! We would love to see YOUR life in yarn too, so make sure to tag Lion Brand Yarn and My Life in Yarn in your posts and use the hashtags #travelingknitafghan2021 #lionbrandyarn and #mylifeinyarn #purlitfoward #purlitforward2021 and #impurlingitforward. You can also post your projects to Ravelry.

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