Last week we announced stitchlove, a new project for the June 2017 TNNA trade show. We hope you’ll join us, here’s a post by Mari on why this project is important to her.

In 2016, I went to both the January and June TNNA shows with a baby in tow. In January, my mom came down to San Diego, and in June, I drove 5 hours with my in-laws from North Carolina to Washington DC so they could help with my son during the show. While we were in DC, the Orlando nightclub shootings took place; the loss of so many young lives hurt my heart. At this point, my son was 9 months old, and in those first 9 months I had felt more love and more fear than I had in my previous 29 years of life. For the most part, there was very little conversation about this tragedy on the show floor. I had a few conversations about with friends, but since I was there for work, I wasn’t sure how to broach the subject and stay professional.

Since then, a lot of things have happened politically that I fundamentally don’t believe in. And if you know me personally, you know that I do not suffer from a lack of opinions. Ask me anything, and I can spout off for far too long and give you all my thoughts.

Although I want my voice to be heard, and I have things to say about what’s happening in the world right now, I know that there are just as many voices and opinions out there, and the increased divisiveness our country is experiencing is part of the problem. When I told Leanne about my strong desire take action and say something that would help me feel heard and make something beautiful, she listened.

#Stitchlove was sparked by my need and desire to feel connected to fellow crafters, no matter their politics. It’s become a team effort with my colleagues at Stitchcraft, which makes it more meaningful. I want to connect with you, my fellow crafters to spread a little love and a little hope. This mama needs to know that my son will grow up in a world that will always have love and hope for a better tomorrow.

If you can’t come to TNNA, post a photo on Instagram with #stitchlove and tell me how crafting brings soothes your soul, helps you find inner peace, and makes your day a little better. Help me spread the love.

Mari Chiba Luke

Spend a few minutes with Mari and you quickly realize two things: she’s passionate about all things knitting and design, and she goes the extra mile for clients who appreciate her dedication and fresh insights. Mari also spearheads our pattern support program and manages the designer database. Mari has a BS in Economics from Northeastern University. She learned to knit while serving in the Peace Corps and began designing knitting patterns while teaching English in China. Her patterns have been published by yarn companies and Interweave Knits, Knitscene, The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, Twist Collective, and Clotheshorse magazines. If she isn’t knitting she can be found outside frolicking in the woods or tending to her newborn. You can read her design blog at Mari Knits.

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