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Staying Connected Virtually and Zoom Etiquette

The COVID 19 Pandemic has pivoted all the rules. As people look for ways to forge ahead and to stay connected virtually, Zoom and other online meeting platforms have become increasing popular. Consequently, more people have been meeting online. However, house dresses are becoming increasingly popular. As we began to think about holding our knitting and crochet group meetings online this trend gave us pause. Many people have gotten into staging their homes. So, for the professional meetings that we have been apart of the house dress is not that popular. One must remember what the meeting is for, that they are in a public space, and that one must still dress for the occasion. When bringing someone into your home in a virtual, public and often recorded manner, one should think carefully and remember just because one is at home does not change the nature of the meeting. A professional meeting is just that: professional. Virtual space is public space. So, we decided to share a couple of tips that will help us all pivot appropriately into our new virtual spaces. As some have appropriately noted, somethings will become the new normal. This just might be one of them. Take our survey for holding a Virtual Group Meeting for the Noble Knits and Crochets Group. Become a member of Noble Knits & Crochets *dues is monthly.

Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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Types of Face Masks and Effectiveness – USA Today

Woven Mask Pink - Premade, no pattern Shidonna Raven Pattern and Publications

Knitted Masks: For this one, researchers used a mask with a looser weave.

“Think of the fabric as being something more similar to a sock than similar to a bed sheet, which is more like what you have for the standard cotton,” Warren said.

Larger and open pores in the masks may allow more particles to get in. Washing and drying the mask may further decrease its deficiency.

Souce: USA Today

There are a few things, we discovered, that can make your knitted masks more effective.

  • Use 100% cotton, preferably a stiffer cotton like Pima Cotton
  • Use a smaller needle or hook than required to create a fabric with smaller pores
  • Sew a side loading filter pocket on the back of the mask to decrease pore size and increase cleanliness by replacing used filters.
  • Some recommend coffee filters. Of course you can use what you prefer.
Types of Masks and Effectiveness
Source: USA Today
Shidonna Raven Patterns and Publications

Shop our mask patterns, which include side loading filter pockets or Shop our pre-made and ready to go masks with side loading filter pockets. If you would like to make your own, attend one of our knit alongs or classes for help. When you purchase a pattern with Shidonna Raven Pattern and Publications, you also receive free pattern support. We pray that you and yours stay healthy and keep preventing the spread of COVID 19. Share your comments (about your projects or our products) with the community by posting them below. E mail us a photo of your project or our project and we may post it in our articles (here). Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

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Making Masks and CDC on Masks

Robert R. Redfield, MD | #COVIDStopsWithMe

Shidonna Raven Patterns & Publications
Source: CDC -Robert R. Redfield, MD | #COVIDStopsWithMe
Shidonna Raven Patterns and Publications

Points to remember when making your face masks: To create a denser fabric with no ‘holes’ use a smaller needle to create less space between the strands of yarn. Should you have questions email us for pattern support. Shop our masks patterns and already made masks. Want help making your mask? Join one of our knit or crochet alongs or classes. You can also email us to get pattern support.

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Making and Safely Wearing Face Masks

How to safely wear a face mask - Brett Sutton

Shidonna Raven Patterns & Publications
Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria, State, Australia
Shidonna Raven Patterns & Publications

Points to remember when making your face masks: To create a denser fabric with no ‘holes’ use a smaller needle to create less space between the strands of yarn. Should you have questions email us for pattern support. Shop our masks patterns and already made masks. Want help making your mask? Join one of our knit or crochet alongs or classes. You can also email us to get pattern support.

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Why we should all start making our own face masks during coronavirus—and an expert-approved guide on how

knitted mask shidonna raven patterns and publications

Published Thu, Apr 2 202012:12 PM EDTUpdated Fri, Apr 3 202012:35 PM EDT Nir Eyal, Contributor@NIREYAL

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization made it clear that, unless you’re sick or are a medical professional, you do not need to wear a face mask.

On February 29th, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted: “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Adams’ message comes with good intentions. With COVID-19 cases soaring, doctors, nurses and other frontline health-care workers confront a severe shortage of masks — and cautioning people against buying them can help offset the problem. 

But other countries have already taken aggressive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by telling citizens to wear masks, even if the masks are homemade.

Last week, George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told that the “big mistake in the U.S.” is that people aren’t wearing masks. “This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role,” he said. You’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth.”

Gao has done significant research on viruses that have fragile lipid membranes called envelopes — a group that includes SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) — and how they enter cells and move between species.

“Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections,” he continued. “If they’re wearing face masks, it can [help] prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”

‘People should be contemplating wearing masks’

In recent days, it appears that U.S. authorities are realizing they should have encouraged mask-wearing during the early stages of the outbreak.

Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, said on Sunday in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that “people should be contemplating wearing masks. We should be putting out guidelines from the CDC on how you can develop a [cotton] mask on your own.”

And on Wednesday, Adams told NBC’s “TODAY” show that he has asked the CDC to investigate whether his earlier recommendation should change. (Current CDC guidance is that healthy people don’t need masks or face coverings.)

While homemade masks aren’t as effective as medical-grade masks (like N95 respirators, which filter out at least 95% of airborne particles), researchers studying respiratory illnesses — including SARS, which is another form of coronavirus — have found that a simple mask can help lower the risk of infection.

It’s important to note that wearing a homemade mask alone will not guarantee protection against COVID-19. But its effectiveness is better when combined with basic safety precautions, such as regular hand-washing and social distancing. 

Shop our Masks Patterns & Handmade Masks today. Or get help making your mask in one of our upcoming knit or crochet alongs. Once you have completed or received your mask email us a picture and we will share it with the community. You may also post comments about making your own masks here. Share the wealth of information with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. You are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

Source: CNBC

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Masks & Mask Patterns

knitted mask shidonna raven patterns and publications

With all the controversy surrounding masks and whether or not one should wear one, there are still many types of masks. Many knitters and crocheters, as one might have expected, have opted to make their own masks and to make masks for others especially when there was a major shortage of masks. Now production has caught up with demand, which leaves us with the plethora of types of masks that we see on the market today. For the knitters who wish to make their own masks, one can find a very popular pattern here. For those who would rather just get their masks already made, one can find them here.

With the current insurgence of spikes all over the world, perhaps an abundance of caution is warranted and wearing a mask is worth it. Naturally, we are most interested in your opinion. What have you seen in your community with mask wearing? Has your community experienced a spike? Do you think this is in part due to the lack of wearing masks? Post your comments here and share them with the community. Most importantly we are praying for everyone’s continued safety and health. Share the wealth of information with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

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Fashion, the Environment & Ready to Wear

Racks of Clothes

The fashion industry’s impact on the environment has been a hot topic in the fashion world for a while. Business Insider reports that 85% of clothing goes to the dump each year. Not to mention the impact the industry has on water and air pollution. Some in the industry took note and began to consider more ecological friendly practices. One huge point that most people overlook is the impact of ready to wear on the industry’s footprint. 

With the advent of ready to wear more clothes are being produced and are being worn for far shorter lengths of time simply because the clothes are not made to last. This presents an interesting challenge not only to the industry but to us as makers and consumers as well. How often do we consider donating our clothes before throwing them away? How do we choose the materials we use when making our treasured knitted or crocheted items? Typically, when a knitter or crocheter makes a garment, it is made to last. Often the recipient keeps the item for years and may even pass the item down to others. How do we as makers contribute to a non ready to wear production of garments? What are your thoughts on this matter? How can we reduce the footprint by the fashion industry as both consumers and makers? Share the wealth with your friends and family by sharing this post with 3 people today. Post your comments here.

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Yarn Selection


Selecting Yarn

There are a couple of factors to consider when choosing yarn. As knitters and crocheters who do not just follow patterns but who also write patterns we have a unique prospective on selecting yarn. This prospective will help you to take a fresh look at how you choose your yarn for your projects to make them uniquely yours.

  • Weight
  • Fiber
  • Color
  • Texture


Most novice knitters or crocheters can identify the weight of a yarn. You can identify the weight of the yarn by the label. If there is no label compare it to other similar sized yarns to make a determination. Eventually, you will be able to identify the weight of the yarn by just looking at it. Sometimes your projects will dictate the weight of your yarn. For instance most people will use a sport or fingering weight for socks, gloves and other small accessories. However, if you are knitting or crocheting a sweater the weight of your yarn can be pretty much whatever you prefer. Of course you may have to alter your pattern to fit your yarn size. You do this by first establishing the gauge. The smaller the weight the longer your project will take. If you have questions, just leave a comment and we will get back to you.


Fiber is a huge consideration. You must consider the season(s) you will wear your project and if the season is appropriate for your project. Season will often dictate the type of fiber you use. You can knit a beautiful summer scarf in bamboo but I would not knit a summer scarf in 100% wool. Allergies and feel will also dictate your fiber choice. If the wool is not Merino Wool, it maybe very itchy. So, think very carefully how you will wear the garment and how it will feel where you wear it. Also consider how you will care for your project. Read the care instructions on the label.


Believe it or not color can be a huge factor when selecting yarn. Intricate and detailed work is best done in lighter colors so people can see your needle or hook work. With dark colors your surface work maybe difficult to see. You spend a lot of time getting stitch work right. You deserve to show it off. Select a color(s) that will make your work shine! Also consider your season(s), how, when and where your garments will be worn. Like buying clothes some colors are better than others based on these factors. So, select appropriately.


Yes, even texture can be important. Simpler textures are better for intricate needle and hook work. While simple needle and hook work is great for highly texture yarns such as novelty yarns. Work up a gauge and consider how it will look on your over all garment.

Also, Yards

Also Remember to get enough yardage and the correct dye lot for your project. It is never nice to do a lot of work on a project only to run out of yarn and no longer be able to get the yarn you used at your local yarn shop.

Write it Down

Consider your project completed and how it will be used or worn. Write down what is most important for you to obtain in your finished project. Must it be light and airy? Or should it be super warm and snugly? Is it for a baby? How old will the baby be when you give it to the baby? Will they be able to grow into it and use it for a few years or will they grow out of it in a few months? Are you giving it as a gift? How will they likely use it?

  • Consider your pattern. Try to follow the pattern yarn recommendation as closely as possible.
  • Consider the season
  • Consider the size
  • Consider how long it will take to complete the pattern
  • Consider comfort-ability and ease of wear
  • Consider the finished over all look
  • Consider any pattern alterations based on gauge. Try to adhere to the pattern as much as possible.
  • Consider longevity. How long can it be worn?

With each pattern you select form Shidonna Raven Patterns & Publications you receive pattern support. Select your patterns with confidence and enjoy them for years to come. We could not just make one. Thank you.

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knitting and crocheting

Staying connected during COVID 19 has been very important to many including me. As we began the reopening phase, staying connected has still remained important. Many things have shifted as people try to get back to normal or at least a new normal. In the heat of COVID 19 when most of us were encouraged to remain at home, many people shared with me that now was a great time to work on UFOs (unfinished objects). With all the time we had on our hands at home, this was a great idea. 

With many restrictions still remaining and with everyone still getting back to normal, many of us find that we still are at home for various reasons although many things have begun to reopen at some stage of capacity. We, for the most part, have been effective in slowing the spread. Although some states are still struggling to keep things moving in the right direction. And a vaccine for COVID 19 still has not been achieved. There is still much to resolve when it comes to COVID 19 although much of the scare has been resolved. Some questions still remain in the air. 

Many people are still opting to meet virtually and forego large meetings and meeting in person. Maybe this has become a comfortable part of our new norm, as many have found ways to work from home. Needless to stay we still have a lot of time on our hands to finish some UFOs and find new ways to be very productive and creative at home. Either way staying connected is important. We would love to hear about what you are working on and what UFOs you are completing. Post a picture or e-mail us an image ( Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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What is Pima Cotton

pima cotton

by Amy Ramos June 04, 2018 3 min read

We’re all about cotton around here, and for good reason. Breathable, durable, and oh-so cool to the touch, cotton makes for some crisp sheets that we just can’t get enough of.

But what about Pima cotton sheets?

We make our sheets out of Supima cotton (for a lot of really good reasons), but Pima cotton gets a lot of curiosity.

What is Pima Cotton?

Pima cotton is a higher-end type of cotton with a longer fiber than conventional cotton. It has a reputation for producing a smooth fabric that’s soft to the touch, wrinkle-resistant, and ultra-durable.

For those who like numbers, Pima cotton fibers measure between 1.4 to 2 inches in length, while conventional cotton fibers measure up to 1.1 inches long. Pima cotton fabric comes out softer and more durable than if it were made from a shorter staple cotton.

Manufacturers say that Pima cotton has a 50% longer life expectancy than other cotton products. It’s also great for people who have sensitive skin!

Staple (length and quality of Pima)

Where is Pima Cotton Grown?

Pima cotton is primarily grown in three different areas:

  • The southwestern regions of the United States
  • Australia
  • Peru

Pima cotton originated in Peru, but it gained its name after the Pima Indians, who helped raise the cotton in the United States.

Myth Bust: High Thread Count ≠ Better Quality

How to Spot Pima Cotton

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with Pima cotton isn’t its quality, it’s that the market has been saturated with a TON of fakes. Similar to the issues with Egyptian cotton (90% of Egyptian cotton is fake), there are many instances in which manufacturers are saying something is Pima cotton, when in reality it’s maybe a 20% Pima cotton blend.

You pay a premium price, and you get the short end of the stick — Pima cotton sheets that aren’t really Pima cotton sheets.

Why We Love Supima

These issues with quality control in Pima cotton sheets are EXACTLY why we love Supima cotton. Supima cotton has a similar quality to Pima cotton, if not better, but it actually gets verified by a third party.

What’s even better is that all Supima cotton is grown right here in the US and verified by the Supima Association. This insanely luxe cotton produces a fiber that’s just as soft and durable as Pima cotton, but with no fillers allowed. Supima cotton sheets are crisp, cool, and the most luxe on the market.

The result? You get awesome sheets, with none of the finger-crossing, hoping and praying.

Supima Cotton
Verified authentic by the Supima® Association
Makes insanely soft and cool sheets
Grown ONLY in America
Consistent quality
The softest and most durable cotton available
More expensive than Egyptian cotton
Egyptian Cotton
Very soft and durable (if it’s the real thing)
Smoother than cheaper sheets
Good quality (if you’re getting the real thing — but there’s no way to know)
90% of Egyptian Cotton is fake
Grown in China or India more than Egypt
Expensive for cotton of questionable origin
You’re paying for the label, not necessarily quality
Pima Cotton
Very soft and durable
Smoother than cheaper sheets
Generally good quality and often grown in USA
May be grown abroad
Not monitored by 3rd party organizations
Not as smooth as Supima cotton
May be blended with cheaper cotton

Source: Authenticity 50

At Shidonna Raven, we know that the projects you knit and crochet are priceless. So, we explore here options like Pima Cotton that give your projects the longevity that your love ones will treasure for years. Shop our Patterns & Publications and begin a project your family and friends will treasure for years to come. Have you tried Pima Cotton prior? What do you think? Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.