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Preview: knittyBlog


the blog from the editors of Knitty magazine

Last Build Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:17:34 +0000


WWW: New Knitty Surprise patterns, glitches in knitting on purpose

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:13:28 +0000

The Spring+Summer Knitty Surprise went live at the end of last week. Didja see? Butterbloom is a lovely lace-bottomed short-sleeved sweater with a v-neck, designed by Cosmicpluto, aka Laura Chau. It’s designed in Mrs Crosby’s Train Case, which comes in the wonderful variety of colors Lorna’s Laces is famous for. Which color will you choose? And for your tootsies, a beautiful pair of rainbow lace socks knit in Dragon Strings Phoenix Wing Gradient Shimmer. Carolyn Macpherson has created a beautiful bit of prose to go with the pattern too. Don’t miss the introduction. Our Wiseknit™ video column this issue is Kate Atherley’s take on Kitchener Stitch for stockinette, reverse stockinette and garter stitches. Kate has some great tips for you as she demonstrates all three techniques. Don’t forget to check the Cool Stuff page…we add new reviews in every Surprise! Ever wanted to wear a glitch? Now you can, thanks to knitting machine manufacturing company Stoll. Their Digital Knits line looks like what happens when a PC blows a gasket. Not only do they manufacture the machines, but they have created software that connects designer with the thing. “Stoll–Artwork is a brand new design tool that adds knitwear–specific features to adobe photoshop. ‘Using features like automatic control tools and stitch distortion simulation, to name a few, the system helps the creation of artworks substantially easier for the knitwear designer,’ said Jörg Hartmann, head of Fashion & Technology for Stoll. Neat.

Spinning in the Spring and Summer: The First Wave of Fiber Festivals

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 14:46:30 +0000

  I get itchy this time of year because I know festival season is going to start soon. Animals, fiber,  spinning, and friends all together usually at a fairground, I love it. In my mind the season opens with Maryland Sheep and Wool in May and it closes with the Southeast Animal Fiber Fair in October. Here’s a list of some of the US festivals from May-August. May May 5-6 Maryland Sheep and Wool, West Friendship, Maryland. May 11-13 Shepherd’s Harvest, Lake Elmo, Minnesota May 12-13 New Hampshire Sheep and Wool, Deerfield New, Hampshire May 19-20 Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, Lexington, Kentucky June June 2-3 Northern Illinois Sheep and Fiber Festival, Woodstock, Illinois June 2-3 Flag Wool and Fiber Festival, Flagstaff, arizona June 7-10 Estes Park Wool Market, Estes Park Colorado June 17-19 Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, Ames Iowa June 29-July 1 Black Sheep Gathering, Albany Oregon August August 15-19 Michigan Fiber Festival, Allegan Michigan   Then fall happens and we run to the fall festivals soaking up fall sunshine, friendships and buying fiber because we have to store it away like squirrels hiding nuts. I’ll list the fall shows in August. If you know of a spring/summer show that has fiber animals, fiber for sale, has spinning classes, and is happening before September, put it in the comments and I’ll update this page. Happy travels, happy shopping and happy spinning!    

A Peek Inside Alice Starmore’s Glamourie and a Discount Code

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:33:33 +0000

  I am still excited about Alice and Jade Starmore’s book Glamourie.. The wonderful folks at Dover sent over some more photos of the designs and I want to share them with you. The designs following are some of the costumes and sweaters interpreted from Alice’s costumes. Here’s my original review of the book. I would add that I can’t stop thinking about the costumes and the designs interpreted from them. It’s a fascinating process, and one, the longer I sit with it, I can see why it would take years to accomplish. This book is a creative tour de force. As a team, Alice and her daughter Jade have created a book of art that happens to have knitting patterns. Jade wrote her own fairy tales inspired by traditional tales, story rumor, and her own inventive mind. Alice took those stories, went away to her studio and without the constraints of making them a repeatable pattern created stunning costumes. The costumes use knitting, felting and embroidery to bring to life the tales and atmosphere of her Scottish island. She knits and felts cloth that is evocative of a wing or a seal’s skin. Then she went back and designed sweater patterns evocative of her costumes. The book was shot gloriously on Isle of Lewis in the New Hebrides. I can’t stop looking at this book. I page through and one day look only at the details of the costumes, one day just the settings for the photos, another between the costumes and sweaters piecing together my version of Alice’s interpretation. It never fails to inspire me to knit or craft or just to look at the world with keener eyes. If you follow this link to Dover and use the code WRBU at checkout you’ll get a 20% discount on this beautiful book.

WWW: No Frolic workshops; Kaffe Fassett, MBE (yay!); Knit Stars 3.0 earlybird registration, Freaking-huge mitten

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:34:38 +0000

The Toronto Knitters Frolic is April 28th (next weekend), and interestingly, they’ve chosen not to offer workshops this year. Here’s why: “Many of the workshop proposals we received were similar to what is currently offered at our GTA yarn stores (some of whom are vendors at the Frolic). After careful consideration, the Frolic Committee decided not to offer workshops this year. Instead, and as part of the TKG’s mission to promote fibre-related crafts in the Greater Toronto Area, we are promoting the workshops available at the LYS.” I think that’s an interesting approach. Not all events happen near a city with so many yarn shops, but since this one does, kudos to the Toronto Knitters Guild for trying this out. Support your local LYS! PS Rumor has it that there will be a limited quantity of Knitty bag tags, like the one shown here, available at the ticket desk at the Frolic, free for the taking! If you snag one, share a pic, please! #knittymag And don’t forget to fill out your contact info on the back of the tag with a sharpie. We’re thrilled to report that Kaffe Fassett is going to be awarded the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Brandon Mably reports that, “According to the British Cabinet Office, an MBE is given for an ‘outstanding achievement or service to the community. This will have had a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others’.” Well deserved, Mr Fassett. Huzzah! Knit Stars 3.0 earlybird enrollment ends this Friday. This 3rd installment of the online learning event features 12 inspiring instructors from all over the world – lots of Friends of Knitty among them! No need to travel…the event comes to you via teh Intertubes. Coo! Feel like a road trip? Off you go to Lovikka, Sweden, to see the world’s largest mitten! It’s 12 feet tall and located a mere 75 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Bring extra knitting. And snacks.

This Spinner Talks Knitting on Mason-Dixon Knitting

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:05:36 +0000

    I have a new post up at Mason-Dixon Knitting about  how ply in commercial yarn affects knitting. I’ve been having a great time over the past few posts talking to knitters about how yarns are constructed and what it means to our knitting. Everyone seems happy to learn new things and to find out that some knitting snafus are caused by yarn fiber, draft and ply, not by our ability to knit.   I demonstrated fun with ply in some great yarns :   Single-ply (singles): Mrs. Crosby, Satchel (100% Superwash Merino), Color: Spun Gold. 2-ply: Sincere Sheep, Cormo Fingering (100% Cormo), Color: Vit C. 3-ply: Sincere Sheep, Cormo Sport (100% Cormo), Color: Vit C I did my most favorite thing, I knit them into swatches to show what happens when a ply is added or subtracted in various stitch patterns.     As spinners we figure this out pretty early on in our knitting our handspun careers. It’s easy for us to change our ply when we sample to get the right ply for any particular project. Waaay back in 2013 (!) I wrote my Knittyspin column about ply and knitting. I had a great time experimenting and sampling with ply. I carry my ply samples with me every time I teach. They’ve caused quite a few ah-ha moments when spinners handle them in class. Have you done any experimenting or sampling with ply?

WWW: Rescued Sheep, Cal Patch, Sweet Georgia Talks about the Hobby und Handarbeit Show

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:16:42 +0000

Where is Spring? There is snow falling outside my window this morning on April 11th. Flowers are coming up, and I’m ready for some warm, sunny days. These rescued sheep are happy, healthy and even going for walks on a leash! Click through for a very sweet video from Fria & Eira.             Cal Patch, long time member of the Knitty family and designer of the Crochet Crusader Cowl, was interviewed over at Fringe Association for their Log Cabin Make Along. I love reading about her process.           It was wonderful to hear Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns talk about the H+H Show in Cologne Germany. It’s a trade show for handcrafts, a little bit like TNNA in the US. Photography isn’t allowed on the floor, but Felicia does a great job of painting a picture of the show with her descriptions.    

A New Spinning Book: 51 Yarns by Jacey Boggs Faulkner! Psst, there’s a giveaway….

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:57:09 +0000

There aren’t that many spinning books that get published each year and I feel that each one should be celebrated! The newest book to join the spinning fold is 51 Yarns to Spin Before You Cast Off by Jacey Boggs Faulkner, Queen of PLY Magazine, PLY Away and the new PLY Books program. I work with Jacey on books, so I’m not writing a review, just doing a little show and tell of our new book. This book outlines 51 yarns every spinner should spin before they are done. Done with spinning, done with fiber, or that bigger done. There are breeds, drafts and particular plies to explore, with tips and how-tos to get them done. It’s cute! Just look at it. It’s fully illustrated with a little sweetness and sass by Kristen Slade. Be sure to to look all over the pages, there’s a lot of silliness going on in the backgrounds and edges. Can you spot the spinning teachers and spinning celebs? There are few scattered through the book. It’s smart! Every yarn is described and dissected. There is a quick step by step to the spinning. If you’ve ever read any books or articles by Jacey you know she digs right in to explain with great clarity. It’s funny! If you’ve ever taken a class with Jacey you know, she’s funny. Her wit accompanied by Kristen’s illustrations will have you giggling through the book. It’s a rut buster! Are you stuck in a yarn rut, spinning miles of your default yarn? This book will kick your butt out of that rut, 51 different ways. It doesn’t ask you to spin for a whole project, just offers a few samples to try. If you haven’t found your spinning mojo by the end of this book, I will eat my stash. You can take it along and write in it! It’s spinning bag-sized, printed on uncoated paper, with a spot to make notes on each yarn you spin. There’s a spin along! Of course there is, Jacey wouldn’t send you on a 51 yarn journey without friends, all the info is here.  If you participate you might win a one year subscription to PLY. We’re giving away a copy! Yipppeee! Leave a comment below before midnight EST April 15th, 2018, telling me the yarn you are most excited to spin and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of 51 Yarns to Spin Before You Cast Off. Prize value $24.  

WWW: We’re back! Here’s a little catchup

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:41:36 +0000

Hi, lovely knittyBlog readers! We’re back! Did you miss it? Jillian posted something important yesterday. And now it’s my turn to catch you up on some fibery highlights from the Web. Let’s start with this: the winner of March Mayhem, hosted by our friends at Mason-Dixon Knitting <—— A confession: this sweater, Humulus, was my favorite from the first viewing. Another confession: because I liked this sweater so much, when voting for the first round where one had to choose a whole whack of patterns they wanted to advance to the next round, I got overwhelmed and closed the window instead. (The same thing happens to me when I’m in a really great yarn shop and I want everything. I buy nothing.) In any case, kudos to Isabell Kramer, who we have not yet had the honor to publish in our pages. Let’s see what I can do about that… A few other notes to catch you up on the Knitty doings around the web… Did you know: I am now Instagramming cool knitting-only stuff, including great photos of Knitty pattern WIPs and FOs, cool techniques, and amazing things others have created with yarn. (My personal Instagram is still over here with pics of knitting, rabbit, boyfriend, travel, and whatever else I take pretty pictures of.) I added a new way for our readers to support us, if they wanted to but aren’t into the Patreon thing: is automated, almost totally fuss-free and reliable as heck. There’s a link to a Paypal option on that page as well, if you prefer Paypal over credit cards.

Community Love: Abundant Earth Fiber

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:34:40 +0000

In the time between Madrona and Stitches West the wonderful and creative people at Abundant Earth Fiber had their entire inventory stolen from their trailer. You can read the story here.   This is a devastating loss to Lydia and her team. I first learned about Abundant Earth from Ken of Homestead Hobbyist at Madrona a year ago, she makes some of his most unique yarns in her mill. She also makes yarns for YOTH and other discerning companies and people. She makes yarn and processes fiber into roving and batts from locally sourced wool. She also has a really cool way to easily dye yarn and fiber.     I fell hard for her fiber and wrote about it on my blog last year. Her batts are puffy, easy to spin and come in colors with variation and depth. We are a community who help each other. There are many who have asked how to help. Several people have had sales with proceeds going to Abundant Earth, and I noticed a group of designers are up to something that will be announced soon. The easiest way to help is to shop at Abundant Earth Fiber. You will have to wait a few weeks as they get their inventory back up, but in a month or so  you’ll have your beautiful yarn or fiber. Don’t want to shop, but want to donate? There’s a page for that too.   I am happily waiting for my yarn ( Verdant in grey), fiber (Spinnables in blue-green-violet) and my Wool Tincture in plum.

This blog is not dead.

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:44:12 +0000

It went to sleep without warning. We needed to regroup (though we didn’t mean to regroup so abruptly, but things happen), and we have regrouped, so we will be relaunching the blog in April. Love, Amy and Jillian