WWW: Beautiful knitted wedding; knitting crochet stitches; stockings for a huge spider

A beautiful handknitted wedding resplendent in the freshest green

This gorgeous wedding is full of knitted and yarny touches. Both the bride and groom can wear their special knitted pieces again and again!

The lovely and talented Vickie Howell shows us how to knit crochet stitchesWot?

Well, we’re all about multicraftualism at Knitty…this is taking it up a level!

An awesome and huge statue of a spider (not scary, though) has been intensely yarnbombed in Roppongi, Japan. It’s an especially fine example of yarnbombing, with the knitted pieces fitting the sculpture like custom-made striped stockings. Which, of course, they are.

Kate Atherley’s Buttonholes for Handspun

Kate has a smiling face and a gigantic brain!

Ok, these buttonholes aren’t only for knitting with handspun. This article is so perfectly succinct in the construction of six different buttonholes for hand knits that every spinner who knits needs to have it as a reference.

Knitty’s own Tech Goddess, Kate Atherley, wrote this buttonhole article for Mason-Dixon Knitting. It shows how to make eyelet, eyelet in ribbing, horizontal, vertical, and afterthought buttonholes. Plus my new favorite, Slipped-Stitch Cable Buttonhole, I’ve never seen that one before and am in instant love.

Being ever helpful and wickedly smart, Kate tell us how to fix a stretched out buttonhole. The answer doesn’t have to be, buy bigger buttons!

Slipped-stitch cable buttonholes forever! All photos by Kate Atherley for Mason-Dixon Knitting.

What is your favorite buttonhole for handspun hand knits?

WWW: Mystery Twit-along starts TODAY!; Vintage Shetland book launch in London; whatup with those crazy vintage needle sizes anyway?

From Kathleen Sperling, aka @wipinsanity (and designer for Knitty), comes this new fun project: A Mystery Twit-Along. “I’ll tweet out a bit of the pattern instructions every two days, and you can follow along with your #knitting and see what takes shape. Sound good? It’ll start May 9…” That’s today!

Click here to see the pattern requirements and basic instructions. I wonder what it will be…

The Vintage Shetland Project by Susan Crawford

From Susan Crawford: if you’re in London (the UK one), you’re in luck! This Saturday, you can join Susan at the launch party for her new book: The Vintage Shetland Project

Susan is an acknowledged expert on vintage British knitwear, and this has been an 8-year project of love.

I can’t wait to see this book myself.

Vintage Beehive knitting needle gauge. Size 1 is the largest. That’s confusing.

I was talking with a friend about the origins of the needle gauge system, specifically talking about needles from the beginning of the last century, and she pointed me to this article. It’s written for Anesthetists, but I think the same principle may apply to craft needles of all kinds. It all goes back to the milling of the wire.

My google-fu isn’t coming up with anything that officially links the information in this article with knitting. Does anyone have more information that I can add here?

New Sett Checker for Weaving

I’m so curious about weaving and how weaving works. Usually when I start a new craft I jump in the deep end and just start thrashing around. I do a lot of guessing with mixed results. What I realize after all of these years is that by not doing any methodical learning, it takes me twice as long to learn things; I stay an advanced beginner for a long time.

This time around with weaving (the first time around is a story for another day – there was a lot of thrashing) I am vowing to be more methodical. But I also love a short cut (I’m lazy that way). Which is why Liz Gipson’s new Sett Checker is perfect for me.

Yarnworker’s Sett Checker

This handy dandy new tool lets me peek at three different setts for a any yarn. A sett is how many ends per inch (EPI) are in a warp (the vertical threads on a loom).  Really, if I was being completely methodical, I would weave small samples to check the sett, and if I were thrashing about I would just pick one because it sounded good that day.

These Sett Checkers are made by Purl and Loop, who also collaborated with Liz on the 3 in 1 Swatch Maker Loom, and are the fine folks who make the amazing Bracelet Looms, the Stash Blaster Looms, and the Swatch Maker Weaving Looms.

This Sett Checker is as easy to use as a WPI gauge. It works great with commercial or hand woven yarns.

I will caution you that just like a WPI gauge, you can make the Sett Checker lie. If you pull tightly when wrapping your yarn on, it will change how your sett looks. Take a look at this handspun. I wound it on with just a little tension for the first 3 slots, then pulled it taunt as I was wrapping. Big difference. Don’t be in a hurry or feel like pulling things tight when you check your sett.

I pulled on my yarn and it gave me a wonky sett.

My weaving right now is all on my rigid heddle loom (I have a Schacht Cricket). I’m just starting to experiment with dyed handspun yarn and weaving and boy is it a fascinating rabbit hole. I’m doing a lot of following along with Liz’s weaving column that she wrote for Knitty for three years, Get Warped. Liz is a fantastic teacher and really understands the balance between jumping in and being methodical. She’s set herself up an online weaving school this year. You can find her school, her teaching calendar, blog, and shop on her website Yarnworker.

WWW: Flat sock patent; Sam on ABC; one-piece machine knitted sweaters; auction to pay Tully’s vet bills

patented design for socks knit on 2 needles, by Nell Armstrong (1946)

Via our own Ethnic Knitting columnist, Donna Druchunas, this very cool patent for knitting socks on only two needles.

With the most groan-worthy headline ever, here’s more press on the ABC News site (!) for Sam Barsky, the clever knitter who designs sweaters featuring famous landmarks, then visits them and takes pictures with them, wearing the sweaters. (I haven’t had enough coffee to make that sentence more compact.)

You go, Sam! We’re proud of you.

Video of that cool one-piece sweater knitting machine: it knits a sweater in about 40 minutes, with no waste. This improves on the usual process of cutting already knit fabric into pattern pieces and then sewing them together, which produces 8-10% waste.

I blogged about this last year, and it’s pretty cool to see the machine in action!

Tully and his new reverse mohawk. 

Some of you may have been following my Tully rabbit’s health situation over the last few weeks on Twitter. He’s doing well and we’re hoping for a full recovery.

However, the vet bills are brutal. So I’ve decided to hold a little auction of knitted pieces I’ve made but have never used (or have used so lightly that you can’t tell) in order to help pay those bills.

If you’re interested in bidding on the Charlotte’s Web shawl I knit in Koigu (reminder: I’m allergic to wool) that started my whole No Sheep For You movement, as well as other pieces (TBD), keep an eye on my Twitter or Instagram feeds.

Backstory: Tully has an abscess on the whole top of his beautiful head. I rushed him to the Ontario Veterinary College clinic late one Friday night a month ago. They started by reducing his (very dangerous) fever and went on to do tests and get him stable. (They loved him, btw.) He was there for a full week and got excellent care. He’s been on up to 4 antibiotics at the same time, and now has the top of his head packed with antibiotic-soaked gauze, which seems to be finally making progress. The vet bills are at $3000 and we’re not done yet. Hence the auction.

By the way: I will post the detailed vet bills when I run this auction. Full transparency.

Sampling Miss Babs Fiber

Miss Babs BFL

Did you know Miss Babs has spinning fiber? I saw it announced on her Instagram and hopped right on over to shop.

Miss Babs has colors that are beautiful with so much variety in tone and depth. Plus Babs and all of her employees are the nicest people!

I bought 8 ounces of two colors on BFL, Coffee Break and Deep Sea Jellyfish. She has added more colors since the last time I looked; someone hide my credit card.

She has BFL, BFL/silk, Merino, Merino/silk, and Merino/bamboo/silk bases.  Her descriptions say they are roving, but they sure look and feel like top to me.

Her colors are divided into Wild Iris – not repeatable and Babette – repeatable-ish, every braid is a little different.



Just a pinch

The fiber came very fast (yay!). I have no idea what I want to do with any of the fiber, so I did my most favorite thing. Everyone cheer together – I sampled.

When i have a finite amount of fiber, I strip off a little bit. I used .5 ounce of each color for four samples.

I spun my default yarn – woolen draft, dk-light worsted weight in a 2-ply. I plied each color on itself, I plied them to each other, and I drafted the colors together and plied it on itself.

These are super quick samples, more for color and feel. I ply the samples off of my hand and knit tiny swatches, about 12 stitches.

I just want an idea. If something makes me curious, I would do another bigger sample.


Spun up and finished



Here are my tiny skeins.

Left to right, Coffee Break on itself, Deep Sea Jellyfish on itself, Coffee Break and Deep Sea Jellyfish plied together, and Coffee Break and Deep Sea JellyFish drafted together and plied together.





12 stitch swatches


My tiny 12-stitch swatches tell me so much.

First off, I do not like the the colors mixed or blended together in any way.

It took this exercise for me to notice that there is a fair amount of dark in the Deep Sea Jellyfish. In my mind it was relentlessly and fabulously just bright pink.

Putting it together with the darker Coffee Break stole the brightness.

Plus, I like them very much plied with themselves.

The Miss Babs team does a great job dyeing. The fiber wan’t compacted at all and there was no dye residue when I finished my yarns.

I already want some more, but first I have to spin these little jewels!




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

Butterbloom by Laura Chau

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?

Rainbow Roads socks by Carolyn Macpherson

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!

“Digital Knits” by knitting machine manufacturer Stoll

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.


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


Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival

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 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 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

Black Sheep Gathering

June 17-19 Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, Ames Iowa

June 29-July 1 Black Sheep Gathering, Albany Oregon


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


Glamourie by Alice and Jade Starmore

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.

The Selkie Costume

The Otter

The Raven Poncho

The Damselfly

The Sea Anemone

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

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.