Love this: MIT’s Comparative Media Studies group is offering a workshop in Knitting for Programmers this week.  In their words:

A knitting pattern is actually a more or less complex algorithm with the difference being that the output is directly wearable like 3D printing.

Image from Melissa Leapman/Chronicle Books.

UK’s Daily Mirror publishes an excerpt from Melissa Leapman’s latest book Knit It! Learn The Basics and Knit 22 Beautiful Projectsa pattern for a giant floor pillow.

I saw this display myself at Vogue Knitting Live in New York last weekend, but wasn’t able to get any pictures. Pam MacKenzie writes about the amazing hand-knit food sculptures of Dominique Kaehler Schweizer (a.k.a. Mme. Tricot.

Speaking of unexpected yarn sculptures… Another new book, this one definitely not aimed at beginners or youngsters: Knit Your Own Kama Sutra. Graphic sexual content. But in yarn. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Image courtesy Inside Korea/ Jeon Han.

An article in online publication “Inside Korea” tells of a current fashion in Korea for giant chunky hand-knit hats. I love the insight into other knitting cultures and fashions. Although I’m somewhat familiar with the Japanese knitting culture, I was less aware of knitting in Korea. I love the idea of this monster-yarn hat, and love even more that it can be knitted in an hour!

I'm teaching, are you coming?

I’m teaching, are you coming?

I’m teaching at the very first Yarn Fest for Interweave in April. I’m really excited to be going back to Colorado to teach. I learned to spin, really spin – a continuous thread,  from Maggie Casey at the Estes Park Wool Festival many years ago, so my teaching down the mountain in Fort Collins makes one of those great fibery circles. I used to work at Interweave too and I’m hoping to catch up with some people.

The Loopy Ewe is in Fort Collins, did you know that? Along with the Yarn Fest Marketplace there will be shopping and possible beer drinking.

A couple of my classes are full, but I have spots in:

  • Thursday Afternoon – Cheaper By the Dozen: 12 Ways to Spin Variegated Top. This class is a fun playing-with-color-class, learn to make hand dyed top do your bidding without putting a dent in your stash.
  • Saturday All Day – Yarnitecture: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want. This is one of my favorite classes, we will experiment with all the major components that make up a yarn – fiber, prep, drafting, ply, color and finishing. How does each effect your finished yarn? How do you adjust each to make the yarn you want to use. This is a mad scientist type of class, we’ll sample until we drop.
  • Sunday Morning – Batts in the Belfry: Spinning Batts. If you have a bunch of batts in your stash and aren’t sure how to spin them, not sure how they’ll turn out, this is the class for you! It’s another playtime with fiber class, you’ll get to sample a variety of batts and try spinning them different ways.
Come make yarn with me!

Come make yarn with me!

I always have stories and jokes and I usually have candy to get though any hard parts in my classes. Som times I have give-aways and trivia contests. I really,really want to have dance breaks, maybe a Soul Train dance line, who’s with me?

I can’t help but adore Kathleen‘s Wavedeck. I mean, it’s my design! And I love the colours in this variegated yarn! Variegateds and lace don’t always work, but this one goes very well.


Mawie’s Alice cap is wonderful, and suits her so well.


Terrific colour choice for scass’s Minetta cardigan. Can’t wait to see it grow.

Love it!

And vstar1100‘s Dr. Quackers is fantastic.

The Dr. is in!

Inkic‘s Drogo slippers are just perfect.

Fantastic colour choice.

And because one Knitty project per issue isn’t enough, apparently, Kathleen (of Wavedeck above) has now started a pair of Drogo slippers.

We are having a cold winter. Kathleen needs a lot of woollies.

And then there’s NetKissa‘s absolutely jawdropping adaptation of the Irrational Skirt pattern, into a dress. Amazing. You should visit the project on Ravelry and look at all the photos.

Wow. Just WOW.

I loved this blog post… knitter Christine, who also happens to be a scientist and engineer, explains how knitting is like an engineering exercise. But perhaps not in the way you might think! As she says:

An integrated part of Engineering and Knitting is making mistakes in a safe space and learning from them.  Below are some of the lessons I’ve learned through my knitting experiments….

Courtesy the “One Hundred Years Ago” blog. Get your eyes tested so you can keep knitting and sewing.

Another wonderful blog: One Hundred Years Ago, is all about women’s lives in Britain during the First World War. It features articles and content from that time, and it often features contemporary knitting and sewing patterns, representing both everyday wear, and items specifically made for sending to the troops. I adored reading the various appeals and entreaties for knitters to ‘do their bit’ and knit for their brave soldiers. Fascinating.

We will miss it!

Eek… we have heard rumors that the manufacturers of the blue and white Royal Ball Winder are no longer in business… commence hoarding! There are other products available, but this one has long been a favorite. If anyone knows anything more, please let us know!

Last week, a call went out for knitters to make mittens for koalas whose paws had been hurt in wildfires in Australia. As many have said before, when these appeals go global, there are often too many items made… If you’re moved by the plights of animals far from your home, it’s always better to contribute money that can go to immediate needs.

Nope. Not a parrot. Although at a distance you could see how it might be mistaken for one…

I did rather enjoy this story that involves knitting, but no suffering animals at allAnimal welfare officers in Scotland were called out to rescue what looked like an injured parrot, lying in the middle of a road. Turned it, it was a hat.

This weekend, it’s Vogue Knitting Live in New York City. I’ll be there, teaching some sock-related classes. There are spaces still available in my Introduction to Sock Design, and “Go Your Own Way: Work Socks the Way You Want” classes. Come and say hello! (P.S. Signed print copies of my Pattern Writing book will be available at the indigodragonfly booth, #316.)



Look I actually finished something! It’s an infinity scarf knit from Polwarth singles and it is soft and yummy.

I finished knitting Sunday and blocked it yesterday. I pinned it to my Block and Roll and tucked it into my bookcase.

Floor-free blocking.

Floor-free blocking and uneven pinning.

Here are all of the particulars:

  • Fiber: Polwarth top
  • Colorway: Forest of Pies by Spunky Eclectic
  • Draft and finish: low twist woolen, slightly fulled finish
  • WPI: 25
  • Twist Angle: 20
  • YPP: 2,000
  • Yardage 395 yards from 3 ounces of fiber
  • Finished size 20″ wide x 44″ long

Here are some quick modeled photos. It even got the teenage seal of approval. It was missing after she left for school, presumably around her neck.

Wearing it long

Wearing it long

Worn doubled

Worn doubled

What will be your first FO of the year?

Darling Knitty readers, this post is a week late thanks to whatever  horrific bug has been travelling around my home town, striking down innocent editors and chaining them to their beds. What would I have done without knitting and Netflix?

So we’re into the brand-new year. 2015. What will it bring? Not even the Amazing Kreskin knows. So instead, let’s look back at some of the highlights of 2014 from our perspective:

We began including crochet in Knitty, and the world didn’t end.

crochet is our friend.

Crochet is our friend.


We continued to see designers innovate the construction of the humble sock with patterns like Carry on Solefully and String Theory

Carry On Solefully by Betty Salpekar

Carry On Solefully by Betty Salpekar

String Theory by Anita Grahn

String Theory by Anita Grahn

And introduced you to the world’s newest sock design star, who is only FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Josiah Bain, designer of Mirror and Tauriel (so far…)

Josiah Bain, high school student and sock designer.

Josiah Bain, high school student and sock designer.

Paid tribute to cephalopods everywhere with Opus and Octopodes

Opus the Octopus by Cate Carter-Evans

Opus the Octopus by Cate Carter-Evans

Octopodes by Jennifer Raymond

Octopodes by Jennifer Raymond

One of the things that made a big change for the three of  us, was that our Knitty principals (me, Jillian Moreno and Kate Atherley) all finally had Craftsy courses available so that we could spend time on your computer screens, sharing our favorite subjects with you…

Kate started it all with Blocking Handknits:

Blocking Handknits with Knitty's Senior Tech Editor, Kate Atherley

Blocking Handknits with Knitty’s Lead Tech Editor, Kate Atherley

I popped in with my Plug + Play class

Plug+Play Custom Scarves and Shawls with Knitty Editor Amy Singer

Plug+Play Custom Scarves and Shawls with Knitty Editor Amy Singer

And Jillian completed the triumvirate with Ply to Knit.

Ply to Knit with Knittyspin editor Jillian Moreno

Ply to Knit with Knittyspin editor Jillian Moreno

Oh, yeah — and after doing this wonderful job for 12 years, we hit our FIFTIETH issue. Which was such a big deal, I kind of got a little silly with the issue’s banner. Did you spot it?

it's fun to be your own boss. you get to do stuff like this.

it’s fun to be your own boss because you get to do stuff like this.

On a personal level, I became a single girl again and much re-adjusting of addresses and perspectives resulted. Knitty is now brought to you from the new Knitty world headquarters: a lovely little 2-bedroom apartment in Leslieville. Do not fret — the rabbits settled in quickly. I knew you would worry.

I want to thank Kate and Jillian for keeping this blog vibrant and relevant with their posts…Kate takes charge of the WWW news from every corner of the web (every Wednesday), and Jillian’s Tuesday spinning updates are a big highlight in my week. I can’t believe how she never stops creating. Behind the scenes — along with Kate Atherley — Ashley Knowlton and Ruth Garcia-Alcantud continue to make sure our patterns are knittable and follow our easy-to-understand standards. To all the designers who continue to inspire us with their creativity and innovation — we love you!

And finally, to you, our readers, our biggest thanks. Without you, there isn’t much of us. Stick around. We have big plans for 2015 and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Oh, can we ask something of you? We’ve been heavy into Twitter for ages (well, I have, here: Twitter ), and I also decided our Facebook page needed more love, so we’ve been having a blast over here:  Facebook But we’ve never made a big fuss about hashtags. Guess what? That’s silly. That’s a wasted opportunity! So we’d love you to start hashtagging everything #knittymag wherever you post your Knitty projects in any form, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, or any other place hashtags are sold. Because one way to help keep Knitty strong is by letting people (who might not otherwise) know that we’re here. The internet is like a gazillionty times larger than it was when we launched in 2002. Your support, as always, is what feeds us. That and a nice tuna melt.

A happy ending to a very scary story: a 17-week old puppy is recovering after a knitting needle pierced her heart. She fell onto the needle at her home in Durham, N.C., this past New Year’s Eve. Vets were able to remove it, and she is expected to make a full recovery, poor little mite.

Just watch it. Mesmerizing.

Love this. Absolutely LOVE IT. A website that displays the color of the time. It translates the current time – a 24 hour clock, with seconds – to a hexadecimal code, which represents a color.

Interesting: a writer in Detroit laments the lack of yarn shops in Detroit, and kicks off an interesting discussion about the role of LYSs, the cost of yarn and whether knitting has become a hobby only for those with a certain amount of disposable income. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and I believe it’s an interesting and important point. Although you can save money by making your clothes, that’s become less of a factor. Part of that is to do with the costs of yarn and the interests and attitudes of knitters, but it’s also partially driven, I think, by the proliferation of very inexpensive clothes. Most new knitters, I believe, approach knitting as more of a ‘decorative’ rather than ‘practical’ art. I don’t ‘need” to knit in the way that my grandmother did. She was clothing her family; I’m using knitting as a creative outlet. And as such, I’m willing (and able) to spend more money on my yarn. But there are knitters out there who, for a variety of very valid reasons, can’t spend a lot of money on yarn, and there are fewer shops that are serving them.

Freddie Patmore of UK Magazine Women’s Weekly brings knitter Lisa Woodroof’s (of the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting) New Year Resolution to our attention:

Mr. Meech’s computer-generated, machine-knitted portraits.

Video artist Sam Meech has incorporated a knitting machine into his work, exploring the combination of digital and analog technologies. He displayed his worked recently as part of a workshop at Milton Keynes Library in the U.K., and you can reach more about his research and work at The artist, who had previously worked only with video and film, says that when he first encountered a knitting machine, he was “struck by the parallels between punchcards and film reels, stitches and pixels, and began to relate to it in terms of digital imaging as much as textiles.”

Since a big part of my paycheck jobs are spinning, sometimes I find it hard to spin just for fun. This weekend I did just that, I put on the movie The 100 Foot Journey and spun. Have you seen it? It is a gorgeous and sweet movie.

What did I spin? Fat fluffy yarn. Remember the merino that I was going to try to match to Malabrigo Rasta back in November? I spun it just fluffy not fulled. I also used a wheel that I haven’t used in so long I was considering selling it, my Suzie Pro, that I call Suzie Q.

Chubby Yarn

Chubby yarn

I spun about 230 yards of bulky (5-6 wpi) yarn over a couple of evenings. Was it fast and effortless? Nope, I had to remember slow down and take even bites of fiber. I was practicing a woolen forward draw and until I had prepared my merino top juuuust right I wasn’t getting much consistency. The merino top was fabulously fluffy when I bought it, but I had stored it squished under other fiber and it became unevenly compacted. I fluffed and slightly attenuated it to get the fiber sliding again.

I spun 4 ounces just regular, but with the last 2 ounces I wanted to try something different. I added a sparkly carry-along yarn and let it wrap the single as I spun it. The sparkly is Twisted 6 from Krenik, it’s poly, but soft.

Sparkly chubby yarn

Sparkly chubby yarn

The wrapping worked great, but I found myself treading faster because I was excited to get done and see the yarn. That effected this yarn a couple of ways:

  1. It’s much more thick and thin because I wasn’t able to draft evenly before the twist grabbed my fiber.
  2. More twist=a denser yarn. Not by a lot, but it’s still a heavier yarn. All 3 skeins were spun from 2 ounces of fiber, the first 2 skeins are 80 and 82 yards long, pretty even. The sparkly, more twisty skein, is 72 yards – it used more fiber in each yard to be a denser, heavier yarn. That’s what spinners mean when they talk about grist, how many yards you can get out of an amount of fiber, how dense a yarn is.
Uneven drafting and over twist

Uneven drafting and over twist

I really enjoyed just futzing with fiber and spinning for fun. If I have a spinning resolution for this year that is it, remember to have fun. And my Suzie Q that I was considering selling? I remembered how much I like spinning on her, she’s not going anywhere.

I can’t stop squishing my yarn and can’t wait to knit it into something to wear around my neck. It’s going to be sooner rather than later, it’s -3F here today and I haven’t watched the new Downton yet.

Get on my neck!

Get on my neck!


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