Woo-hoo a spinning giveaway! Not just any spinning giveaway either – friend, breed enthusiast and expert spinner, Beth Smith has been working on this book for years and it’s finally here!

This book picks up right where Deb Robson’s Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook left off. It answers the question, sheep breed by sheep breed, “how do I work with it?” This book covers choosing, washing, prepping and spinning fleece. It’s thorough and pretty amazing, just look:

It's gorgeous!

It’s gorgeous! Also sheep!

Storey Publishing has donated a copy of this beautiful book for a giveaway.

Want to explore some of the breeds Beth Smith discusses in The Spinner’s Book of Fleece? Enter Alison from The Spinning Loft. She built a raw fleece sampler around Beth and her book, The Beth Smith Sampler.

Here’s her description:  This sampler pack is a fantastic companion. Containing 2 oz. each of 15 breeds that Beth identifies and/or discusses in the book, this is a great way to get a taste for some of Beth’s favorite fibers.  Contents of the sampler vary based on stock, but each sample is found in the book.

How many people are so fiber obsessive they have a fleece sampler named after them? Alison has donated one sampler for our giveaway.

Ready to spin? Ready to win?

Our regular rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Saturday,  August 23. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a copy of The Spinner’s Book of Fleece from Storey Publishing and a Beth Smith Sampler from The Spinning Loft . If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other spinners a chance. Giveaway value $97.95

Looking at the Knitty issue  projects never fails to bring us happiness… and inspiration!

KnitMinion’s Hidden Gusset mitts.

Terrific yarn choice for this: the subtle variegation is really good in the ribbing.

gitagiri’s Indigo Cones sweater.

So great.

hgd11‘s Change of Heart cowl.

Just the sort of thing that makes you look forward to cooler weather…

brieri’s Grantangle crochet stole.

Wow… can’t wait to see how this one grows. Clever way to use a self-striping yarn.


Arkus’s Jasseron.

Inspired color choice.

Tamyboy’s Boutonniere is just fantastic, and I love how she’s styled it on her jean-jacket. I think I need one of these.

Exactly how it should be done.






You might have already seen this but it’s too good not to share again: a sheep challenges to a cyclist to a race. Spoiler alert: the sheep wins.


The University of Glasgow has announced the appointment of its Knitter-in-Residence for 2014. Congratulations to Susan McComb.

Susan was involved in the amazing Aberteifi Cardigan, a collaborative handknit project. The cardigan, designed and created to celebrate the birthday of the town Cardigan, Wales, was the work of over 300 knitters. It’s over 5m (5 1/2 yds) wide and is a masterpiece of sculptural knitting.

An Australian woman is selling her late grandfather’s beloved collection of hand-knit sweaters (with permission of the knitter, her grandmother), and is donating the proceeds to charity. I loved the insights into Bob’s life and style. The sweaters themselves are lovely work. Although last time I checked, there weren’t many left…

2014 marks the centenary of World War One, and this blog post discusses the importance of knitting to the war effort.

76-year old Jerry Burr, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, knits wool caps to donate to local charities. He’s made 4343, since he started in February of 2007. He uses a hand-cranked knitting loom, but that’s still a fantastic output and show of kindness… over 90 months, that’s a little more than 47 hats a month.

Via KnitHacker: a knitted silent film, by Japanese artist Miho Yata. Just lovely, and very clever.

Bon vivant, woman of the world and yarn maven Mrs. Crosby  has donated a yarn pack to crochet your very own Grantangle.

Three skeins of Carpet Bag (80% SW Merino/ 20% Silk) in your choice of color are up for grabs in this giveaway.

Our regular rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Sunday,  August 10. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the  yarn from Mrs. Crosby. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $75.00


A license to thrill?

Octopurly? The Spy Who Knit Me? A Vest to a Kill? Roger Moore, 007, and knitwear model.

It’s Chicago Yarn Crawl Week! More info here.

My old tech-industry self loves this: a document class for LaTeX to aid layout of knitting patterns.

The Sunday, the Historical Society of Trappe, Collegeville, Perkiomen Valley in Trappe, Pennsylvania is presenting a talk at the Dewees Museum, on the History of Knitting.

Photograph: Rosie Hallam/Barcroft Media – from the Guardian.

Not strictly knitting, but absolutely amazing: UK artist Lucy Sparrow has created an entire corner shop (convenience store) out of felt. It’s available to visit throughout August in Bethnal Green, London. All the items have been created by hand, and are for sale.

Knitty tech editor Ruth Garcia Alcantud has a great piece on her blog about the use of style sheets and the pattern editing process. An excellent read for designers and pattern publishers of all kinds.

Australian artist Coralie Gunn is planning a socky exhibit for early 2015 to commemorate the centenary of Anzac Day, the anniversary of the first major WWI campaign in which Australian and New Zealand troops suffered significant casualties.

She is seeking ideas and contributions, hoping to get knitters to make a pair of socks using World War I-era instructions, and hoping to enlist knitters to run workshops and demonstrations during the event.


After my happy success with Tour de Fleece, I ‘ve decided to do Spinzilla in October! I wonder how much yarn I can spin in a week? I’ve joined Team PLY,which is full now but, here’s a list of all the teams still available.  Has anyone joined a team yet?

I’ve been spinning and knitting swatches for my Craftsy class. I leave on Sunday and I can’t wait to film. I am equal parts nervous and excited, which seems about right.

Pile o' swatches

Pile o’ swatches

In Happy Camper retreat news Beth, Rita and I planned our goodie bags and door prizes today. Each camper will have 6 ounces of fiber plus other surprises in their goodie bag and go home with at least one door prize. It’s going to be so much fun! September will be here soon.  Are you signed up yet?

My kids are going mental because summer is almost over. My daughter wouldn’t look at the Target ad in the paper on Sunday because it was all back to school stuff. I will admit this summer has flown by, but I am determined to squeeze every last drop out of it!

What are you doing to squeeze the last fun out of summer?

A couple of weeks ago I ran into Lana Holden, designer of Knitty favorite pattern The Skew Sock.

I gasped out loud when I saw her license plate…

Friend of Knitty Laura Nelkin took a photo of this fantastic jeep last year…


(Although pretty sure the owner of this particular vehicle also crochets… )

The inimitable Lucy Neatby has decorated her car with her trademark “happy stitch” logo.


Lorajean, yarn dyer behind Knittedwit.com keeps it simple:


Karen, owner of the fantastic yarn shop Shall We Knit has this on her car…

SWK - Copy

Lara Neel spotted this one, but we don’t know who is belongs to…


If one of these is yours, or you have a knitting-themed license plate, show us a picture!

Make ‘em last!

Our very own Kate (that’s me! ;-) ) is a frequent contributor to Interweave’s Sockupied, and she’s in the most recent issue on the topic of sock durability.

The Yarn Harlot and assorted friends (hello gang! we’re proud of you!) are midway through their epic fundraising bike ride, the PWA Friends for Life Bike Rally. They’re riding from Toronto to Montreal – 660km (412 miles or so) – to raise funds to support people living with AIDS. You can follow along on Steph’s tweets and Instagram posts, and if you’d like to learn more (and maybe contribute a bit), visit her blog.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas has launched a new pilot program for lending of craft kits and equipment. What a fantastic way to allow crafters to try out new tools and techniques before making a financial commitment.

A fun and enlightening read about the history of Kitchener stitch. (Yes, because it’s a proper noun, named after a person, it should always be capitalized. Residents of Ontario, Canada, are used to typing it with a capital K, since the eponymous Lord gave his name to a town, also.) It’s worth reading the comments, too. As is always the way with history, some of the details are murky. It’s most likely that the technique existed long before World War One, but it gained a new name because of associations with the Lord and his troops…

UK magazine Women’s Weekly is collecting knitted Christmas decorations with a view to both raising some charitable cheer, and breaking a World Record.

Yes, that’s right, it’s less than 6 months now until the holiday season. How’s your gift knitting coming along?…

My final TdF count is, drum roll  please, 2.5 pounds! I didn’t calculate yardage becasue I was spinning samples, samples, samples.

Final Tour yarn and a close up of semi-solids

Final Tour yarn and a close up of semi-solids

I did spin some of the new and luscious semi-solid fiber from Into the Whirled they are on the right.

Here’s what I learned from this year’s TdF:

If I focus I can get a lot of spinning done. That just seamlessly transfers to my whole life.

I spin more when I listen to audiobooks than watch TV. It’s easier to focus and no need to stop and skip commercials.

I need to take more breaks, stretch and ice when I’m sore because, owie! That muscle that runs from the outside of my elbow across the top of my forearm to my wrist is crabby. It’s not just from spinning, but knitting and computer work too. I stopped doing yoga during the TdF – not a good idea.

What was your final tally for the Tour de Fleece and what are your favorite forearm stretches?

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