WWW: Terrible knitting pun of the week; on knitting with dog hair; illustrators attempt to depict knitting

Thinking ahead: our own Kate (yes, that’s me!) is teaching next October 20-22nd (yes, 2017) at beautiful St. Andrew by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.  Knit East features a great list of instructors and classes, in a fabulous setting.

Famous Illustrators’ Depictions of Knitting, Ranked in Order of Competence.

Comedian and writer John Hodgman, in his ‘Judge John Hodgman’ Advice column for the New York Times weighs in on a debate about knitting with dog hair.

I was recently reminded of this lovely work: the award-winning short film The Last Knit, directed by animator Laura Neuvonen. Take a few minutes and enjoy it.

How Knitting Has Taken Over the Highlands – a piece about the upcoming Loch Ness Knitting Festival, and the value of handscraft to the economy in the Scottish Highlands.

And related to the same event, this week’s nominee for best-worst knitting pun: a Car-digan. (Geddit?)

Yarnitecture Book Signing and Trunk Show at Rhinebeck

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

Get a signed copy of Yarnitecture at Rhinebeck!

Is one of the things on your Rhinebeck shopping list a signed copy of Yarnitecture?

I will be signing copies of Yarnitecture at the Merritt Bookstore booth in Building B

Saturday 12-5 and Sunday 10-2

I will have all of the projects and some of the swatches to touch and feel at the booth.

Come by, get a book signed, say hi and show me what fibery goodies you’ve found at the show!

Talking to a friend makes work feel like not-work!

unnamedI’m lucky enough to have made many friends in the knitting world since starting this magazine almost 15 years ago. One of the first people I met was the delightful Vickie Howell. She is one of the most skilled interviewers I’ve had the pleasure of talking to over the years, whether on podcasts or on her legendary TV show, Knitty Gritty.

Vickie and I sat down together (so to speak) over Skype earlier this week, and you can hear the result in her latest Craft•ish Podcast. Some of the topics we discussed might surprise you…but then again, if you know me, you won’t be surprised at all.


WWW: Mathematics, Love Monsters, #FairFiberWage response

Multiplication, as explained by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer.

Very satisfying: 6 mathematical concepts explained in yarn, on Mental Floss website.

Not Strictly Knitting, but still wonderful: a short film about a project to recreate embroidery and needlework patterns of Jane Austen’s time, as part of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel Emma.

Also Not Strictly Knitting, but a different spin (see what I did there?!) on yarn-bombing: cross-stitch street art.

Following up on a discussion from last week, John Bolton, the General Manager of Interweave has responded to criticisms of changes to the YarnFest teaching contract, and has promised to revise the terms. Wonderful to see a company being responsive to concerns and discussions.

Comforting: knitters make Love Monster dolls to give to young patients undergoing cochlear implant surgery at UNC hospital, in North Carolina. The program is run by yarn shop The Quarter Stitch, in Wilmington.

Speaking of mathematics, the genius Woolly Wormhead has written an amazing tutorial on hat crown shaping.


img_9919Today I’m feeling all of the fiber countdowns. Not in a panic-y deadline way, but either in excitement or the mindset of “better remember it”.

Here are the spinning and knitting (and other) countdowns I’m thinking about:

Spinzilla12 days. Even though I’m not spinning this year, I am caught up in the excitement. I can wait to see what everyone spins.

Rhinebeck 25 days. So excited about this one. I’m signing my book (Saturday 1-5 and Sunday 10-2 in the author corral) and just roaming. There will be a Knitty meet up, but we haven’t set the time yet.

The US election – 48 days. If you are a US citizen please vote.

The December gift giving holidays – 94-ish days. How are those gifts coming? I’ll be shopping at Rhinebeck.

If you ever need to check an excellent fiber event calendar my hands down favorite is Clara Parkes Events page on Knitter’s Review. Have you seen the new Knitter’s Review redesign? It’s gorgeous!

What countdown dates are on your mind?


In Gord We Trust: The costumes, the hat and the color inspiration

I hope by now you’ve read the story about the In Gord We Trust Sock Scarf.

I wanted to share some background on Gord’s stage costumes, the clothes that inspired our color choice, and the precious hat that we were able to borrow for the photoshoot from designer Karyn Gingras of Lilliput Hats.

The suits, in bright metallic leather, were created by Izzy Camilleri, who has designed for other performers and musicians over the years.

From The Globe and Mail. Does that blue look familiar?

A slideshow of all the outfits, on the Fashion Magazine website. (In most of these shots, you can see his sock scarves. He clearly has a whole wardrobe of them, which may or may not match the outfit he’s wearing.)

A great piece about them on the Globe and Mail website.

And a piece on the CBC site with more fab pictures, including the pink suit we nodded to with the scarf.

The outfits are memorable not because of how great they are — and because they are a part of Canadian rock and roll history — but because for previous tours, Gord’s on-stage look was more traditional singer-songwriter gear: jeans with a collared shirt and a vest, lots of black and white. And he’s worn a hat when performing many times before, but it’s been a much simpler number – often straw. These fantastic wool felt hats with ribbon and feather decorations were made by hand, to Gord’s specifications.

I loved the detail that Gord kept these outfits as a surprise for his bandmates!

I was pleased to hear about the KnitForGord project: Telma is making hats and other knitterly goodies to sell, with all proceeds going to the Downie fund at Sunnybrook.

WWW #FairFiberWage, Clever Patterns, FO Photos, Trailing of the Sheep

There was been a lot of talk all over social media about #FairFiberWage for the past week. It’s a discussion about what is fair to pay fiber arts teachers, particularly at large shows. It was kicked off by an article written by Abby Franquemont. It was quickly followed by blog posts by Mary Beth Temple and Miriam Felton. Then we heard from the people who hire teachers, Jacey Boggs disclosed what it costs to run the PLY AWAY retreat and Beth Smith talked about hiring teachers for her small shop. Yesterday Abby Glassenburg of Craft Industry Alliance posted an article about the changes in the contract for teachers at Yarn Fest. This is an important discussion, how do we keep having shows with excellent teachers and vendors where everyone makes a fair amount of money? There is even more discussion if you follow the hashtag #FairFiberWage on Twitter, Ravelry and Facebook.



Lee Meredith’s Game Knitting!


Thinkstuff chose 18 Impossibly Clever Knitting and Crochet Patterns, including longtime Knitty designer Lee Meredith’s Game Knitting.






Want to up your FO photo game? Karen Templar of Fringe Association has an excellent post on taking better knitting photos.


Trailing of the Sheep

Trailing of the Sheep


Will you be near Idaho on October 5-9? It’s the 20th anniversary of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival , a huge celebration of Idaho’s sheep ranching families. Please note, there is a sheep parade!



Carding Top

From left: top, carded rolag and pulled roving.

From left: top, carded rolag and pulled roving.

Everyone that’s spun with me knows that my default draft is woolen. I love to watch that twist and air zip into the fiber. Most of the fiber I spin is top, natural and dyed. I don’t usually prep my own fiber and top is the go-to prep for commercially prepared fiber. There is commercial roving available but it’s not as easy to find as top.

Spinning top woolen gives me a yarn that is one of those semis. I hate using the phrases semi woolen or semi worsted. I like just being clear about what I’m doing – spinning top woolen. That makes a yarn that is loftier than spinning top worsted. I like it, it’s a good everyday yarn.


Left: top drafted woolen, right: top carded and pulled into roving and spun woolen.

Left: top drafted woolen, right: top carded and pulled into roving and spun woolen.

Lately I’ve been wanting more air in my fiber. I’ve become curious about making a light yarn with good stitch definition (more on that another day) so I’ve been carding top. It’s great fun, a couple of passes on my cards and I’ve misaligned those fibers into fluff,;it’s top no longer.

After I card I make a rolag and pull that into roving and spin. It makes such airy yarn!

Do you ever card top?


WWW: “Hey, will you make me a hat”; Project Maple; Onions

This has been making the rounds again on Twitter, and it’s so great it’s worth mentioning again: all about the online knitting reference library at Southampton University.

Snort. I don’t know the origin of this, but I just love it. Tastefully Offensive offers up an answer to the “hey, will you make *me* a hat?” question. Clearly a photograph taken in-flight, this is an excellent answer to a fellow passenger making an all-too common request.

Another look at an another important topic: copyright. The Craft Industry Alliance debunks some common copyright myths.

Not strictly knitting, but: Project Maple for Canada’s 150th birthday. The Crochet Crowd is collecting crocheted Maple Leaves to decorate a tree in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, for next year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of the country.

I really enjoyed this piece about knitting as a way to distract oneself from digital distractions. The author’s approach is honest and realistic… we don’t stop checking email and Twitter and Facebook when we’re knitting, but we might do a little bit less often…. “Rather than being calming and contemplative on its own, knitting’s meditative properties allow me to engage more productively with digital media.”

A long read, but a lovely one: How to Caramelize Onions. I promise, there is a connection to craft.

In the Philly area? Free this weekend? Knitty’s very own Kate (yes, that’s me!) is visiting Loop, and teaching five classes: colorwork, brioche, short rows, an Expert Tips/Troubleshooting session, and of course a Custom Fit Socks class. More details here.

Spinning in Knitting Shops


Mmmmm, handspun

Recently I’ve had a few knitting shops ask me about adding spinning to their mix, and I’ve been asked to write an article about it for shop owners.

What do you think spinners? Is a spinning section in knitting shops a good idea or not? What would you want to see? Keep in mind we can’t take over the whole shop (right away).

For me, it’s about all about a good variety of fiber. I would love to be able to buy yarn and fiber in the same place. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but I want variety and I want fresh fiber fairly often. There is nothing sadder to me than to try to support spinning in a knitting shop by buying fiber, but what they have has obviously been there for a long time. I’ve even seen dusty fiber!

What is it for you? Wheels, classes, spin nights? Or do you not want spinning in a knitting shop?