Monthly Archives: September 2012

WWW: Knitted sandwiches; wool-bombing Bryant Park; Hobbits in knits

An excellent way to spend a weekend.

The fourth annual North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival is being held the weekend of October 5-7, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The event features workshops in a wide range of fiber arts – knitting, felting, crochet, rug hooking, dyeing and spinning, and a vendor fair.

Sardines on toast and a cucumber sandwich, both knitted by Angela Knipe.

If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I’m not sure what will… the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby, Yorkshire, has built a special exhibition to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the invention of the sandwich. That’s a winner as it is, but then the detail that the exhibition comprises 100 knitted sandwiches makes it even better. There was even a contest for the best knitted sandwich.

A wooly wonderland in the big city.

The Campaign for Wool, which originated in the UK, has been making a splash in New York this week, to kick off its efforts in North America. The highlight of the week takes place on Thursday the 27th (yes, that’s tomorrow), when Bryant Park will be given the “full wooly” treatment. Sheep will graze, the Bryant Park Fountain will be filled with wool and the terrace will be turned in to a luxurious Wool Salon with beautiful richly colored carpet and a stunning wool bed.

If you’re in New York tomorrow, it’s a must-see. We’d love to see pictures of knitters enjoying the wooly wonderland…

Jennie the Potter provides an update on the 10th Anniversary Knitty mugs. The response has been overwhelming, and she’s taking orders to be filled a little later in the fall.

Are you an experienced digital editor based in the UK? This job might be of interest.

A set of teaser pics released to promote the upcoming film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” makes us think that we can expect to see a fair bit of knitwear in the movie…

Spinning Tuesdays: Lynne Vogel Dishes on the Original Calertne and Sandy Sitzman

In this new issue of Knittyspin, Lynne Vogel has a new pattern called Calertne. Throughout her career she credits Sandy Sitzman as being big influential in her growth as a spinner and dyer. This project is their latest collaboration.



On her blog Lynne dishes about the original pair of these fab fingerless gloves and how they were designed on the needles by her spinning and dyeing Yoda, Sandy Sitzman. The two of them re-engineered the pattern for Knittyspin together.

Lynne has just released 3 new patterns, check them out on Ravelry.


In my own spinning news:

My chunky cowl is in the swatching stage. Here’s a snap of the yarn, with a US quarter for scale.

Chubby, chubby yarn

I dug through my fiber stashing memory and remember that this Targhee came from Sweet Grass Wool in Montanta, they sell yarn and fiber from Montana raised sheep.

What are you spinning this week?


WWW: Upcoming Fibery Events; Don’t You Want to Meet an Alpaca?; Knitted Home Decor

“Kniting fine on the 1 and 9 lines” – with apologies to the Beastie Boys

The fourth annual NYC Yarn Crawl is taking place the weekend of October 6, 7 and 8th. Featuring 11 of Manhattan and Brooklyn’s most popular can be found here.

Speaking of woolly things in the New York area, the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival – popularly known as Rhinebeck – takes place the weekend of October 20th, in Rhinebeck, NY.

You know you want to…

Not in New York? Unsure about sheep? The National Alpaca Farm Days have been announced for the weekend of September 29 & 30th. Alpaca farms all around the US are opening their doors to visitors that weekend. If you’ve always wanted to meet an alpaca – or you’re just looking for some of the softest, warmest yarn you can work with – this is your chance.

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, WA, is hosting a Nordic Knitting Conference, the weekend of October 5-7th. The theme of this year’s event is mittens, and will feature more than 20 classes from knitters, spinners, designers and textile artists. The conference organizers are also gathering examples of Nordic-style mittens for an exhibition to run over the winter.

If you’re looking for fibery events in your area – or planning a road-trip- don’t forget to check out Clara Parkes’ list of events on the Knitter’s Review website.

Love! Wouldn’t take long to knit, either!

I love these home decor items: giant-scale knitted blankets, pillows and lampshades made by UK textile designer Melanie Porter.

You can see more of the designer’s work at her website.

A charming little yarn-bomb has been spotted in Wellesley, Massachusetts. We’re seeing a lot of large and dramatic yarn-bombs at the moment, which are clearly the well-organized work of multiple artists. I rather like this one, as it looks like the impromptu handi-work of a single knitter.

Happy Knitty Day!

We are 10 and you get to share the fun with us!

In this issue of Knitty, we are premiering special limited-edition Knitty 10th Anniversary schwag.


A Tom Bihn/Knitty 10th Anniversary Swift!

Knitty 10th Anniversary Swift by Tom Bihn

In 2005, Knitty and Tom Bihn collaborated to design what we think is the ultimate knitting bag. So when we reached our milestone 10th Anniversary, it seemed fitting to celebrate it with a special-edition Swift!

The Knitty 10th Anniversary Swift has the same ultra-functional features you know and love, but in a brand-new color combination, just for us! The outer color is brand new: it’s ballistic nylon in a deep raspberry purple called Aubergine. The reverse side features sleek Steel grey ballistic. Inside, the pockets are lined with Kiwi, and the included clear-bottomed Stuff Sack matches the lining.

And to top it all off, our special 10th Anniversary Logo is carefully embroidered onto each bag on the Aubergine side. We love how these colors look together, and have been carrying our prototypes around to envious glances from knitters everywhere. To read more about the Swift and see more pictures of its many features, visit

This special-edition bag will be available only through for a very limited time, and only in the configuration shown. It’s special, it’s just for Knitty’s readers, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.





A Jennie the Potter Knitty Anniversary Mug!


Amy and Jennie became friends on a big boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but Amy was a fan of Jennie’s beautiful, functional pottery long before that. Amy’s kitchen cupboards boast an enviable collection of Jennie the Potter mugs, each treasured and, most importantly, used daily.

For this project, Jennie took the 10th Anniversary theme and ran with it, adding iconic elements like Amy’s Grandma’s needles and, of course, rabbits. 10th Anniversary bunting and chocolate cake make this a mug to bring a party to your morning hot beverage every day. Every mug is unique: thrown, painted and carved by Jennie’s own hands. She’s offering them in two colorways: Amy [soft blues and greens] and Jillian [jewel tones]. Clever girl.

There are just a very few mugs ready for shipping now…and she’s taking pre-orders for shipment later this fall. As Jennie says, “Handcrafted pottery takes time.” Place your order now, and don’t miss your chance!

It’s a party!

And just for extra fun-times, this issue of Knitty has a Knitty themed crossword.

Can you finish it? In pen? Can you spot the 12 Knitty patterns hidden in the answers?

Whether you’ve just started reading Knitty or have been around for the whole 10 years – Thank You! We couldn’t have done it without our readers!

WWW: Winners; 10,000 Hats!

The lucky winners of our Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet giveaways:
Melissa from California wins the big prize a paper + ebook plus a skein of Barking Dog yarn for socks. Lauren in Colorado wins a copy of the paper + ebook to knit from with abandon.

Thanks to Hunter Hammersen for donating her books and to Suzanne at Barking Dog Yarns for donating the yarn.

Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine are searching for rising stars in a new generation of small-business owners. They have selected a group of American makers whose work shares the values of quality, beauty, inspiration, possibility, and creativity that Martha Stewart promotes. We love that a large organization like Martha Stewart is promoting the work of small craftspeople to her broad audience. And we love even more that two of these makers are indie yarn producers.

There’s dyer Jill Draper, and Nanne Kennedy of SeaColors yarns.

One of these makers will be chosen by readers for the Audience Choice Award. The winner will be honored at the American Made event in New York City, will appear in Martha Stewart Living magazine, and will receive $10,000 to further his or her business. If you’re moved to vote, do!

Because knitting is an important part of a well-rounded post-secondary educational experience.

A nice profile of Cathy Newman, one of the fiber-crafting winners of the Jimmy Beans’ “Beans for Brains” scholarship.  The five winners, whose names were announced over the summer, each receive $2,250 towards post-secondary study in the US. The funds are provided by Jimmy Beans and other generous sponsors.

Some of the lucky recipients of Tina’s work.

We’ve mentioned knitter Tina Selby before, back when she had only (only?!) knitted 5,000 hats for British soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. She’s been knitting away, and recently hit the milestone of 10,000 hats knitted and donated.

Speaking of knitting for a good cause: a group of knitters in Oxford UK is seeking donations of wool to make coats for retired racing Greyhounds. More info here.

North Carolina’s Duke University Professional Development Program is offering a continuing education course, “Knitting the Fabric of Your Life, One Stitch at a Time. Quoting from the marketing materials: “The four-session workshop will use the knitting process as a metaphor to examine how we cope with four recurrent themes in life: starting something new, repeating a pattern, changing things, and making an ending.” Intriguing!

Spinning Tuesdays: Help Me Choose What to Spin Next

Fall has hit in full force here in Michigan, and with it that burst of crafting need that I love!

I want to do a quick to spin, quick to knit project, but I can’t quite choose what fiber. Want to help?

My project idea is a super bulky (2 or less stitches to the inch) cowl knit in a texture stitch – cables or even just moss. I also want to use some of my fabulous vintage coat buttons – huge and mismatchy.

Here are my fiber contenders:

Clockwise from left: Merino cross, Targhee, Merino

All of them will act differently. The Merino cross (I think it’s crossed with a bit of Corriedale) has bit more sturdiness than merino, as a 2-ply will still have stitch definition and will be soft.

The Targhee is spongy, has body, is less soft than 100% Merino, but still very skin-worthy, as a 2-ply will have stitch definition and will puff up like Jiffy Pop.

The Merino is Calgon-take-me-away soft, but would give flaccid texture as a two ply and may not stand up to the big buttons. To make it work I would do a 3-ply with extra ply twist.

Which should I use? Pass your judgement in the comments!

You’re going to say you want to see them all sampled down to the knitting. I see how you are.


Hat needs continue at my house. Henry (who’s 9) has weighed in.

Here’s the fiber he chose for his hat:

Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia roving

Tomato soup red Columbia roving from Imperial Stock Ranch. I’m thinking an Aran weight 2-ply. Have any of you spun this? Tips?


Have you listened to episode #35 of the SpinDoctor podcast yet? Lots of spinning chat and I review Woolgatherings fiber.


What does the fall have you spinning?

Kitchener Waterloo Knitters’ Guild Knitter’s Fair 2012

A splendid time was had by all.

The KWKG Knitter’s Fair is a highlight of the calendar for knitters around Ontario. Amy and I were there, for a little shopping, a little socializing, and to do a little good.

“How many bags of silk did you say you could fit in your car?”

The shopping was fabulous:


Yum. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)

Roxanne and the crew from Zen Yarn Garden


Something for everyone. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)


From the artisans of The Woodlot


The beauty of these may well just turn you into a spinner. At the Gemini Fibres booth.

Other goodies.

A brilliant shawl pin from Soaring Studios Pottery.


Amy might have bought a few pairs of these cushy hemp + lycra socks from Farmable Fibres. Well, 3 pairs. Because HEMP SOCKS WITH STRETCH!

We sold out of our limited edition Knitty 10th Anniversary project bags – the famous Ninja Bunny bag. [Really. They’re all gone. Sorry.]

A Ninja with her Ninja Bunny bag.

50% of the proceeds raised on Saturday from the sale of these bags are going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. We’re proud to support this organization — they’re quite unlike other cancer-related charities. CBCSF funds go directly to those affected by cancer: the organization provides short-term financial assistance to breast cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties while they are undergoing treatment. If a patient needs help covering rent, paying for food or childcare, the CBCSF is there to help.

Friends of Knitty, designer Fiona Ellis and Jacqueline Sava of Soak signed the limited edition soakboxes.

Matching your nails to your knits: all the cool kids are doing it!

Featured speaker Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, drew the crowds, as always, to her fun and enlightening presentation!

Ms. Pearl-McPhee, sharing her wisdom and love for the craft.

Everyone was wearing their finest knitwear.

Love it. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)

… including Isa’s lovely Tempest cardi.

So great!

And friend of Knitty Kim of indigodragonfly introduced us to her two newest employees…

Because which indie dyer doesn’t need squirrels to help her out?

See the KW Guild’s own photostream here.

Knitting for fall

In the Northern Hemisphere, September marks the arrival of fall (whether the weather is cooperating or not) and thoughts turn to winter knitting. Soon enough, we’ll be needing hats and mittens and scarves. Where I am, they are forecasting a warm fall but a nasty winter, so I’ll need lots of woolies, but I’ve at least got time to knit them.

If you’re looking for inspiration for fall, have a browse through the archives…

We have hats. This is one of my personal favorites, the Morgan cap:

A perfect hat for early fall.

Amy’s favorite is Urchin she’s even knitted it herself, from her own handspun!

Just perfect.

We have a wide selection of wristwarmers, mittens and gloves, including the elegant Spyogyra.


And of course we have scarves, including the Hug, which just makes me smile.

Who doesn’t need a warm Hug on a cold morning?

and wraps, shawls and shrugs. Jillian loves the Colonnade shawl – it’s cozy and has shaping so it stays on her shoulders. She wears it instead of a cardigan in the house, and when she’s outside it’s a warm layer over her coat.

And a quick knit, too!

I’m thinking of making myself the Nob Hill shrug for those first chilly mornings…

Wouldn’t this look great over a dress?

Although many of our accessories patterns are non-gender specific, we hear from knitters (and knitters’ partners) than good designs for men are hard to find – so we’ve also listed all of the guy-specific stuff in one place, including the Halfdome hat, which will keep my hubby’s head warm.

Sensible and stylish.

Stay warm!

WWW: Wool in Fashion, Arm Knitting, and Nintendo Knitting Machine

The winner of our Bauble giveaway is Lisa in Chicago. Thanks to Miss Babs for the prize!

An excellent piece on the Guardian about the resurgence of wool in fashion.We knew all along how wonderful it is, but it’s nice to see the fashion industry catching on.

Love. (With apologies to Amy.)

The Woolmark company has launched a website,, which promotes and highlights the properties of wool and shows off some of its uses in fashion and design. Great eye candy!

Yarmbombing of a bus. Image courtesy the Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers.

Lovely article about yarnbombing in Iceland, highlighting the work of the Reykjavik Underground Yarnstormers, who are dedicated to making the city “more interesting and beautiful” with their “yarngoodies.”

Their most recent project was the decoration of a city bus, and there are spectacular photos on the Yarnstormers blog - definitely worth a visit.

A little bit more eye candy: handsome actor in handsome knitwear, on the NY Times magazine fashion blog.

Designer Andrea Breana is creating home furnishing with giant knits, worked with his arms instead of needles. Love the video. More pictures and info at the designer’s website.


In the 1980s, Nintendo apparently built a prototype of a knitting machine to be controlled with its NES gaming system. It was never launched, but you can take a look at it and some of the marketing materials…

The world record for knitters knitting together in the same place has apparently again been broken… This was part of the Wrap with Love initiative that has knitters create blankets and wraps for donation to charity.

Spinning Tuesdays: The Hat Report

I was challenged by my daughter to knit her three hats in 10 days out of my handspun.

Handspun Yarn

I didn’t manage three but I did finish two! I even got the girl to model a little. You can see how happy she is about it.

Orange chunky hat

The orange BFL (fiber from CJKoho colorway is Bethie) is chunky, about 3.5 stitches to the inch. It’s a little overspun and wanted to torque plain stockinette, so I went with the lean and did a 2×2 diagonal rib.

Green lace hat

The green is finer, about 5 stitches to the inch, with so little overspin that if I had tried to ply it it might have drifted apart. I used an easy  lace pattern with a 3 stitch, 4 row  repeat.

I blocked both hats on balloons – the pictures on the left side.

I apologize for the crummy iPhone photo of the girl in the green hat, but I took it literally on the run in the hustle to get to school.

Yes, knitters with teenage children, my girl wore a handspun hand knitted hat  on the first day of school. Pass the tissues.

How is your September spinning going?