Month: November 2012

WWW: Warm Hugs, Vintage Knitting Machine Jewelry, Knitting Designer Series

Whip Up has just finished a series of guest blog posts, featuring many Knitting Designers we know and love. The designers talk about their designs, their creative processes, their design inspirations. Fabulous reading for a cold and grey afternoon.

If it keeps the sheep warm in those conditions, it can certainly keep us warm.

And this week marks the last few days of Wovember. There are a number of fabulous articles on the website on the lifecycle of wool – from Growing to Harvesting to Processing to Working with to Wearing. I learned lots – and the photographs are tremendous.
The photography competition is still open – great prizes, and more info here.


We love the machine-knitted jewelry designs of Amy Lawrence.

She uses a vintage Italian knitting machine to create the pieces, and even if you’re not shopping for jewelry, it’s worth visiting the page on her website that shows the machine. The photography is fabulous, and the machines are fascinating.

Industrial chic.

The Victoria Squash Blossom party hat: Outrageous, in the best possible way.

A profile of textile artist Kelly Fleek. Her roots are as a painter and a sculptor, and she turned to knitting as a creative outlet after an injury left her confined to bed for six months.

Unlike many other textile artists, Fleek designs her pieces so that they can be worn – she considers practicality as well as comfort. Her latest collection, Nature Drag explores natural forms and allows the wearer to become part of nature.

Image courtesy Metro Daily News

I adore these photos of elementary school students choosing hats, scarves and mitts knitted for them by local seniors.

The program, which is sponsored by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, brings together the elderly residents of Framingham MA’s Shillman House and the Golda Meir House in Newton, MA with young children from the surrounding community.

A warm hug.

Our friends at Mason Dixon Knitting – Kay Gardiner and Ann Shaye, have just released the pattern for the Cornerstone blanket. Proceeds from the pattern sale go directly to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. Kay is a resident of Manhattan, and has seen first hand the devastation the Hurricane wrought in lives in and around the city. The funds raised are going to Citymeals on Wheels, an organization dedicated to delivering meals to elderly residents of the city, many of whom are alone and unable to leave their homes, and whose lives became significantly more difficult in the days after the hurricane hit the city.

Spinning Tuesdays: More Color Blending and GeekMom

I can’t stop blending dyed tops and rovings. I’m not getting anything else done. Most of the time I don’t even spin all of the fiber I want to blend, just enough to see what it does. But that is the nature of the process type of crafter that I am, I rarely finish, but I can sure  question, think, plan and do enough to feel satisfied.

My latest color blending question is what if you don’t have equal amounts of the colors you want to blend, or you just want to add a little something.

I was gifted some Southern Cross Fibre 8oz of Oasis and 4oz of Bush Walk. I love them together.

Oasis and Bush Walk from Southern Cross Fibre

Oasis has the deep teal, orange and caramel colors. Bush Walk has dark pink, lavender, a lighter caramel and a dusty leaf green – that’s not in the photo.

I wanted longer color runs in this so I divided the 8oz of Oasis into 4 vertically stripped parts and divided the 4oz of Bush Walk into 4 parts to match.

When I spun I held a 2oz strip of Oasis together with at 1 oz strip of Bush Walk, and yes, I fluffed them together first.

Here’s what I got:

Oasis and Bush Walk blended swatch

The color runs are long. This is a 4″x4″ swatch and I haven’t come to the oranges and pinks/purples that are hiding in there. It’s telling me it wants to be a shawl, so hurry up and spin the rest.


 GeekMom Spins

My husband reads the GeekDad blog daily on Wired. He sent us all this story about GeekMom and her first foray into washing fleece.

Deep Fall Surprise WIPs & FOs

Loving yyho‘s Little Purls of Wisdom Sock. A nice way to highlight a variegated sock yarn – the stitch pattern is interesting to knit, but so interesting that it overwhelms the variegation.


And the designer’s own variation of the Fractured Light mitts – in stripes! I love stripes!  (And it becomes a great stash-buster project what way, too.)

Perfectly wonderful.

And Lana-Luna‘s version of the hat.

Terribly chic with those buttons.

Love sjenkin‘s name for her Beithe shawl– the ‘USAirwys Charlotte to Knoxville Shawl’.

Clearly, an ideal travel project.

We’re also keeping our eyes open to see what people are knitting with the limited edition Knitty Anniversary yarn colors (whether Knitty projects or not)… more on those next week.

WWW: Center for Knit & Crochet; Holiday Treats; New Book!

New logo coming soon!

We have written before about the Knitting Heritage Museum group, an organization dedicated to establishing a Knitting and Crochet Museum. A symposium was held in Madison, WI, earlier this month with the purpose of discussing how such a museum could be created, and what it would be. More than 50 participants attended, including knitting scholars, archivists, fiber artists, authors – including June Hemmons Hiatt – publishers – including Trish Malcolm of Vogue Knitting –  yarn company owners – Beth Casey of Lorna’s Laces, Jack Blumenthal of Lion Brand Yarns. The discussions were enormously fruitful, and at the end of the weekend, a name and statement of purpose were chosen, and the mission was clear:

The [International] Center for Knit and Crochet:
To preserve and promote art, craft and scholarship

We’re very excited about this, and will be following the development with great interest!

So hungry… for knitting…

Yarn retailer Jimmy Beans Wool has come up with a genius idea for this holiday season: Fit for a Feast. They’ve launched a limited edition Holiday Collection of products, inspired by the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. A full “Feast” serving includes exclusive products in one-of-a-kind colorways based on favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Each dyer has provided a recipe for the dish, too!

A huge range of indie dyers are participating: Koigu KPPPM in “Fluffy Pudding”, Madelinetosh has contributed a gorgeous harvest cold color called “Turducken”, Fyberspates lace yarn in “Mulled Wine”, Sweet Georgia Tough Love sock in “Truffles and Sage” (delicious!), and so many others.

If you and your stash aren’t hungry enough for the full Feast, various sampler baskets are available, including “Leftovers” selection, the “Just Desserts” collection, and the “Sweet, Savory and Stuffing” sampler.

I hope you like it!

If you’re looking for something to do with all those tasty yarns, consider Kate’s new book, launched this week… “Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations provides the classic accessory patterns all in one place: cowls, hats, legwarmers, mitts, socks. With two or three styles of each, in multiple sizes and gauges, the book provides all the go-to patterns you need for your holiday knitting. The patterns are straightforward enough to be accessible to even a newer knitter – and for the more experienced they provide the information needed to start customizing and creating your own designs.

Although not strictly knitting, I found this absolutely fascinating… artist and blogger BrandiGirl is writing a series of blog posts about color schemes, explaining why some colors go well together, and some don’t. Part 1 explains the color wheel, part 2 discusses Hue and Saturation, and part 3 – to come soon – will discuss how colors affect each other.

Very simple and very clever.

Imogen Hedges, a design student at Kingston University has built an un-knitting machine. The machine uses a bicycle wheel and other household items to unravel yarn from knit fabrics. The genius touch is the kettle that steams the yarn as it goes by, to relax it.

Seasonal and adorable!

UK department store chain John Lewis has launched a “Knit Your Own Snowman” kit to go along with their just-launched 2012 holiday advertising campaign.


Knit a meat pie! Scottish theater costume designers Jackie Holt and Ruth Bailey have just published “Knit Your Own Scotland“, featuring patterns to knit a whole range of Scottish icons – people and pastry.

The BBC America blog posts a round-up of Doctor Who themed knitting. Sad they missed our favorite one, though.

Spinning Tuesdays: On Board Bobbin Winder and a Denise2Go Giveaway

When I took a class from Sarah Anderson in August, a very nice woman, Debra, sat next to me. She had the coolest set up on her wheel, thanks to her clever husband.

Come look. Can you guess what this is?

What is it?

A removable bobbin winder for her Lendrum!

On board bobbin winder

Here it is in action. It is so simple and brilliant!

So brilliant!

It was turned on a lathe from a dowel. I really want one, for all of my wheels. Have any of you brilliant spinners seen something like this for sale anywhere? Or maybe I can figure it out with PVC, hmmmm. Have I mentioned I love gadgets?



Denise2Go Giveaway

The fabulous Barbara at Denise has donated two Denise2Go interchangeable needle sets for giveaways.

Denise2Go Interchangeable Needle Set – cute!

This clever little kit is a pretty perfect – throw it in your purse in case of a knitting emergency – knitting needle set. Mine has been put to use many times when I’ve had a yarn buying emergency. Here’s what it has in it:

The case is hand-sewn from designer cottons and contains:

  • 6 pairs of knitting needles, US#5-#10 (3.75 – 6mm)
  • 1 G6 (4mm) crochet hook
  • 3 cords, 14, 16 and 19″ (36, 41 and 48cm)
  • 2 end buttons and 1 extender
  • Needles, hook and cords are all colored to coordinate with the rosy case.

Retail price, $49.95

Regular contest rules: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday November 23rd. Two comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

WWW: Publisher’s Weekly Acclaim; WWW-era Knitters; Ohio Knitting Mills Pop-up Shop

The lucky winner of our Knit Swirl kit is Patty in Colorado. Many thanks to Fiber Wild for this very generous giveaway!

Publisher’s Weekly, an industry publication targeted at mainstream booksellers/bookstores has announced their “books of the year” for 2012. In the “Lifestyle” category, two of the ten acclaimed books are about knitting: Knit Your Own Cat, and Cast On Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods.

Knitting for a cause.

As part of the commemorations for Remembrance/Veterans Day, the National Film Board of Canada blogged some photographs from their archives of Canada during the years of World War Two. The photograph of the “Little Happy Gang” children’s knitting club taken in 1940 is a fabulous document of the time.

Sensible advice from Mary Mooney on the Oregonian blog about how knitters can best contribute to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Speaking of good causes: friends of Knitty, the lovely ladies of Waterloo, Ontario yarn shop Shall We Knit have launched a silent auction to sell off some of the shop samples. Proceeds raised will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund – an organization that helps women undergoing treatment for breast cancer with their daily expenses. The money goes directly to those in need, helping with rent or mortgage payments, household bills, medical, food and childcare expenses.

Might be a nice way to get a headstart on your holiday knitting?

Knitter Martin Smith

A pleasantly non-stereotyping profile of Martin Smith and Gregg Henderschiedt, two male knitters based in Florida. The article reports that The Knitting Guild Association, a US organization that holds conferences and meetings about knitting, said only about 1 percent of its current members are men. I wonder if the Knitty audience reflects that gender division? It would be interesting to know…

I think I would look great in this dress… and my birthday is coming up… 🙂

Ohio Knitting Mills has launched a holiday pop-up shop in Ohio City. Ohio Knitting Mills was founded in 1927 in Cleveland and grew to become one of the US’s largest knitwear manufacturers. OKM produced knitwear for stores from Sears to Saks and labels like Pendleton, Van Heusen, and Jack Winter. The brand has been relaunched, and a book of knitting patterns was published to much acclaim. I’m personally most excited to hear that the fabulous ‘Mondrian dress’ – shown in the picture – originally designed in 1968, will be available for sale at the shop.

Are you a Fan of Knit,Swirl and Mountain Colors? Have I got a giveaway for you!

The Knitty 10th Anniversary giveaways just keep coming here at the KnittyBlog and today’s is a doozy!


Knit, Swirl!

Are you a fan of the book Knit, Swirl? The folks  at Fiber Wild! in Galena, Illinois are; they sell a lot of the book and the yarns to make the sweaters. When they discovered that the original yarn for the Plum Perfect sweater in the bestselling book was no longer available ,they took up the challenge to create a replacement.

They worked with author Sandra McIver and the wonderful yarn people at Mountain Colors and came up with a gorgeous solution. Plum Perfect knit in Mountain Colors Alpaca Blend (Alpaca and Wool) and Twizzle yarns:

Plum Perfect!

They also have a luxury version  in Mountain Colors Mountain Goat and Jeannette (cashmere/silk blend ) yarns . Yum. Both kits are available exclusively at Fiber Wild.

To help spread the word about these unique kits, Fiber Wild is giving away a kit for Plum Perfect in Mountain Colors Alpaca Blend (Alpaca and Wool) and Twizzle yarns.

Plum Perfect colorways. Some plum, some not so plum.

One reader will win a kit for for the Plum Perfect sweater and a copy of Knit, Swirl!  Thanks to the generous folks at Fiber Wild!

Prize value: $234.90

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, November 12th, 2012. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.


If you are interested in buying a kit for Plum Perfect, Fiber Wild has a deal for you.

When you buy a kit, either the Alpaca/Twizzle or Mountain Goat/Jeanette version  you get both a copy of Knit,Swirl! and shipping free.

WWW: Shetland Craft Trail; First World War Socks; Knitting Rocking Chair

The lucky winners of our Addi Clicks starter kits are Arianna, Jamie, Kelly and Shirley. Many thanks to Addi/Skacel for the prizes!

Hazel Tindall, resident of Shetland and the putative World’s Fastest Knitter. (Note the straight needles; she’s a lever knitter.)

Love love love: the Shetland Arts & Crafts Association in Shetland, Scotland – home of fabulous Fair Isle and wonderful lace knitting – has developed the “Craft Trail. The trail is a map of the islands developed specifically to allow visotors to explore the amazing physical and creative landscape in the myriad islands that make up Shetland. The journey allows you to visit craftmakers, designers and artists in their homes and studios. It’s not just about knitting, but there’s a lot of wonderful wooliness to see. A wonderful feature on the Guardian, including a profile of knitter Hazel Tindall, and more info about it about on the Shetland Arts and Crafts website.

A sock knitted from the 1915 pattern.

Fab story from Australia about the efforts to knit socks for the troops during the First World War. Knitter Janet Burningham created a pair of socks from an original leaflet, “The Grey Sock Kit” dated 1915, that was found by the family of early 20th century knitter Irene Read in a collection of her materials intended for donation to the New South Wales State Library. The pattern, published as a leaflet small enough to fit into a woman’s handbag, was to be followed exactly so that the socks were as comfortable as they could be.

Rock on!

Students at ECAL university of art and design in Lausanne, Switzerland have invented the Knitting Rocking Chair. Conceived as way project to capture the kinetic energy in a rocking chair, the motion turns gears that work a loom knitter that produces a hat: offering moments of relaxation that are also productive. Clever! It’s part of an larger “low-tech factory” project in the school of industrial design.

Knitting for a good cause.

A knitter in the UK has been using her needles to raise funds for the local air Ambulance. She has raised over £16,000 in the last eight years.

Our kind of holiday decorations! A group of knitters in Iowa City, Iowa, has dressed 130 trees in sweaters in the downtown core of the city. The project, part of city holiday decorations, was commissioned and funded by the local business business improvement association. Fun video!

It’s Wovember! Are you wearing wool?

Spinning Tuesdays: Help Rebuild Judith MacKenzie’s Studio & More Sampling – I Can’t Help It.

As many of you know, the studio where Judith MacKenzie is artist-in-residence burned to the ground on October 29th. She has lost most everything associated with her fiber career – equipment, fiber, books and resources. Interested in helping or donating to the cause? There is now a site dedicated to rebuilding Judith’s studio – RebuildJudithsStudio.

Judith’s newest DVD from Interweave.


In spinning/knitting news. I can’t leave well enough alone. I thought I want the blended version of my Fiberstory yarn for a sweater, on the right below.

Plied and combined.

But after reading all of your comments I changed my mind  to the piled, kinda stripey version, on the left above.

Then I got in into my head that maybe I want at least part of it to be lace. So back to the wheel and needles.

Colors combined with plying, left, and drafting, right

I may still say plied and I am surprised. I’m not a big fan of striping, but I’m falling for the plied version, I love the way the dark teal pops.

I do want to spin a little finer, this is at the top end of DK weight, which will lengthen the color run. And of course on a sweater the knitting field will be bigger, making the stripes narrower.

Have I mentioned lately, that I love knitting with handspun? So many possibilities!


Knitting Monday: What Are You Working On? And a SweaterBabe Giveaway

My knitting is really flagging. I have at least 8 first tier UFOs (those not in knitting time out or more than a year old) and I was planning on knitting 7 gifts for the holidays.

My knitting mojo has failed me. I am a slow knitter at the best of times, but my pace has been something like frozen molasses lately.  I am happily, but slowly, working on a shawl for me. Bolting by Stephen West out of Glory Days by Briar Rose in a fabulous red colorway. And that’s it.

Bolting in Briar Rose Glory Days

My holiday knitting is stalled dead. I have one gift finished and no juice to start the rest. I’m regrouping. I don’t want to knit panic-y. I don’t want to knit because I feel like I have to, I have enough deadlines. I want to knit gifts to give something I’ve spent time on to people I love who appreciate my work. So I’m slashing my holiday  knitting projects to two.  A pair of socks and a chunky couch blanket that’s a resurrected UFO from last year. Those knitting have-tos really suck the happy out of me. Now that I’ve made the decision, I feel like knitting again.

 SweaterBabe Pattern Giveaway

How are all of you doing with the Daylight Savings time shift? Katherine Lee a.k.a SweaterBabe has given us some of her lovely patterns as a giveaway to take a little bit of the time shift sting out of this week.

SweaterBabe Patterns!

Three winners will get to choose three PDFs each from the SweaterBabe pattern library!

Prize value: $12.00-$24.00

More SweaterBabe Patterns!

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, November 7th. Three comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.