WWW: Sweaters of the Season; The Bale Yarn Club; Squid

Festive woollies, for a good cause. What’s not to like?

The charity “Save the Children” in the UK has decreed Friday December 14th as “Christmas Jumper Day” – The organization is encouraging everyone to wear their “most embarrassing” festive sweater to raise money for the charity. Now, we could argue with the “embarrassing” bit, but we love the excuse to get decked out in festive finery. The Guardian has a nice little piece, with links to a free Debbie Bliss pattern for children’s reindeer sweater pattern (ok, maybe for next year) and a rather charming slideshow of cheerful people in sometimes silly sweaters.

Can’t wait to follow along!

We’re enormously excited about Clara Parkes’ new venture, the Bale yarn club. After years of writing and talking about yarn, Clara has started down the path to making her own yarn. Last spring, she purchased a 676lb bale of fiber from renowed sheep farmer Eugene Wyatt. Over the first 6 months of 2013, Clara is going to journey across America to make yarn from her bale. She’ll provide biweekly updates on the process, and subscribers will be able to watch every step of the way.  She’ll be meeting everyone involved in the end-to-end yarn production process, there will be videos and interviews and Clara’s always insightful commentary on what she sees and does, and what’s up with her bale. With that much fiber, there’s a lot of yarn to be made, and she’s going to be experimenting with different preps, blends, twists, and ply combinations – until the bale is gone.

Full subscribers will receive shipments of the yarn produced – nearly 2 lbs each! Sadly, these are sold out, but I’m personally going to sign up for the Armchair traveler package – to have full access to all the content, and watch Clara’s travels and explorations.

Fascinating: we’ve all heard of knitters who spin and work with dog hair. Discussion of this always prompts a wide variety of reactions – from amused to disturbed. Logically, there’s no big difference between dogs and sheep – they both enjoy rolling in mud just as much! – but it’s the emotional connection that changes the equation. This article discusses the historical use of dog fur – in the 18th and early 19th century, native Pacific Northwest communities kept packs of “woolly dogs” for their fur, and the resulting yarn was used for weaving and knitting.

Quite possibly my favorite yarn-bomb ever. A giant squid. On a London phonebox. Just click. You know you want to.

A slide show of this season’s most fashionable sweaters, courtesy of New York Magazine. I always love looking at these, not just for design inspiration, but also to feel very pleased about seeing something any knitter could easily make being sold for hundreds of dollars. Seriously, there’s an APC sweater for $290USD that looks exactly like one of my earliest sweaters, right down to the color.

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3 thoughts on “WWW: Sweaters of the Season; The Bale Yarn Club; Squid

  1. Reb

    I knew Ravelry’s Ugliest FO thread would be inspirational for “higher end” designers one day. Thank you for the slideshow. Unbelievable!

  2. Kelly H.

    This fall I fell in love with a hat (and yarn) made from merino and samoyed dog hair. The resulting hat is silky smooth and has a substantial halo that’s dyed a different colour than the merino so it’s a blue hat with a black halo – really, really cool! They had all sorts of colour combinations. The maker is Still River Mill and the yarn was called Seven Sammy’s. She said that it’s completely non-itchy and you can wear it all day without any irritation and she’s absolutely right! Really cool stuff!

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