Monthly Archives: August 2014

WWW: Sheep Trekking, Lamb Races and Fall Fiber Fairs

Marisa from Minneapolis is our winner of the Mrs Crosby/Grantangle giveaway. Congrats to Marisa!

UK Magazine is sponsoring the 2014 British Knitting Awards: a nice opportunity to promote the craft of knitting, and some of the key players in the industry, small and large. Categories include yarns brands, shops, blogs, and books.

Image courtesy The Guardian.

A Walk on the Wool Side. A farm in Wales has announced a new option for those who like a nice walk: sheep trekking. Visitors roam a nearby national park with “specially trained” Jacob sheep.

They’ve thought of everything: the sheep guides will be fitted with a “harness that can carry a light lunch”.

The video is a winner: bonus adorable puppy!

And on this side of the Atlantic, the Mississipi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario has announced the details of this year’s Fibrefest. High on the list of must-see events is a Lamb Race, rather sensibly not feature real lambs, but toy ones.

The event, held September 13 & 14th, features all kinds of fibery goodness, including demonstrations spinning, knitting, weaving, rug hooking, lacemaking, smocking and quilting; a vendor fair, and a vintage clothing show and sale. Their “Button Mania” event sounds amazing, with displays of WWI-era military and fashion buttons, and button vendors.

Also that same weekend, September 13th, it’s the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Guild Fair. It’s the second year of the even being held in its new home, the Kitchener Aud, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Needle manufacturer DyakCraft posted on their Facebook group about a devastating fire at one of their suppliers, Rutland Plywood. Their post highlights the importance of small suppliers on artisan craftspeople and their businesses. We often think of an artisan and their work, but not their suppliers.


Clever: yarn company Quince has just launched an app that allows users to search for Quince yarns by gauge.

Jillian’s Spinning: Diversion by Magazine

I am now on the last 6 months before my book manuscript is due and my brain is hopping around like a flea. Everyday I take some time for a diversion, I make myself do something relaxing for at least 30 minutes in the middle of the day, when maybe, I should be working. I relax and it takes that high pitched, “you need to work better,faster,stronger!” whine in my head to a much lower decibel.

One of my favorite diversions is magazines. To be counted as a diversion it can’t be a knitting (my exception is any Japanese knitting magazine) or spinning magazine (the exception here is fresh out of the mailbox issues of PLY or Spin Off) but it can have to do with other textile lovliness. Here are a few I’m looking at this week:

Selvedge – the British textile magazine everyone I know wants to live inside.

Selvedge - even the paper feels good!

Selvedge – even the paper feels good!


TAC – the brand new Textile Arts Center magazine

TAC - Who doesn't love a fleece cover?

TAC – Who doesn’t love a fleece cover?

Hoop-La – a newish (this is the second issue) British embroidery magazine that seems to feature every embroidery designer that fill my boards on Pinterest.

Hoop-La even when I don't have time to stitch, I can read about it.

Hoop-La, even when I don’t have time to stitch, I can read about it.

Väv – a Swedish weaving magazine that Jane Patrick of Schacht introduced to me. Although I haven’t sat at a loom in many years, this magazine makes me itchy to weave.

Väv you make me want to weave again.

Väv – you make me want to weave again.

Do you read any of these magazines? Do you have any suggestions of others that I would find diverting?

Come hang with us! Fall Teaching Schedules

In addition to writing this blog, and editing your favourite online knitting magazine, the Knitty team also enjoys teaching.

Come, take a class with us!


It’s a quiet year for me on purpose, so there’s just a few things coming up!

October 4-5, 2014 I’ll be teaching at Knit City with Kate in Vancouver!

October 14, 2014 I’m excited to be hosting a panel discussion at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto!
Topic: Make Your Voice Heard: The Intersection of Craft, Creativity, and Activism

And you can take my Plug+Play class beginner’s design class any time, now that I’m on Craftsy!

I’m now taking bookings for 2015 and beyond.


September 19-21, 2014 I’m teaching at a color party at the Happy Camper Fiber Retreat in Hartland, Michigan

Late September or Early October, 2014  My Plying class for Craftsy launches!

October 31 – November 2, 2014  I’m teaching at the Intrepid Knitter, Intrepid Spinner retreat in Baltimore, Maryland. My classes are Colorplay, Big Yarns, 12 Ways to Spin Variegated Yarn, The Difference a Ply Makes and Spinning for Stitching.

April 11, 2015 I’m teaching Colorplay at a guild in Iowa City.

April 16-19 2015 I’ll be with Kate at Interweave’s Yarn Fest in Loveland, CO. Class details TBA.


September 18-21, 2014  I’m at the Needle Emporium Knitting Camp at the Bayview-Wildwood Resort. Info here.

October 4-5, 2014  I’ll be with Amy at KnitCity in Vancouver, B.C. Classes are Custom Fit Socks, Pattern Writing, Finishing and the Pi Shawl. Info here.

October 18th, 2014 I’m at Spun Fibre Arts in Burlington, Ontario.

November 15th & 16th, 2014  I’m at Shall We Knit in Waterloo, teaching Toe Up Socks, Fixing Mistakes, Finishing and the Pi Shawl.

December 13th, 2014  I’m at Linda’s Craftique in Port Credit, Ontario.

April 16-19 2015 I’ll be with Jillian at Interweave’s Yarn Fest in Loveland, CO. Class details TBA.

Of course, if you’re in the Toronto area, I teach regularly at The Purple Purl and Lettuce Knit.

(And watch for an announcement about NYC in January…)

WWW: Needlework Practical and otherwise; coffee yarn; Stevie Nicks wants a new shawl

Historians and fans of ephemera (and the work of Franklin Habit) will enjoy this amazing new reprint of Volumes 1-6 of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, from Interweave.

Weldon’s Practical Needlework was a popular Victorian magazine of knit, crochet, patchwork, and other “useful articles” involving needlework. Published in England roughly between 1885 and 1915, it offered women of the burgeoning middle class a variety of technical instructions and projects.

Some of the projects are indeed entirely practical; others, like the pattern for “reins” for small children, less so. The books provide a fascinating insight into the minds and lives of knitters from previous time. As a teacher and editor, I find the style and standards of pattern writing utterly and wonderfully mind-boggling.

A feature on the Guardian about innovations in sustainable textiles. Coffee I can get behind; not sure about the snail poo, though.

Stevie Nicks wants a new shawl. She’s launched a contest.


Make blankets, not war.

Discovery Harbour, a historical site on Georgian Bay, in Ontario, Canada, recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they asked for knitters and crocheters to contribute to a yarn-bombing. Peggy W. contributed a few squares, and took a few photos on her recent visit.

The Doctor is back on Saturday. Do you have your shawl ready?

Did you see the image being used to promote this first episode of the new series? Fingerless mitts on the Doctor! Joan of Dark has very kindly published a pattern for them…

Love it!

Friends of Knitty KnitSocial blogged about their project to yarnbomb Vancouver’s annual Pacific National Exhibition siten. Love the photos!

Jillian’s Spinning: The Spinner’s Book of Fleece Giveaway!

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

FO & WIP-spotting from the First Fall Issue

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.






WWW: Sheep races cyclist; knitted silent film, Knitter-in-Residence announced

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.

Mrs. Crosby’s Grantangle Giveaway!

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


WWW: Chicago Yarn Crawl, Felt Shop, Style Sheets & Pattern Editing Insight

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.