Archives

WWW: ancient yarn; brand-new Kaffe-y teapots; prettier left-leaning decreases

And you think your stash is old? Wanna see a 3000-year-old ball of yarn? Preserved in a bog in the UK, it’s quite delicate. But we want to know: what’s it made of? Wool? Linen?


One of the gorgeous teapots in the new Kaffe Fassett collection, in collaboration with The London Pottery Co.

Got the gimmes today? Maybe you want a Kaffe Fassett Teapot. Kaffe is releasing a whole line of gorgeous modern teapots* with built-in infusers, just in time for holiday gifting. (Clever chap.) My favorite is this one in the paperweight pattern. In case anyone needs a gift idea. (*Affiliate link.)


Look at this bit of cleverness: left-leaning decreases as pretty as their right-leaning counterparts! Oh, the difference this could make in a fully fashioned…whatever. So much pretty!

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: free yarn for a good cause; This Thing of Paper; Izzy dolls are better than packing peanuts

Online shop YarnCanada is giving back…12 batches of yarn to individuals or groups who knit for good causes to a total of $2000! Want to apply? Check it out here. And in extra coolness, the gifting extends to Canadians AND Americans. That’s awesome.


Friend of Knitty, Karie Westermann, will be releasing her Kickstarter-funded knitting book, This Thing of Paper at the end of this month. Containing 11 knitting patterns inspired by books,  “This Thing of Paper is a contemplative meditation on the tension between handmade and machine-made.” That’s a pretty enticing description. To get your copy, visit Karie’s website.

Super-cool factoid: it’s he first knitting book to be included in the Gutenberg Museum’s archive of book history. Holy cow!


Photo by John Mahoney | Montreal Gazette

This is a new one to me: a group of knitters makes adorable Izzy dolls for underprivileged children overseas. They give the finished dolls to Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), who use the woolly toys to help keep the contents of boxes of medical supplies shipped overseas protected during shipping. How smart is that?

The story is worth reading. It’s amazing how a few hours work from each knitter can make a difference bigger than just the joy of a child.

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: Squam lives!; tube textile designers tell tales; KneuroKnits for teens with ASD

Like many of you, we were very sad to hear that Squam would not be continuing. But just this week, we heard that a new leader had taken up the reins, and Squam will go on! Hallelujah! Finally something good is happening in 2017.


If you’re lucky enough to be in London this Thursday, you can hear Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell of the Wallace Sewell Studio (that’s them above) talk about their approach to textile design through woven fabric.

Who are these women? Well, among other things, they’ve designed fabric for the Tube and Trains that run around London. Click the photo to hear a short clip of them talking about it.


And if you’re in Toronto (or nearby) and know someone 14-18 (or are one yourself) with ASD who’s interested in learning a new skill and interacting with other teens with ASD, you could participate in Holland Bloorview’s KneuroKnits research knitting project. What a cool way to contribute to science!

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: poppies for remembering; poppy patterns; NICU babies in costume; a play inspired by knitting

red knitted poppies cover white pillars of a grand portico

photo courtesy ITV news

In countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, poppies signify remembrance of those who fought in wars and died. In tribute, we wear a poppy on our lapel.

In Godalming, Surrey, they went a step further this year. Volunteers covered the town center with 6000 poppies…–>

It’s beautiful.


Want to make some poppies of your own? Here’s a crochet version with 5 options and a knitted one by our friend, Laura Chau.


I can’t stand it. Tara Fankhauser is the coolest NICU nurse ever. Look at the costumes she created for the little patients she’s caring for.

In related news, when will people learn the difference between knitting and crochet?  It’s not that hard to spot, is it?


I think this may be a first: a stage play inspired by a children’s book about knitting. The Knitting Pattern will be on stage in London (the cool one in England) at the end of November.

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: Cotton and flax back on UK looms; WWI sock club turns to books; all cashmere is not equal (you don’t say)…

Marion Glaser-Baur at the loom at Flax Mill Textiles © Sean and Yvette

A company that has been around for 156 years, and has been making bedsheets for the Queen for at least some of that time, is bringing cotton weaving back to the UK. It’s been done in Italy until recently. I’m so glad to see the historical fiber arts working their way back to the UK, one by one.

And lo and behold, flax is making a comeback too! Meet Flax Mill Textiles.


In heritage coolness, it seems this centenarian book club started out in WWI as a group who knit socks for soldiers. Started because they thought they should be multitasking beyond chatting when knitting, the group buys books for their library with the club dues, and discusses them at their meetings.


Knitters do this all the time, often in our heads, and usually with our hands, but the Daily Mail just figured out that not all cashmere (sweaters) are created equally. You mean not all yarn is the same? GASP.

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: The Knit Show is LIVE!; everyone can wear horizontal stripes; the conundrum of Innocent’s smoothie hats; sheep to help you sleep

We’re thrilled that our friend Vickie Howell’s The Knit Show project, funded by Kickstarter (go crowdfunding!) is finally live and we can watch it! After watching the first few episodes, I’m very happy to have been one of Vickie’s supporters, and can’t wait to see what other cool people and techniques she’ll be featuring in future shows. Yay Vickie! Yay crowdfunding!


Vertical stripes? No thank you.

Via one of my favorite Brits, Eleanor  of Knit Nottingham comes this link to a blog post from the past (via the retired blog Knitting at Large) that needs to be read: it makes my heart happy: Horizontal stripes do NOT make you look fatter. Thank heavens, because I am almost finished my After the Rain pullover, which has horizontal stripes and I love it.

I have always thought that vertical stripes look like a circus tent on people of any size.


I confess that I have been charmed by the tiny hats on smoothie bottles that knitters have donated when I’ve visited the UK in past years. But the Knitting Goddess blog post brings up some very good points about their effectiveness in making change for the elderly, and suggests better ways for knitters to support them without adding yarn to landfill. Cute can only go so far.


Want to see the dullest movie ever made? May we present Baa Baa Land. An 8-hour movie designed to help you fall asleep. Here’s a little snippet:

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: Alan Cumming invents (cough cough) stitch + bitch; Canadian knitters knit socks for UK exhibition; Japanese inventor wants knitting technology to lighten your car

photo of Alan Cumming in front of the sign to his club

ctor Alan Cumming at his East Village venue in 2016. Photo © Sean Zanni

Okay, it’s quite amusing that the wonderful Mr Cumming thinks his friend invented the term “stitch + bitch”, but we’re not really complaining. Because he and his friend, Knitmaster Tom, are offering a Stitch + Bitch night at his new Club Cumming in the East Village of Manhattan. If I were close enough to get there, you bet I would.

If any of you do go, would you send us pictures?


A wonderful display of support shown by Canadian knitters for an exhibition commemorating World War I held in Fordingbridge in the UK. Approximately 30 pairs of handknit socks in the style of the period will be on display.

Take a look at the socks in the article. They’re interestingly tube-shaped, ribbed around the heel and ankle area, and then plain stockinette up the calf till they culminate in a ribbed cuff. Anyone ever knit socks like these?


I love a good tech-meets-knitting story. (Warning: autoplay video with audio) Mitsuhiro Shima has invented whole-garment knitting machines, and wants to adapt them to knitting — get this — car parts. Knitting car parts, then coating the finished items with resin, produces a lighter finished result than conventional methods.

You go, Shima-san.

*Spread the joy!*

Obsession Thursday: Pawley Studios’ yummy MUGS

I am a fan of handmade things. That should not be a surprise, considering. You know?

I love glass. And I love pottery. I’ve seen Pawley Studios’ mugs around at shows, and I wanted some for Knitty.

And now we have them. To celebrate our 15th anniversary, Amanda Pawley has created this gorgeousness for us:

Just 3 of the gorgeous colors Pawley Studios offers

So who is this Amanda Pawley person? In her own words:

“I’ve been making pots for 14 years.  I took my first class in 2003, and I’ve been working in clay ever since.  After college I worked with another full time potter in Florida for two years, which is where I learned more of the business side of being an artist.  My husband and I have had our own studio in Kentucky for 10 years, and we both work at the studio full time.
My favorite part of the process is throwing pieces on the wheel.  It is very relaxing!   It is extremely easy to get caught up in the process and lose track of time, very similar to knitting and crocheting.  I love making functional ware, making beautiful pieces that also have a purpose.  I believe handmade crafts stimulate an emotional connection with the user. I am happiest when people enjoy using one of my pots.

All of my clay and glazes are food, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.  I stream every day live from my studio.  I can teach others about the ceramic process, and streaming allows customers to watch their order being made in real time.”

Pawley Studios is a cat-friendly zone

 

Attaching a handle to a mug

 

Glazing a mug destined for the hands of our Facemelter Patrons (a special surprise for them!)

You can get your own Knitty 15th Anniversary mug (in your choice of any of the colors they offer) right on their site. They’ll ship anywhere. If you order, pop up a picture when you get it on Twitter or Instagram, would you? Use the hashtag #knittymag so we can see yours in action!

 

 

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: Superhero knitter; Join Knitty; Meet a Mensch

Odin sweater, designed by Josh Bennett. Image © Josh Bennett.

We all know Josh Bennett, right? He’s the designer of some gorgeous knitwear. So it’s no surprise, but surely a delight, to hear that he’s designing sweaters inspired by the upcoming movie Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, Josh has a contract with Marvel that lasts through 2018, and is also working on designs inspired by Black Panther, due out next February.

What I love? Is that he’s getting fairly paid for the amount of work that goes into knitting a sweater. (And these are particularly gorgeous sweaters. Prices start at just over $1000. And there are only 10 pieces of each design available. Preorders start October 10.

Could we see Chris Hemsworth wearing one? Please?


Did you know Knitty has a mailing list for its readers, and one for potential designer/contributors? We do! And until last week, it seems they was broken. For a long while. Sorry about that. I fixed ’em, tho!

So if you would like to be kept up to date as soon as a new issue is released, or a new call for submissions is sent out, you can sign up here.

Speaking of contributor lists, I’ll be sending out the Spring+Summer Call for Submissions later tonight. Sign up now and make sure you don’t miss your chance to get your work featured in Knitty!


Mensch (good person) alert: Meet Gilles Chiasson, former homeless person who now knits for other homeless people to show that someone cares about them.

He invites you to join him if you’re near Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in Montreal. Information on how to connect with the group is at the end of the article.

 

*Spread the joy!*

WWW: The gritty life of a Basque sheepherder; doughnut projectiles; crafting veterans; live in a knitting mill

Time to knit the doughnuts. (Photo courtesy The Northern Echo)

I stumbled across The Kitchen Sisters podcast last week, and this story’s title grabbed me. It’s about Basque sheepherders in the American west and it’s not the charming story you imagine it might be.


Holy crap, I miss the UK, especially when I read stories like this one, about a theatre needing knitted doughnuts for the audience to throw at the performers on stage. Not sure what doughnuts have to do with The Wizard of Oz, but I don’t care, either. Long live Panto! –>


A touching story about a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnam veteran husband’s passion for needlework (crochet, though the article mentions knitting).


Can’t own a knitting mill? Well, you could live in one if you’re partial to Syracuse. Rents range from $1,250 to $2,250 a month, and the apartments look pretty fabulous. Expect the standard exposed brick, 100+ year old beams, and 9-foot-tall windows.

*Spread the joy!*