Archives

WWW: Knitting and activism goes way back; FiberCrafty; creating an ocean liner by hand; Yarnit on Funderdome this Sunday

Seems to be the theme of the year in mainstream news’ craft reporting: A brief history of knitting and activism. Not just a story about Pussy Hats (but we do love a good Pussy Hat), this one dives deep, back to 1853.


This might be of interest to those of you who make more than you can use: FiberCrafty looks to be a hand-crafted-fibery Etsy type thingy. So far, I see lots of roving and fiber, some notions, project bags and finished items like hats. Neat!


Eva Jay and her beautifully detailed ocean liner. Photo by Yahoo News UK.

Though this is done with plastic-canvas needlepoint, not knitting as the story suggests, it is an incredible achievement: 5-foot-long ocean liner created by a woman (it took her 2 years) after she receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer with just months to live. More photos at the link.

You’re pretty cool, Eva.


Some of us already have a Yarnit. Inventor Kate Sullivan is bringing her product to national TV to spread the word further; see her on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome show this Sunday. Video of Kate and her neat invention at the link.

Please like & share:

WWW: A salute to Bob; writing instructions for using charts; KnitPetite wants your feedback; celebrating the fiber arts in NFLD

Bob, helping Casey code stuff. Photo stolen (thank you) from The Loopy Ewe

Bob, the most famous Boston Terrier in our knitting world, has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. May your doggy afterlife be full of balls and kisses and treats, sweet Bob. Rest well.


Our own Kate Atherley has written a very helpful post on writing instructions for using charts over at the Stitchmastery blog.


The KnitPetite Project launched 6 months ago, and now they’d like your input in their survey. We love that this underserved area of the handknitting world is getting some attention!


After the Great Fire of 1892 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the School of Industry was established to help teach women weaving, knitting and spinning skills so they could help rebuild their lives and earn a living. Last Saturday, the city celebrated by demonstrating spinning and weaving at St. John’s City Hall.

 

Please like & share:

BONUS long-weekend post: TNNA 2017 @ Columbus

What’s it like to attend a fiber-industry trade show? When you’ve worked in the industry for (gulp) 15 years (!), you know so many people and, hopefully, you like them. If they like you, too, then it’s like a big working party. Tons of hugging and smiling and catching up on the news. And the work part? We get to see all the new products from yarn manufacturers and indie dyers, designers and makers of all types. It’s a pretty great industry to work in.

Jillian comes with me whenever she can, but as her and her daughter’s joint birthday weekend coincides with TNNA almost every year, sometimes I have to do it on my own. This year was one of those years. She’s trained me well…here’s just a little of what I saw! (Regarding my excitement at non-wool yarns, some of you may know I’m allergic to wool, so I can’t help but get excited when I see great stuff that’s not woolly.) 

Cool robot buttons from Skacel

 

PEOPLE. This is ZAUBERBALL COTTON. I almost yelled out loud when I saw it! From Skacel. Please buy tons of it so they keep it in the lineup!

 

El Linio, also from Skacel. MORE LINEN! Yay!

 

The Manos del Uruguay booth is never a disappointment.

 

Trailhead Yarns. Prettttty. And vegan, even!

 

A new loom from Schacht

 

Ahh, Binkwaffle, how we love you.

 

New Binkwaffle zippy pouches with wrist strap!

 

Minute Weaver™ tiny loom from purl&loop

 

More Minute Weavers™ in different gauges

 

Trendsetter’s Transitions Yarn with its handy dispenser bag

 

Meet Kate, the guru behind Dragonfly Fibers, and wearer of an awesome linen apron!

 

Anywhere balm from Love+Leche

 

Hey, It’s Liz Gipson, wearing her Hands-Free Cowl pattern from the Deep Fall 2016 issue of Knitty!

 

I imagined Jillian would go nuts for this gorgeous new extra-speckled tweed – Croft – from West Yorkshire Spinners

 

Our friends at Space Cadet now offer size-flexible ombre bundles – a very cool idea! Details here.

 

Meet Stephanie, the genius behind Space Cadet!

 

I found out about Pawley Studios mugs through Stephanie at Space Cadet. I met Amanda Pawley this year, and got to see her fabulous offerings. Keep an eye out for a Pawley/Knitty collaboration later this year!

 

I loved Jen Giuntoli’s very cool cowl and had to stop her to tell her so. You can find the pattern here. (If she hadn’t published it already, I would have begged to publish it in Knitty! ) Click to embiggen and see the beautiful bead details!

 

Meet Katy Westcott, the woman behind Katrinkles — cool laser-cut bamboo and wooden accessories.

Beautiful yarns from Ancient Arts

 

The women behind Spincycle Yarns work with a monther/daughter-run mill in Washington state, and produce yarns that look like their original handspun offerings, but are repeatable. That’s so cool.

 

The Sweet Georgia booth is always a visual delight. Look at ALL THAT COLO(U)R!

 

Shibui has some of the most beautiful branding and packaging in the industry, and their yarns? Delicious.

 

Yummy fiber-themed pottery from JamPDX

 

The Freia Fibers booth was extra-stunning this year…look at this beautiful creation!

 

Oh, and their yarn is freaking gorgeous, too.

 

We love the wares offered by Hiya Hiya/Nirvana. This sheep shawl pin is the size of your palm! Awesome!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour. There is more at TNNA than I could possibly share with you, but this gives you a taste of why fiber-industry people are so eager to attend this show every year. Great people, fabulous products, and lots of interesting conversation, and collaborations planned for the future. As for that last bit, you’ll just have to wait and see what comes of my conversations in June as we move into our 15th Anniversary Year this September!

Please like & share:

WWW: interview with Maggie Menzel; how flax becomes linen, with bonus Irish accent; knitting, animated; cool sheepy design prototypes

We recently published a beautiful-bright cabled sock called Vinculum. On the Apocalypse Knitting blog, read an interview with Vinculum’s designer, Maggie Menzel.


Those who know me know I am allergic to wool, and as a result, exceptionally fond of anything not-wool that’s worth knitting. Linen is at the top of my list. Thanks to the Mason-Dixon’s weekend newsletter, Snippets, I learned about the wonderfulness that is Colm Clarke of County Donegal (note his correct pronunciation: don-E-gal), who takes us, start to finish, through the process of growing flax and turning it into linen. Now you know why it’s so danged expensive.

(To sign up for your own copy of Snippets, scroll down to the bottom of any page on their site.)


I have no idea how this –> is done. Maybe you do, and animator Gustavo Gonzalez certainly does, but we can all just look at it and go “ooooooooh” together.

Here’s another one.

So soothing.


From graphic designer, Gwyn M. Lewis, this self-promotional design portfolio features woolly yarn and sheep in a very novel way. Although the yarn-ball packaging would only work for display, the bobbins and needle covers look very functional.

Anyone wanna license Gwyn’s work?

Please like & share:

WWW: TNNA, Knitting National Parks, a knit-loving Costume Designer; TCM Knitting Club is aces

A restful moment on the show floor with (L-R) designers Hunter Hammersen and Krista Ann, and Sabrina Famellos of Anzula. (Every booth should have a couch.)

Last week’s WWW update was lost in the pre-TNNA/Amy on vacation shuffle. Sorry about that. Kate did a much better job at making sure we never missed a week. I will endeavour to live up to her legacy in future.

But on the positive side, TNNA (our industry’s trade show) was a fountain overflowing with great new products, inspiration, and quite a few connections made for new designs in future issues. Watch out for brand-new reviews when we launch the Surprise next month…we’re doing two sets of reviews every issue now, so you can see all the new stuff as soon as possible! And I’ll be writing a show wrap-up post soon. With so many pictures!


The new Knitting Our National Parks project kicked off this past Friday. Several indie dyers over the next year will be creating colorways inspired by photos of the national parks from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed, with 10% of sales donated to the National Park Foundation. Indie dyers include Backyard Fiberworks, Pigeonroof Studios, Jill Draper, Duck Duck Wool and Canon Hand Dyes.


You might have noticed the super-cool Blurred Lines cropped pullover pattern in our Spring+Summer issue, designed for and worn by Mindy Kaling on The Mindy Show. The Costume Designer for the show loves knitwear, obvs. Take a peek at this feature to see more about what he does for the show. PS I met Krista Ann (the designer of Blurred Lines, pictured above) at TNNA and we talked about future collaborations. Squee!


We’re really growing fond of the TCM Knitting Club. This month’s newsletter highlights lots of Audrey Hepburn-based knitting projects (our Margot pullover could have been on the list), a whole bunch of Pride-month-friendly rainbow patterns, and much more.

Please like & share:

WWW on the fly:

The Welcome Blanket project

The woman behind the Pussyhat and a team of awesome people have begun another wonderful initiative: the Welcome Blanket project. –>


In Toronto, the arrival of warm weather means it’s almost time for the TTC Knitalong!


I hope you’ll forgive the shortness of this post. Besides putting out the new First Fall issue (Patrons have access right now; the rest of the world gets access tomorrow morning at 10am), I’m prepping for TNNA which happens this weekend in Columbus, OH. OH the Jeni’s that will be consumed!

Also this weekend, Squam. Oh, those lucky ducks who get to go! Maybe one year, it will be me!

See ya next week!

Please like & share:

WWW: Foot binding connected to textile production; Little Knittery forced to move; new New York craft festival; Danish elite buried in woollies

No, really. This fascinating article discusses research into the practise of foot binding in China as a means to keep girls in one place so they could contribute to the family’s income, making textiles. Wow.


Kat Coyle, owner of the Little Knittery (photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Little Knittery, the shop that friend-of-Knitty Kat Coyle owns – which also happens to be the home of the legendary Pussyhat (which Kat designed!) – is being forced to move locations. But they’re not closing, so that’s good news, at least! –>


Big craft festival coming up in NYC, June 3-4, 2017! The Craft in Focus Festival originated in Amsterdam, and this is its first year in New York. All sorts of crafts, including textiles. A really interesting offering! Personally, I’d like to make my own spoon!


The Danish elite of 3500 years ago were buried in fancy woolly hats and shawls. Cool.

Please like & share:

WWW: The TCM Knitting club does Gable; missing Roger and his sweaters; an ode to our Kate

O the things I learn, writing the WWW blog post! Seems there’s an unofficial TCM knitting club which celebrates knitting + classic movies, and this month, their chosen patterns are inspired by “Gable’s casual yet snappy style.” They’ve picked out”a few patterns to suit a sharp-dressed man with outdoorsy tendencies.”

Oh, ROGER! <3

Sounds yummy. Read lots more here — I’m signing up for this newsletter. It’s full of good juicy stuff!


We lost Sir Roger Moore this week (he was my first Bond). Did you know he was also a sweater model back in the day?  —>


I got to speak at the Toronto Knitters Guild’s April meeting. Such a nice bunch of people, plus it’s very special to me, that guild, because I first announced the birth of Knitty at a meeting there in 2002.

There’s a bit of a wrapup of the April meeting in their latest Newsletter, but most importantly, an ode to our own Kate Atherley at the end.

Please like & share:

WWW: Productive daydreaming; sewer pipe turned knitting machine; Pens’ Knitting Lady quoted; the circle of life as it applies to yarn shops

This is something I’ve always felt: Your brain can only take so much focus. (This is why I’m a happy acres-of-stockinette knitter.) Interesting reading!


Bob Rutherford with his handmade sock-knitting machine. (thanks to Julianne Hazlewood/CBC News)

After building a knitting machine with tubing meant for sewers (the waste-transporting type, not tiny pointy needles and thread type), this lovely man has gone on to knit up thousands of pairs of socks for people in shelters in Saskatoon. You have to see what he came up with, the clever man.


We’ve all heard about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Knitting Lady, right? Here’s some rather intelligent commentary on knitting as a behavior modification tool as it applies to rowdy sportsball crowds.


It’s the way of the world. One yarn shop closes; another opens. Running a yarn shop is hard work, folks. Support your local LYS!

Please like & share:

WWW: Sweet Georgia goes Patreon; Knitty Patrons like Ninjas; Revolutionary Knitting Machine

sweet georgia rainbow of yarns

Sweet Georgia sure knows color!

As you likely know by now, Knitty loves Patreon. It allows our readers to support us, and they are doing just that! So we were thrilled to hear that our friends at Sweet Georgia Yarns have started up a Patreon themselves! Says owner Felicia Lo,  “I’m building an online school for craft and colour where I’m making video-based craft workshops on fibre arts topics like dyeing wool yarns and fibres, dyeing cellulose yarns, natural dyeing, hand-painting warps for weaving, spinning intentional yarns for socks or shawls, and working with colour in knitting, and so much more.”

That sounds way cool, Felicia. And right up our alley!


Speaking of Knitty’s Patreon, I announced a new feature yesterday: Knitty Ninja Surprise Packages! And our Patrons are pretty excited about it! Read more here.


This is a little crazypants: a cross between a knitting machine and a 3d printer? That’s what it seems to be! Meet Kniterate. You could have grabbed one of these babies for $4500 during their Kickstarter, but it ended in March. The regular price is is $7500. Delivery is a year from now…it’ll be interesting to see if this product takes off.

Please like & share: