Author: @jillianmoreno

Knitting Mondays: Killybegs Progress and Quince & Co Winner

Jaime from Virginia is our winner of the new Quince & Co. pattern book , Wool Book One.

Congratulations to Jaime and than you to Quince & Co for the prize!

Don”t forget over at the Quince & Co shop you can use the code: KNITTY through Wednesday September 28, 2011 to get 10% off of your total purchase. The code is good for one use per reader.


Jillian here with progress on my pretend Rhinebeck sweater [I’m pretending that I’m going].

I’m knitting Killybegs from Contemporary Irish Knits.

I’m nearly to the armholes, take a peek at the lovely honeycomb:

Almost to the armholes


Honeycomb cable

The cable pattern is easy to memorize, it’s great tv knitting. I’m a little concerned about the i-cord cast on being to tight, but not concerned enough to rip all the way back. If it turns out to be a problem I’ll cut it off and work an alternate edge.

Is anyone else knitting  a Rhinebeck sweater for a real or pretend trip to Rhinebeck?


Surprise Giveaway!

Thank to Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden we have a giveaway today!

Serenity Silk, Silver Moon colorway

1 skein of luxurious Serenity Silk 75% Superwash Merino/15% Cashmere/10% Silk
Approx. 500 yards (100 g) , prize value $34 CAD.

Also, for the weekend – September 23rd to Sunday, September 25th, Knitty readers are welcome to use the discount code “KNITTY” to receive 10% off their orders at the Zen Yarn Garden shop.

The usual rules apply for our giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Sunday, September 25, 2011. A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If s/he answers correctly s/he will win our prize.

Thanks to Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden for this yummy prize!

Spinning Tuesdays: Spin in Public and Briar Rose Winner

The spinner who will be happily spinning Briar Rose Fibers silk is Deborah from Illinois.

Thanks to Briar Rose Fibers for a wonderful prize!

I took to the streets, (well a hallway really – it was chilly) with my spinning pals for World Wide Spin In Public Day. Amy came down from Toronto and met her new Sidekick. We spun at The Spinning Loft where there were treats and sales and at any given time 20+ spinners. I only took a few pictures because I was spinning.

Our hostess, telling stories and spinning thread-fine yarn.

Fleece, spinners and Amy with that second cup of coffee she shouldn't have had.
A Schacht threepeat featuring Amy and her new Sidekick. Yes, she loves it.
More spinners. Check out Erica's new to her Majacraft - a Tiny Tim, no longer made, but adorable.

We made a few new spinners answered lots of questions about spinning and ate cupcakes. What did you do for Spin in Public Day?


Knitting Mondays: A Fabulous Fall Giveaway Contest and Jillian Starts a Sweater

It may or may not feel like fall where you are, here in Michigan it varies between 80 and 60 daily, but everyone has the itch for fall knits. I swear can hear knitting needles clicking everywhere I go.

Here at Knitty we want to help your jones for a new knit by having a super giveaway!

Darrin by Laura Chau

A yarn pack for the Darrin Cardigan by Laura Chau!

Thanks to the wonderful folks at The Fibre Company we have 1 Road to China Light [65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere] yarn pack to give to a lucky Knittyblog reader. Prize value $105-$195.

The usual rules apply. Leave a comment to this post before midnight, eastern time, on Friday, September 17, 2011. A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If s/he answers correctly  they will win our prize.

Good Luck!

It’s Jillian and I’ve started my new fall sweater. I think I’m pretending I’m going to Rhinebeck and diving into the new sweater for Rhinebeck fun.

I fell in love with Killybegs from the new book Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller

Who’s surprised that I , tweed hoarder, have the exact yarn it calls for in my stash?

It’s Donegal Yarns Aran Tweed, I chose a red tweed, though I may or may not have it in a couple other colors.

I swatched for several days. I even blocked my swatches. I am serious about this sweater.

Killybegs swatch

This weekend I cast on. It’s knit in one piece to the armholes and begun with a I-cord cast on. I cast on 200 stitches more than once to get the tension right.

Killybegs cast on

I’ve officially begun. Wish me luck that I finish before next year!


Spinning Tuesdays: Say Hello to Fall with Silk

Did you know that Briar Rose Fibers now has silk fiber? She’s dyeing silk bricks.

I have loved Chris’ sense of color for a long time – deep organic shades. I frequently call it shades of dirt, but not in a bad way – it’s rich and multi-hued with color grounded in browns.

When Chris starts something new she sometimes sends me a little to play with, here’s my silk:

Greens, golds and blues on a silk brick


I dug in my stash for some Briar Rose fiber to blend it by plying with and came up with two possibilities in BFL.

Darker and lighter purple-ish colorways

Just from looking at the photo which one would you choose? I bet on the darker colorway, it has more colors that are similar, and it’s closer tonally for less marling. I spun finer than I usually do, woolen for the BFL and worsted for the silk.

Lighter colorway plied with silk
Darker colorway plied with silk

I was surprised (aren’t I always?) about a couple of things. The lighter colorway didn’t marl with the silk, they blended together really well, especially in the knitted swatch. The darker colorway didn’t pop with the silk like I expected, too many colors too close in tone. But I do like them both.

BFL-silk swatches

I can’t decide. I think I like them both equally, and I think they would look beautiful worked in something together.

What’s your vote?

To celebrate the beginning of fall (and my kids going back to school!) Briar Rose Fibers is giving away one dyed silk brick to a lucky Knitty Blog reader. The prize value is $45.00 US.

The usual rules apply: Leave a comment to this post before midnight, eastern time, on Thursday, September 8, 2011. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the reader answers correctly s/he will win a dyed silk brick from Briar Rose Fibers.



Obsession Thursdays: Knitting Books

It’s Jillian and I have a knitting book obsession. I have a lot, I’ve been buying them since the late 80’s. They have moved with me 5 times, growing every time.

I’ve never counted them:

Newer knitting books and magazines, also spinning books

I don’t alphabetize them, just sort of group them by topic or whim. I almost never loan them out.

Knit design books and stitch dictionaries

Some of my books have to live in the basement, which I’m reorganizing. They keep my yarn company.

The 80's & 90's. Lots of Rowan, including the magazines starting with #1

Even though I get review books for Knitty, I still buy a lot of books every year.

Review book stash in the process of reorganization, plus older magazines.

Right now I’m stuck on stitch dictionaries of all eras and all of the self published and small press knitting books that lots of designers are doing.

What are your favorite knitting books?


Spining Tuesdays: Corespinning – try this!

I can’t stop thinking about and trying different ways to corespin. I want it to be balanced and soft. I have a dream of knitting some sort of sweater out of corespun – loose and layer-y.

I’ve been researching different ways to corespin. I’ve found a bunch of different methods and haven’t tried them all yet, but I wil,l and will report back.

Here’s the one I tried this week and I really like the result – Coreless Corespinning.

With this technique you split off a small amount of your batt – about a pinkie finger’s thickness, and spin a single while you are corespinning. It’s brilliant.

I found a good video by Jazz Turtle Creations on You Tube – it starts at about 1:53.

Creating the core while I spun did two things for me, it kept the yarn really soft and lofty and I was able to get as close as I’ve ever come to a balanced yarn.

Here’s my yarn fresh and feisty:

Just off the bobbin

After a hot water soak:

After a hot bath

I didn’t dry this under any tension. I soaked it in hot water, squeezed it out and draped it on a chair outside to dry. Cool!


There are a couple of other techniques that I want to try and then the puzzle of knitting with corespun starts – loose, tight, what type of pattern, you know the rolling obsession part of being a spinner. Stay tuned.


Next Tuesday, to celebrate my kids going back to school I’m going to have a giveaway, and it’s a good one.

Knitting Mondays: Winners & What’s on Our Needles

Winners of a copy each of the book  10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters are Patricia in Florida and Lisa in Michigan. Congratulations and happy fall knitting!

In this segment of What’s On Our Needles, Jillian shouts to the heavens:

“I touched Techno!”

Terrific Techno

Blue Sky Alpacas’ new yarn, Techno, is yummy. It’s the yarn I heard about again and again from fiber folks who went to the industry trade show, TNNA, in June. I finally touched some and then couldn’t stop touching.

Techno is an alpaca/silk yarn, but not just any alpaca/silk yarn, it’s a yarn constructed of alpaca fiber blown into a silk mesh tube. Light? Yes. Soft? Uummm, yes.

In my hands the yarn wanted to be knit loosely, making it feel even lighter. I’m not sure how a sweater knit from this yarn at an open gauge would hold up, you might blow away like dandelion fluff, but it would feel amazing while it lasted.

Techno swatching

I swatched and swatched, my first project is going to be a hat, that will be whisper light and warm.

It’s almost hat weather right?

I’m not the only knitter smitten. Read Clara Parkes review, she couldn’t quit knitting either.


Spinning Tuesdays: Phat Fiber Fluff Box

I got a Phat Fiber Fluff Box in the mail. Did you hear me squee?

Don’t know what Phat Fiber is? There is a detailed description here, but in a nutshell it is a box of samples, either fiber, yarn or a mix. Fiber artists contribute a certain number of small samples that they have dyed, carded and packaged as they are inspired by the theme of the month. Phat Fiber boxes go on sale once a month and there is a limited number of each box, so you have to click quickly.

The theme for August is Bollywood!

Look at the beautiful box full of fiber:

Phat Fiber Fluff Box for August

20 little fiber packages, not counting the extra goodies like buttons, henna and a cool bangle to wrap in handspun.

I knew you wanted a closer look

The fiber artists that contributed obviously had fun with the theme, it shows in fiber sample and  in the individual packaging. The detail is wonderful from special fonts and photos to silk ribbons to tiny bells.

Packaging details - look at the tiny bells

Unwrapped the fiber looks like this : 7.75 ounces of fiber to spin.

Almost 8 ounces of fiber - look at the sparkle!

The variety of fiber combinations and color is huge. So what doesn a spinner do with .5 ounce amounts of 20 different fiber blends?

This spinner corespins.

Corespinning in the sunshine

I plan to corespin all of the fiber, grabbing the fiber randomly from a big bowl. Sometimes I use all of the .5 ounce in one shot, sometimes I only use half. I am amazed at how it’s all coming together. Corespinning really showcases the fibers and makes a cool looking yarn. I am working on making my corespun yarn balance so I can use it to knit with.

Anyone have tips for balancing corespun yarn?

Let me talk about the collection of fiber artists that contributed to this particular box.

I am an unapologetic fiber wh*re – I have a big stash, I look at fiber and touch fiber every day, I talk about fiber and fiber people every day (yes, I love my job) , but most of the fiber folks in this box of fine fluff were new to me.  I love that.

Book Giveaway!

I can feel fall sneaking in around the edges it must be time to start new knitting projects!

Today we have a giveaway for a book to inspire you to start some new projects.

We have 2 copies of 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters to giveaway.

Let's knit!

A wonderful collaboration between Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza that may just change how you think about knitting.

The usual rules apply. Leave a comment to this post before midnight, eastern time, on Monday, August 22, 2011. Two comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If they answer correctly they will each win a book.

Happy Knitting!