WWW: Winner of movie tickets; The Great Swatch Experiment

The two winners of our giveaway for tickets to see YARN THE MOVIE when it screens in Toronto are Marina and Claudia! We hope you enjoy it!

And I’m posting one article here this week because of how important I think it is. This week, instead of reading me, you should go read this blog post:

Kelbourne Woolens is running The Great Swatch Experiment, and they’ve posted the data from the first swatch.

If you’ve never really understood (or believed) that different knitters can get different results with the same yarn and the same needles – well, prepare to be blown away.

Image from The Kelbourne Woolens blog.

This post provides background on the series and the experiment. This is such an important thing to do!

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WWW: Rhinebeck Week!

Remember, if you’re near Toronto, enter to win a double-pass to see YARN THE MOVIE!

This week it’s THE WEEK. It’s the week of Rhinebeck, properly known as the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, held in Rhinebeck, NY.

If you’re wondering what the deal is:

On the newly relaunched Mason Dixon Knitting website, a primer on How To Rhinebeck.

And yes, part of the fun is in knitting yourself a sweater to wear there. Because of a change in my schedule, I was able to plan a last-minute day trip via NYC. With less than two weeks to go, I decided that a bulky lopapeysa was going to be about all I could manage. I’ve been chronicling my progress on my instagram, and I was very happy to finish it up on Monday night. (Well, it still needs buttons but my excuse is that I’ll be shopping for them at the event.)

Amy, Jillian and I will all be there, and we hope to see you!

People Knitting: A Century of Photographs‘. There’s a magnificent preview here. Note: one of the images is ever so slightly NSFW, in the most amusing way possible.

From Fiona Goble, the designer behind Knit Your Own Royal Wedding, comes Knit Your Own Election: patterns to knit yourself woolly replicas of the two candidates in the US Federal Election.

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YARN the Movie comes to Toronto; Giveaway!

mv5bnjyyywiwm2ytmjg3oc00zdy1ltkwzjutzdi3yte5zjg3zwqxxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymju1mdm3ndm-_v1_sy1000_cr006931000_al_I’ve written about YARN the Movie before, and I was very pleased to hear that it’s coming to Toronto. It’s playing at the Carlton Cinema October 21st-27th. AND we have two double-passes to give away!

The movie aims to introduce to the broader world the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet.

Reinventing our relationship with this colorful tradition, YARN weaves together wool graffiti artists, circus performers, and structural designers into a visually-striking look at the women who are making a creative stance while building one of modern art’s hottest trends.

Featuring interviews with fiber artists artists Olek, Tinna Thorudottir Thorvalder, Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam, Tilde Björfors of Cirkus Cikör and Barbara Kingsolver, the film is a visual delight, and an excellent look at our woolly world.

Watch the trailer here.

If you’re not in Toronto, it’s playing all over, in North America and Europe. Consult your local listings.

To enter, leave a comment below by midnight Sunday eastern time. We’ll announce the winner next week. The usual rules apply: if you’ve won something from us in the past year, please give others a chance. You’ll be asked to answer a skill-testing question. And remember, this is for Toronto screenings only, so you need to be able to get yourself to Yonge and College.


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WWW: When yarn and science collide; our very own “Knitting Humourist”

Love love love these: knitterly illustrations from this week’s New Yorker.

Image (c) Pat Ashforth.

Even if you are not mathematically inclined, these projects are absolutely beautiful. And if you ARE, they are also jaw-droppingly clever. Mathematicians Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer create yarny designs to illustrate mathematical concepts.

The blanket pattern on the left is derived from an image of a grid of superimposed sudokus puzzles, where each of the digits represents a different colour Sudoku grid…

Serves him right: a burglar broke into the home of a woman and managed to get away with only a briefcase full of knitting patterns. Although, if it was out-of-print and hard to find issues of the Rowan magazine, it wouldn’t be quite so funny…

Image (c) Allison Meier for Hyperallergic.

I had no idea: how the Pantone color system evolved from a way of categorizing bird colors.

A lovely profile of “Knitting Humourist” and friend-of-the-show Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, and her appearance at last weekend’s KnityCity event in Vancouver.

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Deep Fall WIPs and FOs

We’ve been project-peeping on Ravelry again!

Sellakka‘s Wings for Nightbird shawl is simply beautiful.


EternalKnitter’s Uberib slippers are fab! And such a quick knit, clearly!


KnitbritchesViatori vest is looking great… an excellent color choice.

Dublin16’s Rain Rain Go Away hat, made for a baby in rainy Seattle, is just perfect.

Artohline‘s Crystalline scarf looks very promising indeed.

And we love it when Knitty designers knit other patterns from the issue… Julia Farwell Clay, the designer of Viatori, is making her own

And although not strictly worked to the pattern, we love Loopysue‘s version of my In Gord We Trust scarf.

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WWW: Terrible knitting pun of the week; on knitting with dog hair; illustrators attempt to depict knitting

Thinking ahead: our own Kate (yes, that’s me!) is teaching next October 20-22nd (yes, 2017) at beautiful St. Andrew by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.  Knit East features a great list of instructors and classes, in a fabulous setting.

Famous Illustrators’ Depictions of Knitting, Ranked in Order of Competence.

Comedian and writer John Hodgman, in his ‘Judge John Hodgman’ Advice column for the New York Times weighs in on a debate about knitting with dog hair.

I was recently reminded of this lovely work: the award-winning short film The Last Knit, directed by animator Laura Neuvonen. Take a few minutes and enjoy it.

How Knitting Has Taken Over the Highlands – a piece about the upcoming Loch Ness Knitting Festival, and the value of handscraft to the economy in the Scottish Highlands.

And related to the same event, this week’s nominee for best-worst knitting pun: a Car-digan. (Geddit?)

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WWW: Mathematics, Love Monsters, #FairFiberWage response

Multiplication, as explained by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer.

Very satisfying: 6 mathematical concepts explained in yarn, on Mental Floss website.

Not Strictly Knitting, but still wonderful: a short film about a project to recreate embroidery and needlework patterns of Jane Austen’s time, as part of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel Emma.

Also Not Strictly Knitting, but a different spin (see what I did there?!) on yarn-bombing: cross-stitch street art.

Following up on a discussion from last week, John Bolton, the General Manager of Interweave has responded to criticisms of changes to the YarnFest teaching contract, and has promised to revise the terms. Wonderful to see a company being responsive to concerns and discussions.

Comforting: knitters make Love Monster dolls to give to young patients undergoing cochlear implant surgery at UNC hospital, in North Carolina. The program is run by yarn shop The Quarter Stitch, in Wilmington.

Speaking of mathematics, the genius Woolly Wormhead has written an amazing tutorial on hat crown shaping.

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In Gord We Trust: The costumes, the hat and the color inspiration

I hope by now you’ve read the story about the In Gord We Trust Sock Scarf.

I wanted to share some background on Gord’s stage costumes, the clothes that inspired our color choice, and the precious hat that we were able to borrow for the photoshoot from designer Karyn Gingras of Lilliput Hats.

The suits, in bright metallic leather, were created by Izzy Camilleri, who has designed for other performers and musicians over the years.

From The Globe and Mail. Does that blue look familiar?

A slideshow of all the outfits, on the Fashion Magazine website. (In most of these shots, you can see his sock scarves. He clearly has a whole wardrobe of them, which may or may not match the outfit he’s wearing.)

A great piece about them on the Globe and Mail website.

And a piece on the CBC site with more fab pictures, including the pink suit we nodded to with the scarf.

The outfits are memorable not because of how great they are — and because they are a part of Canadian rock and roll history — but because for previous tours, Gord’s on-stage look was more traditional singer-songwriter gear: jeans with a collared shirt and a vest, lots of black and white. And he’s worn a hat when performing many times before, but it’s been a much simpler number – often straw. These fantastic wool felt hats with ribbon and feather decorations were made by hand, to Gord’s specifications.

I loved the detail that Gord kept these outfits as a surprise for his bandmates!

I was pleased to hear about the KnitForGord project: Telma is making hats and other knitterly goodies to sell, with all proceeds going to the Downie fund at Sunnybrook.

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WWW: “Hey, will you make me a hat”; Project Maple; Onions

This has been making the rounds again on Twitter, and it’s so great it’s worth mentioning again: all about the online knitting reference library at Southampton University.

Snort. I don’t know the origin of this, but I just love it. Tastefully Offensive offers up an answer to the “hey, will you make *me* a hat?” question. Clearly a photograph taken in-flight, this is an excellent answer to a fellow passenger making an all-too common request.

Another look at an another important topic: copyright. The Craft Industry Alliance debunks some common copyright myths.

Not strictly knitting, but: Project Maple for Canada’s 150th birthday. The Crochet Crowd is collecting crocheted Maple Leaves to decorate a tree in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, for next year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of the country.

I really enjoyed this piece about knitting as a way to distract oneself from digital distractions. The author’s approach is honest and realistic… we don’t stop checking email and Twitter and Facebook when we’re knitting, but we might do a little bit less often…. “Rather than being calming and contemplative on its own, knitting’s meditative properties allow me to engage more productively with digital media.”

A long read, but a lovely one: How to Caramelize Onions. I promise, there is a connection to craft.

In the Philly area? Free this weekend? Knitty’s very own Kate (yes, that’s me!) is visiting Loop, and teaching five classes: colorwork, brioche, short rows, an Expert Tips/Troubleshooting session, and of course a Custom Fit Socks class. More details here.

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WWW: Time and how it passes – history, tradition and the clock

From the original 2011 performance of the work.

There are knitting circles, and knitting circles. This is a Knitting Circle. In that it’s a giant circle of 80 people, all knitting, together, at the same time, on the same piece. This past weekend, a group gathered in Quebec to participate in the latest iteration of artist Kerstin Lindstrom’s work “Own Our Own Time”. Initially performed in 2011 with 83 knitters in the Faroe Islands, the work aims to explore our individual and group relationships to time… “In this activity the one who knits the slowest controls the pace of the whole work.”

Fascinating, if not strictly knitting: about MYB Textiles, a lacemaker in Scotland that is the last to use traditional punch-card coded looms. Watch the video, it’s wonderful.

I was excited to read about the latest issue of Donna Druchunas, Susan Santos and Ava Coleman’s Stories in Stitches book series. This issue, ‘Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose’, focuses on the era of the US Civil War, and how knitters approached with scarcity of resources.

During the Civil War era, knitters were frugal and used what was on hand. Tobacco twine was used to make bedspreads, tents were unraveled and the string knit into socks, rugs were knit from cut-up shirts and dresses, and old fisherman’s sweater from Europe became arm winter wear for Americans on both side of the Mason-Dixon line.

The books in this series always feature a mix of history and knitting patterns, and this volume includes four gansey sweaters, one sontag-style shawl, one rag rug, and three pairs of socks – some inspired by period projects, and others are directly from period patterns with modernized instructions.

More woolly art: Ballarat Museum in Australia is mounting a large scale exhibition around the piece “WARM”. Featuring hundreds of handknit pieces, the work speaks to questions about dependency on fossil fuels for heating and power, and aims to offer an alternative solution that is fun and community driven.

Knitted pieces including gum trees, native flowers and wind turbines to create an enormous collage which shows a landscape reclaimed from the devastating effects of environmental degradation.

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