Archives

Feet and Heads: Sizing Tables

Waaaaayyyyy back in 2011, I kicked off a survey to gather information about foot size, to help sock knitters and designers. In 2015, the book Custom Socks was published, with all the details from the survey results, and a whole load more information about fitting socks.

Knitters and designers are always asking about foot size, and so I’ve decided to publish a key excerpt from the book: the foot size tables.

If you’re making socks, and all you know is the recipient’s shoe size, this should give you a good sense of what size to aim for. I’ve also included guidance on the size of sock to make for each foot size. If you do know the actual foot size, use that instead. This table also helps if you only, for example, know the foot circumference – you can get a sense of what the length might be.

Visit Kate’s site for the full table


And it’s not just feet: Hat Designer Extraordinaire Woolly Wormhead has a very similar guide for head and hat sizing, too!

Visit Woolly’s site for the full table

 

Please like & share:

WWW: Politics in Quilting, Brain Hat for Science, London Craft Week Film Festival

Fascinating…. a story about politics in needlecraft – quilting, specifically. A discussion not just about political arguments amongst the quilting community, it illuminates the long-standing use of quilts for communicating political messages, and about the essential tension between an item of tradition and “comfort”, and the power of expressing your voice the only way you are able. I wasn’t aware of historical ‘quilt activism’, and was very happy to learn about it.


Reel to Reel: London Craft Week, held the first week of May, offers a film programme: 44 shorts, screened over 3 nights. Subjects are broad: there is a music video from Lorna HB – the knitting MC, there’s a documentary about the people who paint lines and markers on roads, and a 1960s-style sci-fi short about a crystal planet that was commissioned by Swarovski.


Very pleased to hear that Vicki Howell’s kickstarter campaign for her Knit Show project has been fully funded.


Image (c) Kristen McDonnell

There’s still time to make a brain hat for the Science March this weekend.


What are you doing the weekend of October 13th-15th this year? Signature Needle Arts is holding a retreat. Teachers include our own Kate (that’s me!), Susan Anderson, Romi Hill and Ann Budd. More info here.

Please like & share:

Issue Design: Maryjane

In a post on her blog, designer Merri Fromm tells us about her Maryjane pullover design, from the current issue of Knitty.

The designer, in her own creation.

It’s a terrific summer knit: suitable for warm-weather wear, and warm-weather knitting. This would also make an excellent first top-down seamless sweater project – quick and easy to knit, and an excellent demonstration of the virtues of this sort of garment construction. Seamless knitting isn’t suitable for all garments, but it’s perfect for this type of relaxed t-shirt.

She provides a ton of great tips for working the project, and some extra detailed photos to entice you!

Subtly clever stripes!

Please like & share:

WWW: Handknits on Doctor Who; Woolfest; ‘Verbose Mode’

Well, this is just wonderful. Handknits on Doctor Who! 


The Quiet Joy of Watching Other People Knit: another excerpt from the book People Knitting: A Century of Photographs. I’ve linked to these before, but I agree that there is a lot of joy in there.


That’s some excellent bunting, on display at last year’s Woolfest.

There will be plenty of opportunity to watch people knit at Woolfest, an upcoming fibre festival in Cumbria, U.K., taking place June 23rd and 24th this year.


“Verbose mode”: A fascinating, clever and funny talk about the relationship between programming languages and craft instructions, from technology guru Heidi Waterhouse. Even if you’re not in the technology industry, it’s worth a watch. (And I’m not just saying this because Knitty is mentioned.)


Sheep onstage? Imagine the mess…

Please like & share:

WWW: Next-gen knitting machine; 10th-century textile recreated; wool under the microscope

A couple of interesting knitting-related doo-dads on Kickstarter:

A next-generation knitting machine, describing itself as a 3-D printer. It’s closer to a commercial knitting machine than one of the semi-manual domestic machines, and offers interesting possibilities for small-scale production, and faster results for the home-maker.

TINK, from Kickstarter page.

And then there’s TINK, the Fiber Artist’s Wearable Notions Bracelet. I am rather intrigued by this knitting toolbelt-like contraption, and will be following the project with interest.


Fascinating story about the reconstruction of a textile from a fragment found at an archaeological dig in Iceland.


Hmmmmm… Love the idea – hoping that the hourly rate is fair! New fashion line Wooln is employing retirees to make accessories for sale.


Some facts about Knitting, from the Boffins of QI. I will never tire of reading about knitting as code – and I love the idea of the Belgian resistance knitters recording train movements in their work.


Wool Facts:

Please like & share:

WWW: Yarn Movie available for streaming, 1 Year of Stitches, KnitPetiteProject

Changes in attitude to clothing good for wool? Although not strictly knitting, I found this a very interesting and informative piece about where your clothing is made… And although this piece is thick with industry-speak and business terms, the key takeaway is that Woolmark, the industry organization for the promotion of wool  is sensing a global movement towards awareness of the costs of ‘fast fashion’, and as a result consumers are moving towards a different shopping approach, that could be very good for wool.


As a woman of less-than-average height (I was recently asked by an even-less-than-average-height woman to help her get something off a shelf in the supermarket, and we both had a good giggle about the idea that at 5 foot 2 I was the tall one) I’m following the #KnitPetiteProject with great interest. Designer Teresa Gregorio is gathering data to help develop a more accurate sizing model for the “less-than-average” sizes in knitting patterns.


Registration is now open for the TNNA Summer show, this coming June. TNNA is a professional organization for yarn companies, yarn shops and other players in the industry. The June show is the traditional showcase for new products, and a place where everyone gathers to meet and discuss business and strategy and all things yarny. Amy and Jillian always go (ed note: this year, it’s just Amy…Jillian will be traveling with her family before her eldest goes off to college!), and this year I’ll be there, too, teaching my Pattern Writing class.


Yarn the Movie is now available for streaming on Amazon, if you’re in the U.S. Featuring lots of wonderful visuals and interesting stories, it’s about the work of a number of different artists, who use a common medium: yarn.


Again, not knitting, but I absolutely adore this: a year’s worth of embroidery, created and documented by Hannah Claire Somerville in Instagram posts and a one-minute video over 2016. There’s lots to treasure here, include the artist’s approach to learning and dedication to her craft. No matter what, every single day, she stitched something. And she’s doing it again for 2017.

January 1, 2017. First stitches of the new year! I’m thrilled to be starting a new swatch and to have so many people joining in this year! One outcome from last year’s project is that I was able to feel present in my daily life again. This has been extremely important the past 10 days because I have been traveling and spending time with family and friends who live across country from me. I actually can’t remember the last time I have spent so much time with my loved ones, it’s been amazing. With that being said, I am so floored by all the positive feedback I have received and that so many people have started their own projects, it’s beyond what I could have ever imagined. I want to apologize that I have not been engaging as much on IG. I have many high hopes for 2017 and this project, which I will be sharing in the coming days. I hope everyone enjoyed their New Year’s Eve and has a happy and healthy new year! Thank you all for being a part of this project and I’m excited to be stitching with you all in 2017! #1yearofstitches #wip #embroidery #embroideryart #handembroidery #contemporaryembroidery #bordado #broderie #embroideryinstaguild #stitches #backstitch #white #2017 #firststitch #newyearsday #sunday #sundaynight #thread #fiberart #sewing #textiles #textileart #art #needleandthread

A post shared by 1 year of stitches. (@1yearofstitches) on



Please like & share:

WWW: The Knit Show; Knitter’s Yoga Warm-up; March Madness

Love this! Knit designer and teacher Vickie Howell has just launched a kickstarter campaign for “The Knit Show,” the first community funded and internationally accessible episodic how-to knitting web series.

Vickie’s “Knitty Gritty” TV series was enormously popular, and many were disappointed when it ended in 2009. Inspired by the messages she receives every day from viewers saying how they miss having a television show that speaks directly to the knitting & crochet community, Vickie has decided to launch a series online.

“The Knit Show with Vickie Howell,” will be a web-based series, and Vickie tells us that she aims to combining all the popular segments from her previous shows: industry experts and superstar guests; knitting & crochet tips and techniques, and modern, accessible high-quality projects in a range of levels.

For more info, visit the Kickstarter  page.


A yoga warm-up, ‘tailor-made’ (very very loose pun intended) for knitters.


Some wisdom on Garment Fit, on the Interweave blog.


In which we own up to knowing absolutely nothing about sports… Love that Mason Dixon has launched their own version of a March Madness Bracket. But this one is something I understand: knitting patterns. Brilliant!


Donna Druchunas and her friend, designer Annie Wenstrup, have partnered up to raise funds for International Rescue Committee, an organization that supports refugees from Syria. If you donate to the organization, you can enter to win a beautiful Qiviut cowl.


In which a crafter muses on the change in craft and craft-based relationships brought about by our current challenging political climate. Even this article is the subject of debate, as not all agree with the closing point… Worth a read, either way!

Please like & share:

WWW: Mathematics, Pink Hats, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, WEBS Spinning Retreat

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS: A BBC Radio 4 segment on how knitting and mathematical principals relate. Featuring bonus sock chat.


webs logoWell, this is exciting! Our own Jillian is very happy to announce she’ll be teaching at WEBS’ first Spinning Retreat. The event, scheduled for September 29- October 1 also features beloved teachers Beth Smith, Amy King and Abby Franquemont. More info here.


Fab interview with Pussyhat project co-founder Krista Suh, in Paste Magazine. What’s wonderful about this is to see coverage beyond the usual craft-focused outlets.


A knitter in Brighton, UK, is seeking assistance from local knitters to help her create a double-decker-sized picture of one of Brighton’s famous piers. Designer Nina Dodd (a.k.a The Duke of Woolington) has joined forces with local bus operator Brighton & Hove Buses for this venture. It requires 5,000 10cm squares, in nine different colours, and they will be assembled and displayed on the side of a bus, driven around town for all to enjoy! Nina is hoping to recruit local knitting bus-riders, but will be happily for all contributions, I am sure.

This isn’t Nina’s first bus-related knitting project. It’s worth clicking through to the article to see her bus-seat-cozy-sweater project, that she created for a fashion shoot.


It’s the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this weekend. Are you coming? I’m going, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be doing a book signing at lunchtime on the Saturday in the Purlescence booth. Come and say hello!


Please like & share:

WWW: A Sweater of Historical Significance; Algorithms; Pussy(c)hat

A modern example of the sweater. Image courtesy the Kickshaw Productions blog.

A modern example of the sweater. Image courtesy the Kickshaw Productions blog.

The history of an iconic Canadian sweater – the Cowichan, cribbed by Mary Maxim for their curling (or tractor or hockey or other icons of the time) sweaters. In 2011, the Cowichan sweater was designated by the Government of Canada as being of “national and historical significance”.


Fascinating and clever: In Finland, young children are taught the basics of working with a computer – without a computer. Knitting needles are pressed into service, as part of an overall approach to teaching algorithmic thinking and processing. One could equally say that you’re teaching knitting when teaching programming, as the instructions are indeed expressed (or if the pattern is written in a logical manner) as an algorithm.


There has been much chat around the internet – including on this blog – and in yarn stores about the phenomenon that is the Pink Hat. Many many thousands of hats have been worn and made – including by Kate and Jillian of this very blog! Much of the discussion has been around what the hat represents politically. There have been discussions about what the hat represents physically, too; not a few have been confused by the shape. No matter what side of the debate(s) you’re on, an online discussion panel to be held this Saturday is sure to be of interest. Hosted by PomPom magazine this coming Saturday, the chat will be recorded live and then archived for later viewing. The participants come from a variety of craft and activism-related backgrounds.


Models at the Missoni runway show. Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images.

Models at the Missoni runway show. Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images.

And further underscoring the message of the hats – and its longevity – all attendees at the recent Missoni runway show at Milan Fashion Week were given their own pink hat, and more than 40 models on the runway were outfitted with them.  It’s a fantastic sight!


Equally fantastic: I’m in the UK at the moment, on a mini-teaching tour. I visited the V&A museum, as I always do, and was bowled over to see a hat and its story on display. They have a “Rapid Response” collection, which aims to gather and document items of current social significance. Whether you agree with the hats and their message or not, I think you can’t help but agree that they are an item of significance.

A pink hat. In the ‘Rapid Response’ collection here at the V&A. Verklempt. We did something important, guys.

A post shared by Kate Atherley (@kateatherleyknits) on

Please like & share:

WWW: Long Voyages, Celebrity Knitters, 13th Century Mitten

Image taken from the article, with full credit.

Image taken from the article, with full credit.

Amazing: a study of a 13th-century fabric fragment, believed to be part of a knit mitten – colourwork, no less!

It is rare for fabrics of this age to survive, and so this is particularly notable.


As seen in a 1938 issue of Photoplay magazine, Joan Crawford hosted regular knitting parties! (Staged knitting photoshoots remain the same, 80 years later…)


We knew that actor Krysten Ritter (of Jessica Jones fame) is a knitter, but we didn’t know she was a designer as well! She’s launched a kit for a gorgeous chunky cowl.


Williams Gansey Project leaders Astrid Adams and Janice Snowball pictured with Clive Grey, skipper of the Blyth Tall Ships project.

Williams Gansey Project leaders Astrid Adams and Janice Snowball pictured with Clive Grey, skipper of the Blyth Tall Ships project.

Historians are planning a rather remarkable sea voyage for 2019, and are seeking knitters to help. The voyage, from Blyth in north-eastern England to Antarctica (!), is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the voyage of local resident William Smith who discovered the continent, but was never credited. The team undertaking the trip seek to do it in conditions as close as possible to the original: they’re travelling in a tall ship, and are planning to wear traditional gansey sweaters, which is why they need knitters. Funds have been secured, and the team is looking to have between 70 and 90 sweaters made.


Speaking of long voyages (not really!) our own Kate is spending three weeks in the UK as of today, teaching classes in a number of spots. I’ll be at The Sheep Shop in Cambridge, Purlescence in Berkshire, at Knit With Attitude in Stoke Newington, and at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Perhaps I’ll see you at one of those events?

Please like & share: