WWW: Yarn Documentary, Knitted Windows, On Copyright

Knitter and actor Kirk Dunn creates phenomenal large-scale knitting projects: full-size stained glass windows. You can watch a documentary about his work online.

A few weeks ago we mentioned the upcoming release of the documentary “Yarn”. It’s been released in the US, and the New York Times has reviewed it. You can watch the trailer here.

Love this: knitter Farzana Chaudry has created a woolly display for the front window of her house, commemorating the return of International Space Station astronauts Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra. She lives near a school, and enjoys creating these types of displays, “for the joy of the kids”.

Phenomenally useful: a guide to copyright for crafters and artists, in easily understood visual form. I promise it’s not boring or laden with legalese. With a hat-tip to KnitHacker for bringing this to my attention, and Ginger Davis of Blue Bottle Tree for putting it together.Copyright-Infographic-crafters-1024x795 - Copy

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WWW: Travel (with) Knitting, Vintage Films, Life-size yarny replicas

Two fantastic videos posted by the BBC in honour of World Wide Knit in Public Day:

Shetland Lace Knitters, filmed in 1964, working at a remarkable pace. Their language is absolutely fascinating, an almost Scandinavian lilt, to my ears. I adored the answer the one knitter gives about how she feels at the end of a long project.

And this gem from 1972:

In life-size-replicas-of-public-figures-made-out-of-yarn news, we have two stories:

A yarn shop in Devon won a competition for their amazing shop window display, featuring a pretty-close-to-life-size figure of the Queen.

And in the US, a crochet model of Bernie Sanders is out on the election trail…

travel-suitcase-clip-art-suitcaseIt’s vacation season! Do you have your travel knitting prepared? Some tips from us here at the Knittyblog for travelling with knitting.  And check the Knitter’s Review events list to see if there’s anything yarny going on near your destination… or to help you decide on a destination…

Heck, knitting can even help you work through a language barrier, when you’re travelling. On that note, I enjoyed this little vignette from a friend’s trip to Italy….

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WWW: WWKIP, Indy PopCon, Icelandic Yarnbombing (the greatest ever?)

This coming weekend it’s the Indiana PopCon pop culture convention. Designer Joan of Dark – of the famous Baker Street Neil Gaiman scarf – is speaking at the event about her experience getting her Geek Knits book published, Saturday 3pm.

This weekend it’s World Wide Knit in Public Day. What are your plans?  I’ll be at Shall We Knit in Waterloo, for our annual shenanigans. I look forward to seeing pictures on Twitter and Instagram.

Although not specifically a WWKIP event, I’m rather amused by list of events at the Wildfire Adventure Camp event this weekend in Kent, U.K… Advertised as summer camp for adults, one of the activities scheduled is “naked knitting”. I just hope that there’s lots of sunscreen available.

Just the greatest. Love the faces! Photo from Prjónagraff á Blönduósi, Facebook.

Yarn-bombing Iceland style. Of course Icelandic yarnbombing features gorgeous colorwork and excellent sheepy details! The Facebook page of this group is absolutely amazing.

From James’ Global Knitting Party blog.

A familiar story, no less wonderful for it: knitting as a way to fight depression. The chef and cookbook author is touring the world – travelling 15,000 miles with yarn and needles in hand, telling the story about his fight with mental illness. Lots of great photos on the blog.

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Pinwheel Shawl KAL

A Knitty, we are big fans of the “deceptively simple” – a piece that looks effortless to wear. A piece that seems to be simple in construction but has a clever twist. A piece with a clever variation that makes you look at something in a whole new way.

Laura Barker’s Pinwheel shawl, from our most recent issue, checks all three boxes. It’s a large rectangular shawl, worked from the center out – so no pesky purling! – and which allows you to show off a gradient yarn. And she provides a neat way to pin it so it drapes like a vest – ideal for summer-time, when you need a bit of warmth, but don’t want a big heavy thing around your neck.

If you’ve been thinking about working it, Laura is launching a KAL for the summer, starting June 18th. She’ll be hosting the KAL in her Ravelry group, and will be providing guidance, tutorials, and cheering along as you go! She’ll tackle the casting on, working and reading the lace chart, and working the clever and lovely attached edging.

The project is suitable for knitters with a little experience with lace and working in the round. In fact, it’s an terrific project to take your lace skills to the next level, learning some new tricks along the way.

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WWW: Study of knitting as a way to alleviate arthritis pain; a pleasant little ditty; a knitter’s life commemorated

Image courtesy the Ottawa Citizen.

A research group at the University of Ottawa’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences, led by Lucie Brosseau, is examining the impact knitting has on pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. Can regular knitting help relieve pain and morning stiffness associated with the ailment? A local knitting group, the Pacesetters, is participating by keeping records of their yarny activity, and the level of pain they experience.

Found on the US Library of Congress website: a musical score for a 1917 composition entitled “Knitting”. Written for vocals and piano accompaniment, it’s a catchy little ditty. I was amused to find that even a century ago, they were referring to knitting as something grandma would do…

“This war has brought a custom back, that seems to be most fitting.
It was the vogue in grandma’s time: it is the art of knitting.”

So great!

Love this: Linda Barks has created a full knitted town, for a local children’s playgroup. The level of detail is fantastic: there’s a supermarket and a farm and buses and even an airport.

In which a knitter realizes a terrible truth: that you rarely actually get a lot of knitting done at a knitting retreat! There’s always lots of learning and socializing and fun, but somehow not many rows actually get worked…

I wish I knew more about this story. It’s a wonderful idea, very moving: a church on the Isle of Wight, UK, has curated an exhibition of the knitting work of a late resident of the area. It’s a fundraiser for the hospice in which Margaret Palmer spent her last days. Called ‘Casting On — a life in yarn’, the exhibition featured more than 50 pieces, including the project she was working on when she died, still on the needles.

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WWW: On the UFO, Leeds Wool Festival, Knitting Mathematics workshop

I’ve written before about the use of fiber arts in the teaching of mathematics, and the links between math and knitting. Oh how I wish I could take this course, Knitting Mathematics” presented by educational organization Math for America The group is focused on supporting teachers of mathematics and science at all levels in the US, and this particular workshop is all about how fiber can be used an way to teach mathematical concepts in an innovative and interesting way.

An unfinished Cezanne. Image courtesy the museum.

Not Strictly Knitting, but entirely relevant to my knitting experience – and everyone else’s, I suspect. A new exhibition at The Met Breuer Museum in Manhattan explores the UFO in art: the unfinished object. This NPR piece shows some of the pieces, and discusses the inspiration for the exhibition and significance of the pieces and their incomplete state which offers “glimpses into the creative process and sometimes reveal artists’ anger or despair”. (Been there!) Fascinating and actually a huge relief.

Also Not Knitting, but wonderful anyway: a short video depicting the process of couture hat-making.

This Saturday is the Leeds Wool Festival, held at the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. If you’re in the north of the UK, it sounds like a fantastic day out. The setting is fabulous: the museum, on the site of an old textile mill, has a remarkable collection of antique industrial textile machinery.

Love this: over 300,000 hand-knit and crocheted poppies were installed in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, as part of the Chelsea Flower show. The poppy is traditionally a symbol of remembrance for those who have lost their lives while serving in armed forces, and this gathering forms a remarkable and moving tribute. Crafters from around the world — of all ages, countries and religions — contributed, to commemorate those who have served in all wars, in history and in current times.

Faintly not-safe-for-work, in that a couple of the topics discussed relate to sexuality… a Guardian article talking about the role of the internet in finding community and support. Very happy to see Ravelry mentioned! (Less happy about the mis-identification of crochet as knitting in a photo caption…)

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WWW: Thing of Paper; a very long bike ride; romantic socks,

We are very excited about designer Karie Westermann’s upcoming project, “This Thing of Paper”. Karie is a designer of great talent, and I know that the designs will be wonderful. But this book is more than that – in her words, it will absolutely be a beautiful book of knitting patterns inspired by the age of Gutenberg. 

“Manuscripts and early printed books also hold great visual appeal. I have worked extensively with primary sources ranging from 14th century illuminated manuscripts to 16th century embroidery manuals. This Thing of Paper has a defined colour palette and design vocabulary derived from my research. The whole book is steeped in one woman’s love of vellum, marginalia, and woodcuts.”

Kickstarter page here, but even if you don’t want to support, have a look to learn a little more about her plans and her inspiration. It’s a fascinating project.

As someone who worries about sock sizing, I much appreciate that KnitCircus is now selling gradient-dyed sock yarn in different size skeins for different size needs. The clever bit is that it’s not just a skein with less yardage, but that the gradient is dyed differently, so that you get the full run of color no matter what size sock you’re making.

Friends of Knitty, Yarn in the City, have just announced an exciting event for this autumn: the Yarnporium. The event, being held November 5 & 6 in central London, is a two-day celebration of ‘sweater weather, yarn, fibre, friends and the making community’. There will be vendors and workshops and cake. I went to last year’s, and it was fabulous. If you’re in the UK, this will definitely be worth a visit.

Once again, the Yarn Harlot is spending her summer training for an epic cycle ride. Every summer for the past few years Stephanie has participated in a fundraiser, the Friends for Life Bike Rally. The event helps PWA, an organization dedicated to providing assistance to those in Toronto area who are living with AIDS. They offer financial support, counselling, medical and therapeutic support, helping with food and other very practical activities. To raise funds, she spends a week cycling from Toronto to Montreal, a distance of 600km, or about 400 miles. (For context, I ride a stationary bike for about 25 minutes every other day, and it took me nearly 5 months before I hit that distance.) To support Stephanie and her team, you can sponsor a rider, or you can donate a Karmic Balancing Gift.

Lots of love in this pair. Photo courtesy Dawn Repotto.

I must confess when I saw the link to the article “The World’s Most Romantic Socks Are Knitted on an Active Volcano” I didn’t expect the story could ever live up to the potential of the headline. I was wrong. A small community – 267 strong – of mostly farmers lives on a tiny remote island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean – an actual active volcano. There are some fascinating traditions in the community, and one of them centers around knitting: specifically knitting gifts with hidden messages encoded in. Stripes signify depth of feeling. More stripes, stronger feelings: ‘Socks were the garment of choice for young lovers. Traditionally, a woman would knit a pair for her intended paramour, adding as many stripes as she saw fit.’ The islanders are knitting socks to order now, and they are shipped all over the world.

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WWW: Knitting puzzles; patterns in nature; Shetland exhibition on Fair Isle history

Image from Uber Den Traum blog, with thanks.

Love this piece on reading and working from those beautiful Japanese knitting books

Not knitting, but fascinating and inspiring all the same: a new book about visual patterns that appear in nature. Part coffee table book, part science book, this looks like an absolutely wonderful read.

Knitting research – there’s something really really special about seeing a previous generation’s work in their own hand.

Speaking of knitting puzzles, I very much enjoyed a recent blog post from designer Susan Crawford, notable interpreter of vintage patterns and knits. She writes about the “treasure hunt” of figuring out a stitch pattern from a vintage garment.

If you’re in London, U.K., this sounds like a must-see: Stoke Newington Library hosts a permanent exhibition of a knitted park. Specifically, it’s Stoke Newington Common. This community space had been badly neglected, and in the past few years, a group of nearby residents banded together to revitalize it, building a playground and planting the garden. In 2014, their knitting subcommittee – Common Thread – created a yarny replica of the space as part of an art exhibition.

The group is running three workshops at the library, around the project. The first runs May 21st, and is all about how the project was completed. Saturday May 28th there’s a workshop on how to knit a tree, for adults; and the following Saturday, June 4th, there’s a kids’ workshop on creating plants from yarn and fabric.

The Shetland Textile Museum has opened for the summer season, and this year it’s hosting an exhibition all about Fair Isle knitting. Looks like are some really great items on display… The colorwork collar on the cardigan… go look, it’s spectacular!

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Spring & Summer Issue Projects

I love Joline’s Stiorra sweater. It’s just so very elegant.

Just perfect.

This tweedy version of Inhabit  by Esuzabeth is a winner!

I love seeing a happy knitter in a happy FO.

Franzfranz‘s alpaca Gocce is splendid.


Making me wish the warmer weather would hurry up, Fishie‘s version of Lake Diamond is worked in fingering weight yarn held triple – very clever!

A perfect “transition” piece, for cooler days when you want to be dressed for summer.

Designer and friend of Knitty Laura Nelkin is proud to wear this lovely pair of Rectify socks, made for her by a friend of hers.

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Obsession: Helping

Terrifying. Image from the RCMP.

If you’re in Canada, you’re probably aware of the story of the wildfires that have struck the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The city of 88,000 people was evacuated a week ago, due to raging wildfires that were moving rapidly in the direction of the city.

Thanks to amazing work on the part of the firefighters and other city and emergency services workers, there have been very few injuries and everyone got out fantastically quickly. The good news is that much of the city has been saved, including the hospital and several schools, but quite literally all of the city’s residents have been displaced, and it may be weeks before they are allowed home. Many have lost their homes, and the Canadian Red Cross is taking donations to support the evacuees.


Designer Lucy Neatby is raising funds for the Red Cross through sales of a new pattern, the Fiesta Bag. This gorgeous set of bags use Lucy’s very clever Flying Swallows stitch pattern, and features cables, slipped stitches and textured stitches. A project suitable for intermediate level knitters, this would be an excellent way to expand your skills while doing a little bit to help.

All proceeds of the $7.50CDN sales price (other than tax) will go directly to the Red Cross

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