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Thinking of Summer

I know I can safely speak on behalf of the entire Knitty team in saying that we’re tired of winter. It’s been a cold and snowy one, and we’re all getting a bit grumpy.

To cheer myself up, I went cruising through our back issues to look for a spring-themed projects. It might be a while before I can wear them, but I can at least start the knitting…

Because I’m tired of my scarves at this point, I think a glamorous new shawl would be wonderful. Cold Mountain is big enough to wear now for warmth, and yet still lacy and light enough to wear on early summer days over a dress.

Make it in a really cheerful springy color!

And because even when the snow goes, there will still be cold winds… perhaps a new pair of fingerless mitts? These Queen City ones are chic and interesting to knit, but will go quickly.

A change is as good as rest. You might still need to wear mittens, but these are at least fresh and new!

There’s the Carnaby skirt, which I think would be a fantastic transitional piece… still warm, but with hints of springy flirtiness and fun.

Heavy tights now; lighter tights or even bare legs later!

In hopes that I might get to expose my arms again at some point, there’s the Petrie Shell

So chic.

And how could you not feel summery making a gorgeous Elenka dress for a little girl in your life?

So great!

And remember what Denny says: no knitting with grey or brown in February and March. Knit the colors that are missing from your life in this dull and muddy time of year: choose greens and reds and pinks and purples and oranges. Cheer yourself up!

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WWW: Knitwear model hits the big-time; charity knitter hits milestone.

Pic courtesy Rowan Yarns.

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne started his career as a model; and not just any model… he was the featured model for Rowan Yarn’s Denim People booklet, published in 2004.

To celebrate his win, Rowan has made the Brooklyn sweater pattern available for free download.


Sibling’s Fair Isle dress. LOVE this.

I love this time of year in the fashion world… all the fashion shows for Fall and Winter provide some excitement and inspiration for cold-weather dressing, just as I’m starting to get tired of my own winter clothes.

UK designer Sibling showed some rather clever uses of Fair Isle knits. Full slideshow here.


A true labor of love.

Knitter Anna Taylor of Virginia is celebrating a rather wonderful milestone: in the past 9 years, she has knitted and donated 1000 children’s sweaters to a local charity.




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WWW: Hugs and Boobs; Spring Fibery Getaways

Image from The Guardian website.

Knitting as an aid to breastfeeding. Really. Knitters from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland have come together to knit 250 yarny ‘models’ for use in a government-funded breastfeeding campaign. The slightly silly nature of the models eases nervousness and aids the discussion…

“Popular with midwives and health visitors, they are used to show the best way to get a baby to latch on properly and how to mould or hold your breast to get the nipple in the right position for the baby’s mouth. They’re also used to teach how to express milk and how to deal with problems like blocked ducts.

Brilliant!


A lovely profile of knit designer and artist Rachel Matthews, in a larger discussion about the mental and physical benefits of knitting. Can you knit a hug? The answer is a resounding yes!


A video piece on the BBC about knitting in Sanquhar, Scotland. Sanquhar is known for distinctive and beautiful geometric colourwork patterns, notably used in gloves.


Spring is coming (I hope!), and with it news of a bunch of knitting events.  Fancy a fibery getaway?

Kate and Jillian are both teaching at Interweave’s Yarn Fest, April 16-19 in Loveland, Colorado.
Kate is also teaching at the Strung Along retreat April 9-12, in Port Ludlow, WA, at the Toronto Knitter’s Guild Frolic, the weekend of April 25 & 26, and at the Squam Arts Retreat in New Hampshire is the first weekend of June.

Remember, there’s always a list of events on the Knitter’s Review website.

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Twisted Circles and Variations

In shawl form, curvy and textured and fabulous.

Have you seen the wonderful Twisted Circles shawl we published as the last issue’s Surprise? The designer, Janelle has a way with texture, and I love how she has taken a cable pattern and used it to create an undulating fabric.  Her initial conception was a cowl,

Different and yet closely related.

but the idea for a shawl variation soon followed, and this is the one that the Knitty team fell in love with.

Janelle is a smart knitter, and when working on this shawl version, she noticed an interesting technical challenge with the fabric. Not one to shy away from such things – in fact, I know she enjoys them – she used some clever short-rows to solve the problem.

She writes about the design process and her passion for variations on her blog.

I can’t wait to see what she does next!

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WWW: Beautiful sheep, Socks in Space, Valentine’s Day “naughty knitting”

Absolutely stunning photography of rare breed sheep in the Lake District, in the UK, on the BBC website. A bonus sheep dog or two, too! Seriously. Stunningly beautiful images. Go look now.


Fiber crafters, sewists and textile enthusiasts in southern Ontario are very excited about an upcoming exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada, “Artist Textiles: From Picasso to Warhol“.

From the exhibition introduction:

a fascinating overview of 20th-century textile designs from some of the the world’s most renowned artists. More than 200 works on fabric trace the history of art in textiles, with examples from key European and American art movements including Fauvism, Cubism, Constructivism, Modernism, Surrealism and Pop Art as well as the work of leading fashion designers and manufacturers. Featuring work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore, Fernand Léger, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder, most of these rare pieces have not been on public display before.

Can’t wait! I think a field trip is in order.


From the UK Intellectual Property Office, guidance for designers (and users) about copyright as it applies to knitting and sewing patterns. Fascinating and informative reading. Note that this statement applies only to laws in the UK, and is not intended to be complete or substitute for legal advice, but it does provide some insight into the types of issues tied up in this complex problem.


Silly fun!

Not safe for work, but entirely appropriate for Valentine’s Day: Knit Your Own Kama Sutra. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, designer ‘Trixie Von Purl’ has created twelve projects for “naughty knitters”.


Lovely story: Australia’s oldest man, Alfred Date, is still knitting at the age of 109.


You may recall me writing about the AstroSocks – socks knitted by a team of Canadian knitters (using yarn dyed by a Canadian dyer) for an astronaut. Well, we had word this week at the the socks are in space, and being worn!

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WWW: Sweater Day; Year of the Sheep; Ten Poems About Knitting

February 5th marks WWF’s National Sweater Day in Canada. It’s an energy conservation promotion, reminding residents of this cold county to put a sweater on and turn the heating down a little… We don’t need to be told twice!


A student teaches herself to knit, and ruminates on whether knitting is a better use of her spare time than “simply bingeing on Netflix”. Of course, as she gets better at it, she’ll discover that those two pastimes can be very well combined…


I’m excited about the release of this poetry anthology: Ten Poems About Knitting. Part of a series of poetry books, Ten Poems About…, this volume gathers verse both modern and classic. The publisher proposes these pamphlets instead of a traditional greeting card. I know I’d be thrilled to get one of these in the mail.


Although I hope that a mouse isn’t a mandatory piece of kitchen equipment…

I adore this: a Knit-chen. (Points off for the terrible pun, though!) Created by more than 50 artists, and bringing together knitting, crochet, felting and weaving, this yarn-kitchen was part of the last year’s Jumpers And Jazz Festival, in Queensland, Australia.


Simply beautiful.

Friend of Knitty Julia Farwell-Clay has just launched a collection of patterns with Classic Elite Yarns, From Folly Cove. Infused with her trademark classic design sensibility, the pieces are entirely accessible and wearable, but each with a touch of something special. This blog post talks a little about the design inspiration and the process of creating the collection.


On the Lunar Calendar, 2015 is Year of the Sheep. A wonderful excuse to celebrate our love for our woolly pals! A festival celebrating the Lunar New Year in Canada is inviting artists to decorate (plastic) sheep.

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WWW: Food, furniture and other sculptures; Knitting for Programmers

Love this: MIT’s Comparative Media Studies group is offering a workshop in Knitting for Programmers this week.  In their words:

A knitting pattern is actually a more or less complex algorithm with the difference being that the output is directly wearable like 3D printing.


Image from Melissa Leapman/Chronicle Books.

UK’s Daily Mirror publishes an excerpt from Melissa Leapman’s latest book Knit It! Learn The Basics and Knit 22 Beautiful Projectsa pattern for a giant floor pillow.


I saw this display myself at Vogue Knitting Live in New York last weekend, but wasn’t able to get any pictures. Pam MacKenzie writes about the amazing hand-knit food sculptures of Dominique Kaehler Schweizer (a.k.a. Mme. Tricot.


Speaking of unexpected yarn sculptures… Another new book, this one definitely not aimed at beginners or youngsters: Knit Your Own Kama Sutra. Graphic sexual content. But in yarn. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Image courtesy Inside Korea/ Jeon Han.

An article in online publication “Inside Korea” tells of a current fashion in Korea for giant chunky hand-knit hats. I love the insight into other knitting cultures and fashions. Although I’m somewhat familiar with the Japanese knitting culture, I was less aware of knitting in Korea. I love the idea of this monster-yarn hat, and love even more that it can be knitted in an hour!

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Winter Issues WIPs & FOs

I can’t help but adore Kathleen‘s Wavedeck. I mean, it’s my design! And I love the colours in this variegated yarn! Variegateds and lace don’t always work, but this one goes very well.

Yay!

Mawie’s Alice cap is wonderful, and suits her so well.

Beautiful.

Terrific colour choice for scass’s Minetta cardigan. Can’t wait to see it grow.

Love it!

And vstar1100‘s Dr. Quackers is fantastic.

The Dr. is in!

Inkic‘s Drogo slippers are just perfect.

Fantastic colour choice.

And because one Knitty project per issue isn’t enough, apparently, Kathleen (of Wavedeck above) has now started a pair of Drogo slippers.

We are having a cold winter. Kathleen needs a lot of woollies.

And then there’s NetKissa‘s absolutely jawdropping adaptation of the Irrational Skirt pattern, into a dress. Amazing. You should visit the project on Ravelry and look at all the photos.

Wow. Just WOW.

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WWW: Knitting as engineering; One Hundred Years Ago; Helping Animals (and not)

I loved this blog post… knitter Christine, who also happens to be a scientist and engineer, explains how knitting is like an engineering exercise. But perhaps not in the way you might think! As she says:

An integrated part of Engineering and Knitting is making mistakes in a safe space and learning from them.  Below are some of the lessons I’ve learned through my knitting experiments….


Courtesy the “One Hundred Years Ago” blog. Get your eyes tested so you can keep knitting and sewing.

Another wonderful blog: One Hundred Years Ago, is all about women’s lives in Britain during the First World War. It features articles and content from that time, and it often features contemporary knitting and sewing patterns, representing both everyday wear, and items specifically made for sending to the troops. I adored reading the various appeals and entreaties for knitters to ‘do their bit’ and knit for their brave soldiers. Fascinating.


We will miss it!

Eek… we have heard rumors that the manufacturers of the blue and white Royal Ball Winder are no longer in business… commence hoarding! There are other products available, but this one has long been a favorite. If anyone knows anything more, please let us know!


Last week, a call went out for knitters to make mittens for koalas whose paws had been hurt in wildfires in Australia. As many have said before, when these appeals go global, there are often too many items made… If you’re moved by the plights of animals far from your home, it’s always better to contribute money that can go to immediate needs.


Nope. Not a parrot. Although at a distance you could see how it might be mistaken for one…

I did rather enjoy this story that involves knitting, but no suffering animals at allAnimal welfare officers in Scotland were called out to rescue what looked like an injured parrot, lying in the middle of a road. Turned it, it was a hat.


This weekend, it’s Vogue Knitting Live in New York City. I’ll be there, teaching some sock-related classes. There are spaces still available in my Introduction to Sock Design, and “Go Your Own Way: Work Socks the Way You Want” classes. Come and say hello! (P.S. Signed print copies of my Pattern Writing book will be available at the indigodragonfly booth, #316.)

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WWW: What Color Is It? Puppy Recovering; Knitting as a Luxury?

A happy ending to a very scary story: a 17-week old puppy is recovering after a knitting needle pierced her heart. She fell onto the needle at her home in Durham, N.C., this past New Year’s Eve. Vets were able to remove it, and she is expected to make a full recovery, poor little mite.


Just watch it. Mesmerizing.

Love this. Absolutely LOVE IT. A website that displays the color of the time. It translates the current time – a 24 hour clock, with seconds – to a hexadecimal code, which represents a color.


Interesting: a writer in Detroit laments the lack of yarn shops in Detroit, and kicks off an interesting discussion about the role of LYSs, the cost of yarn and whether knitting has become a hobby only for those with a certain amount of disposable income. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and I believe it’s an interesting and important point. Although you can save money by making your clothes, that’s become less of a factor. Part of that is to do with the costs of yarn and the interests and attitudes of knitters, but it’s also partially driven, I think, by the proliferation of very inexpensive clothes. Most new knitters, I believe, approach knitting as more of a ‘decorative’ rather than ‘practical’ art. I don’t ‘need” to knit in the way that my grandmother did. She was clothing her family; I’m using knitting as a creative outlet. And as such, I’m willing (and able) to spend more money on my yarn. But there are knitters out there who, for a variety of very valid reasons, can’t spend a lot of money on yarn, and there are fewer shops that are serving them.


Freddie Patmore of UK Magazine Women’s Weekly brings knitter Lisa Woodroof’s (of the Facebook group Addicted to Sock Knitting) New Year Resolution to our attention:


Mr. Meech’s computer-generated, machine-knitted portraits.

Video artist Sam Meech has incorporated a knitting machine into his work, exploring the combination of digital and analog technologies. He displayed his worked recently as part of a workshop at Milton Keynes Library in the U.K., and you can reach more about his research and work at knitting.smeech.co.uk. The artist, who had previously worked only with video and film, says that when he first encountered a knitting machine, he was “struck by the parallels between punchcards and film reels, stitches and pixels, and began to relate to it in terms of digital imaging as much as textiles.”


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