Author: @kateatherley

WWW: Knitted chairs, baby rhinos in blankets and the TCM Knitting Club

IKEA launches a knitted chair. It’s hard to tell precisely what the fabric looks like from the photos, but I’m rather amused by the thought that I could have a knitted chair for knitting in. And this week’s adorable-baby-animal-wrapped-in-handknits is a Rhino! Although this horse is pretty fetching in his new blanket, too. As the skies darken and the weather turns grim in the northern hemisphere, I find I’m rather excited about the announcement of Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017: Greenery! Loved hearing some knitters on this BBC Radio program. It’s a series called The Chain, ...

The Wool Cycle

I moved house in the summer, and got myself a brand-new fancy-modern super-duper Samsung washing machine. It’s got all sorts of wonderful features and functions, including this rather interesting cycle, labelled simply “Wool”. Now, I’m a huge proponent of washing woolies – yes, even those that aren’t superwash! – and having had front-loaders for years, I’ve never been afraid of using the washer’s spin cycle, but I must confess I was a bit nervous about a full machine wash for my more important handknits. And having consulted the manual, I got a bit worried: the ...

WWW: City of Craft, STEELwool commemoration, “Abominaball Snowman”

Steelworkers at the University of Toronto, experienced knitters and beginners together, have contributed to an installation, STEELwool, in recognition of Bill 132, a program against workplace violence and sexual harrassment. 132 scarves were displayed yesterday at all three of the University’s campuses. The date of the installation, December 6th, was chosen specifically: it marks the anniversary of the event known as ‘The Montreal Massacre‘, a shooting at the University of Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, in which 14 women were died, targeted specifically because of their gender. If ...

WWW: Hexagonal Needles, Scarves in the Park, How Much is Lifetime’s Worth of Sock Yarn?

You might not be familiar with the hexagonal needles made by Indian Lake Artisans. They’re a beautiful product, made in the US – and it was all inspired by an experimental attempt a knitting with pencils. I’ve seen a number of initiatives like this pop up in recent years, and I think it’s an excellent idea: leaving scarves and other winter accessories in public parks, where those in need might find them. This CNN piece highlights one such project, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Centre for Art Tapes, in Halifax, NS, is a not for profit artist-run, charitable, organization that facilitates ...

WWW: Knitting as a Political Act, The Sock Machine, Fashion Inspiration

I really enjoyed this profile of Karida Collins, the owner of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Karida is clear-headed and honest about the challenges of running a “creative” business. Just in time for your holiday gift list… a lovely new coffee table book, “People Knitting: A Century of Photographs”. Lots of wonderful pictures at the link. “How a Sock Machine Helped Win the First World War”. These sock machines were a marvel of modern technology at the start of the 20th century, and they played a remarkable role in supporting armed forces in both of the World Wars. Knitty columnist and ...

WWW: On Solace and Symbols

Craft as Solace.  “Beauty is not trivial. Connection is not trivial. It inspires us and lights us up. And when we are alive we can’t help but find hope.” Yes. On a similar note: On the handknit scarf as symbol. There was a fuss last week in the UK when news broke that department store John Lewis was planning to reduce their haberdashery (I do so love that word!) offerings. They’ve since reversed that decision, and this piece explains very nicely the value of this corner of the shop, “A trip to John Lewis’s haberdashery department is a journey into the centre of a Venn diagram of properly ...

Deep Fall Surprise: The Tuplet Shawl

Our SURPRISE for this most recent issue had two VERY different patterns. Very. The Anyadell thigh-high cabled socks are a once-in-a-lifetime jaw-dropping statement-making eye-popping sort of design. The Boss of Sock Knitting, as someone dubbed them. They’re amazing, no doubt. But I have to say I am enormously fond of other pattern, the Tuplet Shawl, too. It’s gentle. It’s understated. It’s subtle. And it absolutely shouldn’t be missed. Tuplet is an excellent way to use a gradient set, or use up partial skeins of yarn. Rather than resort to leftovers-socks (don’t get me wrong, I ...

WWW: Academic Study, A Lifelong Habit, Epic Yarnbomb

With thanks to Donna Druchunas, who brought this to my attention. Ruth Gilbert, textile historian and weaver, has kindly offered access to her 2009 MPhil thesis, “The King’s Vest and the Seaman’s Gansey: Continuity and Diversity of Construction in Hand Knitted Body Garments in North Western Europe Since 1550″. Fascinating reading. And another academic study: a paper from University of Central Arkansas Theology department, looking at the work of the groups known as “Prayer-Shawl Ministries”. Quoting from the abstract: Prayer shawl ministries, overwhelmingly led and staffed by women, aim to give ...

WWW: Poppies, Podcasting and Colors

With a hat tip to Bristol Ivy, I bring your attention to this magnificent way to spend the rest of the day: an analysis of 59 different color categorization systems from art and science, used over the past several centuries. Did you know that Isaac Newton published a colour theory? Important and illuminating reading: on Ethical fiber choices, written by Linda of Kettle Yarn Company. The article comes from research she did when sourcing her yarns and fibers. Much discussion around Toronto last week prompted by this article in our local paper about a luxury hand-knit tuque being sold by a local fashion designer for ...

WWW: Amy’s Fave Yarn Shops, Yarnporium, Planned Pooling

Our own Amy was interviewed for this great piece on the USA Today website about her favourite yarn stores around North America. If you’re in the UK, mark your calendars for the weekend of November 5 & 6 – that’s the first ever Yarn in the City Yarnporium. More than 40 vendors and instructors are gathering for a weekend of shopping and workshops, at King’s College on the Strand. This is jaw-droppingly clever: Planned Pooling. It’s an app to simulate knitting with variegated yarns, so you can see how they pool. Yes, really! From the New York Times: What Knitting Can Teach Us About ...