Bonus!

BONUS long-weekend post: TNNA 2017 @ Columbus

What’s it like to attend a fiber-industry trade show? When you’ve worked in the industry for (gulp) 15 years (!), you know so many people and, hopefully, you like them. If they like you, too, then it’s like a big working party. Tons of hugging and smiling and catching up on the news. And the work part? We get to see all the new products from yarn manufacturers and indie dyers, designers and makers of all types. It’s a pretty great industry to work in.

Jillian comes with me whenever she can, but as her and her daughter’s joint birthday weekend coincides with TNNA almost every year, sometimes I have to do it on my own. This year was one of those years. She’s trained me well…here’s just a little of what I saw! (Regarding my excitement at non-wool yarns, some of you may know I’m allergic to wool, so I can’t help but get excited when I see great stuff that’s not woolly.) 

Cool robot buttons from Skacel

 

PEOPLE. This is ZAUBERBALL COTTON. I almost yelled out loud when I saw it! From Skacel. Please buy tons of it so they keep it in the lineup!

 

El Linio, also from Skacel. MORE LINEN! Yay!

 

The Manos del Uruguay booth is never a disappointment.

 

Trailhead Yarns. Prettttty. And vegan, even!

 

A new loom from Schacht

 

Ahh, Binkwaffle, how we love you.

 

New Binkwaffle zippy pouches with wrist strap!

 

Minute Weaver™ tiny loom from purl&loop

 

More Minute Weavers™ in different gauges

 

Trendsetter’s Transitions Yarn with its handy dispenser bag

 

Meet Kate, the guru behind Dragonfly Fibers, and wearer of an awesome linen apron!

 

Anywhere balm from Love+Leche

 

Hey, It’s Liz Gipson, wearing her Hands-Free Cowl pattern from the Deep Fall 2016 issue of Knitty!

 

I imagined Jillian would go nuts for this gorgeous new extra-speckled tweed – Croft – from West Yorkshire Spinners

 

Our friends at Space Cadet now offer size-flexible ombre bundles – a very cool idea! Details here.

 

Meet Stephanie, the genius behind Space Cadet!

 

I found out about Pawley Studios mugs through Stephanie at Space Cadet. I met Amanda Pawley this year, and got to see her fabulous offerings. Keep an eye out for a Pawley/Knitty collaboration later this year!

 

I loved Jen Giuntoli’s very cool cowl and had to stop her to tell her so. You can find the pattern here. (If she hadn’t published it already, I would have begged to publish it in Knitty! ) Click to embiggen and see the beautiful bead details!

 

Meet Katy Westcott, the woman behind Katrinkles — cool laser-cut bamboo and wooden accessories.

Beautiful yarns from Ancient Arts

 

The women behind Spincycle Yarns work with a monther/daughter-run mill in Washington state, and produce yarns that look like their original handspun offerings, but are repeatable. That’s so cool.

 

The Sweet Georgia booth is always a visual delight. Look at ALL THAT COLO(U)R!

 

Shibui has some of the most beautiful branding and packaging in the industry, and their yarns? Delicious.

 

Yummy fiber-themed pottery from JamPDX

 

The Freia Fibers booth was extra-stunning this year…look at this beautiful creation!

 

Oh, and their yarn is freaking gorgeous, too.

 

We love the wares offered by Hiya Hiya/Nirvana. This sheep shawl pin is the size of your palm! Awesome!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour. There is more at TNNA than I could possibly share with you, but this gives you a taste of why fiber-industry people are so eager to attend this show every year. Great people, fabulous products, and lots of interesting conversation, and collaborations planned for the future. As for that last bit, you’ll just have to wait and see what comes of my conversations in June as we move into our 15th Anniversary Year this September!

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Bonus: Amy on Marly Bird’s podcast!

unnamedWell, this is fun! I get to talk to my friend, Marly, who is an awesome human being. We first hung out together (at length) when I taped my class for Craftsy a few years ago in her hometown of Denver, CO. But we chatted on one of her earliest podcasts, and though that file is lost in the ether, I remember it being one of the most interesting interviews I’d ever done. She’s a smart cookie.

So this Tuesday, April 12, I’ll be talking to Marly again, live on The Yarn Thing at noon eastern time. Click the picture to go to the podcast page. If you happen to miss it live, you’ll find in in the on-demand section.

Will I be clever or goofy? Probably a little of both. It’s my thing. Talk to you tomorrow!

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2015: The year it all changed for Knitty

It’s hard to even know where to begin to write about Knitty’s 2015. We could focus on some standout patterns that we published, like these:

252 projects on Ravelry

Geek socks: 252 projects on Ravelry

 

Swink: the definition of knitting and crochet playing well together!

Swink: the definition of knitting and crochet playing well together!

 

Pierrot: a sweater unlike any other...so joyous!

Pierrot: a sweater unlike any other…so joyous!

and the crazy innovation in the Winter issue:

Cache Cache: not mindless, but worth it

Cache Cache: tame your crazy variegateds in such a beautiful way

 

Knitting 2015

Ribbon Candy: vertically stacked increases = pop art

 

Hexadot: did you know that linen stitch can create DOTS?

Hexadot: did you know that linen stitch can create DOTS?

 

One of the biggest changes was made possible by our new Sysadmin, Christopher Gernon, who did this:

way to uncork the decade-old bottleneck, Christopher!

way to uncork the decade-old launch-day bottleneck, Christopher!

Though he did it with brain cells, a lot of hard work and targeted knowhow (not champagne and a thumb). We love him very  much.

 

We welcomed two new columnists: Liz Gipson who talks about Weaving for knitters on the rigid-heddle loom, and Lorilee Beltman, who is taking our techniques column to a new level of cleverness.

Then there was this:

 

But without doubt, the biggest story for Knitty in 2015 was our change in how we’re funded. We’ve gone from being 100% advertising supported to a combination of support from advertisers and our readers. OUR READERS. YOU GUYS. We used the cool Patreon platform.

I talk about the process of asking for help, and the joy in finding out help was available thanks to you guys, in the latest editorial. But it cannot be overstated. Finding out our readership likes what we do enough to support us in such a huge way is the most affirming thing that could ever happen to us. Support continues to build, even after our big launch in September, which means ongoing financial security for Knitty and its staff. In case you missed it, I was able to double what we pay our designers, thanks to your support. I’ve been able to give the Tech Editors long-overdue raises, thanks to your support. We are able to hold advertising prices steady, allowing our advertisers to share their wares and services with you at affordable prices, thanks to your support. And more good things are still to come.

It’s all THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT.

We’ve had a wonderful 2015, and we cannot wait to see where 2016 takes us. Thank you for accompanying us on this exciting journey, and please accept our best wishes for the happiest possible 2016.

Love,
Amy, Jillian and the Knitty team

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WWW: Vogue Live Marketplace Pass giveaway; Tumgluttons; Giant Tea Cosy

vklAmy & Kate (that’s me!) are both teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC next January, the 15th-17th. We’re giving away two 3-day passes to the marketplace. To win: leave a comment on the post below, by midnight Eastern Time Saturday December 12th. We’ll draw two names, and get in touch. The usual rules apply: winners must answer a skill-testing question, and if you’ve won something from us in the past year, please let someone else have a chance.


Love this: Narrative Threads is a virtual museum of Canadian artifacts, intending to tell stories of Canadian life through everyday items: clothing, household items, treasured mementos. Many of them items are handcrafted. In particular these early 20th-century hand knit trigger mittens – known as “Tumgluttons” – are wonderful.  (In related news, tumglutton is my new favourite word, although I’m more likely to use it to describe the dog than a pair of hand-coverings!)


Author and crafter Mieke Zamora-MacKay has launched an initiative to support women in the Philippine region of Tacloban. This area was hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013, and although many parts of life there have returned to normal, many families are still in need of work and livelihoods. Mieke is collecting donations of knitting needles, crochet hooks, yarn, and pre-owned pattern books to be donated to the women of this region. These donations will allow women to create items for sale, to enable them a safe and dignified way of generation incomes for their families. If you have unused materials, you might want to think about donating.


Adorable dogs in knitwear alert: Jan Brown, of Seaburn UK, has established herself as the pre-eminent knitter of greyhound sweaters. She started this as a hobby, and 300+ sweaters later, has turned this into her vocation, raising funds for greyhound rescue organizations around the UK.


Love this: a giant tea cosy, covering an entire tea shop in Bristol.


Fab: Banana Republic “Sweater Print” tote bag. My birthday is coming up, you know. (Kidding!)


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Bonus: Knitty’s Patreon Campaign

2015patronbadgeSince March, I’ve been working on a new funding model for Knitty. The backstory is here, but the short version is that advertising-supported businesses have been taking a hit over the last 7 years, and Knitty was no exception. We put out the official call for our readers to help, and HOLY COW, did they ever!

Our Patreon Campaign has only been live for less than 24 hours, but already it has reached its first and most important goal: we can pay the staff and contributors to the just-released brand-new Deep Fall issue at market rates. We are beyond thrilled. There really aren’t words to express the feeling of love we have gotten from the community since we let down our walls and asked for help. Jillian and I have been teary multiple times over the last 24 hours. It’s okay. I’d just stocked up on tissues.

Our next big goal is a redesign and recode of the entire Knitty site, including the back issues, and that takes money too. I’m working out exactly how much we’ll need, and will post it on the Patreon page as soon as I have it. In the meantime, please do help us spread the word to keep the pledges coming. The more people we have contributing, the lighter the load for each, and the more good we can do for the worldwide online knitting community.

Much love,
A+J

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Knitting happiness

cover170x170Jillian and I were honored to chat with Lisa Cypers Kamen at Harvesting Happiness for the latest podcast! It was refreshing to talk to someone outside the knitting world and share our perspective on what we do every day.

You can hear us for the first half hour. Then an interview with Wool and the Gang follows afterwards.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

(You can also find it on iTunes…)

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