Bonus!

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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Craftsy Flash Sale!

Want to learn a new crafty skill or brush up on something you love? Craftsy is having a Flash Sale this weekend – most of their classes, including ours, are 50% off! Feed your crafty brain!

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A Very Happy Birthday Post

Wishing our Amy a very happy birthday!

The birthday girl! Photo courtesy indigirl.

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How to keep up with the companies you actually Like…Courtesy SpaceCadet Creations

Knitty readers are powerful. I linked to this awesome post on SpaceCadet Creations’ site and you guys took down their server.

Sorry about that, SpaceCadet.

Since SCC’s site is now out of commission for the next 72 hours, we thought it would be handy to repost the information here, where (hopefully) our server can handle the demand.

I know so many of us are frustrated with the way Facebook shares information. This informative post will help you understand what the heck is going on and how you can actually follow the news from your favorite companies, like Knitty and SpaceCadet, on Facebook.

Take it away, SpaceCadet Stephanie!


Facebook is an amazing resource — a way for everyone to keep up with their friends’ news, family photos, hear about upcoming events… and maybe even look up an old boyfriend or two.

And it’s a great way for me to keep in contact with you. Not only can I share with you what we’re up to at the SpaceCadet studio (or just what I’m up to on a Saturday morning) but, unlike many other channels, Facebook gives you and me a wonderful opportunity to interact — to ask and answer questions, to have a conversation, for everyone to share thoughts as a community.

Hydrengia

 

Where has SpaceCadet gone?

But maybe you haven’t seen so much of SpaceCadet in your Facebook stream lately? Maybe you think I’ve gone quiet? Maybe we’re not up to much lately?

Hapa

Nope, the real reason you don’t see much of SpaceCadet any more is that Facebook recently changed its policies for business pages like ours. Whereas in the past, our posts used to show up in the news feed of everyone who liked our page, Facebook now shows our posts to only a tiny fraction of the folks who follow us.

Let me show you what I mean. The SpaceCadet page has over 1200 followers, but look at the number who got to see these recent posts:

Collage,  how many people reached

200? 100?!? Sometimes it’s been as low as only 50! That’s hardly any of our followers, and it’s really disappointing when I want to share stuff with you guys but I know that only a few people are going to get to see it.

Now, the reason Facebook is doing this is that they want me to pay to “boost” my posts and to be honest, as a business person, I’m ok with Facebook wanting to make money. SpaceCadet has an advertising budget and I’m happy to spend it, but paying Facebook to “boost” every single thing I post is not really the best use of that budget, so I don’t do it very often.

Besides, if Facebook is a community, it feels a bit creepy to turn every comment I make into some kind of a paid advertisement. A lot of times, I’m just sharing cool stuff with you guys.

Saturday office

There’s an Easy (and Free) Solution!

BUT there is an better way for you to receive SpaceCadet posts again. I can’t increase the number of posts you see without paying for “boosting”, but YOU can pull our posts back into your news feed easily — and for free! All you have to do is start clicking “like” on our Facebook posts (or, even better, leave a comment or share the post). The more you interact with our posts, the more of our posts Facebook will share with you. That’s all you have to do — just start clicking “like”.

And it’s not just your timeline you’ll be affecting. When you click “like” and “share” or comment on a SpaceCadet post, everyone else gets to see more of what we’re up to as well. Want to see how powerful it is? Check this out…

The Power of Likes on Facebook

When you click “like” or share and comment on my posts, you’ll begin getting all the latest SpaceCadet news in your timeline again (along with behind-the-scenes pictures from the studio and some random shots of my lunch or my WIPs…). And, y’know, I’ll be so excited to see you again! I love sharing all the cool stuff we’re working on each day — and I love it even more when I get to hear back from you about what I’ve posted.

So here, hop over to our Facebook page right now and just click “like” on a bunch of posts (or please, leave us a comment or share a couple of posts). And before you know it, SpaceCadet will be back on your Facebook radar again!

 

Mauna Kea

PS –I really do love the interaction that happens on Facebook, and so I’d love for SpaceCadet to have more followers. If you think something I’ve posted would interest your knit-friends on FB, I’d be really grateful if you’d share it with them by clicking “share” as well as “like”. Thank you for spreading the SpaceCadet love!

 

 

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Amy’s Plug+Play magic…finally revealed!

(Thank you to Jillian for letting me hog the blog today. I have a big announcement! And our darling Jillian has an awesome spinning post for you this Thursday. She’ll see you then!)


Squee!

Squee!

You may have heard me talking about my Plug+Play method over the years. It’s my simple, friendly approach to designing with stitch patterns, and I’ve been teaching it all over the place since 2008…from a cruise ship filled with knitters in the Pacific to events like Vogue Knitting Live, Yarnover, the Glasgow School of Yarn and Yarndale, and at shops in the US, Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland! The P3 retreats, run by Brenda Dayne and myself and held in Wales over a span of 3 years, were based on the Plug+Play system. It’s empowered so many knitters to make their knitwear reflect their own design inspiration without having to tear their hair out!

Well, if you haven’t been able to take one of my classes but wanted to learn more about this user-friendly method of designing, today I get to make a big, happy announcement! My Plug+Play: Custom Scarves & Shawls, class has just launched on Craftsy! Just now!

In this class, you’ll learn my easy and intuitive method for turning the stitch patterns of your choice into your own scarves and shawls. It’s a simple but surprisingly effective way to create uniquely beautiful scarves and shawls by plugging complete stitch pattern units into your knitted fabric, rather than designing a stitch at a time!

Massive fun, filming this class for Craftsy! Anyone spot the appropriate set decoration over my left shoulder?

Massive fun, filming this class for Craftsy! Anyone spot the appropriate set decoration over my left shoulder?

In the class, over 7 lessons spanning more than 2 hours in total, you’ll learn about the Plug+Play method, how to apply it to simple rectangular and triangular shapes as well as rectangles built on the bias! You’ll learn about full motifs and half/offset motifs and how to use them effectively. You’ll get a good handle on how to build your own custom cowls in a variety of directions, and finally we’ll talk about all my favorite tools and tips that will make designing your own scarves and shawls much more enjoyable!

One of the neatest things about Craftsy is how interactive their classes are. If you have a question, just ask! I’m there to help you with any challenges you encounter, so that your projects are successful. And I can’t wait till knitters start uploading their FOs to the Craftsy site. There’s lots of places to interact with me and the other students in the class. I hope to see many of you there!

Is this a sales pitch? Yup. Unabashedly so. I’m very proud of the Plug+Play method, and this opportunity to share it with you via Craftsy has been a dream come true for me. So many knitters have asked if I could come teach this class in their part of the world, and now through this online class, I can!

To learn more about this class and get started today, just click this link. Hope to see you there!

The ukulele my producer chose for the set (to add Amy-like ambience, no doubt) was gifted to me at the end of the shoot. Signed by the crew, surrounded by all the tools of the make up artist who made me pretty every morning.

The ukulele my producer chose for the set (to add Amy-like ambience) was gifted to me at the end of the shoot. Signed by the crew, surrounded by all the tools of the make up artist who made me pretty every morning.

 

 

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