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,

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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.



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?


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!)



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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Things that have made Amy’s life better, vol 1

Jillian wants me to learn how to write shorter blog posts. I expect she’s not the only one. So here goes…my first installment in a series of things that have made my life better (and hopefully will be helpful to at least one of you who reads this).

Macintosh thing:
Ever since updating to the Mountain Lion OS, I’ve had problems with my usually reliable Mac system freezing up in an un-force-quit-able way.

Both times, the problem was one of the little handy apps that mostly sit in the background and I forgot were there. First it was the Gmail notifier. I had to disable that a year ago. When the freezing started up again recently, I finally found that the culprit was an outdated version of the Dropbox app. Updated, and POOF! No more freezes.

Check your background apps for outdated versions if you’re having similar problems. The Software Update utility missed this one.


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Templeton Square Contest Winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our Templeton Square contest! In our Spring & Summer issue, in his Stitches in Time column, Franklin Habit unearthed and updated a lovely counterpane square pattern, original published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter series.

He proposed a contest: what could our knitters do with such a square?

We had 51 entries, and the range of work was wonderful and surprising and gratifying.You can peek at all of the entries over here.

We’re thrilled to announce the winners:

Best in Show: Wrap by Asimina Saranti


Very clever


Looks even better on.

Asimini wins an original Franklin Habit illustration and 10 skeins of Cascade Sierra yarn.

Most Creative: Fairy by Amanda Heyen

2. Seated

Makes me smile.

Amanda wins a set of Addi Turbo Lace Clicks and 10 skeins of Cascade Sierra yarn.

Most Ambitious: Tire Cozy by Karen Vradelis


If that’s not showing your colors as a knitter, nothing is.

Karen wins 10 skeins of Cascade Sierra yarn.

A big thank you to our judges: Ysolda Teague, Fiona Ellis and Shannon Dunbabin.

And thanks also to those who donated the prizes: Franklin Habit, Addi/Skacel and Cascade Yarns.

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