Contest!

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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Knitting Pearls Book Giveaway!

Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood

Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood

 

Are you ready to cozy up with a book about knitting? Following in the footsteps of Knitting Yarns, Ann Hood has gathered 24 writers to pen essays about knitting in Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing About Knitting. Included in this paper bound knit night are : Anne Bartlett, Stuart O’Nan, Laura Lippman, Jane Hamilton, and the one and only Diana Gabaldon (yes, she knits). Knitterati Clara Parkes and Jared Flood also make an appearance.

Because a book so thoroughly drenched with knitting absolutely shouts for patterns, Knitting Pearls obliges with five accessories and a tea cozy from six legendary U.S. yarn shops, Purl Soho, Hill Country Weavers, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, Loop, The Yarnery and Knit Purl.

W. W. Norton has supplied us with 5 copies of Knitting Pearls to give away, I know you want one!

Our usual rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday October 27th. Five comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a copy of Knitting Pearls. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $25.95

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Fiber Wild! Shaded Love Shawl Give Away!

The clever folks at Fiber Wild! put together designer Lorna Miser with the beautiful Serenity Silk Single yarn from Zen Yarn Garden and magic happened. She created two lovely shawls called Shaded Love, one knit and one crochet and Fiber Wild is having a Make- Along.

Shaded Love, crochet and knit.

Shaded Love, crochet and knit.

The Shaded Love Make-Along starts October 8th. You can find all of the information about these exclusive patterns and the exclusive Zen Yarn Garden colorways, on the Fiber Wild! website.

Shaded Love

Shaded Love

Fiber Wild! has given us a kit for a prize for a lucky reader!  The winner even gets to choose their favorite color.

Our usual rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday, October 6, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a Shaded Love Shawl kit. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters and crocheters a chance. Giveaway value $78.00

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“Custom Socks” book giveaway

CS Cover Mech.inddAs you may have seen in the Cool Stuff column, our own Kate has written a book.

Kate got her start at Knitty writing about socks, and as our sock technical editor. She’s measured a lot of feet. She knits a lot of socks. She’s edited a lot of sock patterns. She’s designed a lot of socks. She teaches a lot of sock classes.

And this book is the culmination of all that work. It brings together all her knowledge about socks and sock knitting and sock designing.


In her own words…

I’ve taken my Plain and Simple Sock patterns – both Top Down and Toe Up versions – and created a book all about how to make them actually fit your feet.

I’ve provided the basic formulas and templates for both directions, and created the numbers for you for gauges from 4 to 9 sts/inch (including the important 6.5 and 7.5!), for finished socks from 5 to 10.5 inches in circumference. That’s covering feet from 5.5 to 12 inches in circumference, and pretty much any possible yarn you might ever want to use. Oh yeah, and I’ve got tables of foot sizes by shoe size if you can’t measure the feet you’re knitting for. And a table of yarn requirements by gauge and foot size, for when you’re stash-diving.

And then. THEN. I’ve given you a ton of info on how to measure your feet properly to determine your fit needs, and how to customize the socks for those needs.

Oh yeah, and there’s some fancy patterns, too. Texture stitches, cables, lace, colourwork. All sorts of socks for every knitting mood and every style whim!

Custom Socks - The Basic Ribbed Sock beauty image - Copy

Nice comforting ribs, very wearable.

Custom Socks - The Carpita Sock beauty image - Copy

Easy colorwork! Really

Custom Socks - The Man of Aran Sock beauty image - Copy

Inspired by a favorite aran sweater from childhood.

Custom Socks - The Oh, Valencia! Sock beauty image - Copy

Estonian lace.

Custom Socks_v1_actualbook_Page_065 - Copy

Secrets & Lies – Cables and Lace, for days when you can’t deicde what you want to knit.

Custom Socks_v1_actualbook_Page_179 - Copy

The Fitzcarraldo Knee Sock.

The book also has all my sock knitting tips and advice and wisdom from nearly 20 years of sock knitting, and 10 years of teaching sock knitting. Trouble with joining the round? Plagued with ladders? Struggling with needles? Uncertain about gauge? Holes at the tops of the heels? Holes elsewhere? Legs fall down? Ten years’ worth of questions from my sock classes questions.

And if you’re looking to design socks, it’s a great reference, too, providing lots of info about how to add pattern stitches into socks and create your own gorgeous Custom Fit socks.

And we’re proud of it – and her! Order it from your LYS, your fave indie bookstore, or online.


Of course, thanks to F&W Media/Interweave Press, we do have a copy to give away, too. The usual rules apply – leave a comment below by midnight EST Tuesday September 8th to enter. If you’ve won one of our giveaways in the past year, please give someone else a chance.

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Les Belles Bouclettes Mohair Yarn Giveway

It seems we’re a little giveaway happy these day here on the KnittyBlog. Our advertisers keep offering us lovely things to give to our readers and we can’t say no, it would be rude, really.

Happy mohair goats

Happy mohair goats

 

Our latest giveaway is from a family owned and operated farm that raises mohair (angora) goats and turns the goat goodies into yarn, roving and soap.

Les Belles Bouclettes is located in eastern Ontario and in a few short seasons has grown from a modest beginning of fibers and soap into a thriving boutique stocking a selection of bath and body care products, ready made garments, accessories and  crafting kits.

You can peek in on the goats and the farm on their blog.

 

 

We have a skein of gorgeous white mohair yarn from Les Belles Bouclettes to give away, 400 yards of 3-ply fingering weight yarn, 60% mohair, 20% wool, 20% nylon.

Beautiful 3-ply yarn

Beautiful 3-ply yarn

To win this yarn follow our usual rules. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday, August 18th, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Les Belles Bouclettes yarn. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $24.00

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Monday Morning Giveaway: Baker Street Scarf Yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Good Morning Mr Gaimen!

Good Morning Mr Gaiman!

Here’s a grand way to start the week. 1) Look at the photo above. 2) Enter to win the yarn to make the scarf. Sorry, the man and his marvelous brain do not come with it.

Tina, the color goddess of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, was inspired by the man and the Baker Street Scarf to create a a unique colorway called “Say Nevermore”, a sexy melange of midnight plus breaths of color to enhance the darkness.  Knitty and Blue Moon are giving away 2 skeins of “Say Nevermore” on Gaea, an organic merino yarn.

To win follow our usual rules. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, August 7th, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $47.00

Have a great week and pass the coffee!

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Yarn Crush Giveaway!

Yarn Crush - a new knitting subscription box.

Yarn Crush – a new knitting subscription box.

Yarn Crush is a new surprise-yarn-to-your-door subscription service. Joanna at Yarn Crush has given us 3 of her August subscription boxes to give away on the KnittyBlog. The box will contain at least one skein of specially selected yarn and a pattern designed to show off that yarn to it’s fullest. Here’s a sneak peek of the pattern in the August box:

Just a peek at a lovely lacy shawl.

Just a peek at a lovely lacy shawl.

Curious about Yarn Crush? Here are a few facts about the monthly subscription:

  • You’ll get one or two skeins of yarn
  • You’ll get a pattern designed especially for the monthly yarn
  • You’ll frequently get surprise extras
  • The total retail value of the your monthly box will always exceed your subscription price

If you want to try Yarn Crush, Joanna has given KnittyBlog readers a link for a 15% discount off of one month.

 

Here’s your chance for a free Yarn Crush box:

Our usual rules apply.

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, July 31st. Three comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a Yarn Crush box. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $50.00

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Jillian’s not Spinning: Rebecca Ringquist Embroidery Book Giveaway

I learned to embroidery from Rebecca Ringquist’s Creativebug class and  I haven’t stopped stitching since. I’ve spent a year stitching her samplers and stitching on just about everything I can get a needle through. She is a creative hero of mine.

I am so excited that she has a new book out!

Creative inspiration!

Creative inspiration!

I reviewed the book in this issue of Knitty:

Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops
by Rebecaa Ringquist
STC /A Melanie Falick Book
$29.95, hardcover
Rebecca Rinquist’s mantra for teaching embroidery is “Don’t worry, just stitch”. This book is like no other how-to embroidery and for that I am very grateful.
I learned to embroider from Rebecca a few years ago through her Creativebug class and it was exactly the revelation I wanted. Embroidery doesn’t have to be a litany of do this, exactly this way and no knots ever; it can be as relaxed a creative pursuit as I wanted it to be.
This book is filled with exceptional teaching and beautiful examples of embroidery, and it opens with a photo of the back of a sampler stitched by Rebecca herself. Guess what it shows? Knots, and threads stretched from one working area to another, not the “back should be as clean as the front” school of embroidery.
Rebecca teaches the basics of embroidery stitches using a sampler (included in the book). In her teaching, she takes the rich tradition and history of embroidery in a new modern, relaxed direction.

This book is divided into four main sections: Stitch, Trace, Draw and Layer. Stitch breaks down the families of stitches how to create basic stitches and how to make many variations. Trace explains a variety of ways to transfer images to embroider, including the best methods for different fabrics. Draw teaches the basics of mark making, creating original images or lines as a supplement to an existing design or as a freehand design on fabric. Layer explores methods of embroidering over already embroidered fabrics.

Each section has several projects designed to instantly try out the lesson taught in the chapter. They range from ones that can be completed in an afternoon to ones that require thought and the possible scouring of flea markets. Highlights for me are the Single-Stitch Patches, Portrait Napkins, Angela’s Stitch Doodle Bracelets and the 3D Embroidered Buckle Brooches.

The main sections are bookended with a beginning chapter on Supplies, including supplies for machine embroidery and an ending chapter on Finishing: how to mount, frame, stretch and hang your work.
All of the how-to is overflowing with step-by-step illustrations and photography. It is abundantly clear what to do and what it should look like when you are finished.
The book is packed with beautiful pictures of embroidery, particular stitches, projects to make, Rebecca’s mixed media art and all the color and texture of embroidery supplies. It is impossible to look through this book and not want to play along.

I have one copy of Rebecca’s beautiful book to giveaway.  Leave a comment before Sunday April 19th 2015 to be entered for a chance to win!

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Make Your Own Magic Ball; Giveaway!

We’re rather fond of Laura Nelkin’s Gusto cowl pattern from our latest issue.

One of the things we love about it is that it’s a fantastic way to use up sock yarn leftovers. (We know you’ve got some lying around. It’s ok, no need to be ashamed. All sock knitters have leftovers.)

Laura’s design uses a homemade Magic Ball composed of sock yarn leftovers to create a fantastic one-of-a-kind stash-reducing knit. If you’re not familiar with these wonderful things, she’s kindly provided a tutorial for us.

Title Card for BlogOnce you’ve discovered the Magic Ball technique, we figure you’ll get totally hooked, and so we’ve arranged a giveaway: a signup for Laura’s Design Your Own Cowl Craftsy class. Take the yarn you’ve just made and indulge your own creative impulses! And because we love you and her, we’re also giving you a copy of her new book, too. One lucky reader will win both prizes.

The usual rules apply. Leave a comment on this post by midnight EST Wednesday October 22nd. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the yarn and the book. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks to Craftsy for the class, to Potter Craft for the book, and as always, to Laura.


I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with designing for magic ball knitting lately and decided it was time to make a tutorial to show the magic knot I use for joining skeins.

Step 1: Choose Your Yarn!  I decided to play with my LYS’s excellent “stash” of Knitted Witt Gumballs for this tutorial. I choose enough to knit another Gusto as I can’t really get enough of that pattern! You can join together yarns in stash (see note below), or have a base yarn and join bits of color throughout it (like I did for Magmatic Boom).  This is where you get to be CREATIVE! Then begin to wind your yarn.

1skeins 2winding

Step 2: Lay down the two ends you want to join with the tails going in opposite directions.
3ready

Step 3: Take one end and go underneath the other end to the opposite side.

4

Step 4: Then bring that end back over and lay it across itself.
5

Step 5: Then take that end and go inside the loop you have created to make a overhand knot.
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Step 6: Pull tight.

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Step 7: Repeat with other tail.

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9
10
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Step 8:  Holding onto the working yarn, start to pull in opposite directions.

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Step 9:  Keep pulling, the two knots will slide together.

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Step 10: Pull all the way tight!

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Step 11: Trim the ends VERY close to the knot, sharp scissors help!
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Step 12: Test your knot by yanking on it HARD! If you do not follow these steps exactly the knot will pop apart and it’s better to find that out now than while you are knitting!

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Jane Richmond has an excellent video that shows this knot, which is how I learned about it.  Thanks Jane!

I want to make a note that this knot is not perfect for every yarn and you should definitely test it with your yarn before you commit to it. I’ve heard that it doesn’t work well with single ply yarn, yarns with high silk content, and cellulose based fibers (like cotton, rayon and tencel).  You can put a bit of Fray Check on the knot, which will make it hold… but just do a test first to be sure, sometimes it can change the color and hand of your fiber.  Your other choice for joining the ends is to use a Russian Join, which will work on wool fibers but not the other fibers listed above.

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Jillian’s Spinning: More Samples and Win My Craftsy Class

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I am getting a little sick of spinning samples. Well,  I think I’m getting sick of spinning samples. Here are my latest for my Happy Camper Retreat which is this weekend! I’m teaching spinning variegated tops, it’s one of my favorites!

I always think I’m sick of spinning samples and then another idea or ‘what if’ pops in my head and I’m off sampling again. I am exactly the same way with millspun yarn, I could swatch forever and just occasionally make things. I think that means I’m really a process person – a processing processor. I am getting the itch to finish a little something, a hat, mittens, a scarf. I’ll see if I can fit it in between sampling and thinking about sampling.

Happy Camper samples.

Happy Camper samples.

 

 

My Craftsy class, Ply to Knit: Spin the Yarn You Really Want, doesn’t launch for a week, but the fabu folks at Craftsy want one reader to have it for free on the day it launches. The class is a beginning plying class – tools, tricks, how to, when to and of course how it effects your knitting.

Ply to Knit!

Ply to Knit!

You can enter the giveaway here. You do have to be a Craftsy member to enter, though if you’re not, you can sign up on the spot. You can only enter this giveaway through Craftsy, not by leaving a comment on this post.

The contest runs until Monday September 22, Midnight EST. Only one spinner will win!

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