Contest!

Knitting Monday: What Are You Working On? And a SweaterBabe Giveaway

My knitting is really flagging. I have at least 8 first tier UFOs (those not in knitting time out or more than a year old) and I was planning on knitting 7 gifts for the holidays.

My knitting mojo has failed me. I am a slow knitter at the best of times, but my pace has been something like frozen molasses lately.  I am happily, but slowly, working on a shawl for me. Bolting by Stephen West out of Glory Days by Briar Rose in a fabulous red colorway. And that’s it.

My holiday knitting is stalled dead. I have one gift finished and no juice to start the rest. I’m regrouping. I don’t want to knit panic-y. I don’t want to knit because I feel like I have to, I have enough deadlines. I want to knit gifts to give something I’ve spent time on to people I love who appreciate my work. So I’m slashing my holiday  knitting projects to two.  A pair of socks and a chunky couch blanket that’s a resurrected UFO from last year. Those knitting have-tos really suck the happy out of me. Now that I’ve made the decision, I feel like knitting again.

 SweaterBabe Pattern Giveaway

How are all of you doing with the Daylight Savings time shift? Katherine Lee a.k.a SweaterBabe has given us some of her lovely patterns as a giveaway to take a little bit of the time shift sting out of this week.

SweaterBabe Patterns!

Three winners will get to choose three PDFs each from the SweaterBabe pattern library!

Prize value: $12.00-$24.00

More SweaterBabe Patterns!

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, November 7th. Three comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

 

 

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It’s Thursday, How About an Addi Click Starter-Set Giveaway?

In June at TNNA, the wonderful and charming Cirilia showed Amy and me this very fabulous little taster set of Addi Clicks.

Have you see it in the wild yet? It comes with one Turbo® (4.5 mm), one Lace (4.0 mm), and  one Natura (5.0 mm) tips, along with two cords (24″, 32″) and a connector. Try out 3 of the best selling Addi tips, the wonderful Addi Click system and have a cute travel set of needles. A little Addi dim sum.

Cirilia has given me 4 sets for giveaways. I told you she was wonderful!

Prize value $49.95

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, November 4th. 4 comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

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Obsessing on Project Bags & a Madbird Giveaway!

I’ve been a knitter, off and on, for 20-some years and have only recently started using project bags. Of course, now I have bunches and I love them all.

Before I used project bags I used plastic zip bags, which would tear, needles would poke through and I always stuffed them too full to zip closed.

A small selection of my current project bags.

Project bags are fun. They come in bunches of patterns and sizes. They stay closed. Best of all they somehow make a pile of UFOs, like the one above, seem downright happy. I always felt such accusation from plastic zip bags.

I can also tag them.

Project tag on a project bag

Name of the project, needles size, anything I need to know to grab the right bag.  Another use for tags that I love, too.

 

For your own project bag obsession, we have a giveaway from Madbird.

Project Tote from Madbird

A Project Tote, gorgeous, no? I reviewed it in this current issue.

Alecia at Madbird has donated a Project Tote for a giveaway, winner’s choice of in-stock fabrics.

Prize value $34.

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time,October 22nd. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

 

 

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I Like Hand-Knit Socks. And Sock Knitting. And Especially Sock Yarn. Want Some? Springtree Road Giveaway

I guess it qualifies as an obsession.

My sock drawer is overflowing.

15+ years of sock knitting….

My sock yarn stash is an embarrassment of riches.

Spot the soon-to-be Halloween and Christmas socks. The Halloween yarn is from The Amy Lee show.

And I have a disturbing number of sets of 2.25 and 2.5mn DPNs and long circulars.

This doesn’t even include the needles in the 4 sock projects I have on the go right now…

Still, there are worse addictions to have. My feet are never cold, and there’s no gluten, caffeine or sugar in sock yarn. There are no calories or trans fats or artificial sweeteners. Sock yarn doesn’t rot my teeth or damage my health or keep me up at night. (Ooh… actually, that one might not be true.)  And there are more expensive collections to have. Guitars, A/V equipment, golfing equipment, skis. And there are hobbies that require more space: gardening, motorcycles, cars.

But still, I do sometimes worry that I have too many hand knit socks, or I buy too much sock yarn… but then I fall in love with something like this…

Springtree Raod Navarre Sock Yarn, mmmmmmmm!

We have a sock yarn giveaway! Three skeins of Springtree Road Navarre sock yarn to make whatever your sock yarn loving heart desires.

Navarre sock yarn is 75% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester/25% nylon, 460 yards/420 meters, 4-ply, fingering weight yarn.

One winner will win all three skeins, colors are Corinth, Leafy and Ttanis. Prize value $78.
You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time,October 8th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks to Maya at Springtree Road for providing this giveaway!

 

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Sock Knitting Giveaway!

Sock knitting is an obsession for a lot of people. I know it is for me.

For some people, sock designing is the obsession. And one of those people is Hunter Hammersen, author of the remarkable Silk Road Socks, and her latest book, The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet.

I want to knit them all.

This new book features 20 patterns inspired by vintage botanical illustrations, and all feature Hunter’s fabulous patterning and attention to detail. There’s a great mix of socks and accessories.

The Loasa Socks. I definitely want to knit these. And if you do, enter the contest!

And for today’s giveaway, we’ve got two prizes for obsessed socks knitters:

The Big Prize: a copy of the book + an e-book copy (value: $26.95), and a skein of Rune sock yarn from Barking Dog Yarns to make the Loasa socks (pictured above) from the book (value: $26.95). Total prize value $53.90.

The Excellent Second Prize: a copy of the book + an e-book copy (value: $26.95)

You know how it works: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, September 5th. Two comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question, one for each prize. If the commenters answer correctly they will win the prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks to Hunter and Suzanne at Barking Dog Yarns!

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First Fall WIPs & FOs; Contest!

Contest! We’re giving away a yarn pack to knit the fabulous Bauble Shawl from the First Fall issue.

Don’t you want to knit one yourself?

The prize is two skeins of Miss Babs Yummy sock yarn, with a value of $48.

The usual rules apply for our giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Wednesday, August 21, 2012. A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If s/he answers correctly s/he will win our prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks to Miss Babs for providing our prize!


There’s some excellent work going on from our First Fall issue…

To tempt you further, here’s an excellent Bauble, created by Megknitsalot

Perfectly wonderful.

Typewrittenlion‘s fabulous oversized Norma blanket.

Terrific!

Cheriknit‘s Portlander Mitts

Matching one’s nails to one’s mitts: it’s the cool thing to do!

Workwoman‘s Unleaving

Just great. Fab choice of color.

Sndra‘s Anja Beret. Now, it may just be because I love orange, but this picture makes me happy.

The rest of the hat is pretty good, too!

Knitbender‘s Gentle Teresais coming along very well.

Can’t wait to see this grow!

And Lusianne‘s Eisen is very promising…

Love it!

How is your First Fall knitting coming along? Will you be ready when the weather turns cool?

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Hats in Hot Weather; Giveaway

Several of my favorite things to do….

This is how I’ve been spending time of late… Yes, that’s right. I’m knitting hats. In the summer.

Hats are ideal summer knitting, for a number of reasons: they are small and very portable, easy to throw into your beach bag or suitcase. And hats are mostly plain and simple knitting, which means they are well suited to knitting in the car on a roadtrip, or by the soft light of an evening campfire, or while distracted talking to friends or enjoying a frosty beverage.

Yes, that’s right. Hats. Woolly hats. Several of them.

Hats are also excellent summer knitting because you know you will be ready the moment the weather takes a turn for the worse.

If you’re so inclined, we have a giveaway for you, for a pack of yarn to make the beautiful Anja Beret, from our First Fall issue.

The prize comprises 2 skeins of Quince & Co. Chickadee, with a value of $14.40.

Ready for cold weather in style!

The usual rules apply for our giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Wednesday, August 1, 2012. A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If s/he answers correctly s/he will win our prize. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks much to Quince & Co. for the prize.

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TNNA Giveaway – Offhand Designs Bag!

You read that right.

Larissa from Offhand Designs has donated a beautiful Iris bag for a KnittyBlog Giveaway!

Iris from Offhand Designs

It was one of our favorite things from TNNA. You can read about it in our TNNA round up.

To win this beautiful Iris bag for yourself follow our usual rules.

Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question.
If s/he answers correctly s/he will win our prize. Prize value, $110.
If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please give other knitters a chance

A huge thanks to Offhand Designs for making beautiful things and sharing one with a lucky Knitty reader!

 

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Foot Sizing Survey Results; Contest!

Last year, I ran an email survey: I asked knitters to measure the feet of their friends and family, asking for the following data:

The key data points

I got nearly 400 replies, providing meaningful data for foot lengths 8.5-11 inches, foot circumferences 8 to 11 inches.

Disclaimer: although I received replies from all over the world, most of the data I received was from North American knitters. I received more data for women’s feet than men’s. There is inherent risk in getting respondents to take their own measurements: I have to trust that they measured in the right place. I don’t claim that this represents every foot in the world, and I don’t believe it should be taken as the final answer on foot size. What this represents is simple: 400 of your best knitter friends offering up measurements of their own feet to help you better understand how to choose a sock size and how to better design sock patterns.

SUMMARY

Note: when I mention foot circumference, I mean around the ball of the foot.

I found some interesting results – some confirming what we felt we knew, as sock knitters, others rather surprising.

-In the vast majority of cases, ankle circumference is the same as the foot circumference. The foot circumference is either the same or larger (never smaller), and if larger only by about 5%.

-And there is a remarkable correlation between foot length & foot circumference: foot circumference, on average is about 95% of foot length.

-Gusset circumference on average is larger than foot circumference by 10%. (It turns out that I have a high arch!)

-Heel diagonal about 35% larger than foot circumference, 25% larger than gusset circumference.

-The calf circumference question was an interesting one… lots of respondents questioned why I was asking this. In many cases, 6 inches up from the floor isn’t that far up the sock leg – certainly nowhere near full sock leg length. And this was the point of the question! A standard leg (if such a thing exists) does indeed get wider about 6 to 8 inches up from the top of the heel, where the calf muscles start to curve out – which is also the usual length of a sock leg. But the majority of calf-length sock patterns keep the sock circumference the same – that is, they are assuming that the sock leg doesn’t need any increases to fit comfortably below that calf curve. However, what I learned was that in nearly 50% of cases, there’s a significant increases in leg circumference just up from the ankle.
– Calf circumference 6 inches up from the ground 12% larger on average but there was a huge variance in this – for some, up to twice to size. For 15% of respondents, it’s the same or smaller; 40% it’s 1-10% larger than ankle; for 30% it’s 10-20% larger; for 18% it’s even larger.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR SOCK PATTERNS
This particular data point was known to me before I started the survey: in fact, it was why I started the survey. Looking at men’s and women’s shoe sizes individually, the difference between the largest and smallest common sizes (e.g. women’s size 5 to 11 and men’s size 6 to 12), there’s a 25% difference in both length and foot circumference. That is, a women’s size 11 shoe is over 20% larger in both width and length than a women’s size 5 shoe; and the same difference exists for men’s size 12 compared against men’s size 6.

Although knit fabric does stretch, you can’t expect one size sock to fit that range of sizes with equal comfort, and to look equally good.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR SOCK KNITTERS
Rather remarkably, you can guess the rest of the foot measurements based on one: as long as you have foot length, ankle circumference or foot circumference you’re good.

If you have foot length:

Foot circumference, ankle circumference = foot length * 1.05.

Gusset circumference = foot length * 1.16

If you have foot or ankle circumference:

Foot length = foot/ankle circumference * .95

Gusset circumference = foot/ankle circumference * 1.10

I do recommend you look for sock patterns that come in multiple sizes, and choose the size carefully. Remember that a sock is best worn with about 10% negative ease. Your feet will be happier for it.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR SOCK DESIGNERS

  • Socks should be sized!
  • It is safe to assume that foot circumference = ankle circumference. You can also use foot circumference as rough guide for foot length, as in the formulas above.
  • Design with a gusset or expanded heel for better fit: If you’re adding a gusset, make it at least 10% larger; if you’re working without a gusset, ensure the heel provides 25%-35% extra circumference.
  • Allow for larger calves; consider providing suggestions on how to size for larger legs.

THE DATA
I have sliced it two ways: by foot length, reflecting how shoes are sized and how non-knitters tend to think of their feet, and by foot circumference, reflecting how knitters usually think of feet. The numbers are the average of the reported results.

Note: I’m not making any statement here about shoe size, as it’s not an absolute or reliable measurement: I found that for any given shoe size, the reported foot length varied by on average 13%. There several reasons for this: shoe size varies depending on manufacturer (I wear a size 6 in some brands, a 6.5 in others, and a 7 in some others); those with wider feet will more often choose a larger shoe size due to its added width (since relatively few shoe brands provide wide sizes), and shoe size will vary wildly from style to style, and whether a shoe is worn with socks (and handknit vs. storebought socks at that). Just because you buy a size 8 shoe doesn’t mean that you have a size 8 foot!

By foot length.

By foot circumference.

I hope this is useful to you! If you have thoughts, comments or additional questions, least let us know.


Bet you wanna knit these….

As a reward for reading this far, we have a contest! We’re giving away a pack of 2 skeins of Zauberball to make the excellent and innovative Longitudinal Socks. (That’s enough yarn to make 1 pair of the largest size, or a couple of pairs of the smaller sizes!) Value of the prize is $42. Our usual contest rules apply: leave a comment on this post by midnight EST Wednesday July 18th to be eligible to win. If you’ve won a giveaway in the last year, please give other knitters a chance. Thanks to the Skacel Collection for the prize.

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Obsession: Good Health. The Stitch Red Project

With patterns from many of your favorite designers

Stitch Red is a nationwide campaign in the US that raises awareness about heart disease, the #1 killer of women in the United States. Manufacturers and designers in the Needlearts industry are creating and selling Stitch Red products to benefit the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in support of The Heart Truth. Yarn shops are carrying these products and hosting Stitch Red events to raise funds for heart disease awareness.

Yarn retailer Jimmy Beans Wool is leading the charge, and they recently released the book Knit Red, which features 30 red, heart health-inspired patterns and personal stories from industry greats.

The team at Jimmy Beans Wool was inspired by the experiences of some friends and family members, including  sales rep Marta McGinnis who had  survived a major heart attack. Marta was a key member of the team developing the campaign, but she sadly passed away in 2008, and never saw the results of her work.

The main goal of the campaign is to spread hearth health awareness nationwide –  and maybe even internationally. Heart disease has been traditionally considered a men’s issue, and it’s critical than women are aware of it and how it affects them. Heart disease is most common in women ages 55 and older, but it can affect younger women. It’s never too early to know the risks of heart disease so young knitters can start preventing and controlling the risks.

Launched this year, the campaign will be ongoing, and spread beyond knitting: the bok Sew Read is being published in February 2013, just in time for American Heart Month, and the goal is to get the sewing community as involved as the needlearts community has been!

Although the campaign is primarily about information and awareness, all of the manufacturers/designers have partnered with The Heart Truth and pledged to donate at least 5% of gross profits of their Stitch Red products.  Knitters can get involved by purchasing Stitch Red products, and by helping ensure that knitters get involved in the conversation.

I talked to Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool and author of the Stitch Red book, about the campaign. I asked her if she has changed anything in her own life since she’s got involved in the project:

“I’m already pretty active- I have a three year old son who keeps me running around! I have made a commitment to myself to eat one piece of fruit per day. If I’m honest with myself (sigh), I have to admit that I’m always finding excuses to eat chips and fatty stuff instead of fruits and vegetables. I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I’m just challenging myself to make 1 small change at a time. Once I’ve made eating 1 piece of fruit a part of my lifestyle, then I’ll take the next step (2 pieces?! Oh my!). On a more general level, I’ve just started being more aware of the signs and symptoms and am committed to not ignoring things about my body that seem out of whack.”

Laura’s parting words are wise – that we should all take care of ourselves:

“Make a conscious effort to eat healthy, exercise (even going for a walk counts), and pay attention to your body.”


Gorgeous!

We are giving away a prize – a copy of the book, courtesy of Soho Publishing, and a yarn pack to knit Norah Gaughan’s fab Cable Cardi, courtesy Berroco Yarns. The value of the prize pack is $75.95.

There will be one winner. Our usual contest rules apply, leave a comment on this post by midnight EST Monday July 16th to be eligible to win. If you’ve won a giveaway in the last year, please give other knitters a chance.

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