Knitting Mondays

Feet and Heads: Sizing Tables

Waaaaayyyyy back in 2011, I kicked off a survey to gather information about foot size, to help sock knitters and designers. In 2015, the book Custom Socks was published, with all the details from the survey results, and a whole load more information about fitting socks.

Knitters and designers are always asking about foot size, and so I’ve decided to publish a key excerpt from the book: the foot size tables.

If you’re making socks, and all you know is the recipient’s shoe size, this should give you a good sense of what size to aim for. I’ve also included guidance on the size of sock to make for each foot size. If you do know the actual foot size, use that instead. This table also helps if you only, for example, know the foot circumference – you can get a sense of what the length might be.

Visit Kate’s site for the full table


And it’s not just feet: Hat Designer Extraordinaire Woolly Wormhead has a very similar guide for head and hat sizing, too!

Visit Woolly’s site for the full table

 

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Introducing our newest columnist!

It’s kind of funny to be introducing Kate Atherley, because if you read this blog, you know her quite well already. Kate is our Lead Tech Editor, as well as being a very experienced teacher with a massive portfolio of classes. She may not know it all, but she knows a whole lot, has written four books (and counting), and she’s been a valued part of the Knitty team for so long, it’s hard to imagine Knitty without her.

We had a vacancy in our Techniques column, and I asked Kate if she’d be willing to take this on. Because we live in the same town, I’m able to be her Producer* (ooh! My Radio + TV degree finally becomes useful!), which frees her up to concentrate on content. And as Kate’s already created 12 online classes, she knows how to do this stuff really well.

Kate’s first video column went live in the most recent issue, Winter 2016. She decided she wanted to see what was in the issue, find a common thread (in this case, it’s a bulky one), and provide solid knitting knowledge and handy tips that could be used right away. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Going forward, Kate will continue to scan each issue and choose a theme (how Ira Glass of her!), then share her knowledge with you in detailed, helpful video tutorials. Her column is called Wiseknit™, a tip of the hat to her original online persona, Wisehilda. And, we think, an apt description of what she’ll be sharing with our readers!

*Our first video was a bit of a learning experience for me. Expect improved production values (better audio, for example) in future columns.

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Snow Day Giveaway! Freia Fine Handpaints Obliqua

Obliqua cowl

Obliqua cowl

I am snowed in with my children today, and I suspect many other knitters are similarly impaired by the snow. It seems like a perfect time for a giveaway!

Tina of Freia Fine Handpaints wants to give a Knitty reader a kit for her Obliqua cowl pattern in the new Knitty.

You will get two  Freia Fine Handpaints Merino Fingering Shawl Balls , one in Charcoal and one in Dirty Hippie, the same color combination in her pattern.

I think everyone deserves a gift this time of the year, but only one lucky reader will win.

Our usual rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, December 16th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Freia kit. If you have already won a prize from us this year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $66.00

Happy Knitting & Good Luck!

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YARN the Movie comes to Toronto; Giveaway!

mv5bnjyyywiwm2ytmjg3oc00zdy1ltkwzjutzdi3yte5zjg3zwqxxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymju1mdm3ndm-_v1_sy1000_cr006931000_al_I’ve written about YARN the Movie before, and I was very pleased to hear that it’s coming to Toronto. It’s playing at the Carlton Cinema October 21st-27th. AND we have two double-passes to give away!

The movie aims to introduce to the broader world the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet.

Reinventing our relationship with this colorful tradition, YARN weaves together wool graffiti artists, circus performers, and structural designers into a visually-striking look at the women who are making a creative stance while building one of modern art’s hottest trends.

Featuring interviews with fiber artists artists Olek, Tinna Thorudottir Thorvalder, Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam, Tilde Björfors of Cirkus Cikör and Barbara Kingsolver, the film is a visual delight, and an excellent look at our woolly world.

Watch the trailer here.

If you’re not in Toronto, it’s playing all over, in North America and Europe. Consult your local listings.


To enter, leave a comment below by midnight Sunday eastern time. We’ll announce the winner next week. The usual rules apply: if you’ve won something from us in the past year, please give others a chance. You’ll be asked to answer a skill-testing question. And remember, this is for Toronto screenings only, so you need to be able to get yourself to Yonge and College.

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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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Geek Knits Charity Auction

You saw the cover, yeah? You saw our cover boy? 

Yup, that’s author Neil Gaiman, modelling a scarf designed by Joan of Dark. Joan has just released a book, Geek Knits, and it’s full of fun and geeky knits of all stripes and fandoms, modelled by all sorts of fun characters and people from the ‘geek-iverse’. Yes, that’s right, other nerd-heroes in knitwear. What’s not to love?

Because Joan is a good sort, she has decided to auction off the book samples for the benefit of Doctors Without Borders. The first item, the Blue Box scarf as modeled by actor Rene Auberjonois, is open for bidding until next Wednesday. The items will be auctioned off over the next few months – follow the Facebook group for details.

 

 

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Hands.

Back in 2011, I ran a survey to gather foot measurements. Although I design and knit many things, socks have been my main focus for a long time. Being a small-footed type, proper sock sizing was important to me, and this survey was designed to help me and other designers better size sock patterns. Many Knitty readers contributed their measurements – thank you! And I published my findings on this blog.

Almost exactly four years later, this survey has become part of a book, too: Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet* launches this summer.

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I know! It’s a terrible image! But it should convey what I need, I hope?

Now it’s time for the other extremity: hands. I’m doing the same thing, gathering information on hand size, to help me better size mittens for adults and children. If you’ve got a minute or two spare, and a tape measure handy, will you please measure your hands for me? Both of them, ideally? And maybe the hands of the other members of your household?

It’s quick, I promise! There are two questions about demographics (age group, and whether you work in metric or imperial) and then six measurements as shown in the graphic. Survey here. I’ve also added a place for you to tell me about any special mitten and glove fit needs you might have and customizations you might make: do you always make a string? do you always work extra-long cuffs? do you have trouble with the thumb lengths?

Thank you! I will, as before, publish the results here. (And yes, I am hoping to publish another book, too.)


*If you’re interested, there’s  more info about the sock book here and here:

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Epic Yarnbomb: The Tim Horton’s Truck

I mentioned last week about the launch of Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s new knitting-themed cups for the winter and holiday season.

Very knitterly.

It turns out there was a bigger knitting connection than you might have suspected…

Tim’s runs ‘coffee-runner’ trucks, that drive around sampling and selling their much-loved coffee. They’re seen regularly at all sorts of places and community events, distributing warmth and cheer.  And the gang at Toronto yarn shop Lettuce Knit got involved, to yarn bomb one of trucks!

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Covert knitting party.

30 knitters spent over 1000 hours at the needles, between October 27th and November 16th. They used 412 skeins of Cascade Eco wool, triple-stranded on 12mm needles.

The project was managed by knitter and ex-Lettuce Knit manager Brenna MacDonald and her computer scientist and knitter boyfriend Matt Kosichek.

The team signed an NDA with Tim Horton’s, and I doubt the CIA could have run a better secret yarn-bombing campaign. Very few of the knitters working on the project knew what it was all about. The panels were divided up so no one knitter had the identifying parts of the design. Key elements were worked in secret, and Brenna and Matt spent a lot of time denying their involvement in anything. Fun!

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The panels before being put on the truck.

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More panels.

This time-lapse video of the truck being wrapped up is terrific.

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Knockout Knits Giveaway!

Laura Nelkin is a longtime friend and Knitty designer. Her first pattern Abrazo appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. Her most most popular Knitty pattern is the ethereal Mythos from First Fall 2010. She’s even in the our current issue with Gusto. But I’m not here to talk about Laura’s work for Knitty. I want to make sure that everyone knows about her newly published book Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry and Other Accessories.

Get yourself a copy!

Get yourself a copy!

It’s a fun and gorgeous book. Here’s Amy’s review from the current issue of Knitty:

Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry, and Other Accessories

I love that this book is dedicated to the author’s Ravelry group. It shows her dedication to learning from her students and fans, the hallmark (in my opinion) of a great teacher.This book is more than a book of accessories, not surprisingly, then. It’s a teaching tool in itself. Full of projects, each designed to teach a skill or set of skills, it’s a portable classroom in 144 pages.

She focuses on three techniques: wrapped and elongated stitches, advancing lace skills, and — of course — Nelkin’s signature of late: knitting with beads. Starting with accessory projects as simple as a buttoned cuff, she’ll take you through each technique in a gentle and logical manner until you’re ready for the beaded lace gauntlets on the book’s cover (so beautiful!) or the lacy, Gyrus Tam near the back of the book. The Quadro Convertible Shrug is another stunner.

The section on knitting with beads is enough to make the book a knitter’s library must. Information about what yarn content works best with beads, how to choose beads suitable for knitting, and much more are essential reading for anyone wanting to add sparkle to their fiber. Hard to pick a favorite pattern in this section, but the gradient Halli Shawl is a jaw dropper. Want.

I love the Cha-Ching Mitts on the cover and here are some other patterns that I’m excited to knit.

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Laura, Potter Craft and Craftsy have put together an sensational giveaway for KnittyBlog readers!

A copy of Knockout Knits!

The Book!

The Book!

A kit for the Cha-Ching Mitts!

The Kit!

The Kit!

Laura’s Knitting with Beads Craftsy class!

nelkin knitbeads

The Class!

One lucky KnittyBlog readers will win all three prizes.

Our regular rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday,  September 18th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the book, kit and class. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $96.98

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Travel Knitting

It’s vacation time! And knitting is an important part of your vacation plans. (Well, it is for me, so I assume it is for you too.)

A few things to keep in mind when you’re taking your knitting on the road…

  • Wind your yarn before you go. All your yarn.
  • Do an inventory of the materials needed for your project – don’t forget the cable needle!
  • Always pack extra yarn in your travelling bag: traffic jams and flight delays happen, so have more yarn than you think you might possibly need for the trip.
  • Pack extra yarn in your suitcase. I travel with two kinds of projects: something that requires very little attention, so I can enjoy the scenery and my companions’ conversation on whatever patio we’re enjoying; and something more complex project to help pass the time in the car, the airport lounge and the bus station.
  • Pack your yarn in zip-lock bags so that everything is together and protected from sunscreen spills.
  • Work fine-gauge projects: there’s a lot more knitting time and value in a single skein of laceweight or sock yarn than a single skein of worsted weight yarn. A single ball of sock yarn can easily entertain me for an entire weekend.
  • If you’re a DPN knitter, consider learning magic loop or the two-circulars method to reduce the chance you’ll lose a needle.
  • Photocopy your pattern – or print off a spare – and keep it in a sheet protector so if you spill your iced coffee the pattern is protected. And tuck a pen and some scrap paper in there to keep notes.

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  • And don’t forget to leave room in your suitcase for more yarn.

If you’re travelling by plane, there’s a few other things to keep in mind:

  •  Although metal needles are permitted by most airlines and airport security organizations, I prefer to play it safe: I switch off to wood, bamboo or plastic needles. I also pare down my kit: I don’t take scissors or a darning needle or anything metal or pointy in my carry-on bag. I pack the metal tools.
  • If you need to cut yarn in-flight, consider packing some dental floss in your carry-on bag. The little floss cutter also cuts yarn.

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  • Dental floss can also be used as a lifeline. I highly recommend feeding a lifeline into your work before you leave for the airport… it’s useful if you make a mistake and need to undo, but it’s also useful in the unlikely situation of you being asked to surrender your needles. Just take the needles out and hand them over, but keep your work and your yarn.

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I’m away on a quick weekend trip right now. My patio-sitting project is a plain sock, and my plane project is a lace shawl.

What are some of your favourite travel knitting tricks? What project do you like to take on the road?

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