Knitting Mondays

Meet Knitty’s new Techniques Video Columnist!

Do you remember when we put up this Call for Submissions?

Our beloved Theresa Vinson Stenersen, who did such a fabulous job as our Techniques columnist for 9 years (!) decided she needed new challenges. (She’s moved from Norway, where we first met her, back to her family’s home in North Carolina — with her Norwegian husband — and in addition to her day job, now has a tiny but growing farm, including sheep, alpacas, chickens, a cat and Audrey, possibly the most beloved rescue dog in the history of dogs. Yup, she’s pretty busy.)

So we needed to find ourselves a new Techniques Columnist, and this time, we thought we would add something new: video! After our exhaustive search through some really fabulous contenders, one candidate’s video submission really struck us as very much right for Knitty, and she was the person we chose. Ladies and gentlemen, please help us welcome Knitty’s new Techniques Video Columnist, Kristin Fraser!

Sez Kristin, “I am so excited to be the new video techniques editor. Take a look at my video to find out a little more about my knitting life. While I love knitting, I make a living as a freelance tv news field producer and corporate video producer/editor. My husband is a college professor as well as being my videographer. We have two house rabbits, Scout and Lola (you might catch snapshots of them from time to time on my office wall). If you hear a strange noise in the background of my first video, it’s Lola snoring. I hope you find my video more interesting than she did.

We make our home in a rehabbed craftsman bungalow near downtown Seattle, Washington. I am working at being a more regular blogger and you can find me, the ‘neurotic knitter’, on Ravelry and Twitter.

I hope it’s pretty clear from the video that Kristin was chosen on her own merits, but yes, I would agree that a fondness for rabbits is considered an asset at Knitty HQ. We are a bunny-positive organization.

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Knitting Mondays: A Wearwithall Contest!

This past weekend it was 57F this week it’s barely supposed to touch 30F. I think that calls for a cozy giveaway!

May Lou Eagan and the gang of incredibly talented folks that created the book Wearwithall:Knits for Your Life have put together a warm and fuzzy giveaway for us.

How’d you like to knit this to keep you warm?

Cable Scarf and Cowl!

Cable Scarf and Cowl!

The whole prize for this giveaway is , a copy of the Wearwithall book and 4 skeins of Berroco Souffle in Cortina, enough to make 2 cowls or 1 scarf. Prize value $45.95.

Regular contest rules: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Wednesday January 16th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win our prize.

Good luck and keep warm!


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Knitting Mondays: Kate and Jillian Give Each Other Gifts. Plus, an Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf Giveaway.

What do knitters give each other? Kate and Jillian give you more knitterly gifting insight by showing what they would like to buy each other.

Here’s what Jillian would give to Kate.

Because she loves Doctor Who:

A Tardis Needle Gauge from Tangerine8:

A Wibbly Wobbly Needle Gauge

A Wibbly Wobbly Needle Gauge

A little something for her mind. I know she’ll read this and invent 211 more.

Cast on, Bind Off – 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting by Cap Sease. It’s available as print and an ebook.


211 ways to start and end your knitting

211 ways to start and end your knitting

She is a sock knitting goddess and should be gifted appropriately. Here are two ‘rich uncle just left you a mint’ sock knitting gifts.

A set of 6 Signature Needles double points:

sig dpn

Sexy sock knitting ahead!

and a 2013 membership to the Rockin’ Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts:

Socks all year long!

Socks and yarn all year long!


And here’s what Kate would give to Jillian:

A subscription to Clara Parkes’ Bale Yarn Club. Because of everyone I know, Jillian is the hungriest to know more about where her yarn and fiber come from, and she wants to know everything. And Clara will be sharing that!

A bag each of the brown and cream Bijou Basic Yak Down Clouds spinning fiber. Because Jillian deserves to spin with the nicest fibers in the world.

I can only imagine what wonderfulness Jillian would make with this!

Or perhaps a year’s subscription to the Paradise Fibers knitting club?

A year’s worth!

A subscription to the Audible downloadable audio book service, so she has entertainment while she spins and knits.

And if somehow I win the lottery between now and next week, I’d buy her a trip to Iceland. (And a new suitcase big enough for me to stow away in.) Iceland is a mecca for knitters and spinners, and I know that she’d have a most excellent time.

And together Kate and Jillian are saving up and one of these days – as soon as they’ve been invented – they’d like to be able to give Amy a Transporter. A Transporter would allow Amy to be able to get home to her family in Chicago without any airport hassles. A Transporter would allow her to be able to get over to see her BFF Brenda whenever she wants. And a Transporter would allow her to take her beloved Phil and the bunnies with her wherever she goes!

 Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf Giveaway!

Designer Alana Dakos has published a wonderful book about a spirited little girl learning to knit, Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf. It’s a great story and will also teach your little knitter how to knit.


Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scatf

Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf


Annie's Deluxe kit

Annie’s Deluxe kit


Alana has donated one deluxe edition gift set. It includes a copy of the book, a paper doll set, matching 20 piece puzzle, and sticker sheet all packaged together in a matching gift set box. Prize value, $26.95.  Thank you Alana for donating this prize!

Regular contest rules: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Wednesday December 19th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win our 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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Knitting Monday: More Gifts: Books Jillian Reccomends & A Knitty Yarn Giveaway

Since I do most of the book reviews for Knitty, I read as many as 100 knitting books a year. Here are three from this year that I think would make great gifts!


Principles of Knitting

A classic!

This is a classic, finally rereleased with over 700 pages of knitting techniques. If you know a knitter that loves to study the intricacies of how knitting works, they would love this book. It also comes as an ebook, which is a little easier to take with you.


Needles & Artifice: A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns

Stop in for a cuppa!

Steampunk + knittting, what’s not to love? For the knitter with a sense of adventure and a sense of humor. This is one of my favorite books of the year.


Knit Accessories: Essentials & Variations

Not just for newbies

Have a knitting newbie on your knitting gift list? Or a knitter always on a quest for the perfect basic accessory patterns?  This book by Knitty tech editor Kate Atherley would be perfect.



Knitty’s Anniversary Yarns Giveaway!

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Three readers will win one skein of our special Knitty Anniversary yarns. I have one skein of each colorway and I will choose randomly who get which yarn. One skein of yarn is enough to make the corresponding pattern in the latest issue of Knitty.

The projects:

The yarn prizes, left to right:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Knitty’s Rainbow in Marine Silk Sportweight, prize value:  $26.75

Indigodragonfly 50 Shades of Bazinga; or, When Your Stitch Count is Off, Your Skein is 2 Yards Shorter Than the Pattern, and the Yarn Gods Have Decided Now is the Time for a Needle Malfunction in Merino Nylon Sock, prize value $24

Lisa Souza Knitty Deep Fall in Polwarth Silk, prize value, $22

Regular contest rules: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Wednesday December 12th. Three comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win one of the three prizes. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.


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Kate’s Gift Ideas for the Knitters in Your Life

It’s that time of year again!  Do you have a crafter in your life you need to buy a gift for?

Yarn and needles are obvious – but challenging – gifts to choose. Are you confident about your crafter’s favorite types and colors of yarn? Do you know what needles your crafter likes using best? For some of us it’s pretty obvious what to buy, but not for everyone.  A gift certificate for a yarn shop is always appreciated, too, of course – support your local yarn shops!

But have you considered going a different way? One thing that crafters always struggle with is storage and organization.

Me, I’d love more plastic storage tubs for my yarn. Keep your yarn safe from moths, dust, pet hair and water.  Rubbermaid is a popular brand, available at most hardware and department stores, and Ikea makes great ones, too.

All sizes for all sizes of stash.

How about a bookcase for your crafter’s book and pattern collection? This can be a large budget gift: buying furniture – or a no-budget-at-all gift: clear a bookshelf of your own books to make a crafting-shelf. Take this one step further a create a crafting corner in the knitter’s home – find a comfy chair, a coffee table, a shelf for books and baskets or boxes to hold supplies and move them into a quiet space that can be dedicated to your knitter.

Some of my favorite knitting tools are office supplies:

Magazine storage files.

Useful for pattern leaflets and booklets, too.

Sheet protectors and sticky notes for storing patterns-in-progress.

Vitally important. A pen, too!

Is your crafter a budding designer? Graph paper and colored pencils are tons of fun.

Start designing!

And again, this can be done with very little budget: Google “printable graph paper” and print some sheets, and find coloured pencils at a toy shop, office supply store, or discount store.

Is your budget big? Consider a camera. Helpful if your crafter has a blog, but even just for uploading proud pictures of Finished Objects to Ravelry. Or if the budget is small, and you’re in possession of a good eye and steady hands, adorable small children, or a winning smile, make a coupon promising to help your crafter out with the some photoshoots. Crafters are always looking for help with photography – we need people to wear the socks or mitts so we can photograph them, or people to hold the camera while we model our own sweaters. And if you’re very clever at the computer, how about promising to help out with blogging, or photo editing?

We’ll have more ideas for gifts the next two Mondays, and as always, follow the Yarnharlot’s blog for gift ideas. She does a series every December with excellent suggestions. Read through last year’s to get a head start.

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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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Wovember! Are you ready?

(With apologies to Amy and all our wool-sensitive friends.)

I’m ready!

Wovember is the brilliant idea of knit designer Kate Davies and artist and crafter Felicity Ford. Established in 2011, it’s an annual, month-long-celebration of all things wooly.

Quoting from the website, “The idea is to show our collective appreciation of WOOL by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, and celebrating WOOL and its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November. We hope that through our enthusiasm and creativity we can raise awareness of WHAT MAKES WOOL DIFFERENT, and jointly create a force for WOOL APPRECIATION strong enough to effect changes in how garments and textiles are described and marketed.”

And this isn’t just a knitter’s initiative. It’s about education on the environmental impacts, and supporting local farmers and small industry. It’s about driving changes to textile trading standards.

Get involved by wearing as much wool as possible throughout the month of Wovember, and telling everyone about the unique qualities of wool. Visit the project’s website for pictures and stories, and more information.

Do you have enough wool in your life to wear it every day in November? I know I do! For me, it’s a pair of wool socks (sometimes two if it’s very cold), a scarf when I go out, and I a usually wearing a wool long sleeve tshirt, too. (This sort of thing.) I also have a wool dress, jackets – and of course, mittens, hats and my hand-made garments.

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Yarn in the Barn

I ran away this past weekend. Two of my fellow fiber fanatics and I drove across the state of Michigan to hug people and buy pottery and yarn.

Chris Roosien of Briar Rose Fiber had her first (we hope, annual) Yarn in the Barn celebration. A knitting celebration featuring Anne Hansen teaching and a few artists, fiber and otherwise selling things.

The three of us aren’t going to Rhinebeck this year, so this was our fiber fun for the the fall.

There was a barn, for real:

Barn for Yarn


We ran into Chris right away:

Dying genius, Chris Roosien

Some lucky knitter is going to make a throw out of that gorgeous yarn Chris is holding.

There was a special guest star all the way from Minnesota:

Jennie the Potter taking a break from making Knitty Anniversary mugs.

Yes, she has a bunch of new stuff for Rhinebeck, she didn’t sell it all here.

We shopped:

Briar Rose yarn brings the love.

My wee haul. That is a crappy iPhone photo, the colors that look pink are really fabby lipstick red and the bluish looking skein is really indigo and a purple just as rich and deep.

One skein of Glory Days and two skeins of Peaceful.

I bought yarn for two shawls and a skein just because the colors were so beautiful (the indio/purple one). One shawl is the fault of the Empress of the Enablers, Karen from Shall We Knit. She waltzes in from Ontario wearing a Bolting that she finished on the drive down and steam blocked in her room the night before (go knitters!). I fell down, hard. I bought the yarn in the barn, bought the pattern on my phone, wound the yarn in the car and swatched the whole way home.

As son as I got home, I cast on and started.

A red, red Bolting for me.

A perfect Fall outing!

Are you going to Rhinebeck or are you making your own fall fun?


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Kitchener Waterloo Knitters’ Guild Knitter’s Fair 2012

A splendid time was had by all.

The KWKG Knitter’s Fair is a highlight of the calendar for knitters around Ontario. Amy and I were there, for a little shopping, a little socializing, and to do a little good.

“How many bags of silk did you say you could fit in your car?”

The shopping was fabulous:


Yum. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)

Roxanne and the crew from Zen Yarn Garden


Something for everyone. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)


From the artisans of The Woodlot


The beauty of these may well just turn you into a spinner. At the Gemini Fibres booth.

Other goodies.

A brilliant shawl pin from Soaring Studios Pottery.


Amy might have bought a few pairs of these cushy hemp + lycra socks from Farmable Fibres. Well, 3 pairs. Because HEMP SOCKS WITH STRETCH!

We sold out of our limited edition Knitty 10th Anniversary project bags – the famous Ninja Bunny bag. [Really. They’re all gone. Sorry.]

A Ninja with her Ninja Bunny bag.

50% of the proceeds raised on Saturday from the sale of these bags are going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. We’re proud to support this organization — they’re quite unlike other cancer-related charities. CBCSF funds go directly to those affected by cancer: the organization provides short-term financial assistance to breast cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties while they are undergoing treatment. If a patient needs help covering rent, paying for food or childcare, the CBCSF is there to help.

Friends of Knitty, designer Fiona Ellis and Jacqueline Sava of Soak signed the limited edition soakboxes.

Matching your nails to your knits: all the cool kids are doing it!

Featured speaker Stephanie Pearl McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, drew the crowds, as always, to her fun and enlightening presentation!

Ms. Pearl-McPhee, sharing her wisdom and love for the craft.

Everyone was wearing their finest knitwear.

Love it. (Image courtesy Annie Bee/KWKG.)

… including Isa’s lovely Tempest cardi.

So great!

And friend of Knitty Kim of indigodragonfly introduced us to her two newest employees…

Because which indie dyer doesn’t need squirrels to help her out?

See the KW Guild’s own photostream here.

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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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