Obsession Thursdays

A colorway and a contest!

In spring, I got a chance to visit the Blue Moon Fiber Arts world headquarters in Scappoose, Oregon. An unassuming barn/dye studio, full to the rafters (literally) with rich color, built by Tina as the perfect workspace for her and her team to produce the Blue Moon yarns we are so fond of. And occasionally, you’ll find her latest brood of baby chicks, until they’re big enough to join the rest of the flock outside. Here’s Tina’s recounting of our time together: Almost everyone who comes to visit me wants to immerse themselves in the dye barn for at least a few hours. Some come just to play and ...

Yarndale in pictures

Yarndale is a brand-new fiber festival, held in Skipton, Yorkshire, in the UK. A tiny market town, charming as one could hope for, Skipton was overwhelmed by the arrival of The Knitters as we clogged their roadways and filled their pubs after the show was over. This first show, launched by a team of seven clever women, was an unqualified success, with vendors reporting stellar sales, especially on the first day. New-event hiccups like running out of parking spaces and half-hour lineups for the loo were solved by the 2nd day, as the organizers rejigged the parking plan, and brought in lots of portable toilets. I ...

Offhand Designs Bag Giveaway!

It is no secret that the Knitty staff are big fans of  Offhand Designs Bags. The vintage feel, the select and limited edition fabrics and the quality workmanship of a handmade bag all speak to the bag collector and maker in all of us. Because I’m curious (nosy) I ask owner Larisa Flint Snydal a few questions about Offhand Designs. She happily answered my questions and even sent over a couple of pictures of herself working on bags. Why and how did you get started? I worked for 10 years reviewing internationally funded projects in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but all the while was making ...

All about Tom Bihn, with a lot of little videos…and a contest!

When I was asked by the people at Tom Bihn (they make some of our very favorite bags ever) if I wanted to collaborate on new products, I said “Sure! Let’s Skype!” They had a better idea. They flew me out to Seattle. I know. Rockstar treatment! I still can’t believe it happened. But I took videos, so there’s proof. Lots of it. I had met Tom and Darcy (the head honchos of the Tom Bihn company) many years ago, when I passed through Seattle on the way to teach on the Sea Socks cruise. We’d been emailing back and forth for a while, and had collaborated on the fabulous Swift bag, which ...

Obsession: The Knitter’s Frolic

In Toronto we’ve lucky enough to have not only a huge knitting community, but also a large and very active guild, the Downtown Knit Collective. The DKC is “dedicated to advancing the art of knitting through the sharing of ideas and techniques, education and community involvement”. They have many projects focused outside the knitting community – drives and donations to good causes. But our favorite activity is focused at the knitting community – their annual Knitter’s Frolic. Held every spring, it’s a weekend-long festival all things yarny. There are two days of classes, with ...

Someone Else’s Obsession: Color

The London Fashion and Textile Museum is currently hosting a retrospective of the work of designer Kaffe Fassett. Over 100 of his own pieces are on display: knits, quilts, paintings, tapestries and even some mosaics. I was lucky enough to be able to visit it last month, and was transfixed by the explosion of color and texture. This video news report from BBC gives you a taste. Born in the US, Kaffe began his career as a painter, studying at Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, but he left before completing his studies to become a painter in London. We know him as a knitwear designer for Rowan – and designer of ...

Jillian’s Book Obsession: A Fit to Flatter Giveaway

I’m a little obsessed with knitters making sweaters that fit and look good on them. I was so excited when I got Amy Herzog’s new book Fit to Flatter for review. After I finished reading it I knew I wanted to do a giveaway. So here it is, the I-Love-This-Book-I-Know-You-Will-Too, Fit to Flatter Giveaway. Our prize package includes a copy of the book donated by Melanie Falick Books: and a yarn pack (in the winner’s choice of color) to knit the Dorica sweater, one of my favorites, donated by Berocco Yarns: To win this prize pack leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, ...

Jillian’s Obsession: Fibery Mugs and a Giveaway!

I drink  tea all day long and have collected a lot of mugs. Of course I’m especially drawn to mugs with any kind of a fiber theme, sheep and knitting needles cavort in my cupboards. I have Knitty mugs, Jennie the Potter mugs, mugs from local potters and a just a few from Etsy. I recently ran across a fantastic set of mugs from Herdy, you know the cute little sheep stuff. Herdy things usually look like this: But this set is decorated with specially commissioned artwork from by Scottish artist Owain Kirby that depicts the journey of wool from sheep to finished object. The set is called Wool Journey. Want a closer ...

Obsession: Knitting with Beads

Have you tried knitting with beads? It’s awfully addictive. It takes simple stocking stitch and makes it into a jewelled wonder. There are lots of fabulous beaded shawls and other projects out there. Me, I’m slightly obsessed with Laura Nelkin’s fabulous bead knitting kits. They’re small projects, easy and quick to knit – practically instant gratification! – and the end results are those rare wear-everywhere go-with-everything pieces. They’re also an excellent and affordable way to add something new to your wardrobe, if you’re feeling the winter blahs. Because we want ...

What’s a P3 Retreat like? (or, Amy’s ongoing love affair with the United Kingdom)

First off, what the heck is P3? It’s short for Plug+Play Pembrokeshire. Plug+Play is the technique we teach our students. Pembrokeshire, Wales, is where we hold the Retreats. Yes, you read that right. Wales. We hold our Retreats in Wales because it is staggeringly beautiful. Because Welsh people know the true meaning of hospitality. Because I really wish I lived there, due to the awesomeness of the whole country. And because, conveniently, my Retreat partner, the velvet-voiced Brenda Dayne, does happen to live there. Which means we know insider things about the area that we wouldn’t have a clue about if ...