A New Class Question and PLYAWAY 2017 Classes Posted

natural + singles collageHow often do you like teachers to have new classes?

I’ve been teaching a lot the past couple of years and don’t know when to add new classes. For 2017 I tried to have at least one new class for each multi-day teaching gig. I’ve noticed some teachers don’t add new classes very often.

What about exclusive classes for big shows and events? Is that something that appeals?

I personally love designing new classes, but they take about four months to develop. So I need to be sane about how many I add. And let me know if there is something that you’d like to see me teach.


Do you like to plan ahead? Jacey has already listed the classes for PLYAWAY 2017. That woman is organized!

The dates are April 25th-April 29th. The location is the same as last year, the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. There is a fountain pen store just off the lobby, plan your budget accordingly.

I’m teaching three classes and two of them are new and one of them includes sheep cheese tasting!





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Obsession Thursday: Finally knitting again!

FInally! Progress on my After the Rain in Rowan Revive.

Finally! Progress on my After the Rain in Rowan Revive.

The saga is coming to a close, at least for my right hand. (Catch up with the story here.)

It’s been 4 months since my surgery. I’ve tried to knit during the healing process, but haven’t found it very enjoyable. Which worried me.

Last week, I went on a road trip with a friend, and got to sit in the passenger seat for the first time in a while (being single means you’re the one driving all the time). I started to knit. It ached as the muscles aren’t even vaguely as strong as they used to be (or NEED to be), but I kept at it, with little breaks. In a while, I noticed it was less achy. And then it was easy.

What was the difference? Keeping at it? No. Up till now, I’d been continuing to try to knit combination, which is still new for me. On the road trip, I switched back to my autonomic knitting style: throwing. And poof, my mojo is returning.

I left the knitting down for the last week, and, picking it up again, it’s kind of like starting over. I used to knit every time I sat down to watch TV. With the pain I had, I broke that habit, and now I have to retrain myself.

This will be fun.

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We’re Going to TNNA – What Do You Want to Know About?

We'll be touching all of the things!

We’ll be touching all of the things!

Amy and I will be attending the summer TNNA show in a a couple of weeks. TNNA is the The National Needlearts Association trade show, the show that shops, designers and publishing types attend to see what’s new in our fuzzy world. The summer show has everything new for fall knitting (and spinning and weaving and stitching).

I’ve been in our wonderful, crazy industry for more than 25 years and I think this may be my 20th TNNA. I’ve gone as an exhibitor, an author, a shop, and a publisher. My question for you, Knitty readers, is what do you want to know, what tidbits of information, photos, giveaways do you want Amy and me to bring back?

Things like, what’s the hottest color for fall? Who had the busiest booth? What’s more popular this year spinning or weaving? What was our favorite new yarn? What was the most gorgeous knitting bag we saw? Who has new styles of needles?

What are you curious about?


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Jane’s Knitting Kits – A Giveaway!

Midnight Wrap Knitting Kit

Midnight Wrap Knitting Kit

The fine and friendly folks over at Jane’s Knitting Kits have a kit for us to give away! Knit from gorgeous Universal Yarns Rozetti Brand Bamboo Glam (96% Bamboo 4% Glitz), the Midnight Wrap is a little bit slinky and a little bit sparkly. An easy knit, it’s just the perfect little something for mercurial spring days and nights.

Think this is something you need to knit for this spring? We have one kit to giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday April 19th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Midnight Wrap kit.  Giveaway value $45.00




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Jill Draper’s Studio Shindig at Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck is this week!!! Are you done with your sweater?

The years that I am lucky enough to go to Rhinebeck one of my first stops is always Jennie the Potter’s booth that she shares with Jill Draper.

I have many mugs by Jennie in my cabinet, they are even a unit of measure in my house, “How much chocolate milk do you want?” “Jennie the Potter size!”.

I have lots of smaller skeins of Jill Draper’s yarns, I love it. As a knitter, as a spinner, her yarns are so well done, from the initial fiber, to the spin and ply, to the gorgeous colors. I have been circling those huge skeins of Empire for a couple of years now, but have yet to buy one.

If you are looking for Jennie this year at Rhinebeck she’ll be in the same spot as usual and this year her booth guest star is Kim of Indigo Dragonfly for excellent shopping.

Where is Jill Draper you might ask? She now has her own studio across the river from Rhinebeck, and she’s having a party!

Jill Draper is having a party!

Jill Draper is having a party!

Everyone is invited, but she does ask that you RSVP, so she know what to expect.

She’ll have refreshments and lots of yarn, including the elusive huge skeins of Empire and Rifton, her new yarn for 2015.



Rifton was released originally in January. This Autumn Jill’s added Spring & Summer to the existing colors, Autumn & Winter.  She says it feels great to have each season represented & she’s thrilled to share the new colors which will be available online at www.jilldraper.com on 10/17 for anyone not able to make it to the open studio.  Rifton is 600yds of smooshy soft Merino wool, weighing in just over 6oz so plenty for a shawl! Jill dyes the fiber in the wool before having the yarn spun for her at Green Mountain Spinnery in VT.

So go visit Jill, buy some yarn, but don’t buy all of the Empire, I might need some.

Wooly love!

Wooly love!


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WWW: Sometimes baa is baa….

Balls of yarn

Who taught you how to knit?  When I read stories such as those from this knitter or this crocheter, I imagine their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren reading and cherishing same.  I was lucky enough to catch a snippet in my family history about a great aunt using her spinning wheel to ignite a stove fire — the equivalent of a party trick for rural living in the 19th century!  I imagine someone sharing the story in a stitching group or writing about it for a book.   Stories such as these are as important to the history of fiber arts as the craft itself, and the stories are meant to be preserved and cherished.   Jot your story down, stash it in the bottom of a knitting bag, in a special knitting book, or in the comments below.  It’s what we’re supposed to do.


The world in miniature is trending, and check out what they’ve done in Castle Vale!  I wish I could jump in there and play.  Just think about this for a minute, and I offer no apologies for mentioning this either.


21 things you only know if you knit had me stitches (the crowd groans).   Go ahead, make your own list.  Mine has about 45 items on it.


Sometimes baa is baa….

They’re are adorable. They are compelling.  Knitters on the interwebs are nuts about sheep, and the shepherds are happy to oblige us. We’re fascinated by their adventures, and some of us live vicariously through their exploits.  From Kentucky, the lake district of EnglandYorkshireIreland and places you never imagined, shepherds are everywhere.  I like the salty, seasoned shepherds and fall head over heels for the romantic leaders of woolly flocks.  Find a blog, read an article and follow a shepherd on social media.  This fantasy farm girl has learned a lot reading about the lives of shepherds and the sheep we love.

Sheep are amazing, but sometimes baa is baa!

Singing and knitting,


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Obsession Thursday: the iconic NYC black+white cookie

Thanks to elkie465 for the picture of what looks to have been a delicious specimen.

Thanks to elkie456 for the picture of what looks to have been a delicious specimen.

My sister looked at me like I was nuts for being excited to find a black+white cookie at Max’s Deli in Highland Park, Il. “It’s just a sugar cookie,” she said. “Why are you so excited?”

I used to think the same thing. A big cookie, iced half in black and half in white. What is all the fuss about?

People, it is not what you think. The black+white cookie is not just a New York City specialty, it’s magical.

First of all, when authentically made, that cookie is not a sugar cookie. Ha! It’s a beautifully firm-yet-soft lemony sponge. It’s more like cake than cookie, but it’s firm enough to hold itself together. It’s light but satisfying, sweet but not overly so. Then there’s the icing. It’s crisp and snaps when you break the cookie. It’s, I’ve since learned, made with water, not milk or butter or cream. The texture of that thick layer of brittle icing on top of that soft, tart cookie is what makes this a magical experience.

Who invented this cookie is not certain. This article from the New York Times, circa Seinfeld in first run (when Jerry urged us all to “Look to the cookie” when dealing with the complex issue of race) suggests that it’s more than 100 years old. (That same article offers a recipe. You’re welcome.)

My first b+w was purchased at an unremarkable Manhattan bodega, wrapped in plastic wrap. I bought two, just because one never knows if this will be the best thing ever. Besides, how bad could any cookie be?

I opened it on a bus to upstate NY and took a bite and was instantly mad at myself for not buying a dozen. They were wonderful.

Our own Kate Atherley and her husband, Norman, love these things too, so when I found black+white cookies at the kosher Sobey’s (a big Ontario grocery chain) in Thornhill two nights ago, I almost drove a box directly to them. But, as we all learned the next day upon delivery, they’re…okay. There’s a bit of a snap, and a hint of the lemon, but they’re not quite right. Flip over the box, and the reason was revealed: Made in New Jersey. 

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Test is on NOW! (ETA: 7:40pm — test is over)

TEST TIME! Everyone + their budgie, please click the link below. The follow links around for a while within the site:


Pretend it’s new-issue day!

Update at 7:07 pm: Please follow me here: http://twitter.com/knittydotcom — I’m posting updates as we have them. This is all good…the fact that it choked is just information. Our SysAdmin is going to tweak things so it won’t do that, but it may be a bit of a process to get there. Your help is appreciated!

Update at 7:40 pm: TEST IS NOW OVER! THANK YOU!

We learned a lot from the problems you all experienced, and so SysAdmin Chris will be doing some adjusting and tweaking and we’ll run another test shortly — probably this weekend.

Thank you for taking time out of your evening to help us make the new server everything we all want it to be! You’re all awesome!


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WWW: Venus de Milo’s arms; Interweave book sale; knitting to help orphaned baby birds


Love this: using 3D printing to test a theory that the Venus de Milo’s missing arms were busy hand-spinning.

This coming weekend, an epic book sale is being held at the old Interweave office, in Loveland, Colorado. Interweave outgrew the space – a beautiful old renovated bank, and were sad to move out. They’d been at that location for many years, and a huge collection of books amassed by the founders had been stored there. Now the building is up for sale, and the library is being sold off. The backstory on the extensive collection is here. In addition, there will be bargains available on old Interweave titles. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Warmth and comfort for injured birds.

We wrote about this in the winter, and now’s the time to act: The WildCare wildlife rehabilitation center in San Rafael, California, is seeking donations of hand-knit birds nest to help them save injured and orphaned baby birds.

The Huffington Post discovers that knitting is fun and cool and satisfying and all those things we know. I poke a little fun, but it’s nice to see knitting being written about in “mainstream” media in a positive way.

Next Tuesday, May 12th, guest lecturer Julia Collins of University of Edinburgh is speaking about the parallels between mathematics and knitting, at the Linnanmaa Campus of the Univeristy of Ouluo, in Finland. I’m very sorry I can’t attend this!

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WWW: Fundraiser Dishcloth, Building Cozy; Crocheting with Paint?

Lorilee Beltman is doing a good thing. She’s selling a knit dishcloth pattern for $2, with all proceeds going to support the Special Olympics. Her late brother Mark was a participant, and she does this in his memory.

Lorilee says that Mark’s enthusiasm would sometimes get the better of him: he would disqualify himself swimming by standing in the middle of the pool to wave to everyone.

Buy it here.

Ok, we’ve all seen mug cozies and tea cozies and tree cozies… how about a building cozy? Well, ok, it’s only a scarf. But it’s still 700ft long.

Fantastically cool: Artist Angela Teng crochets with acrylic paint.

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