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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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WWW: Principles of Knitting website; Shetland Knitting Traditions; Lace in Fashion

Author and all-around knitting genius June Hemmons Hiatt has launched her new website, The Principles of Knitting. It’s named after her seminal book. The website contains the story of this masterpiece – about writing the two editions, and the long awful period when it was out of print. (You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? I’m not. Read my review of the second edition . The website even answers my quibble about the renaming of various techniques – in a very calm and sensible manner.

In addition, Ms Hemmons Hiatt provides a wealth of information about a favourite knitting method of hers: the “supported” method, and the knitting belt. Fascinating stuff.


A must-read.

The Shetland Tourist Board has put the winter 2014 issue of their magazine online, which features extensive coverage of Shetland knitting traditions, and the role of knitting in modern Shetland life. Great stuff! And such beautiful photography.


Knitting as therapy, but in a different way entirely. An interesting story about knitters making things they call “twiddlemuffs” for dementia patients. These are based on the old-fashioned “muff” handwarmers, but designed to provide tactile stimulation and comfort for patients suffering from severe dementia. They have buttons and other items attached, for patients to touch and play with.


File under ‘not strictly knitting but relevant and wonderful anyway‘: a slideshow on the Guardian website, on the history of lace in fashion


Neat: designer Joanne Seiff has just released the second in a series of short-story & knitting pattern combos. A short story and a related pattern – nice idea!

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Jillian’s Spinning: Handspun Needed for Art Installation

 

Some of my extra handspun.

Some of my extra handspun.

Do you have a little handspun yarn to contribute to a community art project?

You may have read or heard about Jo Israelson community weaving project Welcoming the Stranger in Portland Maine.  She’s hoping to collect 30,000  42″ long handspun yarns from around the world by the end of April. Her official press release is below.

Welcoming the Stranger: Building Understanding Through Community Based Art is a site-specific artwork. As part of the installation, volunteer weavers and community participants will create a 50’ x 10’ weaving. City-wide weaving events will take place at locations throughout Portland, Maine from May 1 to June 15, 2015. This community weaving – “Abraham’s Tent” – will then be exhibited at the Maine Jewish Museum.

I am seeking donations of 42” lengths of hand spun yarn – any gauge, any color, something meaningful to you. Non-traditional fiber materials will be accepted. Your yarn and a tag with your family’s country of origin will be “woven” into the panels in “Abraham’s Tent.”

When: February 14 – April 30, 2015
What:  Yarn –  42” lengths of hand spun yarn –  any gauge, any color, non traditional materials accepted. Other yarn also accepted but prefer wool.

Please include your name, email address and your family’s country of origin.

$1.00 bill or check made to Welcoming the Stranger Fund a 501 (c)(3). Funds will used to defray costs of processing yarn and name tags.

Mail to:
Welcoming the Stranger Art
PO Box 10419
Portland Maine 04104

For more information see Jo’s website or email her at welcomingthestrangerart@gmail.com

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Jillian’s Spinning: My Best Spinning Habit

Last week I talked about my worst spinning habit, the thing that drives me crazy about my spinning self. This week let’s talk about the good.

Cart of samples.

Cart of samples.

My best spinning habit is experimenting, sampling, playing. I could spend all of my spinning time following the ‘what ifs’ that pop up in my head. I have piles and boxes and baskets of samples, some of them becomes articles for Knittyspin, PLY or Spin Off, some become classes, some just stay little piles of fun. That picture above? Each box, bag and basket is crammed with samples. The picture below? That’s one box full of plying experiments with variegated yarn. These experiments are a big reason why I need to break my worst habit of not labeling things, ” exactly what are these four tiny skeins and swatches?”. I love figuring out the things fiber and yarn can do, that even the smallest variation can make a big change. I hope I never get sick of experimenting!

What’s your best spinning habit?

Plying samples.

Variegated plying samples.

 

 

My friend Carla of cjkoho Designs started a Kickstarter to build a bigger studio, to dye and to teach. I have used her fiber and yarn for years and she does beautiful work. Take a look and contribute if you are interested, and if not, help spread the word. We need more beautiful fiber and yarn!

cjkoho Designs fiber

cjkoho Designs fiber

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A big anniversary!

Isn’t it funny how time passes online? We launched in 2002, and just 3 years later, the immensely clever Tina Newton (one of my favorite people) launched her Rockin’ Sock Club with her company, Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Tina is the woman that invented Socks that Rock. The yarn that has caused more hours-long lineups at Maryland and Rhinebeck than (possibly) any other. It’s pretty gorgeous stuff.

Holy cow, look at all the cool stuff you get!

Holy cow, look at all the cool stuff you get! And that doesn’t even include the yarn!

So yeah, back to the anniversary thing. 10 years. TEN YEARS, people! This is huge. To celebrate, the 10th Anniversary Rockin’ Sock Club is going all out this year! Members get a kit every other month, and you can read all about what’s in that magical package here. One of the things that caught my eye was the special bag Tina has commissioned from Queen Bee Creations — it’s an optional add-on to the Club, and as someone who is a proud bag ho™, there’s no way I’d miss out on that.

Here’s something I really liked reading on the site about the club — this note on the FAQ page. “Note: Before purchasing, please take a minute to consider very carefully about whether or not a Sock Club that chooses the yarn, pattern, and color is right for you. We promise to challenge your color boundaries and expand your sock knitting horizons.

I love how beautifully honest this is. Be prepared to relinquish control and wonderful things will find their way to your mailbox every two months. It sounds pretty good to me.

To find out more about the Rockin’ Sock Club and sign up for the special 10th Anniversary edition, visit the Blue Moon Fiber Arts website.

Editor’s note: We’re not being paid to write this blog post, and we’re not getting free kits, either. We just love Tina and what she’s created at Blue Moon, and want to share the news about her Club with our readers. That’s one of the cool things about running your own magazine. We get to do stuff like this for good people who make good products.

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Jillian’s Spinning: Spinzilla Sign Up and Swatches

spinzilla

After my happy success with Tour de Fleece, I ‘ve decided to do Spinzilla in October! I wonder how much yarn I can spin in a week? I’ve joined Team PLY,which is full now but, here’s a list of all the teams still available.  Has anyone joined a team yet?

I’ve been spinning and knitting swatches for my Craftsy class. I leave on Sunday and I can’t wait to film. I am equal parts nervous and excited, which seems about right.

Pile o' swatches

Pile o’ swatches

In Happy Camper retreat news Beth, Rita and I planned our goodie bags and door prizes today. Each camper will have 6 ounces of fiber plus other surprises in their goodie bag and go home with at least one door prize. It’s going to be so much fun! September will be here soon.  Are you signed up yet?

My kids are going mental because summer is almost over. My daughter wouldn’t look at the Target ad in the paper on Sunday because it was all back to school stuff. I will admit this summer has flown by, but I am determined to squeeze every last drop out of it!

What are you doing to squeeze the last fun out of summer?

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Uncharacteristically personal post from Amy

Life has gotten hard and complicated over the last while, and just after the New Year, something happened that I think it’s time I shared with you all. The husband and I decided we shouldn’t be married any more.

We’ve been together for more than 2 decades, so this decision was a hard one to make. But it’s the right one for us both.

As a result, you won’t be surprised to hear, I’ve been trying to get through the challenges this has presented. Life will continue to be complicated and challenging for a while longer, but I’m fine and want you all to know that. I’ll be staying in Toronto and moving to my own place shortly, with one very large box of ukuleles and two cranky rabbits. Excited for my new future.

I’m turning off comments because I know you’ll send love and I appreciate it. And that’s enough. I have some wonderful friends and am so grateful for their support.

If I’m slower than usual in answering email, my apologies. I’ve also decided that my already booked teaching gigs in 2014 are all that I’ll be taking on, and won’t be looking for new gigs until 2015.

I hope you understand that my current state is a temporary one and I’ll be fully back on the horse as soon as I can. Knitty will continue to be my primary professional focus and I’m grateful for the work, and the loving and supportive community that has arisen around Jillian, Kate, Ashley, Ruth and I. We all love you.

Thanks to you all,
Amy

p.s. Should you know of an amazing east-end (Leslieville would be ideal) 2 bedroom condo, apartment or part of a house to rent, please let me know. If it’s elsewhere but still amazing, I’d love to hear about it too. Tweet me @knittydotcom

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On Charity Knitting; Too Many Penguin Sweaters?

Boing Boing puts it best: The Internet may be producing an excess of penguin sweaters.

If you do want to do some charity knitting, consult local organizations in your area to see what they need… women’s shelters often take children’s items; animal shelters often take blankets and comfort items; hospitals, particularly those with neonatal ICUs, often accept items for tiny newborns; homeless shelters often take winter accessories like hats and scarves.

We all have the impulse to use our power for good – let’s just make sure we direct it in a way that it’s of most benefit.

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