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Jillian’s Spinning: How I’m Getting Through the Holidaze This Year

This year has been especially crazy for me, nothing traumatic,  just extra busy. I have found a way to make this year’s gift giving  holidays less stressful for me – no handmade gifts. Yep, send out the craft police. I’m not making any presents. Over the years I have paired down the number of handmade gifts to one or two per year, rotating through the people who really love and appreciate the work that goes into handmade things. This year it started as an accident – the planning never made it onto my radar. When I realized, I first felt crappy about it. I love knitting and making and I love ...

Knitting Mondays: A SweaterBabe Giveaway Redux

A SweaterBabe Pattern Giveaway A few months ago we tried to have a SweaterBabe giveaway and something went very wrong with my computer and it ate all of the comments. So let’s try it again! Spring is trying hard where I live in Michigan, green flower shoots are nestled in snow and hail. The sunshine is a little less watery and the sky is trying for blue. Katherine Lee a.k.a SweaterBabe has given us some of her lovely patterns as a giveaway, I’m thinking they will help Spring bloom. SweaterBabe Patterns! Three winners will get to choose three PDFs each from the SweaterBabe pattern library! Prize value: ...

Jillian’s Spinning: New Knittyspin Column and Rhinebeck!

The new Spring+Summer Knitty is live! I have a new column, called Knittyspin. I’ll be writing about spinning yarn for knitting. The first column is about why I knit with handspun and all of the things I think about when I make yarn to knit with. I’ve gotten many big email hugs from spinners who’ve read it. I have to say it feels wonderful. I was nervous. I think a lot about spinning and knitting, sometimes too much. I was worried I was rehashing things all spinners knew already or just twirling in mental circles. Whew! Now I can start working on the next column.   I have big news – ...

Knitty Friday: Franklin’s Contest – One Month to Go!

There’s only one month left to submit your design to Franklin’s Templeton Square contest. Rev up your needles and your creative ideas, we need your designs knit up, photographed and sent in by March 15, 2013, midnight, EST. For all of the details, keep reading. We can’t wait to see see what you come up with! Contest Time: Square Off with Knitty   Here’s what you’re gonna do: Use the Templeton Square pattern  as the basis for a finished project. It can be anything at all: a coverlet, a piece of home decor, a garment, a party tent — the type of project is up to you. The only requirement is that the ...

Spinning Tuesdays: It’s a Party (Mix)

Julia Farwell-Clay designed a spectacular sweater especially for handspun for this issue of Knittyspin. Party Mix is a lovely sweater and could be the ultimate stash busting sweater. Especially since most spinners buy dyed fiber in similar colorways. I know I do – anyone need purple/brown colored fiber? Party Mix was an instant hit, lots of spinners are making it. Even non-spinners are knitting it. Two of my spinning gang started it last week, and I’m plotting one. Julia wrote about her spinning and design process on her blog, Moth Heaven.  I love how her brain works when she writes about design. I also ...

Help me find the right non-wool sock yarn!

I needed these shoes. I was teaching at Yarnover in Minneapolis [which was super-fabulous, by the way] and needed a little footwear-based oomph to make my super-teacher powers fully activate. You understand, surely. These are Dr Martens 1461 Oxfords in the unbelievable-but-true color they call Blueberry. The leather is softer than the usual Doc oxford style [which could probably be used as the outer skin of a tank]. They fit great, with super-thick socks. For two reasons. 1: Docs don’t come in half sizes. 2: Even though the leather is softer than their usual, I have wussy baby princess feet and need the ...

Spinning Tuesday: New Fleece Washing Bowl

On a recent family shopping trip to Hua Xing Asia Market I found a fantastic fleece washing set up.   The store had a bunch of big plastic bowls and colanders that fit together perfectly . I chose an 18″ bowl and a 15″ colander This set up would be good for up to 6, maybe 8 ounces of fleece, depending on how dirty it is. I use Unicorn Power Scour for washing fleece, and for some fibers I use Unicorn Fiber Rinse in the last rinse. The best part about my new washing set up? Total cost $6!   What spinning tools have you found in an unexpected place?

Knitting Mondays: Cooperative Press Giveaway!

It’s the middle of winter and I don’t know about you, but I need some knitting inspiration.   How about a package of 6 knitting books from some of the most creative knitting minds? Any one of these books will make your fingers itch to knit. The folks at Cooperative Press have donated 6 of their most recent knitting books that 1 lucky knitter will win.   The usual rules apply for our giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Friday, February 10, 2012.   1 comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If he/she answers correctly, they will ...

Out of the frying pan…

Amy – upon receiving my first Techniques with Theresa contribution in over a year – asked me if I’d like to talk about what I’ve been up to since leaving you with a “Part One” – yet Part Two-less – for way too long. Here’s my story. Last fall, my husband turned to me suddenly and said “How would you like to try living in the US for a while?” I was gobsmacked. We’d talked about this for years in a vague, theoretical kind of way. But having lived in Norway since 1999, I felt at least half Norwegian. I love my adopted country and my Norwegian family, had ...