What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: No Frolic workshops; Kaffe Fassett, MBE (yay!); Knit Stars 3.0 earlybird registration, Freaking-huge mitten

The Toronto Knitters Frolic is April 28th (next weekend), and interestingly, they’ve chosen not to offer workshops this year. Here’s why: “Many of the workshop proposals we received were similar to what is currently offered at our GTA yarn stores (some of whom are vendors at the Frolic). After careful consideration, the Frolic Committee decided not to offer workshops this year. Instead, and as part of the TKG’s mission to promote fibre-related crafts in the Greater Toronto Area, we are promoting the workshops available at the LYS.” I think that’s an interesting approach. Not all events happen near a city with so many yarn shops, but since this one does, kudos to the Toronto Knitters Guild for trying this out.

Support your local LYS!

PS Rumor has it that there will be a limited quantity of Knitty bag tags, like the one shown here, available at the ticket desk at the Frolic, free for the taking! If you snag one, share a pic, please! #knittymag And don’t forget to fill out your contact info on the back of the tag with a sharpie.

We’re thrilled to report that Kaffe Fassett is going to be awarded the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

Brandon Mably reports that, “According to the British Cabinet Office, an MBE is given for an ‘outstanding achievement or service to the community.
This will have had a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others’.”

Well deserved, Mr Fassett. Huzzah!

Knit Stars 3.0 earlybird enrollment ends this Friday. This 3rd installment of the online learning event features 12 inspiring instructors from all over the world – lots of Friends of Knitty among them! No need to travel…the event comes to you via teh Intertubes. Coo!

Feel like a road trip? Off you go to Lovikka, Sweden, to see the world’s largest mitten! It’s 12 feet tall and located a mere 75 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Bring extra knitting. And snacks.

WWW: Rescued Sheep, Cal Patch, Sweet Georgia Talks about the Hobby und Handarbeit Show

Where is Spring? There is snow falling outside my window this morning on April 11th. Flowers are coming up, and I’m ready for some warm, sunny days.

Happy rescued sheep!

These rescued sheep are happy, healthy and even going for walks on a leash! Click through for a very sweet video from Fria & Eira.


Crochet Crusader!






Cal Patch, long time member of the Knitty family and designer of the Crochet Crusader Cowl, was interviewed over at Fringe Association for their Log Cabin Make Along. I love reading about her process.






It was wonderful to hear Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns talk about the H+H Show in Cologne Germany. It’s a trade show for handcrafts, a little bit like TNNA in the US. Photography isn’t allowed on the floor, but Felicia does a great job of painting a picture of the show with her descriptions.



WWW: We’re back! Here’s a little catchup

Hi, lovely knittyBlog readers! We’re back!

Did you miss it? Jillian posted something important yesterday.

And now it’s my turn to catch you up on some fibery highlights from the Web.

Oh, Humulus, you are hummmmmmmmulicious!

Let’s start with this: the winner of March Mayhem, hosted by our friends at Mason-Dixon Knitting


A confession: this sweater, Humulus, was my favorite from the first viewing.

Another confession: because I liked this sweater so much, when voting for the first round where one had to choose a whole whack of patterns they wanted to advance to the next round, I got overwhelmed and closed the window instead. (The same thing happens to me when I’m in a really great yarn shop and I want everything. I buy nothing.)

In any case, kudos to Isabell Kramer, who we have not yet had the honor to publish in our pages. Let’s see what I can do about that…

A few other notes to catch you up on the Knitty doings around the web…

Did you know:

  • I am now Instagramming cool knitting-only stuff, including great photos of Knitty pattern WIPs and FOs, cool techniques, and amazing things others have created with yarn. (My personal Instagram is still over here with pics of knitting, rabbit, boyfriend, travel, and whatever else I take pretty pictures of.)
  • I added a new way for our readers to support us, if they wanted to but aren’t into the Patreon thing: knitty.me is automated, almost totally fuss-free and reliable as heck. There’s a link to a Paypal option on that page as well, if you prefer Paypal over credit cards.

WWW: ancient yarn; brand-new Kaffe-y teapots; prettier left-leaning decreases

And you think your stash is old? Wanna see a 3000-year-old ball of yarn? Preserved in a bog in the UK, it’s quite delicate. But we want to know: what’s it made of? Wool? Linen?

One of the gorgeous teapots in the new Kaffe Fassett collection, in collaboration with The London Pottery Co.

Got the gimmes today? Maybe you want a Kaffe Fassett Teapot. Kaffe is releasing a whole line of gorgeous modern teapots* with built-in infusers, just in time for holiday gifting. (Clever chap.) My favorite is this one in the paperweight pattern. In case anyone needs a gift idea. (*Affiliate link.)

Look at this bit of cleverness: left-leaning decreases as pretty as their right-leaning counterparts! Oh, the difference this could make in a fully fashioned…whatever. So much pretty!

WWW: free yarn for a good cause; This Thing of Paper; Izzy dolls are better than packing peanuts

Online shop YarnCanada is giving back…12 batches of yarn to individuals or groups who knit for good causes to a total of $2000! Want to apply? Check it out here. And in extra coolness, the gifting extends to Canadians AND Americans. That’s awesome.

Friend of Knitty, Karie Westermann, will be releasing her Kickstarter-funded knitting book, This Thing of Paper at the end of this month. Containing 11 knitting patterns inspired by books,  “This Thing of Paper is a contemplative meditation on the tension between handmade and machine-made.” That’s a pretty enticing description. To get your copy, visit Karie’s website.

Super-cool factoid: it’s he first knitting book to be included in the Gutenberg Museum’s archive of book history. Holy cow!

Photo by John Mahoney | Montreal Gazette

This is a new one to me: a group of knitters makes adorable Izzy dolls for underprivileged children overseas. They give the finished dolls to Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), who use the woolly toys to help keep the contents of boxes of medical supplies shipped overseas protected during shipping. How smart is that?

The story is worth reading. It’s amazing how a few hours work from each knitter can make a difference bigger than just the joy of a child.

WWW: Squam lives!; tube textile designers tell tales; KneuroKnits for teens with ASD

Like many of you, we were very sad to hear that Squam would not be continuing. But just this week, we heard that a new leader had taken up the reins, and Squam will go on! Hallelujah! Finally something good is happening in 2017.

If you’re lucky enough to be in London this Thursday, you can hear Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell of the Wallace Sewell Studio (that’s them above) talk about their approach to textile design through woven fabric.

Who are these women? Well, among other things, they’ve designed fabric for the Tube and Trains that run around London. Click the photo to hear a short clip of them talking about it.

And if you’re in Toronto (or nearby) and know someone 14-18 (or are one yourself) with ASD who’s interested in learning a new skill and interacting with other teens with ASD, you could participate in Holland Bloorview’s KneuroKnits research knitting project. What a cool way to contribute to science!

WWW: poppies for remembering; poppy patterns; NICU babies in costume; a play inspired by knitting

red knitted poppies cover white pillars of a grand portico

photo courtesy ITV news

In countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, poppies signify remembrance of those who fought in wars and died. In tribute, we wear a poppy on our lapel.

In Godalming, Surrey, they went a step further this year. Volunteers covered the town center with 6000 poppies…–>

It’s beautiful.

Want to make some poppies of your own? Here’s a crochet version with 5 options and a knitted one by our friend, Laura Chau.

I can’t stand it. Tara Fankhauser is the coolest NICU nurse ever. Look at the costumes she created for the little patients she’s caring for.

In related news, when will people learn the difference between knitting and crochet?  It’s not that hard to spot, is it?

I think this may be a first: a stage play inspired by a children’s book about knitting. The Knitting Pattern will be on stage in London (the cool one in England) at the end of November.

WWW: Cotton and flax back on UK looms; WWI sock club turns to books; all cashmere is not equal (you don’t say)…

Marion Glaser-Baur at the loom at Flax Mill Textiles © Sean and Yvette

A company that has been around for 156 years, and has been making bedsheets for the Queen for at least some of that time, is bringing cotton weaving back to the UK. It’s been done in Italy until recently. I’m so glad to see the historical fiber arts working their way back to the UK, one by one.

And lo and behold, flax is making a comeback too! Meet Flax Mill Textiles.

In heritage coolness, it seems this centenarian book club started out in WWI as a group who knit socks for soldiers. Started because they thought they should be multitasking beyond chatting when knitting, the group buys books for their library with the club dues, and discusses them at their meetings.

Knitters do this all the time, often in our heads, and usually with our hands, but the Daily Mail just figured out that not all cashmere (sweaters) are created equally. You mean not all yarn is the same? GASP.

WWW: The Knit Show is LIVE!; everyone can wear horizontal stripes; the conundrum of Innocent’s smoothie hats; sheep to help you sleep

We’re thrilled that our friend Vickie Howell’s The Knit Show project, funded by Kickstarter (go crowdfunding!) is finally live and we can watch it! After watching the first few episodes, I’m very happy to have been one of Vickie’s supporters, and can’t wait to see what other cool people and techniques she’ll be featuring in future shows. Yay Vickie! Yay crowdfunding!

Vertical stripes? No thank you.

Via one of my favorite Brits, Eleanor  of Knit Nottingham comes this link to a blog post from the past (via the retired blog Knitting at Large) that needs to be read: it makes my heart happy: Horizontal stripes do NOT make you look fatter. Thank heavens, because I am almost finished my After the Rain pullover, which has horizontal stripes and I love it.

I have always thought that vertical stripes look like a circus tent on people of any size.

I confess that I have been charmed by the tiny hats on smoothie bottles that knitters have donated when I’ve visited the UK in past years. But the Knitting Goddess blog post brings up some very good points about their effectiveness in making change for the elderly, and suggests better ways for knitters to support them without adding yarn to landfill. Cute can only go so far.

Want to see the dullest movie ever made? May we present Baa Baa Land. An 8-hour movie designed to help you fall asleep. Here’s a little snippet:

WWW: Alan Cumming invents (cough cough) stitch + bitch; Canadian knitters knit socks for UK exhibition; Japanese inventor wants knitting technology to lighten your car

photo of Alan Cumming in front of the sign to his club

ctor Alan Cumming at his East Village venue in 2016. Photo © Sean Zanni

Okay, it’s quite amusing that the wonderful Mr Cumming thinks his friend invented the term “stitch + bitch”, but we’re not really complaining. Because he and his friend, Knitmaster Tom, are offering a Stitch + Bitch night at his new Club Cumming in the East Village of Manhattan. If I were close enough to get there, you bet I would.

If any of you do go, would you send us pictures?

A wonderful display of support shown by Canadian knitters for an exhibition commemorating World War I held in Fordingbridge in the UK. Approximately 30 pairs of handknit socks in the style of the period will be on display.

Take a look at the socks in the article. They’re interestingly tube-shaped, ribbed around the heel and ankle area, and then plain stockinette up the calf till they culminate in a ribbed cuff. Anyone ever knit socks like these?

I love a good tech-meets-knitting story. (Warning: autoplay video with audio) Mitsuhiro Shima has invented whole-garment knitting machines, and wants to adapt them to knitting — get this — car parts. Knitting car parts, then coating the finished items with resin, produces a lighter finished result than conventional methods.

You go, Shima-san.