What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: Burgled beagle, knitted knockers, stitches on a plane, school of yarn

A knitting shop in Benfleet, UK, about an hour east of London, had it’s knitted beagle pinched recently. Hopefully it was just someone full of, er, *spirits* and will soon find it’s way back. The beagle, along with other customer-crafted yarn bombings, has been part of the shop’s fundraising efforts on behalf of Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindess.


Breast cancer survivor Beryl Tsang first published  Tit Bits with Knitty.com back in 2005. Her pattern, to craft a breast prosthesis for women who have undergone a mastectomy, has helped hundreds if not thousands of women feel some post-surgery normalcy. Always clever knitters have now hacked instructions to work on different needle arrangements and construction methods so that many more knitters can contribute to the making of “knockers”. Knitting Knockers organizations now exist in the United States and Canada to connect makers with those who need them. You’ve come a long way, Beryl!


Super pop star Demi Lovato apparently has the knitting bug, seen recently knitting on a plane. We agree – nothing like a little garter stitch to take the edge off travel tension.


Have you ever wanted to learn more about yarn bases, ply construction, dye take-up and all manner of fiber info? Yarn friends Blue Moon Fiber Arts are kicking off their School of Yarn, a subscription club filled with yarny treats and knowledge. Check out the link for a first semester discount, good only until August 15th!


 

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WWW: Transitions, silk production, great FOs, woolly spires, sock dreams, Womb in the news

Big news from some yarn stars this week of a transition happening with indie dyers Lorna’s Laces and Mrs. Crosby yarns. Congrats to Amanda and our very best wishes to Beth – we can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeves next!


This is my favorite kind of retro video: a Pathe newsreel about the production of silk from the time when England was a big mucky muck in the silk industry (1960ish). Flash required. 


Don’t you love when fiber peoples craft something that is herculean and then blog about it? Or is that just me? Well, Patricia made this amazing dress and you can read about it here. Red Heart never looked so good.


Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get kni-i-itting, going to the chapel and we’re gonna get kni-i-I-ting. (Musical doggerel aside – those are incredible works! )


Dream job alert! Got $10,000 and a thing for socks? ::swoon::


First published in Knitty in 2004, MK Carroll’s Womb was a cute & cuddly expression of MK’s interest in human anatomy. Interesting to see Womb appear in an article on the not at all cute & cuddly fight for reproductive rights in Canada – no matter what your stance on the issue, it’s good to see craft and activism meet.

 

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Things be changin around here (GOOD NEWS, do not panic)

Darling Readers,

Amy here, writing about a big freaking change to my life that I’m excited about and nervous and also yeah. It’s big. Biggy bigness.

I’m going back to work for someone else, in an office. An actual day job. I’ve accepted a contract position so that I can avoid living in a box around retirement age, which is not as far away as it was when I started Knitty 15 years ago. Taking this job will allow me to build a nest egg for my future by working for someone else (this place offers great benefits and treats contract workers very well). It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for almost 2 years, and after applying and interviewing, someone chose me and I start next month.

The most important question you all have is this: how does this affect Knitty?

Knitty goes on as before, mostly unchanged as far as Readers are concerned. I have someone in place to code the patterns and features, though I will touch and massage every page before we go live. I’ll also continue to do all the images. Knitty will look like Knitty. If I hadn’t told you, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have noticed anything was different. However, hiccups happen. I hope you will be gentle on our team if they do…we’re gonna try very hard to avoid the hiccups.

Jillian‘s role is changing, too. Because she has a super-exciting new position (she’ll tell you more about that later), she will be stepping away from her role as Advertising Manager, as soon as the Deep Fall issue is published (September). Jillian has done a stellar job for so many years, but as advertising has declined, she has been earning less and less for the same amount of work. (Knitty has been subsidizing her salary in order to compensate her for this drop off, because it’s beyond her control and she deserves to be paid.)

(the best long-term easter egg in television history, imo.)

Thankfully for us all, Jillian will continue as Editor of Knittyspin, goddess of Reviews, and general inspiration and idea generator (Catalyst) for Knitty as a whole. She’s also the Managing Editor (she manages the Editor) and that aspect of her job will become more essential as I go back into an office where I’m not the boss. Those of you who deal with Knitty by email may get responses from either Jillian or me. I’ll still be here, but during weekday office hours, my brain belongs to my new employer. They’re paying for the privilege. It’s all good, man.

Advertising at Knitty has declined to a level that requires us to rethink its place on our pages. You’ll notice a change (the most minimally disruptive change, we hope) by the time the Winter issue comes out, and I’ll talk more about that in a future blog post. Once again, I want to thank our Patrons for supporting us and allowing Knitty to continue. We would not be here without them!

Kate continues in her role as Managing Technical Editor, and Ashley and Rachel are the rest of our Tech Editing team. They’re doing a great job, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Chris, our beloved Systems Administrator, is on Family Leave for the foreseeable future.


So this is all big stuff. But I need to do this. I’ve been working at home for 11 years. ELEVEN. It gets lonely here. I’m restless. Tully isn’t much help when it comes to water-cooler chat or bouncing ideas back and forth. I also think a new challenge, new environment, new people will inspire and energize me, and I could use some of that. The place I’m going to work (I’ll share here when I’m able) is a good one, the commute is minimal (easy streetcar ride) and the hours can be flexible. I’m not sure I could have found a better situation anywhere. I’m lucky. (No, it’s not Starbucks.)

I was worried about telling you all this because what would you think? Except Knitty Readers are the best, and I’m pretty sure they don’t want me living in a box either. I like to be transparent about Knitty stuff when I can, and so now you know. I’ll keep you updated as things shift about a bit behind the scenes, but mostly, you can count on Knitty continuing for many years to come, looking pretty much like the Knitty you know today (or better).

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WWW: Knitting and activism goes way back; FiberCrafty; creating an ocean liner by hand; Yarnit on Funderdome this Sunday

Seems to be the theme of the year in mainstream news’ craft reporting: A brief history of knitting and activism. Not just a story about Pussy Hats (but we do love a good Pussy Hat), this one dives deep, back to 1853.


This might be of interest to those of you who make more than you can use: FiberCrafty looks to be a hand-crafted-fibery Etsy type thingy. So far, I see lots of roving and fiber, some notions, project bags and finished items like hats. Neat!


Eva Jay and her beautifully detailed ocean liner. Photo by Yahoo News UK.

Though this is done with plastic-canvas needlepoint, not knitting as the story suggests, it is an incredible achievement: 5-foot-long ocean liner created by a woman (it took her 2 years) after she receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer with just months to live. More photos at the link.

You’re pretty cool, Eva.


Some of us already have a Yarnit. Inventor Kate Sullivan is bringing her product to national TV to spread the word further; see her on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome show this Sunday. Video of Kate and her neat invention at the link.

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WWW: A salute to Bob; writing instructions for using charts; KnitPetite wants your feedback; celebrating the fiber arts in NFLD

Bob, helping Casey code stuff. Photo stolen (thank you) from The Loopy Ewe

Bob, the most famous Boston Terrier in our knitting world, has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. May your doggy afterlife be full of balls and kisses and treats, sweet Bob. Rest well.


Our own Kate Atherley has written a very helpful post on writing instructions for using charts over at the Stitchmastery blog.


The KnitPetite Project launched 6 months ago, and now they’d like your input in their survey. We love that this underserved area of the handknitting world is getting some attention!


After the Great Fire of 1892 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the School of Industry was established to help teach women weaving, knitting and spinning skills so they could help rebuild their lives and earn a living. Last Saturday, the city celebrated by demonstrating spinning and weaving at St. John’s City Hall.

 

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WWW: TNNA, Knitting National Parks, a knit-loving Costume Designer; TCM Knitting Club is aces

A restful moment on the show floor with (L-R) designers Hunter Hammersen and Krista Ann, and Sabrina Famellos of Anzula. (Every booth should have a couch.)

Last week’s WWW update was lost in the pre-TNNA/Amy on vacation shuffle. Sorry about that. Kate did a much better job at making sure we never missed a week. I will endeavour to live up to her legacy in future.

But on the positive side, TNNA (our industry’s trade show) was a fountain overflowing with great new products, inspiration, and quite a few connections made for new designs in future issues. Watch out for brand-new reviews when we launch the Surprise next month…we’re doing two sets of reviews every issue now, so you can see all the new stuff as soon as possible! And I’ll be writing a show wrap-up post soon. With so many pictures!


The new Knitting Our National Parks project kicked off this past Friday. Several indie dyers over the next year will be creating colorways inspired by photos of the national parks from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed, with 10% of sales donated to the National Park Foundation. Indie dyers include Backyard Fiberworks, Pigeonroof Studios, Jill Draper, Duck Duck Wool and Canon Hand Dyes.


You might have noticed the super-cool Blurred Lines cropped pullover pattern in our Spring+Summer issue, designed for and worn by Mindy Kaling on The Mindy Show. The Costume Designer for the show loves knitwear, obvs. Take a peek at this feature to see more about what he does for the show. PS I met Krista Ann (the designer of Blurred Lines, pictured above) at TNNA and we talked about future collaborations. Squee!


We’re really growing fond of the TCM Knitting Club. This month’s newsletter highlights lots of Audrey Hepburn-based knitting projects (our Margot pullover could have been on the list), a whole bunch of Pride-month-friendly rainbow patterns, and much more.

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WWW on the fly:

The Welcome Blanket project

The woman behind the Pussyhat and a team of awesome people have begun another wonderful initiative: the Welcome Blanket project. –>


In Toronto, the arrival of warm weather means it’s almost time for the TTC Knitalong!


I hope you’ll forgive the shortness of this post. Besides putting out the new First Fall issue (Patrons have access right now; the rest of the world gets access tomorrow morning at 10am), I’m prepping for TNNA which happens this weekend in Columbus, OH. OH the Jeni’s that will be consumed!

Also this weekend, Squam. Oh, those lucky ducks who get to go! Maybe one year, it will be me!

See ya next week!

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WWW: Foot binding connected to textile production; Little Knittery forced to move; new New York craft festival; Danish elite buried in woollies

No, really. This fascinating article discusses research into the practise of foot binding in China as a means to keep girls in one place so they could contribute to the family’s income, making textiles. Wow.


Kat Coyle, owner of the Little Knittery (photo by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Little Knittery, the shop that friend-of-Knitty Kat Coyle owns – which also happens to be the home of the legendary Pussyhat (which Kat designed!) – is being forced to move locations. But they’re not closing, so that’s good news, at least! –>


Big craft festival coming up in NYC, June 3-4, 2017! The Craft in Focus Festival originated in Amsterdam, and this is its first year in New York. All sorts of crafts, including textiles. A really interesting offering! Personally, I’d like to make my own spoon!


The Danish elite of 3500 years ago were buried in fancy woolly hats and shawls. Cool.

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WWW: The TCM Knitting club does Gable; missing Roger and his sweaters; an ode to our Kate

O the things I learn, writing the WWW blog post! Seems there’s an unofficial TCM knitting club which celebrates knitting + classic movies, and this month, their chosen patterns are inspired by “Gable’s casual yet snappy style.” They’ve picked out”a few patterns to suit a sharp-dressed man with outdoorsy tendencies.”

Oh, ROGER! <3

Sounds yummy. Read lots more here — I’m signing up for this newsletter. It’s full of good juicy stuff!


We lost Sir Roger Moore this week (he was my first Bond). Did you know he was also a sweater model back in the day?  —>


I got to speak at the Toronto Knitters Guild’s April meeting. Such a nice bunch of people, plus it’s very special to me, that guild, because I first announced the birth of Knitty at a meeting there in 2002.

There’s a bit of a wrapup of the April meeting in their latest Newsletter, but most importantly, an ode to our own Kate Atherley at the end.

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WWW: Productive daydreaming; sewer pipe turned knitting machine; Pens’ Knitting Lady quoted; the circle of life as it applies to yarn shops

This is something I’ve always felt: Your brain can only take so much focus. (This is why I’m a happy acres-of-stockinette knitter.) Interesting reading!


Bob Rutherford with his handmade sock-knitting machine. (thanks to Julianne Hazlewood/CBC News)

After building a knitting machine with tubing meant for sewers (the waste-transporting type, not tiny pointy needles and thread type), this lovely man has gone on to knit up thousands of pairs of socks for people in shelters in Saskatoon. You have to see what he came up with, the clever man.


We’ve all heard about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Knitting Lady, right? Here’s some rather intelligent commentary on knitting as a behavior modification tool as it applies to rowdy sportsball crowds.


It’s the way of the world. One yarn shop closes; another opens. Running a yarn shop is hard work, folks. Support your local LYS!

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