What’s What Wednesdays

WWW on knitting drama, history and a hashtag you want to check out!

There can be all kinds of drama in knitting — dropped stitches, dye lots, twisted cables (let’s not even talk about gauge drama).  I’m saddened to report drama at an art installation in Greerton, New Zealand, when someone stole the knitting needles from this lovely display.  Do you really think they got away unnoticed with those needles?  I hope the vandals sit on a 0000 DPN!

SCCZEN_040815gn13bop_620x310

Giant knitting needles stolen in New Zealand.

 


 

And while we are on the subject of drama, Paul Spinrad offered the Surprising Tumultuous History of Socks which presents a lovely time line of socks and stockings and their roles in history.

641c09e3-2e68-4c49-8d1d-4a23e7b6cc5d

Henry, Prince of Wales, wore dashing red stockings. © Robert Peake the Elder, 1610

“I have too much love for my poor people who obtain their bread by the employment of knitting, to give my money to forward an invention that will…make them beggars. ”  The response of Queen Elizabeth I to the invention of the “stocking-frame” which promised machine-knit socks of quality superior to those of any hand-knitter.

 


 

frameimage-1

 

Imagine yourself sitting on the lawn in June 1915 knitting in this sweltering ensemble as portrayed in this back issue of  Vogue Magazine. While I knit 24/7/365 here in Oklahoma, some of us can’t bear to look at the needles during the steamy summer months.  What about you?  Do you put down the needles in the heat, swap wool for cotton, or continue all projects regardless of the temperature?

 


 

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.28.03 AM

Kiss yarn like it is a person.

If you’re on Twitter, drop everything and follow the hashtag #thingsknittersdo.  You’ll laugh, blush, and relate to the things we all do regularly and often.  You’re welcome.

GO!

Maryla

Please like & share:

WWW: About cross crafts, stereotypes, teachers, creators, activists, and books.

PrQCDPlx
New things!  New things!  Our Miriam Felton has started a CrossCraftual newsletter, and it’s going to be cool!  Follow her on Twitter, sign up for her newsletter, and take her short survey.  I love exploring embroidery in my knitting, have a lot to learn about crochet, and am always hungry for something pretty.  The goodness possibilities with Mim at the helm blow my mind.

2B30C7F600000578-3189806-image-a-21_1438981492911

I get very frustrated by broad sweeping generalizations and assumptions.  Seriously. I don’t have any room for this in my life, and I suspect you don’t either.   I know how to knit, write a proper letter, start a fire, change a tire, darn a sock….  DO NOT put me or knitters in a box!  We are taking over the world, remember?

Humph!


2014-11-06 11.09.45

Look at that smile and that mischievous sparkle in her eyes!  We are pleased to share our beloved Kate Atherley with knitters at Webs at the end of September.  She’s teaching not one, not two, not three, but FOUR classes.  To say the gal has a few tricks up her sleeve is an understatement, and you don’t want to miss her!


2789

When this article popped up a few days ago, I was thrilled to see knitters at their best.   The Yarn Mission is peaceful and proactive, and it speaks to the power of community activism.  Our thoughts are with you, Ferguson.


MG_3060Main

Continental, throwing, Portuguese, supported, and lever knitting are just a few of the many methods that create the same knit stitch and purl stitch.  I find the traditions of different countries and regions compelling, and  Cowichan knitting from Vancouver Island is no exception.  It is passed down from generation to generation and is beautiful.


unnamed-2

Some hard news reached Knitty about the beauty that is Margarit of Morehouse Merino.  A knitting friend eloquently said that Morehouse Merino is her desert island yarn.  Knitty wishes Margarit comfort and peace as she continues her journey.  Thank you Margarit for your generous talents and gifts — well done!

If you love Morehouse Merino, Margarit is offering a summer sale through midnight September 7.


511hlME6eSL

Heads up Star Wars fans — a felted Luke Skywalker!  I was browsing recently, and spied this series of books categorized as Epic Yarns.  An entire series with felted Star Wars characters!  Get your inner geek on and add them to your holiday list!

Happy knitting!

Maryla

Please like & share:

WWW: Knitters + Crocheters = Infinite Possibilities

Together we are mighty and generous.

We’ve clothed bodies in knitwear. We’ve raised thousands for charities (did you see what we did for the Yarn Harlot?) We’ve supported independent artists.  We make things GO!  The Peyton Heart Project is raising awareness about teen suicide, bullying, and mental illness by placing knitted or crocheted hearts throughout communities.  Our reach knows no boundaries, and that’s pretty groovy!

The Peyton Heart Project

The Peyton Heart Project


This picture is sexy!  There, I’ve said it.  Look at that crimp!  Look at that staple!  Look at the delightfully weathered and hearty hands showing off the fleece!  This is reason #642,000 why I love wool.

NZ-Merino_Checking-Wool-Quality_Nov13-940x198

 

And this article is reason #642,001 why I use wool.  While I’m not inclined to bury a hand-knit sweater in the backyard anytime soon, this is certainly a valid reason to knit everything I can with wool!


Not all knitters have an affinity for wool (our own Amy Singer is allergic).  So check out this new yarn created by a team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.  It is made from the same ingredients found in Jell-O.

gelatin-glove-1-cropped

Interesting that they are working the yarn’s “wet strength”.


I replaced packaging ribbons with yarn 15 years ago.  It doesn’t matter whether the gift is handmade, I use yarn to seal the deal because — YARN!

10501004 - 330x330

When I saw this Shetland lace wrapping paper however, I knew I would be kicking up my game.  Dudes, that’s Shetland lace printed on wrapping paper!


1438064837663

Sterilizing hand-knit socks for soldiers in World War I was a thing, and this article gives a fascinating glimpse of the Australian effort to keep soldiers healthy by using the following recipe:

“(1) Wash the socks in warm soapy water, and dry them in the sun. (2) Immerse them for a little while in 3 per cent, solution of formalin. (3) Bake them in the oven.”

This takes blocking an entirely new level!


Because these days a WWW post isn’t complete without a yarn bomb mention, here are this week’s offerings:

10604164 10604165 10604167

SCA_29-07-2015_EGN_15_sca210715yarn2_t620

Happy knitting!

Maryla

 

Please like & share:

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.


knitting-garden-and-tb-picnic-rs

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.


knitpick

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.


wpid-imag2591

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,

Maryla

Please like & share:

WWW – here’s what is happening in your corner of the world.

There is a lot to share, celebrate, and learn today, and I’ll start with this little treasure:

5180h9sjgoL

Knitty’s beloved, funny, smart, and charming Kate Atherley gave birth to a brand new book about socks, AND she has an amazing lineup of classes on the horizon.  She’s coming to a yarn shop near you, and I have it on good authority she would be delighted to sign a copies of her book!  Way to go Kate!


 

If you’re in the midwest, check out Annie’s Craft Festival in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on October 30 – November 1.  They’re offering classes taught by top instructors in crochet and knitting (and others craft fields).

And while we’re on the subject of classes and events, take a moment and check out upcoming state and county fairs in your area.  If you’re like me, the hustle of back-to-school and changing seasons finds me sometimes overlooking local events.  There’s always something happening in the fiber arts world.

 


 

Louet North America shared the news that their founder and creative director, Trudy Van Stralen, passed away after a long battle with a rheumatological condition.  Her talents and gifts were abundant, and we applaud her legacy and contributions to the fiber arts industry.

 


main_st_yarns_ER0003___Content

This blog mentions yarn bombing with regularity, but this piece is special as it celebrates both the Pan Am games and the tradition of cycling in Milton, Ontario.  To date over 50 bicycles have been yarn bombed.  Best news of all, the projects are slated for donation and up-cycling for blankets in the community.


IMG_8813

I leave you with this treasure that recently crept across Knitty’s radar screens.  A savvy UK knitter and author of the blog Chop’kins wrote a nifty post about seamless buttoning worked as you knit.  Catherine likens this technique to Elizabeth Zimmerman’s unventing, and we wanted to share this intriguing technique.  It’s pretty smart and right up the alley of those of us who loathe seaming and sewing.

Now scamper along and play with some yarn!

Maryla

 

 

Please like & share:

WWW: Making some noise about piracy, theatre, and fiber

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 2.00.35 PM

Designer Hunter Hammersen was robbed. Her person is safe and her home is safe, but her loss was large and expensive after someone pirated and sold her gorgeous patterns on Etsy without authorization.  Hours upon hours of intellectual and creative property (more hours than most of us can imagine) were sold without her permission or knowledge and to someone else’s benefit.  She blogged about it eloquently and launched a rally cry for support on social media.  Designers and authors make a living with their craft, and they work diligently to provide us with quality work for just and reasonable compensation.  Please buy your next pattern from reputable sources and know that if you see a deal that is too good to be true, it is probably a rotten egg.


The knitting cabaret A Stitch in Time premiered at the Regina Fringe Festival last weekend, and I’m pretty geeked out over the entire concept.  Melanie Gall wrote the cabaret about the history of knitting in song and war, and her show sounds like a great time.  She’s on the road and will be in Edinburgh next month.

In the meantime, enjoy the ear worm!


 

summary_image_01

Susan Crawford has undertaken an inspiring project about the history of knitted garments in Shetland.  She posted her project on the crowdfunding site publush.com and (as of this writing) has surpassed her £12,000 goal (135% funded)!  Her book is slated for publication in November and will be available in both hard copy and electronic formats.  I’m adding it to my wish list now.


Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 3.12.57 PM

Credits to my mama who brought this particular article to my attention earlier this week (the original piece was published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1946).  I fell in love with the sisters Walker, who lived in a log cabin constructed when Abe Lincoln was practicing law.  They thrived through hard work in the Smoky Mountains, growing their own wool, spinning, knitting and living off the land.  It’s easy to romanticize their lives while I’m sitting in my air-conditioned home on a 100F day, but I sure enjoy doing it!

Wishing you all a comfortable 72F day.  Hope you’re knitting to your heart’s content!

Maryla

 

 

 

 

Please like & share:

WWW: Knitty’s editors are like toddlers – they’re everywhere when you least expect it!

This gal may be new to Knitty (thanks for the welcome peeps!), but I’m not new to the talents and charms of Knitty’s amazing editors.  Today’s blog is all about their fine talents and upcoming gigs.  Grab your calendar, and let’s plan a getaway whether it be London, Chicago, or our own living room.   Kate, Jillian, and Amy have some place to take us all!

Kate Atherley, editor extraordinaire (and peacamole prodigy) has heeded London’s call by offering a smorgasbord of amazing classes at the Great London Yarn Crawl 2015 on Saturday, September 5.

1422789644871

 

Classes are on sale now, and while I can’t promise she will serve her peacomole,  I can promise that her experienced offerings will knock your socks off!  I’m going to start packing now!


Our own brilliant brainiac, Jillian Moreno, has two fantastic offerings for your spinning toolbox.  To see her in action and to get a peek at her brilliant mind is always a treat!

12 (Plus!) Ways to Spin Batts is available as a DVD and a digital download.  With the dog days of summer underway here in North America, I plan to crank the A/C and spend a little quality time with Jillian!
12 ways batts cover

Do you find yourself frustrated measuring your spun yarn?  Want to accurately determine how much you are spinning and measure what you’ll need for your project?  Jillian is also leading a webinar for Interweave on July 13 entitled A Spinners Compass: How to Measure Your Yarn.  No more mystery skeins of unknown yardage?  Sign me UP!

How to measure yarn


At the helm of the Knitty mothership is beloved editor and Knitty goddess, Amy Singer, who is taking Chicago by storm at Vogue Knitting Live October 2-4.  The lineup of Amy’s classes is fantastic — everything from shawls, to socks to oodles of techniques and tech tips.  This is a fantastic event and an amazing venue. I’ve got my room reserved!

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.21.43 AM


First there was Kinnear as coined by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and now we have news that the OED has embraced us with the addition of yarn bombing to their official lexicon.  Bonus points to the first person to Kinnear a yarn bombing!

 

yarn-bombing


Finally, there’s a couple of groovy tutorials and tips that have crossed our radar screens this week.  Karie Westermann recently posted a two-part blog series about all things lace.  Part 1 discusses the anatomy of a lace chart, and part 2 discusses how to read a basic lace chart.  Check it out if you’ve been leery of lace or a little unsure about charts.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.44.15 PM

 

Have a fantastic day!

Maryla

Please like & share:

WWW: On crossover art, sculpture and brainiacs

Devoted Knitty fan, Ilehlia of Ontario, shared the astonishing street art of Ann Arbor’s David Zinn.  His art is lively, humorous, engaging and appeals to all ages. Our particular favorite was his homage to knitting:

Knitting on the sidewalk with a flying pig as one does...

Knitting on the sidewalk with a flying pig as one does…


Oklahoma knitters are taking part in a massive knitted piece set to go on display in Tulsa in the Brady Arts District.  The project “The Unbearable Absence of Landscapes” requires 4,000 knitted squares and will cover the entire outdoor facade of the gallery.

I see trees of green.... ...I see skies of blue

Sing with me:  I see trees of green….
…I see skies of blue


As further evidence that fiber artists are brainiacs, look what happened when researchers and fiber artists combined science, technology and art!  These knitted masterpieces are designed directly via the brain activity of subjects listening to classical music!

Brain waves interpreted!

This is your brain, this is your brain knitted.  Any questions?


Geometric designs often inspire knit designs, and this piece is absolutely no exception.  Artist Atelier YokYok has created a courtyard string sculpture that is jaw dropping!  I see cables, but you may see increases/decreases or color work.  Magnificent!

Installation_in_Courtyard-600x398


We have great news for the world domination efforts of knitters and crocheters!  First there was this video game, and now there’s news that Yoshi’s Woolly World has just been released in Europe (and is expected in North America in just a few months)!  Yoshi’s promises to be popular with gamers and strengthens our worthy world domination cause!  (If only they can figure out a way to let us play and knit simultaneously…)

630x

Proof that knitters and crocheters will someday rule the world!

Please like & share:

WWW: A big crochet project, a big restoration project, and big recognition for a big name.

So much greatness in this.

This week is “Not Strictly Knitting But Entirely Awesome”: Man spends six years crocheting a Super Mario blanket. I think what I love most about this is that Norweigan crocheter Kjetil Nordin admits he wasn’t working on it consistently… there were other projects in between. So yes, even the ‘craziest’ crafters have problems with UFOs… in his own words

You get a bit sick of such long lasting projects.


Designer, yarn maker and all-around knitting-industry-good-person Debbie Bliss was recently awarded an MBE by The Queen, ‘for services to Hand Knitting and the Craft Industry’.

(New ambition: I want to establish a Knighthood for services to Technical Editing… I’m sure we can make that a thing, no? ;-))


Ooh! If you’re in the Glasgow area, or can get there, the last weekend of August, you should really consider attending this year’s In The Loop conference. The theme of this year’s event is ‘From Craft to Couture’, exploring the craft origins of Scottish knitwear and its current status as a key element of designer collections worldwide. The 3-day event will feature talks from leading knit and textile researchers and knitwear designers and entrepreneurs.

And it’s not all scholarly: there will be a fashion show and market place, too!


Painstaking restoration work.

Absolutely fascinating and jaw-dropping: an article about conservation of a Victorian-era theatre costume. The garment was partially knit and partially crocheted, all by hand, but the most remarkable feature is the decoration. Those aren’t plastic pailettes: there are over 1000 actual real beetle wings sewn onto the garment.

A team led by conservationist Zenzie Tinker spent over 1300 hours on this garment, worn by Ellen Terry, one of the most celebrated and glamorous actresses of the Victorian age, when she played Lady Macbeth at London’s Lyceum Theatre in 1888. She was painted in the dress by John Singer Sargent. The newly restored piece is on display at Smallhythe Place in Kent, U.K.


I actually think this a fantastic idea, and really wonderful, but the less mature part of me also just wants to have fun making up silly captions for this photo.

You might recall that Knitty published a pattern for charming if not entirely anatomically correct a Womb stuffie… here, we find documentation on what is likely the original knitted uterus pattern, conceived (see what I did there?) as a teaching tool.


Please like & share:

WWW: Yarn in video games, knitted short film, GoogleSheepView

She’s coming undone?

Courtesy of BoingBoing, a history of yarn in video games, on the occasion of Electronic Arts’ announcement of its latest game, Unravel. In the words of BoingBoing’s writer, “you play as a tiny yarn character that slowly unravels as it moves through the level. Although that sounds a little like a metaphor for the slow but inexorable march that we are all taking towards death, in Unravel this thread is a versatile tool you can be use as a climbing rope, grappling hook, trampoline, fishing line, and whatever else the game can imagine.”


WOAH. Greg Climer, a fashion designer and faculty member at Parsons School of Design in NYC, is knitting a short film. Yes, every single frame of an animated short film is a knit fabric. He’s got 19 seconds already done, and is hard at work on the rest. He’s not actually hand-knitting it – that would take years and years, at 24 frames a second – but he’s designed it and he’s working with a knitting factory to produce the actual fabric.

Love the creative thinking that has gone into this – of course you can draw pictures with a knit fabric, so this is a natural (if slightly crazy) extension of that.


Well, this is what I’ll be wearing this winter: a Torus Knot cowl. Knitter and mathematician Sarah-Marie Belcastro has been at it again, and her latest design is this beautiful and witty and clever little piece of topology – and gorgeous winter accessory.  This post on the Scientific American blog explains the mathematics and the knitting very nicely.


Sheep on North Yorkshire Moors. Image courtesy Google and GoogleSheepView.

And if you need something a little less ‘thinky’, soothe yourself with GoogleSheepView… a tumblr of images of sheep found on Google Street View. Some fantastic ‘found’ art.


Perfect.

I don’t know that this will make it to GoogleSheepView, but it’s just as relevant:  Not far away from where that above picture was taken, a group of knitters in Baildon in the UK spent World Wide Knit in Public day yarnbombing a sheep statue.

Please like & share: