What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: Politics impacts a small knitting business; WWKIP 2018; TNNA weekend!

Heather Breadner, owner of Aberdeens Yarn Shop in LIndsay, Ontario (photo by Yanjun Li/CBC)

A Canadian yarn shop whose owner did everything possible to abide by US law was rejected entry at the border for what appears to be an error. This has resulted in a huge financial hit and concerns that those who accompanied her will have trouble entering the US in the future. There seems to be no doubt that this is a result of the US government’s new trade legislation regarding Canadian imports.

If you want to see (and maybe support) the yarn shop in question online, they’re here. I’m heading up to the Kawarthas later in the summer and will be sure to visit and see what I can do to help offset their financial losses with a little personal stash enhancement.

Were you able to participate in the World Wide Knit in Public day this past Saturday? Here are a few stories that will help you feel like you travelled the world with fellow knitters:

so much cute!

Jillian and I are off to TNNA tomorrow! If you’re attending and you see us, stop and say hi! This year, we’re giving out the cutest zipper pulls ever.

A note from us both: We are attending TNNA, and – in fact – continuing to publish Knitty thanks to our Patrons and Members. Without them, we would not exist, let alone flourish and be able to reach out to industry professionals like we will this weekend. If you are one of our supporters, THANK YOU. We get so inspired from TNNA, meeting colleagues, planning new designs, finding out what’s new in yarn and tools and notions and bags, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

In fact, I have a TNNA surprise planned for our Patrons, and I’ll email you when it’s ready. (Want in? Just become a Patron at any level!)


WWW: Crafting in space; knitting reduces stress (yes, we know); make a new friend in Philly

Another potentially predictable piece about how knitting might (might? duh!) help reduce stress for students during exam time. Fun to see “knitflixing” in an article, though. And it goes on to cite specific examples that you can use to explain why you need to knit during meetings at work.

Are you in Philly? Want a new friend? This woman wants to meet you.

WWW: Beautiful knitted wedding; knitting crochet stitches; stockings for a huge spider

A beautiful handknitted wedding resplendent in the freshest green

This gorgeous wedding is full of knitted and yarny touches. Both the bride and groom can wear their special knitted pieces again and again!

The lovely and talented Vickie Howell shows us how to knit crochet stitchesWot?

Well, we’re all about multicraftualism at Knitty…this is taking it up a level!

An awesome and huge statue of a spider (not scary, though) has been intensely yarnbombed in Roppongi, Japan. It’s an especially fine example of yarnbombing, with the knitted pieces fitting the sculpture like custom-made striped stockings. Which, of course, they are.

WWW: Mystery Twit-along starts TODAY!; Vintage Shetland book launch in London; whatup with those crazy vintage needle sizes anyway?

From Kathleen Sperling, aka @wipinsanity (and designer for Knitty), comes this new fun project: A Mystery Twit-Along. “I’ll tweet out a bit of the pattern instructions every two days, and you can follow along with your #knitting and see what takes shape. Sound good? It’ll start May 9…” That’s today!

Click here to see the pattern requirements and basic instructions. I wonder what it will be…

The Vintage Shetland Project by Susan Crawford

From Susan Crawford: if you’re in London (the UK one), you’re in luck! This Saturday, you can join Susan at the launch party for her new book: The Vintage Shetland Project

Susan is an acknowledged expert on vintage British knitwear, and this has been an 8-year project of love.

I can’t wait to see this book myself.

Vintage Beehive knitting needle gauge. Size 1 is the largest. That’s confusing.

I was talking with a friend about the origins of the needle gauge system, specifically talking about needles from the beginning of the last century, and she pointed me to this article. It’s written for Anesthetists, but I think the same principle may apply to craft needles of all kinds. It all goes back to the milling of the wire.

My google-fu isn’t coming up with anything that officially links the information in this article with knitting. Does anyone have more information that I can add here?

WWW: Flat sock patent; Sam on ABC; one-piece machine knitted sweaters; auction to pay Tully’s vet bills

patented design for socks knit on 2 needles, by Nell Armstrong (1946)

Via our own Ethnic Knitting columnist, Donna Druchunas, this very cool patent for knitting socks on only two needles.

With the most groan-worthy headline ever, here’s more press on the ABC News site (!) for Sam Barsky, the clever knitter who designs sweaters featuring famous landmarks, then visits them and takes pictures with them, wearing the sweaters. (I haven’t had enough coffee to make that sentence more compact.)

You go, Sam! We’re proud of you.

Video of that cool one-piece sweater knitting machine: it knits a sweater in about 40 minutes, with no waste. This improves on the usual process of cutting already knit fabric into pattern pieces and then sewing them together, which produces 8-10% waste.

I blogged about this last year, and it’s pretty cool to see the machine in action!

Tully and his new reverse mohawk. 

Some of you may have been following my Tully rabbit’s health situation over the last few weeks on Twitter. He’s doing well and we’re hoping for a full recovery.

However, the vet bills are brutal. So I’ve decided to hold a little auction of knitted pieces I’ve made but have never used (or have used so lightly that you can’t tell) in order to help pay those bills.

If you’re interested in bidding on the Charlotte’s Web shawl I knit in Koigu (reminder: I’m allergic to wool) that started my whole No Sheep For You movement, as well as other pieces (TBD), keep an eye on my Twitter or Instagram feeds.

Backstory: Tully has an abscess on the whole top of his beautiful head. I rushed him to the Ontario Veterinary College clinic late one Friday night a month ago. They started by reducing his (very dangerous) fever and went on to do tests and get him stable. (They loved him, btw.) He was there for a full week and got excellent care. He’s been on up to 4 antibiotics at the same time, and now has the top of his head packed with antibiotic-soaked gauze, which seems to be finally making progress. The vet bills are at $3000 and we’re not done yet. Hence the auction.

By the way: I will post the detailed vet bills when I run this auction. Full transparency.

WWW: New Knitty Surprise patterns, glitches in knitting on purpose

Butterbloom by Laura Chau

The Spring+Summer Knitty Surprise went live at the end of last week. Didja see?

Butterbloom is a lovely lace-bottomed short-sleeved sweater with a v-neck, designed by Cosmicpluto, aka Laura Chau. It’s designed in Mrs Crosby’s Train Case, which comes in the wonderful variety of colors Lorna’s Laces is famous for. Which color will you choose?

Rainbow Roads socks by Carolyn Macpherson

And for your tootsies, a beautiful pair of rainbow lace socks knit in Dragon Strings Phoenix Wing Gradient Shimmer. Carolyn Macpherson has created a beautiful bit of prose to go with the pattern too. Don’t miss the introduction.

Our Wiseknit™ video column this issue is Kate Atherley’s take on Kitchener Stitch for stockinette, reverse stockinette and garter stitches. Kate has some great tips for you as she demonstrates all three techniques.

Don’t forget to check the Cool Stuff page…we add new reviews in every Surprise!

“Digital Knits” by knitting machine manufacturer Stoll

Ever wanted to wear a glitch? Now you can, thanks to knitting machine manufacturing company Stoll. Their Digital Knits line looks like what happens when a PC blows a gasket. Not only do they manufacture the machines, but they have created software that connects designer with the thing. “Stoll–Artwork is a brand new design tool that adds knitwear–specific features to adobe photoshop. ‘Using features like automatic control tools and stitch distortion simulation, to name a few, the system helps the creation of artworks substantially easier for the knitwear designer,’ said Jörg Hartmann, head of Fashion & Technology for Stoll.


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!