What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: 25th Anniversary of Knitter’s Magazine, Interesting & Important Knitters and a Very Long Scarf

100th Issue

This year marks the 100th issue of Knitter’s Magazine, and the 26th anniversary of XRX the company that publishes the magazine and many terrific books.  As of this issue, the magazine is being distributed both in physical copies and in digital format through the Zinio service.

To celebrate the anniversary, Knitter’s has a special double issue with 50 patterns, and a digital version being distributed for free. More info here.


Even cartoon characters need scarves.

Arthur learns to knit! In a new episode of the popular and long-running kids’ TV series, “Arthur Unravels“, Arthur’s grandma Thora teaches him to knit. In the episode, he worries that he’ll get teased by his classmates if they find out. The episode shows (spoiler alert!) that regardless of gender or age, anyone can learn and enjoy knitting.


Definitely cuter than Tim Burton.

A nice little profile of artist Donna Wilson, in the New York Times style magazine “T”.  They describe her as the “Tim Burton” of knitting.


Not entirely surprising news that musician Sufjan Stevens is a knitter. Mostly scarves, apparently, and he has worked for Martha Stewart!


A group of knitters in northwest Wales is aiming to knit a scarf a mile long to wrap around the Cob – the sea wall – in Porthmadog. The Cob was built in 1811 to reclaim low-lying land from the harbor area for agricultural use, and the scarf is part of the bicentennial celebrations.


"Knitting Diva"

Saturday November 20th, a memorial, tribute and benefit event is being held in Madison, Wisconsin in honor of Melissa Mathay, noted knitting designer and author.  More info on Facebook.  Melissa was the original owner of Yarn, Co. in New York, and was a key figure in the revival of knitting as a design art in New York in the 1990s.


A contest!

Loop Shop and the Loop Knits site is hosting a contest on their site – The I Love Fall Knitting $100 Sweepstakes. Visit the website to learn more and enter to win a $100 gift certificate to use at the shop in Philadelphia or on the online store.


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WWW: An important date, wool bones and rubber balls

A very big Happy Birthday to Amy, our Editor-in-Chief. Lift a cupcake in her honor today!

With sugar on top


Seasonal, and utterly inspired.

This knitted skeleton is an absolute masterpiece.   Ben Cuevas, an artist based in California, created it as part of a mixed media piece for Wassaic Project (an arts collective and residency program located in New York state).  The skeleton sits in the lotus position atop a stack of cans of  condensed milk, with a cloud of screen prints on Flexi glass suspended above it. look and be amazed.

The artist uses a lot of fiber – specifically  knitting and crochet – in his work.  In his bio, he states that he enjoys “the rich cultural and social history that surrounds fiber arts, as well as blending the distinctions between art and craft.” A man with the soul of a knitter, he understands that the “time-intensive and repetitive nature of knitting allows me to meditate on a piece as it comes into being, further revealing the nature of the work as part of the process.”


Cat Bordhi blows our minds with yet another wonderful “unvention” – Spinning and Plying with Balls. Rubber balls, that is.  Just watch it.


The Tricksy Knitter has recently launched an online color chart-making tool. It’s free, and is designed to help you create your own charts for colorwork without having to resort to graph paper and pencil crayons. There are sample charts you can use as inspiration, or create your own from scratch. It’s like coloring, but for grown-ups.


The Lion Brand Yarn Studio store in New York has announced that they are accepting donations of knit and crochet blocks for the Warm Up America! program. Blocks can be dropped off at the studio and will be displayed in the window until November 30th, when the blocks will be assembled into afghans to be donated to shelters, hospitals and social service agencies. Info about the program here, about the studio here. December 12th, the studio is hosting a finishing party to put them together.


A few great events this weekend: the Knitting & Stitching Show in Dublin, Stitches East in Hartford, Connecticut, the Southwest Fiber Festival in Tuscon, Arizona, and the Seattle Weavers’ Guild Show and Sale.

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WWW: Spoooooky! + a contest!

the Hip Holster, by Namaste

Our next ninja-bonus giveaway is the Hip Holster from Namaste, which we reviewed in our Deep Fall issue.

Our reviewer said this: “A great little bag, when you want to take along the bare minimum…The quality is exactly what you expect from Namaste, bombproof. The nylon is tough and stiff enough to stuff the bag beyond full if you want, and it stands up by itself. There are two adjustable straps that come with the bag, one to wear it as a hip bag and one to wear it as a shoulder bag. This is a great little bag for days you want to take along just a bit of knitting.”

One lucky winner will receive a Hip Holster in blue, prize value: $45.00

Want to win? Leave a comment to this post by midnight eastern time Thursday, October 21st. We’ll pick one winner, ask them a skill-testing question, and if they get it right, announce them as the lucky winner on our Knitty Friday post the next day.

Good luck, everyone!


Halloween approaches! The young and young-at-heart are thinking thoughts of costumes and candy and spooky knitting…

So here are a few suggestions from our Library to get you in a frightful mood.

Felted pumpkins

Perfect

The Frankensocks

Stitchy!

My Vampire Boyfriend Socks

Bitey!

And a couple of wigs to help with your costume…

the classic Hallowig

Chic!

and Desperate Hausfrau.

Domestic!

And of course, the Allete wings – angel or devil variants, as you wish.

Devilish!

We are also rather fond of the full-on Pumpkin costume for the little ones, courtesy of Berroco.

All the candy in the world to those wearing this costume...

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WWW: Sheep & Dogs

warm and woolly

This week is the kickoff of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool, which aims to educate the world about the versatility and sustainability of wool in fashion and household uses. Many events are scheduled – lots of opportunities to ‘meet the sheep’ all around the UK. Even if you’re not in the UK, or a sheepy knitter, the website is worth a visit for its beautiful photography.


The Guardian hosts a slide show and free Jack Russell pattern preview for the book “Best in Show: Knit Your Own Dog”, by Sally Muir and Jo Osborne. The designs are all great, but the Old English Sheepdog is particularly good.


The 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee has organized the “Super Scarves” program. They are encouraging local knitters to create scarves to be given to the over 8,000 volunteers who help staff the Superbowl activities. Pattern and info on materials at the link above. Many stores in the Indianapolis area are selling the materials at cost.


Our very own Judy Becker, the creator of the world-changing Judy’s Magic Cast On has the coolest iPhone case in the world. Picture from Judy’s Twitter stream.


Something for every head

For those of us in the northern hemisphere – especially those of us with dogs or sheep to walk – we’re starting to think about hats.  Annie Modesitt’s recently published “1,000 Knit Hats” should provide some inspiration.  The book contains many phenomenal hats, and a well-chosen collection of patterns.

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WWW: NYC Yarn Crawl, Considering the Environment, Knitted Wonder Wheel

Get on board!

The second annual NYC Yarn Crawl is scheduled for October 9, 10, 11th. More info here.

Each of the 14+ stores participating will have prize draws, special offers and other goodies. Each store visit entitles a participant to a raffle ticket for one of the many great prizes donated by the stores and participating yarn companies.

And to add to the fun, there’s a scavenger hunt… themed for the Big Apple, of course. Find the knitted apples hidden on the crawl route to win more prizes.


If you’re interested in the environment impact and origins of the yarn you’re working with, check out Green Knitter. The site has a great discussion of the various terms that are used to designate different facets of green-ness and environmental friendliness – “organic”, “local”, “vegan”, “natural”, “sustainable” and so forth. It provides detailed information on the processes used to turn various fibers into yarn and their environmental impact, and provides a list of products and producers that are “greener” options, with less of a negative environment impact. The links page is great -providing a list of books and other online information resources, and links to stores with a particular eco-friendly focus.


On that note, a really great article about the benefits of wool in home construction – notably, for use as insulation.  (Excellent justification for ongoing stash acquisition?)


Another great Fiber Festival to add to your list: the Woodstock Fleece Festival, October 23rd, in Woodstock, Ontario.


Great pic of Lion Brand’s knitted replica of Coney Island’s famous Wonder Wheel, from this past weekend’s NYC Maker Faire. Photo from Craft Magazine’s Twitter stream.

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WWW: Town and Country; Habu Trunk Show

Congratulations to the winner of Monday’s Ninja-bonus contest: Monica E! The yarn for Mythos will soon be on its way to her! Make sure to share a picture of the finished sweater when you’re done, Monica!


Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

The fabulous Habu Textiles has just announced a trunk show for three very lucky west-coast stores… In addition to a showing of their designs and yarns, Takako will be running a workshop on how to read Japanese patterns.

September 23 they will be at Little Knits, Seattle, WA; September 27 at Knotty by Nature, Victoria, Canada, and September 28 & 29 Urban Yarns, in Vancouver, Canada.  Contact the stores to register for the workshops, or just drop in to say hello.

If you’re not in New York, this is a terrific opportunity to see firsthand why Habu’s products are so beloved.


But if you are in the New York area, this weekend is the New York Maker Faire at the Hall of Science in Queens.  The Maker Faire is an offshoot of Make Magazine, and is designed to entertain, educate and inspire people to – quite simply – make things. The magazine and its websites – including the internet home of its sister publication, Craft magazine – are full of amazing projects for everything from pumpkin cinnamon rolls to LED hula hoops to a knit Ferris Bueller vest.

Lion Brand has a booth, and is sponsoring a number of events, including the yarn-bombing of one of the museum’s rocket ships.  The Lion Brand booth will include a display of a yarn-crafted cityscape with the Coney Island Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, as well as landmark buildings such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.


Wool, direct from the source

Several major woolly festivals are coming up soon:

The 14th annual Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, September 24 & 25 at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby, Oregon.

The 11th Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool Festival is takes place on the same dates at the Ogemaw County Fairgrounds, Michigan.

In Wales, the first Llandovery Sheep Festival takes place this coming weekend.

And of course, the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, in Rhinebeck, New York, October 16 & 17th.

All these events have a great line-up of vendors, selling fleeces, yarn and other knitterly and spinnerly goodness.  There are workshops, demonstrations, and livestock to visit – and of course, buy.


If you prefer your yarn to come in skeins rather than on sheep, there are a few crafting shows coming up:

In the UK, the Crafts for All Festival takes place in Bristol, October 1-3, and the
The Knitting and Stitching Show, held at Alexandra Palace in London, runs Oct 7-10.  In Toronto, the Creativ Festival is October 22-24.  And Stitches East takes place in Hartford, CT, October 28-31.

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WWW: Good causes

Keeping precious heads warm

Save the Children has just launched the Caps for Good initiative. They are collecting small handmade hats to help keep low-birthweight babies warm during their first few weeks of life. These caps will be delivered through Save the Children’s newborn health programs in Indonesia, Mali and Guatemala.


September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the US.  Ronda’s Closet, a clothing store in San Diego, California is hosting an event on September 22nd to raise funds for Tête-à-Tête Hats.  Tête-à-Tête Hats was founded by students of a local school with the goal of providing handmade hats to patients, hospitalized infants and children, and others in need of head coverings.


Seasalt, a clothing company based in Cornwall, UK, has kicked off their annual Go Knit! campaign. Go Knit! asks knitters to knit decorations which are sold in Seasalt stores and online, with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society. Knitters of all levels are encouraged to participate, and all decorations are welcomes – in all manner of sizes, colors and yarns. Each year, a different charity is chosen, and in previous years thousands of pounds have been raised and donated.


Kim Werker is hosting a fundraising contest to support the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Donate and be entered for a chance to win yarn, fibre and other knitterly goodies generous donated by friends of Kim.


And the Big Knit program in the UK is seeking volunteers to knit little hats for a fundraising program at Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The hats will be put on top of smoothie bottles, and for each one sold, money will be donated to programs to support the elderly. More details here and pattern here.


If you’re interested in knitting for charity, the Interweave Knits website has a good list of international organizations that accept knitted goods. And if you’re cleaning out your stash, many schools, retirement homes and care facilities take donations.  Do call any organization before you donate to get details on what they want.

Many cities have programs like Toronto’s StreetKnit, that accepts donations of knitted good to distribute to the homeless to keep them warm through the winter. New York has Hats for the Homeless. Your local yarn shop may well know of an organization in your area.

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WWW: Publication, Relocation, Cooperation and Audio Exploration

Live today, the new Knitty Surprise patterns include the Crosswaves sock, perfect for hand-dyed yarns, the Brunello cardigan, named after a full-bodied Tuscan artisanal wine, short-sleeved, lace trimmed, and just the thing to ease you into cooler days and nights.

By the way: when we launch a new issue or surprise, the server gets bogged down (despite our best efforts to keep it zippy). If you can’t get through, maybe go get a coffee or knit a few rows and try it again later!

Happy knitting!

Crosswaves by Sarah Wilson

Brunello by Amy Swenson


There, on the third floor

Artfiibers in San Francisco proudly announces their reopening in their new location, less than a block away from their old location. The new store has 75% more space, and the both staff and customers are excited about the possibilities the new space provides for an expanded collection of yarn, fiber art and other exhibits and sales.
The official reopening celebration takes place over the weekend of October 1-3, but they hope to be open a little sooner than that for sneak previews. More info at their website.
Online shopping is still available at the website, of course.

Bigger and brighter!

Another beloved yarn shop, Toronto’s Lettuce Knit, has also just reopened in their new location. In what may be the fastest yarn store move ever, the shop was open on Sunday in its old spot, and open Tuesday in its new spot, 8 doors further west.

The space is significantly expanded, includes new comfy seating, and the team is looking forward to stocking lots more yarn and fiber.  Attendees of their very popular Wednesday knit night are extremely happy about the additional space.


The Fiber Cooperative is a very exciting new online store – a gathering of all your favorite indie dyers fiber companies. It’s an easy-to-use and friendly online shop, dedicated solely to yarny sorts of products – yarn, fiber, patterns and goodies like bags and yarn-themed jewelry.

It’s a cooperative venture that allows small independent companies without big marketing budgets to get the word out about their products.


Don’t miss this wonderful BBC radio program wherein a journalist visits Fair Isle to discuss the role of knitting in the tiny island’s history and economy, in light of recent news that knitting has been removed from the formal school curriculum.

It’s worth it just for the very atmospheric background sounds of wind, rain and sheep.


Kollage Yarns has kicked off a new program to support yarn stores: “Feed Your Creativity”. The program provides 10 kits over 10 months: each kit containing patterns, yarn, instructions and notes to allow shops to teach classes on the pattern. It’s a great way for yarn shops and knitter to sample yarns they may not be familiar with. Kit #2, the Cassandra Cowl, is available now. Visit the website for more info, whether you’re a store or a knitter.

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WWW: Memorials, Mochi and Mobsters

Congratulations to the winner of our Ninja-bonus giveaway contest [August 30]: Peggy H. wins a copy of the brand-new Sockupied mag!


The Scarf of Hope is a massive cooperative project in Peru to create a memorial to the over 15,000 men and boys lost in Peru’s bitter internal conflict between rebels and state forces in the 1980s and 1990s. Women who lost members of their family are being encouraged to contribute to the scarf – every square features names of the missing – which organizers expect will reach over a kilometer in length. Many of the victims remain officially missing, as they were never found.

The choice of a scarf is significant, not just because of the strong handwork traditions in Peru, but also  because in a part of the world where formal ID documents are rare, clothing was often used as means of identifying the victims. A sad story, but an uplifting project.


Delicious!

Crystal Palace Yarns has launched a newsletter, and their first issue talks all about their  long-variegation Mochi yarn line.  The newest addition to the Mochi family, Chunky, is just stunning.

Mini Mochi, the first yarn in the family, was used for the Coquille shawl, in the First Fall issue.


An interesting piece on the BBC News Magazine about how Girl Guides played an important role during WW2 supporting the troops and citizens of the UK. Knitting socks was a key contribution!


Beep-beep, yeah!

As a VW driver, I couldn’t not bring your attention to this… a truly wonderful vintage VW bug done up yarn-bomb style.

Upping the game somewhat, 20 Swiss grandmothers have knitted a cosy for a Smart Car, and have contacted Guinness about a possible record for the largest hand-knitted car cosy.  I love the idea that there is a record for this, but a Smart Car is pretty small…


And Sony is up to something yarny … Sony Japan has posted some sort of teaser page on their Playstation website, and it seems to depict a crocheting mobster. We are officially intrigued.  Visit soon, as the countdown is pretty close to finishing.

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WWW: Big gestures, big knits & big stars

For a good cause!

The Knitting Noras, a group in Bolton, England, has announced a follow up project to their successful 2010 Naked Knitters calendar: postcards.  The calendar project raised £5,600 for Christie’s Hospital Cancer treatment unit.

The postcards feature bonus pictures from the original photoshoot, and are being sold online, for £1 each, £4.50 for a set of 5 and £9 for a set of 10.  There’s equal opportunity sauciness – ladies and gentlemen, knitting and crochet.  Something for everyone!

Proceeds raised will go to After Adoption, a charity group in the UK that provides support and assistance for people affected by adoption.

The cards will also be available at the Manchester Stitch and Creative Craft Show  3 to 5 September and at the I Knit Weekender in London 10 & 11 September, and at events in the Bolton area throughout the autumn.


And on the other side of the pond, Knots of Love has announced that as of earlier this month they have donated over 58,000 knitted and crocheted caps to to chemo patients and others facing life-threatening illnesses and injuries.


Lovely.

Lantern Moon announces a new line of knitting needles, the world’s first wooden needles made from Forest Stewardship Council certified and sustainably harvested trees.  And they’re beautiful!

They will be available in September.


Jared Flood has posted stunning photo essay of his visit to the Shetland Islands. First part, second part.


Julia Roberts has a knitting and sewing room!


Not a new one, but still worth six minutes of your time: Artist Rachel John indulges in some of her trademark Extreme Knitting – this time, 1000 strands of yarn at once.


Getting gauge might be tricky...

On the topic of big knitting, the ultimate scarf and quick knit, shown in the fall 2010 collection of Maison Martin Margiela. Remarkable website design, too.

This is all part of a revival of Aran knits seen this season on the runways… more about it in this Irish Times article.

On a related note, there will be a talk on Wool Craft & Traditional Clothing on an Aran Island, August 28th at the Galway City Museum, Galway, Ireland, as part of the Galway Heritage Week.

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