What’s What Wednesdays

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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WWW: Squids & Bridges

Congrats to the winners of our most recent contest, chosen by Shannon Okey herself:

Big winner [prize: a copy of The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, plus the choice between one of her online classes OR an one-one consultation with the pro herself]
Allison
August 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Cracked Shannon up by mentioning zombie apocalypse winner [prize: a copy of The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, plus one online class]
Susan
August 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Mentioned tweets about this contest winner [prize: a copy of The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, plus one online class]
Rachel Erin
August 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Winners, watch your e-mail for a message from contest queen, Jillian!


You'd get more knitting done with all those tentacles...

Stitch London and the London Natural History Museum invite you to join them on August 27th to Stitch-a-Squid.  This event is part of their Deep Sea exhibition, celebrating all the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the depths of the oceans.

Six knitted specimens have already been found in and around the exhibitions…


Biggest yarn-bomb ever?

Sue Sturdy is leading an initiative in southwestern Ontario to complete the KNIT CamBRIDGE project.  The objective is to cover Cambridge’s Main Street Bridge entirely in knitting, as a collaborative large scale piece of outdoor public art, to raise the profile of knitting in a region of Ontario that used to be a home to many spinning mills.  Over 1000 knitters have already contributed to the project, and about half the bridge cosy is complete.  It will be installed starting September 9th for it unveiling on September 11th.  The piece will remain in place until September 26th, when it will be taken apart, washed and remade into blankets and scarves. Many pieces will be distributed to social services agencies, including shelters for the homeless, and other pieces will be auctioned off with proceeds also being distributed to charity and the Cambridge Arts agency, which is supporting the project.

Knitters from the Cambridge area and all over the world have already participated, and knitters are encouraged to get involved in these last few weeks.  Even a small 8 inch wide strip will help! More info here and details on how to contribute here.

Visitors to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair that weekend should take a detour to see it.


If you love lace...

Interweave Knits has announced a new edition of the beloved Knitted Lace of Estonia, by Nancy Bush, to be published in September. This edition includes a bonus 1 hour DVD with videos and bonus material on the traditions, the patterns and the various techniques used in the book’s designs, as well as instructions on designing your own Estonian style lace shawl. Nupps lessons straight from the master herself!


Rest a while and knit.

Popular yarn shop Loops is opening a second location in Tulsa, OK. The shop was designed in collaboration with Interior Design students from Oklahoma State University, and is a bright, open and welcoming space for crafters and their families. A “man cave” provides a corner for ‘muggles‘ to read magazines, play hand-held video games, and rest while their crafting companions shop, and a playroom keeps the kids busy.  There’s a classroom, and a “yarn bar” where visitors can hang out, surf the web for patterns and idea, or even just knit or crochet.

A Grand Opening celebration takes place the weekend of August 27-29, featuring workshops, giveaways, and live alpacas in the parking lot.


Shannon Okey’s Cooperative Press announces two new books coming this fall: Hunter Hammersen’s Silk Road Socks, and “literary knitting romp” What Would Madame Defarge Knit?, edited by Heather Ordover of the popular knitting and books podcast CraftLit.


Milwaukee’s Stitch & Pitch Night gets some love from ESPN.


Sheep take over a Hobbit village in New Zealand.

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WWW: Getting ready for fall in the Northern Hemisphere; An Important Birthday

Although we’re having a hard time imagining it right now, we know that fall is coming.  And with that in mind, we offer some things to get you in the mood for cooler weather knitting…


The oldest woolen mill in Canada, and manufacturer of truly great yarn, Briggs & Little is offering a free download of the pattern for the 2010 Canadian Olympic sweater.  Styled in the tradition of the “Mary Maxim” or Cowichan sweaters, this sweater had a modern twist, and would make an excellent jacket for those crisp and cool days.  Adult version, youth version (PDF links).


Entirely sheep-free!

The yarn companies are rolling out their fall products, and Knitty’s editor, Amy, is particularly excited about Berroco’s Remix. It’s a gorgeous, tweedy yarn that’s machine washable, and made entirely of recycled fibers. It’s a blend of cotton, silk, acrylic, nylon and linen that looks remarkably like a tweedy wool. It’s also, says she, light as air.

It’s made with a new low-impact manufacturing process patented in France, from leftover knitted fabric from the garment industry.

Best of all, it’s wool-free!


A face only a knitter could love?

On a less Amy-friendly but equally important note, Rowan is hosting a Knit Along event August 21st in the Lake District in the UK to raise funds for Wool Week 2010, to be held in October. Rowan designers and experts will be on hand August 21st to provide knitting lessons and help, and Rowan will be showcasing some of its great wooly products.  There will also be wool-related poetry readings, contests and demonstrations of dry-stone walling.

Wool Week is an event scheduled as part of  The Wool Project, sponsored in part by HRH Prince Charles.  The project is designed to promote use of and educate consumers about  wool and wool products.  The ultimate objective of the initiative is to help sustain the sheep farming industry by increasing demand.


Image courtesy Rodale Publishers

Julie Turjoman’s new book, Brave New Knits, to be published August 31st, celebrates the convergence of knitting and modern technology, with profiles and designs from knit bloggers and designers, both established and up-and-coming.  Many Knitty friends are featured, including Norah Gaughan, Shannon Okey, and Melissa Wehrle.

Photography is by Jared Flood, so you know that it’s going to be gorgeous to look at!


Harlequin Medallion Quilt, Courtesy American Folk Art Museum

Knitters often look to quilts for inspiration, as shown by the popularity of the Log Cabin design, and you’ll find no better source of inspiration than at the American Folk Art Museum’s Masterworks exhibition from its quilt collection.  Running October 5, 2010 to October 16, 2011, it’s a must-see if you’re in the NYC area.


Excellent yarnbombing in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The Birthday Girl

And last, but definitely not least, this week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of another of knitting’s great heroes – Elizabeth Zimmermann. Ms. Zimmermann can be credited with popularizing circular knitting in an era of straight knitting; and through her writings, TV shows and books, she taught knitters to think for themselves.  Her objective was to free knitters from the tyranny of the pattern, to empower knitters to make their own designs to suit their own needs and tastes.  She leaves a legacy of fabulous books, innovative designs like the Baby Surprise Sweater, and a secret wish in all knitters to be able to duplicate her feat of knitting while on the back of her husband’s motorcycle.

Her books, patterns, newsletters and DVDs are available at Schoolhouse Press, the publishing company run by her daughter, Meg Swansen, who is a knitting hero and celebrity in her own right.  To quote the goddess herself, “knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises”.  Ms. Zimmermann, we salute you.

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Bonus: have you met Shannon Okey?

We’re very glad to welcome Shannon Okey to the KnittyBlog on this special edition of What’s What Wednesdays! Shannon has recently published The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design: How to Keep Your Knits About You through her company, Cooperative Press. In addition, Shannon’s a long-time friend of Knitty, having helped us find our tagline when we launched: Little Purls of Wisdom.
Jillian Moreno got to talk to Shannon — the successful author of more than a dozen books — about the business of knitting. Take it away, Eric the Orchestra Leader Jillian!
[ed’s note: Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.]

J: First off, thank you for writing this book! It is the finest resource I’ve ever read for a knitting designer. Invaluable if you are starting out or if you’ve been in the business for a while, it concretely makes sense of the ‘mystery’ and shifting sands of the design business.

We love that you love Knitty. Talk about why Knitty is important to the industry and how best new designers can utilize it.

S: In my opinion, Knitty really raised the expectations bar early on in terms of helping designers who were new to the business to establish a standard format, create really great photos and all the other good stuff that’s essential to putting one’s best designer foot forward, so it’s easy to love! (In fact, I know that I’m not the only one who has recommended Knitty’s style guide for pattern formatting to those who have no idea where to begin!)

New designers can use Knitty as a beautifully-edited example of What To Do in terms of pattern presentation and collection-building – look how each issue of the magazine makes sense, how the patterns relate to each other, how there’s a great mix of pattern types and techniques…and then, in the archives, see how things have changed over time.

J: What benefit do you see Knitty providing to established designers?

S: For established designers, using Knitty + Ravelry is a marketing research exercise in itself – each time an issue comes out, a handful of Knitty patterns immediately shoot into the stratosphere in terms of the “New and Popular” list. What is it about those patterns (and not one of the others) that made people sit up and notice? Are there trends? Is there something you could adapt for your own use when designing your next pattern? It always pays to watch what knitters are choosing to knit if you want to make sure your next pattern will sell well.

J: Lots of blogs and newsletters have recently changed their approach into “sell, sell, sell” with little useful or interesting content. How do you keep the balance between authenticity and selling in social media?

S: 90/10. That’s how I see it… 90 is me, personally and 10 is “ok, buy my stuff, please” (Maybe even less than 10%!) I try very hard not to post a million “I just put out a new X and you should buy it” tweets or Facebook updates, I’d much rather just be me, talking about the goofy stuff I personally like to talk about when I’m not discussing business.

So, for example, of the 17 tweets I’ve posted today, one was “I’m not above using my cute dad to sell a few more patterns. http://twitpic.com/2azzqa” — which, technically, is a businessy tweet because I’m showing off my dad’s photo on the Ravelry featured pattern page wearing my latest design. But notice I didn’t say BUY MY PATTERN JASPER NOW. I pointed out that making my dad be Mr. Male Model is kind of funny. The majority of my tweets today were me moaning about my webhost screwing up my email service, and responding to people who either a) suggested new hosts for me or b) said my dad was adorable.

I personally am much more likely to click through on things that offer me information instead of just a sales pitch. Useful content makes you useful, which in turn leads to trust, which in turn leads to sales. You have to be in it for the long haul.

J: What is the bare minimum for social media for a knitwear designer?

S: Pick one account and stick with it. Better to just be on Twitter or just be on Facebook than do a horrible job of both. (Of course, you could also use one of the services that will update both for you and therefore capture eyeballs in either place.)

J: Not all budding knitwear designers can or want to make it a full-time job. What advice do you have specifically for part-time designers?

S: Establish expectations for your customers. For example, if you can only respond to email after 5:00 p.m., put a disclaimer on your webpage/Ravelry profile/etc. Some customers expect you to get back to them immediately, which isn’t always possible even for full time designers, and they will tar and feather you if you don’t. Then, if anyone gives you grief, you can politely point them to the disclaimer. Most everything else will be the same for a part time designer – keep it professional, make sure you can meet any deadlines set by magazines or whoever else you’re working with, etc.

J: Once you’ve had some success in designing, it seems like opportunities come out of the woodwork. What should a designer keep in mind when choosing a project to take on?

I’d like to just flat-out quote myself from a recent interview with Kim Werker that was held live on Twitter: “You take a project for 1 of 2 things: money, or publicity. Sometimes you get both, but if it isn’t worth just ONE, don’t! I have taken projects where I wouldn’t have made ANYTHING after paying the sample knitter/etc, but was great PR. However, it was MY CHOICE — anyone touting a project solely for publicity or “exposure” should be immediately suspect. Our hilarious friends @Ravelry got it right.”

In addition, you should take projects that will challenge you – why do the same thing 15 times in a row?

J: How do you manage your time with so many projects happening simultaneously?

S: My computer is my backup brain. I never delete emails (well, except spam!), so I can always look up what’s already been said about an ongoing project, etc. I am a compulsive list-maker, too. I have a ton of “things going on” textfiles sitting on my desktop that I can pull up and work from, reminderwise. I’ve been trying to find the perfect project management software but nothing has really fit the bill 100% without costing an arm and a leg, so for now it’s lists upon lists upon lists.

J: With so many outlets for designs, patterns run the risk of looking alike. How do you keep your design ideas fresh?

S: I like themes, because I’m a very visual person, and it helps me categorize all my ideas. So, for example, I’m working on a fall/winter pattern collection that’s inspired by 1920s Vienna, carnivals and one particular artist I like. I started with one particular pattern I wanted to design, figured out what would go with it and provide a broad range of pattern types, and then went backwards from there. I use style.com, Ravelry and other sources to see what’s out there but when it comes right down to it, it’s the circus in my head + what I want to personally knit + what yarn is calling my name.

J: What about burn out? You have 70,000 things going on all the time — do you ever lose sight of the dreamy part? How do you find your way back to being/feeling creative?

S: I’m, to quote my boyfriend, “Amish on weekends” because I turn the computer OFF. I sit around and knit and watch TV and do housework and stare into space and play with the dog and pet the cats and make elaborate, ridiculous foodstuffs…everything but work work. It helps. Some of the ideas for the new collection came about, for example, as the result of watching a terrible, terrible movie about Klimt on Netflix. It was seriously one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, one of those movies that’s so awful you can’t turn it off because you’re worried there might be something even worse to laugh at in the next scene. But it did make me re-examine some of the things I knew about that era, and remember pieces I’d liked at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and start to think hmmmm, these things would go together, and this yarn would work, and and and… In short, don’t be afraid to “waste” time doing something that seems silly because you never know when inspiration will strike.

J: How do you create a design style that is unique to you? – the best examples are Norah Gaughan and Ysolda. Is it even important to have a style?

S: I think so, yes, if only because it helps drive repeat business. If someone likes the way you do X, then it only stands to reason they will like X1, X2 and X3. You have to be careful not to get stuck in a rut, though!

J: What did you learn about your designing self and your business writing this book?

S: I really need to outsource more of the things I don’t do as well or as quickly. One example – I’m a much slower knitter than my test knitters. If I want to keep up, I need to outsource more of the sample knitting, and rework my patternwriting process. It’s a lot harder for me to write the pattern before I knit the sample, but in order to outsource the knitting, I’ll have to do it in that order. It takes away some of the serendipity, but serendipity doesn’t always pay the bills. I wish I could just sit and knit all day and make someone else write it all down, but that’s not how it works at this level.

J: What’s next for you?

S: More books! Cooperative Press is publishing over a dozen books by other people in the next 18 months or so, and I could not be more excited. I’m also co-authoring a book on tech editing with the fabulous Alexandra Virgiel that will fill a major hole in the market for both pro designers and knitters who just want to make their work better. We’re going to keep pushing the envelope with technology in particular, which is exciting and scary all at the same time. (I love technology). I plan to keep teaching online as well, because it’s an amazing way to reach people all over the world without leaving the comfort of my desk!


BONUS CONTEST POST!

Shannon has very generously offered to give one lucky commenter to this post a copy of her new book. PLUS, to get you jump started on your design career: the choice between one of her online classes OR an one-one consultation with the pro herself.

To win, just leave a comment to this post telling Shannon why you want to win this great prize. Comments will be closed Friday, July August 13th at 5pm EST, and the winner chosen by Shannon, and announced in the WWW post next Wednesday. Good luck!

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WWW: Contest Winner, Fundraising & Men

Our lucky July contest winner is comment #642, Sara! (srgonzalez@…) Congratulations, Sara! We’ll be writing you to get your mailing info so you can get your hands on your new Kolláge square circular needles!


peep! peep!

A cancer patient in Wales has raised nearly £1 million ($1.5 million USD) for a cancer treatment center research by knitting and selling little Easter chicks. Over 600 knitters have supported the cause with their needles, and thousands have shown their support by buying a chick.  The chicks are popular with schoolchildren, allowing people of all ages to contribute to the cause.


Interesting discussion on the BrianKnits blog about whether knitting media is reinforcing gender stereotypes with the paucity of images of and designs for male knitters.  We know and love many male knitters, and have published a Man’s Issue, but Brian’s comments are worth reading and discussing.


Just one section of the hundreds of knitters at Toronto's Stitch & Pitch

Toronto’s Stitch & Pitch took place last night at the Rogers Centre [which will always be the SkyDome to us].

The Jays wiped home plate with the Orioles, winning with a brutal final score of 8-2. Sorry, Baltimore.

The Harlot threw out the first pitch, acquitting herself admirably, although we do think she might have felt more comfortable if it had been a ball of yarn.

This year’s event was a huge success, with universally popular door prizes [tons of them!] and great kit bags handed out to each of us as we presented our ticket. Great work, Stitch & Pitch Toronto team!

Stephanie gets escorted to the mound by the Blue Jays' mascot to throw out the first pitch

The Yarn Harlot on the Jumbotron!

Note the petite size of our Stephanie against the immense height of the catcher. Steph, you did us knitters proud.

Man, that's one tall baseball player.

Emily, Jacqueline, Jennifer and Jasmine enjoy the game.

Happy spouse with his knitter


Classic Elite Yarns has just launched their blog. Get a tour of their gorgeous headquarters, catch up on what the team is knitting, and learn more about what they have planned for fall.


A lovely article from the Oregon Live blog about knitting as a shared connection.

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WWW: Alice Starmore, Classes and Knit Chicken

Back in print this September!

Alice Starmore will be appearing at the upcoming IKnit Weekender in London, September 10 & 11th. This coincides with the republication of her books Aran Knitting and Fisherman’s Sweaters. Many of Ms. Starmore’s classic books, originally published in the 1980s and 1990s, are slated for republication, and they are must-haves in any knitter’s library.  Fair Isle Knitting appeared last year. Copies of the old editions can be hard to find, and sell for hundreds of dollars, so these republications mean that we can all have copies.


Also in the UK, in August, don’t forget our Amy’s classes at Knit Camp in Stirling, Scotland.


And while we’re talking of classes,  Stitches Midwest takes place in Chicago, August 19-22nd.  Expect the usual full slate of classes, shopping and general yarny fun for all.


A group of over 500 grandmothers in South Africa – many of them living in poverty – knitted more than 23,000 hats that were sold to tourists at the World Cup. Video news item from Brisbane Times in Australia.


Own a piece of your very own sheep farm! Read about yarn CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture share). Buying a share in a CSA helps support the farm and the flock, and you are repaid with a share of the shearing.


The Daily Mail tells us that crocheted fashions are making a comeback. We’re amused by the callout that says “Crocheted fabric uses a third more yarn than knitted fabric, but only one hooked needle is required to crochet – knitting requires two.” Because using two needles makes it so much harder? Silly mainstream journalists.


Image courtesy S. Caspar.

Firmly in the knitting as art category, Knit Meat from Etsy Seller Stephanie Caspar.


Add another name to the roll-call of glamorous knitters around the world…

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