What’s What Wednesdays

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.

Please like & share:

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.

Please like & share:

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!

Please like & share:

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.

Please like & share:

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…

Please like & share:

WWW: Time; things to do while you’re knitting

German industrial designer Siren Elise Wilhelmsen has created the ‘365’ knitting clock.

The designer’s objective was to make time tangible and visible.  The clock features a 48-needle knitting machine.  Working clockwise, of course, each day it works a round, and over a year, creates a  2m-long scarf.

The clock was exhibited at the DMY International Design Festival in Berlin in June.


null

Stitch & Pitch is coming soon to a city near you. Check out the site for dates and event details for each city.


Image courtesy Jumpers and Jazz Festival

The Jumpers & Jazz Festival kicks off July 15 in Queensland, Australia. The festival is a charming and eclectic mix of jazz and textile sculpture. There are contests for both yarn-bombing and sweaters. 150 trees are slated to be decorated, and there’s a wide range of musical gigs to enjoy over the two-week festival.


While we’re on the topic of yarnbombing, Knitta, Please has been spotted around NYC, working their yarny magic.

And more great yarnbombing here and here.

Image courtesy nyc the tumblr


Brilliant knitterly tool pointed out by a reader: printable rulers! Basic ones and more sophisticated ones. Print them out and laminate them or cover them in tape. They’re light, and they don’t take up too much room in your knitting bag.


A knitting group in Tacoma Washington, the Knotty Knitters for Autism, have posed for a 2011 calendar to raise funds for therapy, education and support for local children with Autism.

Please like & share:

New Yarns, A Few Events for Your Calendar, A Surprising New Spinner

The Knitty Spring+Summer contest winners have been chosen. The lucky winners’ names are on the Contest page. They’ve been contacted and are excitedly awaiting their prizes! Stay tuned…more contests will be announced for our upcoming First Fall issue, which goes live any day now.


We were excited to learn of the launch of Quince and Company, a new independent US yarn company founded by Pam Allen (ex-editor of Interweave Knits, designer and author), designer Carrie Bostick Hoge and their friend Bob Rice, who happens to own a spinning mill.  They have beautiful yarns, some lovely and very accessible patterns, and a wonderful sensibility: they have focused on sourcing products as locally and as environmentally and socially responsibly as they can.  Patterns and yarn are available from their website, and they are looking forward to distribution in local yarn stores in the near future.


A rainbow of yak gorgeosity. Image courtesy Lorna's Laces & Bijou Basin.

Last week, Lorna’s Laces announced a collaboration with Bijou Basin Ranch, to dye their delicious yak yarns in fabulous Lorna’s colors. The colors are “nearly solids” with a gentle, earthy edge.  Three different yarns will get the Lorna’s treatment.

Question: Why is it that the ugliest beasties make the most beautiful yarn? The yaks, that is, not the crew at Lorna’s!

Anyway, I personally adore the Bijou Basin yarns, and this is terrific news.


Image courtesy Knitter's review.

Registration for Clara Parkes’ 2010 Knitters’ Review Retreat opens today at noon EST.  Instructors include Ann Budd on the math of knitting, Clara herself on Yarn 101, Cat Bordhi on creating new stitch patterns, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes on knitting with beads.

It all takes place in Williamstown, MA, November 12-14.


The Bust Summer Craftacular London edition runs this weekend, July 10 at York Hall near the Bethnal Green Tube Station. Shopping, crafting, workshops and dancing from noon to 7pm! What more could you want for £2 admission?

And if you’re in London, don’t forget to put the iKnit London Weekender on your schedule, September 10th & 11th.


Prince Charles learns to spin, just in time for the Tour De Fleece.


Yarn bombing your own car? Brilliant!

Please like & share:

Gift Knitting Season Already?; Patriotism

Image courtesy Interweave Press.

Some knitters are starting to consider their project lists for end-of-year gift knitting.  To help you with those lists,  look for these books on your LYS bookshelf very soon:

Joelle Hoverson & Anna Williams’ More Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Mags Kandis’ Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet

Anna Hrachovec’s Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi.  If you’re in the NYC area July 11th, attend the launch party at Brooklyn General Store to see some of this adorableness in person.

Betcha can't knit just one...


We’re in the throws of World Cup, and the season of National Holidays. No matter who or what you’re celebrating, make sure you have a knitted flag to wave:

The Stars & Stripes

The Maple Leaf Forever

Flag of St. George

If you’re looking for other patriotic accessories, try these:

Flag-themed hats from DROPS

Germany hat

Swiss Flag dishcloth/baby bib

A rather amazing collection of flag design coasters designed by Kathy Murray, available for purchase on Ravelry.

And if you’re more about the football than supporting a specific country, knit yourself an actual football.

Happy Canada Day to our Canadian friends &  Happy 4th of July to our US friends!

Please like & share:

Inspiration and Duck Feet

An arty and inspiring Wednesday.


Karen Searle, How My Mother Dressed Me (Detail); Image from KarenSearle.com

I’m regularly awed and inspired by the work featured on the ArtYarn blog….  the work of Fibre Artist Karen Searle was recently featured.

Karen works in a variety of fiber media, and she has knitted and crocheted a variety of pieces – some life size, and some miniatures.  The stunning dresses are each 6 inches high, knitted in copper wire.

ArtYarn is a collaborative knitting and crochet project coordinated by visual artist Rachael Elwell, and their goal is to collaborate with local community groups, world wide knitting and crochet networks and arts organizations to create gallery installations, public arts projects and creative craft workshops.

Both sites are worth a visit.


Blouse, mola, San Blas Islands, Panama, 20th century; Image courtesy of Textile Museum of Canada

The Textile Museum of Canada has just announce a new exhibit, Drawing with Scissors, featuring the Mola work of Kuna Yola. Running July 21, 2010 to February 13, 2011, the exhibit features the handcrafted traditional blouses of the Kuna people, an indigenous people of the San Blas Islands, Panama.

The motifs are worked in reverse applique and embroidery, and depict images from the world in which the Kuna live – invoking and blending both their traditional beliefs and way of life and the influence of the modern world around them.  Works might feature images of ancient spirits intertwined with images inspired by television – from the news or Disney cartoons.


Another stunning exhibition has just opened at the Newport Mills in Newport, New Hampshire.  Fabrications is a mixed media exhibition featuring work by 19 international, national and regional artists.  In acknowledgment of the building’s history as a working mill, Fabrications presents artworks using textiles in innovative, contemporary ways, and showcases projects that utilize weaving, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and spinning into unexpected forms and unusual materials.  It runs until September 25th.


Duck feet. Not just for babies anymore.

Looking for cuteness and high degrees of adorability in your knitting? Check out Petite Purls’ Summer issue. Full of great babies’ and kids’ patterns.

And if you need some cuteness in adult size, consider Jeny’s Felted Duck booties, a grownup version of the Duck socks from the Spring issue.


Did you win in our contest? Emails have gone out from knittyadmanager @ gmail to our lucky prize winners. Check your spam filters!


Please like & share:

Fresh from TNNA

crazy Columbus art car, parked near the convention center

TNNA [The National NeedleArts Association] is the organization of manufacturers of almost everything we all knit with, from yarn to needles to notions to bags and more. Going to the TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio, every June is a tradition for those of us in the industry. Knitty first attended TNNA in 2004, and every year, what we see gets more interesting.

Most importantly, we get to meet in person the folks that make the stuff we love, sometimes after having corresponded by e-mail for years. It’s pretty neat.

So this week’s What’s What Wednesday is devoted to what we saw and a few peeks at what you might see in issues to come.

All photos were taken with my iPhone, so they’re of modest quality. Next year, I bring the good camera.


Knitwear designer ##http://www.robinmelanson.com/##Robin Melanson## in super-fabulous sunglasses. We'll get her in Knitty one of these days.

Stephen West models ##http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/PATTcolonnade.php/##Colonnade##, this time in a new smaller version which you'll find ##http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-colonnade##here##.

Larissa from ##http://www.OffhandDesigns.com/##Offhand Designs## showing us her new bag hardware on a felted sweater turned into a bag...more on this in a future issue!

We loved these ##http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss10/PATTwanderer.php/##Wanderer socks##, knit in ##http://www.lornaslaces.net##Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock##, shown at their booth!

##http://www.kauni.com/index.php?lang=english##Kauni## had a booth this year...it was 100% delicious.

One picture is never enough.

Welcoming new yarnies ##http://www.millamia.com/##MillaMia## from Sweden, run by two sisters with the loveliest British accents.

Millamia is a wool yarn with kid-centric pattern support...really fashionable and truly adorable

The awesome Norah Gaughan poses for a teaser photo...you'll be seeing something from her in a future issue, made from ##http://www.berroco.com/shade_cards/remix_sh.html/##Remix##, my favorite find from this year's show. Wool-free tweed, light as air, made from recycled fibers including silk, cotton and linen. Thank you, Berroco!

New from Knowknits, the ##http://www.knowknits.com/products_01.html##GoKnit bag## is now available in faux-fur. Can you stand it? Soft as anything, too. Two other new colors have been added: a pale purple and a soft gold, seen here.

##http://ysolda.com##Ysolda's## booth was the talk of the show...tea and cakes every day at 3! The booth was furnished like a living room, and was a great place to hang out. Previews of Ysolda's upcoming book -- Little Red in the City, due out this September -- could be seen as well as garments from ##http://twistcollective.com##Twist Collective## and ##http://shetlandtrader.blogspot.com##The Shetland Trader##.

I happened to stop by when Ysolda was taping a segment for Knitting Daily TV, with host Eunny Jang. Marilyn Murphy of ##http://interweave.com##Interweave## watches over the proceedings.

Stephen West, Casey (##http://ravelry.com##Ravelry Guru##) and Laura Chau (##http://www.cosmicpluto.com##Cosmicpluto##) watch on as Ysolda and Eunny prepare for the segment. Casey's not angry, just concentrating as he works.

Was this year's TNNA a success? Absolutely Yes! (Artwork by ##http://www.1800cartoon.com/##Paul Palnik## Â -- his studio is next to the ##http://jenisicecreams.com/##Jeni's## location on High Street. Frustratingly, it's never been open when I've been there.)

More of That Car

Overall, I found the show to be much more upbeat than it has been in the past few years. The floors weren’t necessarily crowded with attendees, but those there — from what I was told — were placing orders. Some booths were busy the entire show; others had spurts and quiet times. The trends this time? Well, I was a little surprised to see what seems to be a small resurgence of novelty yarn from a few manufacturers. But overall, I found most manufacturers were adding yarns with longevity to their lines…rich wools, creative new blends, and lots of deep fall colors were everywhere.

Jillian and I were also delighted to see much more spinning fiber on display than at any previous show. Beautiful indie-dyed wools of all description, silks and delicious blends. Watch Knittyspin, where you’ll see these beauties in an upcoming Fiber Fiesta feature.

There was an aisle mostly dedicated to newer products, many of which you’ll soon be seeing in our Cool Stuff section in upcoming issues. The Yarn Roundtable closet is now restocked with a huge selection of yarn, with more to come as manufacturers and dyers return home and start shipping their TNNA orders.

Yes, there was a lot of Jeni’s during this trip for Jillian and I. We needed to keep up our strength, you know! [This year’s favorites for me were the Meyer Lemon Blueberry and the Salty Caramel. Jillian favored the Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries.]

There was more than I could ever capture at the show itself, but this gives you a taste of our weekend with the fiber peoples. For more coverage, don’t miss Clara’s post at Knitter’s Review, next Thursday — KR is on an every-other-week posting schedule for the summer, Clara tells me. Reading her event wrap-ups is a must, whether I’ve been at the event or not. The Ravelry folks did a great job of covering the floor during the show — you can find their pictures and video at their Hello TNNA twitter feed.

Please like & share: