What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: Squam lives!; tube textile designers tell tales; KneuroKnits for teens with ASD

Like many of you, we were very sad to hear that Squam would not be continuing. But just this week, we heard that a new leader had taken up the reins, and Squam will go on! Hallelujah! Finally something good is happening in 2017. If you’re lucky enough to be in London this Thursday, you can hear Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell of the Wallace Sewell Studio (that’s them above) talk about their approach to textile design through woven fabric. Who are these women? Well, among other things, they’ve designed fabric for the Tube and Trains that run around London. Click the photo to hear a short clip ...

WWW: poppies for remembering; poppy patterns; NICU babies in costume; a play inspired by knitting

In countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, poppies signify remembrance of those who fought in wars and died. In tribute, we wear a poppy on our lapel. In Godalming, Surrey, they went a step further this year. Volunteers covered the town center with 6000 poppies…–> It’s beautiful. Want to make some poppies of your own? Here’s a crochet version with 5 options and a knitted one by our friend, Laura Chau. I can’t stand it. Tara Fankhauser is the coolest NICU nurse ever. Look at the costumes she created for the little patients she’s caring for. In related news, when ...

WWW: Cotton and flax back on UK looms; WWI sock club turns to books; all cashmere is not equal (you don’t say)…

A company that has been around for 156 years, and has been making bedsheets for the Queen for at least some of that time, is bringing cotton weaving back to the UK. It’s been done in Italy until recently. I’m so glad to see the historical fiber arts working their way back to the UK, one by one. And lo and behold, flax is making a comeback too! Meet Flax Mill Textiles. In heritage coolness, it seems this centenarian book club started out in WWI as a group who knit socks for soldiers. Started because they thought they should be multitasking beyond chatting when knitting, the group buys books for their ...

WWW: The Knit Show is LIVE!; everyone can wear horizontal stripes; the conundrum of Innocent’s smoothie hats; sheep to help you sleep

We’re thrilled that our friend Vickie Howell’s The Knit Show project, funded by Kickstarter (go crowdfunding!) is finally live and we can watch it! After watching the first few episodes, I’m very happy to have been one of Vickie’s supporters, and can’t wait to see what other cool people and techniques she’ll be featuring in future shows. Yay Vickie! Yay crowdfunding! Via one of my favorite Brits, Eleanor  of Knit Nottingham comes this link to a blog post from the past (via the retired blog Knitting at Large) that needs to be read: it makes my heart happy: Horizontal stripes do NOT ...

WWW: Alan Cumming invents (cough cough) stitch + bitch; Canadian knitters knit socks for UK exhibition; Japanese inventor wants knitting technology to lighten your car

Okay, it’s quite amusing that the wonderful Mr Cumming thinks his friend invented the term “stitch + bitch”, but we’re not really complaining. Because he and his friend, Knitmaster Tom, are offering a Stitch + Bitch night at his new Club Cumming in the East Village of Manhattan. If I were close enough to get there, you bet I would. If any of you do go, would you send us pictures? A wonderful display of support shown by Canadian knitters for an exhibition commemorating World War I held in Fordingbridge in the UK. Approximately 30 pairs of handknit socks in the style of the period will be on ...

WWW: Superhero knitter; Join Knitty; Meet a Mensch

We all know Josh Bennett, right? He’s the designer of some gorgeous knitwear. So it’s no surprise, but surely a delight, to hear that he’s designing sweaters inspired by the upcoming movie Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, Josh has a contract with Marvel that lasts through 2018, and is also working on designs inspired by Black Panther, due out next February. What I love? Is that he’s getting fairly paid for the amount of work that goes into knitting a sweater. (And these are particularly gorgeous sweaters. Prices start at just over $1000. And there are only 10 pieces of each design available. Preorders ...

WWW: The gritty life of a Basque sheepherder; doughnut projectiles; crafting veterans; live in a knitting mill

I stumbled across The Kitchen Sisters podcast last week, and this story’s title grabbed me. It’s about Basque sheepherders in the American west and it’s not the charming story you imagine it might be. Holy crap, I miss the UK, especially when I read stories like this one, about a theatre needing knitted doughnuts for the audience to throw at the performers on stage. Not sure what doughnuts have to do with The Wizard of Oz, but I don’t care, either. Long live Panto! –> A touching story about a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnam veteran husband’s passion for needlework (crochet, ...

WWW: the *real* sea silk; when a yarn shop closes…; American superwash wool

Thanks to the BBC, meet the last surviving sea silk seamstress. Yes, yarn from a sea creature. What she does is painstaking to a degree few could imagine. And so beautiful. It’s a great loss when we lose another yarn shop. Amelia Hodson has put it in words here. (No, it’s not about grabbing yarn for cheap.) Did you know that “the American wool industry has been revitalized because of the superwash process”? Krista McCurdy sings the praises of American superwash wool. Read on.

WWW: moths ain’t so bad; the gritty glory of British Wool; knittit on Reddit

This week, WWW is all about visuals. And words. Visuals and words. Yeah, that’s it. First off, moths. Knitters hate ’em, but dang, they’re beautiful. Take a look.  Some really striking images and short videos from the British Wool industry by Jonas Bendiksen. Doesn’t work well on mobile devices. Did you know there’s knitting discourse on Reddit? You’ll find it in knittit. Of course that’s what they call it. There’s a nice vibe going on there…looks like a friendly spot.

WWW: Yarn bombing, Yarn batteries, Yarn allergies, Yarn bridges and Embellishing a Yarn

This delightful story about 104-year old Grace Brett landed in my inbox last week, describing her role in helping a group of “yarnstormers” decorate the burgh of Selkirk in Scotland and claiming she “just might be the oldest street artist in the world”. The town of Listowel in Ontario, Canada – home to Canada’s largest mainstream yarn manufacturer Spinrite – is also building a yarnbombing tradition including a town-wide scavenger hunt and selfie contest. Both of these stories had me recall a thoughtful essay by crochet activist Hinda Mandell. Mandell makes a case for dropping ...