What’s What Wednesdays

WWW: On difficulty, k200tog, a different pink hat

Miriam writes on her blog about difficulty ratings in patterns: I agree wholeheartedly! Style writer Nathalie Atkinson writes about the origins of the Cowichan (a.k.a. curling) sweater. The garment is considered a Canadian icon, popularized by Mary Maxim in the 1950s and 60s. Many knitters aren’t aware of their origins in the indigenous community of coastal B.C. I like this very much: the Knit2o0Together project. Driven by educator Maura Pfeifer, Knit 200 Together is intended to bring together people of different backgrounds and communities, united in fiber craft, to share and learn a little about each other. A ...

WWW: Advice, sensible and otherwise; Pink Hats; This is Your Brain on Knitting

Some people are making pink hats to wear later this month.  Sensible: an advice columnist – a knitter herself – provides advice to the non-knitters who might wish to ask a friend to make a sweater for them: “Don’t risk friendship over a sweater.” I’m in two minds about pieces like this: “How to Wear Chunky Knits“, courtesy of an online style magazine. I mean, the first thought that leaps to mind when I see a headline like that is “heck, it’s January – just slip it on over a tshirt and be warm.” But then after the snark, I will always click ...

Looking forward to 2017: Kate and Jillian on the road

Kate’s Teaching Schedule for the first part of 2017 January 25-27 – InTown Quilters, Decatur, Georgia Introduction to Design, Continental Knitting, Best Methods/Expert Tips, Yarn Shopping Bootcamp, Soxpertise, Altering Patterns Feb 26 & 27th – Sheep Shop, Cambridge UK Introduction to Gloves, Two Socks at Once: The War & Peace Method, Introduction to Design March 1 – Knit With Attitude, Stoke Newington, UK Class TBA March 4 & 5 – Purlescence, Leckhampstead, UK Intro to Brioche, Advanced Brioche; -You do the maths” – a study in numbers and knitting patterns March 9 – 12 – Edinburgh Yarn ...

WWW: Bristol’s Colours, Village-sized Yarn-bomb, Use Your Noodle

The winner of our Obliqua kit giveaway is Candi from Pennsylvania. We wish you happy knitting! Ooh! Very exciting! The Yarn Collective has just announced a new line of yarns: Pembroke Worsted, in colourways designed by Knitty designer Bristol Ivy.  There are ten colors, described in Bristol’s own words: “My whole collection is based on the rich, pure tones of gems and minerals. I’ve always loved these colors and their depth, complexity, and saturation. I think since they’re all based on naturally occurring colors, they all speak well to each other and come together into a coherent palette. I’m so excited to ...

WWW: Knitted chairs, baby rhinos in blankets and the TCM Knitting Club

IKEA launches a knitted chair. It’s hard to tell precisely what the fabric looks like from the photos, but I’m rather amused by the thought that I could have a knitted chair for knitting in. And this week’s adorable-baby-animal-wrapped-in-handknits is a Rhino! Although this horse is pretty fetching in his new blanket, too. As the skies darken and the weather turns grim in the northern hemisphere, I find I’m rather excited about the announcement of Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017: Greenery! Loved hearing some knitters on this BBC Radio program. It’s a series called The Chain, ...

WWW: City of Craft, STEELwool commemoration, “Abominaball Snowman”

Steelworkers at the University of Toronto, experienced knitters and beginners together, have contributed to an installation, STEELwool, in recognition of Bill 132, a program against workplace violence and sexual harrassment. 132 scarves were displayed yesterday at all three of the University’s campuses. The date of the installation, December 6th, was chosen specifically: it marks the anniversary of the event known as ‘The Montreal Massacre‘, a shooting at the University of Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, in which 14 women were died, targeted specifically because of their gender. If ...

WWW: Hexagonal Needles, Scarves in the Park, How Much is Lifetime’s Worth of Sock Yarn?

You might not be familiar with the hexagonal needles made by Indian Lake Artisans. They’re a beautiful product, made in the US – and it was all inspired by an experimental attempt a knitting with pencils. I’ve seen a number of initiatives like this pop up in recent years, and I think it’s an excellent idea: leaving scarves and other winter accessories in public parks, where those in need might find them. This CNN piece highlights one such project, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Centre for Art Tapes, in Halifax, NS, is a not for profit artist-run, charitable, organization that facilitates ...

WWW: Knitting as a Political Act, The Sock Machine, Fashion Inspiration

I really enjoyed this profile of Karida Collins, the owner of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Karida is clear-headed and honest about the challenges of running a “creative” business. Just in time for your holiday gift list… a lovely new coffee table book, “People Knitting: A Century of Photographs”. Lots of wonderful pictures at the link. “How a Sock Machine Helped Win the First World War”. These sock machines were a marvel of modern technology at the start of the 20th century, and they played a remarkable role in supporting armed forces in both of the World Wars. Knitty columnist and ...

WWW: On Solace and Symbols

Craft as Solace.  “Beauty is not trivial. Connection is not trivial. It inspires us and lights us up. And when we are alive we can’t help but find hope.” Yes. On a similar note: On the handknit scarf as symbol. There was a fuss last week in the UK when news broke that department store John Lewis was planning to reduce their haberdashery (I do so love that word!) offerings. They’ve since reversed that decision, and this piece explains very nicely the value of this corner of the shop, “A trip to John Lewis’s haberdashery department is a journey into the centre of a Venn diagram of properly ...

WWW: Academic Study, A Lifelong Habit, Epic Yarnbomb

With thanks to Donna Druchunas, who brought this to my attention. Ruth Gilbert, textile historian and weaver, has kindly offered access to her 2009 MPhil thesis, “The King’s Vest and the Seaman’s Gansey: Continuity and Diversity of Construction in Hand Knitted Body Garments in North Western Europe Since 1550″. Fascinating reading. And another academic study: a paper from University of Central Arkansas Theology department, looking at the work of the groups known as “Prayer-Shawl Ministries”. Quoting from the abstract: Prayer shawl ministries, overwhelmingly led and staffed by women, aim to give ...