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WWW: Bunny ears; flax baskets to reduce plastic; Rhinebeck weekend

Little bunny Mimi was born without ears and her adopter has crocheted ears for her as well as other head coverings, including the flower crown shown in the photo. In Christchurch New Zealand, plastic bags are on their way out and flax woven baskets are being adopted by grocery stores as an alternative. The New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka “Rhinebeck”) held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in New York is this weekend (New Hours: Saturday ...

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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 ...

Knitting a Net

So much is going on in the world right now and I’m really feeling it. Plus, my oldest just left for college,  5 hours away. I’m feeling a little lost and a little sad. So I’m knitting, just swatches. I have a project coming up that needs swatches and I have gorgeous Bare Naked Wools yarns to use. So I used them for more than just my project-to-be.   On the drive to college I hand wound all of my yarns. One the way home I knit swatches. Spinning, knitting and fiber don’t always work for me when I’m agitated and emotional, but this time it was perfect. It was both mindful and ...

WWW: Knitting as exercise, Brontës, socks in history, more poppies, real body templates

New South Wales extreme knitter Jacqueline Fink is renowned for creating brilliant knit textiles at an impressive scale. She says “giant knitting requires whole body movement and a lot of weight bearing.” That sounds like an attractive way to skip the gym. Jacqueline works and teaches at her studio Little Dandelion – check out her gallery for some really gorgeous pieces. We love any intersection of literature and knits – Welsh knitter Denise Salway has knitted the four famous Brontë siblings, based on a recent television production. New Zealand newspaper Otago Daily Times runs a “100 ...

3 Tips for Drumcarding Top

This weekend I managed to combine two things, getting to know my Struach Finest Motorized drumcarder a little better and working on fiber prep for my Knittyspin column for the next issue – spoiler alert, there are batts. I’m using dyed Corriedale top from Louet in my batts, and here are three things that made carding easier for me.     Fluff top until it’s sheer. I fluffed my top until I could see through it. Lots of thin layers make batts more even, and it’s kinder to your carder. I make sure I can see the yellow warning sticker through my fiber.         Long ...

WWW: Knitting Conversations, poppies for peace, community visible from space

It’s been a stressful few days in the news, which makes us look to those who seek to draw people together – particularly people from different races, cultures and languages. Textile artist Movana Chen recently held an exhibition at Los Angeles’ 14th Factory called “Knitting Conversations”. Chen asks friends and audiences to bring books they have read and found meaningful. She reads them, shreds them, and turns the resulting “magazine clothes” into fabric. She often teaches these participants to knit a few stitches and contribute to the whole. The garments and projects made ...

New to Me: Jeri Brock Spindles and Hobbeldehoy Battlings

The marketplace at the Super Summer Knitogether was one good sized room (22 vendors), but it was mighty.  I found many vendors I’ve never seen in real life and some completely new to me. This weekend I spent time with a couple that are new to me. I spun Hobbeldehoy Battlings on a Jeri Brock Turkish Spindle. The battlings come in a pack of 8 and totaled 2 ounces. These were a blend of Polwarth, silk, bamboo and sparkle. The colorway is Banned Books. They  were like candy to spin, the perfect amount in each battling for spindling without tangling and so well prepared that I could just shake and spin. The colors ...

Feet and Heads: Sizing Tables

Waaaaayyyyy back in 2011, I kicked off a survey to gather information about foot size, to help sock knitters and designers. In 2015, the book Custom Socks was published, with all the details from the survey results, and a whole load more information about fitting socks. Knitters and designers are always asking about foot size, and so I’ve decided to publish a key excerpt from the book: the foot size tables. If you’re making socks, and all you know is the recipient’s shoe size, this should give you a good sense of what size to aim for. I’ve also included guidance on the size of sock to make for ...

WWW: Burgled beagle, knitted knockers, stitches on a plane, school of yarn

A knitting shop in Benfleet, UK, about an hour east of London, had it’s knitted beagle pinched recently. Hopefully it was just someone full of, er, *spirits* and will soon find it’s way back. The beagle, along with other customer-crafted yarn bombings, has been part of the shop’s fundraising efforts on behalf of Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindess. Breast cancer survivor Beryl Tsang first published  Tit Bits with Knitty.com back in 2005. Her pattern, to craft a breast prosthesis for women who have undergone a mastectomy, has helped hundreds if not thousands of women feel some post-surgery ...

Top to Batt: More Adventures in Carding

I spent a little time this week playing with my new Strauch carder. It turns and cards like butter. My first getting-to-know-you playtime was turning top into a batt. I split an Into the Whirled, Falkland, semi-solid top in half and made a 2 0unce batt. It was quick and easy; it only took two passes to turn combed top into a fluffy woolen batt. I read the directions and followed all of the suggestions and it made a super puffy batt.   Look at the difference between the top and the batt, even the color changed! I can’t wait to spin them both and maybe figure out a way to use them together. I’m ...

WWW: Transitions, silk production, great FOs, woolly spires, sock dreams, Womb in the news

Big news from some yarn stars this week of a transition happening with indie dyers Lorna’s Laces and Mrs. Crosby yarns. Congrats to Amanda and our very best wishes to Beth – we can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeves next! This is my favorite kind of retro video: a Pathe newsreel about the production of silk from the time when England was a big mucky muck in the silk industry (1960ish). Flash required.  Don’t you love when fiber peoples craft something that is herculean and then blog about it? Or is that just me? Well, Patricia made this amazing dress and you can read about it here. Red ...