Knitty Spotting Around the Web

Nothing makes us happier than seeing the gorgeous projects created by Knitty readers around the world.

A few FOs from the new issue already!

Beth‘s Coquillle in progress…

Mel‘s finished Kink!

A very cool Purlieu over at Dyeabolical.

A chic Lanesplitter, en francais.

Another great Lanesplitter from Tamara, and details on a mini Lanesplitter KAL at a LYS in Toronto.  Each of the three knitters has decided to make the fit and finishing slightly different, to see what works best for different body types.

Some excellent Coralie earrings on Ravelry.

And an awesome sleeveless-ness modification of Jaden from the Spring 2008 issue.  Info here, details in Ravelry.

How DO you pick a new camera?

Some things are fun to buy on impulse. Earrings and shoes, definitely. Technology? No way.

I am not an obsessive researcher when it comes to getting new technology — I mean how many ways can you research which iPod to get…it’s more about picking the color than anything else. But that goes out the window when it’s time to get a new camera.

Lumix FZ20

I bought a Lumix FZ20 [Panasonic camera with Leica lens, very highly reviewed here] in 2005 to shoot things for Knitty. It performed very well, but I found that I was not taking it along as much as I should have because it was big.

So when we went on a trip to Italy in 2006, we bought a little wee Canon digital Elph. And it won, getting used 90% of the time from then onwards, just because it could fit in a pocket.

When I accidentally dropped it and busted the lcd screen, I found a tutorial online that showed how to replace it, and the parts were less than $40 via ebay. Hub fixed it in an hour. That little Canon has had a lot of use in 4 years.

But I wanted the extra features a DSLR-type camera like the Lumix had to offer. So I did what I do when it comes to picking a new camera:

  1. I check DPReview.com. I like how they are so precise about examining every aspect of a camera, including the good and bad. They usually alert me to models of cameras that stand out among the rest, and help me narrow down what it is I really want.
  2. Once I have a favorite or two chosen, I go to [don’t groan] Amazon, and see what the majority of consumers have to say. I know what’s there is not unbiased, and I know there are often reviews planted by the manufacturers of some products. But for cameras, it’s been helpful. If I find an issue that a lot of people mention, further googling can help me determine if it is a real problem or if it’s just inexperienced users that are causing their own problems.

Canon G11

The model that I kept coming back to was the Canon Powershot G11. Powershot, not Elph, meaning it won’t fit in my pocket. But it’s still nowhere near as large as a DSLR, which was my other possiblity.

This camera has a vaguely retro feel about its design which I like a lot, but more importantly, it has features I really wanted. It’s got an exposure compensation dial at the top left. The top right has an ISO dial (to choose how low the light can be where you’re shooting), and everything else was familiarly Canon-esque, which is a good thing. I like how intuitive it is to reach for a feature and find it where you expect it to be. I’ve found Canon to be wonderful that way over the years.

Look! I can see myself in it!

It also had this, which I have wanted forever: the tiltable viewscreen. Ideal for shooting over the heads of others, or avoiding glare on the screen in bright days [which happens a lot]. I also happen to have crappy closeup eyesight, so using a viewfinder isn’t something I like doing. A good lcd screen is my friend.

I’ll be able to fine-tune the white balance when I take Yarn Roundtable shots [the Elph was notorious for shooting purples as blues, no matter what I did, which meant more Photoshop fiddling after the fact] and lots more, as I get used to all the stuff this camera can do.

The Amys (Swenson and Singer) play with the tilty lcd screen at yesterday's Stitch & Pitch in Toronto.

Once I found the one I wanted, I stumbled across Wishabi.ca, a super-handy site for Canadians. It helps you figure out whether it’s cheaper to buy it in Canada or the US today, including exchange, duty and taxes, and will e-mail you when something you’re waiting to buy goes on sale. Super neat.

So why is this an Obsession Thursday post? Because I’ve done nothing but obsess about choosing the right camera for the last 2 weeks. My upcoming trip to Scotland means photo opportunities will be happening constantly. I don’t want to miss a single one.

Yesterday’s quick experiment at the Stitch & Pitch game in Toronto was great fun, and I have the ride over the ocean to finish reading the manual cover to cover.

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.

Tour results are in!

A bowl full of yarn

I didn’t hit my lofty goal for the Tour de Fleece but I spun a whole lot of yarn: 34 ounces.  I spun 22 ounces of the dyed-by-my-hand BFL, 4 ounces of fat 2-ply, 4 ounces of Lynne Vogel colored Merino/Bamboo/Silk, and 4 ounces of lofty thick-and-thin. It was enough and I had fun.

I learned that I need a lot of variety in my spinning. There were days at the wheel when I just couldn’t face any more of my blue/purple BFL, that more than lack of time kept me from spinning my dreamed-about 2 pounds of BFL yarn.

I also learned I need a whole lot more practice on my thick-and-thin yarn.

What about you — did you hit your  Tour de Fleece goal? Any tips for thick-and-thin yarn?

You could win! This time: Kolláge square circular needles

Kolláge square circular needles: what a mind-blowing concept

Remember how, in the new issue of Knitty, we announced that we’d be holding contests on the blog from now on? And to watch for a contest post?

This is a contest post! You found it! Can you stand it?

We’re so excited! We love giving stuff away, and this first contest is extra fun, because it’s a set of needles that we just reviewed in our First Fall issue. Scroll down to read the review, with opinions from both a woolly knitter [Jillian] and a non-woolly knitter [Amy]. We both were impressed with the unique feeling of knitting on square needles and how it tidied our stitches.

What’s the prize? A set of 4 Kolláge square circular needles, one in each of their most popular sizes.

How do you win? It’s just too easy. Leave a comment to THIS POST only, making sure your e-mail address is somewhere in the comment. Comments will be accepted until 5pm EST Monday, July 26th.

How do we pick a winner? We’ll choose one of the comments at random after 5 pm EST on Monday and announce the winner on Wednesday in our WWW post.

Thanks to our friends at Kolláge for donating this very cool prize! Good luck to you all!

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…

How Do Your Hands Learn?

6 wpi, Merino/Columbia blend, 100% chubby love

In the past year, I have taken three classes, from three different teachers, that in some part taught spinning fat, lofty yarn.

After ten months, I can finally spin fat, lofty yarn; it takes my hands a long time to learn. I have to watch and listen to other spinners, have teachers watch me and I have to practice, a lot.

I practice by slipping my learning yarn into my daily spinning and I practice by having special learning sessions. Spinning new in between regular spinning works the best for me, it feels like playing. The other feels like have-to spinning.

My hands started learning lofty yarns last September and this skein from last week is the best I’ve done yet.

How do your hands learn?

Obsession: Iced Coffee with A Shot of Vanilla

Slurp, slurp

It’s hot where I am – you may have already heard that.  I know it’s hot where a lot of our readers are.

When I was younger, my favouritest hot weather treat in the entire world was ice cream.  Now I’m a lactose-intolerant grown-up, my favouritest hot weather treat in the entire world is an iced black coffee with a shot of vanilla syrup.  It’s like a grown-up version of a coke float, in an odd sort of way — but with more caffeine!

Without giving any too many of our secrets, I can tell you with absolute authority that more than one iced coffee was consumed during the production of the First Fall issue of Knitty.

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.


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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.

Tour Update: 16oz and Counting

Liked the fiber, love the yarn.

I’m 4 oz behind where I want to be for the Tour de Fleece. So far I’ve spun 12oz of my BFL singles and I was hoping for a pound by now. I’m going on a short hang out at a cabin vacation later this week, so I think I can catch up.

Softy Singles

I absolutely love the yarn I’m making. The colors and loft are exactly what I was hoping for. I haven’t finished any of it yet. I want to just slightly full it. I’m hoping it will have a wonderful hand at 5 stitches to the inch, because I’d love to make Goodale.

My last 4oz of the Tour so far are a merino/bamboo from Three Waters Farm in the Lynne Vogel colorway Black Hollyhocks.

How are you doing with your Tour goals?

Black Hollyhocks in merino/bamboo