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Getting Ready for Tour de Fleece

This year I won’t be spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I’ll be be between teaching gigs, unpacking and repacking. I will be spinning, but not at a TdF level or with much focus. I love the massive amount of spinning, or just focused spinning I can do in three weeks. I like to not stress about it, including not watching actual bike racing. Some years I spin pounds, some (most) years I spin a skein of yarn. Last year I spun one skein of thick-ish sock ...

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Obsession: Hot Drinks

For me, as for many others, knitting and the kettle are inextricably linked. I love me a hot drink. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate – even hot water in moments of desperation. If it’s warm, and served in a mug, I’ll drink it. Although it’s very cold where I am right now – and has been for several long weeks – my love for hot drinks is absolutely not weather-dependent. It has to be pretty darn hot for me to drink iced coffee. And if I’m going to sit down for any length of time to knit, I put the kettle (or the coffee machine) on. A couple of things have made my life better, as a ...

WWW: Contest Winners; How to Crochet A Bull Cozy; Woolen Octopus Attacks!

The winner of the Lisa Souza BFL sock yarn is comment number 742, Bridgette. The winner of the Cuckoo Mitten kit using The Loopy Ewe Solid Series yarn is comment number 3005, Eileen. Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to the wonderful fiber folk for donating prizes! Some truly excellent guerilla knitting (woolen octopus streetcar attack!) in Japan [see right]. A video of the Wall Street Bull yarnbombing in progress – outstanding finishing skills on display. The Toledo Main Library is hosting a collection of rare and wonderful knitting images. Rare Purls: Knitting Images from the Victorian Age ...

Starting the year off with yarn & a giveaway!

Remember I was going to spin some Southern Cross Fibre BFL and Merino? Well I did: Then I did some plying: I couldn’t wait to see what these two would look like as a piled yarn. I spun and plied most of this over 3 days – I actually woke up with sore calves in the morning! I love these colors together, and yes, they even marl in some places. I’m not usually a fan of marled yarn. It’s about 500 yards, 15 wpi. I spun the singles woolen and piled it to balance, because I wanted a softer yarn to be knit into something where abrasion/piling won’t be an issue and that needs drape, this shawl ...

2010: A good year for knitting

One of my favorite reads at the end of every calendar year is Clara Parkes’ Year in Review at Knitters Review. I’ll never forget the thrill I got when she named Clapotis “Design of the Year” in her 2005 edition. Well, one of the reasons we re-launched this blog was to bring you the voices of our editorial staff [Amy, Jillian, Kate, and occasionally Mandy], and we like stuff too. So without cribbing from our friend, Clara [we’ll peek at hers after we write ours], let’s see what the Knitty crew are taking away from 2010. Amy says… My favorite aspect of 2010 was technology and ...

WWW: Rare Beasts & Art

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK is a charitable organization dedicated to conserving Britain’s native farm livestock. Founded in 1973, not a single breed has gone extinct since then, and they are doing important work to protect both the animals and small farms and holdings who keep them. They have recently launched a Wool Exchange, allowing members to advertise wool and fleeces from rare breed sheep for sale or exchange. The listings are fabulously breed-specific. (Note that the advertisers are small, independent suppliers – they likely would only ship within the UK.) Bonus adorable sheep pictures on ...

Dreaming about 2011

I am a list maker. I love making lists. This time of the year I carry a little notebook and dream of all of things I might do in the next 365 days or so. Occasionally, I look back at the last year and take stock of what I learned. In my spinning life in 2010 the biggies for me were: Learning to spin fat yarn Learning to spin art yarn And it really, finally, hit home for me about how important and varied sheep breeds are, and how lucky we are to have so many to spin with. For 2011 my big three (so far) are: Knitting with handspun. I find handspun yarn so different than millspun yarn — it has a liveliness and ...

It’s official: we’ve gone nutty.

And now it’s Monday, and the last contest isn’t even over yet, but we’re doing it ONE MORE TIME! Because we take holiday madness quite seriously over here at Knitty. Here’s how to win: leave a comment to this post by Wednesday, December 29, at midnight eastern time, and you could win! We’ll choose a winner at random, make them answer a terrifically difficult [cough] skill-testing question, and post the results next week. What’s the prize this time, you ask? It’s a kit for the gorgeous Cuckoo Mittens from the current issue! Cuckoo mitts kit contains this gorgeous yarn: The ...

Ninja strikes again! Another contest!

What is this…Thursday contests every week? Not even close. We just feel like giving away stuff and it happens to be on a Thursday again this time! I know, we’re out of control. It’s fun. Here’s how to win: leave a comment to this post by Monday, December 27 at midnight eastern time, and you could win! We’ll choose a winner at random, make them answer a terrifically difficult [cough] skill-testing question, and post the results next week. What’s the prize this time, you ask? 1 skein of Lisa Souza Superwash BFL sock yarn Fiber: 100%Blue Faced Leicester Superwash wool hand dyed 4 ...

WWW: Yarn-bombers, chickens and other wild animals

The Edmonton Journal has a charming little piece about the final rush of gift-crafting. Perhaps the journalist herself is a crafter and was perhaps looking for a quick article to write so she could get back to her projects? The staff at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum were thrilled to see the museum yarn-bombed in November, proudly posting the pictures [one shown at left] to their Facebook page. Planning for 2011? Take a peek at the comprehensive round-up of knitting and fiber-related events at Knitters Review. We love that Sarah Keen’s book Knitted Wild Animals has made it onto a New York Times’ ...

How Do You Choose?

When you find yourself with an empty wheel how do you choose what to spin next? I was recently faced with this dilemma, and instead of just grabbing something I went through the choosing more methodically. I didn’t have any have to spinning, my work and gift spinning are all done. I didn’t want to do any should do spinning, practicing techniques or sampling breeds. I have no projects that I specifically want to spin for. Leaving me wide open to choose. I roamed my stash; friends offered suggestions that I loved: your oldest stashed fiber, a color or fiber you hate or love, a forbidden too special to spin ...