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WWW: creativity, quilts, and collaboration

It turns out creativity is difficult to define. That’s the finding of why it’s a challenge to describe what what an artificial intelligence is doing. If you didn’t see it earlier this year, neural networks have already been used to create knitting designs, skyknit. If you’re confused by AI, this chart and article from the MIT Technology Review may help. The New York Times released a short documentary, While I Yet Live about the quilters ...

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Obsession: Coil-less Safety Pins

Many older knitting books mention a rather mysterious tool: the coil-less safety pin. I’ve been reading about them for years, and quietly wondering what the fuss is about. I’m always up for trying a new tool, but I could never seem to find them. I do love me a good safety pin. I use them for all sorts of things: as markers, as stitch holders, as a crochet hook substitute for picking up dropped stitches, to keep track of a bunch of increases and decreases (just stick ’em in the knitting when you do the increase, and you can more easily count them). I even use big ones as shawl pins and instead of ...

Fresh from TNNA

TNNA [The National NeedleArts Association] is the organization of manufacturers of almost everything we all knit with, from yarn to needles to notions to bags and more. Going to the TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio, every June is a tradition for those of us in the industry. Knitty first attended TNNA in 2004, and every year, what we see gets more interesting. Most importantly, we get to meet in person the folks that make the stuff we love, sometimes after having corresponded by e-mail for years. It’s pretty neat. So this week’s What’s What Wednesday is devoted to what we saw and a few peeks at what ...

The Tortoise and the Hare

I just returned from a color and art yarn workshop with the great Lynne Vogel.  I’ve become obsessed with coil plied yarns and I was determined to learn to spin a yummy, yummy, soft coil plied yarn. I was also determined to do it all, practice all night and just generally rock my own spinning socks off. Plus I wanted to unhook and relax, as well as deepen, renew and make new friendships. Baby, I was gonna bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan! Determined to me means to dig in with gritted teeth like a Jack Russell on a rodent, like the Hare in the fable. This is not the frame of mind to teach your hands ...

Post from on the road

Amy  here. I stole Jillian’s password. Don’t tell her. My bags are in this Ford Flex somewhere, and right now, I’m in a Panera near Toledo, Ohio, using their lovely free wifi to let you know that TNNA was great and we have so much new stuff to share with you for the upcoming First Fall issue.  There were more new products than I remember seeing in a long while, and a yarn I fell in love with that will be making a featured appearance here in a future issue of Knitty. But even before the issue comes out, we’ll share some  of what we saw. This week. Stay tuned.

Multiple personalities?

If you’ve been reading the KnittyBlog for a long time, it might be sounding a little different to you lately. It used to be all Amy all the time. Which can be anything from amusing to annoying, depending on your perspective. But mostly, that didn’t really reflect the true backbone of Knitty. Sure, Amy does lots of stuff and is the big boss, but there are other super-important Knitty people that, if you don’t know yet, you will soon.

Obsession of the Moment: Doctor Who

Ok, I lie.  This has been an obsession of mine, oh, since I was about 7. Doctor Who (Wikipedia link for full and wondrous history) is a science fiction TV series produced by the BBC.  Its initial incarnation ran from 1963 to 1989. I am a Brit, and I grew up with it. It’s about a mysterious time- and space- traveling Time Lord who goes by the name of the Doctor, and is a great mix of science fiction, mystery, fairy-tale and old-fashioned adventure romp.  It’s funny and thrilling and cheesy in just the right balance. The clever trick is that Time Lords can regenerate their bodies, so that when an actor ...

What’s new?

Quite a lot! Many of us have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book, written by Shannon Okey [the Knitgrrl herself]. Well, the book went from manuscript to finished, printed copy in significantly less than a year…which is one of the benefits of being a 1) motivated author 2) experienced self-publisher …and Shannon is both! This book has promised to be as honest a volume as has ever been written about what it’s like to design for a living [or part of a living]. “Written by an industry insider, the Guide takes a comprehensive, unflinching look behind the scenes that no knit or ...

Box of Love

I have a fiber shopping problem: my desires frequently exceed my monetary means, especially at fiber events like Maryland, Rhinebeck and SOAR. Adding insult to bank account injury, I often buy the same or very similar fiber/colorway when I’m on a fiber jaunt as I already have in my stash. Discovering that we all have the same problem, my fiber sisters and I came up with a plan. We call it Box of Love. When faced with a fiber show we bring along a box or bag of our “right now fiber obsessions”, what we love the most currently in our spinning lives. The Box of Love helps keep shopping within our ...

Outdoor Knitting Kit

If you’re planning to participate in WWKIP day this coming weekend – and especially if you’re going to be part of the Toronto-based attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for most knitters in one place – you need to be prepared. You want to have your tools with you, but you also want to pack light so you’re mobile. Here are the tools I recommend you carry if you’re going to leave the house with your knitting: a handful of safety pins or removable stitch markers – these are great for catching dropped stitches or using as extra markers, or to keep track of your progress ...

The happiest day of the week?

It’s Obsession Thursday again! Here’s what I’ve been coveting lately: Bathing in Luxury No alcohol, no plasticy smells. These perfume oils are luxurious smelling and last all day. Plus they come in glass roller-ball bottles – no spilling. My favorites, so far, are Daydream – a bright smell with citrus and vanilla, and Stroke Me (hey, it’s really the name) – deep and warm sandalwood, musk and vanilla. Roxanne earrings Huge (2″ x 2 1/2″) and light. I want to wear these every day. The swirliness of them is so over the top girly that it makes me laugh. Amy’s ...