Spinning Box Giveaway!

You knew it was coming didn’t you? Mary from The Spinning Box has a box waiting for one lucky KnittyBlog reader. To make you even more excited about the possibility of winning a box let me show you better photos of the fibers inside mine.

I took these photos this past weekend on a crafty girls weekend away and I had to bat away the grabby hands of my friends. These fibers are so nice and the colors are succulent. The theme of my box was stars and space, the box you might win is going to be a surprise.

I guessed that what you really wanted to see was the fiber more than any company’s label, so some of the labels are hard to read or even not there. I am listing names, links and fiber content below the collage. The fiber total was 12 oz, if you remember last photos last week there was also candy, buttons and soap from SLAB, which is already in my shower.

All of the fiber in my Spinning Box.

The fibers in the box are:

Top (L to R): Camaj Fiber Arts/Merino, bamboo/ Space Sunrise; The Wooly Lion/Merino,Alpaca,Mohair (all local) and firestar/ Galaxy; MK Unique Designs/Merino, nylon,thread/Cosmos

Middle (L to R): Totally Inked Yarn/SW Merino/Andromeda; The Spinning Box & Tucker Nuck Farm/ Merino; Alpaca Serenades/Alpaca, wool, angelina/Annie’s Comet

Bottom (L to R):  Camaj Fiber Arts/Corriedale/Mother of Moons; Rock and String Creations/ 100% Merino/ Cosmos; Fawkes Farms/Alpaca, BFL, silk, angelina/ Galaxy Far, Far Away

If you want a chance to win your own Spinning Box leave a comment below!

Our usual giveaway rules apply. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Sunday May 22, 2017. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a single Spinning Box.  Giveaway value $49.00

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WWW: Sweet Georgia goes Patreon; Knitty Patrons like Ninjas; Revolutionary Knitting Machine

sweet georgia rainbow of yarns

Sweet Georgia sure knows color!

As you likely know by now, Knitty loves Patreon. It allows our readers to support us, and they are doing just that! So we were thrilled to hear that our friends at Sweet Georgia Yarns have started up a Patreon themselves! Says owner Felicia Lo,  “I’m building an online school for craft and colour where I’m making video-based craft workshops on fibre arts topics like dyeing wool yarns and fibres, dyeing cellulose yarns, natural dyeing, hand-painting warps for weaving, spinning intentional yarns for socks or shawls, and working with colour in knitting, and so much more.”

That sounds way cool, Felicia. And right up our alley!


Speaking of Knitty’s Patreon, I announced a new feature yesterday: Knitty Ninja Surprise Packages! And our Patrons are pretty excited about it! Read more here.


This is a little crazypants: a cross between a knitting machine and a 3d printer? That’s what it seems to be! Meet Kniterate. You could have grabbed one of these babies for $4500 during their Kickstarter, but it ended in March. The regular price is is $7500. Delivery is a year from now…it’ll be interesting to see if this product takes off.

Sweet Georgia Starts a Color School and My Favorite Storage Bobbin Winder

Sweet Georgia fibre, colorway Tapestry. Photo by Sweet Georgia Yarns

Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns and author of the new and wonderful book Dyeing to Spin and Knit is realizing her dream of starting an online School of Sweet Georgia.

She’s been simmering this idea since the mid 2000’s and just yesterday released it to the world. She’ll have classes in dyeing, knitting, spinning and weaving with color. It’s really exciting,

I don’t know many fiber artists that know as much about color and how it behaves with fiber than Felicia! She has a Patreon campaign to help her school get off of the ground, I’ve backed her and am looking forward to the first day school is in session.

 

 

My favorite bobbin winder

My favorite bobbin winder is a drill and a chopstick. I am the laziest spinner in all the land and using a cordless drill to wind storage bobbins hits my sweet spot. I usually use plastic weaving bobbins or cardboard storage bobbins (I love these because I can write on them). I use an inexpensive chopstick in my drill in place of a bit or a dowel. Since chopsticks increase in diameter the storage bobbins pressure fit on them, quick and easy.

 

How do you wind storage bobbins?

 

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Dover Natural Dye Book Giveaway

Spring is springing where I am in North America and everyone seems to be planting a garden. The warming weather is also a perfect time to try natural dyeing. With excellent timing, Dover Publications has given us two classic natural dyeing books for a giveaway.

Dover Publications natural dye giveaway!

A Weaver’s Garden and Lichen Dyes have been around for a bit, but they both have excellent natural dye information.

A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
by Rita Buchanan

An excellent book originally published in 1987 by Interweave and saved from out-of-print status by Dover.

It’s a reprint; there is no new material. If you don’t know about this book, give it a look. There is more than dyeing here. Almost half of the book is devoted to knowing and growing plants for dyeing. There are also chapters on plants to spin, plants for sachets (to deter moths), soap plants and plants to make textile tools.

It is book full of useful knowledge and a book utterly unique in the textile world.

Lichen Dyes:The New Source Book
Karen Casselman

This book has great charts of the colors particular lichens will dye, and dye recipes. It includes an international history of lichen dyeing, and methods including solar dyeing. The book concludes with an important chapter on the ethics of gathering and using lichens. This book was originally published in 1996 and revised in 2001 with 40% updated material.

Interested in starting a dyeing garden or dyeing with lichens? Our usual giveaway rules apply. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday May 12, 2017. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a copy of A Weaver’s Garden and Lichen Dyes .  Giveaway value $22.90.

 

WWW: Instagram is where it’s at; The Knit Show funded; Scarves for survivors; Flying sea urchins; Knitting+health; more Dingles!

Follow @knittymag on Instagram!

Knitty finally has its own Instagram account. 100% fiber-craft related stuff! Follow us, would you? To get all matchy, our Twitter account is now also @knittymag.


Our friend, designer Mercedes Tarasovich, spotted a worthwhile charity on Instagram. Through Unending Hugs@rape_response provides scarves for survivors. 


@knithacker always finds great stuff. Take a look at this incredible, huge, crocheted sea urchin, floating in the air!


We’re thrilled to report that Vickie Howell’s The Knit Show project was funded on Kickstarter. Vickie and her experienced team are already lining up guests for the show!


Another article on knitting and how it affects your health that is actually worth reading.


See our Spring+Summer 2017 cover pattern, Dingle, in a couple of new colorways!


Happy 10th Anniversary to Ravelry! We love you guys.

A Tiny Peek at The Spinning Box

Even the outside of the Spinning Box is happy!

I’ve been curious to see what’s inside The Spinning Box and Mary was kind enough to send me one. The Spinning Box is a subscription for spinning fiber samples and other goodies. You can buy one or subscribe for as many months as you like.

I’m just going to show you a quick peek for today. I’ll be going over what’s inside in more detail in the next few weeks. I really thought I could quickly show it all and that would be that, except for the spinning, but I was so happily surprised by a couple of things with this box. The quality of the fiber samples, they are really excellent, beautifully prepared and dyed samples. The size of the samples, these are very generous samples. I’ve seen a couple of others fiber boxes via friends and none had the amount of fiber in it that The spinning Box has. There are also other goodies, candy, 3-d glasses, soap and buttons.

 

All of it!

Here’s a bird’s eye view. The weather has been really rainy the past few days so the true gorgeousness of the fiber is diminished in this photo, but just look at how much there is! The total of the fiber is 14 ounces. I’ll be shooting each fiber sample individually once the sun comes back to play. I can’t wait to tear open the bags and start spinning. I plan on spinning a sample of each fiber offering and then making some sexy big rolags on my Clemes and Clemes blending board.

I’m going on a spinning getaway with girlfriends the weekend after this one and all of this is definitely coming along.

Have you bought a fiber box? What did you do with all of the fibers?

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WWW: Knitting as coping mechanism; Cape Town charity knitting; Icelandic and Danish knitting festivals; Liberty buys Sirdar (sorta)

Washington, DC:  Way-back Knitty contributor Suzyn Gonzalez writes about how knitting got her through a scary period in her life. Hint: it involves knitted representations of internal organs.


Cape Town, Africa: Winter is setting in in South Africa, so the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day initiative has returned. Crochet, knitting and loom knitting are all welcome.


I wanna go.

Blönduós, Iceland: While Kate and I will be at TNNA in Columbus, OH, lucky knitters will be at the 2nd annual Prjónagleði Knitting Festival 2017. 20 cool lectures and workshops will be offered over the weekend.

This festival is modeled after the one in Fanø, Denmark. This year, Strikkefestival will be held Sept 15-19, if you want to plan ahead.


DMC embroidery threads

London, UK: The company that owns Liberty has scooped up Sirdar yarns, adding them to their other recent needlework company purchases: DMC embroidery threads and Wool and the Gang. Will be interesting to see what this will bring to each of the individual companies.

Will Liberty’s iconic prints be involved in any way?


As you might have noticed, the format of WWW looks a smidge different today. That’s because our beloved Kate, who has been writing these blog posts for many years, has passed the torch on to me (Amy). Kate will continue in all her other roles at Knitty. (Yay!)

I cannot thank Kate enough for keeping our readers apprised of trends, events, happenings and other cool news in such an entertaining way over the years. I salute you, Kate!

–Amy

Support Liz Gipson’s Online Weaving School and Knitted Carded Swatches

Liz Gipson Weaving Superstar!

Have you seen Liz Gipson’s Patreon Campaign? She’s starting an online weaving school! I bet you know Liz from her Knitty column Get Warped! Or maybe from her books Weaving Made Easy, A Weaver’s Guide to Swatching or her brand new Handwoven Home. Liz makes rigid heddle weaving fun and easy. She’s also a fan of spinning and handspun yarn.  I can’t wait to take classes at her online school, so I supported her Patreon campaign. If you love to weave you might consider supporting her too!

 

 

 

Blending board on the left, hand cards on the right.

 

Even though I just spun a little bit of yarn in my hand cards and blending board experiment, I could just leave it. Those few yards kept winkingand waving at me until I knit them into tiny swatches. Sometimes I don’t follow my own advice and I always regret it. I just should have knit that yarn right away instead of dancing around it, because it’s fantastic.

The yarn and swatch I made from my Clemes and Clemes blending board fiber is still my favorite this week, but the knitted swatch I made on my hand cards, just glows. I really like how the color is lighter, but richer. I think I’d like to pair it with a matte yarn in a knitted or woven project.

Get ready for more blending board posts. I can’t get enough time with mine; I have little piles of fiber ideas stacked all over the house. In a couple of weeks I’m going away with my spinning women for a long weekend and working with my blending board may be all I do.

Plus I’m on the road to PLY Away right now and I’m sure I’ll find blending goodies in the marketplace.

Are there any blending board experiments or samples you’d like to see me tackle?

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Love + Leche Giveaway and Coupon Code!

The Love+Leche Gift Bag – it’s so cute!

This week we’re teaming up with the wonderful and creative folks over at Love+Leche for a giveaway of a Mini Lotion Bar Gift Bag.

I keep a Love+Leche lotion bar in my knitting bag and in my spinning tool kit. They are made of all natural beeswax and oils by a woman-owned business in New Mexico. They are marvelously moisturizing, smoothing out all of the rough spots on your hands and they smell amazing.

The Mini Lotion Bar Gift Bag includes an assortment of all six of our scents in mini-lotions that weigh approximately a half-ounce each:

  • lavender
  • lemongrass
  • lavender-mint
  • cedarwood
  • citrus-rose
  • lavender-rosemary

The bars come wrapped, without tins, but they are packaged in an adorable screen-printed canvas bag.

 

Ready to shop for bars now? Here’s a code from Love+Leche that will get you a little gift with your purchase.
Coupon code: knittysurprise

Buy one lotion bar in a tin (min $14) get a free mini balm sample ($4 value). Exp 5/31/17

 

Our usual giveaway rules apply. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Sunday April 30, 2017. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a Love+Leche Mini Lotion Bar Gift Bag.  Giveaway value $28.00

WWW: Politics in Quilting, Brain Hat for Science, London Craft Week Film Festival

Fascinating…. a story about politics in needlecraft – quilting, specifically. A discussion not just about political arguments amongst the quilting community, it illuminates the long-standing use of quilts for communicating political messages, and about the essential tension between an item of tradition and “comfort”, and the power of expressing your voice the only way you are able. I wasn’t aware of historical ‘quilt activism’, and was very happy to learn about it.


Reel to Reel: London Craft Week, held the first week of May, offers a film programme: 44 shorts, screened over 3 nights. Subjects are broad: there is a music video from Lorna HB – the knitting MC, there’s a documentary about the people who paint lines and markers on roads, and a 1960s-style sci-fi short about a crystal planet that was commissioned by Swarovski.


Very pleased to hear that Vicki Howell’s kickstarter campaign for her Knit Show project has been fully funded.


Image (c) Kristen McDonnell

There’s still time to make a brain hat for the Science March this weekend.


What are you doing the weekend of October 13th-15th this year? Signature Needle Arts is holding a retreat. Teachers include our own Kate (that’s me!), Susan Anderson, Romi Hill and Ann Budd. More info here.