Knitty Friday: A refreshing design!

Or, rather, refreshing our design!

One of our first stated goals with our Patreon campaign was to pay our staff and contributors better. Thanks to our Patrons’ enthusiasm, we were able to do that almost immediately. And so we moved on to the second goal: bringing our website up to date.

We launched our first ever responsive issue last week. What’s responsive? That means the site is coded to automatically resize to fit every screen from cellphones to huge monitors. It’s about as fresh from the code monkey as is possible…and we’re releasing it in Beta. That means there might be bugs to fix, and things might change in appearance from day to day as we fine tune how the site looks and works. We beg your indulgence during this time. Wanna report a bug? Write to me with the subject heading “BUG REPORT”. Thank you!

simulation...the best way to see how this issue works is to view it on your different devices!

simulation…the best way to see how this issue works is to view it on your different devices!

The back issues in our Library will be getting a facelift as well, though a much more subtle one. We want our whole Library to be updated so that the back patterns are still useful to you, and so we’ll be continuing to responsive-ize issues until they’re all done. It’s going to take a while. We’re talking about 55 back issues. But now we know where we’re headed and it’s exciting!

Also long overdue is the addition of metric measurements to patterns. This is now standard operating procedure going forward.

This redesign project has been a huge undertaking in partnership with Philip Chatterton of Marblehead. We’re thrilled with what he’s done for us. (Need something like this done for your website? Drop him a line.)

WWW: Yarn Documentary, Knitted Windows, On Copyright

Knitter and actor Kirk Dunn creates phenomenal large-scale knitting projects: full-size stained glass windows. You can watch a documentary about his work online.


A few weeks ago we mentioned the upcoming release of the documentary “Yarn”. It’s been released in the US, and the New York Times has reviewed it. You can watch the trailer here.


Love this: knitter Farzana Chaudry has created a woolly display for the front window of her house, commemorating the return of International Space Station astronauts Tim Peake, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra. She lives near a school, and enjoys creating these types of displays, “for the joy of the kids”.


Phenomenally useful: a guide to copyright for crafters and artists, in easily understood visual form. I promise it’s not boring or laden with legalese. With a hat-tip to KnitHacker for bringing this to my attention, and Ginger Davis of Blue Bottle Tree for putting it together.Copyright-Infographic-crafters-1024x795 - Copy

Sheepspot Fiber Club, Wool n’ Spinning, Little Looms and Zingerman’s

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve been curious about everything, everything is shiny! Here are a few things that excited me this week.

My June Sheepspot shipment

My June Sheepspot shipment

 

The Sheepspot Fiber Club Today is the last day to sign up for the Sheepspot Fiber club. I’ve been in this club for a year and really enjoy getting every shipment. I don’t always spin my fiber, but I always spend time fondling the beautiful fluff and reading all of the breed and spinning information that Sasha sends with her club.  This year she has a number of options so you can customize the club. There are payment and quantity, options, but my favorite is choosing between colors every month. This is a great club for spinners who don’t want to prep their own fiber, but still want to try their hand at spinning some hard to find breeds.

 

Wool n’ Spinning Blog So I’m a little behind, I just discovered this spinning blog and it’s fantastic. Rachel is an obsessive spinner and knitter. She has a Vlog, that I haven’t watched yet and a Patreon campaign going now to help support her work. Somehow she does all of this and is raising two kids.

Are you weaving yet?

Are you weaving yet?

 

Little Looms  If you are interested in weaving a little this summer check out this special issue from Handwoven Magazine. It’s full of projects and instruction for weaving on rigid heddle looms, pin looms and weaving small tapestries. All perfect take along projects for the summer. And of course Knitty’s Liz Gipson makes an appearance. I found a copy at my local Barnes and Noble.

 

A class for iPhone and Android

A class for iPhone and Android

 

Mobile Photography – a Craftsy class Sometimes I feel like I don’t get out much. It never occurred to me that there would be classes on photography with your cell phone. I am in the midst of this one from Craftsy and I’m learning all kinds of ways to make my phone pictures better. I desperately needed this class since I’m generally too lazy to get out my big camera. The class covers both iPhone and Android.  (The link gets you a 20% discount and gets me a little affiliate tip.)

Zingerman’s Food Tours I just read about Zingerman’s Food Tours. I’m buying a lottery ticket.

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WWW: Travel (with) Knitting, Vintage Films, Life-size yarny replicas

Two fantastic videos posted by the BBC in honour of World Wide Knit in Public Day:

Shetland Lace Knitters, filmed in 1964, working at a remarkable pace. Their language is absolutely fascinating, an almost Scandinavian lilt, to my ears. I adored the answer the one knitter gives about how she feels at the end of a long project.

And this gem from 1972:


In life-size-replicas-of-public-figures-made-out-of-yarn news, we have two stories:

A yarn shop in Devon won a competition for their amazing shop window display, featuring a pretty-close-to-life-size figure of the Queen.

And in the US, a crochet model of Bernie Sanders is out on the election trail…


travel-suitcase-clip-art-suitcaseIt’s vacation season! Do you have your travel knitting prepared? Some tips from us here at the Knittyblog for travelling with knitting.  And check the Knitter’s Review events list to see if there’s anything yarny going on near your destination… or to help you decide on a destination…


Heck, knitting can even help you work through a language barrier, when you’re travelling. On that note, I enjoyed this little vignette from a friend’s trip to Italy….

Thank You for Making Yarnitecture #1!

YarnitectureFinalCoverMy new spinning book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want that’s coming out in September from Storey Publishing is now up for preorder. Look what you wonderful spinners did yesterday!

number one collage

Number one!

 

 

Last night when I went to bed I was the number one book on both the Amazon Knitting and Fiber Arts lists. Thank you all for ordering my book and for giving me a once in a lifetime thrill!

 

 

 

 

 

You think?

Why yes, I am very interested

 

When I woke up this morning I found this email from Amazon.

 

 

Today calls for some celebratory spinning!

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TNNA: the knitting industry’s trade show…UPDATE!

Jillian and I have just returned from our annual trek to TNNA’s trade show, this time in Washington, DC. Jillian used to live there a very long time ago, and I’ve never been, so it was an interesting venue for us to explore.

Every year, we gauge what’s out, what’s in and what’s growing in popularity. This time, without question, the most popular trend was gradients. Gradients in every form, from sets of single-color skeins that make up the gradient to super-long-color-change skeins (first popularized, I believe, by Tina Whitmore of Freia Fibers).

Here’s a sampling of the new products released this year:

Indigo-dyed yarns at Ancient Arts

Indigo-dyed yarns at Ancient Arts

 

Adorable sheepies from Kraemer Yarns

Adorable sheepies showing off the color range at Kraemer Yarns

Really cool laser-cut tapestry looms at Purl & Loop

Really cool laser-cut tapestry looms at Purl & Loop

Delicious colors of Manos Alegria

Delicious colors of Manos Alegria

A soft rainbow (timely!) of Gems, from Louet North America

A soft rainbow (timely!) of Gems, from Louet North America and Fresh Stitches

Another delicious rainbow from the folks at Wonderland Yarns

Another delicious rainbow from the folks at Wonderland Yarns

And finally, the new speckled yarns, Splatter Shot, from our friends at Lorna's Laces

And finally, the new speckled yarns, Splatter Shot, from our friends at Lorna’s Laces

There was also a lot of this going on…which helps you understand that, although it’s a work event, we also love seeing our fiber friends. There is a lot of hugging at TNNA.

Jillian, Stefanie Japel and Liz Gipson

Jillian, Stefanie Japel and Liz Gipson

Clara Parkes, Jill Draper, Miss Jillian again and Laura Nelkin

Clara Parkes, Jill Draper, Miss Jillian again and Laura Nelkin

WWW: WWKIP, Indy PopCon, Icelandic Yarnbombing (the greatest ever?)

This coming weekend it’s the Indiana PopCon pop culture convention. Designer Joan of Dark – of the famous Baker Street Neil Gaiman scarf – is speaking at the event about her experience getting her Geek Knits book published, Saturday 3pm.


This weekend it’s World Wide Knit in Public Day. What are your plans?  I’ll be at Shall We Knit in Waterloo, for our annual shenanigans. I look forward to seeing pictures on Twitter and Instagram.


Although not specifically a WWKIP event, I’m rather amused by list of events at the Wildfire Adventure Camp event this weekend in Kent, U.K… Advertised as summer camp for adults, one of the activities scheduled is “naked knitting”. I just hope that there’s lots of sunscreen available.


Just the greatest. Love the faces! Photo from Prjónagraff á Blönduósi, Facebook.

Yarn-bombing Iceland style. Of course Icelandic yarnbombing features gorgeous colorwork and excellent sheepy details! The Facebook page of this group is absolutely amazing.


From James’ Global Knitting Party blog.

A familiar story, no less wonderful for it: knitting as a way to fight depression. The chef and cookbook author is touring the world – travelling 15,000 miles with yarn and needles in hand, telling the story about his fight with mental illness. Lots of great photos on the blog.

TNNA – The Spinning

 

Book me

Look my book!

 

I got back from TNNA last night, it was a whirlwind of fiber, yarn and lots and lots of  hugs. I’m going to show you a few of the spinning things I saw, but I sure didn’t take as many photos as I thought I did!

The first place I went when we got to the show was the Storey Publishing booth to see my upcoming book  Yarnitecture! Here I am giddy with a mock up of the book and my editor Gwen Steege. The book is at the printer right now and will be available in September. You can pre-order on Amazon right now. Squee!

 

 

 

Spinning and Weaving FTW!

Spinning and Weaving FTW!

 

The Spinning And Weaving Group are the people who bring us Spinzilla every year. They have plans to make Spinzilla even bigger and more fun. They elected a new president this year, Rita Pettys of Yarn Hollow,you can see her waving from the booth.

Spinning and weaving were hot at the show, in large part to this dynamic group. Knitting stores are continuing to add both spinning and weaving to their offerings as their customers ask for them and apparently, people are asking. We aren’t surprised are we?

 

 

Frabjous Fiber

Frabjous Fiber Colorshift and Merino/Tencel

 

Frabjous Fibers added Merino/Tencel to their fiber line, a blend that not many companies carry. The also have gorgeous gradients called Colorshift.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Georgia's wall of color!

Sweet Georgia’s wall of color!

 

 

Lots of companies are listed in the show guide as having spinning fiber, but no company brings it like Sweet Georgia. They have a whole wall of spinning fiber in all of their glorious colors. They show all of their colors on all of their bases. I visited this booth a few times just to stare and sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

Dragonfly Fibers rich and sexy spinning fiber.

Dragonfly Fibers rich and sexy spinning fiber.

 

Dragonfly fibers has Polwarth/silk and a Merino/ silk fiber, this picture is not great, but that fiber in Kate’s rich colors made me want to roll all over it like a happy puppy.

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning equipment companies were there too. Schacht, Louet and Ashford all had booths. I didn’t get photos of any of them because I was too busy touching, touching, touching. Schacht had a line to try their new Flat Iron wheel. They announced the price at $795. Schacht reported that shops were interested in looms this year, more than spinning.

Between fiber, fiber equipment and yarn the Louet booth was always hopping, but I did finally get my hands in their fiber sample book. I had forgotten how much I love their dyed Corriedale – it’s so soft.

 

That’s the quick and dirty spinning report. I’ll go into a lot of these fibers deeper as I get samples to spin.

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Pinwheel Shawl KAL

A Knitty, we are big fans of the “deceptively simple” – a piece that looks effortless to wear. A piece that seems to be simple in construction but has a clever twist. A piece with a clever variation that makes you look at something in a whole new way.

Laura Barker’s Pinwheel shawl, from our most recent issue, checks all three boxes. It’s a large rectangular shawl, worked from the center out – so no pesky purling! – and which allows you to show off a gradient yarn. And she provides a neat way to pin it so it drapes like a vest – ideal for summer-time, when you need a bit of warmth, but don’t want a big heavy thing around your neck.

If you’ve been thinking about working it, Laura is launching a KAL for the summer, starting June 18th. She’ll be hosting the KAL in her Ravelry group, and will be providing guidance, tutorials, and cheering along as you go! She’ll tackle the casting on, working and reading the lace chart, and working the clever and lovely attached edging.

The project is suitable for knitters with a little experience with lace and working in the round. In fact, it’s an terrific project to take your lace skills to the next level, learning some new tricks along the way.

WWW: Study of knitting as a way to alleviate arthritis pain; a pleasant little ditty; a knitter’s life commemorated

Image courtesy the Ottawa Citizen.

A research group at the University of Ottawa’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences, led by Lucie Brosseau, is examining the impact knitting has on pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. Can regular knitting help relieve pain and morning stiffness associated with the ailment? A local knitting group, the Pacesetters, is participating by keeping records of their yarny activity, and the level of pain they experience.


Found on the US Library of Congress website: a musical score for a 1917 composition entitled “Knitting”. Written for vocals and piano accompaniment, it’s a catchy little ditty. I was amused to find that even a century ago, they were referring to knitting as something grandma would do…

“This war has brought a custom back, that seems to be most fitting.
It was the vogue in grandma’s time: it is the art of knitting.”


So great!

Love this: Linda Barks has created a full knitted town, for a local children’s playgroup. The level of detail is fantastic: there’s a supermarket and a farm and buses and even an airport.


In which a knitter realizes a terrible truth: that you rarely actually get a lot of knitting done at a knitting retreat! There’s always lots of learning and socializing and fun, but somehow not many rows actually get worked…


I wish I knew more about this story. It’s a wonderful idea, very moving: a church on the Isle of Wight, UK, has curated an exhibition of the knitting work of a late resident of the area. It’s a fundraiser for the hospice in which Margaret Palmer spent her last days. Called ‘Casting On — a life in yarn’, the exhibition featured more than 50 pieces, including the project she was working on when she died, still on the needles.