We’re Going to TNNA – What Do You Want to Know About?

We'll be touching all of the things!

We’ll be touching all of the things!

Amy and I will be attending the summer TNNA show in a a couple of weeks. TNNA is the The National Needlearts Association trade show, the show that shops, designers and publishing types attend to see what’s new in our fuzzy world. The summer show has everything new for fall knitting (and spinning and weaving and stitching).

I’ve been in our wonderful, crazy industry for more than 25 years and I think this may be my 20th TNNA. I’ve gone as an exhibitor, an author, a shop, and a publisher. My question for you, Knitty readers, is what do you want to know, what tidbits of information, photos, giveaways do you want Amy and me to bring back?

Things like, what’s the hottest color for fall? Who had the busiest booth? What’s more popular this year spinning or weaving? What was our favorite new yarn? What was the most gorgeous knitting bag we saw? Who has new styles of needles?

What are you curious about?

 

Obsession Thursday: continuing to heal

Last time I wrote, I told you about my upcoming surgery of a womanly sort and how that would affect Knitty’s next issue.

Since then:
– surgery went off very well
– took 2 hours longer than expected because my surgeon needed to consult during the procedure to make it as minimally invasive as possible
– I believe I asked the recovery room nurse to marry me after she gave me 4 perfect orange popsicles, one after another…just what i needed after having that tube down my throat (ack)
– some very lovely people visited me in the hospital (I just stayed overnight) and I felt very loved
– home the next day, feeling surprisingly good, but moving slow
– the usual post-general anesthetic symptoms gone in a few days (yay!)
– soon feeling almost zingy!
– and then the real zinger: a pinched nerve in my neck from all the proneness (since sitting up was not very comfortable the first few days)

So that last bit, that was actually probably the worst part of my recovery. I took myself back to the ER when I started to feel severe pain in both my arms, 5 days after surgery. All sorts of tests confirmed I hadn’t had a heart attack or stroke, and they sent me home. With no idea what was wrong. Oh, joy.

Cervical radiculopathy. I'll say...it's radiculous!

Cervical radiculopathy. I’ll say…it’s radiculous!

And then, Dr Mom diagnosed me. Pinched nerve. It was exactly that. Stretching my neck in a specific direction reproduced the pain. So gentle long stretches in the same direction finally relieved the pain. I’m continuing to do the stretches and the pain is gone, but my neck STILL feels like I let a tractor run over it. (I didn’t.)

For those who told me that a hysterectomy (total, laparoscopic, btw) would be an easy recovery, I thank you. You were right. It definitely was even easier than when I had my gall bladder removed. I find that surprising and a huge relief. Yay, modern medicine! Boo, neck nerves.

Anyway, Knitty production has resumed, albeit slower than usual. We will be bringing you a fabulous First Fall issue around the middle of June, as we predicted. Jillian and I are heading to TNNA in Washington, DC, next weekend (already? holy cow).  If you have a yarn shop, please stop us if you see us on the floor. We have a little something to give you.

Giveaway! The Knitter’s Journal by Jane’s Knitting Kits

The Knitter's Journal: From Swatch to Stash

The Knitter’s Journal: From Swatch to Stash

The women at Jane’s Knitting Kits worked for a whole year to make this wonderful knitting journal. The Knitter’s Journal:From Swatch to Stash has project resources like body measurements and yarn requirements, pages to develop your own designs,  pages to catalog stash and needles and it’s hardcover. You can peek at sample pages here.

 

They have generously given us a copy to give away to one KnittyBlog reader. Need a little more organization in your knitting life? Leave a comment below.

 

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday May 31st. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Knitter’s Journal.  Giveaway value $29.95.

WWW: Thing of Paper; a very long bike ride; romantic socks,

We are very excited about designer Karie Westermann’s upcoming project, “This Thing of Paper”. Karie is a designer of great talent, and I know that the designs will be wonderful. But this book is more than that – in her words, it will absolutely be a beautiful book of knitting patterns inspired by the age of Gutenberg. 

“Manuscripts and early printed books also hold great visual appeal. I have worked extensively with primary sources ranging from 14th century illuminated manuscripts to 16th century embroidery manuals. This Thing of Paper has a defined colour palette and design vocabulary derived from my research. The whole book is steeped in one woman’s love of vellum, marginalia, and woodcuts.”

Kickstarter page here, but even if you don’t want to support, have a look to learn a little more about her plans and her inspiration. It’s a fascinating project.


As someone who worries about sock sizing, I much appreciate that KnitCircus is now selling gradient-dyed sock yarn in different size skeins for different size needs. The clever bit is that it’s not just a skein with less yardage, but that the gradient is dyed differently, so that you get the full run of color no matter what size sock you’re making.


Friends of Knitty, Yarn in the City, have just announced an exciting event for this autumn: the Yarnporium. The event, being held November 5 & 6 in central London, is a two-day celebration of ‘sweater weather, yarn, fibre, friends and the making community’. There will be vendors and workshops and cake. I went to last year’s, and it was fabulous. If you’re in the UK, this will definitely be worth a visit.


Once again, the Yarn Harlot is spending her summer training for an epic cycle ride. Every summer for the past few years Stephanie has participated in a fundraiser, the Friends for Life Bike Rally. The event helps PWA, an organization dedicated to providing assistance to those in Toronto area who are living with AIDS. They offer financial support, counselling, medical and therapeutic support, helping with food and other very practical activities. To raise funds, she spends a week cycling from Toronto to Montreal, a distance of 600km, or about 400 miles. (For context, I ride a stationary bike for about 25 minutes every other day, and it took me nearly 5 months before I hit that distance.) To support Stephanie and her team, you can sponsor a rider, or you can donate a Karmic Balancing Gift.


Lots of love in this pair. Photo courtesy Dawn Repotto.

I must confess when I saw the link to the article “The World’s Most Romantic Socks Are Knitted on an Active Volcano” I didn’t expect the story could ever live up to the potential of the headline. I was wrong. A small community – 267 strong – of mostly farmers lives on a tiny remote island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean – an actual active volcano. There are some fascinating traditions in the community, and one of them centers around knitting: specifically knitting gifts with hidden messages encoded in. Stripes signify depth of feeling. More stripes, stronger feelings: ‘Socks were the garment of choice for young lovers. Traditionally, a woman would knit a pair for her intended paramour, adding as many stripes as she saw fit.’ The islanders are knitting socks to order now, and they are shipped all over the world.

Amy King Spins Singles

Amy King  loves spinning singles. In her new Craftsy class she teaches all of her singles secrets. New to spinning singles? She’s got you covered with all of the basics – fiber, draft and finishing. Have singles experience? Get a refresher on the basics, plus learn to spin novelty singles and spin energized singles. Spindle spinners have a reason to be excited about this class. Amy shows most of her techniques on a wheel and a spindle. She also shows off a whole lot of projects, knitted, crochet and woven made from singles.

 

 

Don’t forget that Amy King is a spectacular dyer, the brain behind Spunky Eclectic. Every month she chooses a colorway to

Spunky Eclectic Sky on BFL

Spunky Eclectic Sky on BFL

feature at 15% off. This month it’s Sky. If you need some fiber to practice your singles or just jump in and make a whole project from singles head over to the Spunky Eclectic shop and have a look around. Want to keep up with what’s new with Amy and Spunky Eclectic? She has a newsletter you can sign up for here. Want to shop in person? She’ll be at these shows in the next few weeks May 28-29  MA Sheep and Wool  and June 4-5  Maine Fiber Frolic.

Do you work with singles? What have you made from Spunky Eclectic fiber?

Craftsy Turns 5 and Is Having a Sale!

Do you remember when Craftsy started? What was the first class you took? Mine was Felicia Lo’s Spinning Dyed Fiber.

Through Saturday Craftsy is offering 50% off of their best-selling classes including a whole bunch of Knitty designers fiber classes.

It's Craftsy sale time!

It’s Craftsy sale time!

It’s a happy birthday present to all the crafters who love on-line learning.

What class is next for you?

 

(All of the links on this page are affiliate links, using them gets us a little extra percentage of each sale)

WWW: Knitting puzzles; patterns in nature; Shetland exhibition on Fair Isle history

Image from Uber Den Traum blog, with thanks.

Love this piece on reading and working from those beautiful Japanese knitting books


Not knitting, but fascinating and inspiring all the same: a new book about visual patterns that appear in nature. Part coffee table book, part science book, this looks like an absolutely wonderful read.


Knitting research – there’s something really really special about seeing a previous generation’s work in their own hand.

Speaking of knitting puzzles, I very much enjoyed a recent blog post from designer Susan Crawford, notable interpreter of vintage patterns and knits. She writes about the “treasure hunt” of figuring out a stitch pattern from a vintage garment.


If you’re in London, U.K., this sounds like a must-see: Stoke Newington Library hosts a permanent exhibition of a knitted park. Specifically, it’s Stoke Newington Common. This community space had been badly neglected, and in the past few years, a group of nearby residents banded together to revitalize it, building a playground and planting the garden. In 2014, their knitting subcommittee – Common Thread – created a yarny replica of the space as part of an art exhibition.

The group is running three workshops at the library, around the project. The first runs May 21st, and is all about how the project was completed. Saturday May 28th there’s a workshop on how to knit a tree, for adults; and the following Saturday, June 4th, there’s a kids’ workshop on creating plants from yarn and fabric.


The Shetland Textile Museum has opened for the summer season, and this year it’s hosting an exhibition all about Fair Isle knitting. Looks like are some really great items on display… The colorwork collar on the cardigan… go look, it’s spectacular!

There’s a new Schacht wheel coming – Have you seen it?

Flatiron

Flatiron

 

There have been rumors for at least a year about a new Schacht, a different kind of Saxony wheel. I finally saw it and spun on it at PLY Away. I saw on Instagram many spinners trying it out at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It’s called the Flatiron, named after the mountains outside of Boulder.

 

 

I am not typically a Saxony wheel spinner, but I’m already saving my pennies for this wheel.

So smooth!

So smooth!

It comes packed flat (I’ve been calling it the Schacht-Ikea) and can be set up with the flyer on the left or right. It is not a folding wheel – that was a rumor.  It uses all the same whorls and bobbins as other Schacht wheels and can be used in Scotch tension, Irish tension  or Double Drive. It is a double treadle wheel and treadles as smoothly as silk. I was surprised at how smooth it was and how easily I could stop and start the wheel with just the treadles.

There’s no release date or price yet, but soon. As soon as I hear I will post it.

 

What have you heard about the Flatiron,  have you seen it or tried it?

Spring & Summer Issue Projects

I love Joline’s Stiorra sweater. It’s just so very elegant.

Just perfect.

This tweedy version of Inhabit  by Esuzabeth is a winner!

I love seeing a happy knitter in a happy FO.

Franzfranz‘s alpaca Gocce is splendid.

Beautiful

Making me wish the warmer weather would hurry up, Fishie‘s version of Lake Diamond is worked in fingering weight yarn held triple – very clever!

A perfect “transition” piece, for cooler days when you want to be dressed for summer.

Designer and friend of Knitty Laura Nelkin is proud to wear this lovely pair of Rectify socks, made for her by a friend of hers.

Obsession: Helping

Terrifying. Image from the RCMP.

If you’re in Canada, you’re probably aware of the story of the wildfires that have struck the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The city of 88,000 people was evacuated a week ago, due to raging wildfires that were moving rapidly in the direction of the city.

Thanks to amazing work on the part of the firefighters and other city and emergency services workers, there have been very few injuries and everyone got out fantastically quickly. The good news is that much of the city has been saved, including the hospital and several schools, but quite literally all of the city’s residents have been displaced, and it may be weeks before they are allowed home. Many have lost their homes, and the Canadian Red Cross is taking donations to support the evacuees.

Gorgeous!

Designer Lucy Neatby is raising funds for the Red Cross through sales of a new pattern, the Fiesta Bag. This gorgeous set of bags use Lucy’s very clever Flying Swallows stitch pattern, and features cables, slipped stitches and textured stitches. A project suitable for intermediate level knitters, this would be an excellent way to expand your skills while doing a little bit to help.

All proceeds of the $7.50CDN sales price (other than tax) will go directly to the Red Cross