WWW: Danish Knitting TV, Swimming Sheep, ‘Knitters Against Swatches’

Apparently sheep can swim!  It’s an old story, but I hadn’t seen it before.

True: 21 Struggles Every Knitter Faces. #22: reading cute lists on the Internet when I was supposed to be knitting?

The knitters.

Love this! On the Glo: a Kickstarter for a line of handknit accessories. Two things make this project great: the accessories are all worked with reflective yarn – they’re designed as a safety accessory for kids, runners, cyclists, anyone who might be out in the dark. And they’re made by a group of knitters in rural Philippines. These women belong to a traditional community of farmers, whose economy is endangered by foreign commercial competition. You might remember the Ricefield Collective, another knitting-related Kickstarter a few years ago. This project picks up where that left off.

Cards Against Humanity fans rejoice! A group of clever and cheeky knitting enthusiasts have developed a knitting-themed expansion pack: Knitters Against Swatches.

KnitNerdLab Lindsay alerts us to the existence of a knitting-themed reality TV show from Denmark: The Great Knit Off. It may or may not be great TV, as our Danish TV expert reports

but I’m just happy it exists! Apparently, some parts are a bit sweary and possibly NSFW. The full series can be found here.

Jillian’s Spinning: The Holidays Are Creeping Up On Us!

First I need to announce that it is Amy Singer’s birthday today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY! Thank you for Knitty and for all of the wonderful things you do!



Less Is More

The holidays are creeping up on us – Sunday is November 1! Have you started the presents you’re planning on making yet?

Don’t forget that there is a library of Knittyspin patterns, 90-ish patterns designed for handspun yarn, to

Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

help you make those handspun, handknit gifts. Looking for a sweater? How about Less is More by Amy King? A wrap? Justify by Lynne Vogel! Something fabulous and unique? Grey Gardens, an entrelac turban by Kate Burge and Rachel Price fits that bill.

Justify wrap

Justify wrap

I wrote a blog post on the Storey Publishing blog with tips from Beth Smith and I about spinning for bigger projects. Maybe some of those tips will help get you through the holiday spinning and knitting rush!

How many gifts are you knitting out of handspun this year?

Knitting Pearls Book Giveaway!

Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood

Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood


Are you ready to cozy up with a book about knitting? Following in the footsteps of Knitting Yarns, Ann Hood has gathered 24 writers to pen essays about knitting in Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing About Knitting. Included in this paper bound knit night are : Anne Bartlett, Stuart O’Nan, Laura Lippman, Jane Hamilton, and the one and only Diana Gabaldon (yes, she knits). Knitterati Clara Parkes and Jared Flood also make an appearance.

Because a book so thoroughly drenched with knitting absolutely shouts for patterns, Knitting Pearls obliges with five accessories and a tea cozy from six legendary U.S. yarn shops, Purl Soho, Hill Country Weavers, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, Loop, The Yarnery and Knit Purl.

W. W. Norton has supplied us with 5 copies of Knitting Pearls to give away, I know you want one!

Our usual rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday October 27th. Five comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a copy of Knitting Pearls. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $25.95

WWW: Preserving Shetland Traditions, The Knitting Runner, Call for “Weird and Wonderful” Project Photos

Love this: a crowdfunded project in the UK to pay instructors to teach the youngsters in Shetland to knit. Knitting used to be part of the school curriculum in Shetland, but it was stopped in 2010. Although teachers and parents have been trying to keep it going, there just isn’t enough support, and as a result precious skills are being lost. This initiative aims to preserve and nurture traditions, and kick off a longterm project to offer courses in a variety of Shetland’s heritage skills, including textiles.  More coverage in the Shetland Press here.

Tee hee: What’s your Knitting Face?

Knitting for displaced Syrians: a group of women in Villaverde del Rio, Spain, is hard at work crafting blankets. They usually donate their efforts to the local homeless population, but this autumn they have answered a call to donate their work to the Syrian People Support Association, a small NGO in Madrid. The group will then ship the blankets on to camps for displaced people inside Syria. The donations are part of a larger project, “Blanket of Life”, which has received donations from the United States, Latin America and other European nations. The vast majority of the relief efforts underway are focused on Syrians who have fled the country, this program is all about helping the displaced who are still within Syrian borders.

A New Zealand knitter marks the 2015 Rugby World Cup with knitted replicas of the teams, in fully detailed uniforms. Bonus points for amusing video of clever newspresenter making a total fool of himself in his attempts to knit.

This could be fun…. Following up on their recent piece about yarn crafting as art, the Guardian newspaper is asking for readers to send in photos of their “weird and wonderful” knitting, for possible inclusion in an upcoming supplement.

Speaking of weird and entirely wonderful, the Knitting Runner, David Babcock, is participating in two marathons this fall, knitting and crocheting all the way. He raising funds to be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, to fund research into this terrible disease. He’s being sponsored by Lion Brand and this fall has added crochet to his workout regimen – cross-training!

Jillian’s Spinning: Teaching Locally and I’m Weaving!

A spin and dye day is coming!

A spin and dye day is coming!

I get asked quite a bit about teaching spinning classes closer to home. Well, in November I’m teaching 30 minutes from my house. I might just show up in my jammies! On November 14 I’m teaching a class on spinning fractal yarns in the morning and Carla of Cjkoho Designs is teaching a dyeing for fractals class in the afternoon. We’re calling it Fractal Fusion! The class will be held at the new Cjkoho Designs Studio between Chelsea and Grass Lake, Michigan. The cost for the day is $100 and includes a lunch from Zingerman’s. For more information or to sign up email Carla.


I’ve been weaving. Yes, I finally tripped and fell. Beth and I are doing a blog series over on the Schacht blog about our adventures in spinning and weaving something to wear. Beth is making a skirt out of Columbia and I’m making an infinity-mobius-scarf-something. The third installment just went up and Beth sure looks like a weaver and I struggle and am a chicken. The first two installments are here and here.

Um, I think I missed some.

Um, I think I missed some.

Are you doing anything new now that Spinzilla is done?

WWW: Amazon Handmade, Clever Sweater Hanging Trick, Spinrite Sale; Learn to Knit Socks with Kate

Beth Casey, the owner of Lorna’s Laces.

Love this piece from the KnittingDaily blog and Lorna’s Laces. It’s a great history of Lorna’s Laces yarn company, and gives some insight into the fun and challenges of running a yarn company, and making the shift from knitting-as-hobby to knitting-as-work.

Louise Walker’s “Snappy”

How wool got cool: Nice round-up on the Guardian of knitting-(and-crochet)-as-art.

We’ll be watching this with interest: Amazon has launched a new marketplace called “Handmade, for artisans to sell their work. It’s clearly designed to compete directly with Etsy.

This. Is. Brilliant. A way to safely hang your sweaters. The headline of the article feels awfully clickbaity – The Sweater Hanger Trick That Just Might Blow Your Mind – but it turns out they are entirely correct.

You might not know the name, but chances are they’re an important part of your life: the Spinrite company, based in Listowel, Ontario, has been sold. From the press release:

“Established in 1952, Spinrite is well known to the hobby market for its Patons, Bernat, Lily, Peaches & Creme, Caron and Phentex brands, which are sold through mass merchants, craft stores, and independent specialty stores. Spinrite markets approximately 4,000 SKUs across more than 100 product families, possesses the most diversified craft yarn manufacturing operation in North America, and is recognized as a market leader in new product development.”

Spinrite is important to me, as they are the makers of my beloved Kroy sock yarn. The press release makes clear that the intention is to keep the company functioning as it is, where it is, and to expand its content offerings. Phew!

Speaking of socks… want to learn how to knit socks, with our very own Kate? A month-long online class starts today. Work at your own pace, with lots of help and support through class materials, demos, discussion groups, etc. You can start over the weekend or even next week and still get the full class experience.

And still speaking of socks, fiber artist and spinner @purestrobin points me to this video she made for a school’s ‘Pioneer Days’, “From Flock to Sock” – it’s a cute summary of the how-sheep-become-yarn-becomes-sock story, very kid-friendly. Adorable sheep, shearing, cute socks – what’s not to love?

Jillian’s Spinning: Spinzilla, How’d You Do?

2015 Spinzilla

2015 Spinzilla

My yardage this year was modest, under a pound and 1,521 yards. I wanted to do more but life just wasn’t having it! I had travel, a sick kid, a migraine, you know, life. But I was happy every single time I sat down at my wheel, and I squeezed in an afternoon spinning with friends. Those two things alone made Spinzilla a win for me.

How did you do and what did you learn?

Jill Draper’s Studio Shindig at Rhinebeck!

Rhinebeck is this week!!! Are you done with your sweater?

The years that I am lucky enough to go to Rhinebeck one of my first stops is always Jennie the Potter’s booth that she shares with Jill Draper.

I have many mugs by Jennie in my cabinet, they are even a unit of measure in my house, “How much chocolate milk do you want?” “Jennie the Potter size!”.

I have lots of smaller skeins of Jill Draper’s yarns, I love it. As a knitter, as a spinner, her yarns are so well done, from the initial fiber, to the spin and ply, to the gorgeous colors. I have been circling those huge skeins of Empire for a couple of years now, but have yet to buy one.

If you are looking for Jennie this year at Rhinebeck she’ll be in the same spot as usual and this year her booth guest star is Kim of Indigo Dragonfly for excellent shopping.

Where is Jill Draper you might ask? She now has her own studio across the river from Rhinebeck, and she’s having a party!

Jill Draper is having a party!

Jill Draper is having a party!

Everyone is invited, but she does ask that you RSVP, so she know what to expect.

She’ll have refreshments and lots of yarn, including the elusive huge skeins of Empire and Rifton, her new yarn for 2015.



Rifton was released originally in January. This Autumn Jill’s added Spring & Summer to the existing colors, Autumn & Winter.  She says it feels great to have each season represented & she’s thrilled to share the new colors which will be available online at www.jilldraper.com on 10/17 for anyone not able to make it to the open studio.  Rifton is 600yds of smooshy soft Merino wool, weighing in just over 6oz so plenty for a shawl! Jill dyes the fiber in the wool before having the yarn spun for her at Green Mountain Spinnery in VT.

So go visit Jill, buy some yarn, but don’t buy all of the Empire, I might need some.

Wooly love!

Wooly love!


Cirriform Sweater

The weather is getting chilly here in Toronto, and I’m starting to think about warmer clothes. I don’t know about you, but I go through this funny transitional stage in my wardrobe: I need warming layers, but I’m not yet ready to put my favourite t-shirts away; I’m not willing to move to full pullovers and winter clothes. A cuddly wrap-style cardigan is just the thing for this time of year: it doesn’t feel heavy, but provides a bit of warmth as the days get shorter. I can wear it over those favourite t-shirts, to help me gradually make the emotional and sartorial transition between seasons. It’s also great for this time of year when the days are still bright and warm, but the evenings are noticeably colder.

Emma Welford’s Cirriform cardi is an excellent example of the sort of thing I love: it’s cuddly and wrappy and light and lacy and lovely. It will look great over end-of-summer outfits, and make you warm without feeling heavy or wintery.

The designer writes about the cardigan on her blog. She provides some guidance on working the pattern, on choosing a size, and on choosing a yarn. The yarn was sadly discontinued after Emma completed her sample, but it was such a lovely design that we wanted to publish it anyway. She offers up some helpful information so that you get something that provides exactly the cuddly and warming effect you’re looking for.








WWW: Knitting for others; sweaty knitting; new yarn shop opening in Toronto


We all love the craft or we wouldn’t still be doing it. But what to do with those bits and baubles, the left over pieces after the project is done?

How about knitting for your pets? If you don’t have any animals of your how, try your local animal shelter. Make a sweater, make a blanket, bedding or toy, something that makes use of those bits and makes an abandoned or mistreated animal warm and loved.

The Big Knitathon, sponsored by the Big Issue Foundation, is now in its fourth year. The Big Issue Foundation is a UK organization dedicated to raising funds and support for the homeless.  They’re asking knitters worldwide to dig out their yarn and get sponsored for your marathon knitting session in November. Knit a scarf, a hat, a pair of mitts and help keep people warm this winter.

If you’re interested in contributing to another community knitting project, consider knitting for Bletchley. The organizers of the public exhibition at this important historical site are seeking 1940s-style winter accessories to ‘dress’ the exhibit for winter. The huts where the codebreakers worked were famously cold, and woolies were an important part of the gear.

Let’s talk about multitasking here: Meredith Parmalee intends to knit while running the New York Marathon.  Her training runs focused not only on the running aspect, but the knitting aspect: she started with finger knitting, and eventually built up to carrying actual needles while she ran. Interestingly, she reports that knitting along has helped her set a steady pace… “with the knitting I can gauge my speed and energy a bit better and settle into a comfortable rhythm“. Although she admits that anything she works on while she trains gets a bit sweaty…

It’s always great to hear about a new yarn shop opening: tonight is the inaugural Stitch Night at the new Yarns Untangled, in Kensington Market, in downtown Toronto. The address and some of the faces at the shop might be familiar…

Speaking of yarn shops we know and love, here’s an excellent profile of Shall We Knit, of Waterloo, Canada, and teacher Lynne Sosnowski.