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.

Hand Cards Vs. Blending Board

Purple ‘n’ Pink fiber ready to go.

I’ve long been curious what the difference is between yarns spun from hand carded rolags and blending board rolags. I know that hand cards actually blend the fibers and a blending board mixes rather than thoroughly blends fiber, but I want to know what the yarns look like side by side.

Ideas always sink in best for me when I can compare things next to each other. I have a good idea of what both yarns will look like, but after I do these samples I will be better able to predict and plan rolags and yarns I want to make in the future. Plus the playing is fun!

I should be working on deadline projects that are coming up and getting ready for teaching at PLY Away, so it seemed like an ideal time to take a break play with yarn.

I got out two of my favorite tools,  my Louet extra fine cotton cards and my Clemes and Clemes blending board.

For fiber I used Louet Corriedale in purple and Merino/Tencel in Garth from Cjkoho Designs. The ratio between the two fibers was somewhere between 70%/30% and 75%/25% Corriedale/ Merino-Tencel.

 

 

 

Rollin’ rolags: Blending board rolags on the left and hand carded rolags on the right.

 

I spread the fibers randomly on the the blending board and did about five passes with my hand cards.

It was very hard not to upend my stash to make seventy-billion different versions on the blending board, it’s addictive!

I rolled my rolags pretty loosely and pulled them into roving.

I spun a quick 2-ply with each, using a woolen draft.

 

 

 

Mixed or blended?

 

I like both yarns, but would use them differently. The carded yarn is blended well, the pink lifts the purple color-wise and I really like the flashes of shiny that the Merino/Tencel brings. I’d use this type for detail-y knitting, imagine a Fair Isle pattern with a little shine or a sparkly Brioche.

The blending board yarn is just so happy! I like the big splashes of Merino/Tencel. I could spin this yarn quite chubby and the Corriedale would keep it from being too heavy. I’d use this yarn  for something simply knit with a texture stitch or just stockinette, when I want the yarn rather than the stitch pattern to sing.

Now back to work.

Which do you like, mixed or blended?

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Issue Design: Maryjane

In a post on her blog, designer Merri Fromm tells us about her Maryjane pullover design, from the current issue of Knitty.

The designer, in her own creation.

It’s a terrific summer knit: suitable for warm-weather wear, and warm-weather knitting. This would also make an excellent first top-down seamless sweater project – quick and easy to knit, and an excellent demonstration of the virtues of this sort of garment construction. Seamless knitting isn’t suitable for all garments, but it’s perfect for this type of relaxed t-shirt.

She provides a ton of great tips for working the project, and some extra detailed photos to entice you!

Subtly clever stripes!

Obsession Thursday: Bunny behavior

photo of my hand with healing rabbit bite marks

I got bit.

So this happened. —>

My first reaction, as Tully clamped down on my hand intentionally and angrily, was to be angry back. I didn’t lash out; I just removed him from my flesh.

As I treated the wounds, it changed to sadness. This is the 2nd time he’s done this.

The next morning, I remembered what I learned the last time he did this.

Flash back to the two days before the bite: I’m trying to deal with the disaster that was Tully’s corral. A cage that he liked because it gave him a 2nd level to hide in (bunnies like to feel safe), and a big enclosure so he can run about when I’m not around to supervise. Except he was peeing all over the place, no matter what I did.

So I stripped it down to the bare essentials. I dismantled the cage and cleaned the whole area. I replaced his body-sized litterbox with one 3x his size with high walls. And because I’d found him shredding his foam-square floor, I covered the whole area with a plastic floor protector (like you use in offices under rolling chairs). I gave him several places to hide (a cardboard box with holes at two different places), an area to cuddle on that used the same fuzzy mats as he’d always had, and then I introduced him to it. He seemed fine. He liked it. He hid in the hiding places and lounged in the lounging places. He didn’t pee anywhere but the litterbox. Success, right?

That night, because his water bottle’s bracket had broken in the changeover, I used his food dish for water instead. I reached in to deposit a scoop of pellets (his favorite) on the floor in front of him, and he lunged for my hand and bit down hard and wouldn’t let go. WTF?

See, I had made an agreement with him, and I’d broken it. Previously, I picked up his bowl, filled it with pellets, and he lunged for the bowl when it hit the floor. That last change was one change too many in such a short time, and he had had enough.

I told my boyfriend that Tully speaks English, and got a stare back like “why am I dating this nutjob?” Except this is what I mean: Tully tells me what he wants. When he follows me to the kitchen, he wants food. When he jumps on the couch, without exception, it means “pet me”. He is a clear communicator. This bite, then, was a clear message that he’d had enough changes for one day. It was a harder bite than was necessary (or than another non-rescue bun would give), but I understand it.

(I have no idea how he was treated in his first 10 weeks before he was rescued, but based on his aggressive food-motivated behavior, I expect he was starved. Frequently.)

Here’s some good reading I’ve done since bringing Tully home. I’m so grateful for the internet and how people are willing to share their experience.

Prove that you love me (lots more on that site about behavior!) | Aggressive rabbits

 

WWW: Handknits on Doctor Who; Woolfest; ‘Verbose Mode’

Well, this is just wonderful. Handknits on Doctor Who! 


The Quiet Joy of Watching Other People Knit: another excerpt from the book People Knitting: A Century of Photographs. I’ve linked to these before, but I agree that there is a lot of joy in there.


That’s some excellent bunting, on display at last year’s Woolfest.

There will be plenty of opportunity to watch people knit at Woolfest, an upcoming fibre festival in Cumbria, U.K., taking place June 23rd and 24th this year.


“Verbose mode”: A fascinating, clever and funny talk about the relationship between programming languages and craft instructions, from technology guru Heidi Waterhouse. Even if you’re not in the technology industry, it’s worth a watch. (And I’m not just saying this because Knitty is mentioned.)


Sheep onstage? Imagine the mess…