Kristin Omdahl Book Tour

We're excited to announce that Knitcircus will be joining the blog tour for Kristin Omdahl's new book, A Knitting Wrapsody!  Look for Contributing Editor Miss T's interview with Kristin March 14th, and a review of the book in the forthcoming Summer 2011 Knitcircus.


The Blog Tour lineup includes enticing variety, including a live webchat with Kirstin!  Please check out these tour stops as they roll along:

 3/1 Jimmy Beans Wool         

 3/2  Tuned In to Knitting Daily TV      

 3/3 Planet Purl Party Line Live Webchat with Kristin

 3/4 Smoking Hot Needles    

 3/7 Stitch Play Studio             

 3/8 Stitch It Podcast                

 3/9 – Knittin

 3/10 Faina's Knitting Mode    

 3/11  Craftnicity           

3/14 Knitcircus

3/15 Crazy Aunt Purl 
3/16 Stefanie Japel Knits        

3/17 Yarn Thing Podcast          

 3/18 lindamade       

Make Your Own Toys Guest Book Review

Hope everyone's staying one step ahead of the snow and ice!


Today it brings me great pleasure to give you our second Guest Book Review, by knittermom Jennifer Rice.



Make Your Own Toys: Sew Soft Bears, Bunnies, Monkeys, Puppies and More!
by Sue Havens
2010 Potter Craft, 96 pgs.

This book is great for using up old or scrap fabric, or repurposing clothing you no longer wear.  With extensive instruction on what types of fabric to use, notions needed, and techniques, this book makes creating whimsical toys a breeze.  Patterns are located at the back of the book with instructions on enlarging by copier.  These hand- and machine-sewn toys can be created and assembled by an advanced beginner, following the techniques laid out in the beginning of the book.

With 22 different patterns full of personality, from a fox or a panda to a silly monkey, an adorable fish, cats, and dogs, a crafter is sure to find a toy to please any taste.  Any of them would make wonderful, loving gifts, and Sue Havens explains how to make them inexpensively and simply.  She also explains how to give them personality and character.  Her website,, shows a gallery preview of the projects contained in the book, as well as a video tutorial on making the Little Flat Bear.  There is a link to her blog as well, which gives a pattern piece accidentally left out of the book, and news about other toys she has created.

I am eager to sew a lazy cat, lounging on her side just like my real cats do.  My four-year old requested the penguin, and my seven- and nine-year olds each found several toys to request as well.  I can see some worn-out sweaters and vintage fabrics inherited from my mother becoming cute little characters for me and the kids to love.

 –You can find Jennifer Rice on Ravelry as Yarnhoardinmama; check out her blog of the same name.

Guest Post: Knitted Lace Book Review

While i'm on vacation, some guest book bloggers have graciously agreed to lend their skills to a special series of book reviews!  Tech Editor and talented deisgner Stephannie, shares her thoughts in the first instalment:

Knitted lace cover

Knitted Lace of Estonia:  Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions

By Nancy Bush

2008 Interweave Press, 159 pp.

Includes Instructional DVD, 2010, Interweave Press.

 If you’ve enjoyed Nancy Bush’s previous books, such Folk Socks or Folk Knitting In Estonia,  you’re sure to love Knitted Lace of Estonia.  Meticulously and lovingly researched, this book includes a historical overview, a summary of the techniques and construction of the various Haapsulu shawls, a selection of patterns designed for the book, and a stitch dictionary. 

The techniques section includes a summary of the various stitches typically used in the creation of Haapsulu shawls, foremost being the nupp (‘rhymes with soup’, Bush tells us).  Basic shawl structure and construction are discussed, including the different edging techniques.  There’s also a page on creating and using a blocking frame.

Fourteen different patterns are included, ranging from relatively simple (the Raha scarf) to more difficult (the Leaf and Nupp Shawl).  As Bush points out in the history chapter, these patterns are lace knitting, not knitted lace; you get a plain row, generally purl, on the WS.

The stitch dictionary, p122-156, includes both center panels motifs and edge patterns.  All stitch patterns are charted only, both in the stitch dictionary and within the pattern collection.

 The DVD covers the construction and techniques section, taking the watcher step by step through three shawl samples, varying based on the type of edging (garter stitch, sewn-on or picked-up).

 The information in the DVD is contained within the book, sometimes word for word, but should be a great aid to those who learning better by watching and hearing rather than simply reading.  

 Tip:  After removing the DVD, make sure you close the plastic flap; if you don’t, the stickiness of the flap causes it to adhere to the facing page and it cannot be removed without ripping the page.  Don’t ask.


Stitch Dictionary App

Hey, at the last Madison Knitter's Guild meeting, we learned about a new project by Madison knitter Susan M.; a mobile Stitch Dictionary! It's a similar idea to the Walker Treasury Project, but not limited to stitches found in that venerable resource and destined for your iphone. 

Any knitter can be part of the collaborative effort and get credited for her contribution. Here's some info from Susan herself:

Would you like to participate in the creation of an electronic Knitting Stitch Dictionary for the iPhone?


I’m looking for samples of knitting stitches.

  • Photos of something you’ve already knit
  • 4×4” swatches of various knitting stitchs
  • You pick or I pick the stitch
  • Prefer: stitches with <= 14st repeats
  • Best are clearly knit stitches in “eye candy” colors
  • Knitter will be given name credit

I’ve love to have you be a part of this fun project. For more details, email (ETA: please note email addy is now correct!)

In non-knitting news, we've recently gone from this:


To this:


Hope your weekend has been just as exciting,




Valentine Fun

There are  more chances to win Spring Knitcircus Pattern Collections if you haven't yet! Try these fun sites:

Knitcircus Scarf Contest and Spring Knitting Retreat Sponsor Krafti-Kit's blog.

Brave New Knits author Julie Turjoman's blog.


My mom, who reinvents certain areas of her house beautifully for every occasion, has begun her Valentine's Day decorating; let's take a peek!

Valentine 2011 candy

Valentine 2011 vintage valentines

Valentine 2011 tree


Knitcircus Spring Retreat Registration Open!



Retreat registration is up and running!

The Spring Knitting Retreat will be Saturday, April 16th, from 8:30-4:30, and will include morning and afternoon classes, plus lunch and Fix Your Knits workshop with Amy Detjen and Ada Lai. Yarn and food vending by The Sow's Ear.

Morning Classes:

Lace 101 with Amy Detjen

Needlefelting with Kate Schiffman (open to anyone 8 and older)

Afternoon Classes:

Two-Color Knitting with Amy Detjen

Reversible Scarves with Jaala Spiro

More detailed class info.

Register here, and don't forget to shoot an email to with your class preferences!

Plus, the Spring Issue Go-Live party continues, with  more places to possibly win Pattern Collections:

Knitadrift blog; support a longtime knitter, pretty new blogger. :)

WEBS blog, now through Sunday as well, with a lovely, photo-packed review. Wow! Thanks, WEBS!


Spring Party

Today's the last day for the BagSmith Giveaway Contest,  so please enter if you haven't yet!

More Spring goodness; Dakota, by Rachel Dickman.

Slanting rib
Slanting Rib Socks, by Candace Eisner Strick.

Tic Tac Hat and Blanket, by Allison Harding.

If you want to party with Knitcircus Pattern Collections the weekend (I know I'm going to be knitting during the game), check out all of these chances to win Spring Patterns and even Year Subscriptions from friendly sites and blogs:

Contributing Editor Wendy Johnson's Wendy Knits.

Yarn Dyer extraordinaire Stricken Smitten's  Ravelry Group

Featured interviewee, podcaster and designer Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting

Creator of yarn for the Slanting Rib Socks, SweetGeorgia

Blue Lupine Designer Stpehannie Tallent at Sunset Cat

Have a great weekend; hope that everyone's nice and warm inside with all the snow outdoors. Never been a better time to knit, says I!

Knitcircus Spring 2011 Live and BagSmith Giveaway

Even though the kids have a snow day, it's Spring! Click on over for 21 knitting and crochet patterns previews, more articles than ever and two new videos, all with fresh Spring flair. Want to work up the design? Purchase the whole Pattern Collection for just $7.99.


Now, about this contest, you say? Yes, it's true–Becca Smith of The Bagsmith  generously offered five, count them, five, Bagsmith Project Bags for our readers after we requested one for review and loved it so much we didn't want to send it back. The lucky winners will get to choose either Natural (shown above) or Black. Each winner will also receive a free Spring Pattern Collection PDF to slip into the bag's pattern pocket!

How do you enter? Lots of ways…

1) You can leave a comment on this post about which Spring Knitcircus project you'd like to see nestled in your Project Bag

2) Comment here about something cool you saw on the Bagsmith Site.

3) Comment on the Knitcircus Ravelry Group Spring/Contest Thread

4) On Twitter, retweet the contest info (posted by @knitcircus) or write your own giveaway-related tweet with the hashtag #knitcircusbagsmith.

So you have five ways to enter, but one person can't get all five bags! One bag allowed per winner.

Contest ends Friday night, February 4th; the Random Number Generator will choose the winners, who will be notified by whichever means they entered the contest! Bags ship directly from Bagsmith; Knitcircus Pattern Collecitons will be sent via email through

Enjoy; it's time to think about green shoots poking out of the dirt and knitting needles working on light and lacy projects!