Treasure Hunt! December 5th and 6th

You’re going to have the chance to play a game and win some eye-popping prizes from a group of independent businesses! Next weekend, December 5-6th, the Treasure Hunt Giveaway will be on.

This is the third year of Treasure Hunts organized by Knitcircus Yarns, inviting some of our favorite businesses to participate; we give the prizes and you hunt for clues on each website to enter. We have a humdinger of a group this year; joining us are: Hunter Hammersen, Erin Lane Bags, the Buffalo Wool Company and KnitBaahPurl.




Paula Survilla is the artist and owner behind knitbaahpurl, llc.. She grew up in a family of artists, studied art and music at university, and has a history of exhibiting her work in art shows since her early twenties. Surrounded by many different kinds of media, especially when she married into a family where weaving was central, Paula began to combine her sketches and her sense of humor into sheep and wool-related themes in 2011. Her affinity for drawing sheep came as a complete surprise to her when she drew a picture for her good friend and knitter extraordinaire, Wendy (Wendy’s Knitting Circle). Encouraged by the response of family and friends, Paula started to draw more and soon founded knitbaahpurl. She began to take her young company to fiber and sheep shows throughout Iowa and eventually throughout the Midwest. Once she heard people chuckle at her work, she was hooked.

All of the images in the knitbaahpurl collection start out as a hand drawing. Colored by hand and enhanced on computer, these images are first shared as greeting cards. Since knitbaahpurl began in 2011, Paula has produced over 26 distinct images for everyday cards in addition to Christmas and Alphabet collections (with more in the works). These sheep and wool illustrations are the basis for all of her products –useful and humorous objects that are a pleasure to share and use.

Housed in Waverly, Iowa, knitbaahpurl products are available on-line and in stores throughout the United States. Paula is also very excited to have customers in Canada, the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, and Australia.


Hunter Hammersen

Prizes: A paper+digital copy of the new book, Fine Things for Plain Occasions for one person

Fine Things cover 1000


And a paper+digital copy of Curls for a second person.

All Curls 1000 px wide

Hunter  didn’t really like knitting the first time she tried it. She didn’t much care for it the second time either. It wasn’t till the third time, and the discovery of knitted socks, that she was properly smitten. Once she realized she could make her own patterns, her fate was sealed. She’s been busy designing ever since. Hunter has designed 180 patterns and authored five popular knitting books.

Follow her adventures online at and check out her books at  There’s always something new on the needles or some new plan underway!

Erin Lane Bags

Prizes from Erin Lane include: Four prizes: Bucket bag: 8 inch square bottom bag that stands on it’s own.  It might look small but it packs a punch, and by punch, I mean a lot of yarn.

One Prize: Set of 3 Mini project bags: 4 inch square bottom bag with self locking drawstring.  Perfect for small projects like baby hats or to tame your chargers when you travel.

Treasure Hunt Prizes Erin Lane


Erin.Lane began out of a simple principle: necessity is the mother of invention. After my Aunt Jan showed me how to knit, I realized I would need bags to keep my beloved (and expensive) knitting gear safe.

So, I went to my mom, a master seamstress of 40+ years to ask her if she could help fix this problem. We tinkered and toyed around and finally came up with a great design.  We debuted the design at our knitting group, one woman asked if we could make her one and the next week my mom brought her the new KnitPack.  Then everyone wanted bags.  Like lightning, Erin.Lane was born.

In 2006 my father entered a tough medical battle.  He won, but lost his job.  That was when my mom and I decided to try to make Erin.Lane into a real business. In 2009, my mom lost her job and we opened an Etsy shop and began doing trade shows.

In July of 2012 my mom passed away, and left me an amazing legacy. People who got to know her while we traveled always tell me how special she was.  So I kept going.  Happily, in August of 2014 I was able to quit my teaching job and run Erin.Lane full time.  I am thrilled to sew for a living, and I love helping knitters get and stay organized.

Buffalo Wool Company Prize

Buffalo Wool Company is offering one delightful prize; Buffalo Wool Sexy Yarn, made of luxury wool and bison fiber, dyed exclusively by Knitcircus Yarns in the Opposites Attract colorway.

Treasure Hunt Prizes Buffalo

Buffalo Wool Company: We are Theresa & Ron Miskin, our family has been raising bison for almost 30 years, and we are passionate about bringing you the best quality bison products.  The last ten years we have been developing a supply chain incorporating small mills, local designers, and large ranches, and along the way, it is our belief that together we can preserve one of America’s great symbols, and help bolster the U.S. economy by focusing on American Made products

Knitcircus Prizes

Three lucky Knitcircus winners will take home different prizes: One Lothlorien Cowl kit, with a sparkly Pixie Dust gradient yarn and a printed pattern by Amy Detjen; one Matching Socks Set dyed to match down to the stitch,, in our popular Extreme Gradient Stripes Circus colorway, one of the Limited Edition Delicious gradients benefiting Second Harvest, and all three will receive a digital download copy of the Fall 2015 Knitcircus pattern collection.

Treasure Hunt Prizes (2)

Knitcircus Yarns

Indy dyer Jaala Spiro was the co-founder and publisher of Knitcircus Magazine, which grew to 150,000 readers in 2012. After taking a handpainting class and falling in love with dyeing yarn, she was determined to figure out how to make long-striping gradient yarns. Much trial-and-error later, she made a business pivot and began dyeing yarn out of her home.

An Etsy shop soon supported Jaala and two part-time employees; when she created the unique Gradient Stripes dyeing technique for short-striping continuous gradient socks, customer response was overwhelming! Last January, Jaala made a big gamble and brought on several more employees and business partner/nationally-known knitting teacher Amy Detjen.

With a new website and fabulous staff members in place, Knitcircus was poised for a big leap, and the basement was getting pretty crowded! With amazing support from the knitting community, they launched and funded a Kickstarter campaign to move the operation into a space of its own. Since June 2015, the Knitcircus Studio and Store has been going strong and we’re thrilled to welcome knitters for shopping, classes and knitting events!

How to Hunt

So here’s how you will play: visit each person’s site and search for graphics like this:

treasure hunt k2tog (2)

There are four destinations on your treasure map! On the big day(s), shoot us an email and tell us where you found them, and you could win some major yarn booty. ;)

We can’t wait to have you play! So mark your yarn calendar for next Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6th to troll for prizes.


Juniper Moon Sheep for a Good Cause


Susan Gibbs and her husband have created a wonderful phenomenon for good! Juniper Moon Farm is laser-cutting these delightful little sheep ornaments to dress up in fibery love and the proceeds go to Heifer International, one of our all-time favorite organizations. The Sheep Stash can be used as toys, ornaments or all kinds of decorations!

These are my sheep ornaments; I had so much fun with them! For the mama sheep, I made tiny pom-poms on my finger (I’m calling them finger-poms) and glued them to the wood cutout. For the little sheep below, I covered the area I wanted to add yarn to with glue and then carefully wound from the outside in. You can purchase the handmade sheep and alpacas on Juniper Moon’s Facebook page.


Check out the page for all kinds of ideas on how to personalize your sheep; Susan B. Anderson is even offering tiny sweater patterns for free!

If you’d like to make some finger-poms, here’s a quick tutorial (please forgive my blue fingers; it was a big day in the dye studio. And I’m going to get a manicure today, really!)

Please check out all of the cool ideas and I hope you’ll support the initiative by getting your very own Sheep Stash!

Confession of a Process Knitter


Everyone knows there are two kinds of knitters, the Process Knitter (who chooses projects based on what she wants to learn) and the Product Knitter (who chooses projects based on what she wants to wear or gift). Of course, we all cross from one to the other depending on the needs of the project. If it’s gift season, we may knit six pairs of Susan B. Anderson’s Waiting for Winter Mittens to give as presents to all of our cousins, then on December 26th cast on a Crazed Scandinavian Cowl because we want to see if we can handle that much colorwork.

When I first started knitting in 2004, there weren’t all that many knitting patterns. I remember staring fascinated at the Lady Eleanor entrelac shawl, because I’d never seen anything like it and couldn’t imagine how it was worked. You had to find patterns in print magazines or books from the library and my Interweave Knits collection was a treasure to keep and protect. So, once I got the basics, I began experimenting with my own patterns to try to get the shapes I wanted or to stretch my fledgling lace skills.

With the internet now, and the wonder that is Ravelry, we have access to every known knitting pattern (373,061 and counting). You Tube tutorials instantly show you how to work entrelac or any other technique. And we have wonderful designers like Laura Nelkin, Susan B Anderson, Veronik Avery, Kate Davies, Kirsten Kapur, Ysolda Teague and so many more creating beautifully written, edited, tested and photographed patterns every day. Why would we ever need or want to come up with something else, when we have everything at our fingertips?

This question has made me feel guilty as a knitter and a designer. I enjoy creating patterns and love when knitters make them, but let’s be honest, mine are never going to be on the level of a Nora Gaughan . Why should I strike out on my own when I’ve never knit an Owls, or even a Clapotis? I want to respect other designers by knitting their projects, and sometimes I get there. I’ve knit Waiting for Winter and a Zuzu’s Petals,Turn a Square, Dashing, many Mini Mochimochi.…When it’s kid baseball season and I have time but not attention, I love tried-and-true patterns like Wendy Johnson’s Toe-Up sock or the beloved Hitchhiker.


But the truth is, when I get a little precious space to really knit, not just pass the time, I run through everything on Ravelry and it’s not quite right. I want that shape, but a different gauge, and without buttons, and I want to try this kind of increase, and instead of stockinette, I want a lace. Or maybe a diagonal textured pattern. Or I could combine a texture and a lace. And maybe I want it to be reversible….

The truth is, I want the process. I love the steps, from looking through several stitch dictionaries and placing bookmarks to winnowing down to three different stitch patterns, to swatching them and finding the one I like, only swapping out stockinette for yo/k2tog every fourth row. Then it’s time to cast on the wrong number of stitches for the neck opening and rip it out and finally find the right number that works with the repeat and has the right amount of structure. Next, I try a different needle and finally get the drape the way I want it. Then I adjust the lace pattern for more stitches…

When I finally bind off, this project has done what I wanted it to do. I know a little bit more about knitting and solved the challenges I set for myself. It may not be the next Central Park Hoodie, or even worth publishing to the world, so I’ll leave that to the pros. I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

Keep on knitting,


Buffalo Wool and Indie Yarn Carnival

Hi, Knitters,

Good times; it’s finally fall! After a very warm start, we had a nice, chilly weekend here in Wisconsin, and it looked like everyone at Rhinebeck was wearing their sweaters! The Sheep and Wool Festival looked like a blast; I hope we’ll be there one of these years soon.


mermaid lagoon gradient on buffalo wool Tracks

Speaking of Rhinebeck, we collaborated with the Buffalo Wool Company on an exclusive collection of Knitcircus gradients and Gradient Stripes on their gorgeous Tracks yarn.


renoir impressionist

 The bad news is, the shipping went awry, and the yarns didn’t make it to Rhinebeck in time for the festival. The good news is, it’s available to everyone right now on their website!


cassatt impressionist

You can choose 100g gradients, nice big 150g gradients or Gradient stripes Socks sets!


mermaid lagoon gradient stripes socks

The Buffalo Wool company is a family-owned-and-operated company who have been wonderful mentors to us and gave us a boost with our Kickstarter! We are proud to work with them and hope you’ll support and thank them for us by checking out the yarn!

Yarn Carnival

Another collaboration we’re really excited about is the Indie Yarn Carnival organized by Erin Lane Bags maker Lindsey Martin!

Instagram Idie

This wonderful yarn club will feature a different exclusive yarn colorway and coordinating Erin Lane bag with each shipment. We’re thrilled to be in the company of Miss Babs, Mrs. Crosby Plays, Lydia Yarn, Must Stash and our friends at the Buffalo Wool Co. This club gives you a chance to sample yarns from all of these delightful companies. We’re tempted to purchase a membership ourselves!

Take care and happy knitting,


Knitcircus Podcast #65

Amy follows In the Footsteps of Sheep, and Jaala hopes she’s the only one singing in her shower.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Mentioned this episode:

Susan B. Anderson

Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival 

The Rhinebeck Sweater book

Buffalo Wool Company

Erin Lane bags

In the Footsteps of Sheep

Knot a Problem group on Ravelry

Design Inspiration Revealed: Kirsten Kapur

Kirsten Kapur has built a successful business with her knitwear designs, Through the Loops. She has had patterns published in many knitting magazines and contributed to books The Joy of Sox, Brave New Knits, Knitting it Old School, Knit Local, My Grandmother’s Knitting, Craft Activism and Weekend Hats.

frozen lake web 3

Kirsten’s lovely textured Frozen Lake Shawl in the Knitcircus Fall Collection uses unusual shaping and a slip-stitch color pattern.

1)      How did you choose the kind of project you designed?

I have been obsessed with Knitcircus’s gradient colors since I first laid eyes on them. They lend themselves beautifully to shawls. So when Jaala approached me to create a design for the collection a shawl was the first thing that came to mind. I had seen a similar stitch pattern in a museum I visited in Denmark last April, and when the yarn arrived for the design I immediately set to work swatching versions of the stitch pattern to see what worked best. 

frozen lake web 2

2)      What was the biggest challenge of designing this project?

Getting anything else done. I had so much fun knitting this one that I pretty much neglected all of my other responsibilities. 

3)      What was your favorite part of the process?

Watching each color emerge from the gradient. I loved seeing the different color combinations as the gradient mixed with the solid colored yarn


reverse side

4)      Your favorite thing about the finished piece?

I actually like the back of this design as much as the front. The stitch pattern looks different on the reverse, but just as interesting, so I think of the shawl as reversible. It was unexpected, but as the piece started to grow I kept stopping to admire the back as well as the front. I think this is due to the use of reverse stockinette on the right side rows.

–Kirsten Kapur


Through the Loops Designs

Frozen Lake Shawl on Ravelry

Frozen Lake Kit in the Knitcircus Store

Design Inspiration Revealed: Wendy D. Johnson’s Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl

Designer Wendy D. Johnson is a multitalented sock-knitting guru, the author of Wendy Knits Lace, Socks from the Toe Up, Toe Up Socks for Every Body and Wendy Knits.

Fall patternsShe designed the amazing Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl for our Fall Collection, which graced the cover!

1)      How did you choose the kind of project you designed?

Lately I have been all about colorwork cowls. Being a woman of “a certain age” a stranded colorwork sweater is just too warm for me to even consider wearing, but I love knitting stranded colorwork. Cowls are the perfect solution, because they are incredibly handy and versatile in the winter. I like them better than a scarf for outdoor wear because they stay put better, and they are easily popped on indoors if the room is a little chilly.


2)      What was the biggest challenge of designing this project?

My biggest challenge was charting the large leaf motif so that it actually looked like a maple leaf!

3)      What was your favorite part of the process?

I love, love, love knitting colorwork with a gradient and a semi-solid because it makes the finished piece look far more complex than it really is. Watching the pattern emerge as I knit is always my favorite part of knitting colorwork, and it is why I can knit it so quickly: I’m so eager to see the design come to life that I knit faster!


4)      Your favorite thing about the finished piece?

I love how perfectly suited the yarn is to the design. The finished cowl has an almost velvet look to it because of the depth of color in the yarn.


Here’s a snippet of one of the charts that reveals my dark secret: I chart all my colorwork designs using an Excel spreadsheet and a dingbat font! I never sketch with pencil and paper first, I always start with a blank spreadsheet!

–Wendy D. Johnson


Wendy’s website Wendy Knits

Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl pattern on Ravelry.

Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl Kit on the Knitcircus website.