About Knitcircus

When not knitting at Little League games, Jaala can be found knitting at beloved LYS The Sow's Ear, a Madison Knitters' Guild Board meeting or her own living room. She's taught both her kids to knit, and even to make tuna sandwiches for the rest of the family, so feels pretty good. If she could only figure out how to knit while typing, she'd be golden.

Meditate with Yarn

In light of recent events in Orlando this week, I wanted to share a project with you that actually helped calm me, and made me consider meditation and knitting.

Behold Meditate by Elizabeth Doherty, lovingly knitted and photographed by madtownmama* (on Ravelry):

Meditate1

When I teach beginning knitters, I assure them that knitting is known for being meditative, therapeutic and relaxing. They’re all a bit anxious when they begin, worried about making mistakes, concentrating so hard their brows are furrowed in thought. Then I reassure them that the relaxation will come. After a bit more practice.

And soon they’re talking and knitting. And their shoulders relax. And they aren’t considering every step along the way, but instead enjoying the process.

Meditate2

This is one reason I knit. It takes me out of the world that sometimes defies understanding, to a place of creation, texture and color, and most of all, one stitch after another. A rhythm of moving forward when we just want to stop.

Meditate3

I love the linear order of its slipped stitch columns.

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Its cool tones washed over me like teal ocean waves.

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Knitting brings the world into order for me. I can meditate and reflect on the events of life, good and bad, while embracing beauty and color.

–Liz

*Madtownmama’s yarn is in a one-of-a-kind colorway in our 150g Thrilling gradient, but any of Knitcircus’s fingering weight 150g cakes would work!

Breathtaking Bags

Here at Knitcircus we carry a very small number of notions, tools and handmade art pieces. Once in a while we find an artist whose work is simply swoon-worthy, and I practically melted to the floor over the bags that arrived at the studio this week.

Introducing Hopkins Studio bags: handmade in Chicago by a woman-owned, woman-run company.

In a market awash with options for knitters to tote around their WIPs, these stand out. Emonie Hopkins has chosen rich, on-trend fabrics and crafted seven different bag styles. Fully lined  with contrasting fabrics, these bags close expertly with snaps and zippers.

Check out this stunning mermaid fabric with a rich floral lining:

 

Protect your Knitcircus sock UFO in a point protector pouch, which snaps around your double pointed needles to keep your stitches safe while in transit:

 

Larger bags like these feature a wrist loop and an external snap pocket in fun, contrast fabrics. Here are two of my favorite fabrics, Umbrellas and Glasses are Foxy:

 

And if you’re slightly obsessed with sheep like I am, you’ll dig this wee sheep pouch:

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Check out our full collection here.

Grab these bags while they’re hot, because we expect them to go fast.

You’ll be knitting in style!

–Liz

 

Knitcircus Podcast #85

Amy returns unscathed from the Zombie Knitpocalypse and Jaala has (gasp!) turned into a monogamous knitter.

Listen on Libsyn and on iTunes.

Mentioned in this episode:

Zombie Knitpocalypse

Ginny’s Fine Fabrics (Rochester MN)

Lasker Jewelers (Rochester MN)

The Knit List

Piper’s Journey

Terribly Simple pattern by Caitlin ffrench

Vogue Knitting Live Minneapolis

New Heights in Lace Knitting by Andrea Jurgrau

The Book of Haps by Kate Davies

Lucy Hague

 

 

Knitcircus Podcast #84

Amy might be riding horseback into the future past.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Terribly Simple, by Caitlin ffrench

Zombie Knitpocalypse

Glenna c

Ann Budd

Handy Book of Sweater Patterns

Handy Book of Topdown Sweater Patterns

Handy Book of Knitting Patterns

Shaping Shawls by Anna Dalvi

Romney Ridge Alpacas Kickstarter

The Mindy Project

Pipers Journey by Paula Emmons-Fuessle

Magical Mystery Tour colorway

 

Liz’s Favorite Summer Knitting

I’ve just joined the Knitcircus team this month, and I’m thrilled to be able to combine my two passions–writing and yarn–into regular blog posts.

My move to Knitcircus was kind of a no-brainer. I’ve been a fiber arts teacher for fifteen years, worked in a yarn store, and been a hobby yarn dyer, so Jaala created a mash-up of my work experience that is Liz, Knitcircus employee. All of you Knitcircus fans can rest assured that the yarn you love is created by a group of brilliant, passionate and kind folks. Let’s see if I can do them proud.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, I was struck by

1. the amount of time I spent planning and packing my knitting projects

2. the sheer number of projects I thought I’d work on! Let’s just say two or three saw some action, and that was just a fraction of my knitting bag.

If you’re a knitter like me, who knits all year round, summer is no obstacle to your knitting. We all have our summer knitting plans, which may depend on our warm weather adventures, how hot our climate is, or our recent Ravelry obsessions.

My recent Ravelry crush is Lieutenant’s Heart knit by Sharla out of the colorway Pisces:

Lieutenant's Heart Sharla

Me? In the summertime, the size of my project changes, and usually it skews towards a smaller WIP. Sometimes I’m going for a hot yoga vibe in my apartment and I’ve just flipped off the AC. On those days my common sense tells me to put the blanket down until September. Instead, voila, a tiny sock or mitten can safely hang from my needles without getting me sweaty. I’m particularly pumped to knit and slip these babies into my clogs this summer, knit by local knitter Taine.

Rose City Rollers socks:

Taine Rose City Rollers

Taine knitted them in a one-of-a-kind Impressionist colorway, but I’d knit these little sockies in my new favorite Knitcircus colorway, Surfer Girl:

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I’d order the yarn in a 25g Bon Bon set, the perfect size for short adult socks.

Smaller projects emerge this time of year, too, because I’m travelling more. Sure, they pack down better. But. We’ve all been there. I’m in the car and a stitch marker goes flying off the shawl and suddenly I need that little mitt stashed in my purse so I can squeeze in a few sanity rows.

Check out these amazing Winding Way Mitts knit by Shanna in the gradient colorway Off with their Heads:

Winding Way Mitts Off with their Heads

Those cables are killing me. So cool!

I’ve also finally been bitten by the sock bug, and this year a little sock on metal dpn’s will be lurking on my end table as my constant companion. My current Knitcircus color obsessions are:

Salt Water Taffy Extreme Stripes:

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and April Skies Panoramic Gradient. Aren’t these just dying to be knitted into socks for me? Quick, somebody.

april skies goe mss (3)

You? Maybe you’re starting your holiday knits, because you’re the sort of extremely organized knitter I will never be, and you have actually made a calendar like my friend Cindy does to determine exactly what the timeline of handknit gifts will look like to actually get every single stitch done.

This year I’m eyeing our little 25g Bon Bon sets, so I can whip up a pair of little mitts for a quick gift. Or if I’ve run out of holiday knitting time, I can even gift the knitter in my life a set to knit her own. Genius, right? Because that holiday deadline is sometimes kinda daunting. On my wish list, just sayin’, is this pair of beauties:

bonbons in action

That’s the Gradient Stripe Handwarmers in the colorway Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Sock Stripes. Glorious.

There’s always room in the knitting basket for a lightweight shawl. I’ve become a heat lover, so having a shawl to throw over my shoulders in the icy air conditioning is my secret weapon. Don’t you want to cast on these, too?

Here’s Dodo knit by Iolanthe out of the Groovy Kind of Love* gradient:

Dodo Groovy Kind of Love

*Groovy Kind of Love was an exclusive colorway for a club, to be released this fall at the earliest. Go check out Magical Mystery Tour or Fashion Week for other awesome summer colorways.

And check out the lovely Purless knit by Tina out of the Beach Glass gradient:

Purless Beach Glass

That shawl is just begging to be draped over a light strappy dress, no?

I hope you’re looking forward to summer knitting, too, whether it’s at the baseball game, on your road trip, or at the parade. What are you planning to knit this summer?

 

–Liz

Many Sock Sizes

We’re so happy to offer our famous Matching Socks Sets in multiple sizes now! We always thought most women’s sock patterns used a whole 100g skein of yarn (about 400 yards), but as more people began knitting the socks sets, we noticed that often a color was missing from the finished project. Of course, using a toe-up sock pattern helps with that because you can just bind off whenever you’re done, but still, people seemed to be getting awfully tall socks.

Some of us have un-dainty feet, and a whole sock set was definitely needed to make a nice mid-calf sock. But some of us have normal-sized women’s feet, and some can even wear kids’ shoe sizes. So we put our heads together and came up with a solution. We now offer all of our Gradient and Gradient Stripes Matching Sock sets in three sizes.

Small socks set – approximately 200 yds/set. Perfect for wristwarmers, children’s socks/mittens or women’s anklets. This set of Hunter Hammersen’s A Lady is Known wristers were made with a small sock set.

 

hunter_mitts

Medium socks set – approximately 300 yds/set. For women’s mid-calf socks sizes 5-10, women’s mittens, Men’s size 6-8 or kids’ knee socks. The Medium is now our go-to sock size for women. If you’re a Size 7 like Tashi, you’ll get perfect mid-calf socks from these two matching cakes. All of the colors are dyed so that the gradient is perfectly proportioned and you own’t miss any colors!

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Because the Medium sets are less expensive than the Large, that basically means we’ve lowered our prices on women’s socks!

Below you can see the difference between the two. These were knit with the same size foot, approximately a women’s size seven. Use the Medium for a perfect women’s mid-calf sock fit. If you’re a women’s size 10 or larger, the Large is the right choice for you. If you want a taller sock and you have smaller feet, use the Large for knee highs.

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Large socks set – approximately 400 yds/set. Women’s size 11-13, Men’s size 9-11, men’s mittens or women’s knee socks.This is me (a women’s Size 10) wearing the Large sock set. There’s still plenty of length there even with a longer foot. Note that the socks in the photo above have a folded-over hem, so are actually an inch or so taller than shown if you knit them with a ribbed cuff, like in the photo below.

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You can now choose the Small, Medium or Large sizes for every one of our Dyed-to-Order colors! Just find the color you’d like and choose the sock sets from the Size of Item drop-down menu. Here’s the As You Wish Medium sock set, for example.

We know it can seem counter-intuitive to look for socks in the listings for regular Panoramic Gradients, so we created special Collections on the webpage with the Gradient Matching Socks Sets (long stripes) and Gradient Stripes Sock sets (short stripes).  Both of those kinds of sock sets are dyed to match down to the stitch and are dyed in continuous gradients, so you just cast one and knit, no need to change balls or weave in pesky ends.

You lovely knitters asked us for more sizes, and you got it!!!!!

Happy knitting,

Jaala