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.

Kindness is Everything/Kindness KAL

kindness is everything

Wow, we’re still in the middle of the Peace Project KAL, so it’s hard to realize that the New Year will be here in a flash. I’m thrilled to say that this year will bring another round of the Kindess KAL! It was so heartwarming to see how many people participated last year and to appreciate all of their different Kindness KAL projects with creative color and yarn combinations. The new KAL will feature a new Kindness KAL shawl pattern (not published yet) and will run from February 1-April 1 2018.

I’m really happy with the new Kindness colorway this year (there was a pile on Liz’s desk this morning and I had to pick it up and pretend-eat it, I love it so). The soft grays flow into sky blue and rich purples.  Purple has traditionally been associated with magic, and I also associate it with forgiveness and kindness, any emotion that expands the mind and spirit. Hopefully you will all enjoy it, too!

kindness is everything2

These days, we need acts of kindness more than ever. The way the KAL will run isn’t set yet; if you have ideas of how people can contribute time, talent or money to organizations through the KAL, please leave a comment here or on instagram (@knitcircus_yarns).

kindness is everything3

The inspiration for this colorway’s name came from the Madison, Wisconsin mothers who created these yard signs.  If you like what you see, you could get one for your own window or yard!

You don’t have to wait for the KAL; use this color for any favorite project! But do mark your calendar to knit along with us for Kindness starting February 1.

Jaala

Advertisements

Knitcircus Podcast #117

The podcast in which Amy and Jaala rattle on about not much of anything.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Topics of note:

Events: Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago – March of 2018

Book: Arne & Carlos Christmas Balls

Book: Sequence Knitting

Knitcircus Colorway: Wild Rumpus

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Blanket

Comedian: Michael McIntyre

Comedian: Jim Gaffigan

App: 36 Questions

Recipe Book: Tassajara Picnics Recipe Book

Podcast: Driftless Knitting

Last Minute Knits!

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year, but it never fails to sneak up on me. I always start making lists and thinking about what gifts to buy and which to make well in advance, but time inevitably flies by. Here it is, the beginning of December and Christmas is only a couple weeks away. If you’re like me and you have a few items left on the “To Make” list, never fear. We have some great ideas for projects that are knit in our squishy superwash merino worsted weight yarn called Ringmaster. They’re quick and easy, so you should have no trouble finishing before the holidays!

The Pickford cowl is a pattern designed by our very own Jaala Spiro. This cowl mimics the look of a triangular shawl wrapped around your neck, but there are no ends to manage! It looks great knit in our gradient, speckle, and Impressionist yarn as well as our self-striping skeins of Ringmaster. Plus it only takes one ball of yarn! Shown in Birds of a Feather gradient.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’re in need of an interesting, but simple hat pattern, the Blufftop Hat is just the thing! This beautiful textured hat is subtle enough to let the yarn truly shine, yet fun and fast to knit. Add a pom-pom or leave it plain! Shown in Happy Little Trees Ringmaster gradient.

 

We recently saw an Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits made up in our Shades of Gray gradient colorway and fell in love! The stitch definition is just wonderful and the cables in that hat pop beautifully. Again, one skein of Ringmaster worsted is all this hat takes!

antler hat gray 2

 

Speaking of Tin Can Knits, their Barley Hat pattern is also a great gift knit! Simple, but fun and interesting, this hat is mostly stockinette with a garter section thrown in for added texture. There are a few examples of the hat knit in our speckle and gradient colorways, but I have a feeling it would be just delicious in our Impressionist Speckle yarn too!

barley speckle hat

 

Last, but certainly not least, is Zuzu’s Petals. This lovely lacey cowl looks delicate but is warm as can be around your neck. It shows off all the colors of our gradient yarns and is so fun to knit! Be sure to follow the worsted weight instructions in the pattern and this project is sure to fly off your needles!

Zuzu's Petals

 

These are just a small selection of patterns that would be great for our Ringmaster yarn, but there are so many more ideas on Ravelry and in our store! Happy holiday knitting!

–Jennifer

Love is Love

love is love

Our newest color, Love is Love, is a thank-you to all of the brave individuals in the knitting community and in our families and friend circles who have the courage to be who they are and love the person who makes them happy.

We believe that rights of LGBT individuals are human rights and that, when they are able to perform their best at school, work and home, without restriction, discrimination or threat, we all benefit. So in perpetuity, we’ll be donating 10% of the purchase price of this colorway to the Human Rights Campaign.

love is love2

This colorway was tricky to create; the more colors in a gradient that are very different from each other, the more difficult it is to apply the dye without areas of muddy overlap. The red, yellow and orange bit isn’t too hard, but there’s just no way around it; green and purple make an unappealing brown.

There was no way around it, we thought, but then we came up with a different solution; applying the green as two separate colors, blue and yellow layered over each other. Voila! Now we could create a rainbow with all of the colors in the right order, all caked up and ready to go.

love is love3

We hope you love this color as much as we do.

Jaala

A New Member of KnitCircus Yarns!

On a busy Saturday morning here at the KnitCircus yarn shop, I look around and realize how lucky I am to work in a place like this. Every day I am surrounded by beautiful yarn, helping people pick out something special, and gathering skeins to be sent to their new homes. My name is Jennifer and I have recently joined the KnitCircus Yarns family. For the past nine years I have lived in Winona, MN going to school and then working at the local yarn shop there called Yarnology. It was a dream come true to combine my career with my passion for fiber arts, something I am thrilled to be continuing here at KnitCircus. A few months ago, my fiancé and I made the move to Madison and have started settling in to our new home.

I thought it’d be nice to take a little time to introduce myself since I am new and will hopefully be meeting many of you at our new shop location. I’ve been a knitter since I was eight years old, taught by my industriously crafty German grandmother. I picked it up and put it down throughout my childhood and became truly addicted seven years ago when I was a Junior in college. I never looked back. A few years after that I learned to spin yarn and recently I’ve started dabbling in knitwear design. A lot of my pattern ideas and names, and even my Instagram and Ravelry handle (@driftlessknitter) is influenced by the beautiful Driftless region of the Midwest that I’m lucky to call home. With the rolling hills, lakes, mighty rivers, and valleys there isn’t a shortage of inspiration around here!

Most of my free time goes to knitting, but my second hobby of choice is sitting down with a good book and reading. I’ve loved books and stories my whole life, so I decided to study literature in college. That degree taught me to write well, communicate, and think critically, all useful things to have in your toolbox when working at a small business.

The last few weeks here at KnitCircus have been busy in the best way. I’ve been learning a lot, not only here in the store, but also in the dye studio. And I’m looking forward to when we will host classes and knit nights so I can get to know the lovely knitters in the area. If you’re local make sure to come say hello and if you’re not, well you might have to plan a yarn-cation to Madison!

Jennifer with yarn

Knitcircus Podcast #115

In which Amy and Jaala race from pillar to post, looking for a quitet place to record a podcast.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Topics in this episode…

TV Show: The Flash

Silly Shopping Reference: Ikea

Event: Knitcircus Holiday Kickoff Party

TV Show: The Great British Bake-Off

Cook Books: Tassa Jara Recipes

Kitchen Appliance: Instant Pot

Cooking Site: This Old Gal

Pattern: Rye Socks, by Tin Can Knits

Amazing Resources: Minnesota Textile Center

Event: Small Business Saturday

Event: Ravellenics

 

Knitcircus Podcast #114

In which Amy and Jaala tell of their new space and discuss important things.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Topics in this episode…

Event: Vogue Knitting Live, Seattle

Famous Knitter: Andrea Mowry

Famous Knitter: Stephen West

Famous Knitter: Gudrun Johnston

Pattern: Chilliwack Mitts, by Cable and Strings Designs

Pattern: Badlands Mitts, by Kathryn Folkerth

Pattern: Mostly Harmless Hat, by Jaala Spiro

Event: Knitcircus Holiday Kick-off Party

Event: Vogue Knitting Live, New York

Famous Knitter: Meg Swansen

Famous Knitter: Alice Starmore

Pattern: Gradient Solutions Sweater, by Elizabeth Morrison

Pattern: Waiting Up for Santa Stocking, by Katie Doyle Krot

Geneology