Knitcircus Podcast #44

Back so soon! Jaala goes all Yarn Con and Amy’s stashbusting continues apace.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes.

Mentioned this podcast:

Yarn Con Chicago (And the Knitcircus Greatest Show on Earth sale!)

Yarn Hollow

Blue Tulips

Sun Valley Fiber Farm

Jelby

Chicago Knits Magazine

The Amazing Thing About the Way it Goes, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Studio S

Celtic Journeys

YarnOver

StevenBe’s

Amy’s Secret Destash: Rainbowbeard on Ravelry (Direct link here)

Wonderful Wallaby

Ella Rae yarn

Socks from the Toe Up, by Wendy Johnson

Melissa Leapman’s Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook

Wendy Bernard’s upcoming Stitch Dictionary

West Wing

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

 

 

 

 

 

Knitcircus Podcast #43

Amy photographs every daffodil in Seattle and Jaala still hasn’t seen one! Plus, miles of Kitchener Stitch and why toe-up socks are so great.

Listen on Libsyn and itunes

Mentioned this Podcast:

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

Knitcircus Yarn Shop

Lorilee Beltman

Amy Singer

Clara Yarn

Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-On

Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters

Lovely Knitted Lace, by Brooke Nico

Wild West Lace E-book Volume 1, by Stephannie Tallent

Wild Ginger Restaurant

Amy’s Craftsy Class

Mary Rowe Knitted Tams Schoolhouse Press Booklet (out of print but coming soon; scroll to bottom of page)

Schoolhouse Press Jamieson Spindrift sale

Laura Nelkin Beadle Needle Video

Kitchener Stitch

Yarn Con Chicago

 

 

Knit and Dye All the Things

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Hi, Knitters,

Knitting : trying to become a monogamous knitter

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Whew, during the Olympics, I made a bunch of time to knit each day, and somehow my knitting time has melted along with most of our snow. (Still some out there, and a little fresh flurry yesterday). Since time is fleeting, I decided to get serious about trying to be a one-knitter-one-project kind of gal. To that end, I’ve been making a little progress on the sleeve of my Argo.Since this is my first top-down, one-piece sweater to reach this point, have discovered that this means you’re dangling (and periodically spinning to unwind) the whole rest of the sweater while working the sleeve rounds. Anybody come up with a clever fix for this? Or is this exactly why people like the old school, knit-it-in-pieces sweater?

March-April Yarn Club Ready

matching socks club

So, now that we have three people on the Knitcircus team, it’s much faster to dye things, since I can, you know, spend my time dyeing yarn instead of packaging and creating spreadsheets. Thank goodness for Chris and Amy J!

IMG_2441[1]This means that all of the Early Spring matching Socks sets are done and all of our regular members have packages in the mail. (the Lemon Meringue gradient on top was just for fun, and does not reveal the secret colorway inside) If you haven’t and would like to get just a taste of the Club, you can purchase just one and it’ll be in the mail very soon!

Fish Lips Kiss Heel

photo copyright Patty-Joy White, the Sox Therapist on Ravelry

photo copyright Patty-Joy White, the Sox Therapist on Ravelry

In the process of researching good patterns to make with the Sock Club yarn, I found out about the pattern/e-book that’s causing a stir on Ravelry, the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, by the Sox Therapist. One night last week, I made the 16-page tutorial/e-book my bedtime reading, and fascinating material it is! As usual, I’m late to the party, as the 1162 of you with finished socks can attest, but wow, so cool!

I’m a huge toe-up fan, as you may know, because toe-up design means you never have to leave any good yarn behind (I’m still sad about knitting a top-down sock that got rid of a whole color in one of my gradients). The FIsh Lips Kiss incorporates Patty-Joy’s versions of a short-row heel which are much easier and prettier to make than the traditional short rows, and a fit method which seems foolproof.

I’m agog to try the Fish Lips Heel, but determined not to start that project until I finish my pair of Fingerless Gloves Leaves. At least if I can’t achieve true single-minded knitting, I can only cast one a project when I finish another one! Right now; doing some Secret test-knitting for an upcoming pattern, just testing that the mathematical progression of increases actually works like I think it does.

Yarn Con

yarns everywhere

We’re very busy in the Liar getting ready for Yarn Con! It’s in Chicago, April 5-6, and I hope to see some of you wonderful readers there! Please do bring any finished objects you’ve made with the yarn, because you wouldn’t believe how thrilling it is for us. So we’re making many, many yarns which we’re trying to get up into the shop while we can. Then when we pack up and head to Yarn Con, they’ll all be down for a little while as we hobnob with wonderful Chicago knitters!

Mmmm, Pie

Not related to knitting, but I’m just having a craving for a slice of the Union’s black bottom pie (a vanilla custard pie with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate on the bottom). Unfortunately, though the Union’s physical upgrade has made it much prettier, they seem to be making it now with all boxed stuff and it’s not nearly as tasty as the old-fashioned homemade version. I think we’ll have to make it ourselves if we want a really good pie. Has anyone tried or can recommend a good homemade custard pie recipe? I know this is obscure, but you never know what expertise knitters hold!

Take care,

Jaala

 

 

 

Finished Objects and a Travelling Circus

Hi, Knitters,

Super Sewing Winners

Thanks  to everyone who entered the Sewing Giveaway! The winners are: Mollie Make Woodland Friends: Valerie, 50 Pincushions: Nancy, and Super Stitches: Carmen. The lucky winners have been notified.

Finished Objects

Spending so much time dyeing up yarn has cut into my knitting time! Not that I’m sad about that, but it doesn’t give me time to knit so many projects, and we wanted to see how the yarn behaved in some popular patterns. Generous knitters from the Knitcircus Ravelry Group volunteered to knit up some patterns with Knitcircus Yarns and we’re so grateful that they did! Check out this lovely FO Gallery.

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Orange Flower Yarn’s Brass and Steam, worked by Kristahyde on Ravelry; she spurred us to create the gradient Brass and Steam, which is now one of our regular repeatable colorways. Thanks so much, Krista!

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Magrathea, by Martina Behm

Designer Martina Behm has given us so many wonderful shawl projects! Here’s Magrathea knitted by Lindaran on Ravelry, using a skein of Thrilling in the Lemon Meringue colorway.

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More Martina Behm, with Hitchhiker, by Bassoongrlspam, in a Khione double gradient.

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And a third Behm: Leftie, by knotjusthats, in the Fashion Week gradient with undyed yarn for contrast.

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Monkey Socks, by Somesylvie, pattern by the delightful Cookie A. This knitter worked the Matching Socks Set in color Eat, Pray, Knit, from opposite ends!

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Travelling Knitcircus

Knitcircus Yarns’ Business Manager, Chris, has been keeping track of your orders lately. Her curious mind wanted to know where the yarn is travelling, so she made this fun map of where all of you wonderful Knitcircus Yarns fans live. Here she is:

Hi everyone!

It’s been about a month since I’ve joined the team, and I’m having a lot of fun listing new things Jaala dyes, ensuring the photos of them are as accurate as possible, labeling them, packing them, and sending them out to you. I’m impressed by all the exciting places that you live, so I’ve been creating this Google map to visualize where we’ve sent yarn in the last three months. Don’t worry, we’re not listing any names or addresses, just city names. I hope you find this as much fun to play with as I found it to make!

google map

Google maps: Knitcircus!

Spring Sewing Goodness and Giveaways

It’s spring, and many crafters start yearning for turning seams rather than turning heels. If the sound of birds singing makes you think of your Singer, then today’s giveaway is for you!

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We have three fun books to give away, courtesy of Interweave Press, St. Martins and Potter Craft! So three lucky winners will each get a spring sewing boost.

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If you’ve been longing to add sewing to your yarn-craft repertoire, you’ll find every useful technique in Nicole Vasbinder’s Super Stitches Sewing. With many illustrated step-by-step tutorials, she shows you 50 machine sewing stitches, 20 hand stitches, and methods to choose the appropriate stitch for the occasion.

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Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

Editor Lora Watson has pulled together a storybook collection of projects from the Mollie Makes magazine’s designers. Amy and I reviewed this delightful book on the podcast; the charming voice and graphics lead you thorough a multi-craftual forest with sewing, paper, crochet, applique, cross stitch and felting techniques to create home decor and lovable toys.

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Many tiny projects abound in Cat Thomas’ 50 Pincushions to Knit and Crochet! Lots of these designs could do double-duty as ornaments, toys or sachets if you’ve gifted all your sewing friends by the end of the volume. :)

So please leave a comment; let me know if you love to sew, and if so, what project you’re working on. And please tell us which projects look the most fun from the three books here!

The contest runs through this weekend, and we’ll post the three winners on Monday, March 24th. Of course, winners will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.

ETA: We’ve been winding up lots of yarn in the Lair this week, so are doing a big shop update this morning (Friday!) Just wanted to let you know. ;)

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Books Galore and Scandinavian Inspiration

Lace 1 by Stephannie Tallent-1

Hi, Knitters!

First, I just wanted to let you all know that my friend Stephannie Tallent has a new e-book going live, The Wild West: Volume 1 Lace! Stephannie was a tech editor for Knitcircus Magazine and her designs combine impeccable technique with pretty and well-thought-out patterns. Stephannie is an expert at cables, twist stitches, colorwork and lace. In this follow-up to her California Revival Knits, she’s broken the collection up into smaller books based on technique, so you can pick and choose your favorites!  Just for the next couple of days: preorder the book on Ravelry and use the code LACE1 for $3 off!

HAPPY HOME COVER

This last week, I must have a touch of spring cleaning fever. My mom, the maven of all things home beautiful, had taken this book out of the library and let me borrow it form her: Happy Home, by Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau.  Charlotte’s lighthearted, bright but clean style captivated my imagination, so over the weekend our family made some changes inspired by her book.

Inspired by the bright textiles, we revisited Belle’s homework area and made it more cheerful.

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Lil Buddy’s space got a re-vamp to keep up with our skater boy.IMG_1405[1]

And some shelves from the kids’ room made a welcome behind-sofa storage for shoes and sports equipment by the back door.

Charlotte’s company, RICE, provides colorful, fun homewares compliant with the UN’s Global Compact for labor and materials. I loved looking at all of the storage, brightness and lively ideas in the book!

In fact, it got me hungry for more Scandinavian design, and starting ideas jumping for a new yarn collection.

IMG_1395I pulled out some fun books: Learn to Knit, Love to Knit, 55 Christmas Balls to Knit, Northern Knits Gifts, Shades of Winter, and Knitalong. Learn to Knit, Love to Knit for its cheerful colors, CHristmas Balls for the Scandinavian colorwork and stories, Northern Knits Gifts for the cheerful practicality of Scandinavia, Shades of Winter, photographed at Sweden’s amazing IceHotel, and Knitalong is just pure fun.

photo:Chris Furuya

photo:Chris Furuya

Here’s a sneak peek at some samples for upcoming colors from Knitcircus! And, of course, we’ve been busy in the Lair, so watch for a shop update tomorrow morning.

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Friday Fiber and Food

Fiber Love

Amy J, Chris and I have been dyeing, drying, packaging and administrating like crazy, so here are some behind-the-scenes Yarn and Lair pictures for Friday.

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if you’re wondering, we mark cakes with different-colored stitch markers to show which yarn base we used so we don’t have any mix-ups!IMG_1099

minis

We add a little mini-skein to every box, and your lovely orders have been keeping Amy busy skeining up these fun little guys!

it's always Fashion Week around here

it’s always Fashion Week around here

And Chris has only been in the Lair a little while, but already contributing ideas to make things more efficient and more fun! So here’s a flash sale, courtesy of her!

Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, we’re having a flash sale in the Knitcircus Yarn Shop- buy 3 skeins of regularly-priced yarn, get 14% off your purchase. Use coupon code MmmPi, good through 3/15 (to give our overseas customers time to see this). May we interest you in some Lemon Meringue?

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Food Love

I’ve mentioned my favorite foodie podcast, Spilled Milk,, many times on the Knitcircus podcast, and Molly also has a lovely blog called Orangette which I’ve loved for years. Matthew wrote a very fun book, Pretty Good Number One, about his family’s eating adventures in Tokyo which made me want to take my kids there right away!

Knitting blogs are no problem, but I wanted to get more food blogs going and found this list on Saveur of the best food blogs for this year. A bunch of these are going to foodify me for sure!

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I knew Anthony Bourdain had made a career of travelling and eating after the success of his bad-boy memoir, Kitchen Confidential, but hadn’t realized he’d written more books. Just finished reading Medium Raw, a collection of profiles, stories, interviews and rants. Very tasty.

Huh, just saw that Kitchen Confidential was made into a tv show in 2005 with Bradley Cooper and Nicholas Brendon (Zander!). Has anyone seen this? It actually looks pretty good.

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Recommended by local reviewer (and friend) Stephanie Bedford: Bread and Butter, by Michelle Wildgen, the story of three brothers in the restaurant business in a medium-sized city. On the flip side of Kitchen Confidential, not as much about coke-fueled all-nighters as about making a go of it in a tricky business and navigating relationships in a family determined to stick together.

Sorry, no photo, but through this long winter, we’ve been making this delicious hot chocolate from AllRecipes. We prefer our hot chocolate with several servings of homemade whipped cream, renewing it as each spoonful melts…

Last Sunday, Belle and I hosted a hot chocolate party for Grammy and Buppa; she whipped the vanilla cream while I whisked the chocolate. We set the table with white plates and napkins and felt very sophisticated.

Happy weekend, everyone, and wishing you lots of tasty food and fibers! I’ll be hanging out at the Knit-In tomorrow morning just enjoying the scene, so please say Hi if you’re in the marketplace!

Jaala

Knitcircus Podcast #42

Knitcircus Podcast #42

Jaala just came up from the Lair, and Amy’s leaving on a jet plane!

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Mentioned this podcast:

Vogue Knitting Live Seattle

Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Yarn Con Chicago

Shetland Spindrift Yarn

The Fiber Gallery

Lorilee Beltmann

Dreambird Shawl

Hitchhiker

Martina Behm

Divergent book

Jack Reacher

Medium Raw book

Jamie Oliver

Fingerless Gloves Leaves by Valentina Georgieva

Ivy vest by Kay Dahlquist

Adrian

Adriana by Julie Weisenberger

Richard Castle mysteries

Fantastic Fiction

Sarah Wilson/Sexy Knitter KAL

Cookie Crumbs Ravelry Group

Lovely Knitted Lace, by Brooke Nico

Green Gables Knits, by Joanna Johnson

Hitch Giveaway Winner

And Lmecoll on Ravelry was the winner of HITCH: PATTERNS INSPIRED BY THE FILMS OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK, generously provided by editor Stephannie Tallent and Cooperative Press! She’s been notified.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Leaf Lace, KAL’s and Good Times

In the Lairaerialist corrie lothlorien much better

It’s March, so we have a new featured color in the shop; it has to be green, of course, and my whizz-bang office manager Chris named this soft gradient Lothlorien. We both fell in love with this pale blue-green to deep forest shadows yarn. Available for a limited time on any of the in-stock fingering bases in the shop.

It’s a busy time in the Lair, with much excitement form Susan B Anderson’s lovely blog post; thank you so much, Susie! Have a great time at Vogue Knitting Live Seattle!

And we’re getting ready for new yarn clubs and Yarn Con in just a few weeks, so much dyeing, drying, processing and packaging going on! Amy J and I certainly appreciate Chris’ organization and energy in keeping it all rolling.

Weekend knitting:

As soon as the Olympics wrapped up, my sweater-knitting mojo seemed to wrap up, too. I’ve bound off the bottom of my Argo, but seem to have stalled at the sleeves. In true multi-knitter fashion, I of course decided that starting a small, easily-finished project might jump-start the knitting juice again.

While checking out all of the finished Ravellenics projects, I came across the Fingerless Gloves Leaves wristwarmer pattern, by Valentina Georgieva. What is it about leaf lace that’s just irresistible every single time?

This was a perfect chance to try out a worsted-weight 50-g gradient. I’ve been toying with making these part of the Kniticricus repertoire, and I have to say, it was pretty fun to knit. What do you knitters think? Would you like smaller worsted-weight gradients for matching mittens and such?

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This is how much I knit over the weekend; this morning I finished the top ribbing and am working on the thumb now.

And guess what? I posted my sweater on the Team Sasquatch Silver, Bronze and Agony of Defeat thread and got a message in my inbox telling me I’d won a prize; any pattern on Ravelry! Since I didn’t even know there was a prize, what a thrill!

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My choice? The Caviar Dress by Yoko Johnston, another Contiguous pattern. Not sure about making the whole dress, but I do love a good tunic-length sweater.

Weekend Fun

I’ve been making this Allrecipes hot chocolate with good success on the many frigid days of this winter.  Sunday morning, Belle and I hosted a hot chocolate party for Grammy and Buppa; I stirred the cocoa, sugar and milk, while she whipped up homemade vanilla whipped cream. We set the table with white plates and napkins and felt very sophisticated. One of these days, I’d like to try a hot chocolate with melted chocolate bar rather than a cocoa base.

KAL’s

Knitcircus is honored to support two upcoming KAL’s!

Sarah Wilson, The Sexy Knitter, encourages knitters to find their inner diva with her stylish patterns, and Knitcircus will be providing a prize; a choice of any one yarn from the shop for a Ravelry KAL finisher! The current KAL is for Sarah’s Lonicera Cowl and Grimhilde socks.

We’re also tickled to be part of the ongoing KAL in the Cookie Crumbs group, for fans of Cookie A’s gorgeous sock patterns! Watch for more info about the prize you could win there.

Cool Bag

photo:jstlaurent

photo:jstlaurent

A sweet treat; I couldn’t resist this little Squirrel project bag, from Knitting by the Mile Designs. She’s got all sorts of fun, quirky fabrics, and if you’re a Dr. Who fan, will find many designs to love! My fingerless gloves-in-progress definitely enjoy their stylish ride!

Take care and knit away,

jaala

Knitting in Color

Time to cast on! What color to choose?

Of course, we make this choice every single time. What color will look good on me, him, or her? Which shade will make my cables pop or let my lace shine? But I always wondered, which colors are the most popular?

As someone who dyes yarn, I wondered what color knitters choose most often. I love orange and blue, and would pretty much dye nothing but blue and green if left to my own devices, but when knitting for myself, I tend to choose reds or purples. But I want to dye yarns that knitters really want to use, and not subject them to my favorite colors all the time! So what are knitters choosing when they cast on?

The answer is out there, and of course, it’s on Ravelry. I ask myself what we would do without Ravelry pretty much daily. Under the Projects tab, they had projects broken down by color category.

And the amazing thing about Ravelry, and knitters, is that we’ve finished so many projects that I rounded them to the nearest 25 thousand. Luckily, the Lair was happy to provide colors to make this color lineup for you!

Here it is:

color popularity5

So there it is; the knitters have spoken!

Some of these surprised me; orange looks like an acquired taste, and gray must go with everything. Are we using pink for baby projects, or do we really love a strong hot pink for ourselves to wear with a little black dress?

Did any of these numbers surprise you or confirm your dearest opinions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!