Favorite Characters from Literature #2: Katie




Jaala asked me to say something about myself this week, which is strange for me. My name is Katie, and I love being behind the scenes helping to make things tick.

Every day is something different for me at Knitcircus; today I’m in the office with my puppy curled at my feet but yesterday I was busily dyeing up batches of gorgeous yarn to send to online customers and for us to take to Stitches Midwest.


Roscoe Likes to Help in the Office


What am I doing tomorrow? Who knows?!? When I’m not dyeing yarn or working on the website listings, I am prettifying displays and ordering needles and notions for the Studio Store and at most of our shows working the booth.

At home I am busy raising my son Cole and step-son Jacob with my husband James. We also have two cats, Captain Fitzwilliam von FancyPaws, Fourth Earl of Bigglesworth (Fitz) and Cleo, in addition to our puppy, Roscoe.

I can often be found knitting or crocheting on the couch watching Midsomer Murders or any BBC Masterpiece Classic in the evenings.

Fall Collection Color


For my Fall Collection literary character I decided on Elinor Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.


It’s not that I directly identify with Elinor but I do feel an affinity for her. Elinor is steady, mature, soft-spoken but well-respected, and the rock of her family during a sad and turbulent time.


Elinor always makes me think of a lighthouse during a storm; strong and steady and still standing after the storm passes.

Aside from my love of English literature, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for anything funny and awesome. So I will leave you with this thought: Go see Ghostbusters.

Fall Yarn Collection: Favorite Book Characters!

As a lifelong reader, I’m almost dizzy with excitement about our new fall yarn collection. Each Knitcircus Crew member gets to pick their favorite book character and we’ll develop a colorway based on each one.

My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird, but I can’t pick just one character from that, since the setting, characters, plot and message are all so masterfully fused into one.


The problem, of course, is narrowing down our choices to just one favorite character! My top pick will probably be Pippi Longstocking, because she was a huge hero to me growing up. She lived alone, defeated robbers, flipped pancakes, made friends with pirates, bested bullies, thoughtfully entertained her friends, bought candy for every kid in town, and did it all with a huge grin. We had the book pictured above. Note the price!


Her real name, of course, is

Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking.

Thanks to Pippi, our family always referred to math as “pluttification” and sang songs like, “Now we will fry a pankye,” every Sunday morning.


As a kid, I just loved Pippi’s free-spirited adventures; as a grown woman, I love her independence, resilience, loyalty and positive attitude. She always used her powers for good, even if she didn’t understand drinking tea in polite society. She’s still my hero.


Here’s author Astrid Lindgren with the actress playing Pippi. I also loved The Children of Noisy Village, based on her own childhood on a Swedish farm.

Another top pick: Anne of Green Gables. Of course! Who could not be won over by Anne’s pluck, imagination and heartfelt desire to be part of a family? But you’ll hear more about Anne from another member of the Knitcircus Crew…



Tied for third place for me are Ron Weasley and Samwise Gamgee.


I’ve always had a thing for sidekicks, starting with someone probably nobody knows, Shoie Shoemaker, best friend to The Magnificent Brain, Alvin Fernald. I read all of Clifford B. Hicks’ books  and grew quite fond of the lanky, athletic kid who was always ready for an adventure.

My dad read to my brother and I every night growing up, all the way through my freshman year of high school. We listened raptly to all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, probably some of my dad’s favorite books. Samwise Gamgee’s loyalty, love and determination totally captured my heart.


Ron Weasley. Guess I have a thing for loyal guys. And funny guys. And guys who are a little insecure because they grew up poor.


And big families. A lot of other books I read as a kid featured lots of brothers and sisters instead of just one. The Weasley Twins are also some of my all-time favorite book characters.


(sorry, I don’t know who to attribute this awesome graphic to)


Also, I just found out in the course of this “research” (looking at internet pics of your favorite characters counts as research now, #lovemyjob) that Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Ron, bought an ice cream truck and went around giving away ice cream for free. Since I have a lifelong fascination with ice cream trucks, I also like Rupert Grint now, too. Ice cream trucks, parties, the circus, all of these have always seemed magical to me.

So, these are a few of my favorite things….watch for more from the other Knitcircus Crew members as the September release date gets closer!

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.



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!


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.




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.


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,




Spirit Lake in Knitscene


We are thrilled! Jessica Anderson designed the Spirit Lake Shawl for the new Knitscene Handmade magazine with our yarn. (Find the online magazine here).

KnitScene-Handmade-2016-0957_spirit lake 2

She used 100g of Greatest of Ease in the colorway I Am a Princess and This Is My Tiara, developed for our beloved Amy from The Big Bang Theory. We love the shawl shaping, the fun lace and how it shows off the gradient beautifully.


Thanks so much, Jessica and Knitscene handmade! (all photos: Knitscene Handmade)





Knitcircus Podcast #82

Amy goes to Iceland and Jaala enjoys the May snow at home.

Listen on Libsyn and on iTunes.

Mentioned in this episode:

Helene Magnusson

Love Story yarn

Pebble beach by Helen Stewart

Leftie by Martina Behm

Helen Stewart/Curious Handmade

Susan B Anderson

Zombie Knitpocalypse

Down Cellar Studio Podcast

Splash Pad KAL

Gorgeous Gradients Ravelry Group

Zorba’s Restaurant

Daubes Bakery

Piper’s Journey

Alberta Shawl

Stephen West’s new shawl Knit ‘n Slide



Stitch Dictionary and Happy Birthday Color Winners!


Thanks to everyone who entered to win the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary, by Wendy Bernard! The winner is Savannahgal!!!!! Please get in touch with us and let us know your mailing address, and we’ll send the info straight to the publisher. (Please send to jaala@knitcircus.com)


Thanks also to everyone who voted on the Happy Birthday Knitcircus colorway! The winner: Forever Floral. You are a sophisticated crowd. We renamed it Big Top Birthday.🙂

I love this color and can’t wait to get dyeing! In the meantime, we’ve put up a listing in the store so you can pre-order yours to have in hand on the big party day. Choose Big Top Birthday Panoramic Gradient in many sizes, or Matching Sock sets in small, medium or large.


Which brings us to this other fun news: it’s our birthday, and we want you to come to the party! We’ll have exclusive yarn, bags, treats, door prizes and free cake. We hope to see you at the Studio June 24th!


Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: Win Book and Yarn!

Welcome to the Knitcircus stop on the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary Blog Tour! I’ve long been a fan of Wendy Bernard’s patterns, blog and books, so getting to talk about her new one is a true pleasure.


The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary is a welcome follow-up to Wendy’s Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary.

I’ve been a big Wendy Bernard fan for many years; since back in the day when knitting blogs were new, Knit and Tonic has always been a leading voice in the fiber-blog community. Wendy’s California-chic designs captivated me from the start. Her Favorite Cardigan (below) has long been one of the sweaters I most want to knit.


Wendy has a knack for breaking down large ideas (design your own hat, cowl, sweater) into manageable parts and reconstructing it so that you feel confident tackling your next project. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out her Custom Knits series, I highly recommend them. The Custom Knits 1 and Custom Knits 2  books show you how to design your own top-down sweater, with lots of tips and patterns by Wendy. The Custom Knits Accessories is my fave, since I’m mostly an accessories knitter. She gives you all the tools you need to create your own sock, hat and other accessories patterns, with clear guidelines so you can succeed.

The All -Around Stitch Dictionaries build on Wendy’s expertise in guiding knitters to technical success. Most stitch dictionaries give you a stitch pattern and written directions for working the pattern flat; the more modern ones often include a chart. Wendy noticed that changing from flat to knitting in-the-round could sometimes be tricky, so she includes charts for both. She also gives the reader insight into which kinds of stitches do well on both sides (when designing a scarf, that’s key), and indicates which patterns are fully reversible, two sided (look good, but are different on each side) or only to be used with one side showing.

The second installment, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary, includes very clear photos and charts for every stitch, but in her usual inimitable way, Wendy includes a whole Designing From Scratch appendix, with basic recipes for Basic Top-Down Socks, Basic Toe-Up Socks, Top-Down Cap, Bottom-Up Cap and Triangular Shawls in Two Directions,  with beautiful photos for each.

IMG_6836                        Here’s a photo I snapped from my copy of the book (notice the user-friendly notebook binding?). This shows the Checkerboard Cables charts and photos. Thanks to the publisher  for letting me share this pattern! You can see they’re awfully nice, clear charts and photos showing both sides of the swatch.



Stewart, Tabori and Chang are so generous, they’re giving away not only a copy of Wendy’s new book, but 2 hanks of yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. (USA readers only for shipping, please!)

Now, I’m sure you’re all champing at the bit to know how you can win the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary and the yarns. Just comment and tell us:

What would you be likely to knit with the Stitch Dictionary? Sweater, Socks, Hat, Cowl, Shawl? Which way would you knit it? Top-down, bottom up, in the round or flat?

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see more stitch patterns from the book!


5/18: AboutKnitting.com

5/23: Craft Gossip

5/11: WEBS

5/28: Blue Sky Alpacas