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.
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.
Hello, fellow Friends of Knitcircus! My name is Beth, and I’m a knitter from outside of Portland, OR. It’s a fiber lover’s paradise here in the Pacific NW, with more than a dozen LYS that participate in our local Yarn Crawl, the same number of independent dyers, and many designers. Many of the local dyers do gradients, but none of them catch come close to the beautiful skeins that come from Jaala and Knitcircus crew.
Just as the wand chooses the wizard, I firmly believe that the yarn chooses the pattern. I don’t claim to be a yarn whisperer, and some yarns are more selective than others. When I try to knit something other than what the yarn wants, the project just doesn’t work out, and ends up getting frogged. Along the way, I’ve noticed that many of the Knitcircus yarns appear to have a sense of humor when it comes to selecting their patterns! Jaala asked me to share some of their ideas with you.
It started with a skein of Over the Rainbow Gradient Speckle that insisted on becoming the Emerald City Shawl by Shannon Squire.
After that things just took off! Some of the projects currently lined up in my queue:
A skein of ‘Starry Night’ wants to become the ‘Summer Sky’ shawl by Janina Kallio
‘Fruit Kabob’ jumped at the sight of the ‘Bosc Pear Shawl’ by Tetiana Otruta.
What does your yarn want to become?
Jaala’s note: We are thrilled to have Beth write this blog post for us! I just love her inspirations! Many of the colors mentioned are exclusive Yarn Club colors, because she’s that kind of awesome. To see all of the current available colors for your yarn and project ideas, please check out the Knitcircus site. Happy knitting!
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy is one of the new Impressionist Speckled Gradients. We are all in love with these gradients with pops of unexpected color throughout.
This new dyeing process started one day when Elizabeth and I had been hanging out at beloved yarn/coffee shop The Sow’s Ear. On the way home I told her about some dyeing experiments I’d been working on and described some of the pitfalls.
Bug got so excited that she used her finely-honed style sense, picked out the Cancun Boxy Lace Top and knit it up within a week!
One of the first Speckled Impressionist Gradients was Just Have a Little Faith. You guys know I’m a little obsessed with the TV show Prison Break, with its suspenseful, clever plot and self-sacrificing hero. The grays and blues of the first season begged to be made into a speckled gradient!
The next one, with its rich greens and blues, had to be an homage to some more favorite characters. You guys loved Frog and Toad as much as we did!
Every time we create a new color of the Speckled Gradients, it generates a lot of excitement in the studio. We’re all trying to get dibs on the yarn first! It’s really fun to knit, because you keep asking, “Which color will this stitch be? How about the next one…”
We’re so excited about our Second Birthday in the Knitcircus Studio, we’ve decided to do a special colorway to celebrate. Last year, your votes picked a wonderful, deep, saturated colorway for the party and I hope this year we’ll have something just as exciting and fresh.
Please help us choose by leaving a comment here or on the Pinterest Board by this Friday, May 12th.
Here are a few of my favorite contenders (sources noted):
In Color Balance
Russian Color Palette site
EmptyFantasies on Pinterest
From Design Seeds
Please let me know which you like best or point me to a favorite color combo of yours! We’ll be working up both a Gradient and a Speckled Handpaint for double the fun! One person who votes for the winning color will be randomly chosen to receive a free Speckle Handpaint of the color.
Celebrate with us at the Studio, 634 Grand Canyon Drive! June 16th join the fun for a party with live music by the Arbor Ensemble, cake and a pop-up shop with bags by Daddy Sews.
It’s our birthday and you’re invited! June 16th 5-7:30 join us for a party at the Studio, 634 Grand Canyon Drive in Madison, Wisconsin. We’ll have live music, prizes, a pop-up shop from a local maker, and cake!
Saturday June 17th we’ll have classes with Susan B. Anderson, a sidewalk sale and and more pop-up-shop action. Both days you can win prizes when you visit us. More class details coming soon!
We’re so happy to be in the Studio and hope you can join us to celebrate.
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.
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.
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!
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!