Second Knitcircus Podcast and Show Notes


Yay! Podcast #2, is here, in which Amy tells us about  the joys of ripping back, why you have to lock your car this time of year, and about the history of Elizabeth Zimmerman/Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, Jaala recaps her experiences at Sock Summit and there's a lively debate about a short piece of knitting equipment. Find it on itunes, too!

Dedicated to Joyce Williams.

Show Notes:

Amy gives us a short history of Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp

Dedicated to amazing knitter Joyce Williams: her books include

Latvian Dreams

Sweaters from Camp

Armenian Knitting


 Jaala joined 6,000 other knitters atSock Summit

Event organized by Yarn Harlot Stephanie Pearl McPhee and Tina Newton/Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Jaala met at Summit: Brooke from Sincere Sheep 

Stricken Smitten

Signature Needle Arts 


Clara Parkes

Clara has lots of great tips in her: Knitters Book of Socks

Tactile Fibers

Fickleknitter,  August Pansy Shawl

Cormo/Blue Faced Leicester

Jaala splurged on a : Japanese Stitch Book


Meet us at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival!

These worthy women will also be at Sheep and Wool:

Jennie the Potter

Jacey Boggs 


On Amy's needles: from Knitting Around, by Elizabeth Zimmerman ; Baby Bog Jacket 

In Jaala's Knitting Bag: Stricken Smitten Silk/BFL

Hiya Hiya short circular needles

Heather Ordover; Craftlit Podcast: The first podcast Jaala ever heard!

Heather's new book from Cooperative Press: What Would Madame DeFarge Knit?

Point of Contention! Short circular needles: delightful or evil? Leave us a comment or vote in our Facebook poll!

Also, from this podcast, you might think that Jaala still lives in her parents' basement. This is not true. She lives next door with a very understanding husband, two kids who love Mini-Mochimochi, and many pets. So it's just quieter over at her mom's house, which is why Jaala and Amy sneak over there to talk knitting. Really, it's a lot quieter over there.





Sock Summit Finale

Because of airline funkiness, the only flight home we could get on Sunday left at 6:30 am, and I couldn't in conscience ask Mike to take the kids Monday, too. So Saturday was my big last day, and big it was!

Amassed treasures. Queen Bee Creations handmade pouch; Sock Summit tape measure; the skein under the pouch is Indigodragonfly's color called "You Punched the Highlights Out of Her Hair!"

That's a very special skein; I promised my mom she could choose any Indigodragonfly and I'd knit her Michelle Miller's shawl from the Fall 2011 Knitcircus. It also caused me to watch Scott Pilgrim again with Mike as soon as we returned home. The Japanese Stitches book was my big splurge; been wanting one of those for a looong time.

Saturday morning, I talked to lots of people at the Marketplace; lots of people had done their big shopping Friday, so it was relatively quiet. Lots of exciting finds: Brooke from the Sincere Sheep, Kimber from Fiber Optic, Mercedes of Kitchen Sink Dyeworks , Carl and Eileen at Bijou Basin, and Maia of Tactile Fibers all agreed to provide yarn support for Knitcircus; whooo! 

It was exciting to connect with other designers and podcasters, like getting to have lunch with Candace Eisner Strick, who we've been really lucky to work with, meeting Marly Bird, from Yarn Thing podcast, and Natalie from Cloudy with a Chance of Fiber podcast; it was so cool to meet Stitchy McYarnpants and Splityarn; also talked to the Tangled and Entangled ladies. Ms. Gusset came all the way form Australia, and Clara Parkes told us that Ms. G is working on getting new Zealand sheep fleece scoured and washed locally. I guess it's pretty standard to process the wool in China. Go, Ms. Gusset!

The afternoon gave me the chance to take JC Briar's Sock Pattern class; she has so much experience, and such an organized mind. Wow. It also made me very grateful that Ada and Steph created such a detailed Style Guide for Knitcircus, since she emphasized that as the most important piece of a good pattern and smooth tech-edit experience.

 And, for the finale:

The Flashmob!

Can I just say, eveer since I first saw a bunch of teenagers doing a dance in a mall, I've secretly wished to be part of a flashmob, so thanks so much, Stephanie, Tina, HizKnits, Debby et all. That was a blast!

My mom took photos for us–check out the knitters!



Sigh. Summit was so much fun. Thanks a million to all of the organizers. Crossing my fingers we'll be back again in 2013!


Sock Summit 3 and Knitcircus Podcast on itunes

First of all,  you can find the Knitcircus Podcast on itunes now! We'd be so happy if you gave it a listen…


Waiting to get into the Opening Night reception; this was actually Thursday night. Stephannie and TIna tolde funny stories about the unbelievable amount of work they (and ST1 and St@ teams) did to pull together Summit 2009 and 2011. Their Convention Center guy, Mike, was very nervous about all of the kntitters and all of the yarn, concerned that we would immediately drop and trip over skeins of yarn if there was a fire, and stack spinning wheels in front of the fire exits. Apparently, after all they went through to convince him SS09 would work, they returned this year and said, "Remember all the things we did last year? We want to do all of those things, only more, and we want to bring in live sheep."

And Mike replied, "Sure. Where would you like to put them?"

Voodoo Doughnut

Friday, mom and I got up early (not hard, since the time change made our usual rising time around 5 am) to make the train polgrimmage to VOodoo DOughnut. There was walking after the train stop, and it wasn't immediately lear where to go, but we followed three women who looked like knitters and sure enough, they led us there.

The famous Voodoo Doughnut! Hard to see in this pic; glittery bricks!

Waiting in line.


A case of goodies; the one in the middle, the "No-Name," with Rice Krispies, chocolate and peanut butter? Our fave by far. In front you can see the famous Maple Bacon long john, and I think the orange one was dipped in Tang.

What a stylish box! We spotted these all over Sock Summit at different points…we liked our own pink box so much, my mom flattened it and took it home with us!
The SockGate. Not my particular geekery, so I wasn't sure how one usually comes out of it. This was a present from Tina to Steph, a fun surprise because they're both big fans.

Marketplace Friday AM:

Stephannie introduced me to Sarah, of the Sanguine Gryphon, and we'll be working with themfor yarn support, so that's exciting!

Friday morning, I picked up some yarn from one of my new fave finds; Didi of Little Red Bicycle.

 Look for a review  and pattern featuring her yarns in the Gifts Issue!

Not showing in the pic: the sparkle! This one's full of little silvery bits. I can't wait to use, it, maybe for a shawl (like a secret one coming up in Fall…)

I was so pleased about my LRB yarn that I walked around with the labels showing so people would ask where I got it. 😉

Lunch: Stephannie introduced me to Michele, PDX Knitterati, who  showed us where to go for a delicious lunch at a cafe whose name I can't remember. It turned out to be a little longer walk than we thought,  and we had to run back in time for my class with Clara Parkes, and it turned out that the same thing happened to her! Whew.

Clara's class was called Tips and Tricks for Stretch and Strength; it was a distillation of the ideas in her new Knitter's Book of Socks. We got to touch all of the samples from the book; what a treat!  Clara was more relaxed and fun in person than the depth of knowledge in her books might suggest. A few tips: support small indy dyers and companies who source yarn locally, add extra twist stitches where your foot and your shoes tend to abrade, and the more plies, the better.

80's Dance Party:

The Sock Hop: Sorry, no pics, since it was too dark, but Steph, Webmistress Cindy and I danced up a storm to songs we kind of wished we didn't remember all the words to; designer Anne Kuo Lukito, yarnmaker Deb Accuardi, Kim from Anzula and lots of other people looked 80's-perfect, even with lace Madonna gloves. Kim can really move! At the end, a knitter in a flared, organza-lined dress led us all in erfect Thriller choreography; wish I knew her name; she said she'd danced in a goth Thriller video. She was spectacular.








Sock Summit: Opening Day

Opening Day 

On Thursday, wonderful Knitcircus tech-editor Stephannie Tallent (aka Stephcat on Ravelry and twitter) arrived in town; we've worked together for a number of magazine issues, but had never met in real life. Seeing her was very satisfying, because she was just as I thought she'd be! Except way more fun to hang out with in person. :) 

 Longtime Knitcircus designer Fickleknitter couldn't be at the show because of a family emergency; it looks as though she will soon be parent to another child, for all the saddest reasons. We had told her we'd help out as much as we could, so Steph and I spent a good chunk of the day setting up the Fickleknitter booth, getting it ready for the marketplace open that evening. Holiday Yarns had done the heavy lifting, getting boxes in and unloaded, so we arranged patterns, put up signs and plugged in lights. A big cheer to SlippedStitch Studios, who manned and womanned her booth for almost the entire show.

We also got to hang out with the fabulous Ms Shannon Okey, help her string and hang sample socks, and sample some of her Voodoo Doughnuts.

Another Portland thing: little clusters of food carts, called "pods." At a little place called Savor, my mom got a grilled cheese sandwich on artisan bread, with local cheddar cheese, organic tomatoes and truffle oil. Wow. The only thing that wcould have made it a better taste sensation was washing it down with some of their Blueberry-Basil Lemonade. The basil wasn't overpowering, just enough to give it an intriguing taste. I want to figure out how they made that so I can try it at home! May even try this recipe today, with store-bought lemonade and basil from my dad's garden…

We ran into the sweet and friendly Julie, from Patternfish, at the food carts; she does such an amazing job with that pattern site!


The opening Marketplace session ran from 4:30-6:30 Thursday night. Playing the part of Fickleknitter, I slipped in and gave the booth a final primp; everyone got their booths all pretty, and then, according to Sock Summit tradition, gave a big cheer for the attendees as they started streaming in.

!Everyone went straight for their favorite stalls and began petting the fibers. You should have seen the lines at Sanguine Gryphon! It wouldn't be much of an exxaggeration to say that at one point, a quarter of the knitters in attendance were standing in that line. Couldn't believe when I checked back on Saturday that they still had any yarn left! 

 The marketplace, I tell you, was a well-edited (but huge) sock knitter's dream. Before the show started, I got worried that the lovely Desiree, of Stricken Smitten, would sell all of her new silk/wool blend before I could get to it, so she kindly set one aside for me. My first yarn score of Sock Summit!





Sock Summit: Day 1

  My Mom and I were lucky enough to spend four days in what was, for a short time at least, the City of Knitters; Portland during Sock Summit. Please join us for a blog trip, one day at a time, since it was so jam-packed.

Knitters on a Plane

The fun began before we even reached Portland, when Mom noticed a woman in our same row knitting an argyle sock; it turned out to be none other than Sock Summit teacher Lorilee Beltman (far right). That's me with the pink hair, and behind me are Amber and Jumi. The knitter next to me, unfortunately, I didn't get her name, but I do know that she traveled all the way from West Virginia.

Because of the two-hour time difference, we arrived at lunchtime, so had the rest of the day to explore Portland.

Portland's public transportation is legend; one of the guidebooks my mom read recommended not even trying to drive in Portland and relying on the streetcars, rail and buses instead. The Convention Center was in side a generous Free Fare Zone that covered all of downtown as well, so the only time we had to purchase tickets was riding to the airport and back.

My city of Madison has talked about wanting a light rail for literally 25 years, so I was very excited to see one in person:

We toook this one downtown, and as I watched the bridges and many flat-topped buildings go by, it struck me how much oil and gas Portland must be saving compared to, say Milwaukee, a city of similar population where most people rely on cars. It inspired me to see how a group of people making a good decision can have a positive ripple effect on the environment.

Our destination? The famed Portland yarn store Knit/Purl, in the Pearl District, one of Portland's 15 yarn stores. Yes, 15, or even more!

As promised, the store boasted a well-edited collection of high-end yarns, thoughtfully organized by fiber weight. Nobody in Madison has Habu, so I loved feeling the steel-fibered yet ethereal sample garments; they carried a full line of Shibui, plenty of Malabrigo, Tactile Fiber Arts, Abstract Fiber, Alpha-B, and colors of Madelinetosh I'd never seen before.

Nearby, we browsed the famed Powell's City of Books, a whole city block and three floors of new and used volumes and gifts in a warren of different-colored rooms.  Here's my Mom, lifelong book-lover, headed to Powell's.

At first, the exterior lacked the dignity we hoped to see in the world's largest independent bookstore; after we left and walked around the other way, we saw the new Powell's entrance:

That's more like it!

My mom reported that they had every kind of book and gift; since I never got out of the knitting section, we'll take her word for it. The pre-Summit party was going already in the crafting aisle, with knitters craning their necks and leafing through Cookie A's Knit.Sock.Love, Harmony Stitch guides, Rowan collections, Clara Parkes' books, Mochimochi, and even rare Alice Starmores. The Powell's folks had labeled all the available books by Sock Summit teachers, most of which were gone even by Wednesday night.

Tomorrow: the official Sock Summit kickoff!

So Much Sock Yarn…

If you're getting ready to make the trip to Portland for Sock Summit, doing the Couldn't Foot It Challenge, or just like a pretty sock pic on a Friday:

  Little red bicycle

This skein of Penny Farthing Sock just came in from Little Red Bicycle–my new fiber-love.  Can't wait to see the rest of Didi's line at Sock Summit!

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks: yum!


 Stricken Smitten (shown in the form of Jera Socks).

Have a great weekend, and stay cool!


So Much Sock Yarn…

If you're getting ready to make the trip to Portland for Sock Summit, doing the Couldn't Foot It Challenge, or just like a pretty sock pic on a Friday:

  Little red bicycle

This skein of Penny Farthing Sock just came in from Little Red Bicycle–my new fiber-love.  Can't wait to see the rest of Didi's line at Sock Summit!

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks: yum!


 Stricken Smitten (shown in the form of Jera Socks).

Have a great weekend, and stay cool!