June 02, 2008

Knit So Fine Blog Tour Kicks Off Today

Knitwear designers Laura R. Myers, Laura Grutzeck, and Carol Sulcoski—co-authors of Knit So Fine: Designs with Skinny Yarn are on a mission to deepen knitters' appreciation for skinny yarns. Starting Monday, June 2, they'll be sitting down for a virtual chat each day with some of the Internet's favorite knitting bloggers to look at all the advantages of thin yarns and offer new inspiration for working with them this summer, and year-round.

Book website: http://www.interweave.com/knit/books/Knit_So_Fine/
Book knitalong: http://knitsofinekal.blogspot.com/
On Ravelry: http://knitsofinekal.blogspot.com/

The Knit So Fine Blog Tour: 14 stops in 14 days, full of yarn reviews, inside
stories, and more!

June 2
Andrea of The Fiber Forum, http://thefiberforum.com

June 3
RosieBlogs, http://www.rosieblogs.blogspot.com

June 4
Faina of Faina's Knitting Mode, http://fainasknittingmode.blogspot.com

June 5
Kat Coyle, http://katcoyle.blogspot.com

June 6
Lynn of ColorJoy, http://colorjoy.com/weblog

June 7
Shannon Okey, http://www.knitgrrl.com

June 8
Nautical Knitter, http://www.knitwith.us

June 9
Connie Chang, http://www.physicsknits.blogspot.com

June 10
Christi of Turtlegirl's Bloggy Thing, http://turtlegirl76.com

June 11
Rob of Threadbear Fiber Arts, http://blackdog.threadbearfiberarts.com

June 12
Cindy, the FitterKnitter, http://fitterknitter.livejournal.com

June 13
VĂ©ronik Avery, http://www.veronikavery.com/blog

June 14
Franklin Habit, http://www.the-panopticon.blogspot.com

June 15
Myra & Suzie of Woolbearers, http://www.woolbearers.blogspot.com

January 10, 2008

New Knitting TV Show

Knitting Daily TV, a new knitting show is scheduled to launch on many public television stations around the country in July 2008. This magazine-format TV series is a makeover of Needle Arts Studio with Shay Pendray, the first and longest-running program on public television to focus on the needle arts.

Knitting Daily TV will be hosted by a cast of popular magazine editors: "Interweave Knits" Editor Eunny Jang, "Interweave Crochet" Editor Kim Werker, "Handwoven" Managing Editor and former Managing Editor of "Spin-Off", Liz Gipson, along with Shay Pendray. The 30-minute themed episodes will cover a variety of needle crafts—from knitting and crochet to stitching, felting, and spinning—and guide viewers in learning to make fun yet smart one-of-a-kind designs using the latest products in yarn and fiber.

Industry experts and renowned designers will appear as guests and join the "Knitting Daily TV" team to bring fiber fans great projects for the beginner to advanced, updates on tools and materials, in-depth technique tutorials, and creative ideas that are sure to inspire.

The makeover of Needle Arts Studio starts with a new name, set, music, and graphics, but the changes are more than cosmetic. “The growing community of DIY-ers doesn’t just want to watch, they want to be a part of it. “Knitting Daily TV” will merge how-to television programming with the online community of knitters in an exciting new way,” said Executive Producer Kathie Stull.

KnittingDailyTV.com is the online companion to the TV show. The site will feature video clips, episode recaps, patterns, interactive discussion, local TV schedules, and more. In addition, "Knitting Daily TV" will have a presence on MySpace and Facebook and episode previews will be available on YouTube.

The show will regularly invite the Knitting Daily online community to be a part of the program by incorporating segments such as "You Asked It", where hosts answer everyday needle-arts questions of people in the online community or “You Made It,” featuring their handmade creations—bringing a fun twist to the traditional knitting circle and the viral concept of the online knit-along.

January 01, 2008

Twelve Months of Knitting

Twelve Months of Knitting: Improve Your Knitting skills Month By Month With 36 Seasonal Projects by Joanne Yordanou is a unique knitting book because not only does it have some great projects it also helps you plan on starting and finishing them.

Have you ever started a sweater in March and April and ended up finishing it but it was to warm out to wear? Waiting a few months to wear something I've spent weeks and possibly months on, is disappointing.

But with Twelve Months of Knitting, Joanne Yordanou, takes the guess work of project planning so that you can start and finish projects to use and wear right away.

The book is divided by month with garments each month. These are the months that they should be completed for. And there is a weekly planner that tells when you should start the project and the approximate length of time it will take to complete.

So for January, there is a Ski Lodge Scoop (one of my favorites), on page 17. On the planner it says to start the second week of December and the vest should take 1 to 2 weeks to complete if you are an average speed knitter.

Another favorite of mine, the Girl's Valentine Cardigan on page 27, should be started the 3rd week of January and take 2 weeks to complete. Just in time for Valentine's Day!

I also like the Boat Launch Cables on page 94 which is a sleeveless wrapped top made from 100% bamboo. Joanne has it placed in July and says I should start it at the beginning of May for it to be done in time to wear it.

The planner could also be used for projects similar in design that aren't in the book. So if you see a sweater pattern with cables like the Stitch Therapy Turtleneck (page 57), you could check the planner and see that it should take about 3 to 4 weeks to complete it.

This book was big hit when I took it to my weekly knit group. There are so many items that were popular including:

Kiss Curls Sunggles Wrap for February, page 30, 2 - 3 weeks
Summer Chill Shaw for August, page 107, 3 weeks
Kimono Wrap for October, page 125, 1 -2 weeks
Red Cable Cardigan for December, page 151, 3 - 4 weeks

Although I don't necessary agree with months that some items were placed (ie. a long sleeve llama/wool sweater in August), most of the projects are appropriately placed. And the time to complete some of the projects seem to short, at least for me anyway (ie. the cable sweaters and cardigans would take me much longer then 3 - 4 weeks to complete). But I also like to have several things on the needles.

Overall, I really like Twelve Months of Knitting by Joanne Yordanou. It has some great projects for all level of knitters and the helpful planner and placement of patterns in months, makes it a great book to guide you to completion.

November 28, 2007

New Japanese Knitting Pattern Blog

The Japanese Knitting Pattern Blog is a resource for English speaking knitters who love Japanese knitting patterns.

Japanese knitting patterns are gaining more popularity with English speaking knitters. However, the language barrier and the differences between knitting pattern instructions, knitting symbols, and knitting needle sizes, makes it difficult for English speaking knitters to knit the patterns.

The Japanese Knitting Pattern blog hopes to help jump these hurdles and offer resources for knitters to translate patterns that they can knit.

The blog covers such topics as:
Japanese Knitting Books
Free Japanese Knitting Patterns
Japanese Online Bookstores
Japanese Knitting Patterns
Japanese Knitting Symbols

Knitting Daily Announces Yarn Spree Giveaway

Enter at knittingdaily.com for a chance to win $600 in gift certificates to your favorite local yarn shop.

Loveland, Colo., November 28, 2007: Knitting Daily wants yarn lovers to shop till they drop in the New Year. Knitting Daily, Interweave Press’s new online community, pattern library, blog, and e-newsletter for knitting and fiber enthusiasts, announced today the opportunity for readers to enter the chance to win $600 in shopping sprees to their favorite local yarn shops (LYS).

Simply visit the Knitting Daily Yarn Spree webpage, provide your contact information and the name of your favorite LYS, and automatically be entered to win a LYS yarn spree. Three winners will be drawn at random and will win a gift certificate to shop for free yarn, needles, books, and magazines at their favorite LYS compliments of Knitting Daily. The grand prize is a $300 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite LYS, followed by a $200 LYS gift certificate to the second-place winner, and $100 LYS gift certificate to the third-place winner.

Website: www.knittingdaily.com/yarnspree

Knitting Daily Editor Sandi Wiseheart will announce the winners in January 2008.

November 22, 2007

The Knitter's Book of Yarn

The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes is an informative and entertaining guide to everything you need to know about yarn.

The Knitter's Book of Yarn is written by the editor of Knitter's Review (http://www.KnittersReview.com), Clara Parkes, who has been reviewing yarn, needles, and all things knitting for years.

It includes a thorough discussion of the 4 major types of fibers used to make yarn: protein fibers (wool, cashmere angora, etc.), cellulose (plant) fibers, cellulosic fibers (rayon), and synthetic fibers (nylon, acrylic, etc.). Clara writes about the characteristics of each kind and where they come from. More importantly she explains the properties of each kind of yarn and what type of knitting uses are best for them.

Clara also has a whole section of the book that covers how yarn is made from the major mill to the microspinneries and everyone else in between. Plus she discusses the different processes used to dye yarn.

Finally, in the third section of the different plys of yarn (single, two-ply, tree-ply, four-ply, cabled, textured, boucle, brushed, and chenille), she has 40 knitting patterns that take in the best features of each type of yarn.

I especially liked the two-ply Baby Soft Cardigan (page 91), the four-ply Princess Mitts (page 173), and cabled-yarn Cabled Headband (page 187) by designer Jennifer Hagan of Figheadh Yarnworks. The baby cardigan has an unique slightly asymmetrical front placket that doesn't require a button band to be knit. And the fingerless gloves have a beautiful cable pattern on top.

Amy King has several nice patterns including an angora cardigan, Vines Cardigan (page 103) and a cabled-yarn vest, XOX Vest (page 183).

Other designers featuring patterns in the book are: Adrian Bizilia, Cat Bordhi, Teva Durham, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, Norah Gaughan, Amie Gavin Glasgow, Bess Haile, Lana Hames, Shelia Janury, Elanor Lynn, Tara Jon Manning, Gina Wilde, and Margaret Klein Wilson.

Clara Parkes has included several of her own patterns including a lovely Butterfly Moebius shawl done in a cabled-yarn.

What I especially enjoyed about all the great patterns in the book is that in addition to listing the yarn used in the pattern, the book also has recommendations on what type of yarn to use for substitution.

Two patterns from the book are available for free, Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes and Princess Mitts by Jennifer Hagan

Errata for the patterns is available on the Knitter's Review website.

The finally section of the books is a great reference that any knitter could use. It includes how to care for handknits and special considerations to keep in mind for each type of fiber. There are couple of invaluable charts, one on figuring out Wraps Per Inch (WPI) and the other listing the standard yarn weight system. And the abbreviations and technique section is invaluable.

Overall, The Knitter's Book of Yarn is a must have for any serious knitter who want to knit better finished garments. It gives all the information you need to make better buying decisions of yarn and wonderful patterns to use the yarn with.