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 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.


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 (, 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.

November 11, 2007

Pretty Knits

Pretty Knits by Susan Cropper has 30 feminine-styled knitting patterns knit with some of today's' most beautiful yarns by popular knitting designers.

If you are looking for a knitting pattern book with a little less glam and a lot more feminine, then you should check out Susan Cropper's Pretty Knits. In it you will find stylish knitwear as well as beautifully lush home decor.

Susan Cropper is the owner of the London yarn store, Loop. In her book, Pretty Knits, she has patterns from popular knitting designer such Debbie Bliss, Leigh Radford, and Claire Montgomerie, as well as lesser known designers.

The book has four sections of patterns and there are several patterns in each section that would be great knits.

The first section, Flirty Fashionista, has several feminine tops including the Beaded Camisole by Lesile Scanion, the "Bliss" Empire-Line Top by Debbie Bliss, the "Elsie" Swing Cardigan by Amy Twigger Holroyd, and the "Avril" Shrug by Kristeen Giffin-Grimes.

The second section, Divine Accessories, has the "Anisette" Wrap by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes.

The third section, Beautiful Boudoirs, has the Lavender Sleep Pillow by Ruth Cross, Floral Bolster Pillow by Catherine Tough, and Lace Ruffle Bed Socks by Leslie Scanion.

The fourth section, Feminine Fripperies, has Scallop-Edged Lace Wrap by Kate Samphier and Lavender Heart by Catherine Tough.

November 08, 2007

Knitty Fall Surprise Patterns and 2008 Calendar Available has published 3 new patterns for their Fall 2007 Issue. They are:

Intarsia Fun - Two intarsia patterns by Debbie Bakerfield, one a hat, the other a scarf.
Juno Regina - A lace wrap by Miriam L Felton
Oblique - a cardigan by VĂ©ronik Avery

Also available is their 2008 Knitty Calendar, available in the Knitty Shop. The calendar uses photos of completed Knitty projects. The winners are:

January: Alicia Ramirez
February: Sarah Wilkin
March: Jo Kerrigan
April: Flora Wermuth
May: Jenny Spencer
June: Suzie Putnam
July: Heidi Kastner
August: Angela Daff and her bunnies!
September: Lindsey LaPlant
October: Angela Moore
November: Jennifer Schmitz

October 29, 2007

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fiber Harvest Announced

Plans were unveiled today for the first-ever "Fiber CSA" where knitting enthusiasts can purchase membership shares in the Spring 2007 "harvest" of fiber from the angora goats and fine wool sheep of the Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm. Purchased for yourself or as a gift, share ownership lets members become "vicarious shepherds" without ever having to feed a sheep or shear a goat. Best of all, after shearing, each member will receive an equal portion of the clip in the form of unique, one-of-a-kind yarns.

A CSA is a relationship of mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a share of the harvest. This arrangement gives the farmer a direct connection to and relationship with the consumer.

The CSA concept is quietly sweeping the country with families who are looking to help small farmers stay profitable while taking advantage of all the benefits of buying local.

A limited number of shares will be pre-sold at $100 per membership share. Shareholders can choose to take all of their share of the harvest in one type of yarn or receive a sampler pack that includes mohair, kid mohair, Cormo, Cotswold, and fine wool yarns. The purchaser will receive a shareholder’s certificate, weekly email updates on the animals and farm, and an invitation to the farm’s Shearing Day Celebration. For more information, or to purchase a share while they last, visit our website at, or call 845.625.7075 before the holiday rush

October 16, 2007

Vickie Howell Podcast

Vickie Howell, host of Knitty Gritty, will be releasing her first podcast on November 1, 2007.

Season One will include 7 original podisodes that will be released on Thursdays in November & December.

The line up for the episodes is:

Podisode 001: Dia De Los Crafty!
Begins airing 11/01/07
Guest: Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka Crafty Chica)
Topic: Latina inspired crafting, Dia De Los Muertos and Kathy and Vickie’s Latin roots. Kathy also fills us in with her brand spankin' new line of craft products!

Podisode 002: Eco-Create
Begins airing 11/08/07
Guest: Adrienne Armstrong (Owner of Atomic Garden/First Lady of Green Day)
Topic: Scoop on knitting, crochet and crafting with eco-friendly materials. We’ll also chat about Adrienne's new sustainable living boutique and her work with Habitat for Humanity!

Podisode 003: Man, you’re the Knit!
Begins Airing 11/15/07
Guest: Will Forte (Saturday Night Live)
Topic: Why one man knits as well as how to hook-up with the male-knitting community. Will also gives us the scoop on SNL, his movie Brothers Solomon and his other upcoming projects!

Podisode 004: Bringing Home the Crafty Bacon
Begins Airing 11/29/07
Guest: Jennifer Perkins (Host of Craft Lab/ Owner of Naughty Secretary Club)
Topic: Grass roots info on starting a crafty business. Jen also talks about the current season of Craft Lab and her upcoming jewelry book!

Podisode 005: From Make to Mags
Begins Airing 12/06/07
Guest: Adina Klein (Editor in Chief of Vogue Knitting & Knit.1 Magazines)
Topic: Advice on getting knitwear designs published and what editors are looking for when it comes to submissions, style and execution. Adina will also give us the hot gossip on upcoming VK and Knit.1 issues!

Podisode 006: 3rd Wave Femiknits
Begins Airing 12/13/07
Guest: Debbie Stoller (Editor-in-Chief BUST Magazine/Author Stitch 'N Bitch books)
Topic: Feminism and this generation’s crafty revolution. Discussion about the need for community, the desire to create and the new genre of careers emerging, all in the name of knit. Debbie also fills us in on her upcoming book, the knitting cruise she’s hosting and the scoop on what’s next for BUST!
Plus, tips on starting your own SnB group and seeking out community on the web!

Podisode 007: Book Deal
Begins Airing 12/20/07
Guest: Kelley Deal (The Breeders /Author)
Topic: Trials, triumphs and tribulations of writing a knitting book. Vickie and Kelley swap tales from the book writing trenches and talk about upcoming projects including Kelley's upcoming handbag how-to and the much anticipated Breeders return.
Plus, tips on landing your own book deal!

More info on Vickie Howell's Podcast is available on her website at:

Stitch 'n Bitch Audiobook Released

Knitting Out Loud publisher Kathy Goldner announced today the audiobook release of the New York Times best-seller Stitch 'n Bitch read by the author.

"Stitch 'n Bitch is a very funny, very sassy, knitting guide. Yet the moving story of Debbie's Dutch grandmother weaves through it. Stoller's reading brings the material alive," said Goldner, "and when I listened to Debbie Stoller read, techniques I had puzzled over suddenly became clear."

Debbie Stoller comes from a long line of Dutch knitters.

She is the co-founder, co-publisher and editor-in-chief of the feminist magazine BUST and the co-author of The BUST Guide to the New Girl Order. She is the author of Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker and Son of Stitch 'n Bitch: 45 Projects to Knit and Crochet for Men, coming November 2007.

"Debbie Stoller, the founder of the popular Stitch ‘n Bitch knitting circles across the country, has been credited with jumpstarting the knitting rage with her popular series of Stitch ‘n Bitch books." New York Times

July 27, 2007

Getting Started Knitting Socks

I have been looking for a good sock knitting book for a quite ahile. I think I found it in Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks. This is one of the best sock knitting books to come out in a long time. If you are new to knitting socks or want to learn how to knit socks or having been knitting socks for some time, you'll find this book to answer most, if not all, your sock knitting questions from getting gauge to casting on to solving common sock knitting problems.

Ann covers the basics of socks including five different ways to knit socks in the rounds which are with four double-pointed needles, with five double-pointed needles, with one very short circular needle, two circular needles, and one long circular needle.

She also covers a couple of flexible cast-ons , the long-tail cast-on and old Norwegian cast-on. And she shows three ways to join rounds. These are a simple join, a crossover, join, and a two-end join.

The best part of the socks basics chapter, however, is the photographs and sections on knitting each part of a sock. Ann breaks it down into knitting the cuff, knitting the leg, knitting the heel turn, knitting the gussets, knitting the foot, and knitting the toe.

Throughout she offers tips to handle sock knitting problems such as preventing ladder stitches, matching leg and foot lengths, preventing holes at gussets, preventing ill-fitting socks, and preventing holes in the heel and toe.

This socks basic information is then followed by a chapter on basic sock instructions. In it, Ann has patterns based on gauge and yarn weight. They include socks knitted with 8 stitches per inch, 7 stitches per inch, 6 stitches per inch, 5 stitches per inch, and 4 stitches per inch. Each pattern has directions for five different foot circumferences and foot lengths.

The rest of the book is broken up into three chapters focusing on different kinds of socks starting with knitting socks with color and texture the easy way with self-striping and variegated yarn. The next chapter shows how to add color and texture on your own with stripe patterns, rib patterns, cable patterns, and lace patterns.

The final pattern chapter has sock with different cuff and leg variations that include picot anklets, ruffle cuff anklets, and knee socks.

I highly recommend Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. It is probably the only sock knitting book you will ever need. It covers all the basics of knitting socks and shows you how to make your own variations so that you can be confident in knitting great socks every time!

July 10, 2007


Shop online for 50–80 percent off your favorite craft books

Loveland, Colo., July 10, 2007: Interweave Press announced today its annual,
highly anticipated hurt book sale, beginning today at 10 a.m. MDT at More than 125 craft books will be deeply
discounted and sold online only on a first-come basis until inventory runs out.
This is a great time to pick up bargains on both hardbound and softbound
books about beading, jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, felting, spinning,
weaving, needlework, and other popular crafts.

Hurt books are still in good condition but imperfect in quality and have minor
dings such as a scratch on the cover or a bent page.

The savings run deep and some books will be combined for greater discounts.
For example, the knitting titles Scarf Style and Wrap Style from the popular
Style series will be available at 50 percent off individually ($10.98 each) or for
$15 plus shipping if ordered together—that's over 65 percent off the retail

Other sought-after titles to be marked down for the sale include The Beader's
Companion by Jean Campbell and Judith Durant, The Knitter's Companion by
Vicki Square, Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas, and Beaded Embellishment by
Amy Clarke Moore and Robin Atkins, as well as rarer titles such as the
Weldon's Practical Needlework volumes—the perfect gift for needlework
history buffs and a fantastic value at 50 percent off the original price of $30

Hurt books cannot be combined with normal products at check-out and phone
orders will not be accepted. All sales are final and books are nonrefundable.

About Interweave Press LLC

Interweave Press, a unit of Aspire Media, is one of the nation's leading craft
media companies, with businesses in magazine and book publishing,
interactive media, broadcast programming, and events for craft enthusiasts.
The Interweave Press Publishing Group features 14 subscription magazines
and many more special interest publications. Interweave Press has more than
200 books in print and annually publishes about 30 best-selling, how-to craft
books on the same subjects as the company's magazines. Additionally,
Interweave Press operates eight annual craft enthusiast events and has an
extensive Internet presence that includes nearly 30 websites. Linda Ligon
founded the company in the 1970s when she began publishing Handwoven
and Spin-Off magazines. Since then, the company has grown to employ more
than 100 people throughout the country, with corporate headquarters
located in Loveland, Colo. For more information on Interweave Press, please
visit or call (970) 669-7672.


July 06, 2007

Kids Learn To Knit

A great Knitting book for kids is Kids Learn to Knit by Lucinda Guy and Francois Hall.

From book description:
"Learning to knit can be enormous fun for five-to-ten-year-olds - especially when helped along by frisky animal characters whose antics make each lesson a delight."
From the inside cover:
"Using simple language and witty animal characters, each stage of knitting is set out in a series of lessons; each lesson is then followed by a project to try out new skills."

It has great illustrations and directions. Projects include:
Knit-stitch flag (basically a small garter stitch square with a felt start sewn on)
Happy Herbie (a small dog that is really cute)
Hooting Henry (a stockinette stitch owl)
Striped Garter Scarf
Knitted Book Cover (I may make one of these for myself!)
Flitting Flo (a butterfly to practice decreasing and increasing)
All-Together Bag (it uses all the stitches and techniques in the book and is another project I may have to do myself)

June 04, 2007

Worldwide Knit in Public Day

This Saturday, June 9th, is the Worldwide Knit in Public Day. On this day, knitters world-wide are encouraged to take their knitting to a public place and knit.

Many knitters get together as a group. Check out the Worldwide Knit in Public Day website to see if their is a group get together in your area.

April 29, 2007

Free Knitting Magazine

INKnitters magazine has posted a free knitting magazine issue online.

INKnitters is a print knitting magazine available in the United States and Canada. It offers "cutting-edge techniques, finishing, design, and the latest news".

The free issue, published in the Summer of 2001 and their first issue, contains over 80 pages of patterns and articles.

The free knitting patterns that are available include Trendsetter Fizz by Kennita Tully, a cardigan/jacket knit with novelty yarn, Knit One, Crochet Too Truffles and A Taste of Glitz by Gloria Tracy, a v-neck cardigan, Tahki Sable by Charlotte Morris, a v-neck vest, Red Heart Soft by Diane Piwko, a child's dress and several other free knitting patterns.

The free knitting articles include:
  • Decreasing Your Options: Choosing the proper decrease method by Dee Neer
  • Why Bind Off? : Unique finishing methods using open loops and a short-row primer. by Diane Piwko
  • Spreadsheets for Knitters: A Simple Charting Procedure by Margaret Hall.

All the article and patterns are available in PDF format for easy printing and to keep the layout of the original printed magazine pages intact.

Get your copy of the free knititng magazine at INKnitters

April 27, 2007 Spring Bonus Patterns has released more free knitting patterns to go with the Spring 2007 issue.

The bonus knitting patterns avilable are:
  • Arietta by Barbara Gregory - lovely cardigan using a color mosaic pattern.
  • Vanillas Spice by Susan Todhunter - v-neck cardigan with knitted-in button bands and easily attached top-down sleeves
  • Victoria by Kelly Griffith - knitted umbrellas made from plastic garbage bags (you really need to check this one out!)
Also, there is a sneek peek of a pattern from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits - Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties

April 21, 2007

Converting Flat Knitting To Circular Knitting

The other day I reviewed the book Very Easy Circular Knits by Betty Barnden. In the review I said it was frustrating trying to convert a flat pattern to one knitted in the round. Betty doesn't cover how to do this, but I have a method that I use.

When converting flat knitting to circular knitting it is important to remember that the pattern is written to accommodate sewing a seam. So usually an extra stitch or two is added to the front and the back.

First, I determine how many stitches I need to cast on. This is usually done by adding the number of stitches needed for both the front and the back (which is typically double the front or back number) minus two stitches.

Taking the extra stitches out is especially important when using a stitch pattern that is knitted in multiples of stitches. If the extra stitches aren't removed then the stitch pattern will be off.

Take for example a pattern that states:
K4, *P3, K3* until end of row, P3

The extra K at the beginning needs to be eliminated so that the pattern is knit in the round with K3P3

After I cast on the stitches I've calculated that I need, I knit in the round until I get to the armhole shaping. Then I put half the stitches on a stitch holder. I consider these stitches the front.

I then knit the back, shaping the arms and the neck according to the pattern. I then do the same for the front.

I also knit the sleeves according to the directions. Then all I have to do is seam the armholes and the shoulder seams. Much better then having to seam the sides too!

You can knit the sleeves in the round to avoid seams there as well but at the cap you need to knit back and forth.

Now if you want to do the whole sweater in the round without any seaming then you might try a top-down raglan. There is a great top-down raglan pattern generator at Knitting Fool.

I've knitted a sweater using one generated from this site. The nice thing about top-down sweaters is that you can try on the sweater as you go and not guess if it will be long enough!

April 19, 2007

Finishing Techniques For Hand Knitters

Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters by Sharon Brant shows how to get professional looking knitted sweaters, cardigans and jackets.

Sharon Brant in her book, Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters: Give Your Knitting that Professional Look, covers knitting techniques to help take your knitting from looking homemade to handmade, a true item of quality.

She does this by first covering those things you need to do before you even get started knitting like selecting yarn, knitting a gauge swatch, and taking correct measurements. She even tells you how to calculate the amount of yarn you need for a project so that you don't run short before you complete it.

Then Sharon covers the basics you need to know for creating a great looking garment. She shows a couple of cast on methods and shows how to get even knitting. She also discusses shaping by using increasing, decreasing, and short rows.

The garment assembly chapter is probably the most important chapter in the book. If you don't get this right, all your knitting efforts are wasted. So Sharon covers techniques on sewing in yarn ends, blocking, adding pockets, grafting, picking up stitches, and adding bands to a cardigan.

Then she covers knitting buttonholes, adding zippers, and seaming the garment. Each of these areas is covered with clear step-by-step pictures and directions.

She even has a section on taking care of your garments which tells you how to hand wash and machine wash to avoid ruining them.

Other chapters in the book cover alteration to finished garmets which covers making changes to already knitted garments and embellishments which covers adding beads, fringe, sequins and pompoms.

The last chapter is a chapter of patterns that include a lace-edged pullover, a basic sweater, a lined jacket, a cardigan, a drawstring bag, and a cardigan with a zipper. Each use several of the techniques covered in the book.

Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters by Sharon Brant is a good choice for your knitting library. It covers the important techniques needed to make you garments look great!

April 17, 2007

Very Easy Circular Knits

Very Easy Circular Knits by Betty Barnden takes the mystery out of knitting in the round.

Betty Barnden shows with clear pictures and easy-to-follow directions how to knit with circular needles in her book Very Easy Circular Knits: Simple techniques and step-by-step projects for the well-rounded knitter.

It seems that most standard knitting patterns are written to accommodate knitting flat pieces and then seaming them together. For example, a sweater is often constructed by knitting the front and back separately and then seaming them together along with the sleeves.

For those of us that hate seaming and want to limit its use in our knitting as much as possible, it can be frustrating having to convert patterns to one for knitting in the round. Also, some techniques and stitch patterns are knitted differently in circular knitting vs. flat knitting.

Well, Betty takes the mystery (and frustration) out of circular knitting. Not only does the book show you how to cast on and knit in the round. It also offers tips and step-by-step instructions for knitting all types of items including bags, gloves, mittens, socks, and sweaters.

She also offers advise on knitting stitch patterns differently. In flat knitting stockinette is knitted on one side of the fabric and purled on the other side. However, when knitting in the round, you only have to knit. Betty shows you this and also how to knit other stitch patterns such as garter, reverse stockinette, ribbing, seed stitch and more.

There is also a great chapter on color work techniques in circular knitting. Betty shows how to do Fairisle in easy to understand language with great, informative photos.

The projects are arranged in order of techniques discussed in the book that go from basic to more challenging. The final pattern is a sweater pattern that can be knit for all members of the family.

I like a few of the patterns in the book including the sock pattern, glove pattern, drawstring purse pattern, and toy collection which has a kitten puppet, teddy bear puppet, mouse, and snake.

The sock pattern is especially nice because it takes you through turning the heel and knitting the instep row by row.

So if you are looking for an introduction to circular knitting but have been intimated by the thought of knitting in the round, Very Easy Circular Knits by Betty Barnden may help get you past these fears. It has great looking photos and graphics. Plus the step-by-step instructions are great!

April 08, 2007

National NeedleArts Association Survey

The National NeedleArts Association is asking for input about needle art, including knitting and crochet, experiences.

In an effort to help needle arts shops, product makers, and associations The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) is conducting the American Needlearts Survey 2007. They say:

"Your survey responses will...

**** Help shops and product suppliers enhance your enjoyment of the needle
**** Help The National NeedleArts Association promote the needle arts to
kids and adults
**** Raise money for cancer victim support and needle arts mentoring
**** Make good use of your thoughts and time

The survey asks about your experiences with whichever needle art you enjoy:
crocheting, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting or needlepoint. We'd like to
know what inspires you, your activities, the sorts of projects you like to
do, your early experiences, where you make needle arts purchases, and what
you'd like to see needle arts shops do better. We want to hear from
beginners and experts!"

TNNA will donate $1 for each of the first 800 online surveys to Living
Beyond Breast Cancer or the Helping Hands Foundation Needlearts Mentoring

Goto to American Needlearts Survey 2007 and fill out the 10-minute survey there.

April 06, 2007

Knitting Stamps

The US Postage Service will offer a set of knitting stamps called Holiday Knits later this year.

Holiday Knits is a set of 4 stamps by Nancy Stah that depict the winter images of a Reindeer, a Christmas Tree, a Snow Man, and a Bear. All the stamps are in illustrated as knitted items in stockinette.

The stamps will be printed with the new postage rate of 41 cents after May 14th and be available at post offices across the US later this year.

These knitting stamps will be perfect for all those holiday packages shipped with knitted gifts during the holidays!

March 30, 2007

Purls Forever

Purls Forever by Jonelle Raffino is a touching reflection on the heritage of knitting through 6 generations of knitters.

Jonelle Raffino, co-owner of South West Trading Company target, has gathered together a collection of patterns based on garments and items knitted and crocheted by herself and 5 other generations of women in her family in the her book, Purls Forever: The Story and Legacy of 6 Generations of Women and Their Handcrafted Garments.

The patterns have been updated to reflect contemporary styles while staying true to the original garments that inspired them. They also use modern yarns made for and distributed by South West Trading Company. Also, each pattern includes a picture of the original item as well as the updated version.

Each pattern is accompanied by heart touching stories about the orignial garment, who made the garment, and who recieved the knitted or crotchet item. I felt moved by several of the stories about grandmother, mother, and daughters, so much so that I became teary-eyed.

You can't say that much about a knitting book unless you are crying in frustration over problems knitting a pattern!

Patterns that I particularly like were:
  • A Dress For Josephine/Bamboo Eyelet Set on page 13 - an elegant looking knitted skirt and top set with a picot stitch pattern.
  • Jonette's Sailor Sweater on page 39 - an adorable child's sweater with a sailor collar
  • The Cardigan Sweater/Nona's Cardigan Sweater on page 57 - the updated version has a zipper
  • 911/The Hug Scarf on page 75 - a scarf Jonelle knitted waiting for her husband to come home for Washington, DC after that fatefull day. This story really brought tears to my eyes

Purls Forever by Jonelle Raffino really shows that knitting and crocheting are timeless!

March 18, 2007

Vickie Howell Yarn: Craft

Vickie Howell Yarn Craft
Vickie Howell now has a yarn collection from South West Trading Company. In this article, I'll review Craft, a 35% Milk Fiber and 65% Organic Cotton yarn.

South West Trading Company recently released the Vickie Howell Collection, a set of three types of yarn. These are Craft, made of 35% Milk Fiber and 65% Organic Cotton; Rock, made of 40% Soysilk, 30% fine wool, and 30% hemp; and Love, made of 70% Bamboo and 30% Silk.

The 35% Milk Fiber in the Vickie Howell Yarn Craft helps give the organic cotton softness and a wonderful drape. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn as it was more comfortable then knitting with 100% cotton. It has more give and flexibility thus making it easier to knit.

The feel of the knitted fabric is cool and soft on the skin. I think it would be the perfect yarn for a summer tank top or short sleeve top because the weight of the fabric is relatively light.

There is good stitch definition with the Vickie Howell Craft Yarn. It would probably be great for cables or other textured stitch patterns. And, of course as you can see in the swatch picture, it looks great in stockinette too!

I really like the wonderful bright grass green color of yarn for this swatch. It is number 777 - Kelly. There are lots of other great colors too. I particularly like 765 - Meowers, 764 - Suss, and 767 - Todd.

Contains: 35% Milk Fiber, 65% Organic Cotton
Gauge: 5.5 sts and 7 rows = 1"
Recommended Needles: US 6 (4.0mm)
Length/Weight: 125m/50g ball
Washing Instructions: Hand wash, dry flat

See all yarns reviewed by Knitting News Cast.

March 15, 2007

No Sheep For You

No Sheep For You by Amy R. Singer is a guide to knit happy with cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo and other delights.

In her book, No Sheep For You, Amy R. Singer, editor of, explores using nonwool fibers in knitting. These fibers include cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo, silk, corn, soy, and synthetics such as nylon, acrylic, polyester, and spandex.

The first chapter discusses cellulose fibers like hemp and linen, protien fibers like silk, manufactured fibers from natural materials such as rayon,bamboo, and corn, and synthetic fibers. For each group of fibers, Amy discusses their characteristics and how they behave when knitted.

The second chapter discusses how to choose a nonwool fiber substitute for knitting patterns. There are several look up type charts including "Nonwool Fiber Families and Their Quirks", "Comparison of Properties of Knitting Yarns", and "How to Knit Things Designed for Wool Without Any Wool At All".

The patterns in the book range from cardigans to a tank top shell to a hat to a shawl to sweaters to a scarf to a knitted bag. Each of the patterns are knit with a nonwool yarn with step-by-step instructions, charts, and color photographs.

I especially like "The Bag" by designer Wendy Wonnacott on page 93. It is knit with hemp yarn using a slip-stitch pattern that gives the bag alot of texture. I also like "Tomato" by designer Wendy Bernard on page 137. This short sleeve top has a dramatic neckline and is knit with a worsted-weight cotton yarn.

If like Amy, you are allergic to wool or just prefer using wool in your knitting or if you want to try something new in your knitting, No Sheep For You, is a great place to get educated about using nonwool yarn. Amy goes into great detail about the fibers and how to use them in knitting. There are also some great patterns that use these yarns.

March 14, 2007

Knitting Stitches

Knitting Stitches by Mary Webb is a comprehensive resource of over 300 contemporary and traditional stitch patterns.

Once you get past the basic knitting stitches, stockinette stitch and garter stitch, there is a whole world of useful and decorative knitting stitches to explore. In her book, Knitting Stitches, Mary Webb goes beyond the basic stitches to explore a variety of knitting stitches.

The beginning of the book, in the first four chapters, covers the basics of getting started with knitting. In these chapters, there is information on the materials and tools needed for knitting as well instructions for holding the yarn, holding the needles, how to knit a stitch, how to purl a stitch, casting on, and binding off. Clear color photographs accompany the instructions making it easy to learn how to knit, read patterns, and decipher charts.

The remaining five chapters in the book contain a resource of knitting stitches. They are: Knit and Purl stitches, Rib Stitches, Cable Stitches, Lace and Bobble Stitches and Twist Stitches. The stitches in each chapter are further divided into popular, easy, medium, and difficult.

What I like best about Knitting Stitches is the large, clear photographs that accompany each stitch pattern. They show exactly how the stitch should look. What I also like is the step-by-step instructions and charts for each stitch pattern. These things combined make it easy to knit the patterns.

If you are looking for a portable knitting stitches reference, Knitting Stitches by Mary Webb might be the right choice.

March 12, 2007

Getting Started In Knitting Podcasting

Here is a fun video clip of Rhonda Bell of the Knitting News Cast telling about how she got started in podcasting.

This video was taken at Hill Country Weavers in Austin Texas at a Knit and Nosh event held during SXSW by Cyndilou.

Knit Earflap Hat Patterns

Knit Earflap Hats keep not only your head warm but your ears too. There are many great free knit earflap hat patterns available on the Internet. Here are a few to get you started.

Basic Earflap Hat PatternIf you are looking for a basic pattern to get you started, Julie has a great Basic Earflap Hat Pattern. It calls for about 100 grams of heavy worsted weight yarn. It knits up quick and is a great place to start for designing your own earflap hat pattern.

Knitty Gritty has a Camo Earflap Hat pattern designed by The Souza family. It uses 1 skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in a great orange "camo" looking colorway. It is finished off with nice looking braided ties and a pom-pom.

Or if you need knit earflap hat patterns for both children and adults you may want to check out Gail Bable's Ribbed Ear Flap Hat pattern. These fun hats are knit in K3P1 stitch pattern.

Get more free hat knitting patterns including knit earflap hat patterns from the Free Knitting Patterns Online directory.

March 07, 2007

Knitting Magazine: Spring 2007 Knitty.Com

The Spring 2007 issue of is now available. Here is a preview of all the great free knitting patterns.

bmp - charted sock pattern
carolyn - stripped knitted cardigan
tahoe - v-neck cardigan
ribena - short sleeve top with ribbing and arm warmers
torque - asymmetry cable sweater
isabella - tank top with picot edging
ester - cable shrug
morestripes - skeeked ribbed vest
monica - girl's tank top
briar rose - girl's sweater
hey mickey - girl's pleated skirt
vestee - toddler's sweater
palette - lace scarf
dashing - men's fingerless mitt pattern
paperbag - knit bag
bauble - knit bracelet
queen of cups - lace socks
quill lace - lace anklets
clessidra - cable socks

There are also some great articles including one on dyeing yarn with food coloring, one on spinning hemp, and one loom knitting.

January 31, 2007

Walker Treasury Project

A group of knitters have banded together to show all of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting stitch patterns in color. The hope is to offer knitters a visual aid when knitting these stitch patterns.

Barbara G. Walker is the author of several time-honored knitting books that most knitters find indispensable to their knitting book library. The purpose of The Walker Treasury Project is to display knitted swatches of these patterns and post them in full color because, although the books are a great resource of knitting stitch patterns, the small pictures in the books are in black and white and do not give justice to the true beauty of the stitch patterns.

The project will not post the actual instructions for creating the stitch patterns as they are copyright protected and are available in The Treasury of Knitting books. But now high quality color photos can be used as reference too.

The Walker Treasury Project is asking knitters to contribute to the project by selecting a stitch pattern from any of the books and knitting a big swatch in a light colored yarn using that knitting stitch pattern. A color photo of the swatch along with the stitch pattern name, the book and page number where the stitch pattern is explain, along with other information will be posted on the blog.

In return a link to the contributor's website is included in the posting. And of course all knitters will have a continually expanding resource for knitting stitch patterns from Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting book series which include:

Get more information and see the collection of color swatch photos at The Walker Treasury Project.

January 30, 2007 Winter Bonus Patterns today released new knitting patterns and knitting articles as a bonus to its Winter 2006 issue.

Thermal by Laura Chau is a longjohn inspired top knit with a fine guage yarn.
Dragonfly by Laura Zukaite is a flirty knitted sweater with a dragonfly inspired neckline.
Elbac by by Laura is a knitted scarf that uses ribbing stitches for a reversible scarf.
Mad River Mittens by by Symeon North are great looking felted mittens with buttons.

It's not a's a collection by Kate Antonova covers collecting vintage yarn.
Cheating at color theory by Julie Theaker covers using Hue, Intensity, and Value when selecting yarns colors for knitted projects.

January 29, 2007

Getting Started Knitting

Getting Started Knitting by Jennifer Worick, review columnist for Yarn Market News, is a great resource for the beginning knitter. In this article, I review this book.

Getting Started Knitting is a beginning knitting book but takes knitters well past the usual first knitted scarf project. I especially like the section "A Tour of The Yarn Shop" in the first chapter. It can be overwhelming the first time we enter a yarn store. There are so many types of yarns and knitting notions. It is often hard to make sense out of it all. But Jennifer walks you through what you will find in a typical one and explains all this.

I also like the "Fiber Facts" section in the first chapter. She covers some of the major fibers used in yarn such as wool, mohair, cotton, and acrylic. She tells you about characteristics of each fiber type as well how to wash the finished knitted item that uses them.

The second chapter goes over the basics of knitting including casting on, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, gauge, ribbing, binding off, joining a new ball of yarn, and blocking. She even has a section on setting up your knitting space and storing your yarn stash.

The second chapter has basic patterns such as the garter stitch scarf, a novelty yarn scarf, a poncho, wrist warmers, and leg warmers. All of these are great, easy patterns to get the beginning knitter started.

The following three chapters introduce progressively challenging knitting techniques along with patterns that use these techniques. In the third chapter there is a cute baby blanket in the shape of a stop sign that uses increase and decrease explained in the chapter.

What I really like about the patterns in this book is a section in them called "Need to Know". This part of the pattern lists all the techniques along with the page number where they are explained so you can successfully knit the pattern.

If you are a beginning knitter that wants a book that walks you through more and more challenging projects while giving you explicit directions, Getting Started Knitting by Jennifer Worick, is a good choice. It not only covers the basics in an easy to reading style, it also helps the knitter learn more advanced knitting techniques with some great looking and fun patterns.

January 20, 2007

Super Bowl Charity Knitting

Knitty Gritty is hosting a knit in on Super Bowl Sunday in order to encourage knitting for charity.

On February 4th, 2007, Knitty Gritty, the DIY Network's knitting show hosted by Vickie Howell, is running a matharon of episodes from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. EST. During the matharon, Vickie and DIY network are encouraging the knitting of 7"x9" squares for Warm Up America!, a charitable organization dedicated to the creation of handmade blankets, clothing and accessories to help those in need.

The 7"x9" squares knit and donated by DIY viewers will be sewn together into blankets, and distributed to women's shelters, nursing homes and daycare centers.

For more information on how to participate in DIY's year-long initiative, including a pattern for the square, log on to

Vickie Howell will also have a live blog during the event which is being dubbed "Super Knit Sunday".

For more information see, Knitty Gritty Knit In on Super Bowl Sunday!

January 17, 2007

MagKnits January 2007

The online knitting magazine MagKnits has a great assortment of free knitting patterns in their January 2007 issue.

The issue includes:
Holey Cable! by Amy King - a sweater with cables running down the sleeves.
New York Hat by Marina Bekkerman - a great looking warm, quick, and well-fitting hat.
R31 by Emily Schneider - a form-fitting laptop cozy with a pocket for cables.
Waders Socks by Jennifer Young - lace sock pattern
Indian Summer Collar by Ildiko Szabo - colorful collar or wrap to spruce up a coat or a top.

January 16, 2007

How To Knit Cable Purses

Knit cable purses make an ordinary knitted bag extraordinary. By adding a cable to a simple purse pattern, the bag goes from plain to chic.

Knit cables are often found on knitted garments such as sweaters or scarves. They offer rich texture in a way that looks complicated but isn't once you master the basics of knitting cables.

There are many cable stitch patterns that can be used on a knit purse to jazz it up. Just find a basic knit purse pattern or make up your own and then add some cables to it.

Free Knit Cable Purse Patterns

Or if you want a knit cable purse pattern, check out these two free knit cable purses:

Books With Knit Cable Purse Patterns

There are a couple of great cable-oriented knitting books with each having a pattern for a knit cable bag.

January 12, 2007

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club 2007

Due to a bank's stupid, stupid decision, members of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club 2007 have been refunded their money for their memberships in the company's year long sock knitting club.

In a crazy decision by Blue Moon Fiber Arts' bank, who thinks that sock knitting yarn clubs must be illegitimate, the bank has refunded the money paid for the Rockin' Sock Club 2007 memberships.

Knitters around the world are outraged at this blatant discrimination against knitters everywhere. Thousands of knitters knit socks every day and sock yarn is one of the most popular types of yarn that they use.

There are tons of Sock Knitting Books out on the market and even more sock yarn available. How could this bank be so stupid to think a sock knitting club could be anything but legitimate?!?!

You can read the letter sent to Blue Moon Fibers Arts Rocking' Sock Club 2007 customers and the outrage expressed by knitters everywhere on the Yarn Harlot website.

Wrist Warmer Pattern

Wrist warmers and fingerless knitted gloves are a great way to keep your hands warm while leaving your fingers free. Here is a easy free wrist warmer pattern that knits up quick and is really fun.

Finished Size
6 inches in circumference and 8 inches long

Yarn: 1 skein Buckwheat Bridge Angoras Yarn (50% Kid Mohair, 50% wool, Corpus Cristi)
Needles: Size #3 Double Pointed Needles (DPNs)
Notions: Stitch Marker, Tapestry needle

40 sts = 4 inches in K2P2 stitch pattern

Cast on 60 stitches on size 3 DPNs. Divide stitches between needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. Place stitch marker to indicate beginning of round.

Work in K2P2 stitch pattern until work measures 6 inches.

Next Round: Bind off 7 stitches. Knit to end of round.
Following Round: Cast on 7 stitches. Knit to end of round.
Thumb hole created.

Continue work in K2P2 until work measures 8 inches.
Bind off. Using tapestry needle, weave in yarn.

This wrist warmer pattern can be modified to use any yarn for any wrist size. Check out the free wrist warmer pattern generator to make a custom wrist warmer pattern.

January 11, 2007

Free Range Knitting

Jane Thornley, knitwear and jewelry designer, is offering a free virtual knitting class on Free Range Knitting.

Free Range Knitting, according to Jane Thornley, is "using any fiber, any weight, and combining the elements in fresh new ways." In Free Range Knitting, you explore knitting as art. By using various knitting techniques such as intarsia, short-rows, openwork along with surface embroidering and buttons as embellishments, knitting becomes an artistic expression.

Jane creates beautiful knitted designs using bold, vibrant colors in some designs and earthy colors in others. Her designs mix various yarn types and yarn weights to create uniquely beautiful knitted art.

Jane has a free scarf pattern on her website to get you started knitting in the Free Range Knitting style.

Or if you are feeling more adventurous, Jane is offering a free virtual knitting class on her blog for an asymmetrical design called Ocean Currents Not-a-poncho.

You can also purchase some of Jane's knitting patterns on her website. She has knitting patterns for tops, wraps, scarves, vests, caplets, and shrugs.

For more information on the Ocean Currents Not-a-poncho virtual knitting class goto:
on Jane's website.

January 05, 2007

Free Charity Knitting Pattern

Interweave press has a Free Charity Knitting Pattern available on their website in support of the Red Scarf Project 2007.

The Red Scarf Project, a project of Orphan Foundation of America, collects handmade knitted and crocheted scarves, which they then send to college students who don't have parents. The scarves are included in a Valentines Care Package that each youth receives in February.

During the month of January, the Orphan Foundation of America collects the scarves from knitters and crocheters so that the scarves can be distributed in February.

If you would like to knit a scarf or crochet a scarf for the Red Scarf Project, just follow these guidelines:
  • Scarves can be knitted or crocheted.
  • Scarves should be knit or crocheted from red hued yarn. Otherwise, you can use a neutral color yarn such as white, black, or gray.
  • Scarves shoul be about 60 inches long and 5 inches to 8 inches wide
  • Send the knitted or crocheted scarves to the Orphan Foundation of America during January 2007
Don't have a scarf pattern? Interweave Press's Ann Budd has designed a free charity knitting pattern for the Red Scarf Project. It is a free scarf pattern called Ribbed Scarf with a Twist and is available on the Interweave Press website.

Send completed scarves to:
Orphan Foundation of America
Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive, Unit 130
Sterling, VA 20166

For more information on Orphan Foundation of America or the Red Scarf Project, go to:

Tags: Knitting, Free Knitting Patterns, Knitting Charity, Scarf

January 03, 2007

Knitty Gritty

Knitty Gritty: 25 Fun & Fabulous Projects by Vickie Howell contains projects from the DIY Network's Knitty Gritty television show.

This is a fresh and fun knitting book. From the clear photos and diagrams to the funky and fashionable knitting patterns, Knitty Gritty: 25 Fun & Fabulous Projects is a great tribute to the popular knitting show hosted by Vickie Howell.

The first part of the book covers knitting basics including yarn, tools and supplies, and how to knit the basic knitting stitches. This section has clear and easy to understand pictures, diagrams, and instructions.

The second part of the books is split into two sections of knitting projects.

Wearable Knits includes some great knitting patterns. I especially like the Rock Star Bag, which is knit and then embellished with duplicate stitch. The bag is then felted for durability.

The Lace Sampler Shrug is a great way to learn different lace stitches while creating a great garment to wear.

The Garter Pocket is a fun and easy knitting project. This garter is meant to hold lipsticks and other essentials when you don't want to carry a purse.

The Great Gauntlets are knitted with cables and go up past the elbow to keep arms warm.

Home Decor and Knitting Gifts is the second knitting pattern section.

The Backgammon Board is felted and uses i-cord wound up into spirals for the games pieces.

The Sampler Afghan is a great way to learn new knitting stitches while knitting a fun and funky throw.

For the more advanced knitter, the Teddy Sweater includes fair isle and steeking in an adorable garment for a teddy bear.

The last section of the book covers dyeing your own yarn. It gives directions and the materials needed to make your own unique yarn.

If you enjoy Knitty Gritty, the television show, you will be happy to own Knitty Gritty, the book.