Archive for category Books, Sites, Mags

New “Principles of Knitting” in November

Well, I'll be… something.

The rumors of years have finally given way to truth.  A new version of "The Principles of Knitting" — for years, one of the most thorough knitting reference books out there — will be published in November.  (Just in time for Xmas!  Coincidence?  I think not.)

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What (Else) Can You Do on Ravelry?

This week, Ravelry posted a message that they had the ONE MILLIONTH person join the website.  Wowsers!  Hooray!  Congrats Ravelry! Just in case you have been under a rock or something for a couple of years, and you haven’t heard of it — Ravelry is a unique free website for fiber lovers that was started in May 2007.  The founders say:

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Knitting Jargon on the Interwebs

Yesterday at the LYS, I took part in a discussion about SABLE.ufo theater marquee from

What, you never heard of SABLE?  You might even be a member of SABLE!

SABLE stands for "Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy".  A person becomes a member of this group when she owns more yarn than she can reasonably expect to knit in her years remaining on this mortal coil.*

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A Little Knit Music

Hey, I'm back from a week's vacation — didja miss me?

Part of the trip was spent in Washington, DC, where I found this on the building of the Department of Agriculture:  closest thing to a sheep I saw the whole time we were there!

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For Breakfast In Bed

It’s kind of a long story, but what the heck — you’ve got some time to kill, right?  I’ll valiantly try to keep it short.Joan Crawford Knitting

A decade ago, plus or minus, my brother and I were back in Iowa, helping my mom as she attempted to continue living in her apartment.  As part of the job, we went out to get her some new housewares.  And on the way back to the apartment, we stopped at an estate sale.

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Hmph. About Time!

Here’s a quote from the latest Vogue Knitting email:


Introducing the VK360°

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008 is now officially on sale…and on video!

This issue, we decided to put every project up on the big screen—due in large part to all of your positive feedback (thanks VK readers!).

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It’s Not Just Me

I know, I know, I haven’t written anything for a whole week – didja miss me? – but it’s mainly because my journal subscription to Catherine Lowe’s couture knitting workshop arrived and I’ve been more-or-less submerged in it.  This stuff is GREAT.

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Calling all Cupcakes!

OK, the Internet is definitely a weird place.cupcake gown

After Sheryl’s comment sent me off googling "knitted fruitcake," somehow this is what I found, over at the Sydney Morning Herald:

"These are just some of the finalists in this year’s [2005] annual Shoot the Chef competition where student and professional photographers compete to produce the image that captures the essence of what it is to be a chef."

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Nothing to Say?

Ya know, it’s hard to blog when the things you are doing are (a) things that you can’t write about or (b) boring.

In the second category lately are many administrative things, like setting up fall class schedules and working on websites.  The good news is, the Polar Bear Patterns site is coming along nicely — well, at least it’s functional.  There are still a few things to work out — mainly I’ve been having issues figuring out just how to glom everything I do into one place.  It’s harder than it sounds:  patterns, classes, general knitting, etc.  At least, it’s harder for me than it sounds like it ought to be.  I’ve been doing everything myself up to now, but I’m thinking I may soon need some professional help.  (And I’ll need someone to work on my websites too — ba-dum bump!)

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In the Mood

Over at the [Knitting Daily->] blog, they’ve been discussing the design process used by Michelle Rose Orne in her book, Inspired to Knit.  I haven’t gotten the book yet, but Michelle’s description of her design process intrigues me:

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Fearless Fibers Fall 2008 Sock Club is LIVE!

Hey, there – just a quick plug today, for my pal Deb’s mini-sock club that she’s just unveiled!

(ed. note — it’s not a club for mini-socks, it’s a mini-club for full-size socks.)

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UFOlympics! the fifth and sixth events

Well, it's nearly halfway through the timeframe I set for my personal UFOlympics.  (In fact, it's only about 40% of the way through, if you don't count that "vacation" time I spent with strep.)

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trishinhatA shameless Allman Brothers reference, and another guest post by the fabulous TrishC!

(Unsurprisingly, though, I couldn’t help throwing in a couple of editorial comments along the way.  TH)

Tess and I were chatting one day about how we got started knitting, and we discovered some strange coincidences.

Read more on Beginnings…

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Happy Birthday to Me!

As part of "fun weekend", DH and I went and visited a place on the other side of the river, called "SCRAP".

SCRAP — The School and Community Reuse Action Project — is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and our mission is to promote creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.

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Best. Advice. Ever.

The most important piece of knitting advice I ever found was in the Holiday ’87 issue of Vogue Knitting.  (I must have found it while I was knitting those lousy boyfriend sweaters.)

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Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The upsurge in the popularity of knitting in the past half-dozen years or so, coupled with the Internet, has been a mixed blessing to me.  Browsing the online knitting world, I am continually reminded that there are all kinds of knitters, many of whom I probably have little or nothing in common with.

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Hubby’s Socks and the Three Toes

Well, on Sunday evening (Sunday the 13th!) I finally cast on another pair of socks for DH.

The yarn is Lana Grossa "Meilenweit 6 fach" in a true solid dark green – his favorite color.  I like doing toe-up socks, so I don’t have to bother too much with a gauge swatch or any math or anything.  I figured I’d just increase until the toe was the right size, eh?

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Out of the box

Fact:  boxy, square sweaters hide anything you’ve got worth showing.

An image consultant came to one of our local knitting guild meetings a couple of years ago.  She had a handout that showed some “before” and “after” pictures of women dressed in various clothing styles, which either suited and enhanced their body shapes, or didn’t. Here are some statements from the “before” pictures about “what’s not working”:

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FO’s from Knitter’s Stash

OK, here’s the ONE Xmas present I knitted this year – but it is darned cute. It’s a double-knitted teddy bear from the book “Knitter’s Stash”. The book’s been around a while, but I don't actually own it (the library does, though!) so this is only the second thing I’ve knit out of it.teddybear

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Worth a thousand words, or not?

Q. When is a picture NOT worth a thousand words?


A.  When it is a BFL (Big Fat Lie).  

One of my biggest knitting peeves is photography in knitting publications that is a deliberate misrepresentation of the article in question.  (A close second is "artsy" photography, at the expense of seeing what the garment actually looks like.)

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I’m in I’m in I’m in I’m in I’m in!!

Of course, this means I’m in at [Ravelry->].

Actually, I got invited about a week ago, but haven’t had time to go exploring before now. What fun! Lots to do!

Unfortunately for me, someone already has the username “tessknits” – so on Ravelry I’m now known as “tessm”. Maybe we should start a group on Ravelry for knitters named Tess? Both of us!

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This year, while DH was off at the Sasquatch festival over Memorial Day weekend, I decided to clean out my closet. I hadn’t done a thorough job of this in about 6 years, during which time:

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Then and…Where?

Many of my knitting friends know that I love, love, LOVE old knitting books. Old VKs are a fave, but I’ll thumb through just about anything. (And I have the overflowing bookshelf in my studio to prove it.) Often you can find a stitch pattern, a silhouette, or a detail that will spark an idea. Looking at vintage styles is a great way to train your eye to distinguish between short-lived trends and enduring classics. Most knitters I know don’t want to knit a sweater that will be out of style next year. After all that work, they want something that will be wearable for a while. If you can open a 40-year-old book and spot something that still looks good, you have a pretty good idea that it will look good for another 40 years! Vogue Knitting used to have a feature in every issue called “Then and Now", which was by far the best thing in the magazine. They would take an old style from a vintage issue and make up a modern version, using current yarns and colors. Occasionally they modified the fit a bit, but mostly the copy was true to the original. Unfortunately, and unfathomably, they stopped doing it. It became hit-or-miss in the mid-to-late nineties, and by now has apparently been given up completely. I have no idea why on earth they discontinued this feature! Now I can only count myself lucky that I learned this concept early in my knitting career. sm_mo_vest.jpgsm_vestad1.jpg Here’s my latest vintage knit – a skimpy black vest, made in my fave fiber (mohair) – along with the modern ad that had me looking around for skimpy vests.

sm_vintvestorig.jpgsm_vintvestcover.jpg Compare my version to the original vintage pattern pic. And just in case anyone else wants to find it, here is the cover of the vintage Spinnerin book it is in.

Interesting note: the vintage directions do not result in the somewhat odd sleeves shown in the vintage picture. (I guess typos in knitting patterns have been around as long as there have been patterns.) You would have to cast on some extra sts at the armholes to get the silhouette shown, and the instructions don’t call for that at all. I knitted the armholes according to the directions, although I modified the original instructions to knit it all in one piece, eliminating the side seams. Great stuff!

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(Breaking) the Sweater Curse

So, you may have noticed that in the previous post, I said that my sister was knitting a sweater for her fiance.betsandmark

YIKES! but what about the famous, infamous Sweater Curse

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