I’ve never been to one, but the grandmother of the U.S. fiber fests is happening this weekend. The 36th Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival will be at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD. There will be over 250 vendors and 1,000 sheep! Also a variety of demos and competitions. Other states have these festivals too. For example, in New York it’s Rhinebeck each October. For a calendar of these events, go to Knitter’s Review.
Archive for April, 2009
Vickie Howell has a new book, Pop Goes Crochet. I am a fan of Vickie Howell. I like her craft ideas and her effervescent screen persona. I also am a fan of Jennifer Hansen’s Stitch Diva Studios for her frankly sexy design sensibilities. So it was good news that these two got together. Hansen’s contribution to Howell’s book, is the Drew Pendant (above). It’s made with a crochet technique called hairpin lace, something you’ll find more info, and the tools to do it, on the Stitch Diva site.
Two of my favorite things: men and knitting. Both endlessly fascinating. I’m still really liking the work of Jared Flood, also known as Brooklyn Tweed. His designs and his photography are amazing and apparent on his blog. Love that Barbara Breiter created this screensaver of Russell Crowe knitting (above). She says it’s a urban myth that he knits. It’s no myth he’s not “opening a movie” these days, but then, few celebrities are anymore. Here’s a good post about men knitting. Also a fun read: Lifestyles of the Crafting and Fabulous blog by Kasey M. Dutton, a self-described “flaming gay boy.” He’s not a frequent poster, but love his FREE pattern for the Marcky Sweater.
It’s definitely upon us— the recession. Now the question is, how deep will it be, and how long will it last? I’ve read in several places that crafting is a recession-proof hobby. All I know is that it is spurring a kind of creativity. Famed knitwear designer, Sally Melville talks about it (scroll down for October 3, 2008 post). The Associated Content gives us advice on stretching our knitting dollar and there’s this post by Knit1Purr2 on sock knitting and the US trade deficit. Angela Pallato, editor of KnitLuck, has an idea: let’s knit our way out of this recession by teaching others to knit. We may not be able to right the deficit, but at least we know that our knitting is calming.
Want more good news? Check out this sknitter post on recessionary knitting.
Here’s a fun hat that is comprised of two different cable pieces that are worked together to create the Two-Piece Knotwork Hat. Designed by Kearsely at Wet Pixels, this FREE pattern is a fun way to use up a couple of colors of leftover yarns from larger projects. Kearsley (Rav name: Turvity) also has a FREE pattern for some lively Simple Toe-Up Socks too. Again, looks like a great way to use up odd bits of yarn and do some destashing. I love WetPixel’s post on how she “hacked” Ravelry stats to see the total downloads of her patterns. Knitwear designer and tech gearhead too. Must be why her knitting charts are so gorgeous as line art in and of themselves!
A while back I blogged the Crochet Coral Reef project, an art installation launched by twin sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim and their Institute for Figuring. It is an artist and mathematician’s response to global warming. You can now see a video (about 15 minutes long) of Margaret Wertheim’s presentation at this year’s TED Conference. It’s really fascinating how this project ties together community activism, mathematical theory, ecological concern and feminine handicraft.
One of the great things about current fashion is the sense of “do your own thing.” This is leading to a lot of things, like say, the return of 80’s silhouettes. I saw this knitted cowl (left) from Twinkle Ready To Wear and wondered about it. Wenlan Chia, AKA Twinkle, is probably best know for big chunky knits, but here she’s doing an oversized airy intarsia cowl. I’m interested in the idea of knitting a mohair/silk sweater for the light, but warm, coverage and the feminine transparency. I didn’t find an oversized pattern yet, but patterns for more classically proportioned cowl neck sweaters here and here. There is also the Mohair Cowl Pullover by Michele Renee Burrows in the Interweave Knits Winter 2004 issue. Wendy Bernard warns against knitting a mohair pullover in the “Losers” section of her Knit And Tonic blog. So, I’m thinking twice.
In my travels across the internet, I recently found One Planet Yarn & Fiber. They are an online store that is a global marketplace for yarns, fibers and related things. They offer products from small independent artisan companies like Be Sweet, Farmhouse Yarns, Fyberspates, and Black Pearl. They also offer kits, like this gorgeous Trevi Shawl (left). It was designed by Anne Hanson of Knitspot, and features a specially dyed sea silk yarn in “Pewter” by HandMaiden. They also sell Jo Sharp yarns, which are very nice. I have not ordered anything from One Planet, but I am intrigued and their prices seem fair.
Here’s an easy way to celebrate Earth Day: use some of your yarn stash to make these cute Earth Day Flower Pots (above). It’s wrapped, not knitted, actually. For something fun, check out Clara Parkes’ hysterical April Fool’s post: yarn from recycled kitty litter on Knitter’s Review. If only. Love this video of Paul Rudd doing the Earth Day Dance with Elmo. So cute.
OK, I’m not entirely sure about knitted skirts. Let me just say that right up front. My experience is that they inevitably sag and bag in the most unflattering way after about 30 minutes of wear. I’m hoping that knitwear designers have figured out some combination of yarn and structure that negates that, and looks as lovely on the knitter who makes and wears it as it does on the model. The new Interweave Knits offers this design, the Luminarie Skirt by Annie Modesitt and Cecily Glowik McDonald’s Ruffle and Pleat Skirt (above). Kat Coyle has designed the three most popular knitted skirts on Ravelry: the Indigo Ripples on Knittty, Lacy Skirt With Bows from the book Greetings From The Knit Cafe, and Eyelet Skirt from Knitty.