Tuesday, January 31, 2012


...Ada's Fair Isle! It took a far sight longer (with a final 5-hour push on Sunday to finish the second sleeve and and weave in all those %&^$%#$@&?**%! ends) than I bargained for. But hey, at least it's still winter.
I will attempt less-blurry documentation at another time. I felt fortunate this morning that she consented to photos at all. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


For the past decade, knitting has been such a part of mainstream American culture it's hard to believe it hasn't stitched its way into a kids story before now. EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray 2012) remedies the deficiency.

In this simply-told picture book, Annabelle discovers a box of yarn, with which she knits sweaters for herself and her pup. These two sweaters morph into four, then forty; soon, Annabelle has wrapped everyone in town, and the town itself, in her yarn-y creations. And still, miraculously, the box of yarn shows no sign of running dry.

Subtle references to the hot topic of yarn bombing, as well as the not-at-all subtle messages of the enlivening aspects of generosity and of making something with your hands, will appeal to knitting- and non-knitting kids alike.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Have A Collar

And not much else to show for the weekend, unfortunately, since I couldn't seem to pick up enough stitches around the armhole in order to follow the pattern. Maybe I'll try over a cocktail later. Cocktails may be the secret to Fair Isle. We'll see how this hypothesis holds up as the sweater-knitting (hopefully) draws to a close.

Meanwhile, a big thanks to Carla Meijsen of Sampler M fame, for her mention of Knitting Around the World. Unfamiliar with the Sampler M knitalong? Find it here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Behold the Steek!

I steeked my first sweater yesterday at my beloved LYS, Brooklyn General. The mighty and excellent Heather stood steadfastly by my side as I brandished the scissors. (A special thanks to Cricket for snapping a couple of pictures).

I know a lot of people suffer angst at the idea snipping something they've been working on for months. But honestly, the steeking itself wasn't the least bit terrifying. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was having a counter-reaction to another would-be-steeker at the shop, who was experiencing a mild freak-out just before I began to cut; maybe I'd just listened to Heather telling me that all would be well for long enough that her words finally sunk in. At any rate, the Fair Isle between the blades yielded perfectly smoothly; actually, it felt kind of good - physically, that is - to cut it. Now I just have to finish the thing up: neckband today, sleeves hopefully by the end of next week.

"It," for the detail-minded among you, is the Child's Panel Gansey from Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. Only, as usual, I've switched out the pattern to suit what yarns I had on hand: Green Vale Alpaca 2-ply in undyed natural brown and cream - a gift from a very generous friend - and a variety of Schoeller & Stahl DK weight wools from the stash. Wish me fortitude in wrapping this up quickly! I'm seriously ready to be done and to see my daughter wearing her sweater at long last. She's been patient since September - no mean feat for an eight-year-old.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Nice Review in the Trades

Thanks, Nanette Donohue and Library Journal! (December 1, 2011):
The history is the heart of [Knitting Around the World], but there’s so much more here, including interviews with well-known knitting experts, descriptions of unique yarns and techniques, and projects focused on each region’s styles and traditions. This excellent – and very readable – reference to global knitting traditions belongs on the bookshelf of any knitter interested in the history and development of knitting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(Sigh) – KAW Errata

There comes a time in every book's life when the mistakes pebbling its pages have come to the fore. And this time has now come to pass for Knitting Around the World. No matter how diligently a book team strives to put out an error-free tome - well, let's just say it rarely happens. The mistakes in KAW follow an interesting theme: most goofs seem to have occurred in the captions. So, in case you were worrying that you'd lost your mind and couldn't distinguish a mitten from a glove, or a sheep from a goat, worry no longer. Below, a list of the most obvious errata:

Page 17: You're not reading wrong; a caption that belongs to a photo on Page 30 is wedged in here. The offending, displaced text: “French knitting project realized for Crafts Council (England) with the London-based Somali Women’s Group”

Page 21: A little bit of a copyediting glitch here. The sentence should read “They’ve engendered many speculations about who KNIT..."

Page 99: The Napoleonic Wars started around 1803

The caption for a Sami mitten (page 109) has changed places with a Gotland-related glove (page 129)

Page 125: Of course, the entrelac sock pictured here was knit with 2 colors, although 3 or more could be used

Page 135: Yes, those are soft-soled SHOES shown here

Page 136: And yes, those are GOATS, not sheep

Page 147: The two glove captions are transposed - the fringed gloves are wedding gloves and the plainer were made by Ann Magiste

Page 157: in the top photo, those are hand-knit socks and HATS for sale

Page 195: The Prince of Knitting is named MITSUHARU Hirose

Page 243: The differentiation in language names for these hats is: ch’ullu (in Quechua) and chullo (Spanish)

Those are all the significants mistakes I've found to date. Give a holler if you've got questions about anything else in the book!