31
Jan

Podcast Episode 207: Interview with Edie Eckman

Love to crochet small motifs, but never sure what to do with all of your
small crocheted creations? Get a dose of fresh, creative inspiration on
this week’s episode with Edie Eckman! A designer and author for both
knit and crochet, Edie chats with Jenny about her new book Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs, which
brings you a whole new collection of interesting crochet shapes and a
myriad of ways to connect them. Learn how Edie got her start crafting
and how she translated her passion for knitting and crochet into a range
of patterns and books. You’ll also hear all about Edie’s design process
for creating new motifs and her inspiration for the patterns in her new
book, in addition to tips and tricks for beginning crocheters.

        


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30
Jan

Goodbye, Absurdity: I’m now a Knit Picks staff member that knits

Oh, dear. The title says it all, I think? But rest assured, all the free-pile yarn that I score hasn’t been going to waste: I’m a long-time crocheter. You know what else has been going on for a long time? My violent failure at knitting. You see, pride issues are persistent. Even with all the educational resources KP can provide, I refused help from my coworkers like sour, sour milk! My attitude in essence: Yes, I’ll let you explain how to better improve my butterfly stroke. But no, I won’t let you see me flail and dogpaddle during my first visit to water. Moving along…

Last week, I took the “Beginner’s Knitting” class at Yarnia (a LYS located in beautiful Southeast Portland, my beautiful ‘hood). The lesson was perfect, and truly just the basics: long tail cast-on and knit stitch—with just the briefest/most horrifying glimpse of purl. At our instructor’s recommendation, I continued knitting when I got home that night, leading to the production of my very first proper swatch:

Hahaha, just kidding! That relative confection of beauty is actually my second swatch. Small children and tender hearts, turn away—here’s my true first swatch:

26
Jan

A Sweater for Linus

Remember this guy?
Well, our little spokesbunny, Linus is doing well and getting into all
sorts of mischief, even in the colder weather we’ve been having. He
loves to race around outside when the sun is out and lounge around the
house when it’s blustery out.

Every four months or so Linus gets a
pretty major haircut because of the way his fur grows. He goes from
looking pretty impressive and regal one moment to rather sheepish (but
happy to be free of all that extra weight) the next! He just had his first shave of the new year this past weekend and he’s been frisking about the house
every since but it’s been SO COLD outside the last few days that he’s
been cooped up inside because I was worried he’d be too chilly without
his fur coat. He’s definitely been missing his weekend jaunts in the
garden and has started racing around the house and being generally
pretty pesky. Thus began the search for the perfect pet sweater pattern.

24
Jan

Customer Question of the Week: Felting with Knit Picks Yarns

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly
blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff)
answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or
problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature!

This week’s winter-appropriate curiosity was answered by Stacey, our super IDP Coordinator.

Q:  “Which Knit Picks yarns work best for felting?”

A:  First of all, a quick definition: Felting
(or fulling as it is also called) is the process of intentionally
shrinking natural untreated fibers into a dense fabric using hot water
and agitation.  Many people use this for projects such as slippers,
bags, mittens, hats, toys, and housewares – anywhere you would prefer a
thick durable fabric.  We have a couple of tutorials on how to felt your
knitted & crochet projects – either by machine or by hand. 

We
have several yarns that work great for felting.  Remember, you will
want to use untreated yarns – no superwash! – and yarns that are made up
of mostly natural fibers.  Different yarns (such as wool vs alpaca) and
even different colors will felt at different rates, so make sure you do
a swatch before starting a project!

Single ply yarns are some of the best for felting so our Full Circle Worsted and Bulky
are perfect for felted projects. With the blend of Merino and Highland
wools, you’ll not only get very durable accessories such as hats and
mittens, the fabric will be soft and warm through the chilliest of
winter days.

Our 100% Peruvian wools are the most popular for felting – that is, Palette and especially the Wool of the Andes line (sport, worsted and bulky).  You can see this is great for projects such as bags, like Meghan Jones’ Intwined Bag, which uses Wool of the Andes Bulky.

22
Jan

How to Repair Holes at the Toe

It doesn’t matter if you’ve completed over 200 pairs of socks (like the inspiring Frances Fisher, from last week’s podcast) or if you have just finished your first pair – every knitter knows the magic that lies within a pair of handknit socks. These special handknits stand up to a lot of wear and tear, which means that more than likely you will eventually see some thin spots showing up and maybe even a few holes here and there.

But just because one or two of your toes have started poking through small holes, that doesn’t mean it’s time to say “goodbye” to your favorite pair of socks – it just means it’s time for a wee bit of darning! And to help you whip your next pair of socks back into working order, we have a handy video tutorial where Kerin shows you how to repair holes at the toe.

19
Jan

Reverie In Bloom

As
the jury duty continues, I’ve been getting more practice in with my
crochet hooks! I wanted a simple project that I could pretty easily pick
up and put down between sessions, and I also wanted a chance to try
working with Reverie ever since I saw Jenny’s delightful Francis Revisted sweater. I found Brittney Waterhouse’s In Bloom Beret and Cap pattern and thought it looked like the perfect project for Reverie.

17
Jan

Customer Question of the Week: Colorwork Alternatives to Wool

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff) answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature!

Our first question comes from no one person in particular—but a chorus of customers over the years. Kudos to our wonderful Multimedia Manger, Jenny K., for tackling this one.

Q: “I love colorwork, but not wool! What can I use?”

A: If wool isn’t your fiber of choice and just the idea of using 100% wool for a sweater starts to make your skin itch, don’t despair – you still have options when it comes to colorwork.

Known for its fine crimp and low micron count (which determines softness), Merino wool is certainly a fiber that will have you thinking twice about using wool. If you’re looking for a yarn with an extra soft touch, the Stroll yarn family blends superwash merino wool (75%) together with a touch of nylon (25%) – making it a wonderful choice for those with sensitive skin. Stroll Fingering substitutes beautifully in place of Palette in most cases, and it boasts a wonderful selection of solids and complicated heathers to make your next colorwork project picture-perfect.

17
Jan

Stashbuster Socks

One of the many joys of my Knit Picks life is making treasured friends through our mutual love of fiber art. A couple of years ago, I received a package containing a delightfully colorful pair of socks. They were accompanied by a note from Frances Fisher explaining that she is a fan of Knit Picks and these socks were a gift of what she calls her Hodgepodge socks.