Monthly Archives: January 2013

Podcast Episode 206: Interview with Frances Fisher

In this week’s episode, Kelley talks with Frances Fisher – a knitter
from North Carolina who is 87 years young and has over 200 pairs of
socks to her name! Back in early 2011, Frances sent one of her
“hodgepodge socks” to Kelley as a gift. Having kept in touch over paper
mail and email, Kelley and Frances have become friends with a shared
obsession over all things yarn. Kelley chats with Frances about her
unique take on socks and what her process …

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Assembling Your Sonata Spinning Wheel

Moving from a drop spindle to a spinning wheel can be a fun and exciting change – but if you are completely new to spinning wheels, it can also feel a bit overwhelming. Not only are you changing from a small, portable tool to one that is larger and more stationary – but there is also a whole new world of terminology to learn.

Although there are different styles and variations, the main parts
and mechanics of a spinning wheel remain fairly consistent. So if you’re new to scotch tension, break bands, and mother-of-alls; we’ve made a video tutorial that shows just how easy it is to assemble the Kromski Sonata spinning wheel.

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24/7 Bag Giveaway: The Winners!

Hi folks—first, thanks to everyone that participated in the 24/7 Bag giveaway! Although I must say, after reading through your comments, you’re all vastly underestimating your abilities to look awesome/British. Moving on!

Congratulations to Ana Huron, Barb Blumke and Sidra Goldsmit, our randomly selected winners. Here’s how they employ reuseable bags:

I love taking reuseables to flea markets! And to the beach for wet clothes…..” – Ana Huron

When I was working I used a leather messenger bag stuffed with knitting, lunch and whatnot. At home I use reusable bags for books shoes yarn needles. For my work in progress I use a plastic grocery bag to keep my fur babies out of mischief.” – Barb Blumke

The first time I ever came across reusable bags was when we were in Holland in the mid-90′s. I still have the bag that we purchased there (it was a MONSTER bag). However, I invariably forget my bags in the trunk of my car and have to run out to get them (or send my husband). It would be nice to have something small in my purse (which is purposely not large) to be with me at all times. We are starting to see more & more cities/counties that require the customer to supply their own bags either for just groceries or all stores.” – Sidra Goldsmit

If you didn’t win this time, never fear: We will continue to do giveaways as often as possible. Have a neat Tuesday!

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Beads, glorious beads!

Did you see? We now carry beads for you to add to your knitting!

Beads add a wonderful element to knitted items. They add sparkle and
drape to lace shawls, fancy highlights to handbags, and they stand out
against plainer items to create something special. With this in mind, I
wrote the Starry Stole pattern!

This free pattern features a pattern of beads in a starry field on a background of simple stockinette stitch.

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About.com Readers Choice Awards!

This week’s marks the opening of the About.com 2013 Readers Choice Awards!

From now until February 11th, you can nominate your favorite blogs, designers, books, yarn company, and needle brand for the award! We look forward to this every year so I thought I’d show you some of my suggestions – you can nominate up to 3 for each category!

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24/7 Bag Giveaway!

I’ll start this giveaway post with an important story that will most likely bore you: Do you love satchels? I do. For Christmas I received (which is to say, “purchased with great selfishness”) a small black satchel which DOES make me look like an awesome British schoolteacher, but DOESN’T actually hold much. Prior to this, I used a gigantic old clunker a la Mary Poppins’s carpetbag; it held everything your mind could imagine and substantially more, it defied laws of nature, and it always had an extra reusable bag tucked in there somewhere.

Moving along: I live in Portland and, as anyone who has seen the critically-acclaimed documentary Portlandia knows, it’s particularly vital that I keep reusable bags in my life. How to continue looking awesome and British while still being environmentally responsible?

Most of my reusable bags are of the general, folding variety—with the oft-lost plastic bit for base support and vaguely awkward shape for storage. Thankfully, our new 24/7 Bags from Flip & Tumble are nothing like that, quite literally reducing to the size of a peach; in fact, there’s my on-the-fly slogan for this bag: “More portable than an apple!”

Additionally, they’re quite strong (comprised of ripstop nylon) and roomier than they ought to be (2x the size of a plastic grocery bag). Yes, these bags are essentially my valentine this year—and now all you lucky folks have a chance to win one of your very own!

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Amineko Kitty

I
have Jury Duty… for the next 30 DAYS! Once the shock wore off, I
started to plan some projects to work on during the down time. I had
already been thinking about trying to tackle a crochet toy and the note
that I could only bring crochet hooks, not knitting needles past the
courthouse security sealed the deal. I hunted through my Ravelry
queue for something challenging enough to be interesting but easy
enough to learn and remember where I was each time I was called up. I
settled on Nekoyama’s Amineko Crocheted Cat, he was just the right size and had such a sweet little face!

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When geology meets yarn…

A moraine is a deposit of rocks and debris left by glaciers as they
advance and recede. Moraines often add some really interesting terrain
to the existing land, resulting in crazy looking hills and land that
looks  folded or striated. Glaciers make for some pretty spectacular geologic
features – moving bits of the Earth from place to place, bit by bit,
blurring the line between ‘here’ and ‘there’.

Musing on those glacial effects resulted in the Moraine Pullover!

It
might be hard to see where to draw a comparison, but in the stitch
patterning of Moraine, each ‘point’ recedes and advances through colors,
leaving its mark in the next ripple.

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New Crafts for a New Year: Kelley’s Wheel Spinning Class

It was just about this time last year when I created a little list of crafting resolutions for myself. Looking back over my list just a year later, I have to admit that it felt pretty good to see my goals in relation to all of the things that I’ve been able to try over the past year. I’ve explored the world of crochet more and have a few projects under my belt (including an in-progress blanket!), I learned a lot about fiber and silk hankies, but my number one goal was to move from a drop spindle to a spinning wheel. And I’m pleased to report that I’ve utterly and completely gone head over heels for spinning! I’m collecting fiber just as fast as yarn, and having so much fun pairing my handspun yarns for special projects and gifts.

If you’re like me and are ready to (or have just made) the transition from spindle to wheel, but need a bit of extra guidance – be sure to check out Kelley’s Wheel Spinning class! This 6-part video class covers everything from the basics to fiber choices and the mechanics of your wheel to spinning and plying.

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Chroma Love

Winter doldrums getting your down? Those grey skies and dark days seeming monotonous? Well, there is good news – we have new Chroma colors!

Chroma is one of our favorite yarns – in fact, our favorite meetings are the ones when we are deciding on new colors! (Second favorite – naming them all!) We have been particularly excited to show you this batch.

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