Friday, April 30, 2010

Winner of Knitting Green

I received more than 150 green tips in response to my April 22 post! You can read 118 of them in the comments to the April 22 post; the remainder were sent directly to me at my website. I'm impressed with the varied ideas and hope to put some of them in action. Thank you all!

This morning I wrote all of the names on slips of paper, put them in a bowl, and drew a name.
The winner of a free copy of Knitting Green is Becky McKnight.

Becky's tip:
I like to think being "Green" is being self reliant. Stay home to eat dinner because it saves on gas in the car and make something with the things you grow in your own garden! Which is much healthier for you and great for the environment because you grew it hopefully all organically and saved gas money from going to the store to keep picking up fruits and vegies!

Congratulations Becky. To claim your book, email me at and let me know where to send the book and how you'd like it inscribed (or not).

In the meantime, I'm going to spread my coffee grounds on the garden.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Midwest Masters

I was in Wisconsin this weekend to teach at Midwest Masters, hosted by Yarns by Design in Neenah, Wisconsin. There were six teachers teaching a total of 20 classes over the course of three days. The classes were held at a hotel that was just one block from Yarns by Design, which held extended hours during the conference. Boy, did I have fun! I reconnected with a couple of people I hadn’t seen in years and I met dozens of new friends.

I taught a morning class on cast-ons, an afternoon class on bind-offs (I think we got through eight variations of each), and a full-day class on knitting a sock from the toe up. In the sock class, we knit a baby-size sock with three choices for the ribbing design—2/2 rib on the leg, 2/2 rib on the leg and instep, and a right-twist pattern on the leg.

All but two students finished the sock—just look at the variety. Several students even finished the mate and others started a full-size sock instead!

If you ever have the opportunity to take classes at a knitting retreat/conference/camp, I encourage you to do so. You’ll meet the nicest people, learn new tricks, and have a lot of fun to boot!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. Here in Boulder, Colorado, the daffodils are up, ornamental fruit trees are flowering, leaves are making their way out of the buds giving a green halo to other trees, and the grass has turned from brown to green. I love the promise of renual hearlded by this time of year. We do live on an amazing planet.

And to help keep this planet beautiful, take a minute to check out my new book Knitting Green: Conversations and Planet-Friendly Projects. It's full of essays and projects that show how knitting can be included in the green revolution. You can learn about it (and purchase it online) at the Interweave Store.

I think this is cause for another give-away. Write a green tip in the comments box below and I'll put your name in the hopper for a drawing for a free book (autographed if you like). If your computer won't let you respond in the comments box, send your tip to me at I'll draw a name and announce the winner on April 30, 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I’m a Spoiled Brat—#9

Honestly, I really thought to post something of substance, but I feel compelled to explain why I haven’t written for a week. I spent last weekend in the mountains with three of my best girlfriends. One of these girlfriends owns an adorable historic Victorian house in the ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado. We arrived Thursday night and didn’t return until Monday. During that time, we knitted, watched movies, and treated ourselves to delicious meals. I also spent a fair amount of time practicing my spinning (the fiber kind, not the exercise kind).

Remember that basket of darning and finishing I gathered many weeks ago? I took it with me and darned seven of the nine pairs of socks. I decided that I'd rather knit new socks than darn the remaining two so I plan to see if I can agitate them into felt that can be used for something else. I also finished the sweater, but that deserves a post of its own.

For now, my mending basket is empty. I wonder how long it will stay that way...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why I’m a Spoiled Brat—#8

Here we go again. I opened the package of socks from Cat Bordhi for the upcoming Designing Socks book and found another surprise—a bar of lavender moisturizing soap in the most beautiful tin. I’m afraid to open the tin at my desk because the lavender fumes might just relax me enough to fall asleep (another one of my favorite pastimes). Oh, and the socks are pretty fantastic, too.
Thank you Cat!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Yesterday I missed a deadline—I was supposed to deliver a pair of socks and instructions for an upcoming book. Honestly, I can’t remember missing a knitting deadline before (but I tend to forget a lot these days). In my defense, I thought the deadline was April 15, not April 12. But still, I'm late. The problem is that I’ve had a few distractions. In addition to my spinning class (which has homework), I started the Springbok Knit Knacks knitting puzzle and opened up Stieg Larsson’s thriller The Girl Who Played with Fire. Needless to say, I spent more time this week spinning, puzzling, and reading than knitting. Last night I finished both the puzzle and book. I’ll finish the socks tonight. I promise.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Several weeks back, my friend Therese Inverso (designer of the Felted Oven Mitts, Felted Catnip Mouse, and Fair Isle Napkin Rings in Knitted Gifts), called to say that her knitting had been turned into a puzzle. It turns out that one of Therese’s friends is Carole Gordon, a professional photographer who has had several of her images made into puzzles. For this particular one, Carole gathered a pile of Therese’s projects, notions, and works-in-progress to make the perfect diversion for puzzling editing jobs.

The puzzle, produced by Sprinbok, is called Knit Knacks and is available at Hallmark Gold Crown and American Greetings stores in the U.S. and Canada. I also found it at my local yarn store, Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins.

I took a break today and put the 1,000 pieces on a card table. (My family would object to eating standing up while I work on the puzzle). The progress I make will be inversely proportional to the progress I make in my “day” job.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why I’m a Spoiled Brat—#7

I didn’t expect to write again about my spoiledness but the mailman dropped off the most wonderful surprise. Look what Amy R. Singer, editor of, included in the package with the socks she designed for the upcoming Designing Socks book (due out in early 2011).
Move over chocolate bunnies!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Tricks

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is shaping up to be a year of firsts for me—I started this blog in January, then created a website (well, actually, my friend Lori created it), and last night I took my first spinning class. This may not seem like such a milestone to those of you who caught the spinning bug when you started to knit however long ago, but up until very recently, I had no interest whatsoever in spinning. I enjoy knitting so much that taking time to spin yarn just seemed like a recipe to delay the fun. In fact, I took the same type of personal pride in saying I don’t spin as I took in saying that I don’t crochet or that I only wear handknitted socks. I like to think I’m a purist (some would call me a snob). But, it seems that the same alien ship that abducted me and programmed me to embrace the internet also planted a spinning seed.

So last night I learned about fleece and got instruction on using a drop spindle from Maggie Casey, author of the esteemed introductory spinning book aptly titled Start Spinning (available from my favorite publisher, Interweave Press). And you know what? I liked it! And it didn’t seem to take that long to spin a length of singles (you can see it on the spindle in the photo below). I now understand why all of those people at Interweave brought their drop spindles to company meetings. Might I become one of them? It’s hard to say at this early date but I no longer put it out of the realm of possibilities.

My homework this week is to wash a pile of fleece from Hannah the ewe, card a few rolags, and practice spinning. I’m anxious to get started.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why I’m a Spoiled Brat—#6

Whenever I begin editing a knitting book, I take home all of the garments to review as I put the instructions in the Interweave format. That means that I’ve had some pretty amazing collections right here at my feet—for example, all of Nancy Bush’s shawls for Knitted Lace of Estonia; Kristeen Griffin-Grimes’ inspired garments for French Girl Knits, and Lucinda Guy’s gems for Northern Knits, to name a few.

Plus, many of the books I author are contributor-driven so I get to have projects from such rock-star designers as Veronik Avery, Pam Allen, Mags Kandis, Deborah Newton, Kristin Nicholas, Shirley Paden, Vicki Square, and Kathy Zimmerman in my personal possession (albeit for a short time). That alone is enough to spoil any knitter.

But right now I am reduced to puddle of jelly by the collection of socks sitting right here in my home office. I’m working on a book for Interweave (tentatively titled Designing Knitted Socks; due out early 2011) and am happy to boast that the designer list reads like the Who’s Who of sock knitting. The socks have started to arrive and already I have the works of Cookie A, Kathryn Alexander, Veronik Avery, Evelyn Clark, Chrissy Gardiner, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anne Hanson, Melissa Morgan Oakes, Deborah Newton, Meg Swanson, and Anna Zilboorg in my very own possession. For the most part, I keep them hermetically sealed in a plastic bin but I let them out in the sun today for a group photo.