April 15, 2014 by Sarah

Back in October I wrote about some of the amazing Elijah modifications floating about on Ravelry, and finally, just before my own little one was born in February, I managed to knit a special elephant just for her.  It was the fifth I've made, and the only one I've kept!

Alana's Elijah

I went with a combination of a couple of ideas — the garter stitch 'neckband' and 'cuffs', and a little stripey sweater.  It was straightforward to do, simply alternating the two colours every two rounds once I got past the garter stitch.  One technique I did use though, was tech knitter's jogless stripes tutorial.  She describes a couple of different ways to make the colour changes invisible, I used the travelling method so the start of the round begins at the back his sweater and moved a few stitches to the left.  I picked up stitches for the arms a few rows further down the body than the patterns shows, but just so that the sleeve came out of the sweater body and not the neckband!

Alana's Elijah is a bit littler too, I used some fingering weight merino and 3mm needles as its what I had to hand.  There's enough left for a second one too, so I'm tempted to make this Elijah a little brother with a colourwork sweater.  (Having a baby doesn't seem to have stopped me planning all the projects, so I'm adding it to my long, and always expanding queue...)

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April 14, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

You might know Mary-Heather from her work at Ravelry where she helps businesses small and not so small to make the most of their advertising. Or maybe you've knit one of her fun patterns like the Simple Things Shawl or the Sugarleaf Cardigan she designed for my book The Rhinebeck Sweater.

So Mary-Heather, what else do you love?



1. The Sandia Mountains.

You know how some people are beach people? I'm a mountain person. Since moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2008, the Sandia mountains have been part of my daily view. Capped with snow in the winter, glowing with golden aspen leaves in the fall, and bright pink at sunset year round, they loom over the city, gorgeous from every angle. Plus, I am one of those lucky people who can get lost even with GPS but the Sandias help me avoid that here in ABQ. I can see them from everywhere in town, and they're always East. Thanks, mountains, for being huge and immobile. I appreciate you.


2. Bright nail polish - it's Spring!

Ever since the temperatures started rising I am all about bright nails. They cheer me up as I type.

3. Documentary Tuesdays.

Documentary Tuesdays are a little household tradition started by my fiancé Jacob. The name pretty much says it all... we watch documentary programs or movies on Tuesday nights. Recently we've enjoyed Twenty Feet from Stardom, Gasland (this one totally bummed me out, though I'm glad I saw it), and pretty much everything in the PBS American Experience lineup.


4. Project Life.

Project Life is a super easy and fun scrapbooking/photo-journaling/memory-keeping system that uses pocket photo pages and "core kits" of cards with designs or journaling space to slip into the pockets that don't get photos. I started an album this year and LOVE it. I love building a 2014 photo journal as I go, and keeping a physical album of all the little daily pictures I take. I especially love how easy it is to put layouts together: slip the pictures into the pockets, add the cute cards, journal on the cards (or not), add a few stickers/movie tickets or mementos/embellishments (or not), DONE. (Until the next batch of photos are ready for printing!) I know I'll appreciate having this album for years to come.

5. YNAB, or You Need a Budget.

I'm guessing this will make Ysolda laugh when she sees that YNAB has made the list because I've enthusiastically recommended this program to her before. YNAB is a program set up around a method with Four Rules of money management. It has really changed how I feel about budgeting - it's intuitive and downright fun to me now! Yep, that's right, I think budgeting is fun. I'm just living my 30-plus life, y'all.

6. Coffee.

'Nuff said.


7. Urban Decay's Naked2 Palette.

Pretty pretty neutral colors in a sturdy metal tin. Absolutely my go-to palette when I wear eyeshadow - the colors make it easy to experiment with cute looks.


8. My ridiculous(ly awesome) sequined shower cap.

It looks like Strawberry Shortcake and Bob Mackie had a shower cap baby, and it makes me smile every time I put it on.


9. Our cutting board.

Enormous, made from New Mexico juniper, and purchased at the Los Poblanos Inn and Farm (one of our favorite places to go here in Albuquerque). I love to cook, and something about chopping on this great big board calms me. 


10. My dog Charlie's ears!

I love these even more than yarn, actually. They really are the very best ears. 

10 things


April 11, 2014 by Rebecca

Knitting in the press

An article in the Guardian this week about craft hobbies caused lots of discussion on Ravelry and twitter, even getting its own hashtag - #ANDknitting.  If you have a look at the hashtag search its so interesting to see the variety of careers that knitters around the world have.  The Ravelry thread discussing the article is here.  Knitting also made the news in the Globe and Mail and caused controversy when it called knitting fusty!  But did also say that knitting had its groove back...


As if it couldn't get any better for Sarah after the lambs on instagram last week, a geep was born in Ireland.  It's a super-rare cross between a goat and a sheep, and is just as cute as you'd expect!  The farmer was interviewed here, seems like its sheep mother is looking after it well.


3 May is Yarn Shop Day — Ysolda will be at Kathy's Knits in the afternoon doing Book signing and helping you take proper measurements so you can make your own Perfect Sweater

There are still a few spaces left for Ysolda's Shawl Geometry Class at This is Knit in Dublin on 17 May. 

The Events page is still a work in progress but you can see some of the upcoming events Ysolda will be attending.

Wish I was there

Iceland!  It seems like the knitwear design world has moved there at the moment.  Well, not really, but Stephen West, Cirilia Rose and Kate Davies have all paid a visit.  It looks like a whole lot of fun is being had, and there are some beautiful (and hilarious) images from their trips on Kate's blog and Stephen and Cirilia's instagram.

The Makerie Spring retreat is this weekend and I'm kinda jealous, maybe Sarah and I should do some embroidery or crochet this weekend as both Cal Patch and Rebecca Ringquist are teaching. Last year Sarah and I both worked on the drop-cloth monthly embroidery and Rebecca released her new monthly collection Color Burst which looks amazing.

Bex's Monthly embroidery — blanket stitches

Bex's Monthly embroidery — blanket stitches

Sarah's in progress Couching sampler

Sarah's in progress Couching sampler

What are you planning on working on this weekend?

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April 10, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

A tubular bind-off that's a perfect match for a tubular cast on. The only catch is that the only way to create that seamless join between the stitches is to sew it. Sewn bind-offs, especially along long stretches aren't my favourite but this one is completely worth it. Just make sure to cut the tail long enough. This technique involves grafting so if you aren't familiar with that you might want to look that up.

There are two ways to do this, the method shown here is by far the simpler but skipping the second needle and grafting the stitches on one needle, like this, is faster.

Shown as a bind off for k1, p1 ribbing but can be used for any stitch pattern that you'd use a tubular cast on for.


You will need

Blunt darning needle

A spare needle in the same size or a slightly smaller size than the working needle


Stop when there is just one row left of your pattern. Set up for the bind off by working one row: knit the knits and slip the purls purlwise with yarn at front. Work the next row: purl the purls and slip the knits purlwise with yarn at back.

Stop when there is just one row left of your pattern. Set up for the bind off by working one row: knit the knits and slip the purls purlwise with yarn at front. Work the next row: purl the purls and slip the knits purlwise with yarn at back.

Take the spare needle and work across the row / round slipping the knits onto the working needle and the purls onto the spare needle. Slip all stitches purlwise.

Take the spare needle and work across the row / round slipping the knits onto the working needle and the purls onto the spare needle. Slip all stitches purlwise.

With the stitches divided you can see that the set-up rows created a strip of stockinette between them.

With the stitches divided you can see that the set-up rows created a strip of stockinette between them.

Cut the yarn leaving a tail about three times as long as the edge and graft the two sets of stitches together.

Cut the yarn leaving a tail about three times as long as the edge and graft the two sets of stitches together.

2 x 2 ribbing

For 2x2 rib the stitches can be rearranged into 1x1 rib before working the set up rows. If you've already done the tubular cast on for 2x2 rib the process of rearranging the stitches is essentially the same. *K1, slip the next st off the needle, p into the next stitch making sure that the loose stitch is a the front, put the loose stitch back on the needle and k it, p 1, rep from * to end.


April 09, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

I was so sad when I realised a couple of months ago that I was going to be in Amsterdam while Joji visited Edinburgh and when I was back she would be (oh the irony) in Amsterdam. I'll just have to make a trip to Buenos Aires where she lives to meet her, but since that isn't going to happen anytime soon I'll settle for reading about the things she loves.

Joji's incredibly wearable, and justifiably popular designs include: Boxy, Neon, Toujours and Old Romance

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting by Joji

I am a very simple person, and I don’t have any other big hobbies besides knitting, so my list is a bit plain… but oh well, that’s me! 

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 1 Travel

1.     Travelling

I am not being very original here.  I think about travelling ALL.THE.TIME.  I’d like to see the whole world one day, but I also keep dreaming of coming back to all the places I’ve already seen.  I’ve been blessed with living in a country that is very far from main tourist destinations, so everything is new and different to me, wherever I go. 

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 2 coca light

2.     Coca-Cola Light

I am a Coca Light junkie, and I don’t think I’d survive without it!  I can be very picky about the way it is served.   Plastic cups and foam are not my friends, and I usually keep mine in the freezer before meals…  But to be honest, I could even drink it warm and without any gas.  Coke is just awesome.

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 3 concerts

3.     Concerts

So whenever you feel old, whenever you feel like your kids are so big that you must be inevitably aging… There’s nothing better than going to a concert, especially big crazy ones.  Dress up like a rocker, shake your hair and sing till your voice fades!

4.     Steak and barbecues

I like my meat!  I could never be a vegetarian, especially living here.   We Argentines make a culture of meat, we love to brag about it… but that’s because it’s so delicious.  I really enjoy all the preparations involved in a good barbecue (“asado” here).  Cooking, meeting friends, eating by the grill until the meat is ready… That is one of the greatest local pleasures!

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 4 steak
10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 5 date night

5.     Date Night

My husband and I have been married almost 10 years now (wow!), so things are obviously different than we first met.  But Fridays are our date night.  Grandparents take the kids and we can go out as boyfriend/girlfriend again, and we always find something new to do! 

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 6 earrings

6.     Earrings

I am one of those ladies who can’t go out without a pair of earrings.  And I am constantly losing them.  I have thousands, but only a few have a matching pair. (Maybe I should use some of these)

I used to make fun of my hubby’s grandma, because every time someone pointed a camera at her, she would touch her ears to check if she was wearing her earrings… Guess who’s like that now?

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 7 bikes

7.     Riding the bicycle with the family

I used to ride my bike everywhere when I was a kid.  I grew up in the suburbs, where the traffic was not crazy.  Moving to the city meant getting rid of it, since it was not safe to ride any more.  But a couple of years ago the government of Buenos Aires decided to launch a program to promote the use of bicycles as a safe and healthy means of transport, so lots of bike lanes have been built since then.  We bought bikes for all the family last summer, and I look forward to riding with my boys every weekend.  I feel like a child again!

8.     Mate

Mate is a traditional tea we all drink in Argentina.  I won’t explain it any better than Wikipedia…

 Mate is drunk every day at every home.  I prefer to share it with friends, but alone is great too…

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 8 mate
10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 9 mugs

9.     Mugs

I love mugs of any kind.  Tall, big, short, small… Plain, printed... Most of them remind me of something: a friend, a place.  I think they are beautiful, thoughtful and useful.  So I love giving mugs as presents too.

10 things I love (almost) as much as knitting — Joji Locatelli — 10 denim

10.     All things denim

I will never ever have too many pairs of jeans.  That’s a weakness of mine.  I would dress so much better if I stopped buying jeans!  But for some reason, I am always tempted  by a new pair.  Or denim shirts, blouses, bags, jackets…   Anything made of denim will always be my favorite.

10 things


April 08, 2014 by Ysolda Teague

We all love yarn and needlework but one of my favourite things about being part of the knitting community has been meeting people with such a variety of interests and passions. So I thought it might be fun to ask them to share what else they love.

Amanda Jarvis is one of my very favourite people to eat dinner with. You might recognise Amanda from her beautiful modelling in Little Red in the City or maybe you've met her at a trade show. Amanda works behind the scenes in the yarn industry as manager of Lorna's Laces Yarns where she coordinates with designers to create patterns showcasing the yarns, helps develop new yarns and colours and supports yarn stores with their orders. 

Amanda's 10 things

10 things — Amanda — 1. Mexico

1. Mexico

This is my very favorite place. The place that makes my soul happy. I feel like there is a piece of me there. We have this dream of running off to Mexico and opening a tiny hotel on the beach with a really great bar and a few good bites to eat. 

10 things — Amanda — 1. Mexico

2. Food

Dining and cooking specifically. I love it. I would even admit that it is my primary hobby and certainly where most of my money goes. Fortunately I live in a world class city for dining. There is always something new and I am likely to never make it through my long list of restaurants I'd like to try and dishes I would like to make. 

10 things — Amanda — 2. food

3. Cocktails

My husband and I seem to collect alcohol. Neither of us is a big drinker but we are certainly cocktail people. We have friends over for a dinner or lunch and I just have to break out the jars and bottles and whip up something new. We have over 2 dozen types of whiskey in our bar and a half dozen different kinds of bitters. It is just such a fun way to get to play with flavor on a small scale. 

10 things — Amanda — 3. cocktails

4.  Fashion

I grew up with a subscription to Vogue. All through my life the only thing I ever consistently wanted to do was work in fashion. Yarn gives me that opportunity and I adore it. I was at a runway show last night when a text came in on my phone from a designer sending me the photos of her finished design in one of our new colors. This makes my heart sing. 

5. Books

I have a bit of a book problem. I love books. I will spend money on books when I know I shouldn't. Cookbooks, Cocktail books, memoirs, fiction, anything. I could live to 100 and never make it through all the books on my reading list. There are always at least 3 books on my bedside table waiting to be read or in the middle of being read. I tend to read at least 2 at a time. 

10 things — Amanda — 6. flying

6.  Flying

Flying is amazing. Airplanes are magical. The fact that I can leave my apartment in Chicago and be in the south eastern tip of Mexico in 3 1/2 hours is freaking amazing! Not to mention you get to go to airports which is the absolute best place to watch people. 

7.  Large bodies of water 

This is peace. This is power. There isn't much more that needs be said about it. 

10 things — Amanda — 7. large bodies of water

8.  Mid-century furniture

I was going to write about my love for decorating but this just seemed more genuine. I love the cross between modernism and warmth that mid-century furniture has. High quality woods and amazing angles and curves. I have been collecting it for about 12 years now. You have to dig and be on the look out but you can find wonderful things at very affordable prices...if you're lucky! 

10 things — Amanda — 9. Chicago

9. Chicago

Chicago is my favorite U.S. city. I would say my favorite city period but I have not been fortunate enough to travel the world yet. I love its people, architecture, restaurants, theater, museums, shops. I love its public transit and easy to understand grid system of roads. I love its few diagonal streets that when I moved here 12 years ago threw me for a loop. I love its flatness where you can just walk forever. I love the lake and how it looks so much like the ocean on a calm day. I love its long brutal winters. I love how it still shows me new things and new sides of itself. I have a crush on Chicago. 

10. Turtles

Turtles are the best. They are adorable, funny, and make great pets for someone who has a lifestyle like ours. They have existed for 220 million years and have barely evolved. Obviously they were perfect to start off and they are perfect now. Plus they are damn cute! 

10 things