The Weekly Round Up: Loop 10, Champagne Shawls and Awesome Charity Knitters

What a quick week! I blinked and it flew by!

Freshly Plucked Patterns


Brand new this week is Loop 10. This book of twelve patterns celebrating ten years of Loop, London and features many of the designers they worked with over the years. It’s available for pre-order now.

Also new this week is the Golden Square Shawl by Jennifer Batt. I had the pleasure of seeing this beauty in person and it sort of reminds me of chainmail. If chainmail were champagne coloured, 100% silk, and squishy…

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Photo (c) Jennifer Batt

It’s available for free on Ravelry so if you’re looking for a simple and lovely shawl pattern, check it out.

Knitting in the News

After the devastating news out of Virginia this week, I had a lot of trouble looking at news articles about knitting circles and projects. Instead of seeing the stories they were telling, I was seeing the young reporters behind them. Instead of being able to focus on what they were talking about, I was hit by grief. This week’s section of Knitting in the News is dedicated to the memory of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. The vast majority of news stories about knitters isn’t hard hitting journalism, but necessary fluff-pieces done by young journalist that reminds us humanity isn’t always horrific, but mostly full of kind and generous people. So in the interest of highlighting the kind and generous stories these journalist tell I dove into the headlines of knitterly goodwill the world over. Here are some of my favourites:

Knitters in Germany spent last weekend covering old diesel locomotives with knitted objects to turn them into symbols of peace in a movement called Knitting For Peace. In the US twelve seniors have made over one hundred knit and crochet items since January to donate to women and children in need through organizations such as WomenRising and Hope House. In England one mother’s vision has turned into an organization of over 2500 people knitting baby clothing for premature babies (who are often too small for conventional clothing) and distributing the packages containing miniature cardigans, hats, gloves, and socks to care units in over 150 hospitals across the UK.  Male prisoners in New Zealand are knitting blankets for abandoned pets, providing both a rewarding activity for the inmates as well as vital supplies to the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who say they are very grateful for the help.

The world over knitters are reaching out in their communities to help others. Do you do any charity knitting in your community? As winter approaches, I’m looking at increasing my efforts on that front. Hopefully I’ll have some projects to show you soon.

Random Things I Did This Week

My birthday was this week so I decided to treat myself to some birthday yarn! I’d been eyeing Riverside Studio’s Merino Cashmere Sock for some time, and finally bought myself some. I do have an idea of what I’d like to make with it down the road, (coughBLAMshawlcough), but for right now it’s just decorating my apartment shelf and looking all purdy…

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Colourway: “Morning” If I were to have a crush on yarn, this would be it.

That’s all for this week. Happy Knitting everyone!

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The Weekly Round Up: Custom Socks, Texture is the New Black and Knitting: a more deadly activity than last week.

Another edition of “what caught my attention in the knitting world this week.”

Freshly Plucked Patterns

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Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet by Kate Atherley came out this week. I fancy myself a reasonably competent sock knitter, but this one really grabbed my attention. The initial reviews are glowing, the author is a genius, and the pictures look amazing. Definitely one for my birthday wish list (did I mention it’s tomorrow?)

This amazing pattern collection also caught my eye this week:

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Texture is The New Black by Melanie Berg contain five different knits. The sneak peeks on her instagram have been teasing me for weeks, so I’m really glad to see the patterns go live. The collection contains two sweaters (one pull over, one cardigan), a shawl and a hat/fingerless mitts set. The Risen cardigan in particular makes me very excited. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go lengthen my Ravelry queue…

Knitting in the News

This concept for a bio-knit shoe using knit fabric with polymer yarns could make a shoe that’s 100% recyclable! A group of knitters in Oregon are knitting purple baby hats to raise awareness for shaken baby syndrome. Knitting needles are apparently really, really dangerous, particularly if you accidentally impale yourself with one. There is even a three digit identifying code for “knitting and crochet related injuries” among paramedics. Dude.

ANYWAYS, in MUCH HAPPIER NEWS, an organization in Pakistan called the Rawalpindi’s Darakhshan Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre for Women with Disabilities is having great success in helping people with visual impairments learn to knit and giving them a new way to make a living. Round of applause for an amazing organization!

Random Things I Did This Week

Hey! I finally got to unpacking my yarn stash after my move! Check out its happy new storage space. I sort my stash mostly by weight: lace weight on the top and bulky on the bottom. Living in a studio apartment means there is no space to hid away the yarn. Luckily I experience zero stash shame syndrome, so my response to comments like “that’s a lot of yarn, Nicole,” is a cheery, “not really!”
I also earn myself a Liebster award so check out this post if you want to know some random facts about me. It is very very warm  this week so there was considerable knitting in cotton for most of it. More details about that project later. The aran weight wool hat that I planned on knitting up for the end of August is making me sweat just looking at it. Perhaps something for a later time…

I’ve also started a secret sample knit that should occupy me for the next month. Stay tuned for a menagerie of vague comments and the odd sneak peek shot. 😉

Hope you guys had a great week. Happy Knitting!

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Bottle Caps, Baby Blankets and #Playground Shawls: The Weekly Round Up

Knitters 4 the World

This week I wanted to feature a neat charity project by Age NI, a charity group that supports older people in Northern Ireland. One of their major fundraising event involves collecting knitted hats for smoothie bottles, and a portion of the proceeds going to Age NI for every hatted bottle sold.

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Dear Ireland Charities: could you BE more adorable?

The goal is 50 000 by the beginning of December and they have cute topper patterns available for knitters and crocheters on their website. It’s an adorable instant gratification project for a good cause – what more could you ask for?

Freshly Plucked Patterns

Knit Picks released a bunch of new indie patterns this week. My absolute favouriting being this gorgeous baby blanket by Kathleen Sperling. This is one of the patterns that makes my jaw go slack with awe. Love it.

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Also announced this week was Hygge (Knit Yourself Things You’ll Love to Wear).This mini collection is the first collaboration between Karie Westermann and Estelle Faust of Midwinter Yarns. Hygge is word that’s difficult to translate, but it roughly means “a feeling of comfort, cosiness, and happiness,” all of which sound delightful to me. You can pre-order the book on Ravelry now.

Favourite FO of the Week

This one has been all over my Instagram feed and with good reason! The #playground shawl by letesknits is everything you could want in a shawl and then some.

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Photo (c) letesknits

Knitting News From Around the Net

Well, we’ve another article that states learning to knit can make you happy to add to the pile. Fifteen years after the major knitting and crocheting resurgence in North American, spinning is now also reportedly making a comeback. A 3D knitting startup won $5 000 dollars in Michigan to continue their entrepreneurial venture. And finally a video of Melbourne artist, Casey Jenkins’ art installation piece entitled Vaginal Knitting (which is very much what it sounds like so click that link at your own discretion) went viral and sparked considerable disgust on social media. I’m very shocked. (I’m not.)

Random Things I Did This Week

I didn’t have all that great a week to be honest. I had some difficult therapy sessions, a migraine, a trip to the ER because I collapsed on the sidewalk with convulsions. Little time has been left for other things. I did write a piece on my health that I’m happy to report was picked up by The Coffeelicious. For more of my non-knitting related writing, you can check me out on Medium.

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The Weekly Round Up: Fall Twist Collective, knitting for black liberation and more

It’s been an interesting week! Here’s what caught my eye in the fibre world over the last 7 days.

Knitters 4 the World

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If you’ve ever knit in public, you may know how knitting can start conversations between two people that otherwise might never have spoken to one another. After the protests in Ferguson last year sparked a focus on policing in the US, The Yarn Mission was founded to continue the dialogue on race and police brutality. As a group they state their goal:

“use yarn to promote action and change to eradicate racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression.”

In a society where black women are often viewed as invisible, Taylor Payne says “knitting makes people stop and have a conversation with you. If someone asks me what I’m doing, I say, ‘I’m knitting for black liberation.” My personal admiration and congratulations, ladies. Keep up the great work.

Freshly Plucked Knitting Publications

This week *deep breaths* the Fall 2015 Twist Collective was released.
Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 8.49.21 AMThis issue celebrates 7 years of the twist collective. I’m a relatively new reader of the publication itself, but it’s quickly become one of my absolute favourites. Especially in the Fall issue, it’s 2 parts inspiring, 1 part cozy, 1 part I-want-to-crawl-into-the-pages-and-live-here. I won’t post any spoiler photos, but go. read. love.

Knitting News From Around the Net

This week Ysolda Teague interviewed Susan Crawford about her extraordinary Vintage Shetland Project which is a culmination of years of research into early 20th Century knitting in Shetland. Be sure to check it out!

What’s New with Queue?

My newest pattern crush is the Campside Cardi by Alicia Plummer. I mean look at it. Gor-ge-ous. Hopefully it’s something I’ll get to making this fall.

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Photo (c) Alicia Plummer 

Random Things I Did This Week

My brief foray into hair tutorials was done mostly for laughs, but if you are looking for a no-heat, no pain way to curl your hair overnight ragcurls are where it’s at. Caution: sass ahead.

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Step 1: wash your hair with some old anti-dandruff shampoo you found in the bathroom drawer. Aggressively towel dry it until you are bored. Contemplate the fact that you look closer to 16 than 24 while simultaneously wrangling your phone into taking a selfie.
Step 2: twist your hair up in rags that have been cut from your favourite childhood pj’s. Make dorky faces at yourself.
Step 3: go to sleep, with the lights on for some reason.
Step 4: undo the rags. Rock your new fragile curly hair. Beware humidity, for it is now your greatest and most powerful enemy.

Also this week I moved my things from my old apartment that I used to share with my boyfriend (sad) as well as belongings from  my temporary living situation for July all into my new place! My family and I were greeted with banana bread, help moving boxes, and cups of tea. Even the old tenant left me a message on the fridge to make me feel welcome.

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Follow me on Instagram for more stunning fridge magnet photography 😉 

I rearranged them to form a delta sign (delta, delta! Change is good!) and a heart. In the words of the little orphan Annie:

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