HUGZZZ

mr hugzzz in an aran sweater

Hi, my name is Steve and I’m a knitter. No, this isn’t a 12 step program, or anything like that, as I’m not apologizing for being a knitter. As a matter of fact, I’d like to share my experience with you, and if you’ll let me, help you develop your skills as a knitter as well, and share in your experience of it! I’m not saying you’re a bad knitter, you may be much better than I am, but I’ve been doing this for 20+ years now and I know I can still improve and learn much more. And we live in a time when sharing information is as effortless as breathing on a clear day.

How did I become a knitter? Don’t worry, you’re not the first to ask. I love sweaters, always have. I also love knitting needles. I actually remember seeing a set in a yarn store window that I was immediately drawn to, even before I knew anything about knitting. They were exquisite, and made of whalebone, and a bit too expensive for me at the time. This was in my teens. If I had only known then what I know now!

Anyway, that’s a story for another day. Today’s story is about me getting involved in knitting. I was living in Toronto, Canada at the time, and working downtown in the financial district. I walked by a higher end men’s wear store and saw a gorgeous white sweater that I had to have. It had ultra suede accents in a very light grey contrast. I walked in the store fully planning on buying it. It was $500! At the time (even now) that was a bit pricey for a machine knit sweater. Had it been hand made, I would have thought a bit more about it, as that would have been a great deal. Anyway, I left the store dejected, thinking I’d never see the sweater again. I couldn’t get it out of my head for the next 2 days, so I went back to the store to buy it, planning on putting it on a lay-a-way plan. It was gone! 🙁 Apparently someone had purchased it the day before!

Now I could have gotten really upset but instead I just decided that I’d learn to knit so that I could make my own sweaters – possibly even the one I saw. That’s how I roll. I went out very shortly after that and bought the book Learn To Knit by Susan Bates. I’m nothing if not stubborn, and when I get an idea into my head, I’m like a dog with a bone. So over the next little while I taught myself to knit and knit myself a sweater (that also is a story in its own right).

Needless to say, my path to becoming a proficient knitter was a long and arduous one – and I’m still working on it. That’s a large part of the reason for this website. You see, there was no You Tube, or Vimeo back then, and even finding a knitting group was a difficult chore. My skills developed by trial and error, and from working in a LYS where I was fortunate enough to meet Kathleen, who took me under her wing and taught me a lot of what I know today. Now I help run a knit group, go to several others, and blog about my experiences in order to help someone else avoid the same route I had to take.

Along the way, I’ve discovered that there is so much more to knitting than meets the eye, that I’d like to experience as much of it as I can, and share those experiences. Well, the only way I can see that happening is by creating a knitting Variety show. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. With a lot of help from some friends, I’ve launched It Takes Balls To Knit – The Show! It is comprised of 3 segments. The only regular segment is Knit Skool, where we teach a technique or skill. After that, the other 2 segments are literally the A-Z of knitting. We’re covering everything on a global scale from Alpacas to Zauberballs! We have cool names for the segments like Sip ‘N Stitch, Reel Knits, All About Ewe, Around The World in 80 Stitches, A Stitch in Time, Bombs Away, Round and Round, Dyeing to Knit You, and many more! Plus, as we discover new things, we’re adding more. In between the segments are cool tips, clips, and contests. I’d really like it if you checked it out and showed your support for this cause by buying an episode. Who knows, you could even win something and I’m 100% certain you’ll find it entertaining and probably learn something new as well.

The Show

So in a nutshell, that’s what this website is all about and that’s who I am. You’ll get to know me better as you follow along with the posts and episodes of the show I put up on this site. You can follow me and the show on Facebook, Twitter, and all the regular social media sites. Please, please, please feel free to comment on anything and everything I put up so I know what you want me to cover on the site and in the show. Hopefully we’ll be able to help each other become better knitters – and people as well. Feel free to contact me through any of the media below …

E-mail:  mrhugzzz@gmail.com

Facebook: Steve Malcolm or mrhugzzz

Twitter: mrhugzzz

Ravelry: mrhugzzz

Pinterest: mrhugzzz

Instagram: mrhugzzz

Don’t worry, you’ll find out about mrhugzzz as you read more! And definitely when you meet me.

I look forward to knitting with you for many stitches to come!

Hugzzz 😎

75 Comments

  1. Hi! Nice to meet you. Saw your intro on the multidirectional knitting group. Looking forward to following your blog in the future.

  2. Thanks Karen! I will check out yours as well.
    Hugzzz 😎

  3. Hey Steve… I already know you are a fun guy, but I did not know how entertaining you could be in writing 🙂 I love the blog and am totally inspired right now to take up knitting again (did it when I was a child mostly). I realize it is the perfect baby napping activity!!! I think the Golden Knot is a great idea, and a way for newbies to learn about what is “best”. I am also going to see if they have the books here in my Hawaii library. Of course the sunshine does not make for good sweater weather, but I have to say sweaters are my favourite piece of clothing, so weather be darned (hee hee… no pun intended). Though, I think my skill level is more in the scarf arena anyway, for now 😉 Big hug to you!

  4. Thanks Silya! I will be more than happy to show you the “ropes” when you’re in town. Also, you can knit using linen and cotton, which go great with the warmer weather of Hawaii. Don’t worry, most people start by making a scarf and they’re a great way to discover a new stitch.
    Hugzzz 😎

  5. Hey Barrington nice blog you’ve got here. Maybe with all that talent and specialized knowledge you could post some tutorials 🙂

  6. Feliz, That’s definitely doable. What would you like to learn to do? Thanks for the input!
    Hugzzz 😎

  7. Absolutely love the sweater in your picture. Any chance it’s a public pattern, or is it one of your own?

  8. Thanks for writing such a great piece about my sister’s studio! I can’t wait until we move west in July to enjoy it.

  9. Mr. Hugzzz, you’re not only talented, You’re FINE!

  10. *HUGE blush* – Thank you Tyger *blush again*
    Hugzzz 😎

  11. barone (kindablue)

    Greetings, Steve! totally loving your site and can’t wait to purchase your book! I recently took up knitting with my sister-in-law and purchased a book called the Field Guide to Knitting. In it I came across the Saxon Braid and was instantly smitten! Thus began my journey into cables and braids. I began with that other site (you know which one) saw your sweater and I now have a new her0! YOU!!! Thanx for being accessible and know that I am truly a fan! Again my thanx!

  12. Wow B, Thanks so much for all the praise. I will definitely work on getting that pattern out very soon as a few others have mentioned they would like it too. If you like the Saxon you will love the book. You should also check my earlier post (you can do a search on here) called the Barrington Braid.
    Hugzzz 😎

  13. Greetings, Sir! I’ve a question for you regarding cotton yarn. I’d like to attempt a sweater and all the patterns I’ve seen call for wool fibers. Personally, I can’t do wool! Just thinking about it makes me shiver! I’ve found a very simple pattern that will give me the basics on how to make one and put it together but, I’m not sure if I have to do anything drastically different given my choice of yarn. Not only that, I also like to knit two yarns at one time. A regular worsted with a mercerized #10. It changes the color slightly and also gives the garment an added weight which is really cool. The Saxon Braid that I sent to you is made as such. Can’t really tell, th0. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I thank you for your time. p.s. the Barrington Braid is off the chartzzz!

  14. Good for you for having the balls to come out with your passion like this. Not being sarcy, I mean it. I think it is much harder for str8 men.
    bw
    colin

  15. Colin,
    Thanks. I’m of the opinion that if anybody doesn’t like it – well, they know what they can do! It’s a little easier for me though because of my size.even though i don’t think so, a lot of people tell me that I am sometimes intimidating, so most won’t say anything bad about the fact that I knit. Personally, I don’t care. Now I’m going to order some of your sock yarn soon. Do you do custom colors?
    Hugzzz 😎

  16. Hi Steve,

    I found your site and fell in love with the Barrington cable! I’d like to ask you if by any chance you’ve ever heard about a technique to make the cables get more flattered in the wrong side without having to make loose stitches, you know what I mean? I saw once a jacket with a 12-sts cable. It twisted so smoothly I am still amazed.
    Congratulations for your site and many hugs from Southern Brazil (in Winter, freezing with 5ºC).

  17. Nicole, I am not entirely sure I know what you are asking but if it is what I think ( you don’t want the curve or 3-d effect you get when you have larger cables) I am not sure what can be done. Off the top of my head I would think of increasing in the cable on the wrong side and then decreasing again in the very next row. Also, the more rows between cable twists, the flatter the cable will be. You might try posting this question on Ravelry or Knitty. I’ll play around with it and let you now the results. Thanks for the comment and the hugzzz – I want to visit your country one day. 🙂
    Hugzzz 😎

  18. Hey Mr. Hugzzz, I was referred to your website by a mutual friend on fb. So refreshing to meet a man who knits! I’m very intrigued. I love knitting cables and lace too and love the look of the Barrington! Keep up the good work and I’ll keep following! I noticed you have a kal going – how do I get in on this or the next one?

  19. Tobi, The KAL started a few posts back but you still have time to get in on it. Go back to the first lace posts and work your way forward – or if you’re already comfortable with lace pick one of the patterns from the last post and start knitting! Here’s the link to the first lace post – http://wp.me/pNDS0-kt – and then the last one with the patterns is here – http://wp.me/pNDS0-mx. If you follow along you’ll know about the next one. Also, since you like cables, you should definitely check out Angel! Glad to have you aboard!

    Hugzzz 😎

  20. Just discovered your site and am already a fan! The Aran sweater is gorgeous. Hope it’ll be available soon!

  21. Thanks Mary – I’m glad you like the site. Are you talking about the aran sweater I’m wearing on the Hugzzz page? If so, it is a pattern from an old Paton’s book. I actually had to replace it a few month’s ago and had a heck of a time tracking it down as it is no longer in print. I plan on remaking the sweater though and will let you know when I do.
    Hugzzz 😎

  22. Heya Steve!

    love the site!
    hope you are well…. when i come to Vancouver again ( i live in Comox ) i will bring those antlers i mentioned ok?

    take care buddy.. beautiful work!!!!
    Billy

  23. Thanks Billy. I might have to come to Comox for a visit!
    Hugzzz 😎

  24. Great stuff doll! You sure are talented!

  25. Thanks Rhiann. You make me blush! 😉
    Hugzzz 😎

  26. Wow! Beautiful work! Are the braids pictures in your gallery in the pattern book you have for sale? Especially the original barrington braid sweater, because I must have it!

  27. Thanks Sarah! I’m glad you like it. Send me an email regarding the pictures and we’ll work something out.
    Hugzzz 😎

  28. Steve, I do not know much about knitting but, I always knew you had it in you. You were always very talented and I am very touched by your blog. The sweater displayed is georgeous and the person in it is even more beautiful. Congratulations on the work you are doing. Keep on keeping on.

  29. Dawn, wow! Thank you. I am utterly speechless. Thank you! 🙂
    Humongolous hugzzz 😎

  30. Looking forward to following this blog.

  31. Thanks Joan – looking forward to having you aboard!
    Hugzzz 😎

  32. Oh my gosh,,I am SO stoked, I had seen your stuff on FB and never (never) knew that you had an actually blog..”It takes balls to knit”… This is my cousin everyone and he is famous..!! I am so very proud of you.. now I am going to try and fing my knotting needles considering that I have not knotted since I left England; some 24+ years ago…CONGRATS and nuf Hugzzzz’s

  33. Hillory, thanks so much! You’re actually making me blush!
    Hugzzz 😎

  34. Hey Steve. We have got to meet – I would love to spend time knitting with you – and I’d like to pick your brain about your webhost too. I’ve got to get my knit blog back on line and would love to have my own website to blog from. I’m in the West End as I mentioned in one of the posts I did on your blog.

    Cheers and good luck

    Now I’m off to find you on Ravelry.

    Nigel

  35. Hey Nigel, that’s awesome. I’ll send you my number by email. We’ll work something out soon!
    Hugzzz 😎

  36. Love your blog. I totally agree that moe men need to knit.

  37. I found your blog through a random look at Black Bamboo’s blog. Since I spent most of March trying to teach myself how to cast on and am now figuring out the knit stitch, I’m so not ready to tackle one of your patterns yet. I will one day though because I really like the look of the Angel shrug 🙂

  38. Thanks Georgie! I hope you enjoy following along!
    Hugzzz 😎

  39. Thanks Myra. I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you pick this up. Send me an email and if you’re in the Vancouver area we’ll have to get together to do some knitting!
    Hugzzz 😎

  40. I would like a copy of your Angle pattern. Is this avaialbe via a downloadable copy or a hard copy that you mail out?

    I would prefer an electronic copy if possible.

  41. Love your work and the amount of hugs around here, Steve! Will check in here to keep up with the news.

    Big hugs from Sydney 🙂

  42. Thanks! Are you in Sydney, Australia?
    Hugzzz 😎

  43. Hey, just randomly came across one of your interviews on you tube! I am thinking about learning to knit, could you recommend a good instructional introductory book? P.s Love the name of your website, and that Jumper is just Fabulous!

    Nicole
    Bournemouth, England

  44. Hi Nicole, Thanks for the compliments! I used Susan Bates Learn to Knit to teach myself many years ago, but i doubt you’d be able to find that now. A very good one I’d recommend is the Debbie Bliss learn to Knit. It has 13 projects to teach you different things along the way, and the last one is Entre-lac, so by then you’ll know tons! That coupled with YouTube, this blog, and the internet and you’ll be knitting in no time. I also recommend looking for a local knitting group in your area where you can drop in and pick the brains of others. You might want to check on the website http://www.meetup.com to see what’s nearby or visit your Local Yarn Shop (LYS) to see what they have. Good luck!
    Hugzzz 😎

  45. hi Steve!.. I bump into your blog suggested from a knitter in yahoo forum. at that time I have no idea how to knit the heel flap. I read your blog and now I can knit my own sock. I really enjoy your reading your blog and state clearly & precisely compared to other sock knitting. Now, I am knitting my 4th socks…Thank you so much Steve.

    Hasnida Zakaria
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  46. Wow, Thank you Hasnida! It is for people like you that I think I will always blog and post information on techniques. It made my week reading this comment. I’d love if you could send some pictures of your work! Happy New Year!
    Hugzzz 😎
    P.S. And please tell your friend thank you for me!

  47. Hi Steve,
    What a great blog you have here. I’m intrigued by your sweater and have been staring at you shamelessly in hopes to figure out by pictures all the cool stitch patterns you have there. One of my dreams is to get out your way someday as this is one area of the continent that has remained elusive. If ever out there, I will be looking for you to show us the best little niches to go see.

    Thanks for a great intro to your bolg. Your opening lines gave me a great laugh! 🙂 LOL

  48. Thanks Beverley. I am glad you like it and look forward to a meeting some day. Where are you located? I might get out your way sometime too!
    Hugzzz 😎

  49. I love your blog and your knitting attitude! 🙂

  50. Thank you! I hope t keep you interested and reading!
    Hugzzz 😎

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