The Countdown is on …

Well, it’s only a few weeks to go now for the first episode of It Takes Balls To Knit – The Show to be released. As a matter of fact, I was just on the Sunshine Coast in beautiful Pender Harbour filming a segment for Dyeing To Knit You with Jenna Valley of Everlea Yarn! We had a great time filming and I learned a lot!! So much so, that I’ll be doing a return trip soon to film a second and possibly third segment. Turns out Indigo dyeing is an entirely different process to acid or natural dyeing! Can’t wait!

Jenna Valley of Everlea Yarn and I, in beautiful Pender Harbour!

Not only is Jenna the force behind Everlea Yarn, she started (and still maintains) Vancouver Yarn, a phenomenal resource for who’s who and what’s happening in the Vancouver knitting scene! She’s been keeping everyone connected here for over 10 years!! Make sure you tune in to see her telling you all about natural dyeing on the show and help support her in her foray into this area of the knitting world!

In regards to the show, I had a giveaway of a Stitchip® from my friends at XRX Publishing – the same great people that bring you the Stitches events every year. I’d like to announce the winner – Risa!! An e-mail has been sent out to her and I’ll update everyone on which of the 6 Stitchips she chose. Risa was eligible for the draw because she subscribed to this website to help support the production of the show. There will be many more subscriber giveaways in the future. I have 5 more Stitchips, and Jimmy Beans Wool has confirmed they’ve already sent some SmartStix that will be passed on to someone in the future (after a review on the show)! If you’d like to get in on the action AND show your support, please subscribe and help me get the show to you. Even if it’s just $1/month, every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated.

There’s one more little thing I’d like to ask you for with regards to the show. I’d like to make this show as interactive as possible, and several of the segments will rely on your feedback and participation. I’d like to start prepping some of those right now, with a little help from you of course! I need your input/feedback for the following segments in the show …

Show Us Your Knits … Do you have any fabulous knitwear that you made that you’re particularly proud and/or fond of? If you’d like it to be featured in the show, please send some pictures (being modelled by a person would be great) or even a short video. Include all information that may be relevant (yarn, special techniques, pattern name, designer, etc) in whichever format is easiest for you.
Knitflix … One of our show segments will focus on television shows and/or movies that feature/mention knitting. Are there any that you’ve seen that fit the bill? Just to name a few so you get the idea
Demolition Man : remember when Sly knits the sweater for Sandra while catching up on what he missed while in the freezer?,
Pushing Up Daisies : Chi’s character is a closet knitter of socks!,
Outlander : I’m sure you’ve noticed all the knitted pieces, and now we know Jamie’s character knows how to knit,
Gotham : young Bruce and Alfred sport some great knitted sweaters throughout the series,
Once Upon A Time : filmed here in Vancouver it’s loaded with knitting,
Elementary : I actually have two patterns on this site reverse engineered from the great stuff Joan wears in Season 1,
and others. Keep your eyes peeled and if you see/hear of one, drop us a quick note telling us the specifics (show, episode, how knitting is featured, etc).
Knitter Spotlight … Would YOU like to be on the show? Do you know someone who should be? Send us the details telling us who and why? We’ll contact you/them and have a short vetting process to see if we can make it happen! We really want to make this show about the entire scope of knitting, so we want to be entirely inclusive of all aspects of the craft, and all the people that participate in it.
Event Spotlight … Somewhere around the globe, I’m fairly certain there is an event going on every weekend in the knitting world. If you’re someone that puts on one of these events, or if you know of one, big or small, please let us know about it. We’re working on putting together a list of the events going on globally and need your help to do it. again, any information you can provide – event name, location, contact person, dates, # years running, website, etc – would be great! We’ll add it to our growing list and put it on out events page. We’ll have an Events Segment in the show so you never know. Your event may be in it one day!!

If you have any of the above information for us, you can send it to

itbtkshow@gmail.com

We appreciate all submission and look forward to including you in this!

Hugzzz 😎

Help is on the Way …

On Saturday I had the great pleasure to teach a Cables class to 20 knitters at Apple Yarns in Bellingham, Washington. Over 3 hours I shared with them what I could about cables and such. Now I don’t know about other instructors, but when I teach people anything, I try and go beyond the simple technique and give them the tools they need to apply those skills in everyday projects. In this case, it was showing them how increasing their understanding of cables and how they behave might give them the confidence to adapt a pattern or perhaps to even design something themselves!

Now designing isn’t easy, but if you’re persistent enough and have a passion for it (or just 1 particular idea), it’s a great thing. There’s nothing better than having an idea come to life with needle and yarn! Thankfully for designers, there are quite a few tools out there to assist in some of the more tedious and complex tasks as well. For the tedious there are lots of options, but there are very few options when you want to put all of it together – tedious, complex, visual, etc. I’m glad to say that help is  on the way!

You might remember a post I did a few years ago about Jacquie Howard – a friend of mine who created the ChartMaker. It’s a program that you can download (PC only) or work with online at her website that allows you to create knitting charts. I have used it exclusively since I discovered it, and told everyone who would listen about it. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check it out. Here is my Barrington Braid done with Jacquie’s program …

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With Jacquie’s program I was able to create my own “cables” and insert them into the chart where i needed them. Had I had the program when I was originally developing the Barrington braid, things would have been a loooooooot easier! The program is very intuitive and extremely easy to learn and use. Finished charts ca be saved or exported for use in patterns. A comparable program (which is not as easy to learn) retails for $189US!

Well, now Jacquie is working on developing the program more and taking it to the next level! She is asking for your help in this process, and I am forwarding that request to you through her. I am not being paid or getting any special consideration for doing this – she doesn’t even know I’m doing it – I just believe this is a great tool for professional designers and anyone wanting to express their creativity. Here is her request in her own words from her Facebook timeline …

Dear Knitting Friends,
A few years ago I wrote a little online knit chart maker that was quite well received. Ever since I have been trying to get around to improving it and finally, with some help, we are getting there. Now it’s turning out to be a lot more than just a chart maker and I am anxious to know if it’s something you’ll enjoy using!

Please visit www.stitchrs.com If you like what you see and sign up for an invitation you’ll get an email with access to a short (I promise!) survey. I would love to hear what you have to say! Thank you!

Dear Non-knitting Friends,
I would be most grateful if you would share this post with friends and family who do knit. Thank you too!

Both Jacquie and I would appreciate it if you would check it out and possibly fill out the very short survey at the end – if you are so inclined!

*VKAL Update*

If you’re involved in the VKAL, there is a new chart up for you to knit. There will be a new video up soon, along with a new contest for the next giveaway – something from The Verdant Gryphon!

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them on the Social Media boards we’re using for this and/or email me directly! Have fun!

If you’re not involved in the VKAL, you can still sign up! The videos online will guide you through the entire process of knitting the Barrngton 5.0 – done in double knitting – and you’ll be eligible for the giveaways we have going on throughout! Here is the link to sign up …

VKAL

Hugzzz 😎

Hello Anzula!!

The pot of prizes for donors to the crowd funding campaign has gotten bigger – by 10 skeins of yarn! Thanks to the gals at Anzula, there is now an assortment of luxury yarns from Anzula added to the prizes that will be drawn for. All you have to do to get in the draw is support the campaign by making a donation. It’s not purely a donation though, as you’ll get a perk depending on the size of your donation. Anything from being recognized on our Close Knit Community wall to actually being in an episode of the online show!

But back to Anzula! Who are they you might ask? They hand dye luxury fibers that you have to feel and see to believe. Here is a link to their website … ANZULA. At their site you’ll find a full listing of their yarns, and saying they’re scrumptious is an understatement. You’ll find merino, silk, cashmere, camel, milk protein, sea cell, alpaca, linen, and more!! I think Sabrina and Charlie like me because they’ve given me a sample bag to give to one lucky winner to be drawn on the first new episode of the show. Here’s what’s included in it …

Cricket – 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon … 5 sts/in, +/- 250 yds/228m per skein in Country Green and Coco

For Better or Worsted – 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon … 4.5 sts/in, +/- 200 yds/182m per skein in Arizona, Sea Breeze, and Olivia

Cloud – 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon … 8.5 – 9 sts/in, +/- 575 yds/525m per skein in Charcoal (x2)

Squishy – 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon … 7.5 sts/in, +/- 385 yds/352m per skein in Nimbus, Aqua, and Raspberry.

Now I understand that all these names might not give you the full idea of what the yarn looks like, so here’s a picture of what you could win!

anzula prize

I’d like to thank Sabrina and Charlie for their support to the campaign. If you’d like a chance to win this or one of the other prizes in the pot, all you have to do is follow the link and help support this campaign (click on the picture below).

showwidget

If you’re able, it would be greatly appreciated if you could help spread the word about this campaign by sharing this post, or the link, through any means you have at your disposal. Help us grow our Close Knit Community!

Hugzzz 😎

Namaste!

First, to all my American friends and readers, I’d like to extend a Happy Fourth of July salutation. We just finished celebrating Canada Day on July 1st here and had a great time. Here’s hoping your celebrations are as much fun and safe as well!

So back to knitting, I have some great news! There are 2 more prizes that have been added to the draw pool for the Indiegogo campaign to get the show going again. The ladies at Namaste have generously donated their newest bag, the Poppins, as a gift!

Poppins bag Red-1

Also, the folks at Skacel have donated a set of Addi Clicks Interchangeable needles as well!
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What does this mean for you? Well, if you’ve made a donation to the campaign, you’re automatically entered into a draw to win one of these items, along with a chance to win either 10 skeins of organic merino wool or a custom designed, hand knit sweater. If you haven’t yet made a donation, there’s still time. You can visit this link to get information about the campaign and make a donation. There are also perks attached to each donation level, so you’ll get something no matter what!

IT TAKES BALLS TO KNIT

I will be doing separate blog posts on both of these items in the next day or two, but let me tell you that if you’re a knitter, you’ll definitely want either of these. And if you’re not and you do win one of them, they’d make excellent gifts to a knitting friend that you have. Or you could learn to knit! 😉

I’d like to just send out a quick thank you to everyone who has made a donation and/or shared the link to help spread the word about this campaign. Your support is very much appreciated. And in finishing, I’d like to ask a special favor of anyone making a donation. If you truly believe in this campaign, could you please leave a comment on the donation page? This helps with the visibility of the campaign so more people will see it!

Huge hugzzz 😎

I still need your help …

Our Close Knit Community is growing, but slowly, and I need your help to spread the word. I’m trying to get 2,500 people (yes,I know that’s a few) to donate $10 to help me make more episodes of my online knitting show. How can you help? Well, if you’re able to, donate $10 (or any amount you’re able to) to the project. Clicking on the picture below will bring you to the link where you can make a contribution. There are different perks for different levels of contribution. Also, while you’re doing this, please leave a comment about the project on the site. This is very important as it increases the chances of the project being featured on the Indiegogo site and thereby receiving more donations from outside sources.

If you’re not able to donate to the project (or already have), I could still use your help to spread the word. Sharing this blog post with your network would be a great help in spreading the word about this project. If you could spread it not just through social media, but any form of contact with others you have that would be greatly appreciated. Nowadays it’s easy for us to just put up a Facebook status update or send a tweet and assume the message got through. If you could take a few extra moments to tell someone (even if it’s just one person) about it personally that would have a greater impact. And you’d have my thanks and appreciation.

I’d like to stress that this is not just about creating a knitting show to make money. There are a few more important aspects to this project than that …

    • This is about creating a global close knit community. With the technology and resources available to us today, we have the ability to connect with virtually everyone on the planet. I’d like to think that we have more in common with our fellow man/woman than we realize and if we’re able to make a connection with each other it can only help to make this a better place to live.
    • It’s also about informing everyone about the amazingly wonderful world of knitting! In the beginning I knew there was a lot more I could learn and share about in the world of knitting than I could express in a blog, but even so I am overwhelmed at the ideas and suggestions I get virtually every day about segments for this show! I am certain that I can put out a new episode every week with 3 segments for at least 20 years without running out of shows.
    • It’s about helping the industry to evolve and inform people about the viability and importance of the craft. Every day, when people find out what I’m doing, I hear them say, yeah, knitting is making a comeback. The truth is it never left. Even with that, the industry faces a tough uphill struggle if it is to maintain and even increase it’s current tenuous standing in the consumer’s eye. Hopefully, by informing people of their options with knitting, knitters and non knitters alike, they’ll be able to help support the industry in some capacity.
    • But mostly it’s about learning and teaching and enjoying the pleasure that comes from sharing a very pleasurable past time with someone else.

As an added bonus, I’m going to add a perk for anyone that makes a donation of any amount. I will be doing a draw after the campaign is over for a custom designed and hand knit sweater (by yours truly) to one luck donor. The draw will be shown on the first new episode of the show! Good luck!

Hugzzz 😎