Overture, Hit the lights, This is it, The night of nights ….
Yup, it’s finally up people! The first episode (of many, many, more) of the relaunch is up on YouTube! Click on the picture to go directly to it. I’ll be here when you get back. 😉
Or watch it while on this site …
Wasn’t that great?! Thanks. I’m apologize for the delay in getting it up – I had some struggles with tech, which usually doesn’t happen to me, so you can imagine that they weren’t your usual little glitches. Anyway, that and some minor audio complications during the KnitU segment aside, I fairly pleased with the result.
I know I asked for your help during the video but I’m going to do so again here. If you like it, please subscribe to the channel on YouTube. It will really help me to be able to get some great swag to use for our giveaways later on. Also, please follow me on IG – @mrhugzzz – again for the same reason. I’d also love any feedback/comments about the show and ideas about things you’d like to see on it.
The second episode is completely shot already and being edited for publishing in just under 2 weeks. Seeing as this one was late I might release it early. Hope you have a great day and thanks for your ongoing support! Hugzzz 😎
Well, by the time you read this, it will be! What time? 7:00 PM BST (British Summer Time). Time to register for classes at Perth Festival of Yarn 2019 and get your tickets! And by Perth, I mean Perth, Scotland, not Australia (maybe somebody should put together one there).
I’m also pleased to say that I’ll be teaching two classes there as well, on guess what? CABLES!! There will be a beginner cables class on Sunday morning, then an advanced class that same afternoon. I promise I won’t have you twisted in knots though!
I’ll also be joined by seven other tutors teaching a variety of classes from Brioche (Julie Debreux of @julieknitsinparis) and Portuguese Knitting (André De Castro) to Exploring Māori Traditions Through Stranded Colourwork (Françoise Danoy of @ArohaKnits) and Dipped Stitches (Jeanette Sloan – who will also be giving the Keynote lecture)!
Why don’t you pop on over to the site to see the full list of classes and the tutors who’ll be leading you through the stitches! I promise you’ll be impressed. I’m honoured and thrilled to be included in this list of diverse and talented teachers! Here’s the link: Perth Tutors.
While you’re there, check out the other great events happening during the festival. There will be an Outlander Tour, and a Perthshire Tour (including it’s majestic castles)! There is a gala dinner happening with a fashion show (yours truly will be emceeing that- hehe), and of course the now legendary Gin Flights at The Green Room to wind down from a great weekend of festivities (see what I did there)?
And what Yarn Festival would be complete without a marketplace??!! Don’t worry, that’s here too. With a list of over 80 vendors you’ll be certain to find exactly what you’re looking for – and probably a few things you didn’t even know you were! Here’s the link of the vendors that will be in attendance … Perth Vendors.
With 135 days before the festival, you’ll have time to work out all the details to make sure you enjoy it thoroughly! But make sure you register for the classes early as I imagine with that lineup of tutors tickets will go quicker that garter stitch on my Addis!
Also of note, today is LYS DAY or Local Yarn Shop Day. For those of you in the lower mainland, it coincides with the second day of Woolith Fair so it’s a perfect excuse to support your local LYS as you complete your yarn crawl!! We are so fortunate to have the abundance of yarn shops we do in the greater lower mainland. Woolith Fair is put on by the West Coast Knitters Guild and features 23 passport stops in the greater Vancouver area, some of which have trunk shows happening so there’s even more fibre goodness. Click this link to go to the website and find out more!
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!
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
We appreciate all submission and look forward to including you in this!
The pattern for Barrington is finally live! This is without question, my favourite design to date, and I’m sure it will be at or near the top for quite some time. Why? Well, the story behind Barrington is a long one. It actually started very soon after I learned to knit. It was at this time that I discovered my fascination with cables!! While I love almost every aspect of knitting, cables remain my favourite thing to create. I have a difficult time creating something without a cable in there somewhere–you’ve probably noticed that. A little while back, I was playing around with the Saxon Braid, and developed the Barrington Braid. I got to name it, as it wasn’t in the mainstream kitting world as yet, and it’s called the Barrington Braid because that’s my middle name.
There’s much more to that, and you may want to peruse more of this blog to find out more. Anyway, I’ve also discovered that I have Scottish and Irish ancestry mixed in with this Jamaican blood coursing through my veins(and who knows what else). I’ve gone so far as to find the family crest for Malcolm, which has 2 stags on it. Combining this with the Irish ancestry I have, I have always been fascinated by the Irish family sweaters. You may have heard the legend about fishermen being identified by their sweaters–that’s a story for another day. Suffice it to say that I went looking for a “family” sweater for Malcolm, and couldn’t find one. So, as is my way, I decided to make my own! I decided to make this a true Aran sweater and incorporate traditional Celtic stitches along with the elements of the Scottish family crest I found. For this reason, the sweater has a Barrington Braid, front and centre as the main element. It is flanked by two cables, representing the fishermen’s ropes, and symbolizing protection. We can all use the feeling of protection, can’t we? Going outward, you have symmetrical staghorn cables, also flanked by two more cables. Again, added protection is a great thing. After the last cables, you have seed stitch to finish the design, representing abundance and growth.
I chose to use the Barrington Braid again as the only cable element on the sleeves, but made them a saddle shoulder. The Barrington Braid transitions into a 4-strand open cable at the shoulder and continues into the neckline. I also went with stocking stitch on the sleeves to provide contrast to where they meet the seed stitch on the body. This sweater can be made with a mock turtle or crew neck, depending on your preference. Mine is definitely the mock turtle neck. I seems much cozier to me that way. Although I had a classic men’s sweater in mind when I made this, it is indeed unisex, and looks equally as good on a woman as it does on a man (see the photos throughout). In actuality, I created this sweater roughly 4 years ago. The original one was made with an organic merino wool, and I have to be truthful say that I made it too small for myself. It did fit, but not with the positive ease I had intended. My dear friend Sarka is now the proud owner of that one (she’s the dark haired model in the photos). Unfortunately, the source of the yarn disappeared, and I wasn’t able to pattern and publish the design. It wasn’t until just over a year ago when I met Tom and Cindy for Stunning String Studios, that I found a yarn that I was happy with to replace the organic merino. That yarn is Lush, and it’s a merino/cashmere/nylon blend that feels like butter and is fantastic to work with. Tom and Cindy also dye it in 180 colours, so you’ll be certain to find one you like!
I f you want to make this sweater, you can get the pattern either here on my website, or in my Ravelry store, where it’s just been uploaded! Also, subscribers to this site get a discount on the cost of the pattern, ranging from 5% – 25%, depending on your subscription level. Click on the Subscribe tab in the header for more information.
If you have a Ravelry account and want to include this in your Library, you can get it from my Ravelry store. Just click on the link above. If you do decide to buy this pattern, you have my deepest thanks for your continued support!
As a thank you to those of you who have shown your support of the upcoming show, I have a giveaway for you!!!
There will be many more in the future, as the initial response from the news of the show at Stitches West was very encouraging! As a matter of fact, I have already received quite a few items to give away to viewers of the upcoming show! Some of these will be open for everyone, subscribers or not, and others will only be for subscribers. Just a little tease as to what some of these things are (I’m not saying which are which):
various yarns (at least 10 brands have either given or have promised to give yarn)
knitting needles from HiyaHiya
Products from Jimmy Beans Wool (needles, yarn, and Namaste swag)
A personally autographed copy of Strange Brew from Tin Can Knits
A copy of The Complete Crochet Course and Designer Crochet by Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby, the Shibaguyz
One of 6 Stitchips® by XRX Publishing
… and many, many more!!
For now, we’ll start with one of the Stitchips®. One name from all subscribers (regardless of the level) will be drawn and that person can choose one of the following:
Arans & Celtics
The Knitters Handbook – Essential skills and helpful hints from Knitters Magazine
Socks – Socks – Socks
The Great American Afghan collection
Shawls and Scarves
A Gathering of Lace
For those that don’t know, Stitchips® are a digital representation of books and magazines published by XRX. They are a business card sized casing housing a .pdf file of the selected work. They attach to your device through the USB port and allow you access to the book, magazine, or collected works within. The .pdf files also contain clickable hyperlinks! You can find out more about them at this link:
If you haven’t subscribed yet, there’s still time! Click below on the level you’d like to subscribe at and you’ll see the benefits of that level. All levels, other than wool, are a monthly subscription and can be cancelled/changed at any time. If you choose the wool level, you’ll be charged $12 for one year. Should you cancel your subscription during that year, you will be refunded any full, unused months remaining.
Make sure you do it by March 11th though, as that’s the cut-off date for the Stitchip® drawing! The winner will be announced in the next blog post after that date! Good luck to everybody!! And be sure to watch this page for an upcoming review of Stitches West, an announcement about the launch of the show, and a new streaming platform for It Takes Balls To Knit! Your support is not only appreciated, it’s getting some great stuff going!