Podcast Roundup

As a crafter, my hands and my eyes are frequently occupied. If I want entertainment while I work, it has to be consumed with my ears. Sometimes this takes the form of re-watching old shows on Netflix that I really don’t have to pay attention to. Sometimes I listen to music. If I’m craving something more in-depth though, I listen to podcasts.

I’m sort of new to podcasts. I didn’t really know what they were until about a year ago, and then it took me a while to really get on board with the idea. Now I’m sold. They’re awesome. Well, okay, I’m making that statement based on very little information so far, but I’m pretty sure it’ll hold up under scrutiny.

So far I have only listened to two podcasts, but I started both from the very beginning so I’ve had quite a bit of material to listen to.

For my knitting fix I listen to Cast On with Brenda Dayne. It’s a truly captivating podcast about knitting…but also about much more than knitting. It wasn’t until I was half-way through the archives that I realized it’s classified as “philosophy” and that sounds about right. It’s Brenda Dayne laying out her philosophy of art, knitting, life, the universe, and everything. It’s sort of like a really long artist’s statement, but without a single hint of pretension. Listening to Cast On makes me feel like what I do means something.

You don’t have to start listening from the beginning like I did, but if you do it’s almost like listening to a modern history of knitting. The podcast started in 2005, when Ravelry was just an idea, and SO MUCH has happened in the knitting world since then. Brenda captured it all, as it happened. It’s really cool to listen to the story of how our knitting culture became what it is today and to know that this podcast was part of that.

For my drama/horror/story fix I listen to We’re Alive. It’s a zombie story. I like zombies. Well,  actually I’m terrified of zombies, but I sort of like my stories with a side of terror, so I like zombie stories. It’s not top-notch writing, but it’s entertaining. The only thing it’s really missing for me is more character development, but it’s got plenty of action going on to keep it interesting. What really makes this podcast stand out for me is how it’s done…it’s not like an audiobook. There isn’t one person reading from a book and maybe doing some different voices for each character. It has a full cast of characters acting out the parts, with lots of sound effects to add to the story! It’s sort of like an old-timey radio drama produced with modern technology.

These two podcasts have been all I needed to entertain me while my eyes and hands were occupied. Until now. Last night I ran out of podcasts. The last podcast from Cast On was in April, and there’s no telling when there will be another. Brenda travels a lot to teach and such and I know she had a new series planned, but she’s a perfectionist so it may be a bit before she feels it’s ready to be released to the world. I can relate. We’re Alive will start its final season on August 26th, so it will be here soon, but it’s not here NOW.

I have to find something else to listen to.

For starters I’m going to check out Welcome to Night Vale. A Welcome to Night Vale fandom has appeared seemingly out of nowhere on Tumblr. Several of my friends on Facebook (who have very good taste in entertainment) have been mentioning it in their statuses. A LOT. One of them even started a Night Vale ask blog on Tumblr. One thing I’ve learned about the internet, is that if something has a fandom it is probably worth checking out. People don’t get that excited about something if it’s absolute crap.

I listened to the first podcast last night and it was…weird. But the best kind of weird. It was all surrealist-absurdist-eldritch-horror-ish, which are all adjectives that I LOVE. I suspect I will be joining this fandom soon.

All of these podcasts are going in my sidebar of useful links, because I certainly find them useful for my workflow.

The Welcome to Night Vale podcasts are only about 20 min. each though, so I’m looking for more recommendations. What do you listen to while you work?

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WIP-Cracking Wednesday: Pool Party

First let’s start this post with a mini muggle vocabulary lesson. In knitting, “pooling” has absolutely nothing to do with water. Pooling is what happens when you’re knitting with a yarn that has many different colors in it and the same colors start stacking on top of one another making a “pool” of a single color. Usually it’s a complete surprise when this happens. It’s basically a freak of math. Depending on how the rest of the colors are interacting and what the knitter’s intention for the project were this could end up looking either really cool or really crappy.

I have been experimenting with taming this freak of math and pooling my projects intentionally. I learned how to do this by taking a class called “Planned Pooling” taught by Gladys We (wenat on Ravelry – check out her projects page for tons of beautiful examples of planned pooling). Basically it involves laying out your skein of multi-colored yarn, figuring out the length of the color repeats, and then adjusting your knitting gauge until those color repeats stack on top of one another!

I had the perfect yarn to start with – bright colors, easily distinguishable, with decent sized color lengths, and nerdy to boot.

First I made a cowl with a simple seed stitch.

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Then I tried playing with the pooling a bit by making a ribbed hat and accentuating the yellow parts with cables. Pardon the crappy selfie, I haven’t had a chance to do any glamour shots yet.

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The class actually focused more on trying to keep vertical pooling, but I’ve been loving the swirls!

For my next trick, I wanted to see if I could make a smaller circumference project – how about fingerless mitts? That would come with the extra difficulty of having to repeat the process twice in order to get a set.

I decided on a simple 1×1 rib, but added a bit of interest by knitting through the back loop for all the knits – that just makes the ridges look more dramatic. For the thumb opening I thought I could just make a buttonhole and call it good. Unfortunately the buttonhole turned out looking a bit messy. On the side where it was started there’s a weirdly loose strand stretched across the thumb opening.

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The other side looks fine though.

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I’ve never really had an occasion to make a buttonhole before, so I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with my technique, or if I was just following some crappy instructions for a buttonhole. In any case, I’m going to have to figure out how to clean that up. Maybe a crocheted edge around the thumb opening? I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it. Other than that, the first mitt looks pretty good.

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I’m not 100% sold on pairing that stitch pattern with this yarn. I was happier with the painterly quality of the seed stitch and the exaggeration of the cabling on the hat. The ribbing does make it VERY stretchy though, to the point where this could truly be considered a one-size-fits all project. That mitt fit my boyfriend’s man hands, my mother’s miniature hands, and everything in between!

Starting a second mitt to match it was a bit challenging. It took four tries before I could get the cast on to pool even remotely like the first one did. Even several inches into the knitting, one of the yellow swirls is looking way more chaotic than the other and I can’t seem to correct it. Oh well, I guess they’ll just have to be fraternal twins.

Pooled Mitt WIP Mitt the Second

 

I have learned one thing from this experiment though – I don’t like trying to match pairs when I’m pooling. I’m better off sticking with single item projects from now on. My blood pressure will thank me for it.

 

Vocabulary for Muggles: Frogging

One big reason for not posting my oldest WIPs yesterday was that I think they may require frogging.

No, I don’t mean I need to venture out into the night and start capturing unsuspecting frogs with my bare hands, though I hear that is a lot of fun. Frogging refers to the action of unravelling knitting, because you “rip it, rip it, rip it”. Get it? Knitters love their puns.

“Frogging” can refer to any type of unravelling in knitting, though more frequently it implies a sort of wild abandon while pulling on that thread. Some use the term interchangeably with “tinking” which I feel is a completely different act altogether. “Tink” is “knit” spelled backwards. To tink something, you leave the needles in the project and very carefully “unknit” the project stitch by stitch back to whatever point you were aiming for.

“Ripping back” is another phrase commonly applied to frog-like deconstruction. When a mistake is several rows back in the knitting and tinking may be too tedious, one could pull the needle out of the knitting and carefully, slowly, pull on the thread and unravel a few rows until you reach the mistake and then place the live stitches back on the needle. This process is scary, as those live stitches could go haywire and start retreating further down in the fabric. It’s exactly like getting a run in your stockings, except more heartbreaking because those stitches were not made by a machine, they were made lovingly and painstakingly by hand.

pic from memoiblog.net

There are ways to make it less scary though. If you were thinking ahead, you could have put in a lifeline which will allow you to rip back to a certain row without fear of live stitches getting ahead of you. If you lack the gift of forethought, you can still thread a needle or waste yarn through a previous row in order to create a lifeline after the fact. I have never tried it before, but knitty has a great article on how to do that.

If you need to steel your nerves before frogging, Ravelry has your back. They sell pint glasses to fill with your alcohol of choice.

Another gift idea…
pic from the Ravelry Mini-Mart

Sometimes the mistake is so huge or so early on in the project it’s just easier to frog the whole thing and start over again. Because it’s such a heartbreaking thing to rip out all those stitches, I don’t enjoy the process at all when it’s my own project being unravelled. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to do it though, you probably know that the act of unravelling a piece of knitting, whether made by hand or by machine, is REALLY FUN. When I need to frog something I usually hand off the project to my sister or boyfriend and let them gleefully destroy my work. At least someone gets to have fun with it.

I had never encountered the word “frogging” before Ravelry though, so for me “frogging” as a verb and “Frogged” as a descriptive term have very different meanings. In Ravelry your projects each have a status. There are four status options to choose from: In Progress (those are WIPs), Finished (those are FOs), Hibernating (WIPs that haven’t been touched in ages), or Frogged. In that context “Frogged” implies that the entire project has been scrapped. The item has been unravelled, the yarn has been salvaged, and you’re never looking back. I have ripped things back to the very beginning and cast on all over again, but since I haven’t given up on the project it’s still “In Progress” in the eyes of my Ravelry project page. I may have done some “frogging” but since I haven’t given up I would never call that project “Frogged.” I’m very stubborn when it comes to my projects, and I will usually insist on finishing them long after they have ceased to be fun (see previous post). To frog something without the intent to start again is to admit defeat. I have only had the heart to classify three projects as “Frogged” on Ravelry. Two weren’t really that emotional for me. One was a toy elephant I was trying to crochet, but I was having trouble following the pattern and the yarn was too thin for me to figure out where I went wrong, so I just gave up. The other was a very simple scarf that I used a completely inappropriate yarn for and when that became clear I frogged the whole thing.

The only one that stung a bit was another one of my earliest projects. It was from the skirt-making days when I was trying to experiment with more advanced and fashionable patterns. I fell in love with a pair of embroidered gloves in the Fall 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting and was determined to make them. I hadn’t yet learned the art of substituting yarn and chose a viscose/linen/silk/cotton blend yarn in place of the recommended wool. The resulting fabric was…odd. I only got through the arm of the opera-length gloves, but already I could tell it wouldn’t be stretchy enough to comfortably pull over my hands. After letting it sit for 5 years, I finally admitted they were never going to work and frogged it. Here’s the before picture:

That pattern + this yarn = complete nonsense.

And here is the result of my frogging:

So, there you have it. Frogging. I will now leave you with my favorite frogging song.

Vocabulary for Muggles: WIP

Pronounced “whip”, WIP is an acronym for work in progress. It’s another one of those words that is used in many different contexts and isn’t specific to knitting, but may still confuse the muggles given how much we tend to talk about them.

The thing about knitting is, for many of us the most exciting part about it is the WIP stage. That’s where all the knitting happens! Before it’s a WIP it’s just an idea – perhaps a pretty new shawl pattern we want to make, or a new sock technique we want to try – but as soon as yarn is looped around the needles, it’s a WIP. We work on it for hours and hours and hours until we have a lovely new FO (that’s a finished object – we pronounce each letter separately, “F” then “O”) to show everyone. Though we all enjoy the WIP stage – after all why else would we be knitting? – for some it’s a race to the FO status. These are called product knitters. They live to have the finished product in their hands (or on their feet, or around their shoulders, etc.). Others are process knitters – the whole point for them is to knit and they’re less worried about getting that FO. I am mainly a product knitter. I love the process too, of course, but what’s the point of putting in all that work if I don’t have anything to show for it?

There are variations on what exactly is considered “in progress” and how “finished” something needs to be before it’s deemed a FO. There is no consensus in the knitting community on the exact steps that transition a project from an idea to WIP to FO, and there is no need for one. It’s a very personal decision each knitter makes. The only time there needs to be any sort of group agreement on terms are in the cases of KALs (knit-a-longs) in which there needs to be a defined “start” and “finish” in order to qualify, though many are pretty laid back about how you determine “finished.”

For example, anything that is still on the needles, or has any more stitches to be made, is almost universally considered a WIP.

There may not be needles present, but this glove is still missing a pinky and a thumb, so it’s a WIP. Not to mention there should be a second glove to go with it.
Pattern: Gallifrey (modified to add fingers)
Yarn: indigodragonfly Merino Sock – Blue Sun Corporation
Project page: Giving Gallifrey the Finger

That definition can get a bit fuzzy in the case of modular knits, which are comprised of multiple parts knitted separately and have the appearance of being multiple FOs, but which are intended to be assembled together to create one larger FO. A popular example of this would the hexipuffs that make up the Beekeeper’s Quilt. Each hexipuff looks and feels very much like a FO all its own, but eventually they are meant to be tied together into a quilt. Since this is such a massive undertaking – requiring hundreds of hexipuffs – it’s not uncommon for each hexipuff to be considered a FO just so you don’t have a WIP hanging over your head for years. I am a self-flagellating perfectionist though, so I consider the whole Beekeeper’s Quilt project to be a WIP.

Is it a small pile representing a never-ending WIP? Or is it a heaping pile of satisfying FOs?
Pattern: Beekeeper’s Quilt
Yarn: good luck sorting that out…
Project page: Beekeeper’s Quilt – all of the yarn info is in there somewhere if you’re brave enough to do the detective work.

For some the WIP status ends as soon as the yarn is off the needles, regardless of the ends that need weaving in or the blocking that needs to be done. For me, it’s not done until all ends are woven in, any buttons or embellishments have been added, and it’s been blocked, photographed, and all info is up-to-date on the Ravelry project page. Again, self-flagellating perfectionist. Your mileage may vary.

Some would happily proclaim this an FO. For me, it still needs to be blocked, modeled and cataloged, so it remains a WIP.
Pattern: Mitts of the Dystopian Future
Yarn: Baruffa Maratona
Project Page: Mitts of the Dystopian Future

You may have picked up on my not-so-subtle hints throughout the post that sometimes knitters can have a bit of a complex about their WIPs. If there are too many WIPs hanging around it can be a source of shame and embarrassment. There are some very disciplined souls who only work on one project at a time, never casting on anything new until the last project is finished (whatever their definition of “finished” is). I get the feeling they are the minority though. Most knitters lament the fact that no matter how shamefully tall their pile of WIPs gets they still can’t stop themselves from casting on that shiny new pattern they just found.

I don’t have as much of a problem with starting too many things at once, my problem is more that I tend to speed through the knitting part of the process – my favorite part – and then drag my feet for the finishing process. My pile of WIPs is usually comprised almost entirely of things waiting to be blocked.

I’m going to start trying to reduce the size of that pile. Next week I will be introducing WIP-Cracking Wednesdays in which I will bring out my five oldest WIPs and show you just how pathetically close some of them are to being finished. Perhaps the public shaming will help motivate me to actually finish them.

WIP-Cracking Wednesdays
gif from imagefave.com

Vocabulary for Muggles

As a knitter, I am aware that many of the words that come out of my mouth have absolutely no meaning to the general public. Talking to me can be very confusing for non-knitters. So could reading my blog. In fact, when I came across this video a while back, it was like looking a mirror…

I’m going to try to remedy this by offering vocabulary lessons! I have been compiling a list of words and phrases that I have had to explain to people before. If you see anything in my blog posts you don’t understand and would like explained, let me know and I will add it to the list!

Today’s vocabulary word is muggle.

Origins

Many of you are probably familiar with the word “muggle” from the Harry Potter series in which it refers to people lacking magical abilities. However, J.K. Rowling did not make up the word. According to Wikipedia it dates as far back as the 1920s as slang for pot smokers.

It is now used in many contexts with a similar meaning as in the Harry Potter universe – a term to describe a person outside of a particular group, such as a non-geocacher or a non-hacker.

As I was listening to some old episodes of Cast On I believe I stumbled upon the origin of the word “muggle” in the knitting culture! In Episode 17: The Muggle Show, guest hosted by Franklin Habit, it is explained that the word came from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Why am I not surprised? This is the same woman who came up with the word kinnearing and invented the Knitting Olympics (which later led to the Ravellenic Games).

Meaning

Within the knitting world the word “muggle” broadly refers to non-knitters. That’s the simple definition. Where it gets a bit hairy is when you try to decide what exactly constitutes a “non-knitter.”

Usually the term “muggle” is used in the most obvious cases – to refer to people who not only don’t know how to knit, but think that knitting is a very strange thing to do, or assume it is extinct and are amazed, shocked, or puzzled to discover a knitter. These people are usually the targets of a favorite group activity of knitters called “muggle-freaking” in which we gather together to gratuitously flaunt our fiber enthusiasm in front of unsuspecting crowds of muggles. That was the purpose behind the giant flash-mob at the last Sock Summit in which thousands of knitters danced with yarn (I’m in that crowd somewhere).

We even have a whole day (or week?) dedicated to muggle-freaking – World Wide Knit in Public Day.

Then there are the less obvious cases. What about people who don’t know how to knit, but are around knitters enough that they don’t bat an eyelash at words such as “WIP” or “Ravatar” or “circs”? My mother, sister, and now even my boyfriend fall into this category. They know the lingo, understand that knitting is actually a thing, they just don’t participate in the activity themselves. Are they muggles? Maybe…

What about all those knitters out there who don’t know the lingo? The ones who have never been on Ravelry and maybe haven’t even heard of it? They exist. I’ve met them. They have the skills, but they haven’t been steeped in the knitting culture. Are they muggles? When talking to these crafters they are frequently just as confused by the words coming out of my mouth, and even just as weirded out by my enthusiasm for my craft as the more traditional muggles are. They certainly feel like muggles.

Perhaps we need an intermediary term for those who don’t quite fit the muggle profile. I suppose we could call them filthy mudbloods, but somehow I don’t think they would find it amusing.

I’d like to see you call her that.
pic from Harry Potter Wiki

Default Setting: Knit

I had one of those groggy mornings when your brain really hasn’t caught up to your body in the waking up process. I got out of the shower, lotioned my face, brushed my wet hair, and then…couldn’t remember what came next. First thought to pop into my head was, “Knit? No, that can’t be right…” Eventually I settled on “put on clothes” as the next step, but it took a while.

It seems my brain has a default setting – when in doubt, knit.

Knit Fit: Day Two

After a good night’s rest at my aunt and uncle’s house, I returned to Knit Fit for my second class, Beginner Pattern Writing with Jen Hagen. I was pleased to see several of the same students from the Self Publishing class – clearly a group of people on a mission.

Jen was a wealth of information! She took us through the whole process of writing up a pattern. In addition to highlighting all of the different types of writing involved in patterns, she took us through every part of a pattern and detailed the importance of standardizing your terms, what types of measurements should be included, and even how to put together a schematic. Again, I left the class with pages full of notes that will be invaluable when I go to set my first design on paper. Jen made what could have potentially be a somewhat dry subject into a very engaging class with her enthusiasm and warm nature. The whole class bonded so well that we’re staying in touch to offer each other pattern writing support and encouragement! We’re all fairly local, so there may be some meet-ups in the future.

One big happy knitter family

After class I got to enjoy one of the great traditions of knitting conventions – meeting a Ravelry friend in person for the first time! This time I had lunch with Destiny (AKA neneni) and her mother Joan. We met on Ravelry through our mutual love for indigodragonfly yarn. I had a delicious (though very messy) salmon sandwich while we chatted about knitting, yarn, and our lives in general as if we’d known each other for years. They had taken the morning class on steeking and I got to see Destiny’s swatch from the class. I’m still pretty wary of taking scissors to my knitting, but even the results of her first steeking experience looked very well done and not the least bit prone to unraveling, so maybe…

After eating we went back into the marketplace and perused the yarn selections again (it’s always so much more fun with a friend) before they had to head out to their afternoon class.

My favorite part about going to these things is being surrounded by people who are just as excited about yarn as I am and getting to geek out with people who GET IT. Even at such a small convention I feel like I came away with lots of new friends!

 

In Which Technology Hates Me

I know I promised to blog about Knit Fit today, and believe me, I really want to. Unfortunately technology has conspired against me. I took some awesome photos while I was there and I’m still struggling a bit trying to figure out how get them onto my sister’s computer and formatted and edited properly. It was so much easier on my computer…

In addition to that, our DVR box is on the fritz and will be replaced tomorrow morning, so I have to watch all of the shows we have recorded TONIGHT or they are gone forever.

In the meantime I will try to entertain you all with a new blogging trick my friend Jessica taught me. On the sidebar right underneath the calendar I now have a Blogroll! This is where you will find useful or interesting links (not all of them are blogs). It’s small so far but I will slowly add to it as other links come to mind.

Jessica just started her own blog called Jessica’s Yarn Tales, and her first post was today, so go check her out! She already has a blogroll set up ’cause she’s smart like that.

At Ars Poetica you can find handcrafted candles made from natural and sustainable materials and beautiful hand drawn cards. A college friend of mine started this business very recently, and in the Poet’s Corner she has blogged about the grueling process of setting up a small home business.

Another artist friend of mine is Peppermint Monster AKA Sarah. She is a wickedly fabulous artist/illustrator who just released a Sueussian, nudity-filled comic called Star Power. You can buy it in her Etsy shop (and I highly recommend you do).

If you want to know what is going on in the knitting world, just look to the Yarn Harlot. She has her finger on the pulse of knitting culture, and when she speaks, fiber fanatics listen.

Last but not least is the Craft Emergency Relief Fund which provides emergency assistance to professional craft artists. They also provide emergency preparedness information for artists. In the wake of Sandy I’m sure there are many people out there whose studios have been badly damaged putting their livelihoods at stake. They have set up a special emergency response page specifically dealing with Sandy aftermath here.

Plenty can go wrong even without the help of a hurricane, as Judith MacKenzie-McCuin can attest. Her spinning studio at The Rainforest Arts Center in Forks, WA  burned to the ground. Friends of Judith have set up a site, Rebuild Judith’s Studio, where you can donate money or materials to help this international artist and teacher return to her craft. I know the loss of my computer has pretty much leveled my ability to pursue my business, I can only imagine what it would be like to lose EVERYTHING.

Hopefully I can get the photo situation sorted out tonight so I can share my Knit Fit experiences with you tomorrow!

Welcome!

You have just stumbled upon The Secret Life of Yarn! Before I start revealing some of those secrets, let me introduce myself.

Up until recently I was a “scientist” – that is I studied Biology in college and intended to continue my scientific studies in grad school as soon as I saved up enough money to do so. When the money manifested I suddenly found that I didn’t really want to go to grad school, which I thought was just nerves at first. Upon further examination I discovered the problem was not the school, it was the career – I didn’t want to be scientist anymore! For the past 7 years something else had slowly been overtaking my interest in the microscopic world, and once I was released from homework obligations it had turned into an obsession. Now I’m a knitter.

I’ve been fiber-curious since learning how to crochet in ’97, but I didn’t really get into it until I learned how to knit in ’05. All my friends were doing it and I wanted to do it too, but I never do anything half-way so I went straight from garter stitch scarves to cables and large lace pieces and I still show no signs of slowing down. I’ve been thoroughly immersed in the knitting culture ever since (yes, there IS a knitting culture). Now I’m on a mission to launch a fibery career! I just haven’t quite figured out what that career will look like…

So, back to the secret life of yarn. Many knitters, and certainly most non-knitters, don’t think there’s much more to knitting than stitches. Sure there’s the yarn you buy to knit with and needles you buy to construct the stitches and even the patterns you get to show you what to knit, but you don’t always put a lot of thought into how those things came to be and how they got into your hands or how the idea to knit this particular item entered your brain. To many people knitting is simply an act, which primarily consists of constructing knit stitches and purl stitches to create a fabric. That’s not what this blog is about.

There is an entire industry surrounding yarn, fiber, and knitting*! The reason you are able to buy that gorgeous yarn, use those fabulous needles, and knit that stylish shawl are because of the work of thousands** of people within the industry. This work consists of designing, dyeing, yarn manufacturing, teaching, hand spinning, event planning, web designing, photography, graphic designing, modeling, tech editing, writing, test knitting, publishing, creative directing, social networking, etc., etc. etc. Also largely unseen by the general public is the more subtle force behind knitting, the thing that makes someone who knits into a knitter, and that is the culture of knitting. The sense of community and identity knitters cultivate is also very important to knitting and helps keep the knitting industry afloat. It’s what makes us want to congregate at sock-themed conferences, spend hours on internet forums, and fuels controversies that spill out into the non-knitting world when that culture is denigrated. This is the secret life of yarn, and I am going to tell all!

I haven’t found many resources for people looking to start a career in knitting (though I haven’t been looking for long, so perhaps there’s more than I realize?), but I did find one book which gave me a great start. It’s The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, by Shannon Okey. I initially bought it thinking it would help me learn how to design, but it’s not a how-to-design book at all, it’s a how-to-be-a-designer book which turned out to be MUCH more fascinating. I’ll be talking about this book more in-depth in future posts, but suffice to say it’s extremely useful in my current endeavor. However, the book is written from the perspective of people who are already established in the industry. The people interviewed and even the author herself got established early-ish in the knitting explosion that occurred in the late 90s and early 2000s. Establishing a knitting career NOW with Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, and a much larger market (and much more competition) to work with is going to be a little different from the stories given in The Knitgrrl Guide. It was also missing (and understandably so) much of the nuts-and-bolts of starting up a business and becoming self-employed which can be very overwhelming for someone like myself who doesn’t even know where to begin. With this blog, I hope to provide a newbie perspective as I troubleshoot my way into the industry!

Along with posts about my journey into the professional knitting world, I will also be providing insights into knitting culture. Sometimes this will be from the perspective of knitters, other times it will be concerning knitter/non-knitter relations. Knitter-adjacent people may want to tune in to better understand their knitters – if it seems like your knitter is speaking a foreign language, I can help. Since I am trying to get into the knitting business there will of course be posts about what I have on the needles from time to time! I will be sampling many different fiber-related activities to try to find my place in the industry, so you can expect to read posts about photography, dyeing, spinning, designing, tech editing, test knitting, and whatever else strikes my fancy. There will also be lots of posts (and likely rants) about the nuts-and-bolts of self-employment and running a crafty business, so I hope that other crafters, makers, artisans, and wannabe small business owners will find this blog helpful too. Non-knitters are welcome here!

Well, that was quite the introductory post wasn’t it? I guess all that’s left to say is   “allons-y!”

*I want to be clear to all the crocheters out there; I am not at all discriminatory against crochet! I would love to add “and crochet” every time I mention knitting, but that would get tiresome. Since I am primarily a knitter and “knitting” and its derivative words are easier to type than “crochet” that is what I will type for simplicity’s sake.

**totally made up number, I have no idea how many people it takes to knit a shawl…yet