Episode 90: A Sweater for Tink!

Hello crafty peeps! In this episode, I talk all about Tink’s new Alasuq dog sweater; plus, I offer up my pattern writing process. And . . . I’m ready to get the test knitting process started! I’d love to hear what you think of the process and any advice you might have for others who are thinking about getting into size-inclusive pattern writing. Come hang a while? ~Melissa

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SHOW NOTES

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Episode 89: A Brighter Cardigan & Pattern Grading

Hello sweater friends! This episode has three sweaters! Yes, three! (well, one is just the beginnings of a dog sweater for Tink . . )I’m excited to talk about the Brighter cardigan from LB Handknits, my own “mohair” design, and pattern grading lessons. Plus, a little trip to Norway for new sweater inspiration (including that sweater for Tink!). I hope you’ll join me 🙂

If you love the content, consider supporting me with a Kofi donation: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash **Please note, all Kofis bought between Oct 18th and the end of November will be donated to Andrew and Andrea of FruityKnitting to help support them at this moment of need. Spencer and I are sending all good, healing thoughts their way!

–FREE PATTERN: It’s a Wrap Cowl pattern is available via Ravelry. If you’re not on Ravelry and would like a PDF of the cowl pattern, please email me at knittingthestash@gmail.com

If you’re feeling the KnitCrate love and want some excitement in your mailbox each month, you can Subscribe to KnitCrate via this link https://www.knitcrate.com/?rfsn=42489 and use this Discount Code to get 20% Off: KTS20

SHOW NOTES

  1. Brighter cardigan by LB Handknits (Ravelry link)
  2. Naturally Nazareth yarn by Kraemer Yarns
  3. Vertisol Shawl by JPKnits1 (all proceeds benefit FruityKnitting)
  4. Linka Neumann
  5. Alasuq Dog Sweater (Ravelry link)
  6. Marnie McLean Grading Tutorial
  7. Masterclass on Grading
  8. Ysolda Teague sizing chart
  9. Craft Yarn Council Sizing Chart
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Episode 88: In Progress . . .

Hello yarn people! Welcome to Episode 88! In this one I talk about a long-finished test knit, Meirg by LB Handknits; bring you up-to-date on the progress of my mohair design; and talk about knitting espionage! Yep, you heard that last bit right . . . fun stuff all around. I hope you’ll join me for some garment chatter and secret codes 🙂

**Love the content? Buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash

PLEASE NOTE: all Kofis purchased between Oct 18th and Nov 30th will be donated to help Andrew and Andrea of Fruity Knitting.

If you’re feeling the KnitCrate love and want some excitement in your mailbox each month, you can Subscribe to KnitCrate via this link https://www.knitcrate.com/?rfsn=42489… and use this Discount Code to get 20% Off: KTS20

SHOW NOTES

  1. Meirg by LB Handknits (Ravelry link)–you can also message her directly;
    1. Use code KTS40 for 40% off the pattern!
  2. Cocoknits Tidy Neck Decreases
  3. Green Mountain Spinnery Lana yarn
  4. Qing Fiber (mohair)
  5. Sleeve Cap Tutorial
  6. Better Sweater Series
  7. Knitting as Espionage Tool” (thanks to Peg Wolf)
  8. Crafty Wartime Spies” (thanks to Ruth Smith)
  9. Stitches in Time

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Episode 87: Design-O-Rama!

This episode is about designing a new sweater and sketching sweater doodles to get there . . . Spencer has a lot to say about sweater drawing, so he came on the cast to chat! Plus, a new sweater design is in the works (from me!) and I have tons of giveaways to announce! Hang out a while? ~Melissa

If you love the content, consider supporting me with a Kofi donation: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash. **Please note, all Kofis bought between now (Oct 18th) and the end of November will be donated to Andrew and Andrea of FruityKnitting to help support them at this moment of need. Spencer and I are sending all good, healing thoughts their way!

SHOW NOTES:

  1. FruityKnitting: Patreon / direct Paypal Donations link
  2. Bags by Awesome Grannie (Darlene and Bruce York)
  3. Qing Fiber
  4. Green Mountain Spinnery
  5. Dissent Pullover
  6. Knitlandia
  7. Vanishing Fleece
  8. Shetland Wool Adventures Journal, vol 1
  9. Woolly Thistle
  10. metaspencer

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Two New Platforms: Knitrino and Ribblr

Recently, the makers involved in a couple of new knitting platforms have given me the opportunity to be a beta tester. It’s been a pleasure to do so and I thought I would tell you all a bit about the platforms here in case you’d like to try them out yourself. This is not a paid promotion, I was simply given early access to a couple of platforms that are launching this month–October!

If you’re looking for a travel-friendly app to use on your phone or tablet, Knitrino is for you. Alison and Andrea, the founders of this little beauty of an app, are two sisters working to make knitting patterns accessible and trackable. And they are hosting a knitting retreat/lunch party this month! You can get involved through various tiers of support–tiers that also give you some fun swag in return! Here are some of the things I love about their platform:

–> Born digital patterns: they include tutorials, ways to save and track your work
–> Portability! Multiple patterns all accessible via your phone –> Excellent, step by step instructions and clear charts

Now, I’m not a big phone/digital pattern person. I’ll admit it, I like my paper (sorry trees of the world!) . . . so some of the drawbacks for me are obvious: working on a screen is just not my preferred way of doing things. But, working with born digital patterns and being able to take the patterns with me wherever I go is a perk. The other drawback, right now, is simply that this is an app in development: there are a handful of patterns available, but you can’t import patterns (they need to be born-digital within the Knitrino template). But more patterns are on the way every month and Knitrino pays its designers well for their patterns.

I’m kind of excited about this app and think that the born-digital pattern is likely to be the way of the future . . . Plus, I like Alison and Andrea (follow them on IG if you can), their adventures, their aesthetic, and their commitment to making knitting accessible for all.

If you’re looking for a laptop/desktop friendly platform with patterns for crochet, knitting, and sewing, Ribblr may be for you. This platform is the brainchild of Lir Shilton & Saar Oron, a couple of Londoners who wanted to make craft more accessible for makers. Their keyword seems to be ‘modern’–bringing craft up to date with the digital world. Here are some of the things I love about their platform:

–> Ribblr e-patterns: they include tutorials, a universal template, and offer automatic language translation! How cool is that?
–> You can doodle on the patterns! Yes, there are plenty of notes features, but this one is right up my ally–I LOVE writing all over my patterns 🙂 –> Excellent, step by step instructions and embedded video tutorials

When I first jumped into Ribblr, I did find it a little bit disorienting . . . I couldn’t find some of the features that had been promised (like how to share with friends). But, those issues have been resolved and I find that the platform is improving every time I visit. To me, this is a sign that the people behind Ribblr are listening and learning and implementing change. Plus, they have a robust amount of patterns available via the site at this point: sweaters, accessories, shawls, and totes (if you’re a seamstress).

I can imagine this platform growing over the coming years and becoming on par with Ravelry. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get more designers involved in the born-digital, Ribblr e-pattern format, I think.

***

If any of you try either platform, I’d love to know what you think! Share your experiences here in the comments 🙂

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Episode 86: Cowls, Clara Parkes & Paper Yarn

Hello lovely people! I have a *free* cowl pattern for you! Yay! And a sweater pillow, some socks, and a happy hand–yep, it’s healing and I’m moving (very slowly) to smaller needles! A new, fingering weight sweater has to be on the way soon . . . Plus, in this episode, I discuss paper yarn and announce the winner of the last giveaway. Oh, and of course, there is a new giveaway for Clara Parkes’ books, thanks to a CUSW Guild member! If you’re not on Ravelry and would like a PDF of the cowl pattern, please email me at knittingthestash@gmail.com

**Love the content? Buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash

To enter the giveaway for a one of the two Clara Parkes books (donated by Rachel!) please leave a comment here, on the Ravelry thread, or on the blogpost for this episode. Tell us a little about your favorite crafty author, blogger, podcaster, or magazine editor/writer. Due to the pandemic, I am only able to ship to the domestic US at the moment. Hoping to return to full international giveaways someday!

SHOW NOTES

  1. It’s a Wrap Cowl (Ravelry link)
  2. SweetGeorgia Yarn
  3. SweetGeorgia Worsted Yarn (fauna colorway)
  4. MadelineTosh Vintage Yarn
  5. Paper Yarn: Hiroko Karuno, Susan Byrd, OJI Fiber
  6. Shifu, A Traditional Paper Textile of Japan (academic PDF)
  7. Country Socks in Folk Socks
  8. Hippy Yarn
  9. Purl Soho Jasmine Scarf
  10. Inspired by Islay
  11. Clara Parkes

Posted in community, cowl, episode, giveaway, knitting books, knitting history, knitting podcast, paper yarn, pattern, pattern launch, pattern writing, patterns, socks, sweater pillow, video | 3 Comments

Episode 85: Knit Together . . . At Last!

Hey fellow fiber people! This episode is all about the Knit Together Project–complete at long last–and an invitation to get started on one for your own community. Plus, some 19th century wool industry history from Peggy Hart’s book, and a giveaway from a generous viewer! Come hang a while?

**Love the content? Buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash

To enter the giveaway for Inspired by Islay (from Celeste!) please leave a comment here, on the Ravelry thread, or on the YourTube episode. Tell us how craft is helping you get through these crazy times. Due to the pandemic, I am only able to ship to the domestic US at the moment. Hoping to return to full international giveaways soon!

SHOW NOTES:

  1. Science Fiction Podcast
  2. Maniototo Wool
  3. Amirisu Magazine
  4. Bags By Awesome Grannie 
  5. Knit Together Project (Ravelry Project Page)
  6. Knit Together Project (Ravelry group thread)
  7. Squirrel Pie Productions (Tommi)
  8. Hawthorne Cottage Craft (Kate)
  9. Treehouse Knits (Rachel)
  10. Ninja Chickens (Maria)
  11. Wool by Peggy Hart
  12. Inspired by Islay
  13. Yokes by Kate Davies

Posted in Bags By Awesome Grannie, blanket, community, giveaway, Inspired by Islay, Knit Together Project, knitting, knitting books, knitting history, knitting podcast, Maniototo Wool, project bags | 1 Comment

Episode 84: Broken, But Still Knitting!

Sadly, I think I broke my pinky knuckle . . . but I still have some WIPS and knitting history for you! Today, it’s Nancy Bush’s Country Socks and the (long overdue) Knit Together Project! It’s so cool to be assembling a blanket made from your squares! And a little Colonial US wool from Peggy Hart’s Wool book 🙂 Bad Sheep giveaway winner announced! Come hang a while? ~Melissa

**Love the content? Buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash

If you’re feeling the KnitCrate love and want some excitement in your mailbox each month, you can Subscribe to KnitCrate via this link https://www.knitcrate.com/?rfsn=42489… and use this Discount Code to get 20% Off: KTS20

SHOW NOTES:

Affiliates/Ambassadorships/Amazon Associate Links

I am very pleased to be an ambassador for a number of companies that I enjoy supporting. These include: SweetGeorgia Yarns, Making Stories, and KnitCrate. I often receive products and books for review and testing from these folks and I’m happy to share my opinions with you! I also receive books for review from other, usually independent, authors and publishers. I am happy to share my honest opinion and review of these books here on the blog.

As an Amazon Associate, some links on my blog allow me to receive a small commission on books and other products that I am proud to recommend. In other words, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There is no cost to you when you use these links, but it provides a small stipend to me that helps support my work in the crafting community.

If you are interested in sending books or other knitting products for review, please contact me at knittingthestash@gmail.com and I would be happy to chat!

Posted in Bad Sheep Yarn, community, Folk Socks, givaway, Knit Together Project, knitting, knitting books, knitting history, sock yarn, socks, WIP, wool, wool history | 7 Comments

Episode 83: Hikari, History & Bad Sheep!

Hello party people! The time is here for a HUGE giveaway from Bad Sheep Yarn . . . Yay! Plus, my Hikari modifications are finished and I have some history about Yoked sweaters from Kate Davies. Looking forward to spending a little time with you, when you find a free minute and a fresh cup of tea 🙂 ~Melissa

To enter the giveaway from Bad Sheep Yarn, please leave a comment here, on the Ravelry thread, or on the blogpost for this episode. Tell me your favorite colorway from Bad Sheep Yarn! You can enter a second time when I post the giveaway to Instagram later this week. Due to the pandemic, I am only able to ship to the domestic US at the moment. Hoping to return to full international giveaways soon!

**Love the content? Buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/knittingthestash

If you’re feeling the KnitCrate love and want some excitement in your mailbox each month, you can Subscribe to KnitCrate via this link https://www.knitcrate.com/?rfsn=42489… and use this Discount Code to get 20% Off: KTS20

SHOW NOTES:

Posted in Amirisu, Bad Sheep Yarn, community, garment, giveaway, history, knitting, knitting history, knitting modification, modifications, Parade yarn, piecework, Shetland, yoke | 13 Comments

Indie Dyer: Marcie Bourne of Bad Sheep Yarn

Hello yarn and fiber folk! I have something truly special for you today: the brilliant and creative mind behind Bad Sheep Yarn, Marcie Bourne! I’m guessing you’d recognize her from her gorgeous yarn collections, such as the 2020 Alaska collection . . . but you might also have cast on a lovely Eirlys Shawl in her Nebula and Constellation colorways. I found Marcie through Facebook–some friends of mine were posting all about her pretty yarn and I had to check it out. Turns out Marcie makes her yarn magic the way up  in the North Pole and has quite a few ideas for colors that just belong together. I  am partial to her Deep Woods Collection and, if I had any birthday money left, well . . . So, naturally, I struck up an email exchange with Marcie  and we had some fun talking about all things yarn and indie dyer. I hope you enjoy the interview below and tune into the next podcast (Episode 83) for an amazing GIVEAWAY–yes, it’s HUGE!–from Marcie and Bad Sheep Yarn 🙂

Bad Sheep YarnBad Sheep Yarn Nebula and ConstellationsSockeye Salmon YarnWild Blueberry Yarn DK 3Spell on You Yarn 4Rooibos Tea Sock YarnBad Sheep Yarn Alaska 2020

KTS: You are the creative mind behind Bad Sheep Yarn; can you tell us a little bit about how you started the business and what you love about dyeing yarn?

Marcie: I started working for someone else dying yarn. They trained me and I loved working for them. When they moved out of state my husband and I decided to start our own business together (He does all the IT things that I know nothing about). It’s been quite a journey from there.

What I love most about dying yarn is the excitement of making new things, new color combinations. I could say a lot about having an appreciation for every color from chartreuse to hot pink to brown. Every color has something great to offer.

KTS: You’ve featured two Alaska collections and a Deep Woods collection (which I LOVE!) along with other themed yarn bundles. How do you decide on the colorways? Are you looking for complementary colors, a variation on a theme, or something that stirs your imagination?

Marcie: A little of everything, haha! Sometimes I start with a theme that I can let my imagination follow and other times I start with a color palette that I’m inspired by. After those I just work one at until I have something that fits what I was going for in the first place. I also try to make things that can be worked all together and look cohesive but also contrast enough to showcase each colorway.

KTS: Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?

Marcie: This could be a long list. My dad is an amazing wildlife artist. My mom taught us how to sew and craft. She also taught me how to figure things out for myself.

I think anyone that follows me could see that nature inspires me. I live in a place where it’s just so stunning. I’m always in awe.

  • My best lady, Chandi, from Expression Fiber Arts.
  • My girl, Tara, from Mamachee crochet patterns.
  • And Amy Sedaris. She makes crafting and entertaining hilarious and I love her for that.

KTS: What’s it like living in the North Pole, literally (!)

Marcie: Cold. It’s pretty cold here in the winters. The street lamps are painted to look like candy canes. But other than the cold, long, dark winters Alaska is beautiful. Sweater weather comes early so it’s always knitting season. It’s a small town and it’s my home. Also there is a man here who has legally changed his name to Kris Kringle and he is our year round Santa. His wife knits and they are sweet.

KTS: Any advice for new dyers?

Marcie: WRITE DOWN ALL THE RECIPES. Don’t be afraid of slow beginnings or a saturated market. Have fun. Don’t look around at what other people are doing and feel defeated. Look around and be inspired and to learn. There are so many generous dyers who share their wisdom so watch and learn and try new things!

KTS:Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you?

Marcie: My website badsheepyarn.com is my main platform. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram under the user name BadSheepYarn .  I think I’m on pinterest too but I forget about it. I want to start a whole pinterest board about good knit night snacks/drinks because I’m all about that.

KTS: What’s new on the horizon for your business?

Marcie: So many things! I’ve been working on the next Alaska Collection for 2021. Those are huge collections for us and I put a lot of thought them. My husband and I have a lot of dreams that we’ve talked over for our 5 – 10 year plans. Nothing is set in stone, but we’ve enjoyed dreaming things up so much that everything seems possible.

***

Thanks so much, Marcie, for sharing your yarn and giving us a peek into your business!

I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email (knittingthestash@gmail.com) or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

Happy knitting! 🙂

 

Posted in Bad Sheep Yarn, community, hand dyed yarn, indie, indie dyer, interview, yarn | Leave a comment