Knitting Bag Essentials
Congratulations to RYAN for being the randomly selected winner to the contest on this blog post. A message was sent to him letting him know that he won, and he'll be getting a Kyle William tape measure.
Thanks for playing!
(feel free to continue posting comments about what you like to keep in your knitting bags! - the answers won't count towards the drawing, but it's interesting to see what people use!)
Every knitter (and crocheter!) who travels, across the country or down the street... to "Stitch -n- Bitch" or "Knit Night"... has a list of necessities that they bring with them. Just in case.
In addition to my project and instructions, here's a list of some of the things I have with me in my knitting bag when I leave the studio
Carrying Case - My most-used bag of the moment is a little bag I got on a United international flight. It's see-through, and that makes digging for the right tool in a knitting emergency so much easier.
Pen - I use a retractable "click" pen so that there's less chance of ink getting all over the place. Some people might use a pencil instead... but I'm OK with scribbling out mistakes! ;)
Scissors - Full disclosure, I usually can't find my scissors. They're around... somewhere. But when I'm organized, or the planets are aligned, I have my little cutting tool the "Quickie Cutter" which I picked up at a trade show or fair somewhere. Other options are cute vintage scissors (which can open and cut or stab unless they're in a case), or clippers that fit into some sort of cover. I've heard of people using finger nail cutters as well.
Gauge - My favorite is the little spiral gauge from Debra's Garden. This is the one I carry around if I travel, but in the studio I use my big Susan Bates gauge. If I'm sorting needles to put them back away, my little one from Seven Yaks is my "go to" tool.
Coil-less Safety Pins - What can I say about these? They're perfect for "parking" dropped stitches, marking rows, or the front of a piece, and for holding things like stitch markers (don't worry; they're in the list too!)
Cable Needle - I use cable needles to fix mistakes, as a "third" needle when needed... and, of course, for cabling.
Chicken - Every knitting toolkit needs a tiny rubber chicken. I have no idea where it came from, but it was in my toolkit!
Stitch Markers - These come in so many varieties. I love my little lamb ones that I bought at Stitches. Other ones I uses: a little silver baby ring, plastic ones (from Boye), O-rings (from the hardware store), and truthfully, anything I can get my hands on if I am in a bind. Bits of yarn tied into a ring, a twist-tie, even paper clips (or those coil-less safety pins!) work in a pinch.
Head and Health - Snacks for emergencies, aspirin, antihistimines, etc. to fix what's hurting. In this category I'd also add a few dollars. It's not in my essentials bag, but I do keep change and some cash in my knitting bag for parking meters, public transit fare, and emergency purposes.
Golden Needle - My favorite needles to use for finishing are the golden needles. I also love my little chibi case from clover. I also keep dental floss in my bag for lifelines (and for flossing!)
Stitch Holders - These are transient. If I'm getting to the point where I might need one, in it goes. They're used, of course, to hold live stitches. If I don't have one, a length of yarn or dental floss works almost as well.
Crochet Hooks - Used to pick up stitches, for provisional cast on, and crochet (of course!) I have a couple in my bag to use, or to lend.
Latch Tool - I have a little latch hook tool that's used in machine knitting that I got from Florence Bishop years ago. She swore by these for picking up stitches. Sometimes it ends up in my knitting bag because it's a great tool for picking up a column of dropped stockinette stitches.
Tape Measure - Of course, measuring tapes are the #1 must-have in knitting bags. (and now there's Kyle William tape measures!)
The Kyle William tape offers measurements in centimeters and inches up to 60 inches (150 cm). They're the standard 2" diameter x 1/2" and have a push button that retracts the tape. Compact, cute, and emblazoned with the Kyle William logo! Want one of your very own? Keep reading! :)
What's the one thing you can't live without in your travel knitting bag? (and why?) Post your answer in the comments to be entered to win your very own Kyle William tape measure!
A random entry will be selected on Friday, August 2, 2013. If you can't wait, feel free to hop on over to the SHOP where you can buy your very own!
Over on the Kyle William Facebook page there's a little contest! It's super easy to enter... here's how:
1.) Go to the facebook page: www.facebook.com/kylewilliam, "LIKE" it (so that you get all the fun shop updates and pattern releases). Find today's post that talks about the contest.
2.) COMMENT on the post - I'm curious to know your favorite color combo(s) - are you an "all green" kinda person? love the colors of a sunset? the deep crimson of a persimmon? Inquiring minds want to know!
3.) SHARE the contest post with your friends by clicking "SHARE" at the bottom of the post.
Once the fan page reaches 250 "LIKES", one of the people who entered and did all 3 of these things will be randomly selected as the winner. They get either 4oz of hand dyed fiber or a hank of hand dyed yarn custom dyed in the color(s) of their choice.
THEN, they get to select a SECOND person to win - they will get their choice of fiber or yarn custom dyed as well!
The winners will be announced on the Kyle William Facebook page (and the good news might even find its way here!)
It's that simple - so head over the page and like, comment, and share away. While you're online, you can also visit the shop and see some of the goodies that are ready to head home today!
Going Batty in the Shop
Lots of great things are going on at the Kyle William Studio. First, I'll mention that I have launched the Dye Lab: a collection of hand dyed fibers offered through the shop. This week, I'm releasing 8 art batts - each featuring 2 ounces of beautifully coordinated fibers ready for spinning, felting, or other fun projects. In addition to this, I've been hard at work developing some other colorways that will be part of the line. My goal is to announce shop updates mostly through Facebook and the fan page. "Like" the page at: www.facebook.com/kylewillam.
These art batts take some time to create but are really fun and a true joy to spin. As always, I'm happy to talk with people about custom blends or custom colorways.
A custom order of Polwarth/Silk top
In addition to working to keep the shop full of fiber, I have been doing some custom orders for people interested in larger quantities or special types of top. These projects are fun and I love seeing how people use the fibers. A large shipment of top and yarn just arrived at the studio this week. I'm anxious to dive into the yarns and not only dye some up but also knit with them! They are really quite nice and it will be a lot of fun to share with you in the next few weeks.
In other news, the Caden scarf I designed for Quince & Co. was published with two small errors. At the bottom of my website, you'll find a link to my new errata page which will correct these for you.
Last but not least: more good news! The Kyle William patterns offered in my shop are now all available for instant/digital download!
So that's the big update from here. Thank you to those who have purchased from the shop and for those who are curious about any of my products, I encourage you to give them a try. Like all small businesses, the success of Kyle William depends on your patronage, and I appreciate each and every order and comment!
Time to get dirty
It's time to re-visit my other favorite craft... ceramics! I dusted off my tools the other day in preparation for day 1 of ceramics class in San Francisco. Monday morning I ventured out early, headed off to class and to meet my new instructor.
He seems very nice... has been teaching at Fort Mason (in view of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, & Alcatraz) for around 20 years, and has been working in clay for over 30. It's a different setup than I had in Los Angeles, but I'm happy that the opportunity exists for me to delve back into clay 2 days a week.
I'm prepared to head back tomorrow with my tools at-the-ready, and to remember what it is about ceramics I love so much. (Actually, I remember very clearly - and I'm VERY happy that it's time to get dirty!)
Other news includes releasing a new colorway of hand dyed roving. This time it's on rambouillet and is named "Sherwood". Hand dyeing roving is a fun adventure as well - and believe me it's hard to post and sell the roving instead of spinning it myself. (Confession: I dyed 2 sets of this one but promptly took one to spin as a sample... it's on my wheel right now calling my name).
If you're interested in this or other rovings, check out the shop.
Last but not least, I'm really happy to announce custom dyed roving service offered through the shop. With this service, YOU get to select your very own color combination. Want green/purple/orange? OK. Prefer grey/brown/tangerine? Okey-Dokey. NEED purple/lilac/indigo? Whatever your heart's desire, I'll be happy to make it for you. Turnaround should be quick but I specified 5-7 business days.
Click on the "Custom Dyed Roving" image to the left to get started.
Have a great week!
Clasped Weft Scarf - finished!
I'm busy in the studio posting scarves and hats and goodies in my Etsy shop - and thought I'd send out a quick blog post (as promised) with the image of the finished clasped weft scarf. This one is going up right now and will hopefully find a lovely home for the holidays.
It also features the (fairly new) Kyle William labels - I LOVE my label and my logo... I hope that the recipient loves this scarf as much as I do!
**UPDATE** This scarf sold within minutes of being posted. Hooray!
As with all my postings, I offer free gift wrap and a card if you are purchasing to send to someone via mail.
There's not much time left for online holiday shopping without paying lots of shipping costs - so I better get back to uploading and posting these items in case someone wants a fun finished fiber project as a gift!
Two Color Geometric Hat
The interesting thing about working for publication like this is that the hat was completed and sent away almost a year ago! I am actually looking forward to knitting one for myself (if I ever find time!)
If you'd like to own your very own copy of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book, including 50 designs, as well as historical and technique information, click the "Buy Now" button below.
Free Pattern: Rialta Scarf
The Rialta scarf is an easy-to-knit, fun project that takes full advantage of the gorgeous color changes in Noro Silk Garden. Download the pattern and get a headstart on Holiday knitting! Based on the ripple or wave stitch seen in many, many stitch libraries, this scarf is easy to make with one row of pattern followed by 3 rows of plain knitting heaven! Alternating between two skeins of delicious color-changing Noro makes for an unexpected treat. You'll find yourself knitting on projects like this for hours on end; working to see what color combination will be next to appear.
Click the "Download Now" button to download your FREE copy of the RIALTA Scarf pattern!
Here's a helpful hint:
When knitting projects such as this using various colors of yarn that changes color, I am careful to alternate the joins in yarn. While working, continue alternating between the two skeins until approximately ½ of each of the skeins are used. Break the yarn of Color A and spit splice a new skein to the yarn tail, reserving the remaining yarn. Continue knitting until the end of your project, adding skeins of yarn as needed. When finishing the project, as you come to the end of Color A's yarn, spit splice the remaining ½ skein previously removed. Using this trick will make the joins almost impossible to detect. If the yarn ends that are spliced are similarly colored, the join will be invisible. I used this technique when making Technicolor (the sweater pictured below) - and used 12 different colors of Noro Kureyon for that project.
Like what you see? Click the "like" Facebook button or share this post on Twitter with your friends. Thanks!
I knit for many reasons. I knit because it's creative, relaxing, fun, inspiring... I have discovered through my knitting that it is also a great way to start conversations. When I knit in public, people seem curious about what I'm making; they ask about the techniques, the patterns, the yarn... This is part of the reasoning behind my series of patterns that are designed to raise awareness of different issues. This pattern, CURE, features a "virus" motif, one red ribbon, and was created to encourage HIV/AIDS awareness. Beyond the knitter gaining access to the included information sheets about the virus, transmission, testing and various online resources, I hope this information is shared with others while the project is being knit, or perhaps the fact sheets are included with the hat as a gift to someone. Being able to share facts and resources is one of the greatest gifts we can offer our communities!
In addition to these wonderful benefits, 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of this pattern are donated to Project Open Hand; a non-profit organization offering “meals with love” to people living with HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses and to seniors in San Francisco and Alameda Counties since 1985. Learn more at www.openhand.org.
Following this pattern, it’s easy to create a custom hat supporting HIV/AIDS awareness! Knit one for yourself, make another for a friend or charity! Share the knowledge you gain with those you love to help raise awareness about the virus and how it is transmitted, and feel good about your purchase; knowing that you're helping Project Open Hand do the wonderful work they've been doing for over 25 years!
If you're interested in knitting the hat, click the "buy now" button below and complete your purchase for an instant download. Another way to show support? Click the buttons at the bottom of this post to share this post with your friends on facebook or twitter. Encourage your knitting group to each purchase a copy of the pattern and do a knit-a-long. Thank you for your support!!
100% of net proceeds from CAUSE hat pattern donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer
As an additional note, the other pattern designed to raise awareness, CAUSE, benefits Living Beyond Breast Cancer. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to an amazing nonprofit in PA. Founded in 1991, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers specialized programs and services for the newly diagnosed, young women, women with advanced breast cancer, women at high risk for developing the disease, African-American and Latina women as well as programs for caregivers and healthcare professionals to help them better meet the needs of women affected by breast cancer. Learn more at www.LBBC.org.
To purchase this pattern, click the "buy now" button. Thanks for helping to spread awareness of these important issues while helping me to raise money for these worthwhile organizations.
The Cause hat pattern was released in January, 2011 as the inaugural pattern in the series of projects designed by Kyle William to raise awareness of important social issues. After many hours of deliberation about the best group to benefit from the sale of this pattern, I am proud to announce a collaboration with Living Beyond Breast Cancer! Celebrating their 20th anniversary, this amazing group of individuals is dedicated to offering assistance to individuals, whether newly diagnosed, in treatment, recently completed treatment, years beyond or living with metastatic breast cancer. They also give assistance and knowledge to family members, caregivers, friends and healthcare providers by providing breast cancer information and support.
I am HONORED to name Living Beyond Breast Cancer as the official charity for the Cause hat, and proud to donate 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of every pattern to this worthwhile organization. Please visit them on the web: www.lbbc.org to learn more about their efforts and what upcoming events may be of interest.
If you have yet to purchase the Cause hat pattern, now is your chance! Visit the SHOP and purchase the pattern today for $4.00. Included with each pattern is a fact sheet about breast cancer which may provide life saving information, and as mentioned before, the color of the ribbons can be changed to support any cause you choose!
NOTE: Crafty Andy created a crochet version of this pattern! Please visit his website HERE to view and purchase the crochet pattern.
I'd love to hear from you - if you have ideas for other groups or organizations that might benefit from being included in this series of patterns, please fill out the form below:
DESTASH SALE! (Repost at will!)
We'll keep this posting short and sweet - check out the SHOP and if you're interested in any of them let me know... I'll be adding more as these sell off - but the ones we're starting with are all one of a kind sets. Remember, the proceeds go to help Living Free Animal Sanctuary - during these uncertain times, the animals still need help - you can save lives!!!