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!
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!
My friend Janice Rosema passed away on February 13, 2013. She was one of the most talented fiber artists I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. In order to cover her final expenses, and to help her husband financially, Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms
worked with Janice's estate to curate a series of auctions of her works, materials, and tools.
Among the collection offered in the first phase of the auction was this collection of log cabin squares, created by Janice. When the package arrived at my studio, I opened it to find 8 total pieces: 4 squares completed and joined, one square completely edged, 2 squares un-edged, and the last square partially edged. It's as if Janice left it in progress at a point where I could pick up and see clearly how she was working. (Even in death, she still teaches me.)
Log Cabin Vest by Janice Rosema
I did some hunting on her Ravelry page, looking for clues as to what this project was intended to be. My best guess is her Log Cabin Vest
- especially since 4 of the squares had been joined as if they were the back of a jacket.
Knowing that I wanted to use this unfinished project as a way to pay tribute to Janice, (and that I probably wouldn't wear a vest like this,) the decision was made to move forward using these pieces as inspiration; just the way Janice would have liked.
As of now, I have decided to make a blanket out of these pieces. The humble (and slow) beginning has been to photograph the pieces, study the edging and confirm that I know what she was doing. After some experimentation I found the correct crochet hook size, and picked up where my sweet friend left off.
The project is on my Ravelry Page as Janice's Blanket
. As the project progresses, I'll add more images and information there. Once it's complete, most likely I'll return here to the blog to add a summary of the work and show the final blanket.
In the meantime, here are the images of the pieces as they arrived from Janice's estate. I miss my talented, supportive, creative friend... but having this work of hers to continue brings me a bit of comfort.
What a treat to be part of the new Quince and Company collection: Scarves Etc. 2013! My contribution, Caden
, is a scarf designed for anyone to love and cherish. It's soft, flowing, textured... and the pattern is a gentle repeat that's easy to remember, making it perfect to take along to knit night!As always, the folks at Quince provided beautiful images. If you haven't worked with Quince yarn before, now's your chance. It's available at Quince and Co's online shop, and select yarn shops, including A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA! A preview of this and some of the other scarves appeared today on Quince and Co's blog HERE.
It feels great to have a piece among the other gorgeous submissions... I am really excited about seeing the final e-book too!I'd love to know what you think of my latest design, and can't wait to see it in different colors of Chickadee.
This pattern includes a suggestion for a special cast on and bind off. I created tutorials for each of these techniques and added them to the videos tab of www.kylewilliam.com. I announced the cast on tutorial on February 5, and below, you'll find the bind off video.
Working with Quince and Company Chickadee was a dream. The stitches are crisp, the fabric soft, and the final scarf is one that I'm quite pleased with. I hope you'll like it too!
Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms
I'm excited to announce I'll be interviewed on Natalie Redding's Blogtalk Radio on 2/28/2013 at 6pm. Check out the episode page HERE
We will talk about all kinds of things including learning about my move to San Francisco, some of my recent designs, and what's coming in the next months. Natalie is an amazing soul and she has worked hard the past few weeks taking care of my friend Janice Rosema in her last days. Since Janice's death on February 13, Natalie has worked to raise money for the final expenses by selling many of Janice's amazing works.
I hope you'll join Natalie, Kimberly, and me, as we chat. Natalie will be giving away something very special from Janice's estate during the show!
Natalie is owner and head shepardess at Namaste Farms. Visit her website http://namastefarms.com
where you'll have the opportunity to learn more about this energetic woman.
2/28/2013 - The show was amazing. What a treat to get to spend 2 hours with Natalie and Kimberly and all the people who joined us in the chat room. I was really nervous, but we had a good time. If you didn't get to listen live, you can still check it out by clicking the link to the right.
The Dye Lab is open! A variety of one-of-a-kind colorways were just listed: www.kylewilliam.etsy.com
What can I say about this event that hasn't already been said? (not much!) - getting together with some of my fiber friends and heading to Stitches West is an annual event AND a luxury. This year, I spent a lot of time admiring yarns but knew full well with my upcoming projects I wouldn't have a lot of time to knit for myself. Instead of coming home with bags of yarn, I edited my wish list until it held just the essentials.
Armed with my messenger bag and a WIP, we entered the marketplace with a strategy: begin in the far back corner and visit aisle by aisle until we reach the front. Of course, too many shiny things mean we get distracted, but eventually this strategy yielded a result of our viewing every booth.
What did I buy at Stitches (besides a $6.50 slice of pizza)? Here's a summary:
1.) Nancy's Niddy Noddy. On the list. I wanted a nice niddy noddy for skeining my handspun. After searching the marketplace for just the "perfect" one, my friend Michael pointed this one out. It allows for varied skein sizes (from 27" to 2 yards) and comes with a sturdy bag. I liked this one most because of its versatility and since it was collapsible it won out over the others.
Now I have the perfect tool to wind my handspun, and a cute carrying case that will keep it for me for years to come!
2.) Sock Blockers. On the list. I LOVE Rosemary and John Chapman's sock blockers. Since I have had a set for a number of years, and love them more than any other type I have tried, I decided to invest in another set. Rosemary is adorable, and is really proud of the work her husband puts into these pieces. I purchased the sheep blockers this year, and asked John to autograph them for me. From what I understand, they only show/sell these at Stitches events, so it's another good reason to make the pilgrimage!
These are amazing and hold up incredibly. It's the kind of thing I can have a dozen of and be quite happy. Truth be told, hand knit socks only get washed in bulk in my house - so the more blockers I have, the more socks that can be cycled back into use. Hooray for Stitches 2013; this purchase means one more pair can be cleaned when it's time to tackle that chore! (Gosh; I should have picked up more wool wash!)
3.) Lazy Kate. On the list. I have had my Sidekick wheel for about a year now, and have been *suffering* by using my made-up lazy kate (which was crafted using small photo storage box, a set of knitting needles, and a rubber band). For this item, I was hoping to find a kate that was hand made, that was beautiful, and that did the job without being overly fussy.
This lazy kate, made by local woodworker Willard C Taylor (Will) was the perfect find (thanks to Morgaine of Caroline Homespun). Crafted of black walnut, this kate will allow me to make up to a 3-ply yarn, and doesn't need to be tensioned if the spinner plies keeping one hand steady and using the other hand to move back and forth between it and the orifice. When being used, it's placed on the floor about 4-6 feet behind, and the brass rods are pointed away from the spinner. When not in use, the rods are removed and store cleverly in a cute little storage compartment!
4.) Shaker Banded Box. Not on the list. It was a bit of a surprise to find this artist at a fiber festival, but it was a lovely compliment. Tim Arnold's boxes are stunning. The one I purchased has burl wood on the lid and has a little lift out tray.
I walked by this booth once, then the second time around spent a few minutes admiring the craftsmanship. Tim was VERY nice and really pleasant to talk with. He showed his work with such pride. After talking for a while, I realized that he had driven all these pieces from Tennessee (he lives in Nashville!) - and his passion for the craft is what made me decide to purchase during my third visit to his booth.
I realized that I loved these boxes, and appreciated the craftsmanship and history. Out came the wallet and I now have this wonderful box for craft storage. Tim offered to do other pieces if I like, and also expressed an interest in custom making pieces. While it wasn't an expected purchase, I reminded myself I'm on "vacation" and justified supporting this artist and his work.
5.) Yarn. Not really on the list but who can resist? It's Stitches, after all, and Miss Babs always has such gorgeous colors. I was looking for something specific for an upcoming design and found these skeins of "Yet" lace - 65% Merino Wool, 35% Tussah Silk, in colors "Naples" and "You're the Only One" (Babette).
So, I came home with 2 skeins of yarn. O.K. and a cone of black sparkly fingering weight yarn... but no roving, no spinning wheels, no looms, no quilting frames... all-in-all, I feel like I did pretty well.
Of course, during the frenzy of stitches we see lots of friends. That's the real reason I like to go. I even met up with one of my students from last year (I taught her intro to knitting) and today she's working at a yarn shop! It was great to see her and hear how she has stuck with knitting and, most of all, how it has changed her life.
I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to see, or do all the things I wanted to do. Lucky for me, there's always next year. Until then, I'll be treasuring the purchases I made at this year's event, and each time I look at them I'll remember the fun day we had in Santa Clara.
While working in clay while living in Los Angeles, I was introduced to this technique of applying images to clay. There's enough iron in the toner that once it has been bisque fired, it leaves an image! (The following video, found on YouTube, is the one that convinced me to find one of these machines.)
When I moved to San Francisco, I sold my copier because I didn't have space to store it. Now that I'm in a place where I have a studio (even if it's mainly fiber art) and I am able to do work in a ceramics class, the desire to get another of these *very hard to find* machines has become overwhelming. Below, you'll see one of my platters from a few years ago where I used this technique... featuring vintage knitting images. I simply HAD to find another copier!
I searched high and low... and finally located one about 1.5 hours outside of San Francisco. After some negotiating (and the aid of a good friend!) I headed out to pick up my new toy. The drive was beautiful and I took a few photos out the car window while we traveled to lovely Lodi, CA to make the purchase.
On Monday morning, I made my image copies and then considered how to get them from my studio to the classroom where I was going to use them. After some pondering I discovered if I fold the paper in half, then fold the blank side of the paper up (maybe 1/2") to create some space, I can tape the edges together and create a pie-shaped holder that will keep the images from smudging. I put these in a little paper bag and carried them gently on the 1 hour ride on public transit to the ceramics studio.
...and so far, it worked! I made two pedestal bowls that day. The second one received the first transfer from my new machine... it's an assemblage of vintage images from the graphics fairy... and as always, I'm stamping text into my pieces. This piece features one from Daisy Whitney:
“We are what we love. We are the things, the people, the ideas we spend our day with. They center us, they drive us, they define us to our very core.Without them, we are empty.”
The seed stitch cast on is used in an upcoming pattern, so a tutorial video demonstrating the technique seemed a good idea. It's a variant of the cable cast on, but this version alternates knit and purl stitches to create a more flexible edge. Because seed stitch is so nicely balanced (it doesn't curl), it's one of my favorite stitches for knitting flat pieces.
© 2013 Kyle Kunnecke
I'm happy to share with you my latest hat pattern! This time it's a design inspired by old quilt patterns. Using a number of different colors throughout the hat, it's fun to knit... and the pattern would be a great opportunity to use scrap yarn (perhaps some leftover sock yarn?)
What's involved in this pattern? It starts with a provisional cast on and a lining worked in the round using a main color and smaller needles. Once a turning row is completed, the stranded knitting begins. I worked most of this hat on circular needles, switching to double points for crown shaping. (Some people would use magic loop at this point.)
Once the project was complete, it was time to find a place to do photography. I did a lot of research, looking for an exterior location that would offer the right feeling. I settled on the Palace of Fine Arts
. San Francisco is an amazing city for photography - lots of hills, water everywhere... and even the fog can make things interesting. Anyway, The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo. Built out of paper mache, It was only meant to exist for a few years and actually fell into disrepair until the 1960s. After some generous contributions, it was re-created out of concrete and lasted for a good while. The past few years brought a re-furbishing of the monument and visiting it was truly a magical experience. I look forward to discovering more places in my hometown for photoshoots!
© 2013 Kyle Kunnecke
We took photos in a few different spots at this location. The doors in the background of this photo are used in a lot of wedding photography. I thought it was really interesting how the pattern in the door is almost identical to the motif in the hat!
Knitting this pattern went pretty quickly. The chart is easy to follow, and the color changes encouraged me as I worked. I am excited to see the color combinations others come up with!!
I'll leave you with a few images of the architecture around the Palace of Fine Arts. I hope you like the new hat!
© 2013 Kyle Kunnecke
$4.00 (.pdf download)