Applying Knitting-Knowledge Outside of Knitting

I’ve never been a huge fan of the saying “draw what you know“. It seems limiting, doesn’t it? Looking back at it now, though, I can see some merit to these words. Since I started working here, I can see that I’ve added new subjects to my illustration work that I never would have considered before regarding the knowledge I’ve gained about knitting, crocheting, yarn, etc. Probably the most obvious example would be for the coloring pages that get put in the newsletter (which you can find on our website as a free download for a short time! ).

A less obvious way that I’ve noticed is that it’s seeped not only into my drawing, but also into my writing. All the knowledge, conversations, behaviors, etc. I’ve partaken in seem to have found their way into how I create characters. They add layers that make them seem more concrete than before, more alive, more relatable. This is astounding to me, and I’m beyond pleased with the growth that such a vastly different art has been able to provide in my work! 

The amount of times I need to have a reference photo for what knitting looks like is also astounding. Drawing needles in action is difficult, man. 

Conchos, Swonchos and Sharfs

You can be sure that knitters will always find infinitely creative ways to put knitted things on their bodies. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m caught knitting and it leads to the inevitable ice breaker, “what are you working on?”, I’m not even sure what to say. 

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to call the thing! Usually, it’s a thing that goes around the neck. Naturally, the neck is the prime location for both exhibiting your handiwork to the world and relishing the luscious feel of soft yarn. Is it a cowl, a cape, a capelet, a shawl, a shawlette, a scarf, a snood, or a poncho?

I recently added a few new words to my vocabulary. Allow me to share them with you!

1. Concho: For the cowl that begins to drape over the shoulders; for when you’re not sure if it’s a cowl or a poncho.

2. Swoncho: For the poncho with a hint of sleeve; is it a sweater or a poncho?

3. Sharf: For the long, skinny shawl that’s basically a scarf; it just happens to be a bit wider in the middle.

May your knitting life be enriched by these silly, curiously useful words.

Spring Selections

Happy Tuesday, wonderful readers! I’m in a good mood today — we have exciting new things coming your way, I’m almost done with my Goldfish sweater, and I’ve just been looking at the beautiful new yarns and patterns some of our suppliers are releasing for spring. Also, last night, it was still light out at 5:15 pm! Woot!

Bubble cables on my Goldfish sweater!

Last week I wrote a cryptic Facebook post about news from Quince & Co. that I couldn’t share yet. You see, they sometimes send me top-secret emails with drool-worthy photos of soon-to-be-released yarns/patterns/kits/plans for world domination. Quince has finally done their own post about this news, so now I’m allowed to share: behold, the Linen Noir collection! They’re doing a series of breathtaking patterns in black linen, both Sparrow (fingering) and Kestrel (worsted). These patterns are described as “summer-night-worthy knits”, and I can safely say that you will not be disappointed. Here’s the first pattern, Deschain, by Leila Raabe:

© Pam Allen

We currently carry Sparrow, but not Kestrel. However, this collection has captured my heart, so I wanted to make you an offer: if you want to make something from the Linen Noir collection, I will order you any color of Sparrow OR Kestrel between now and April 1st. (No joke!)

The other company that really has me excited is Universal Yarn. You may have seen our newest cowl sample on the needles, the Hanasaku Cowl by Tori Gurbisz, using Bamboo Bloom Handpaints and Plymouth Yarn Gina — it’s going to be beautiful! And Universal Yarn has made it so that if you buy the yarn from us, we can give you the pattern for free. Come by and check out your (many, many) color options!

© Universal Yarn

Universal has also just released a fabulous ebook collection featuring Bamboo Pop accessories. I love Bamboo Pop, in all its lightweight, summery glory, and I’m intrigued by several of these patterns. I think my favorite is Philodendron, also by Tori Gurbisz (apparently she’s my new favorite designer).

© Universal Yarn

I’ve been knitting cozy, bulky things all winter, but now I’m ready for spring. Bring on the cute accessories, bright colors, and cool fibers of spring — and summer! Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), the Deschain top will be mine!

(As a reward for those of you who made it all the way to the end of this post: We’re having a huge Spring Cleaning Sale starting this Friday. I’m putting Cascade 220 on sale. Now you know.)