Crochet and Knitting Expert and Technical Editor Genius Shiri Mor

Crochet and Knitting Expert and Technical Editor Genius Shiri Mor was our Guest on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, April 24, 2014

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/04/24/crochet-and-knitting-expert-and-technical-editor-genius-shiri-mor

Shiridesigns

Marly and Shiri shared the first time the were acquainted with each other, Marly was designing her first sweater to be published, and found Shiri in a chat room on Ravelry, were she was letting people know she was a tech editor. (This was that design: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sweetheart-tunic ) Marly found her to be a big help! They eventually met at a Vogue Knitting Live event…

Shiri started knitting and crocheting when very young and was interested in all types of handicrafts, encouraged because Mother and Grandmother both knitted and crocheted as well. Her impressive designs are created from love of mathematics. She found pattern writing a lot like computer code which she had studied in school. While living in New York City, her name was passed by her students to the editors at Vogue Knitting magazine and her patterns began to appear in that magazine, including the Bigger is Better sweater that appeared on the cover of Vogue Knitting 25 http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bigger-is-better

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So exciting to be featured in that magazine and even her mom was very happy with that! Marly asked her about it and Shiri’s explanations are basically that she visuallizes them in math and numbers, which we find unique to the design world. Marly asked about her knit patterns like The Helix Cable Vest (Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/13-helix-cabled-vest ) and the Botanica Medallion Cardigan ( http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/04-botanica-medallion-cardigan ) which Marly thought came from crochet motif inspiration but which Shiri explains simply came from the number 6 in her math way of thinking. They shared about thinking through Crochet pattern designs as well.

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Shiri also has a website: http://www.shiridesigns.com/  and an Etsy Shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShiriDesigns There are whispers of a book to come, so watch for that…. but don’t miss the upcoming special Crochet edition of Vogue Knitting featuring this Column Dress design that is absolutely terrific.

And the Giveaway?  Leave a comment below to win a SKYPE LESSON with Shiri Mor… What a terrific opportunity!

* Google Mountain Time for your area’s time zone. http://www.timezoneconverter.com/ Check this out, so you can listen LIVE and join us in the chatroom.

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Knitting Expert Wendy Bernard

Knitting Expert Wendy Bernard guest, Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, April 22, 2014

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/04/22/yarn-thing-podcast-with-marly-bird

We’ve met Wendy Bernard before, we’ve recently been working together on the first Yarn Thing Crochet OR Knit-a-long, sharing the experience of learning methods of Entrelac!

Wendy has a new book coming out (her fourth!), it’s a stitch dictionary published by STC Craft, called UP, DOWN, ALL AROUND due out May 20th, spiral bound and 150 patterns worked from top-down, bottom-up, in the round… She wanted a book for herself that gave methods of maintaining stitch patterns no matter the way they were worked and presented that idea to a publisher. Each pattern has four different alliterations that can be incorporated into the design of your work.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Up-Down-All-Around-Stitch-Dictionary/dp/1617690996/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398363401&sr=1-1&keywords=up+down+all+around

The book is organized by categories, lace, cables, color-work, etc. and are color coded, and includes charts. Wendy made all of the swatches pictured, using one brand – Blue Sky Alpaca – for the wide range of colors and the visibility of the swatch. Wendy had been teaching at a shop close to home and has had trouble filling the class on the Importance of Swatches. It’s hard for her to understand this because she loves swatching. So, she was perfect for this project and it was the perfect project for her! She wants to investigate, not just how it works up, but also how the yarn reacts after being washed.

Marly asked if she had fun creating the book, which seemed to surprise Wendy. She says it can be lonely work, which can be ‘not so fun’, but once it’s done, she likes to look at it and say, I did that, which means she did enjoy it! We are all excited that the book is spiral bound, so it lays flat while you work from it. There was much admiration on air and in the live chat room for the projects we can see in the book, a beautiful blue raglan pullover with lace front, a vest with a cable in the center front.

Marly and Wendy shared favorite stitches: Marly shared what she loves is the Waffle Stitch in her crochet. Wendy, in creating this book, spent a lot of time with stitches that were a challenge to convert and, in fact, one could not be converted. So, she showed appreciation for Tech Editors, and the brain twisters! She hopes that the book will empower more knitters with the ability to spend less time figuring out how a stitch needs to be worked, the ability to add a texture to a simple pattern ‘recipe’. 

Marly and Wendy also commented on the Yarn Thing CAL/KAL, Marly’s crocheted wrap and Wendy’s knitted cape, both creating the interesting woven look of entrelac but with widely different methods.

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This is the link to the group on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/yarn-thing-cal-kal
Here is the link to Marly’s Wildberry Wrap: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wildberry-wrap
Here is the link for Wendy’s Shady Cove Cape: http://www.knitandtonic.net/knitandtonic/2014/02/shady-cove-cape-cowl.html

Make sure if you want to do either of these, read through the threads. There is lots of helpful information from the designers as well as those working on the projects. Wendy and Marly will be selecting winners and it will be posted in the Ravelry group soon!

Ana Capa Fine Yarns in Ventura, CA, has openings with Wendy Bernard class on Swatching, you may want to make time to learn how important that is from an advocate. They have a website: http://www.anacapafineyarns.com/

* Google Mountain Time for your area’s time zone. http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

And we can’t forget the Giveaway!  Leave a comment below for your own copy of Wendy’s new book Up, Down, All Around: Stitch Dictionary

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Knitting Expert Kristina McGowan: Top Down Knitting

Thursday on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: knitting expert Kristina McGowan!

Listen in below top hear Marly and Kristina talk about how she started knitting, designing, writing knitting books, Barbara Walker and her knitting books, and much much more!

Kristina McGowan has been knitting for most of her life.  She was determined to learn so she taught herself to knit by checking out books from the library.  It has always been a part of her life and she love to make things for family and friends.  Eventually she found herself working at a publishing company and teaching many of her co-workers how to knit.  Soon after, she decided to write her own book (she had been designing for herself for years already).

Kristina has a bit of an obsession with Barbara Walker (she even tracked her down and visited her) and her top-down knitting philosophy.  Barbara (of the Treasury fame, link to all her books below) doesn’t really like sewing and didn’t like that a lot of knitting patterns required her to sew.  In addition to her stitch pattern books, she wrote Knitting from the Top, a complete reference for how to make any garment from the top down, even pants!  She gives 13 templates for 13 types of garments and how to make them fit you.  For her first book, Kristina took that theme and made garments and accessories from her favorite templates.  That book, Modern Top-Down Knitting, came out in 2010 and was a big hit.  Because she didn’t work with several of the templates from Barbara’s original book, Kristina chose to do two patterns for each template for her follow up book.  That book, More Modern Top-Down Knitting just came out last year and is full of great patterns, including pants and the awesome intarsia fox (both shown below).

fox in snow Pants

Important links related to this show:

New Knitting Podcasts with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we can’t forget the Giveaway!  Leave a comment below for your own copy of Kristina’s newest book More Modern Top-Down Knitting!

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Indian Lake Artisans Hexagonal Needles

Tuesday on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: Indian Lake Artisans Hexagonal Needles!

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Pam and Mark, owners and founders of Indian Lake Artisans, join Marly to talk about their hexagonal knitting needles, the new one to come out, and much more! Listen in below to hear all about it!

Pam is a lifelong artist and always valued quality tools.  She and her husband, Mark, came up with the idea to make a new shape other than round and the hexagonal needle was born!  The hexagonal shape is really great because it is easier on your hands than standard needles and the shape and the wood help the yarn stay on the needles.  Their original straight needles are still being made and still have the cutest nature themed copper ends.  (Julie’s favorite is the owl on the size 7).  In the beginning, their smallest size was a US 10 (6 mm) because their equipment just couldn’t go smaller.  Since then, they have improved their equipment with sharper blades and can now go down to a size 3 with walnut and cheery wood needles and, just coming out how, size 2 in maple!  In addition to the straight needles, Pam and Mark also make double points and circular needles, cable needles, shawl pins (which also have the nature themed tops), and their own design of yarn bowls.  Most of the needles, as mentioned, come in your choice of three woods (walnut, cheery, and maple) and come in different needle lengths. (Marly really likes the longer needle barrels on the circulars as they feel good in her hands).  Pam and Mark are also totally willing to do custom orders and usually don’t charge any extra as they hand make everything.  They are wonderful people and make an exceptional product they guarantee will last, check out their website IndianLakeArtisans.com to see all their awesome products!

single points  circular1-500x500

Discover Knitting Internet Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we can’t forget the Giveaway today!  Leave a comment on this entry with Pam and Mark’s keyword for your chance to win a set of their double point needles in your choice of wood and size!

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Gail Callahan and Color Grids

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: The Kangaroo Dyer Gail Callahan and color grids!

LogoGail Callahan, aka the Kangaroo Dyer, does many things.  She started off as a weaver is the 80′s and after her kids went to college Steve Elkin of Webs invited her to work in the shop.  After she started working in the retail store, she brought in a blanket that she and her husband bought at a craft fair.  Gail asked if they carried the yarn in the shop and they did, but it only came in white, no colors.  She wove a few blankets in white and then was talking with Barbara Elkin who suggested that she dye it (and told her she had to learn anyway because she was going to do a demo).  Then, Kathy and Steve asked her to try dying some of the Valley Yarn line at Webs and that is how she really got started dying.

Since then she has written a book about dying yarn called Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece from Storey publishing.  She got to write the book by chance.  A woman came into Webs with her undyed fleece and said she way scared to dye it.  Gail invited her over to her studio and after showing her how to dye, the woman (who was an editor at Storey) suggested she write a book.  Like teaching the editor, Gail is able to really show who easy dying can be.  It doesn’t have to be difficult.

colorgridpostcardIn addition to the book, Gail also recently came out with the Color Grid.  The Color Grid is an extension of the color choosing section of the Hand Dyeing book.  Gail likens the original color wheel concept as an analog clock and the color grid as a digital clock.  The grid seems to make more sense to many people than a color wheel.  The grid works by showing how the family’s of color work together.  Gail has a nice video on the Color Grid website (link below) that explains how you use the grid.  The basic idea is that the colors are laid out in a grid.  The large circle on the template is the main color and the smaller circles around it are in the same family and would go well together.  The bar is several grid squares away and shows a good complimentary color to the main color family.  The Color Grid doesn’t have to be used only for dyeing, it is great for picking out yarn for a project or paint for a painting and many other crafts.

In addition to the books, Gail also teaches at Webs and fiber events around the country.  She also sells her hand-dyed yarn on her website and on Etsy.  Her exclusive Valley Yarn colors are available from Webs.  She also does a yarn club that you should be able to sign up for soon (keep a watch on her website).

Listen in below to hear everything Marly and Gail talked about today!

Important links from today’s show:

New Knitting Podcasts with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we can’t forget the Giveaway!!  As always, leave a comment below with Gail’s keyword for your own chance to win a copy of Gail’s book!

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Crochet Expert Karen Whooley

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: Crochet Expert Karen Whooley (and knitter too)!

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Karen learned to crochet when she was 7 years old.  Her old Italian grandmother was their babysitter and felt that they were watching too much TV, so she got out yarn and crochet hooks and taught them to crochet.  A couple of years later, her grandmother gave her a small steel hook and thread and she started doing Italian crochet lace.  Since her grandmother couldn’t read English patterns, they worked from pictures, just figuring out what to do.  As she grew older, Karen began teaching herself new techniques from books like Tunisian crochet.  On the design side, a friend encouraged her to start submitting designs which she did in 1998 and has been going since.  Various family members had tried to teach her to knit, but since she had been crocheting too long, holding the yarn in her right hand didn’t work.  Finally in 2004, she found continental knitting and now she knits too!

ICBCover_smallBecause she is obsessed with socks and shawls, Karen has many patterns for both, including books.  She has two books of just crochet socks as well as several patterns with magazines. Now, a lot of people have the misconception that crochet socks are always really bulky and uncomfortable, but Karen shows you how to use finer gauge yarn and good stitches to use for the sole to make them more comfortable.  Crochet socks sill aren’t for everyone (some people have really sensitive feet), but if you have wanted to try them, check out Karen’s book, you might be surprised!

fair isle crochet coverKaren’s latest work involves Fair-Isle crochet.  She had a stranded sweater that she absolutely loved when she was younger and one of the first things she learned when she learned to knit was how to do stranded knitting.  Later, she took a class on doing a specific color illusion picture technique with crochet.  Through experimentation, she took this technique and figured out how to do Fair-Isle crochet patterns that don’t lean and look good.  Karen teaches this both with floats (like in stranded knitting) and tapestry style, where the carried yarns are enclosed in the stitches.  In addition to her Leisure Arts book, Karen’s Craftsy class just recently went live!  The class teaches you all about the techniques and process of doing Fair-Isle crochet!

Listen in below to hear everything Marly and Karen talked about today including how she stated crocheting and knitting, Fair-Isle crochet, how to still craft with arthritis and much more!

Important links from today’s show:

More Knitting Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we can’t forget the Giveaway!  Leave a comment below for your chance to win you own access to Karen’s Craftsy class!

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Crochet Expert Brenda K. Anderson

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: Crochet expert Brenda K. Anderson!

Brenda K. Anderson learned to crochet from her mother when she was a little girl.  She crocheted for a while but then stopped for a long time.  In the meantime she had taken up sewing (it was a bit quicker for someone with a short attention span).  Right about when the first Stitch n’ Bitch book came out, Brenda rediscovered her crochet things and saw the skull sweater in Stitch n’ Bitch.  That sweater instantly grabbed Brenda and she called her mom (always crafty) and asked her to teach her to knit.  Soon after learning to knit, she saw an issue of Interweave Crochet, discovering that crochet didn’t all have to be acrylic sweaters and granny square potholders.  Always a designer (she even when to college for Fashion Design), becoming a crochet designer became the natural next step.  And she doesn’t just design for crochet, she also designs knitwear and for her day job.

Brenda’s day job has got to be one of the coolest job on the planet.  She is a costume designer for the puppets and performers at Sesame Street Live as well as other characters like mascots (most of this is hush-hush so that is all we can say).  A few weeks away from graduating college, she got a call from a woman who offered her a job which eventually lead to her current job.  So she gets to use her degree for both of her careers.

beastly crochet coverOver the last few years, Brenda’s designs have appeared in many many places including Interweave Crochet, Crochet Today, Interweave Knits, Stitching in the Stacks, Crochet Me, Crochet at Home and her very own book.  Her book just recently came out and is called Beastly Crochet: 23 Critters to Wear and Love.  This book if full of really awesome designs like the Sugar Skull Shoulder Bag and the Tiki Head Bolster.  In addition to bags and home items, there are wearables like hats and little crochet monsters.  The guys on the cover are particularly popular and a great first felting project.  They are also great little organizers as they are hollow! Such a neat idea.  There is also a great section on how to get your creatures/projects to look how you want.  Some people don’t naturally get how to make faces and need a little extra help and that is what this extra section gives you.  Brenda also did a video tutorial with Interweave called 3D Crochet that goes over some of those finishing techniques.

Important links from today’s show:

Online Knitting Radio at Blog Talk Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we can’t forget the Giveaway!  Leave a comment below with Brenda’s keyword for your chance to win your own copy of Beastly Crochet!

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XRX Books, Knitter’s Magazine, STITCHES Expos
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Green Mountain Spinnery
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Crochet Expert Stacey Trock

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: Crochet Expert Stacey Trock!

Listen in below to hear Marly and Stacey talk about how Stacey got started, Etsy, her website and so much more!  This was a great show so don’t miss it!

portraitStacey learned to crochet when she was 10 and immediately started designing and making thing to enter in the local fair.  She kept crocheting throughout college.  Stacey finished graduate school and she and her partner (and future husband) Tim realized that it was very unlikely that they could both be in the same place with their academic degrees.  So while Tim was away for a summer, Stacey decided that she would use her lifelong hobby as her new career.  She made a lion and a koala and the rest is history.  Today, she designs crochet stuffed toys and amigurumi (little stuffed things).  Stacey’s website where she shares her designs is called FreshStitches (links below) and she also still maintains her Etsy shop.

owlsStacey has done a lot in the insustry including written three books and done two Craftsy classes.  Her first book was Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats and More and focuses awesomely cute animal toys and coordinating accessories for babies.  Her second book was Crocheted Softies which has 18 stuffed animal designs that were made with earth friendly yarns (Julie here, I especially like the owls, they are so cute!).  Her latest book is called Modern Baby Crochet and is full of great modern patterns for baby things that range from blankets to toys to accessories.  Stacey’s Craftsy classes take you through the reading of patterns and making amigurumi animals and monsters (Woodland Animals and Design Your Own Monster).  Stacey has also published in many magazines.

In addition to her classes, Stacey sells kits for her patterns on her website.  The great thing about kits is that you don’t have to buy a whole skein of yarn if you don’t need a lot for the patterns.  There are two types of kits, the Basic Kit and the Starter Kit.  The Basic kit has everything for the pattern except stuffing and is for people who already crochet and have the hooks and notions.  The Starter Kit is special because it comes with absolutely everything you need: a crochet hook, darning needles, and stitch markers in addition to the yarn and pattern.  The only thing you provide is stuffing!  For people who don’t want a kit, Stacey is starting a dog pattern club on the 1st of April.

Important links from today’s show:

You can also find Stacy on: Ravelry, Facebook, and Twitter.

And we won’t forget the Giveaway!  Leave a comment below with Stacey’s keyword for your chance to win entry into Stacey’s Craftsy class!

Discover Knitting Internet Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

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Weaving and Spinning Expert Liz Gipson

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: weaving and spinning expert Liz Gipson!

Listen in below to hear Marly and Liz talk about Liz’s journey through the industry, weaving, spinning, video production in the yarn world and much more!

Liz learned to weave from her mother while she was teaching crafts as occupational therapy at the mental health ward of the University of Virginia Hospital.  She has always loved weaving and soon became interested in sheep.  In college she minored in fiber arts, ended up at Interweave (convenient as she lives in northern Colorado) and has been in the industry ever since.  In addition to weaving, Liz also spins and can knit.  She was one of the original people who worked on Knitting Daily TV (and was one of the first 4 co-hosts).  Liz also worked at Schacht Spindle Company.  Schacht produces many of the tools used to make yarn, like spindles and spinning wheels, as well as weaving equipment like looms.  One of the founders, Barry Schacht, also got into making bicycle tech as well.  Liz worked in the sales and marketing department and loves connecting to people.

A few years ago, Liz decided that she needed a change (her back was happy to not spend 2 hours a day in the car as well) and made a leap to self-employment.  As she was well versed with video technology as well as yarn and fiber crafts, she decided to do video production for crafty people.  She also started a website for selling weaving patterns called Yarnworker.com.  Liz’s weaving expertise is with the ridged-heddle loom (she even wrote a book in 2008 called Weaving Made Easy: 19 Projects Using a Simple Loom, check it out) and wanted a place for designers to sell their patterns and hopefully get more people into weaving.  The website is also a great resource because weaving is not jet on Ravelry yet, so it is a place for people to find inspiration as well.

Liz is also involved in Spinzilla, a spinning competition that runs during national spinning and weaving week.  Teams from all over compete to see who can spin the most yardage in a week.  Spinzilla sponsored by TNNA (the National Needlearts Association) and the Spinning and Weaving Group.  Last year, they collectively spun over 1 million yards of yarn!  (Liz also did the video for them, check it out below!)

Important links for today’s show:

Popular Knitting Internet Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we won’t forget the Giveaway! Leave a comment that includes Liz’s keyword for your chance to win a full set of weaving patterns from Yarnworker.com!

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Green Mountain Spinnery
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Laura Nelkin

Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: knitting expert Laura Nelkin, returning designer guest!

logoheadshot_caroLaura Nelkin is not a stranger to the YarnThing podcast, she was on a couple of years ago and is back today to talk about her Mystery KAL.  So just to get everyone up to speed on Laura, she is an independent knitwear designer who lives in upstate New York.  Laura learned to knit in 2004 when her daughter was a toddler, got obsessed with knitting and then designing her own patterns.  Soon after she got a job a Schaefer Yarns as their design director and worked there for 5 years.  She has published lots of patterns and several books so check them out on her website an Ravelry.  She is also an instructor at workshops and shows around the country and on Craftsy.com.

One of the big things that Laura is known for are her Mystery Knit-a-Longs, which is what she talked about today.  She runs several of them per year and they are usually one of three things: a cowl, shawl, or wrap (basically accessories).  Her newest way of doing the KALs is her M Club, the Mystery KAL club.  With this club, you sign up at the end of the year for the next year’s KALs and then throughout the year you get a kit for the KAL, which includes the yarn and other necessary items(an example of the latest one is below) , and the instructions come on a schedule.  No worries if you missed out for this year, you can still by the patterns and participate in the KALs (and you might even be able to get kits for past KALs as well).  The next KAL coming out is the Magnify pattern and incorporates one of Laura’s favorite things, beads! magnifykitListen in below to hear Marly and Laura talk all about the KALs, Laura’s design process and more!

Important links from today’s show:

Online Knitting Radio at Blog Talk Radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio

And we definitly won’t forget the Giveaway for this show!  Leave a comment below with Laura’s keyword for your chance to win free entry into her newest Craftsy class due to come out in early April!

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Let’s give some love to our sponsors! 
XRX Books, Knitter’s Magazine, STITCHES Expos
Craftsy.com/yarnthing
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Fiesta Yarns
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Buffalo Wool Co.
Green Mountain Spinnery
KnitCrate