Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Gorgeous handbags for an excellent cause

Silk garden + vintage handles = coolio. My good friend and colleague 'Chelle must raise 12 thousand buckaroos to pay for the training of a service dog for her gorgeous and charming and unfortunately Autistic third daughter Gillian. 'Chelle's already raised enough for half a pooch, but only a whole animal will do. And this is where silk garden and handbags come in - let 'Chelle make the bag for you and help her raise bucks to buy Gilly-willy a puppy to keep her safe, pouches for pooches to buy a Guardian for Gillian. And if there proves to be a demand for the vintage handled variety, well, i may just dip into my private collection and donate a few pairs. These bags are a DEAL, so don't wait for christmas to bear down, get them now while 'Chelle has time to make them. wanna see other styles? Posted by Hello

Hello Knitty Helps Guardian for Gillian

My good friend Virginia Thomas at Hello Knitty has leant her "Flower Power" bag pattern to 'Chelle to help raise funds for Gilly's puppy, so you can spread peace & love everywhere you go! Posted by Hello


look what i found in my pile of papers! the kertzer furry bag pattern, um, the "missing link", so to speak. i like it, it looks like a yak! Posted by Hello

hello knitty flower power bag - so hip it hurts! Posted by Hello

Rebecca Mag

news from the front is that the fall Rebecca mag is on it's way. i saw a sample yesterday, lots of cables. they haven't arrived yet, but they'll be here soon.

news-O-mattic addenda

almost forgot, here is a tidbit for the yarnophiles out there ....

6. rumours about Jo Sharp, a new company called Queensland, etc - what up? My friends, the is DRAMA in the house of sharp! there is marital discord in the house of sharp! mme sharp (a notorious serial monogamist witth more partnerships under her belt than Elizabeth Taylor) and her US super-distributor, KFI, are splitsville! Quelle domage! What does this mean for mme sharp's followers? her yarns will still be available (in theory) - in the US her yarns will be distributed by JCA Reynolds; in Canada the distribution will not change. the prices, however, are subject to change. it seems mme sharp has decided to make Australia her distribution center. silly jo, the only time Australia ( lovely as it is with all it's sunshine and merino sheepsies) has proven to be the keystone to world domination is in the computer verson of 'Risk' (oops! did i ruin it for you?). As you can imagine, the extra shipping costs will be added to the retail price of the yarn, and that's not even taking into account the rising cost of crude oil. but wait! all is not lost! thankfully, those clever, clever people at KFI know a good thing when they see it and have found a solution. the textiles formerly known as 'jo sharp' will henceforth be called 'Queensland' and will be readily available. prices are not yet established, but the lack of branding may prove to be in the consumer's favour. No Logo!

so, to reiterate, the old line of jo sharp yarns will still be in stores this fall & winter. come spring, the jo sharp yarns you are familiar with will be re-named "Queensland" and Jo Sharp will be re-branded and re-born like the pheonix rising from the flames, vending a virgin line of yarns. halelujah and amen!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

NEWS-O-MATIC: myths, rumours, legends, gossip, apocrypha, etc


1. how flattered am i that people actually read this stuff?! i'm glad you enjoy, i especially like the pictures since i've always clipped pics and pasted them in sketch books.

2. speaking of tantalizing aesthetics, Le Fashion Show will take place chez Knitomatique on the evening of Thursday October 14th at 7:30pm. Wine, cheese, door prizes and everyone who comes goes home with a gift. And it's all Free, gratis! RSVP s'il vous plait, space is limited.

3. In support of Canadian writers and literate knitters everywhere, Knitomatic is happy to be among the sponsors at the upcoming Descant Book Ball, whose"guest list will draw on Toronto's taste makers, attracting members of the city's literary, arts, culture, design, style and media industries." Ooh La La! Well, i'm not sure if that includes me, but Descant was the first among many to publish my friend and talented Canadian writer Nancy Mauro, among other emerging talent, and i'm happy to support them.

4. I'd like to take the opportunity to dispel the rumour that knitomatic has been sold in a complete buy-out. While it is flattering, in the 4 and a half months since i opened i have by no means accomplished my ultimate goal of global textile domination and aesthetic enlightenment. See you at Pitti next year girls! ;-)

austermann - paisley, very cool! Posted by Hello

austermann - deconstructed Posted by Hello

austermann - the pompoms are a bit busy but the rest is elegant Posted by Hello

austermann bobbles Posted by Hello

NEW Family Circle Easy Knitting has arrived!

NEW Family Circle Easy Knitting has arrived!

* love the varigated kids sweaters (#3 & 4), and although they are knitted in colinette, it's easy to substitute (i'm thinking schoeller stahl Big Print , 100% superwash wool, same colours available, way cheaper!!)

* can't go wrong with a felted tote bag (#6): forget about the sickening x-mas colours & go for something gorgeous! it calls for lamb's pride worsted, but that seem like a waste of great yarn. i'd do it in Lopi (great colours this year & 1/3 cheaper than the Brown sheep) and knit it in a seed stitch to make it extra durable.

* Basic Aran sweaters for kids & adults (#10 &11): a great aran pattern for someone who's never done cables and it's a style tha'll last FOREVER. if it weren't for the sweater curse i'd make this one for my beau. They call for fil crosa Zara, and that is a great call for the grown up version since it's 100% gorgeous superwash merino DK weight. If i had kids, which i don't, they wouldn't be getting anything so luxurious - i'd either go with the Scholler Stahl Limbo (100% superwash DK weight) or i'd play around with the size & gauge & make it in OnLine Tessa or Fil Crosa Primo - both a bit thicker yarn, but both super-duper-superwash. and the colour - white?? I don't think i was EVER allowed to wear white as a kid and i still maintain that prohibition. another nice alternative is the Wool Gatto from Lana Gatto/Needful Yarns - its 100% wool, handwash only, but you get 165m per ball and it is niiiiiice stuff!

* Hooded Knitted Coat (#12): I LURV knitted coats, and if i lived in Rome i'd make it in merino, but i live in Toronto the slushy, and speaking from experience, knitted coats need something sheepier on this side of the pond. Also, they use tons of yarn, it's a real investment. I'd use either a couple strands of Lopi together (wind the lopi into skeins first and wash them in Eucalan and it will soften them up), or Bulky Lopi. Another alternative is to double up some Araucania Nature Wool Chunky to get some colour variation.

* Courier Bag (#13): great idea, but i'd definitely do it felted, maybe with 2 strands of Hemp Wool held together on 7 mm needles? I don't know if the hemp would make it tougher, but it felts and i always think of the hemp being a good reinforcement.

* Cross-over ballet jacket/sweater (#16): love the clean lines, love the colours, (purple & fuschia are very knitomatic), but the blanket stitch trim is UNFORGIVEABLE (although luckily very easy to rip out. I know - MEOW! ) Solution - pick up & slip stitch crochet the edging , easy-peasy! or ..... if you're feeling industrious, pick up & knit a big, baroque ruffle trim on the collar & cuffs, but please don't do this if you've got junk to hide, one of the best features of this pattern is that the clean lines hide a multitude of sins! I'd use Extra or Extra Stampato by Filtes King/Needful Yarns - there's merino and then there's MERINO, and Needful knows their merino!

* multi directional turtleneck (#18): this simple knit rocks, but beware, if you've got a gut or hips to hide the horizontal patterning will only make things worse. OH MY GOD - they call for coats & clark acrylic! ick! Super ick! ok, don't worry, there are lots of subs that can redeem this garment: Extra or Extra Stampato by Filtes King/Needful Yarns - merino, can't go wrong; If you're really skinny (aka you've got a figure like a popsicle stick) Noro Kureyon or Silk Garden could work for you; Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted is good if you want something warmer & sheepier; and for those allergic to wool, Estelle's 100% Silk or 100% Silk Tweed would be lovely. OK, so you've got junk to hide but you still love the pattern and WANT it, nay, NEED it - don't worry, all is not lost. Just reverse the patterning - make all the parts that call for stockingette in garter and all the parts in garter in stockingette: now all the emphasis is on your glorious mams the fabric will stretch in a flattering manner across your tummy & hips. Also, if you've got hips to hide, add a few inches on the bottom so it falls just below your hips and doesn't slash across them - you'll end up with a super shapely silhouette, everyone will be everyone will be green with envy.

* Furry bag from Kertzer in Ad on pg 1: great x-mas gift!!!! it seems to be on Kertzer's freebie pattern page, but I can't open a link, although it's not exactly hard to figure out - 2 squares, satin lining, 2 purse handles, furry yarn. Since it is a kertzer pattern i'll suggest Kertzer Baby Monkey, but since THE LINK IS DEAD i'll also suggest other subs: for other high end synthetic furs try Amsterdam by Lana Gatto/Needful Yarns or Lang Furore (on sale); for a funky, furry textured look consider Estelle Crazy or Yukon by Lana Gatto/Needful Yarns; for a super shaggy look try Toronto by Lana Gatto/Needful Yarns or Fiore, which comes from kertzer but doesn't seem to have a brand or a link (what up with that?), but i guarantee it's shaggy and very cool. And if you want to go real cheap and don't mind the barbie hair feel of eyelash, there's always Estelle Shimmer at 5 bucks a ball (i'd hold to strands together to get a good fur thing going) or Lang Starlet at $8.

Posted by Hello

Monday, September 27, 2004

No sex at Walmart

can you believe that wal-mat doens't sell sex and the city or queer as folk? what's up with that? just as well, sex and wal-mart really souldn't be said in the same sentence.
i did find plenty of material for the thursday tele-textile interventions (stitch n bitch):

Magnum PI (Tom Sellect doin' what he does best - being hunky in a damn fine car)
Wonder Woman (The displaced amazon princess at her best, fighting for our rights in her satin
Curb your enthusiasm (HBO)
The Office (BBC)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (vintage sci-fi from when the good guys were gringos and the
bad guys were also crackers, dressed as asians)
The Three Stooges (in both black & white AND colourized for your pleasure)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What I want this Season - Mirabou Coat by Betsey Johnson. Posted by Hello

What I want this season! Crocheted Coat by Betsey Johnson. Posted by Hello

Needful yarns pattern: coat & muff pattern commissioned by Studio Dolce & Gabana Posted by Hello

fil crosa pattern: great capelet, although the ribbon is a little red riding hood. Posted by Hello

fil crosa patter - fab skirt!  Posted by Hello

fil crosa pattern - so prada! Posted by Hello

fil crosa pattern - great poncho! Posted by Hello

austermann pattern - cablesx (leave off the neck thing) Posted by Hello

What I want on my needles - Austermann po-mo frayed

Austermann patterns - frayed. Posted by Hello

Garter never looked SOOOOOO GOOD

a sneak preview of next week's kit of the week: an Ever So Retro, striped garter stitch scarf - add fringe if you like, or leave it unadorned. Grooviness for Boys and Girls! 4 balls Filtes King Extra 100% merino (fron Needful Yarns) - kits available soon. Posted by Hello

Beware of Large Gusts of Wind!

Keyhole scarf finished in 2 balls of Filtes King Extra 100% Merino (Needful Yarns) & modified so you only use exactly 2 balls - no waste, no want! Kits available in stylin' colour combos, or choose your own. Posted by Hello

What's on the Knitomatic Needles? Windy City Keyhole Scarf

What's on the knitomatic needles? A keyhole scarf (a classic vintage pattern) like the Windy City from "Stitch n Bitch". Posted by Hello

Cape Mod-ified

And thanks to the beautiful and talented 'Chelle heres the finished version, a la Knitomatique. the placement of the pompons in the photo is a little unfortunate, but nobody will ever again question whether this girl's got balls! ;-) Knitomatic Mod took 5 balls Rowan Big Wool and is a picture of sumptuous loveliness in Magenta. Posted by Hello

What's on the Knitomatic Needles? Cape Mod

What's on the knitomatic Needles? "Stitch 'n Bitch" Cape Mod! Posted by Hello

Viking Cardie!

The bulky Lopi hooded cardi - another quickie. Definitely a great one for people who live in old victorian homes with rads - WARM AND WOOLY! This was another huge size small - Viking Sized! ;-) Washed the skeins in EUCALAN before it was knitted, but it may need another dip just to get it good and softened up. Posted by Hello

My Marilyn!

I don't think I've ever felt so sexy in a sloppy sweater. The sizes are pretty big, this is size small (in what universe am i a small?!). Still, i might have to do this in green too. the pink is sooooo pretty in the picture, but kinda girly, not very "knitomatic". the yarn is lovely, defeintely a quick knit, but will definitely need the tender care of a sweater stone (there's some pretty precious stuff in them thar fibers! Posted by Hello

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