What’s in a name?

Ever wonder what the name “Knit Fit!” is all about?  People occasionally ask about it, so here you go!

When I got the idea to do Knit Fit!, finding a name was the first order of business, and the phrase that kept coming into my head was “Nic Fit! Nic Fit! Nic Fit!”, an old aural memory from my youth of this song:

 

 

I listened to this record (every Sonic Youth record, actually) a million times, enough that the transitions between songs are as firmly lodged as the songs themselves, and though I can’t pretend to have ever been much of a hardcore chick, I did LOVE the combo of Youth Against Fascism > Nic Fit > On the Strip and remember it well!

Anyway, “Nic Fit” (as in nicotine fit, a craving for a smoke) and the idea of a “Knit Fit” – being so obsessed about knitting that I was feeling a physical craving (for reals, you feel it in your fingers sometimes!!) fit perfectly in my brain.  I know it gives some folks the idea of “fitness” or “fit” in the sense of fitting your clothing (which is certainly applicable!), but the true reference is to addiction.  Though a healthy one, I think.

As far as the exclamation point, it is indeed an official part of the name.

I hope to see you at Knit Fit! this year, where you can indulge your disgusting habit with no shame. For now though, I gotta go.  I’m getting a craving.

ps. The Sonic Youth version of “Nic Fit” is a cover.  The original is by The Untouchables, an old DC punk band who only ever recorded a few songs.  Here’s their version, along with “Stepping Stone” (another classic!):

 

Sponsor: Sunset Hill Bed & Breakfast

Meet one of our lovely sponsors – Sunset Hill Bed & Breakfast!

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This sweet B&B is only a few blocks away from the Ballard Community Center, where all Knit Fit! 2013 events will take place.  We (Hannah and Sasa) both stayed there last year for the weekend and enjoyed two very nice and relaxing nights after hard-working days!  We were so grateful to have such a comfortable and calm place (in walking distance!) to rest.

sunsethill2

The converted farmhouse feels both cozy and spacious, with private bathrooms and inviting decor, and is in a very quiet, residential part of Ballard.  The Sunset Hill B&B is also an urban farm with a vegetable garden, chickens, and bees that supply some of the ingredients for a home-cooked breakfast each morning.  The homegrown produce and eggs are supplemented by our very own neighborhood farmers’ market down the street.

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We encourage any of you coming from out of town to check out their website for more info and photos of their beautiful rooms.  We stayed in the Rainier room, which has two beds, so jump on it if you’re traveling with a friend!  Get in touch with Lori and Doug directly for more information or with any questions about your stay.

Sunset Hill Bed & Breakfast
3054 NW 58th Street, Seattle WA 98107
Telephone: 206.963.3786
Web: sunsethillbedandbreakfast.com
Email: stay@sunsethillbedandbreakfast.com

Thank you, Sunset Hill Bed & Breakfast for your support and for being great neighbors!

 

Classes for Beginners

Welcome new knitters!  One of our fondest wishes for Knit Fit! is to provide classes that inspire beginners and casual knitters to advance their skills and jump into the deep end with the rest of us!  We’ve compiled here a listing of our beginner-friendly classes.  You don’t need to know any more than casting on, knit and purl stitches, and binding off to do these classes, and there’s still plenty of time to learn the basics before November even if you’re a pre-beginner.

Plenty of experienced knitters will find new techniques to explore in this listing as well!  If you have questions about your skill level and preparation for any class please feel free to get in touch with us (contact – a t – knitfit – dot – info).

For further information, please see our registration guide pdf or CLICK HERE to register for classes.

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A Roving We Will Go: Knitting and Crocheting with Roving
Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby (3 hrs – Sunday 2-5 pm, $75)

We will learn to work with roving to create “yarns” (sans wheels and spindles!) of varying weights so you can customize your finished project to reflect your own personal style and flare. Don’t have your own style and flair? That’s okay… we’ll show you some tricks along the way to really make this FAB fun and unique way of working with roving something you can be proud of… and make your friends jealous of your new rove-hooking prowess.

Skill Level: All
Homework: None
Materials Fee: $8 – includes roving
Student-supplied Materials:
• Crochet hooks and/or knitting needles

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Finishing Your Knits
Andrea Rangel (3 hrs – Sunday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, $75)

Learn to give your projects a professional finish. This class will cover all the topics needed to make a beautiful finished project. Learn to create clean, straight seams using mattress stitch. Invisibly weave in your ends using duplicate stitch. Learn bind-off methods including 3-needle bind-off and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Practice grafting using Kitchener stitch, and get information all about blocking. We’ll also cover ways to reduce finishing by using seamless construction. You worked hard on that project; finish it flawlessly.

Skill Level: All
Homework: Bring three swatches – worsted weight Stockinette stitch – 4 in/10 cm x 4 in/10 cm, one not bound off.
Materials Fee: $2 – includes handouts
Student-supplied materials:
• Worsted weight yarn in 2 colors
• Appropriate knitting needles
• Tapestry needle
• Scissors

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Knitting Behind the Wheel

Mary Scott Huff (6 hrs – Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, continues Saturday 2-5 pm, $150)

Learn the simple rules of Color Theory…then break them! In this 6-hour class, we’ll explore the basic concepts of color theory through use of the color wheel, applying them to our class project. Each student will receive a yarn kit and pattern to knit a modular felted bag. Work each module to learn first hand what different color combinations can do!

Skill Level: All
Homework: None
Materials Fee: $20 – includes Color Wheel bag kit, including 13 colors of yarn, color wheel, pattern, and Dorset button form.
Student-supplied materials:
• 1 pair size 4 (3.5 mm) dpn or other needles
• 1 pair size 6 (4 mm) dpn or other needles
• Tapestry needle
• Note taking supplies

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Knitting with Vintage Patterns
Jen Hagan (3 hrs – Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, $75)

Vintage knitting patterns can be a treasure trove of wonderful new projects—if only you could understand them! This class will show you how to navigate all the out-of-date language, materials, sizes, etc., that can make it so daunting to use these patterns and produce something wearable. We’ll talk about topics such as finding missing information and substituting yarn—basically we’ll unlock all the barriers keeping you from knitting that 50’s sweater-girl teaser or that 20’s tennis sweater if you want. Bring your own collected gems and let’s learn how to get these beauties onto your FO list!

Skill Level: Beginner
Homework: None
Materials Fee: None
Student-supplied materials:
• Vintage knitting patterns (optional)

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The “OH!” of MathShannon and Jason Mullet-Bowlsby (3 hrs – Saturday 2-5pm, $75)

Love it or hate it, math is an essential part of every stitcher’s life and in this class we’ll have you geeking out on crochet and knit math with our super easy methods for everything from averaging the number of decreases to calculating your gauge, figuring yarn amounts for your next project to, well, even altering existing or writing your own patterns! That’s right, we’re going to unveil the secrets that we use every day in our design studio to create everything from afghans and hats to runway couture. You’ll have more OH! moments than an herbal shampoo commercial!

Skill level: Beginner
Homework: None
Materials Fee: No
Student-supplied materials:
• Note cards or notebook
• Measuring tape
• Calculator
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Professional Techniques for Hand Knitters
Lisa Ellis (3 hrs – Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, $75)

Are you a self taught knitter? Did your grandmother teach you how to knit? Have you noticed that your knitting doesn’t look as good as “hers”? Knitting techniques have come a long way and they can make a huge difference in the outcome of your project. This class will finesse your knitting skills to look professional and less “home made”. We will start with a prettier cast on, a cleaner ribbing, an easier selvage to seam, better looking decreases and finishing with the most elastic bind off out there. Tricks of the trade will be taught along the way – like how to transparently change colors in pattern and work a buttonhole that won’t grow in size!

Skill Level: All
Homework: None
Materials Fee: None
Student-supplied materials:
• Light colored yarn in either DK, light worsted or worsted weight
• Needle size according to yarn label

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Recycled Yarn Making
Lee Meredith (3 hrs – Saturday 2-5 pm, $75)

Learn how to turn an old, unwanted sweater into a sweater quantity worth of new ready-to-knit yarn! We’ll go over all the details of what to look for when thrift store shopping for sweaters to recycle, what to avoid, and how to handle different types of sweaters and yarns. Then we’ll get hands-on and take apart sweaters – everyone will get their own reclaimed sweater to work with. You’ll learn tips and tricks gathered from years of experience, and you’ll leave with your new recycled yarn!

Skill Level: Beginner
Homework: None
Materials Fee: $10 – includes reclaimed sweater
Student-supplied materials:
• If you already have a sweater you’d like to recycle into yarn, feel free to bring it along, but you are not required to supply anything. Scissors and other tools will be provided for use in class.

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Stitch and Click
Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby (3 hrs – Sunday 9:30 am-12:30 pm, $75)

Nothing is more disappointing than finishing a FAB fiber project and not being able to take an equally FAB photo of it.  In Stitch & Click we will show you how to show off your stitch work with great photos. Don’t have an expensive camera or equipment? No worries! We will show you simple tips and tricks to use what you have around the house to create photos that will really show off all that hard work you put into your stitching project. Bring your camera (ANY camera) and we will play with lighting techniques and tools to help you learn to take the best photos without breaking the bank. We’ll teach you to make smart choices for picking good basic lighting and DIY photography equipment.

Skill Level: All
Homework: None
Materials Fee: None
Student-supplied materials:
• Your camera

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Tunisian 101
Karen Ratto-Whooley (3 hrs – Sunday 2-5 pm, $75)

This is the perfect class for knitters to learn to crochet! Learn the 3 basic Tunisian stitches: Simple, Knit and purl stitches. Learn tips to prevent curling, ending off and picking up stitches.

Skill Level: Beginner
Homework: None
Materials Fee: $3 – includes handouts
Student-supplied materials:
• Size US I/9 Tunisian hook
• Smooth light colored worsted weight yarn
• Scissors
• Steel yarn needle
• Paper and pen for notes

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And of course, our evening events are for all skill levels, and all levels of interest in knitting!

OPENING NIGHT PRESENTATION:

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Knitting
Friday, November 1, $25

Doors open 6pm, Talk begins at 7pm

Join us for an evening with Mary Scott Huff, in which she presents valuable life lessons learned from knitting.  Bring your knitting, your sense of humor, and your best pal to help us kick of Knit Fit! 2013 on Friday Night!

Mary Scott Huff is the author of The New Stranded Colorwork, and Teach Yourself Visually Color Knitting, She fled the realm of Information Technology to pursue a more yarn-centered way of life. The many friends she found along the way have helped her become a nationally-recognized designer, teacher and author. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Mary shares a wee little house there with her husband, two children, some Scottish Terriers, and more yarn than is strictly necessary.

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SATURDAY MOVIE NIGHT:

Game Knitting – Singles
Saturday, November 2, $15
Doors at 6pm, Intro to Game Knitting begins at 6:30pm

Join Lee Meredith aka Leethal on Saturday night to make a completely one-of-a-kind item by turning the act of knitting into a game played along with a movie! This is an informal event where you’ll learn how game knitting works to create a random stitch pattern in any project, and we’ll all game knit to Singles. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Skill level: All levels
Homework: None
Materials Fee: No
Student-supplied materials:
• Bring yarn and needles of your choice to knit a small simple project, like a dishcloth, wrist cuff, headband, or anything super basic, in any gauge you want

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Our WIPs

What we’re working on right now:

equinox

Equinox Raglan by Debbie O’Neill in three colors of Noro Kureyon with added neck and cuff ribbing.

puerperium

Almost done Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker in Malabrigo Rios (Lettuce).  Sweet baby sweater pattern that’s nice and quick for those baby shower deadlines!  The newborn size is free, and an expanded version (Beyond Puerperium) for different sizes and yarn weights is also available.

cupido

Cupido Cowl in Fly Designs Flying DK (Ruby). I adore this color, especially when I’m lucky enough to be knitting in the sun.  Purchased at Knit Fit! 2012 from Pat Fly.

That’s what’s on top of the pile – stay tuned for (hopefully) WIP excavation and completed  project updates!

Teachers announced!

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Things are starting to pick up steam for 2013 over here at Knit Fit! HQ and we’re busily making arrangements for class registration, the marketplace, and all the other fun details that go into planning a weekend for hundreds of fiber lovers!  Apologies for how quiet we’ve been, but you can expect to hear more news more often from now on.  Only a few months to go!

We announced the teachers yesterday to our newsletter subscribers, and we’ve posted some longer bios on each over at the website, so head over there for an intro.  We’ll be posting some longer profiles again this year, but you can learn a bit more about our returning friends in these previous posts:

Lisa Ellis
Jen Hagan
Lee Meredith (Leethal)
Shannon & Jason Mullet-Bowlsby (The Shibaguyz)
Andrea Rangel
Barbara Seeler

We’ve also posted a bit about the overall schedule for the weekend, which is mostly the same as last year in terms of class blocks, though we have switched up the market place hours a bit in response to feedback from shoppers and vendors.

MARKET HOURS 2013

Saturday: 9am-6pm
Sunday: 9am-4pm

And of course, MARKET ENTRY IS FREE!

More news soon!

Meet the Vendors: Three Fates Yarns

How did you get into this business? What is your favorite part of your job? What inspires you?

One October morning, I opened a dye kit I’d gotten for Christmas the year before; I was instantly hooked. I’m the child of a graphic arts designer and a children’s book illustrator, so it’s not too surprising.
My favorite part of dyeing is making new colors and seeing the projects people have made with my yarn. I’m constantly surprised and delighted.

I’m inspired by all sorts of things, but right now pictures of fruits and vegetables seem the most inspiring.

What is your favorite of your products and why? What new products are you excited about for Fall 2012? What can’t-miss thing will be at your booth?

Right now I’m really hooked on incendia sock – it’s an 80/10/10 merino, cashmere, nylon blend that is new to me. It’s very squishy and nearly sport weight. I’ve got it in over a repeatable dozen colors (see background.png), so you can make striping shawls to your heart’s content. I’m making a Vitamin D cardigan, so I’d look to see if it’s there. The other thing I’m working on is knitting a Suki with the eponymous sock yarn. Finally, if you are a spinner, you have to check out the little multi-color fiber kits I’ve put together. They are too cute! I’m hoping to do that for yarn by December.

Most useful knitting/crafting tip?

My favorite crafting tip right now is to double or triple yarnover when carrying up a second color for a striping shawl. (You then knit it as one stitch in the next row.) The curves in the shawl mean you need a looser edging to make the shawl relax properly.

Meet the Vendors: Stick Chick Knits, JaMpdx, and Textiles A Mano

Stick Chick Knits – Seattle, WA – scknits.com

How did you get into this business? What is your favorite part of your job? What inspires you? 

I started designing almost right after I learned to knit. I love to tinker with things and just kept modifying one project after another. After my Bliss Blanket was published my LYS asked me to work up a design for their Post Stitches West party with some Hazel Knits yarn and the rest took off from there. I love swatching up new ideas and watching them turn in to real finished objects. It’s interesting to see where they start vs where they end up.
My inspirations come from all around me. I’m always watching what people are wearing and what’s popping up in stores. Along with that I tend to interject a bit of practicality to my designs, I like to create things that are actually wearable.

What is your favorite of your products and why? What new products are you excited about for Fall 2012? What can’t-miss thing will be at your booth?

Picking a favorite is tough, though the design I wear the most is Hermosa. I actually love it so much I’m knitting a new one to wear in another color. That said, I also really love Prickly. They’re warm and squishy and are so much fun to knit. The stitch pattern is easy to remember and mixing and matching colors is also a lot of fun.
I’ve got 6 new designs I’m rolling out between now and the show, so things are really busy here. Some of these will be stand alone patterns and others will be kits. I’d say our kits are really the can’t miss item at the booth. We’re going to be packed with lots of Hazel Knits and Zen Yarn Garden yarns to pair up with my patterns and Dancing Sheep’s bags. If you need a quick pick me up our JANe Kits (Just Add Needles exclusives) are perfect. We’re debuting a new kit and bringing some old favorites too.

What is your favorite type of customer?

I love all my customers, but I especially love the ones that take my designs and modify them. It’s so interesting to see what people do with my patterns as a launching point!

Most useful knitting/crafting tip?

My tip, wash the swatch the same way you’re going to wash the finished object before measuring gauge.

JaMpdx – Portland, OR – jampdx.etsy.com

How did you get into this business? What is your favorite part of your job? What inspires you?

We’ve been friends for over 20 years, and ceramic collaborators since 2004. Jenn makes the pieces on a potter’s wheel and Meghan uses traditional cake decorating tools and techniques to embellish each piece. We started working together making pottery with cake decorations for fun, and decided to turn it into a small business when we both realized we enjoyed it too much to stop. We respect each other’s abilities, and enjoy the feeling that we’re creating something together which is better than what either could do alone. We take inspiration and support from each other–we have an unending supply of ideas!

What is your favorite of your products and why? What new products are you excited about for Fall 2012? What can’t-miss thing will be at your booth?

Our yarn bowl is definitely our favorite product! We’re both knitters, and we put a lot of thought into how we would want a yarn bowl to work. It has a lid to protect from cats, dogs, kids and from your yarn hopping out and rolling across the floor. It works for right-handed and left-handed knitters; with the yarn bowl on the floor, on a table, or right beside you on a couch; whether you have a caked or hand-balled skein; and holds both straight and circular needles. And because the cut-outs are in the lid, the bowl can be used as a regular bowl when you’re not knitting. To top it off, our yarn bowl is so pretty, it will inspire you to knit more just to use it!
We’re excited to release a new line of porcelain shot glasses and pint glasses with knitting themes, and we’re thrilled to be debuting them at Knit Fit! We’ve personally tested both designs: the shot glass holds a shot of espresso or liquor, and the pint glass is the real 20-ounce deal.

Most useful knitting/crafting tip?

When blocking, use a salad spinner to get as much extra moisture out of a finished piece of knitting after a good, long soak. The spinner protects delicate knits from stretching, and it speeds up drying time for everything from shawls to sweaters.

Textiles A Mano – Eugene, OR – textilesamano.com

How did you get into this business? What is your favorite part of your job? What inspires you?

Textiles A Mano owner, Laura Macagno-Shang, always wanted to paint and is inspired by how color appears in nature. She uses this inspiration to paint on the canvas that is yarn. Most of our yarns are named after cities in the world that the yarn evoked in Laura’s mind; some are just whimsical. Our yarns are hand colored one skein at a time to create a once-in-a-lifetime effect.

What is your favorite of your products and why? What new products are you excited about for Fall 2012? What can’t-miss thing will be at your booth?

One-of-a-kind yarns, fibers, and embellishments will be the showcase of our booth. Textiles A Mano carries hand-made buttons by Crone Art, made by women for women – these are wearable art. Don’t miss our hand-colored yarns and hand-crafted fiber batts! Our batts are very unique and are fabulous for spinning. We have great prices for top quality products.

What is your favorite type of customer?

We love customers who enjoy beautiful, scrumptious, highest quality yarns & fibers, and anyone who loves to have fun.

Most useful knitting/crafting tip?

Swatch, swatch, swatch! Gauge, gauge, gauge. :) Don’t hate me for it.

Check out the complete vendor lineup on our website: www.knitfit.info/Vendors.html