And Now, For Something Completely Different

I am going to take a little break from my usual posts about what I am knitting to launch a new endeavor by me and my partner in knitting needle crime, Sheri Hartman.

We are hoping to put together a blog that covers all things newsy about yarn in the San Francisco Bay Area. None of us has the time to keep up with everything involving knitting, crochet, spinning and dyeing happening around the Bay. Nor do we have time to read all the relevant blogs, visit all the great stores, read all the cool magazines, go to all the fun festivals and guilds AND still have time to play with yarn?  So we’re hoping you’ll let us do it for you – gather the strands of important, informative or just plain fun yarn things bubbling up around the San Francisco Bay Area and a little beyond and link you to them.

We put together the content of this post  – our first issue – as a kind of test or sample. Read it, tell us what you think, and we’ll tell you when we go “live” on WordPress.com this summer. Any suggestions? If you’d like to sign up for this blog, subscribe to this one – Kimberly’s Craftini – using the subscribe button on the right, and you’ll get an email notification of our next post.

And now, without further ado . . . .

Knitted Golden Gate – Thanks to “Knitting With Carrots”

Well, summer is here and, dang, we wish we were kids again so we could look forward to a whole two or three months with nuthin’ to do but knit. Or crochet. Or spin or dye. NO JUDGMENT. Just sayin’. But we don’t. Still, here’s hoping this summer in the Bay Area – unlike last summer – has at least a few long, warm (dare we hope “hot”) summer days for getting out that cotton yarn and working away. Here’s what’s going on in June . . . .

News from the Internet:

Crazy Aunt Purl discovered she and George Clooney are neighbors in Studio City (scroll down to May 11 entry). We know if we discovered George was our neighbor, we would get busy knitting something for him. Penis cozy, anyone?

Knitability’s Gwen Bortner has just produced her first online course about entrelac knitting. Gwen is the Le Grand-based author of Entree to Entrelac and has been traveling around the country teaching her entrelac system. Now you don’t have to wait for her to come to you.

Knitter’s Review has a review (imagine that!) of Lion Brand Yarn’s new “Kitchen Cotton.” Guest reviewer Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame has this to say: “While other yarns are sipping from demitasses and making sparkling conversation upstairs, Kitchen Cotton is in the scullery, scouring the pots and getting shouted at by the cook. Don’t be fooled by the fresh, pretty colors; Kitchen Cotton works for a living.” We say where’s the yarn that’ll make dinner and take the dogs for a walk? THAT’S the kind of yarn we want.

Knitty wants spinners to take their wheels to the spa. In a thorough article with tons of instructive pictures, spinner Lee Juvan shows how to clean – really clean! – spinning wheels with a vacuum, a cloth,a paper towel, a bottle of oil, a container of furniture wax and a jar of Vaseline. Whew! Looks like housework to us. Where are the margaritas and poolboys?

Ravelry announced the winner of its project bag design contest, held in honor of its fifth anniversary. The contest attracted more than 200 entries and 117,000 votes. Though the winners were from Chicago, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, we West Coasties can be proud of finalist Leanne, a textile and graphic designer working in the Seattle area. More shout outs to “Scootergirl1” of Beaverton, Oregon; “fracksmom” of Whittier, Calif.; Shelley, “ShelleyGerber” of San Diego; “nancycat” of Laguna Hills; “anatrodan” of Los Angeles, among other Californians.

The Feral Knitter will hold two Design-Your-Own Fair Isle 3-day workshops  in the Bay Area.

Margaux Hufnagel, the designer behind San Francisco-based tentenknits announced on her blog that her first pattern in print – a simple sweater with peeky sleeves – will appear in an upcoming issue of Vogue Knitting. Yeah, Margaux! But she also announced that she and her husband are moving to Boston. Boo, Boston!

Thanks to Mighty Distractible Blog

News from Local Stores

Artfibers of San Francisco’s Rox is now an official Ravelry designer with her own pattern store. Congrats, Rox!

Atelier Yarns in San Francisco and its sister store Atelier Marin in San Anselmo have a new online store where they sell rabbit fur yarn. Hippity hop on over (you knew we were gonna say that!).

Big Sky Luxury Yarns (which does not seem to have a website. Seriously?) in Lafayette has a Facebook page now. As we write this, they have 4 “likes.” That probably doesn’t even cover the staff. Go to their Facebook page and show them some love.

K2Tog in Albany is holding “Baby Month” in June. The store will feature models of baby knits, some made from patterns free with purchase of yarn. They are also offering discounts on Eco Butterfly baby kits and on Minnowknit patterns.

Knit This, Purl That  in Pleasanton will host a special event for “Knit in Public Week,” June 9-17. Details were still up in the air (on the winder?) at the time of this writing, so go and check their website.

Knitterly in Petaluma is hosting Julie Weisenberger of cocoknits and her European Finishing Techniques class July 28 from 10 to 1 p.m. And while you’re on her blog, check out Julie’s great advice on how to avoid estimating how much yarn to leave for a long-tail cast on.

Nine Rubies will hold a two-day Noni Flowers Workshop with Noni designer Nora Bellows on August 25 and 26. Bellows is only making two West Coast appearances this year, and this is one of ‘em.

Purlescence Yarns of Sunnyvale is offering seven classes for kids this summer, including spinning, felting and sweater knitting. Wow. Those are some seriously talented kids down there in Sunnyvale. And some very patient sales associates.

Urban Fauna, the San Francisco fiber boutique and creative space, is no longer at its 16th Avenue bricks-and-mortar location. Contact them by phone at 415-664-1267.

A Verb for Keeping Warm will hold “A Memorable Yarn” on June 10 from 3:30 to 5:30 with Brenda Dayne of the podcast Cast On. This event is free.

No, this will not be featured in K2Tog’s Baby Month. Thanks to Sheep Shots blog.

News from Local Pattern Designers

Kira K Designs, featuring the work of designer Kira Dulaney of Oakland, has several new patterns for sale including the Transverse CollarKira and her friend Brooke Sinnes, the designer behind Napa-based Sincere Sheep, recently appeared together at a joint discussion and trunk show at Albany’s K2Tog.

The Knitting Kninja, based in the East Bay, posted a couple of crazy-long blog posts about “the male gaze” and “knitting photography.” If all of that is just a little too brainiac for you, check out her two new patterns, Dear Jane and Mango Lassi.

White Lies Designs designer Joan McGowan-Michael, based in Sacramento, will be featured in an interview in the August issue of Knit n Style magazine.

Knitting ninja by Sean O’Connor

News from Local Spinners and Dyers

Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks, located in Placerville, recently launched Umbria, a new yarn that is hand-dyed, hand-spun and whose colors are inspired by the pottery of Tuscany. We note that it is much cheaper to buy a skein of Tuscan-inspired yarn than it is to travel to Tuscany. Alas.
Brenda Lavell of  Phydeaux Designs temporarily went offline when she dropped her computer. Okay, she didn’t drop it, it fell. Off her bed. And she was right in the middle of a great series of posts about reskeining hand-dyed yarn. Brenda, now that your computer is fixed, GET BACK TO BLOGGING. You left us in mid-wind.

Royale Hare, the yarn dying business of Karen Emrey of Santa Rosa, has a new etsy shop.

Serendipity Spinners Guild of San Jose is in some confusion about where its next two or three monthly meetings will be held. Watch their website for more details.

Sincere Sheep of Napa and Knitted Wit of Portland, Oregon combined forces to form “Among Friends” a yarn and pattern club. Members get yarn from both yarn dyers on alternate months and patterns from Irish Girlie KnitsFickleknitter and PDXKnitterati.

Umbrian Pottery from La Biscotteria

News from Local Authors

Cooperative Press will publish California Revival Knits, a book of knitting patterns inspired by California Revival architecture of the 1920s by knitwear designer Stephannie Tallent  (yes, she has an extra “n” and an extra “l” in her name: greedy). When she isn’t knitting, ST is a small animal vet in Hermosa Beach, Calif. We at BAY strongly urge you to buy this book at your local yarn store, dammit.

The current issue of Simply Soccupied features sock yarn from three Bay Area dyers, Tactile Fiber Arts of Richmond, Sincere Sheep of Napa and Oakland’s A Verb for Keeping Warm. That’s quite a showing for a single, small region of the country. But then, we Bay Area knitters ROCK!!!!!

That’s it for this first issue! If you have a tip, an event, or a good blog read to share with us, contact Kimberly at kjwinston at comcast dot net or Sheri at sheri dot hartman at gmail dot com.

NOTE – Inclusion does not signify endorsement. The authors have accepted no remuneration, financial or material, for inclusion in this blog.

About kjwinston

I am a freelance religion reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This entry was posted in California Craftini. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to And Now, For Something Completely Different

  1. Marti Simmons says:

    Congratulations a second dream job…I’m so jealous

  2. LisaB says:

    I’m sure this will be a success. The Clooney pic alone is enough to guarantee success. :p

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