Yarnival! Volume 1, Issue 2

Monday, October 2nd, 2006
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Carnival!It’s that time of the month again! Time for Yarnival!, a bullhorn for the knitting blogoverse. The focus is on dyeing this time; looks like a lot of us have been “drinking the Kool-aid,” and using it, too!

Pick Up Sticks

This issue of Yarnival! is sponsored by Pick Up Sticks, a yarn store run by Connie Meeke. Connie tells me she’s constantly on the lookout for unique yarns, and she’s not kidding: she carries Sweet Georgia, Apple Laine, Claudia Handpainted, and Posh Yarns (which is a cashmere/merino blend). She’s also supporting the cause against breast cancer by providing the prize for the Pretty in Pink contest. Go over to her website and support a fellow Canadian!

One thing I noticed about the submissions for this issue is that many of the people who submitted last time (but didn’t get in) didn’t submit to Yarnival for this issue. Please don’t be discouraged! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Even if you don’t submit, let’s hear your feedback! Send me an email or leave a comment at the end of this entry about which posts you liked best, and what you’d like to see in the following issues. (Here’s an introduction to the Yarnival! Carnival, if you’ve never heard of it before.)


Kate is tired of luxury yarns.
I’m cheap, so I never really bought into the latest craze of wacky, high-priced luxury handspun with beads and ribbons and the kitchen sink woven into them (the ones that could only really be used to knit a funky scarf). For newer, richer knitters, this is a different story, and Kate’s got a bone to pick with upscale yarn stores that pander to this particular demographic. Selling the idea of luxury isn’t new; if it was, noone would ever buy a Cadillac Escalade. But selling it to knitters feels like a betrayal, because we’ve all got that concept of the little old lady yarn store owner with the cat and the bright friendly smile and the sweater by the cash register for her grandson. How could she do that to us? How dare she hike up the price?

In light of some current controversy, Kate suggests a button and an up-to-date list of yarn manufacturers with unseemly business practices, to warn newer knitters about yarns that talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. I’m not sure how well that would catch on; I don’t think the sort that would be duped would come across it on the internet, because they wouldn’t think to look. The Yarndex, however, seems like a better option. Not many people realize that Yarndex has a review section. Until I specifically checked it just now, I thought they didn’t have one. It’s hidden at the bottom of the page, and you have to register to leave a comment. (This is probably because bad reviews mean decreased sales; Yarndex is owned by Yarnmarket.com.) But if more people actually did leave comments, think of the revolution! It could be like checking amazon for book reviews before buying a book. If you hate a yarn, leave a bad review as catharsis. If you like it, leave a good one. The newbies may still miss out, but the smart ones will have a new weapon in the war against fibre rip-offs.

For Julie, the messy bits are just as newsworthy.
The news broadcasters are trying to package everything as clean and simple, but it’s not. Sure, it’s their responsibility to present the news in as clear a manner as possible, but biases get in the way and sometimes there aren’t any clear answers. Same goes for knit blogs and WIPs. I’m guilty of this at times; presenting a project as nicely as I can, hiding loose unwoven ends, waiting for the finished object until I post. But just like the truth is sometimes messy, so is the knitting process, and we shouldn’t deny that process its time in the limelight.

Irene is knitting away, despite how hot it gets in herre.
I’m glad I live in Canada, because I always have an excuse to knit a pair of mittens or a scarf. I don’t have to justify it, or base my knitting decisions on how hot it is outside. I knit for fun, but also for necessity. Not so for Irene. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, in the kinds of temperatures that would make those of us above the 49th parallel wilt. How on earth does she put up with it?

Anne writes a letter of apology to her yarn.
This is the sort of story that makes your toenails curl. All that yarn, gone! My heart goes out to you, Anne. This is the kind of loss worthy of a Jimmy Stewart movie. It’s a wonderful life, Anne, don’t worry. Every time a needle clicks, an angel gets its wings.

Dye me a River

Kristin has produced a fantastic three part series explaining exactly how she goes about dyeing her yarn. It’s got lots of great pictures, and suggestions for products to use and tips for beginners. She starts with an ingredients list, which is a necessary reminder for the folks who want to start right away and forget about this or that chemical until they realize they have to dump it in within 5 seconds or the mixture will be ruined. (I’ve learned this lesson many a time while baking.)

Kelly presents her two part experiment in overdyeing, with colour comparisons and everything. Very sharp.

Aija starts her post with a picture of brains, completely winning me over. She continues with a great introduction to acid dyes, and why you shouldn’t fear them. There are also some great tips on where to buy these dyes. I may buy some myself, if I can convince my housemates to let me play in the kitchen sink. Err… maybe the bathtub would be better.

Finished Objects

  • A fiendishly creative bag called “Jungle Love” in freeform crochet and knitting, probably a little painting and embroidery in there too… Words cannot express how jealous I am of artists like this.
  • An absolutely gorgeous Kiri Shawl, knit with yarn inspired by a Van Gogh painting.
  • A beautiful Estonian Garden Wrap, displayed in what I can only hope is an actual Estonian garden.
  • Sounds like it really was an epic quest to get this scarf finished.
  • Dinosaur!
  • Here’s a great idea for sock knitters who succumb to Second Sock Syndrome: knit only one, and give it to a wacky friend who doesn’t care about matching. There’s also a great discussion in here about the shrink in needle size and growth in patience as knitters gain experience.

Those who can, teach

Jen has illustrated a tutorial for the Purl Long Tail Cast-On. I’m not sure how easily I’d be able to follow the illustrations (I’d do better with photographs that show where the yarn is at each point), but her suggestions for alternating between knit and purl cast-ons for ribbing is a great idea.


  • Ruth has been neglecting her husband, and he seems pretty choked up about it.
  • Knittymama writes the kind of dialogue you just can’t make up.
  • Morgan does box comedy.
  • Sprite writes about the lessons to be learned from knitting, and how they can be applied to life.
  • Cara has knitting calluses!

The Page 24 Hunk

This is a bit of an old post, but noone submitted a hunk this time and so I had to find one of my own. Catheroo doesn’t understand it, but I don’t think you have to. You just have to enjoy.

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8 Comments to “Yarnival! Volume 1, Issue 2”

  1. Ooh, first comment! Thanks again, Eve. I’m off for some happy reading. I think a photo of you holding a whip and wearing some thingh-high boots with the caption “submit” might encourage a few folks…

    Comment by
    October 2, 2006 @ 1:03 pm
  2. thanks eve! and thanks for including me.

    Comment by maryse
    October 2, 2006 @ 4:12 pm
  3. What a great issue! I’m thrilled to be included.

    Comment by Ruth
    October 3, 2006 @ 12:59 pm
  4. Ah, good reliable, informative entertainment for the next couple of evenings. Thanks again for all the work you put into the Yarnival Eve!

    Comment by Sara
    October 4, 2006 @ 10:17 pm
  5. Wow, just found out about you on Knitters Review (yes, I often miss the obvious). What a great compendium of fun and information–I particularly liked the “Messy bits” — it inspired me to post more in progress photos. Thanks!

    Comment by Alliesw
    October 7, 2006 @ 12:06 am
  6. Why thank you for including me Eve! Jungle Love does have all that in there, plus some painted and burned Tyvek.

    And I agree wholeheartedly with your concept of a database of news and comments for yarns and yarn companies. I try and be socially responsible about whom I buy from, why shouldn’t it extend to yarn? I was less than thrilled with the Tilli Thomas fiasco and as a result, will not be purchasing any of her yarn. Our pocketbooks are the only form of protest we have that works. I’ll go look for that link on Yarndex – thanks for the tip!

    Comment by Claudia
    December 6, 2006 @ 8:39 pm
  7. Thank you so very much for including me, too. I haven’t yet heard what my friend thinks of his sock. I have a grandmother with only one leg, so maybe she’ll be getting a sock from me, too.

    I love this site. It’s such a great way to find out about other blogs.

    Comment by TK
    December 20, 2006 @ 7:09 pm
  8. Hey I would love to host Yarnival! Is July free?? I see May and June are Covered!

    Comment by Denise
    May 10, 2007 @ 6:22 am

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