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.

Special Copyright Notice: The posts linked from this page are each the property of their respective authors and are subject to the copyright restrictions as specified by each site. Unless otherwise noted, no reproduction is allowed without express written consent.

Submit to Yarnival! by September 15th

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

This is just a reminder that submissions to the Yarnival! Blog Carnival are due by September 15th.

Submit what you think represents your best or most interesting work for the past month, and then come back on September 29th to see the top submissions. Your submission can be about anything, but it must be knitting-related. (Spinning and dyeing is good, too). If you don’t know what Yarnival! is, here’s some more information about it.

UPDATE, Wed, 8:13AM: Someone mentioned in their submission that they weren’t sure if people from the first issue are allowed to submit to the second. Of course they are! The more, the merrier. I need all the submissions I can get!

Yarnival! Volume 1, Issue 1

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Carnival!Welcome to Issue 1 of Yarnival! There were 500 billion people who sent me an entry, and I managed to whittle it down to approximately 50 billion. There’s some spinning and some dyeing, some works in progress and a surprising number of finished objects. You’ll find a few techniques in here you can use for all kinds of neat projects. And of course, there’s a little T&A mixed in for good measure.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and I hope you discover at least one more blog that you can now obsess over for the rest of your days. Once you’re done, I’d love to hear your feedback! Send me an email or leave a comment at the end of this entry about which posts you liked best, what you’d like to see in the following issues, etc. etc. This is my first time, so please be gentle.

(For more information, here’s an introduction to the Yarnival! Carnival and the request for submissions to Issue 2.)

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Yarnival! Request for Submissions

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I’m hoping to finally get Yarnival! out tomorrow morning before I head off to the cottage again on Monday after I get back from the cottage. I only recently got through all the articles (time management will be easier next time hopefully) and whittled them down to around 20 or 30 posts. I’m trying to string them together coherently now, so expect it soon!

I’m also announcing the call for submissions for issue 2. If you submitted after the deadline last time (and there were a few), I considered you for the second issue but you can also submit something from the last month if it’s more relevant. Some pertinent info:

What kind of submissions are you looking for?

Any knitting/spinning content that you believe represents your best work from the past month or so. Pretty much any ol’ cool thing you wrote about in August/September. It should be at least vaguely knitting-related; the kind of things that really stood out for me this time was original work, witty or insightful commentary, and pretty pictures. Please, don’t be afraid to submit your work. It couldn’t hurt to put yourself out there.

When will the issue be out?

The submission deadline for the second issue of Yarnival will be September 15th (that’s a Friday) and the issue will be published on September 29th (also a Friday). That gives you two weeks to submit! I’ll be posting a reminder closer to the deadline.

How can I submit?

Send me your name (or pseudonym), email address and blog address, as well as the name of your blog and the URL of your post submission. PLEASE send me the permalink to your post submission, because I had to reject some posts last time because I couldn’t find them. If I only get a blog link from you and I get lots of submissions this time, it will have to go into the “executive file.” By which I mean the little Trash icon in my mail program. (I’m sorry :( )

You have two ways of contacting me. You can choose to submit using the automatic form at my Yarnival submission page, or you can use the following contact form:

[I have been getting lots of spam through my contact forms, so until I can find an alternate, spam-protected contact form please email me.]

Good luck and happy submitting! Grab a button! (Buttons are how the internet gives hugs.) Submit to Yarnival!

Yarnival! Button

<a title="Yarnival!" href="http://needles.guzzlingcakes.com/2006/07/23/yarnival/"> <img src="http://www.your_site.com/yarnival.gif" alt="Yarnival! Button" /></a>

Another Yarnival extension? My word!

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Here’s a link to Yarnival, and the message that accompanies it:

She must be a whiz at this editing/blogging/linking speed warp thing or maybe a lot of time on her hands..either way, I’m looking forward to learning about some new blogs this way. Check it out.

Apparently I have no time on my hands. I got a link through Cara (props) and ended up getting something like 40+ Cara-entries in addition to the 50 or so I received through other means. I also ended up getting surprised by a trip to Cornwall with no wireless in the hotel, and long story short, I must ask for an extension.

But I gave you guys one, so it’s okay, right? * quivering lip, followed by puppy dog eyes *

Yarnival! Extension

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I’m heading off to London or Montreal for the weekend and won’t be able to do much internetting, so if you want to submit to Yarnival!, you can still do so until the end of Sunday.

Submit to Yarnival! by August 4th

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

This is just a reminder that submissions to the Yarnival! Blog Carnival are due by August 4th. That means you, dearies! Submit what you think represents your best or most interesting work for the past month, and then come back on August 11th to see the top submissions. Your submission can be about anything that’s vaguely knitting-related. If you don’t know what Yarnival! is, here’s some more information about it.


Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

ALERT: The Deadline has been extended until Sunday!

I really like sending people to cool new blogs I find, and I love finding cool new blogs. I read a lot of them (I think I’m subscribed to at least 80 knitting blog feeds), but most of them just link to each other and the smaller ones go unnoticed. So I’m happy to report that I’ve decided to start a Blog Carnival for knitters to showcase their content, regardless of their place in the knitting food chain. What’s it called? You guessed it. Yarnival!

What is a Blog Carnival?

Blog Carnivals typically collect together links pointing to blog articles on a particular topic. A Blog Carnival is like a magazine, in that it has a title, a topic, editors, contributors, and an audience. Blog Carnivals are much less formal than regular online magazines, though, and anyone can submit to them. Essentially, every month you submit the post you think represents your best work on your blog (be it a really cool FO or an explanation of a technique you learned, or even just a post complaining about how noisy your dogs are), and the best are selected for publication.

Editions of the carnival typically come out on a regular basis (e.g. every monday, or on the first of the month). Each edition is a special blog article that consists of links to the contributions, often with the editors opinions or remarks. It’s totally relaxed and non-serious; just something to read and have fun and discover blogs you may not have discovered before.

I want to emphasize that anyone can submit to this, and submit anything they want. The point is to expose everyone to content from lesser-known blogs as well as well-established ones. You can read more about blog carnivals at the Blog Carnival FAQ. A great example of a Blog Carnival is The Synapse.

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