Letters From The Editors
The scoop from the editors
It was time.
After 20 years, we've updated our logo with a fresh new typeface, and retired Pesto to the typographic archives. I love the new logo...it reminds me of strands of yarn, as the original logo did back in 2002, but in a more streamlined way. As we made this change, we also updated the typography throughout the new issue. We have the new logo on merch in the Knittyshop! And the work doesn't end here.
Earlier this year, I sent out a call to our Patrons for someone with front-end web development experience. Because as much as I've been able to do on my own, I just cannot achieve the pictures in my head with my coding skills.
We're lucky to now be working with Erin McLaughin (experienced Web Developer and Knitty Patron!). She's helping me update the look of our site, and she's the reason this issue looks better than those that came before. There's more to come, and I'm pretty excited about it. I hope you'll find the updates to be an improvement.
But wait! There's more!
Coming in the First Fall Surprise (around mid-July), the first major update to Knitty's functionality as a pattern source since we launched 20 years ago. It's been in the works for more years than I care to admit, and it's finally almost ready to release in beta. And it will be available to our Knitty Patrons only. Knitty will continue to work as you always have used it if you're not a Patron. But once you see the new features, we hope you might want to become a Patron too. It feels good to support independent businesses and by supporting Knitty, you help us continue to improve the site, pay our contributors and staff fair wages, and grow for the future.
Our next big goal, beyond looking prettier, is making future issues fully accessible, and we can only do that with Patron support. Join us!
Every issue for our Anniversary year (this is issue 4 of that year, in case you're keeping track), we've asked an Indie Dyer and an Indie Designer to create something to help us celebrate the occasion. This issue, we're super excited about the collaboration between Shirsty Cat and the legendary Franklin Habit, former Knitty columnist, man about town (and that town now happens to be PARIS!), and generally lovely human.
The pattern is the first ever doily-inspired pattern we've ever published, in the just-for-Knitty colorway "Knitty" from Shirsty Cat. Make it in her Just Bulky for a lap rug, or perhaps you'd rather shawlify it in a worsted or DK weight. Kelly at Shirsty Cat has a gorgeous assortment of yarns to choose from, and even more inspiring colorways to tempt you! Here are just the newest ones!
We have some gorgeous things for you to cast on in this issue, including a few for the more ambitious knitters among us, a few bulky quicker knits, a sweet crocheted cowl and even a tribute to a K-pop star!
Off you go, then.
Back in the Spring+Summer '23 issue, we held a contest for our readers to Design their Dream Fibercraft bag. We got a huge response, and the folks at TOM BIHN are just starting to go through the entries to see what it is that Knitty readers want in the perfect craft bag as they begin the design process. Who won? Patience, my friends. Good design takes time.
Check back in the Spring+Summer '24 issue to learn the names of the winners!
You might have heard that Stitches abruptly closed their operations earlier this year with no advance notice to anyone who taught for them (some right up till the day before they announced the closing, which we honestly find shocking!), exhibited at their shows, or planned to attend or take classes. This means that all of these people have lost money – often huge sums. The fiber community is appalled by what has happened, and so many people want to help those affected.
If you want to help, you can visit our SOS page where we're sharing ads from teachers and vendors of the former Stitches events. You can also join the Facebook group to find out more about how to support those affected.
If you are a vendor or teacher affected by Stitches' closure, please book your free ad here.
The only reason we're still here is our Patrons! That's how we're able to publish 4 times per year. Our Patrons fund 75% of our operating costs, and every single dollar each Patron contributes helps. We'd love you to join them! If you like rewards, you can get them starting at the $5 per issue level on Patreon! If you just want to support Knitty with no frills, this page lays out all the options.
We are also grateful for the Advertisers who choose to place their messages on our pages. They're small businesses just like Knitty is, and welcome you to visit their shops. If you can, please support them when you need to make a purchase.
To learn more about advertising with Knitty, pop over to our Rate Card.
Here's how you can keep in touch with us:
“How do I learn to do good yarn substitutions?”
I get this question a lot.
It’s not hard, but it does take time and practice, and you have to be willing to make mistakes. That last bit is always the hardest for most crafters.
But I guarantee that you will learn more from a mistake, a not-quite-right substitution, or a yarn spun in a way you weren’t expecting than something perfect. At least that’s how it works for me.
If a substitution is perfect or a yarn is spun exactly to its intended outcome, I’ll never think of it again.
If something goes a bit off the rails, I will puzzle over it until I figure out exactly what isn’t right. Of course, I try to make this happen at the swatching or sampling stage rather than with a finished sweater.
I learned to do three things to help me with my substitution game:
I’ve learned to look at swatching and sampling as experimenting and playing. I will spend whole evenings or even a whole weekend doing it.
- Become very interested in a yarn or a pattern
I let myself jump down a rabbit hole about a pattern or a yarn. This also helps with making swatching and sampling fun. With a yarn, I let myself swatch at several gauges, and run through five or six stitch patterns. With a pattern I dig in my stash and try a few different yarns, including ones that I’m sure won’t work – though sometimes they do.
Then I figure out why a yarn works or doesn’t. Is it the fiber, how the yarn was spun, the number of plies?
- Keep track (just a little)
I’ve learned to keep a few notes with every swatch. I use shipping tags that I tie onto my swatches. I write down the yarn facts, the swatch facts, then my impressions about the yarn and swatch, good and bad.
Admittedly I am much more a process than a product crafter, but learning to enjoy working with different maybe yarns taught me so much about yarn and actually has cut down on my swatching process for specific projects. So many yarns are just the same!
Maybe sometime this summer you’ll find some time and excitement to practice your substituting.
Happy knitting and spinning,