While bored at work, I stumbled upon this knitting resource that has potential to be truly amazing: Knit Wiki.

They already have a number of vintage patterns that are most likely public domain, though I'm not entirely sure as that requires they were published before 1923 or before 1963 and not resubmitted for copyright later. My favorites of their current patterns are the Lacy Gloves, the Tulip Gloves, and the Gwen Cardigan (above).

Also not to miss are the techniques, which are a quite handy and free resource for those just learning to knit, as well as those who need a refresher on a technique they don't commonly use.

But the one section I'm most excited about would have to be the listings for local yarn stores in the states and abroad. It's a sparse collection so far, excluding the Seattle-area (mwahahaha!), Australia, and Canada. If you have a bit of extra time, please do help add to the section. As any fellow yarnophile knows, the most exciting part of traveling is popping into the local yarn stores and picking up a number of goodies for their homeward-bound flight. Having shops in Rome listed would be handy right about now, but I'll have to make it my duty to do the grunt work while I'm there.

Octopus Charm

Awww, this octopus charm found via the Craft: blog is just so darling that I had to add it here if only to keep track of it for a future project. And what a great tutorial it is, especially for someone like me who seems to be cursed in the ways of claymanship.

Forecast Finished

Ze Sweater

Took me a while to get a picture, but I've been loving and wearing it for the past month. After a huge and undocumented manhunt for the perfect buttons, I finally found these glorious vintage glass Czech babies. They really make the sweater pop and are absolutely perfect for what I wanted.

Eco-Friendly Yarns

In the past few months, I've noticed the term "eco-friendly" is on everyone's lips. From Oprah, to newspapers, to entire fashion magazine issues, "leaving a smaller footprint" is ringing across so quickly and loudly that I'm starting to fear it's just another seasonal fad. And the mis-information being bred by newspapers and fashion magazines (I don't have a TV so I can't comment on Oprah), is reaffirming my fears.

Take bamboo, which seems to be the runner-up for our holy grail to eco-friendly materials. It's easily renewable, requires minimal pesticides to grow, and is touted as antibacterial and non-allergenic. Bamboo flooring, furniture, and even fabrics and yarns are widely available--and will only become more so with steadily rising demand. But before you rush out and install bamboo flooring in your next home remodel, be aware that depending on the manufacturer, you may be doing more harm than good. These same adverse social impact and pesticide issues noted by TreeHugger apply to bamboo fibers (clothing and yarn), with the added caveat that dyes and/or chemicals needed for the dyes to bond on bamboo fibers may also be environmentally harmful. Furthermore, depending on the eco-consciousness of the fabric or yarn company in question, they may use harmful chemicals to ship the fibers or in order to keep mold or pests from hitching a ride overseas.

So, what's an eco-friendly consumer and knitter to do? Researching all the chemicals used in treating and dyeing different yarn fibers, as well as researching the fiber source and whether it adhered to fair-trade and fair worker treatment consumes valuable knitting time.

The most eco-friendly and failsafe way is to recycle your own yarn using unwanted sweaters. This helps to reduce post-consumer waste and prevent good materials from filling our landfills. And don't forget, recycling yarn is also much cheaper. With a good sense of touch and a little luck and persistence, you can secure high-quality yarn that rivals that $16 skein of cashmere-silk blend you longly petted last week in the local yarn store. For a great and well-detailed tutorial on recycling yarn from unwanted sweaters, check out How to Unravel a Sweater by Ashley Martineau.

And I do realize there are times when unraveling sweaters won't work, as well as the fact that there are times when a special splurge of brand-spanken new yarn off the shelf is in order. My ultimate goal for this site is to track down and research every major yarn out there that claims to be eco-friendly, taking into consideration dyes, processing, and foreign trade/labor policies each company employs. However, that's a heck of a lot of work for someone with a full-time job who will also soon traipse across Roman cobblestones for two months. So, in the meantime, I'm going to leave you with this non-exhaustive list of yarns that claim to be eco-friendly.

Oh, the Cunning Mrs. Darcy

A quick scan through the Craft blog last night turned up this gem of a pattern: Mrs. Darcy Cardigan.

The pattern comes from Ramblings of a Knitting Obsessive, a three-month old blog that I've already added to my RSS feeds. Despite the fact that the cardigan is only sized for a 34" bust (tiny!), I'm adding this to my tentative to-knit list. I'm thinking it'd be lovely—and affordable—in Knit Picks Shamrock, or Cascade 220 Tweed. Or maybe I can find something soft and slightly fuzzy, like a baby alpaca.

I probably would have bought yarn for it last night if I didn't already have, oh, my entire Knit List 2007 to tear through. And I can't forget all the yarn I already have for the following projects outside of my resolutions: the two-tone shrug from Fitted Knits (using left-over yarn), a U-vest also from Fitted Knits, the Union Square Market Pullover from Interweave Knits Fall 2005, and the Elfin Bride.

Eep! That's a lot of knitting!


I obviously love design and making things. I also just as obviously love the whimsical-while-still-elegant nature of Japanese creations. So, PingMag, "The Tokyo-based magazine about 'Design and Making Things'" obviously has me hooked hopelessly and forever in its clutches. It is yet another wonderful eye candy-filled site to consume what little free time I have left.

What may not be as obvious is that I had an impressive collection of pop-up books as a child that I ruined from over-use. To this day, I have only one book from my childhood collection—the only book that somehow managed to survive because it wasn't about monkeys or dinosaurs.

And so, I now present one of the best features I've seen yet on PingMag: Welcome to the amazing world of pop-up books!.

Miyazaki Knits

Flickr user elewa has some stunning Miyazaki-based knits on her photostream. Miyazaki is a master at creating breathtaking and inspiring animation that opens viewers' imaginations, so it's not surprising to see more and more crafts based from his most notable films. In fact, I look forward to seeing more Miyazaki-based crafts gorgeous enough to make me drool.

Fitted Knits

Maybe a week or two back, I joined the Fitted Knits Along. Despite never having done a blog knit-a-long before, it was a natural step since I've recently become crafty sensei Stefanie Japel's newest fangirl. I just can't get enough of her awesome patterns! And her book is seriously the first book I've ever knit a pattern from, let alone multiple. I'm pretty sure I'll end up knitting at least 80% of the patterns before the book falls apart from the countless times I've poured over its pages and licked each picture.

I've been working on her Airy Wrap-Around since early April, using Lane Cervinia's "Softer" in a lilac color. It's the same yarn the pattern calls for, and I believe it's also the same color shown on the model. The price is very reasonable, but I would probably look for a substitute if I had known how much "shedage" this yarn would produce. I actually had a woman stop me in the post office a week or two back who wanted to commiserate on how the weather here is so bad when it comes to dogs shedding their coats. I was dumbfounded for a moment, as my dog doesn't shed, until I realized my coat was covered in fine strands of mohair fiber.

Wrap Edge

I'm hoping to have this puppy done by this weekend, just in time for the sunny weather predicted for Saturday. I've already picked up the front stitches and am well on my way through the second 50" wrap, but the picture above is the first wrap. I made a few mistakes with the end, which you can read more about on my Fitted Knits Along post, The Errata is Your Friend. The post title says it all.