Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yarniacs tee-shirts!

In honor of our 4th Anniversay, we have decided to treat ourselves to some fun tee-shirts. We'd like to include you too! If you are interested in purchasing one of these shirts, here are the details. :)

The womens style shirts are Next Level style 6710, Triblend Crew, made of 50/25/25 polyester/combed ringspun cotton/rayon. They are thin and soft, thicker than "tissue" tees, but not thick or heavy like the "beefy" tees. Sizing charts viewable here.

The unisex style shirts are Next Level style 6010, Triblend Crew, made of 50/25/25 polyester/combed ringspun cotton/rayon. They are thin and soft, thicker than "tissue" tees, but not thick or heavy like the "beefy" tees. Sizing charts viewable here.

The shirts are dark grey with white ink.

Cost is $20, plus $5 shipping and handling. Gayle and I are going to be ordering and fulfilling the orders ourselves, meaning that we will submit everyone's orders at once, take delivery, and send them out. Be kind. :) We will be taking orders through the end of March, ordering the first of April, and fulfilling as soon as possible thereafter. I know it sounds like a long lead time, but we want to have a couple of episodes to announce them, and give folks time to order. And if Gayle and I are the only ones who want to wear Yarniacs shirts, that is okay too, LOL.

One note about sizing. We both felt like the shirts ran on the smaller side, so please check the measurements and order carefully. We won't be ordering extra shirts, so they won't be returnable. For reference, Gayle is pictured in the womens size large. (Ignore the text on the back of the shirt. This was a sample for size only. Our shirts will have the Yarniacs logo on front and no printing on the back.)

Payment can be sent to us directly via check or PayPal. If you would like to pay by check, PM us on Ravelry for details. If you would like to use PayPal, please PM us your PayPay email and we will send you an invoice.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Episode 110 - Knitting Interpretations

What are we wearing?
Hogwarts Express by Susan Ashcroft
Sharlene's Hogwarts Express
Neighborhood Fiber Company Rustic Fingering 
Razzle by Allie Coffey 
Gayle's Razzle

What are we stalking?
We are both stalking the Interpretations 3 collection by Joji Locatelli and Veera Välimäki.

We both want to make:
Breathing Space (pullover)
Heartfelt (cardigan)

Sharlene also likes:
My Everything (cardigan)
Expressive (shawl)

Gayle also likes:
Timeless Henley (pullover)
Tidalground (cardigan)
Peeping Cowl

If you haven't heard our chat with Joji, you can find it in the archives

What are we knitting?
Looking Ahead by Veera Valimaki
Sharlene is swatching Dragonfly Fibers' Pixie yarn in Morning Glories
Rhilea by Suvi Simola

Hoodie Shawl Cardigan by Susanne Sommer

What have we finished?
Sharlene's 4-corner hat
Fancy Cardi by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Fancy Cardi
Sharlene's Nakai shawl

Gayle ripped her Arabella and her Nature's Magic Hat
Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
Gayle's sport weight socks
Behind the Sun by Cate Carter-Evans 
Gayle used a hand-spun samplet kit from Infinite Twist
Her Scrappy hat used the leftovers from the kit

This episode of The Yarniacs Podcast is sponsored by JUL Designs
JUL Designs creates unique and artisan-made shawl pins and leather closures to complete your knitted and crocheted garments and accessories. Add style and versatility to shawls and garments with one of our handcrafted designs. We offer a gorgeous range of styles at different price points.  Take a look at our two newest and most delicate lace pins, the Alhambra and the Gesture and see the full range of products (including our stunning series of one-of-a-kind handmade leather bags!) at

The Self Indulgent KAL #SIKAL2016 ends the evening of March 20. Have you finished yours? Please post a photo in the KAL thread to be eligible for prizes!

With apologies to Astrid of Lazadas, we finally have used the Lazadas Knitting accessories: Super Flexible Knitting Blocking Wires, a very unique blocking wire for your hand knits.

Episode 110 audio

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Episode 109 - Knitlandia

What did we wear at StitchesWest 2016?
Nakahi Shawl by Francoise Danoy
Sharlene's Nakahi
Polaris by Hiroku Fukatsu
Sharlene's Polaris 
Newsom by Bristol Ivy
Sharlene's Newsom
Yowza Weigh It Shawl by Susan B. Anderson
Gayle's Weigh It Shawl
Twinkle Sock by Western Sky Knits 
3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli
Gayle's 3 Color Cashmere Cowl
Ecuador by Joji Locatelli
Gayle's Ecuador

This episode of The Yarniacs Podcast is sponsored by Dragonfly Fibers.

Rich saturated color. Bold interesting combinations; dare we say shocking hues? Dragonfly Fibers is your source for beautiful quality yarns and fibers. Dragonfly Fibers creates hand-dyed, artisan yarns and fibers in vivid and sophisticated colorways. We can be found in select local yarn shops around the world and at fiber festivals such as Rhinebeck, Maryland Sheep and Wool, Vogue Knitting Live, STITCHES and SAFF. Come see us at STITCHES South, March 31 - April 3. You can shop on our site 24/7 at Be sure to check out the link for our 2016 Club Dragonfly. Great designers, exclusive colorways and a bonus swag option! Discover why we say that Dragonfly Fibers is "The Colors of Happiness".

What are we stalking after StitchesWest 2016?
Castra by Anthony Casalena
Divvy by Annie Baker
Minthe by Anne Ginger
Woodfords by Elizabeth Doherty
Sharlene's Woodfords
Top Down by Elizabeth Doherty 
Sans Serif by Elizabeth Doherty

What were we knitting at StitchesWest 2016?
Fancy Cardi by Joji Locatelli
Merino-Silk Sock by Western Sky Knits
Sharlene's Fancy Cardi
Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
Gayle's Hermione Socks
Knit Picks Felici
Arabella by Ann McCauley
Stone Soup Fibers yarns

What have we finished?
Secret Cove Cowl by Rosemary Hill
Gayle's Secret Cove Cowl

We review Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes.
We were part of the blog tour for the book release. You can find our post here.

If you haven't previously heard our chat with Clara Parkes or want to revisit that episode, you can do so here.

Episode 109 audio

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World

I remember visiting Luisa Gelenter's La Lana Wools booth at Stitches West sometime in the mid-2000s. Though the novelty yarn scarf craze had run its course, there were still many booths showcasing frilly scarf yarns—some selling intensely colored jumbo sized plastic-wrapped packages at bargain prices that beckoned knitters to please take them home.

Peak time at the Stitches West marketplace often meant—and still means—crowded aisles and popular booths that were difficult to navigate. Stepping into the La Lana booth was like a breath of fresh air. Not only was there room to move about, but one felt inexplicably drawn to the baskets filled with tempting skeins in soft naturals, muted jewel tones, and pastels. Curly locks hung in hanks, while spinning fibers exploded from their packaging begging to be seen, felt, and spun. There were no bargain bags here, no quick-to-knit kits. The garments on display were masterpieces of color and fiber. Walking into the booth felt like walking into a cool hushed church, having pushed your way through the hoards of tourists outside in the plaza.

That feeling vanished though, once Luisa started telling me about the dyes, the fibers, the differences between the hand-spun and the mill-spun yarns. She spoke loudly and confidently, conveying the message that if I didn’t see the beauty and importance of her unique skeins, then I was free to move along. It wasn’t that she was unfriendly. But on the massive show floor that was Stitches West, I think she was out of her element, perhaps not quite sure how her one-of-a-kind wares fit.

In her latest book of travel memoirs Knitlandia: A Knitter See the World, Clara Parkes too mentions Luisa's “booming voice” that I remember, and the attitude that makes “everyone seem to step aside.” In the opening chapter entitled “Chasing a Legend in Taos,” Clara tells us of her visit to La Lana Wools. Feeling as if she is on shaky ground, Clara asks her tentative questions, hoping to hear Luisa’s stories, and to learn about the wool. Always the wool. Clara says one of Luisa’s favorite stories to tell involved a celebrity sighting with a twist—it’s the wool, not the celebrity that gets recognized.

ONCE UPON A TIME in a Taos, New Mexico, grocery store, a woman named Luisa Gelenter was going about her business buying food. Somewhere in the produce section, she felt a person standing too close. Inching away, she kept shopping, only to feel this person creep up on her again. Annoyed, she stomped off to another aisle. When the lurker soon reappeared, Luisa turned and snapped, “What do you want?” The words were barely out of her mouth when she recognized it was Julia Roberts. The movie star and avid knitter happened to be a big fan of Luisa’s work and was too shy to introduce herself.
Who knows how it really played out, but that’s the story Luisa loved to tell.
In the world of yarn, Luisa Gelenter was a legend. Using nothing more than water and select minerals, bugs, skins, branches, roots, leaves, petals, and powders, from knowledge she picked up in Bolivia in the early 1970s, she could transform natural fibers, such as humdrum wool and mohair, into vibrant, magical yarns for knitting, weaving, and other creative pursuits.

My friend Nancy still owns a little piece of La Lana. Or more specifically, several little pieces. She recently showed me an old work-in-progress that has many different yarns knit into it, several of them yarns from La Lana. The tags were long gone, so we couldn’t identify all the yarns, but it felt nice to touch and to hold a little piece of that history. Nancy used the La Lana yarns mixed with many others to make bags that I imagine softly color the lives of their users the way the skeins once colored the walls of the store from which they were purchased. Now that Luisa has passed on and La Lana Wools is no more, those remaining little bits and skeins are a bit of wool history to have and to hold in one’s hand, their colors remaining bright in memory.

- Sharlene

You can preview other chapters from Clara Parkes' Knitlandia on the blog tour here:

Wendy Bernard at Knit & Tonic
My Sister's Knitter
Mary Jane Mucklestone
Knit Circus

Coming soon:
March 4: Leethal
March 7: Tin can knits
March 17: Yarn Thing