Going Green (and Blue, and Yellow, and Purple): The Secret Life of Natural Dyes
by Lela Nargi
Before I was much of a knitter, I was an avid purchaser of yarn. Namely of Vermonter Jamie Harmon’s lush, variegated skeins of merino/angora, which, in mid-1990s New York, were sold exclusively by Linda La Belle at her Brooklyn shop, The Yarn Tree. I found the colorways of the skeins irresistible, with their seafoam greens and berry reds and lively blues. At that time, even as I hoarded twist after luscious twist, I lacked the vocabulary to describe their appealing qualities. Now I know that I was lured by the extraordinary vibrancy and depth of color that can only be achieved by natural dyes.
Shaping in Pattern
by Sandi Rosner
Many of our favorite designs feature an allover pattern—lace, cables, or some other interesting texture. When the time comes to shape the waist, armholes, or neckline, you are expected to maintain the established pattern in spite of a changing stitch count.
In this issue, we’ll take a detailed look at how to maintain a lace or cable pattern while increasing or decreasing.
by Mindy Weisberger
In the fall of 2011, a New Zealand oil spill sparked a chain reaction of frenzied knitting activity. A local yarn store posted an urgent call for penguin sweaters to warm the affected birds and prevent them from nibbling the oil off their feathers. In less than a week, knitters from around the world had crafted and delivered far more sweaters than there were penguins. While there's nothing new about activist knitting, over the last decade the Internet has become an important factor in connecting urgent causes and eager activists, allowing today's fiber warriors to quickly find each other and respond more creatively and enthusiastically than ever. By applying their flying fingers to unlikely patterns, and constructing sometimes-unusual objects, they address challenges that are social and environmental.
Swatch It! Fall 2012
by Clara Parkes
I'm always intrigued by the juncture of dissimilar materials. Take water and oil, for example. Initially they refuse any contact, but if you put both in a jar and shake vigorously, they'll quickly amalgamate into a far more friendly blended material.
by Fiona Ellis
For centuries, paisley patterns have wound their way in and out of fashion favor. The swirling, stylized teardrop shape borrows its English name from a small town just outside of Glasgow, Scotland, but its origins are a wee bit more exotic. Taking root in ancient Babylonia (where it decorated everything from plates to palaces) and moving west with the East India Company in the form of luxury shawls that became a status symbol for the stylish women of the Napoleonic era.
by Sandi Rosner