Celebrate Fall by Knitting-A-Long with Guest Blogger and STC Craft Author Katie Startzman

Hello! I’m Katie Startzman, author of STC Craft’s The Knitted Slipper Book. I blog at Duo Fiberworks with my twin sister Laura Poulette. Thanks to STC Craft for inviting me to guest post here!

We will soon be deep into slipper season—blustery, gray days and downright cold starlit nights. As someone who delights in making and wearing slippers, I look forward to this time of year. It’s an opportunity of pile on the handknits, make lots of soup, and catch up on my reading by the woodstove. But we’re not quite there yet. Here in Kentucky, we still have a good long stretch of crisp Fall weather ahead of us, and the layers I put on in the morning get peeled off as the day warms up.

To celebrate the changing seasons, I wanted to do a knit-a-long that featured a pair of slippers that would be a good fit for this transitional time of year. The Cotton Loafers from The Knitted Slipper Book are shoe-like slippers that are made from soft organic cotton and rustic jute twine. They’re my knitted mash-up of boat shoes, espadrilles, and loafer moccs. They feature functional leather lacing, and the thick jute sole is sturdy and comfy.


I’ll be hosting the knit-a-long on my blog, over the next two weeks. In a series of posts, I’ll share tips and tricks to knitting these quick-to-finish, stylish slippers. You can view the first post here. Since many folks are unaccustomed to knitting with jute, I’ll also be sharing a free pattern that combines the cotton and jute to make a mini-tote.

Thanks to Blue Sky Alpacas, we have giveaways planned too—a sweet kit of organic worsted cotton yarn, jute, and a hand-stenciled canvas project bag made by yours truly.

**To enter the giveaway here, leave a comment between now and Friday, September 26 sharing something that you love about this time of year.** The winner will be announced on Monday, September 29.

Be sure to join us at Duo Fiberworks in the coming days to knit with us and for a chance to win a kit over there too. Here’s the schedule:

Monday, September 22:      Inspiration and design

Thursday, September 25:    Knitting the jute sole, project kit giveaway begins.     
Monday, September 29:      Knitting the slipper upper: Also share free pattern for the Bird Nest Mini-Tote

Thursday,  October 2:         Seaming and finishing details, announce giveaway winner

A Knitter Gives Back: A Guest Blog Post from Leigh Radford of Portland, OR

Leigh Radford is the author of three STC Craft books: AlterKnits, AlterKnits Felt, and One More Skein. She is also the author of One Skein. Leigh and I have been friends ever since we worked together on Interweave Knits magazine. Always generous, she recently completed a beautiful, colorful community knitting project. When I heard about it, I asked her if she would write a guest blog post for us and she--generously--agreed.


Above: Albers Stash Blanket, a field of knitted dreams for the Portland community (photo here and below by Beth Conyers).

Knitting is one of my favorite activities.  What began as a childhood hobby has transformed into a career that continues to evolve.

In May 2011 I completed 3-1/2 years of study and earned a bachelor of fine art in craft degree from Oregon College of Art and Craft. The time I spent at OCAC was amazing and, frankly, very self-absorbed. When I finished I took time to reflect on the support I had received from my friends and family and also from my community.

I feel fortunate to have grown up in Oregon and to make my home in Portland. I love living here. The environment, the people, and yes, even the rain--it all feels like home to me. I wanted to give back in some way that would benefit the community that helps nurture my creativity and I wanted to reconnect with people outside of the art school campus.

While pondering possibilities, I thumbed through a copy of One More Skein, the book I finished writing during my first semester back in school. I stopped when I reached the Albers Stash Blanket. I designed this project to celebrate my love of color and my desire to artfully use leftover yarn in my stash. I knew that this project could easily be worked on by a group of knitters--the perfect way to reconnect and give back, and it was right under my nose!

I posted the pattern on my Facebook page and asked  knitters to send me completed panels to assemble into blankets that I would donate to three Portland nonprofits: Cascade Aids Project, p:ear, and Raphael House. Alternatively, I asked them to coordinate similar efforts in their own communities. 

Lantern Moon generously donated knitting needles so that I could start multiple panels and then hand them off to other knitters to complete. I love that this was a joint effort—a community of those who love to knit working together to create something for others. As the deadline approached, I found myself lurking around my mailbox each day to see if a new panel might arrive.

The Albers Stash Blanket is a simple project and versatile enough to incorporate into my daily routine. I brought panels with me to meetings and social events. As I worked a panel, I eagerly anticipated choosing the next color. Sometimes I found myself knitting faster so I could get to it. 

This spring I proudly delivered four blankets to the chosen organizations on behalf of everyone who contributed their time and talents: Michele Lee Bernstein, Linda Blum, Anne Bressler, Jody Creasman, Close Knit, Erin Derr, Liz Hawthorne, Christie Heinonen, Sue Hill, Laura Irwin,  Loretta Kelly, Debbie Kenyon, MaryBeth Lynn, Aileen Mann, Tamsyn Mihalus, Kristin Spurkland, Twisted Yarn Shop, Laurie Undis, Cathy Woodcock, and Sharon Woodcock.

I began this project thinking I was the one giving a gift.  In truth, I feel like I have received one. This project created an opportunity for me to spend time with friends, old and new, and to learn more about three local nonprofits and how I can participate in them in a positive way going forward.

I continue to find inspiration within my Portland community and ask that you think about how you might use your time and talent to connect with others in your community as you reach for your knitting needles to work another row of stitches.

Above: Leigh puts finishing touches on the four blankets donated by the community. 

Tell Us: Who Inspired You to Knit? A Guest Post from Larissa Brown

The second-ever Sock Summit was held in my home town of Portland, Oregon, last week, and it was the most joyful gathering of knitters I've ever seen. From flash mobs to fleeces, the convention center was overflowing with creativity and stuff. A huge marketplace showcased a world of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns from the tiniest dye company to Blue Moon Fiber Arts itself. I was introduced to MacKintosh Yarns and Black Trillium for the first time, got samples of gorgeous buttons from Lantern Moon, and made notes about several new yarns, including my favorite of the weekend—a linen-esque recycled denim from Kollage. A highlight of the summit was the final morning, when darling lambs were herded into the convention center and sheared onsite for the start of the Fleece to Foot team spinning and knitting race.

I was attending the Sock Summit for fun, but also as the excited author of a very new book, My Grandmother’s Knitting. The book features family stories, and even baby pictures, from 17 top designers. The book honors the people who made us the crafters we are today.

Looking around at the 6,000 summiteers, I figured that amounted to at least 6,000 inspiring teachers and mentors. I managed to capture the names of about a hundred of them, by asking 100 knitters to hold up signs.

It was kind of an odd request, and I’m shy, so I recruited my friend to approach those hundred people. Stevanie (of Pico AccuardiDyeworks) worked the room with a big stack of white paper and a fat black Sharpie. The assignment: Write down who taught you to knit or who inspired you. Then smile big for the camera.

So many people joined in, from the famous to the amazingly anonymous, it was impossible to get all their names. But I have recorded “on flim” the names of those who came before them, who inspired and nudged and supported them. Or in many cases, I have a smiling photo of someone who taught themselves to knit (there were lots of signs that said “Me!”)

Just a few proud knitters seen below include Clara Parkes, Emily from Portland’s Twisted yarn shop, Gryphon (of The Sanguine Gryphon), Shannon Okey of Cooperative Press with her sweet purple hair, Benjamin Levisay, designers Marnie MacLean and Star Athena, and bon vivant Franklin Habit. A highlight for me was taking Joan McGowan-Michael’s photograph with a sign honoring “her dear mom” Angelina, whose story and photograph are featured in My Grandmother’s Knitting. As I took Joan’s picture I could feel her love for her late mom. You can see her in the center of the mosaic. 

The photos are now on Flickr and Facebook, where more are joining them each day. Knitters from all over the world are adding their own.

All that is missing is you.

We’d love to get 1,000 knitters posting their photos on Flickr and Facebook by the time the book hits stores on September 1.

Please get out some paper and a Magic Marker and take your photo and the photos of your friends. We’d love to see your face and the name of that special person, and we’d love to know if you blog about it, Tweet it, or Facebook it.  There were 6,000 knitters at the Sock Summit. There must be at least ten times that number who have a special person to honor, right? Show us!

See the project on Flickr.

And on Facebook.


Spring Chickens and A Knitter's Home Companion

Michelle Edwards, author of A Knitter's Home Companion, lives in Iowa City. Like many crafters, she finds inspiration in her everyday surroundings. The idea to knit chicken egg warmers was hatched during one of her visits to Fae Ridge, a nearby fiber farm beloved by local yarn enthusiasts.

Of all the projects in her book, Michelle's chicken egg warmers might be the gosh-darn cutest. Boldly colored, with bright eyes and tiny beaks, these wooly birds make for playful guests at any breakfast table. 

And elsewhere. To celebrate the release of A Knitter's Home Companion, Iowa City craft shop Home Ec. is decorated with a brood of chickens made by local knitters.

What a wonderful way to be welcomed to the neighborhood.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend,

The STC Craft Team

Quilting for Peace--About the Cover and Getting Involved

We looked at a lot of cover variations before we chose a design for Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell. We knew we wanted the cover of this book to be related to the cover to the first book in the series Knitting for Peace, but didn't feel like it needed to be identical. More than anything else, we wanted the cover to catch people's attention so that they would pick it up, and then feel inspired to quilt for good causes.

The cover above (a runner-up) features the Sawtooth Star Quilt, designed according to the guidelines of Quilts of Valor, an organization devoted to making quilts for veterans.

This multi-image cover (another runner-up) features (from left to right) a detail of an Easy, Striped Baby Quilt adapted from a pattern by Binky Patrol Founder Susan Hinch; the Sawtooth Star Quilt (see above); Mirabel the Owl, a softie made following a design by Softies for Mirabel founder Pip Lincolne; and a Recycled Sleeping Bag adapted from the Sleeping Bag Project pattern.

This is the cover we chose. It features the Preemie Pinwheel Quilt, adapted from a Quilts for Kids pattern.

 To see a few interior pages of this book, click on the book cover in the right margin. To learn about STC Craft's Quilting for Peace campaign, click here.

Quilting for Peace Campaign

To celebrate the publication of Quilting for Peace by Katherine Bell and to, hopefully, help to spread some goodness, we are happy to be launching our new Quilting for Peace Campaign. To find out all about it, click on our Quilting for Peace widget at left. Whether you're new to quilting or an experienced quilter or don't quilt at all (yet) but are curious, please check it out.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ---Anne Frank

Leslie H Reports from Sock Summit 09

I'm sure you've all heard by now (you who are knitters, crocheters, sock fetishists, or merely curious Portlanders wondering who the heck was cramming up the Voodoo Donuts line) the sighs and fond reminiscing about the first-ever Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon, the weekend before last. Even while vacationing, way up in the mountains on Peak #7, the following week, I heard the reverberations of that once-fabled Sock Summt, where socks from far and wide came to mix and mingle, share deep thoughts, and seek beautiful new patterns.

And, of course, to boldly go where no socks have gone...

Oh, who am I kidding? It was all about the donuts for some knitters. Here is Amanda from Lorna's Laces, with Natalia Apple of the  Purls Beyond Price blog, noshing on what looks like a Fruit Loop donut and maybe just a chocolate-glazed.

Let's contemplate the maple bacon donut...which I, fair-weather vegetarian, bit into, only to feel both joy and pain in a single delicious moment.

But nevermind the donuts, no full Sock Summit day could've been started without a deliciously smooth cup of Portland's finest brew, and so I started out my mornings religiously at the counter of Red Square Cafe. Thanks to our amply stocked supply closet back at the office, I also left them with a few packages of our Greetings from Knit Cafe coffee sleeves. I got around to a few other hip spots as well...

...including Powell's Bookstore cafe, and even the Convention Center's Starbucks. Cha-ching!

Mmm, now that we're fueled to the max on virtual sugar and coffee, let's have a look at some of the beautiful booths (and booth people) who helped us sell our STC Craft creations: the brand-new Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner (displayed with samples of the socks , which folks just loved!), and the STC Craft classic-to-be, Knitalong, by Portland gal Larissa Brown.

Thanks to the wonderful Sandy Kay of Knit Purl...

...the lovely (and lucky) Shannon of Twisted...

...John (way back there selling!) of Village Spinning and Weaving...

...Dawn and pal of Fiber Rhythm Craft and Design...

...the folks at the Cherry Tree Hill Yarn booth,and Lisa of the popular Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks booth, where Judy Sumner spent most of her Marketplace hours.

Our books and authors got out to the knitting shops around town as well. Here's Judy Sumner signing stock at the lovely Close Knit (while the talented Nancy of the blog Getting Purly With It winds yarn and shows off her handknitted flowers)...

...and here's Judy enjoying conversation at the local designers party at Knit Purl.

Local STC Crafters Leigh Radford (One More Skein, AlterKnits, and AlterKnits Felt) and Larissa Brown (Knitalong) enjoy the party with friends...

...and (yay!) even a random cute boy gets lured into the mix!

Next highlight of the night...this crowd at Powell's Books' "A Night For Knitters"! Around 80 people!

Judy was a natural on the stage! Inciting laughter, curiosity, and even sympathetic awww's when she talked about having to reknit some socks because of color issues. Of course, the crowd also loved looking at the socks from the book closeup.

Larissa Brown got a chance to talk about her book, and her fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, the Knitalong Barn Raising Quilt Raffle, which ended up raising $600 (here are a couple of the gorgeous quilts, hanging out with Larissa at the Sock Summit author signing earlier that day).

By the time the authors finally finished with the line (and signing the massive amount of stock piled up for them), it was nearly time for bed...and for dreams of the next morning's Barbara Walker lecture. Now, I really didn't know much about Barbara Walker before this trip (I'm pretty new to knitting), so I just sort of expected to be sitting there politely, trying to stay awake while knitting my first sock ever. But seriously! This woman is hilarious and super-engaging, and she's done everything! Modern dance! Square dance! Feminist writings! Tarot card designs! And I so want to read her book The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets.

Well inspired, Judy and I headed off to Knit Purl once again, for Judy's Japanese sock technique classes, where everyone had a blast!

After such a busy two days, it was back to the hotel for Judy, who was finally feeling the effects of nonstop hobnobbing! I headed back to the convention to take random pics of this curious yarn culture!

Oh, and here are some crazy people posing with me. They claim to be my parents.

No, really, my folks surprised me and hopped a plane from Sacramento to Portland! Somehow they wrangled their way into the Marketplace, which they quite enjoyed! My mom bought giant glitter needles even though she doesn't knit, and my dad stood around commenting on the funny knitted hat/wigs he saw.

Eventually the parental units left to go dine at some place called Burgerville, and I moved on to the Ravelry party! I was pretty beat by this point, but I spread some STC Craft love about, and took in the awesome site of hundreds and hundreds of Ravelrers moving and shaking (and of course, knitting and crocheting) and winning raffle prizes from the fun-loving Ravelry mavens.

Sunday! Last day of the Sock Summit, and I got to experience the Luminary Panel. Did you know that Barbara Walker invented SSK? Did I know what SSK was? No. I've since learned that it stands for slip slip knit, and it's a way of decreasing and making your sock or whatever get narrower. One day I'll SSK like the best of them here: Cat Bordhi, Nancy Bush, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Lucy Neatby, Deborah Robson, Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, Anna Zilboorg.

Look! A Luminary attendee is covering up with the Knitalong quilt they won. Nice! (Thanks to Mary-Heather of Rainy Day Goods for this great pic!)

And the closing ceremony cake? Well, I ran away before I could get near it. Toooo many dooonuuuts!!!!

Aside from all the extra calories and caffeine, this Sock Summit was an amazing endeavor and a fantastic success. I, for one, am really looking forward to next year's summit, where we will "sock it to 'em!" yet again. Thanks for reading!


Where Will STC Craft Be at the Sock Summit?


The question is, where won’t we be?! From all over the Sock Summit Marketplace, to the world famous Powell’s Books, to knitting stores all around Portland, Oregon (and yes, definitely stopping by Voodoo Donuts!), STC Craft will have holes in our socks by the end of this exciting weekend! Stalk us via our sock trail below, or follow us on Twitter @ STC_Craft to get up-to-the-second updates on what we’re up to!

Can't make it to the Sock Summit? Don't be sad! We've got something to keep you busy as well. Etsy has partnered with us to offer a complimentary copy of the Tatami Socks pattern from Knitted Socks East and West (shown above).  Click here to download.



7-9pm: Sock Summit Opening Ceremonies, Introductions, and Reception

Mixin’ and minglin’ with the teachers, organizers, and, ohh . . . just thousands of knitters. Someone is going to get their knitwear snagged for sure!



8:30am-1pm: Sock Summit Marketplace @ Abundant Yarn Booths 506 and 508

Larissa Brown will be signing her book, Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together and raffling blankets for the Knitalong Barn Raising QuiltFundraiser for Doctors Without Borders.

11am –noon: Close Knit 2140 NE Alberta Street (corner of 22nd and Alberta); 503-288-4568

Book-signing and trunk show with Judy Sumner, author of Knitting Socks East and West, a compilation of 30 sock designs inspired by stitch patterns from Japan, most of which have never been seen by Western knitters until now. So many beautiful socks to fondle!

1:30-4:30pm: Sock Summit Book-Signing (Hall A1)

Larissa Brown will be signing copies of Knitalong, alongside knitting greats such as Cat Bordhi, Clara Parkes, Amy Singer, Barbara Walker. and many more!

6-9pm: Knit Purl 1101 SW Alder, (503) 227-2999

Portland Designers Showcase: Mix and mingle with local knitwear designers, including Larissa Brown and Leigh Radford—author of AlterKnits, AlterKnits Felt, One Skein, and the upcoming One More Skein. Cocktails are rumored to be here. Ooh, and do check out their site; they’ve got all kinds of fun things planned for this weekend!

7:30-8:30pm: Powell’s Bookstore 1005 W. Burnside Ave.

A Night For Knitters: Book-signing and Q&A with Judy Sumner, author of Knitted Socks East and West, and Larissa Brown, author of Knitalong. A night, and a bookstore, not to be missed!


8:30-10:30am: Sock Summit Marketplace @ Abundant Yarn Booths 506 and 508

Larissa Brown will be signing Knitalong and raffling blankets for Doctors without Borders

9am: Sock Summit Lecture (Room: C123 (AV) (L))

Attending the lecture, “How I Became a Knitter” with the prolific and inspiring Barbara Walker 

11am-noon: Close Knit 2140 NE Alberta Street (Corner of 22nd and Alberta); 503-288-4568

Book-signing and Knitalong Trunk Show with Larissa Brown

Noon-1pm / 1:30-2:30pm (same class twice): Knit Purl 1101 SW Alder; 503-227-2999

Judy Sumner, author of Knitted Socks East and West, will be teaching a workshop on four different Japanese stitch patterns used in her book. Call to register. Fee of $35 includes a signed copy of the book.



1:30-4:30pm: Sock Summit Luminary Panel (Oregon Ballroom)

Rubbing elbows and needles with knitters who’ll be ga-ga for these folks 

And…be sure to scout out the following booths for signed copies of both Knitalong and Knitted Socks East and West!

Abundant Yarn: Booths 506 and 508

Close Knit: Booth 214

Knit Purl: Booth 1022

Knitwear and Dyeworks: Booths 801 and 803

Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design: Booth  307

Village Spinning & Weaving: Booths 901, 903, 1000, 1002

Twisted: Booth 812

Cherry Tree Hill Yarn: Booths 715, 717, 719

Hope to see you there. Remember, to follow our tweets @ STC_Craft!

Weekend Knitting Getaway Giveaway


Very exciting news! The amazing Clara Parkes of Knitter's Review and STC Craft are teaming up for a very special giveaway to celebrate the release of Weekend Knitting in paperback and the beauty of taking time off to knit and learn new knitting skills with friends.

Clara has been hosting an annual knitter's retreat every fall for the last eight years. And this year's gathering, which will take place November 20, 2009-November 22, 2009, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is sure to be wonderful with Clara and a great group of teachers--Karthryn Alexander, Anne Hanson, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes--leading the way. To learn more about the retreat, click here.

Now, here's the exciting part. STC Craft has one retreat package to give away. That means that one lucky winner will have his or her retreat expenses covered: to be specific, the cost of all classes and activities, two nights' lodging in a private room, all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast, snacks and beverages throughout the weekend, plus all taxes and gratuities, will be covered. In addition, the winner will receive a copy of the new Weekend Knitting paperback in a gift basket in his or her room. The cost of transportation to/from the event is NOT covered.

To enter, in the Comments section below, tell us which STC Craft book you would like to cuddle up with (or craft from) this weekend. To see all of our books, click on the online catalog at right. On or about July 22 at 9:30AM (EST), we will choose one winner in a random drawing from all eligible entries received and send him or her email notification. The winner will have 24 hours to respond; if that doesn't happen, we will choose a new winner, who also must respond within 24 hours of notification. Note that the official registration for Knitter's Review Retreat 09 opens on Friday, July 24 at noon (EST) and fills within minutes, so if you don't win and are interested in going, you'll need to act fast.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years or older as of date of entry. Sweepstakes ends at 9:29:59AM ET on 7/22/09. Visit www.abramsbooks.com/Weekend_Knitting_Getaway_Giveaway.html for full official rules. Void where prohibited.

Knitting in Public

(Photo from KnitKnit)

There's a lot going on for knittters this weekend. In addition to The National Needlework Association (TNNA) convention in Columbus, OH, it is Worldwide Knit in Public Day, which, despite its name, is actually two weekend's worth of public knitting events around th world (6/13-6/14 and 6/20- 6/21).

I'm likely to be knitting in public at the airport on my way to Columbus for TNNA. At this trade show we are showcasing all of our knitting titles and also introducing our Fall 09 titles to yarn shop owners and others in the industry.  If you can't be there, but are curious, here's the scoop: For Fall 09, we are publishing Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr, One More Skein by Leigh Radford, and Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. To see sample interior spreads, click on the book covers at right.

If you will be at TNNA, you can see all of this in person at the book distributor booths and, if you like, you can meet Kristen Rengren, author of Vintage Baby Knits, and I at our book signings. Here is the schedule:

Saturday, June 13

4PM: Melanie Falick signing Weekend Knitting (new paperback edition) at R&M West Coast booth

4:30PM: Kristen Rengren signing Vintage Baby Knits at Unicorn booth

Sunday, June 14

11AM: Kristen signing Vintage Baby Knits at R&M West Coast booth

11AM: Melanie signing Weekend Knitting at Checkers booth

2:45: Kristen signing Vintage Baby Knits at Checkers booth

Knitalong Barn Raising Quilt Fundraiser

(Photo by Michael Crouser from Knitalong)

Larissa Brown, co-author of Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together, has organized a wonderful fundraiser for Doctors without Borders. To participate, all you need to do is knit one sqaure (or more if you like) of the Barn Raising Quilt (shown above) and send it (them) to Larissa by June 9. A team of volunteers will join all of the squares she receives and then auction or raffle off the finished quilts during the Sock Summit in August.  For more information about the fundraiser (including the pattern--if you don't have the book--and a mailing address for the squares), click here.



To read about our new book Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown, click here.

To see a gallery of some of the 20 projects in Knitalong, click here.

To read a Q&A with the authors, click here.

To download our Knitalong Kit, a guide for individuals who are considering organizing their own knitalongs, click here.

(Photo above courtesy of Library of Congress/from Knitalong Chapter 1: Hanging Out)

Swedish Heartwarmer on Ravelry


I was very happy when I found out yesterday that a knitalong for Priscilla Gibson Roberts's Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl from Handknit Holidays is starting on Ravelry. It's such a stunning project but definitely one that requires dedication. What better way to stay focused than with a little help from your friends! If you're not a member of Ravelry yet, don't be intimidated by the waiting list--they process new memberships amazingly quickly.

I Love the Kids' Books


Sometimes people ask me which of the STC Craft books I like best, a question I cannot answer. In part, this is because I need to be diplomatic. But, more than that, this is because I believe that each book is unique and special in its own way. It sounds sappy and maybe like a cop out to some people, but it's true.



KidsCrochet-200.jpgStill, there are a few books that I think are especially important, and those are the three books in our kids' crafting series--Kids' Embroidery by Kristin Nicholas, Kids Crochet by Kelli Ronci, and Kids Weaving by Sarah Swett. These books teach all of the basics and also a little bit about how crafting fits into cultural history.



KidsWeaving-200.jpgIf you know children who like to make things with their hands, I hope you will check out these books, and, if you have some extra time over the holidays, do some crafting together. I believe that when we teach kids these skills, we are giving them a gift that will last their entire lives (sappy but true, once again).


Knitting in Uganda

Last night I spent a long time on the telephone with Judy Gigliotti, the photographer whose beautiful images of flowers and knitting needles grace the Greetings from Knit Cafe Journal and Note Cards.














Judy was telling me about a completely different endeavor she's involved in: working with the Abayudaya--a small community of Ugandan Jews who are struggling to survive. Judy and her sister recently traveled to Mbale, the village in Uganda where the Abayudaya live, and spent two weeks helping to organize a medical clinic and teaching women how to knit. Judy reports that the women were joyful in their lessons (and in their daily lives generally) and will, hopefully, be knitting well enough soon to start making blankets that will be sold for them in the United States. Here are some of Judy's photos, some of which are being made into note cards that will also be used to raise funds for the Abayudaya.





If you are interested in learning more about Judy's work with the Abayudaya, which is organized through the Institute for Jewish and Community Research in San Francisco, email her at judithgigliotti@gmail.com.