Sunday, April 30, 2006

Book Review: Wendy Knits: My Never Ending Adventures in Yarn

Yet another knit-blogger turned knitting book author, Wendy Johnson's debut knitting book, Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn, is a delightful translation of the author's popular knitting blog with the same name. Wendy's familliar, wry humor and unabashed passion for the craft of knitting shines through the page. Each chapter begins with a short narrative on a variety of topics such as, The Laws of Knitting, What Was I Thinking? Why a Sock, and There's no Crying in knitting. Then comes the 20 patterns that range from the most basic garter stitch washcloth to a lace shawl. You'll also find patterns for scarves, sweaters, and the ever popular, "Wendy's Toe-Up Sock Pattern," that can be adapted to any weight of yarn or needle size.

New knitters will be inspired by Wendy's infectious passion for the craft and seasoned knitters will be inspired by her breadth of knowledge and experience. Johnson's writing is fresh and funny. You may find yourself laughing out loud, and maybe even pick up some creative tips for squeezing in more knitting time. ISBN 0-452-28732-4; $14.00:212 pages: softbound

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Washington, D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet 2006 Has Been Cancelled

I have sad news to share. I am on the Board of Capital Crocheter and Knitters, Inc., and this decision was a difficult but necessary one. This is by no means the end of the Washington DC Knit Out & Crochet. Watch this space for news about next year's event.

This past fall we celebrated five years of Knit-Out & Crochet events on the National Mall. The Washington, D.C., Knit-Out & Crochet event began in the fall of 2001, and it has become a tradition. Through the years since that first D.C. Knit Out & Crochet in 2001, the event has been successfully planned and executed by Capital Crocheters and Knitters, Inc. (CCK) a small, non-profit group whose mission is to promote the education and art of knitting and crocheting and to enhance the communities that embody these crafts. CCK is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. The D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet was envisioned to be a free event where anyone could come and learn to knit or learn to crochet, see the fashion shows, charities, and the exhibitors, meet up with friends and sit on the lawn in the shadow of the Washington Monument and knit or crochet in the autumn sunshine. Their vision was to take a craft that was traditionally practiced at home in solitude to the streets where everyone could enjoy and appreciate the craft together in public.

As you might imagine, putting on an event of this scale year after year, raising the money to pay all of the expenses and somehow just barely breaking even, recruiting volunteers, organizing the exhibitors, the fashion show and the education program, is a tremendous amount of work. CCK has looked on it as a labor of love.

Each year the attendance at the D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet has grown exponentially from the first year’s attendance of approximately 1,000 attendees, to last year’s incredible 8,000 attendees, including the more than 1,300 people who learned to knit or crochet. The D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet has now grown beyond the point where this small group of volunteers can pull it off and present the same high quality event that our participants have come to expect.

Now we regret that after five years of arduous effort we have come to the heart-breaking decision to cancel the D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet for 2006. CCK’s plan is to take these next few months to regroup, raise more money and expand and strengthen our leadership team. We also plan to look to the yarn industry and other donors for increased financial and logistical support. We are taking a critical look at the event as it has been in years past, and see how we can transform and possibly re-invent it so that it can be a rewarding and enriching experience for everyone who participates.

We would be remiss if we did not take a moment and send a special thank you to all of our volunteers who each year step forward and offer to teach knitting and crochet, and to help make the D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet possible.

While this is disappointing news, we want to leave you with a positive message. The D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet will be back, and it will be better than ever. We know that there are other passionate, dedicated knitting and crochet enthusiasts out there, whose ideas and energy could help us as we move forward. If you are interested in joining with us to do the important work of shaping the new D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet event, please feel free to contact us and offer your services, or give a generous donation to ensure the continuation of this Washington, D.C. tradition.

To all of our supporters, volunteers and friends, thanks again. You will be hearing from us again with exciting news about the new D.C. Knit-Out & Crochet. Watch for us at

Capital Crocheters & Knitters, Inc. has moved!
Please update your records.

P.O. Box 41019
Bethesda, MD 20824

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mason Dixon Knitters in D.C.

On Thursday evening I attended the book signing/reading for Kay and Ann's fab new book, Mason Dixon Knitting, at Stitch D.C., my fave LYS. I imagine that now Marie has three locations, I must specify that it was held at the Capitol Hill location. It was standing room only, but I arrived early so I could get a comfy knitting spot on the funky, red leather knitting couch. I had a lovely time and met some awesome local knitters. I plugged my Capitol Hill Needlework Group, ate some delicious brownies and dispensed some advice about the importance of swatching. It can be dangerous when novice knitters find out that you're an expert because you end up giving impromptu lessons.