THE KNIT SHOW: The Global Episode (knitting)

(energetic music) – Hey there and welcome
to The Knit Show. I’m Vickie Howell. Today we are focused
on all that is global in the knitting
and crochet world. That means yarns, community,
techniques and more. First up in the studio,
we’ll have my friend, owner of Knit
Collage, Amy Small. And she’s going to be talking
to us about this great project but also her yarns that
are made in conjunction with a co-op in India. From there we’re gonna
move over to Central Asia to see shepherds and
their cashmere goats. Then we’ll be back in the
studio with my friend, guest Paula Pereira, who’s
here all the way from Brazil. And she’s going to show
us how to make a sweater. But first up, we are going
to meet today’s Knit Hive. Hello! Welcome ladies and gentleman. We have a gentleman! (clapping) I’m so excited! It’s a big day here on
The Knit show, big day! So, Julia, so lovely
to have you here. So you’re crocheting and
I love that you do that. Do you knit and crochet? – I mostly knit. Crochet is kind of
hard on my hands, but this is a project for
my grandson, who designed it and asked me to do it and
it just seemed like a better thing to do in crochet. – So, I’ve heard that you
actually don’t use patterns at all. – Most of the time, no. – Because you were making
things for your grandchildren, or making things for kids,
and they were not into it, so you found a solution? – Yes. I have them make a picture. In fact, this one is… He didn’t color it. Normally they color
the picture in, but this is a
six-year old’s picture of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. So he drew that and then we
went on the internet and found a picture and I am
making it happen. This is the starting part of
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and it’s– – So, is it going to be a toy? Is it going to be a sweater? Do we not know until it’s done? – No, we know it’s
going to be a blanket. This is going to
go on a blanket. He’s chosen the background
fabric which is part of my belly-dancing fabric. It’s black on the back and the
front is silver holographic stuff, and this is going
to go on top of it. – You are so fun, I love it! – It’s going to be a
very strange, strange,
strange blanket. But, he’ll love it! – You know what’s awesome
about that, though, is that– I mean, there’s many things,
but he’s always gonna remember this experience and you’re
actually making a piece of his history. – Yes. – I love it, it’s
a collaboration. Well thank you so
much for being here. And Ken, so great
to have you here. What drew you to knitting, to
wanting to learn how to knit? – It’s something I wanted
to learn for a long time, but I didn’t know anybody
who knitted or crocheted, so I never got into it. And then I started getting
cramps or stuff in my hands and I figured it’d be good
therapy and it sorta is. And then I got hooked on it
and I just kept on doin’ it. – You said you didn’t know any
other knitters or crocheters. Do you now have a
community at all? – Well yes, we got
a small group– I’m in Killeen and a
small group up there, but as in the area
from Georgetown and
pretty much Dallas, there is nothing, but I
go to my local yarn shop in Georgetown
there, and there’s– – That’s still a
little bit of a hike. – [Ken] Yeah, but you
gotta do what you gotta do. But there’s a lot of
great people there, there’s knitting, always
willing to help and that helps. You know, if I was up by
myself, I may have quit a long time ago, but they always help you
out and keep you going and show new patterns
that you got to do. – Absolutely. Well we’re gonna give you a
few more that you’re gonna have to do today, I promise you. Dianne. – Yes ma’am. – You’re making
something right now. You told me before we got
started that you’re making a pumpkin hat, but you knit
for children or you teach children how to knit
for themselves as well. – Ironically we both
live in the same area, but today is the first
Ken and I have met. – Oh, that’s so interesting. I’m coming in because you
have a hair right there and we’re community. There we go. – But we live in different
knitting communities, so– – So you just met
here on The Knit Show? Bringin’ people together,
that’s what we do. – But I had started out
teaching at church and I thought it would be for adults,
but in the end it has been for children. – And are they, do they
get excited about projects and then move, and then
want to try something more, or are they just produce the
same thing again and again? – It’s a whole knit group deal. Originally it’s the
dish cloth thing, then we’re doin’
dolls and such, so… – You’re creating
community for them as well. – Yes, it is our little
knit group community. – Well that’s wonderful. Well maybe you three will be
a little knit group for a bit while I go and meet
our first guest! Sound good?
-Yes! Ok! My first guest in the studio
today is my friend and owner of Knit Collage and also the
host of the Collage Creative podcast, Amy Small. Thank you so much
for being here! – Thank you, Vickie. – I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled! Your yarns are so
unique and eye-catching, and they’re actually
made through a co-op
in India, correct? But a lot of times when people
think about sourcing stuff from India, there’s a lot of
sort of negative connotations to it, because of conditions
and that kinda thing. And this is something you’re
actually passionate about fighting against, correct? – Yeah, totally. So I have 13 ladies that
work for us and make the yarn all from hand. So in this technique that
I taught and trained them. So they have a rich history
of spinning yarn there but not in the crazy
way that we do it. So I taught them how to do that
and now they’ve been working for me for six years. So 13 ladies, the same 13. Yeah, so it’s really amazing. – What’s the
difference in spinning? I mean, I know we don’t
have a wheel to show you, but is it just a completely
different technique? Is it different equipment? – Yes, it is. So the way that Gandhi did
it, like is with his toe and his hand and a spinning
wheel, and it’s pretty wild. It’s on the ground and then
what we do is what you see probably all modern spinners
do on a double treadle spinning wheel. So that’s what we do and we
spin all these things into the yarn, which you
can’t do if you’re doing it Gandhi’s way. So I tried that, but I
was starting my business and it failed, it
wasn’t going to work. – You tried to keep that real
and you’re like, uh, sorry. – It wasn’t going to work, it
couldn’t with what I wanted to achieve, so we created– We just built it and created
ourselves and brought them the wheels, brought them the
carders and now they make it all there. So it’s this really
cool cottage industry that we’ve created there. – That didn’t exist before. Because you were telling me
earlier before we started that women aren’t necessarily
all that hirable in India. – Yeah, one thing I ran into
a lot when I used to design sweaters for Free People,
was that women were not hired in sweater factories
because they were viewed as undependable because
of the children, that they might
miss a ton of work. So that’s something we
really pride ourselves on, is having these awesome
women that work for us! – That’s so amazing. So let’s talk about what
makes your yarn special, because you absolutely know
that it’s a knit collage yarn if you see it on a shelf,
without even seeing a label. Especially these two that
we have in the front here. Will you tell us about them? – Yeah, so this is a rolling
stone yarn and it’s one of the first ones I
ever started out with. And it has all of these
things spun into it. So you’ll see these tiny
little paisley trinkets, I call them. But these are made in a
traditional Indian way on these mesh embroidery tables,
so it’s really cool. So most of the trims you see
in our yarns are actually made by the women that
we work with too. So even these little– These are knitted fringe
trims; we make all of those. There are braided trims. – That’s a huge process. – Yeah, we use recycled sari
silk and the rest is wool, sparkly Angelina fiber. So only things you can do when
you make something by hand. – Is there– Man, so do you have to
send some sort of prototype or are you spinning these first
and sending them over there? – Exactly.
Yeah. So I design the first
one of everything and that takes me a
long time to figure out and I come up with a recipe. And then I send them the recipe. It’s just like an Excel
file, it’s not that fancy, and then they make a first
proto, they send it back to me or they send me photos and
then we tweak it from there. And then if I want to
show them a new technique, I usually just make
a video and then– Because the internet,
it’s amazing! – This one to me, I look at
it and I think about India. The textiles, the printwork. – Yeah, so this is a
cotton whirl fabric. It’s super loosely woven
and lightweight and it’s all printed in the
traditional Indian prints. So I love just kind
of embracing that and bringing it back to their
culture and mixing the new and the old together, so– – Yes, that’s gorgeous. And we’re actually gonna be
applying some of your beautiful yarns to a really great
chunky show speesh– Ah, show speesh. Show piece, this scarf up here. – Yeah! So this is the
stripe story scarf. You can knit it with
basically any of our yarns. So really anything goes here. It might be a little wider,
skinnier, but it’s all going to be good. And what’s so cool is that
you make this really pretty vertical stripe pattern. Looks really complicated,
but it’s actually just a slip stitch and super easy to knit. – Well why don’t we show how
to make that pattern happen? – Yes, let’s dive in. So, the first two rows of the
pattern are just casting on and knitting a one by one rib. So I’ve already done
that; it’ll all be written in the pattern that’s
gonna come with the show. And you are going to
take your second yarn. So you’re knitting
this with two yarns. I’ve cast on in the
Spun Cloud yarn, that’s A, and then with the
Pixiedust yarn, which is B, you’re gonna slip the first
stitch then knit the second and you’re slipping
them all knit-wise. And you’re gonna need
to do this on a Size 35, which is my kinda knitting. Super speedy and fun. – Alright, and the pattern
for this project and every project from today’s episode,
will be on – [Amy] Awesome! So once I get to that last
stitch, I’m going to wrap the Pixiedust yarn around
my needle one more time and bring it to the front
and then slip the Spun Cloud with the Pixiedust
yarn in front. And then I flip it and
I’m gonna do my purl row. – What does the wrapping do? What’s the purpose of that? – So the good thing about
this is on your third row, you’re gonna knit these
two stitches together and that’s gonna
create a clean edge. So, important. – Oh, so you don’t get the
weirdness ’cause sometimes with slipping stitches
you get a kind of– It does this. – Yeah, you’re gonna get a
nice border of the gray stitch on either side, so the
gray yarn on either side. So it makes it look even. – That’s a great little trick.
– Yeah, it’s good. Let’s see, there’s a little
bit of a tangle, of course. Alright, so when you’re
working with the yarn and cord, tangles will happen. All we need is a cat
now and call it a day. – Yeah, exactly! Alright, so you’re going to
slip the first two stitches. So, the Spun Cloud yarn and
then that wrapped stitch and then you’re just gonna
purl every single time you see the Pixiedust yarn. – [Vickie] So on the purl
slide you’re slipping purl-wise and on the knit side
you’re slipping knit-wise. – [Amy] Exactly. Exactly. So you’re just gonna slip
the Spun Cloud yarn as you get to it across the whole row and it is as simple as that. And slip that last stitch. – [Vickie] And slip
the last stitch. – [Amy] Yeah. Okay, there we go! – So I trade you. And the next step… – The next step, so you’ve
just finished that Pixiedust pearl row and you’re
going to start with the Spun Cloud yarn again. So from where you left off. So what you’ll do is you’re
just going to, kinda in the same way you did the Pixiedust,
you’re going to knit the Spun Cloud stitches and
slip the Pixiedust stitches with the yarn in back. – [Vickie] So exactly the
same method, but just work all the way back.
– [Amy] Exactly the same. – So easy, so cool, it looks
a lot harder than it is. I love and definitely
a head-turning piece. Thank you so much, Amy,
you know I am a huge fan of your stuff. Thank you so much
for being here. You can get this pattern
on We are now going to head
over to Central Asia to see some shepherds
in Kyrgyzstan. – Do you ever wonder where
your fiber comes from? – [Voiceover] Come with us
on a journey to the center of the world to find the source of some unique cashmere yarn. The central Asian republic of
Kyrgyzstan is a small country, smaller than South Dakota,
that is farther away from an ocean than any
other place on earth. Landlocked and mountainous,
its rugged terrain borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, and China. And the fabled silk road winds
its way through the south of the country. Its isolated location and
challenging conditions have actually helped preserve
many of the ancient crafts and traditions that are
still practiced today. These include felt-making,
both decorative and functional, weaving and falconry in
addition to yurt making. Semi-nomadic shepherds tend
flocks of goats and sheep, staying in small, isolated
villages during the brutal winter months and transporting
and setting up their yurts to lush summer pastures in
the spring where their animals graze the hills all summer. It’s during the winter that
they embroider, spin wool, camel, yak and cashmere into
yarn, and weave the rugs and colorful decorative bands
they use to hold the structure of the yurts together. Felt-making is done mostly
in the spring when the sheep are shorn and the finished
felt pieces can be hung outside to dry. Kyrgyz villagers maintain
a lifestyle that is similar to how their ancestors
lived for centuries, except for the ubiquitous
cellphone that has made communications so much easier. The isolation imposed by
such remote locations, challenging roads and harsh
terrain and weather conditions, has bred a culture of
extreme hospitality. Guests are welcome into
the homes, rich and poor, and offered food and
drink, sometimes simple and sometimes lavish. There is always tea and
bread and often much more. Whether it’s homemade
jam, yak meat or fermented mare’s milk, it’s not
polite to refuse to partake. What makes Kyrgyz’
cashmere unique? Ironically, soft
luxurious cashmere comes from the harshest places. Extreme cold encourages the
growth of long, thick coats. The remoteness of Kyrgyz
villages and pastures and their isolation from
Soviet era mixed breeding, has preserved the native
goat, the Jaidari, leading to the potential
to produce high-quality pure cashmere. The cashmere that goes
into June Cashmere is combed, not shorn. It is sorted right at the
source and then sent to Europe for de-hairing, a process that
separates the coarse hairs from the fine cashmere down
and to England for spinning and then to Maine to be
dyed and wound into skeins. There are few places left on
this Earth where day-to-day life is so simple and close
to the earth and where the source of the
fiber is so traceable and is so connected to survival. Kyrgyzstan is one of them. – We are back in our studio
with a really dear friend of mine, Paula Pereira,
who was here all the way from Brazil. Thank you so much for
being here, my friend. – Thank you for having me. – I’m so thrilled
to have you here. I can’t believe that you
were willing to jump on plane and be here. What, is knitting a thing– Not is it a thing, but
is it popular in Brazil like it is here in the States? – Well, it is. Brazil is huge, right,
it’s a big country and once we have online things
like social media and stuff, then we can see there’s
so many people interested in knitting in Brazil, from the south to the
north, north-east. Of course, some parts of
Brazil are really warm and most of the people
start with crochet. – I was gonna ask that, ’cause
I always think of crochet bikinis when I think
of Brazil or whatever. – It’s true. And because of the Portuguese
influence, I guess, but there’s so many people
interested in knitting and in learn and
there’s tons of groups. There’s people that do workshops
like a mini Vogue Knitting, let’s put it this way. – Mini Vogue knitting,
like our conferences. Oh really?
– Yes, it’s true. Those brave woman, in my
opinion, they are really brave, they organize this in
Curtiba and in Porto Alegre, on the south. – That would be so fun to go to. – It is! It is really fun. And there’s lots of people. I go there every year
to teach classes. – But I actually met
you in the States, and you do a lot of designing
for American publications. How did that come to be? – Well, you know, this
was like a career. It became a career for me. So I came from marketing,
business, all this stuff and I was like, okay,
I’ll be a yoga teacher. Then, on my way, there
was a knitting store, then I start to have classes. And, I don’t know, I felt
there was something that really moves me, I really like it. And I say, “You know what? Let’s see how it goes.” And I give myself a few years then
I went to Vogue Knitting, the first one, and
all the other ones, and I have contact with other
knitters and famous designers and I say, “Maybe.” And I start to design
and loved my things and I say, “I will try, I will try
to do this like a professional thing,” and it’s happening,
I’m happy. (laughing) – It’s happening! It’s
more than happening. You’ve designed for
Kniti, you’ve designed for Pom Pom magazine,
Pom Pom Quarterly, and for us! So let’s talk about what
you’ve actually designed for us which is this great,
anybody-can-wear-it sweater. – Exactly. It’s a boxy sweater. You know, I think it’s
pretty popular and fits great on any body type or people. So, it’s pretty comfortable
and easy to knit. We start from the hems, so we
start knitting the back hem and the front hem,
then we join them. Then we knit until the
underarms and then we separate and we have a
pretty easy shaping. – One of the reasons that you
decided to go simple on this is because we’re using this
beautiful Malabrigo yarn– They’re a company from Uruguay. And when you’ve got a yarn
that the color striations that are like this one, you
don’t need to go complicated with the stitch, you really
just want to let the yarn shine. And that also makes it a
great project for beginners or really any level, because
it’s a simple sweater, but you’ve put some really
beautiful design elements on it. And that’s really what
we’re gonna focus on, are these really sweet items. So you’ve made up
a tiny version. – ]Paula] Yes, this is the– – [Amy] Sort of explain
this a little bit. – [Paula] Our baby version. So, like I said, we
start from the hems. We start knitting– – [Vickie] And the hems are–
Let’s show them this. So it’s a high-low hem,
which is just a really subtle detail that makes it different. – [Paula] It’s so
comfortable and beautiful. So we start to
knitting the back hem, then we go to the front. We join them and
there’s a small detail, maybe you can see here. When we join them,
we create like a– It’s almost like a cable or
a curved I-cord or something to prevent any ladders
here on the side. So it’s pretty cute
and something that
can be interesting for the more experienced
knitters, I guess. – Yeah, so really simple. So we’re going to really
just focus on these tiny differences that make it
so professional-looking. So you’ve started and we’re
working on smaller pieces just because it’s a lot of
fabric on camera to work on large sweaters. So this is gonna look a
little smaller than it would if you were making a
human-size sweater, or at least an adult
human-size sweater. (laughing) So, let’s get you set up. So what are we looking at first? – So now, there’s something
simple that you can use in tons of different things. We are making here, as you can
see, like a nice finishing, an I-cord. So we can see here, at the
beginning, and at the end– – So there’s some I-cord
detailing at the open portions, the slit side, and that’s
what we’re working on now. And she’s worked this in
a kind of a playful rib of one-by-one and it looks
like maybe a two by… – Yeah, two-by-two
and one-by-one. – And the instructions for
all of this will of course be on Alright, so, you just basically
worked all the way straight to the opposite end and
that’s where we are now. – [Paula] Exactly. So now, to create this
I-cord finishing, just slip the last two stitches, always. This is it. – Always slip the
last two stitches. So that makes that lovely
little detail at the band. So now we’re going to talk
joining in another round. – Perfect. So now we are joining the
front and the back hem. So you’re going to do something
nice and cute to create a circular I-cord
here, or curved I-cord. So we need a cable needle. So we are going to
slip these two stitches that we are just slipped. We place them on a
cable needle right here. You can remove the markers. And then we place this cable
needle parallel with the needle that have the back hem
stitches, right, like this. So now we are going to– Oops. Now we are going to knit
one stitch from each needle, so it’s like a decrease. We’re going to knit this
stitch from the back hem needle and one stitch from
the cable needle. So we are going to
knit them together. One. And then we are going
to do the same thing. We can remove this marker and
we start to knit from here. I just need a couple of stitches
so we can see the effect. And this is what we have. – [Vickie] And that gives
that beautiful sort of curve. I’ll show it in
mini version here. You can see that beautiful
curve, so professional and unexpected. – It’s true and avoids ladder. As we use a garment,
sometimes, this stretches. – [Vickie] So you get
a ladder from the– – Exactly. So look how– It’s cute and at the same time
prevents damage your garment or something like that. – Yeah, absolutely. And so from there, it’s
completely seamless. I just love it. We should just also note that
the sleeves are simply worked by picking up stitches around
and working them all together, so again seamless, which I love, because finishing,
not my favorite thing. The entire pattern with all
of the instructions for this and a bunch of other linky
goodness for Ms. Paula, will be on And up next, I show you a
tip using tips of my toes. So we’ve been spending
time today really focused on our global community,
which means we’ve seen yarns and different parts of
the world and even people that have traveled
from far to be here. And so I thought that it would
be really fun to also learn a technique that was
unique to another part of the world that’s not here. So our friends over at
Knitters’ Pride, or KnitPro, depending on where you are,
they sent over a technique for casting-on that is a
really unique to India. So I thought I would show
it and there’s a reason that I’m sitting here with
my feet up and no shoes on, and that’s because they
actually use their feet to control tension as
they’re casting on. So for this method, you’re
just gonna take your yarn and you’re gonna fold it
in half so it’s doubled. Now the amount, the length,
will depend on how many stitches you’re casting on, just as
it would if you’re using, say, like a long tail cast-on. You fold it in half and
then you’re gonna move down towards the end where the
tail is and you’re gonna make just a plain old slipknot. Okay. Once you’ve done that, you’re
gonna grab your needle, slip it on, and pull until
it’s firmly on there, but there’s still room to
slide it back and forth. Alright, here’s
where feet come in. So you’re gonna take the
working yarn, which is the yarn that’s attached to the ball,
and you’re gonna wrap it around your big toe. And you can play with this a
little bit to see what you want as you want this to be taut,
but you also want it to be at a place where you
can really work with it. So this is too long for me. So I’m just gonna pull
on this loop a little bit and get it situated. And I think that’s pretty good. So then we’re gonna take
the tails that are doubled and we’re gonna wrap
it around our thumb and our pointer finger. Then, you’ll find that you have
your little pinchers ready. So you’re gonna go in
and take the taut yarn and grab that single strand. So you’ll see right here
that you’ve got your loop that will be your new stitch, and you’re just gonna place
that loop on the needle. And then you pull the double
tail to make it tight. And you’re just gonna
repeat this whole process until you have as many
stitches as are called for in the pattern or that
your heart desires. And for now, because I
wanna show you how to knit, I’ll go ahead and stop, but
you could go potentially until you had a nice tail. From here, you can
take it off your toe, you don’t need the
tension anymore, and you could just
knit normally. So, I’m knitting all of the
stitches, just as I normally would, and the reason that
you would use this cast-on, is because it’s doubled
at the bottom so it would be really firm. So it’s gonna
leave a nice edging that’s not gonna
be inconsistent. But you wouldn’t want to
use it if you were making socks or mittens or anything
that needs to have any give. So you’re gonna knit
all the way to the end until you notice that your
slipknot is actually doubled because it was made
with that double strand. And you want to make sure
to knit those two stitches together as if they were one,
so that you’re not increasing. From here,
everything’s as normal. You’ll notice that all your
stitches are loaded as normal, as they normally would be, and that you only have
single loops on the needle. And that’s really
all there is to it. Super fun, a little
weird, which I love, and interesting. Alright, well that does it
for our trip around the world. Thank you for joining
us on the journey. Thank you as always
to my Knit Hive. And, I hope that you
enjoyed it and that you’re gonna wanna come back,
’cause our next episode is all about color. We are going to have
Koigu’s Taiu Landra We’re also gonna have the
super-hot and amazing designer, Andrea Mowry, and a bunch of
other really great garments for you. Until then, please make
sure to take a little time to be creative. Breathe in, knit out. (guitar music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *