Giveaway: Win a Set of Woolove Blocking Mats

Woolove wants to give three podcast listeners set of blocking mats!

Woolove blocking mats come with blocking pins and a zippered case for storage. 

Woolove blocking mats come with blocking pins and a zippered case for storage. 

Winners announced!! Congratulations to Travis, Dea and Tabitha!!!

If you didn't win, you can still buy a set via Amazon. (Link)

I got a chance to test these out recently and I see myself getting a lot of use out of these.  There are a lot of advantages to using blocking mats instead of a big blocking board (or a bed with a bunch of towels spread out on it...) 

This sweater I made 10 years ago is going to another little boy for a second life.

This sweater I made 10 years ago is going to another little boy for a second life.

Flexibility - I have a great blocking board, but the size doesn't work when I make something like a shawl or with smaller items like kid sweaters. It is limited to the 30 x 48 size. With these mats I don't need to pull out the big board when I only need one mat for a small project or I can create one long mat for longer pieces.

Storage - The mats zip up tidily in the case so I don't have to worry about losing a piece or watching them fall from the shelves and make a mess. I can pick them all up with one hand when they are stored in the case and keep them neatly in my yarn closet. (Yes, I have a yarn closet. Don't you?) The set comes with a box of pins, so I can store those pins zipped in the bag with the mats.

My Wonder Woman wrap is too long for my regular blocking board.

My Wonder Woman wrap is too long for my regular blocking board.

Easy measuring - Other similar blocking mats do not have these 1 inch grid lines. Now, I can easily block to the measurement I need.

Affordable - For less than $40 the price is affordable. If you're not a lucky winner, put it on your wish list or treat yourself

 

Interweave

Life Gets in the Way

This week's podcast is a re-run and if you listen to the intro, you'll hear Staci and I explain how Hurricane Harvey is to blame. We are a 3-hour drive away from the major flooding, but it was such a big storm we had a wild weekend of rain and wind.

Skies are blue and clear by now, but everyone in Texas is a bit distracted and trying to figure out what we can do to help. If you're looking for a way to help, here is a great list of organizations

A scene from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey - in my dad's yard! 

A scene from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey - in my dad's yard! 

By now you have probably seen photos of the flooding. This is a photo from my dad's back porch. He is luckily safe and dry, thanks to his big yard and the landscaping that would take most of the water out before it hits their house. But, to give you an idea of how much more water this hurricane brought than ever before, the previous worst flood they ever had made it to those chairs under the trees. It's a little patio island with a fire pit and porch swing that is now under water. See a boat across the river and his boat house in the distance? That river had me nervous for a few days, but he kept assuring us they were fine (and finally sent a video to prove it). Today he sent a photo of completely empty shelves at the grocery store. 

Thank you for all your inquiries and well wishes. It's been a wild ride, but the stories that are coming out make us really proud to be Texans. If you've never been to Houston, it is a huge metropolis with people from all over the world living there. Houstonians cherish their diversity and to thrive in a huge city like that, you have to have a lot of can-do spirit. The generosity of neighbors has been overwhelming and with that many hands on deck, recovery should be strong.

We're back in the studio tomorrow, so send your questions to podcast@verypink.com and if you have an idea for a story email me at casey@kcknits.com. Thanks for listening!   
 

Knitting is for the birds and other creatures

This week on the VeryPink Knits podcast, we're replaying a "classic episode" as we take a short summer break, Do Chickens Need Sweaters? I spoke with a friend and bird expert on the need for (or lack of) for chicken sweaters. 

I made this woodpecker for Peter, our guest on the podcast.

I made this woodpecker for Peter, our guest on the podcast.

We knitters love to help creatures who need warmth. The idea for my interview with Peter came to me when I read about penguins who suffered from an oil spill in Australia. To keep them from picking at their oil-covered feathers while waiting to be washed, wildlife rescuers put tiny sweaters on them. This spill happened in the 1990s, yet, (thank you Internet) news of it spread all over the planet in 2014 when an older volunteer was profiled in the newspaper. Now, the foundation can't keep up with the sweaters being sent in by well-meaning knitters. How many times did your friends share that story with you on Facebook?

Please, do not knit more penguin sweaters.

This article from Atlas Obscura shares more about that story and other cases for knitting for animals. 

Today, I found another program that asked for knit and crocheted bird nests for orphaned baby birds. Guess what? They have way too many. Please, do not send anymore knit or crocheted bird nests.

Whenever you're knitting for a charity, it's best to always check to make sure there is still a need. The last thing we want to do is to create piles of bird sweaters and other items that no one needs. It becomes a waste of yarn and a stress on a non-profit organization.

And, if you're really into birds, why not knit a bird and give it to a bird-loving friend? Knitting stuffed animals is a great way to learn some shaping techniques. My son went through a phase when he loved birds after watching the movie Rio and playing Angry Birds. He has a fine collection of knit birds thanks to my mom and me. To thank Peter for the interview, I knit a woodpecker for him. He was so excited and says it has a special place in his office. 

Interweave Store