I’m not the sort to make the bed.  I really have a hard time seeing the point.  My bed is not a decorative object, it is an object of use.  Making the bed makes it prettier, but less useful.  I’m opposed to this on philosophical grounds (it’s the same objection I have to many of the world’s more ludicrous shoes…they may make me prettier, but they also make me less useful).  I’m also deeply lazy.  So I more or less never make the bed.  I did, shockingly, make an exception for the new duvet covers.  Just this once mind you.

It was more or less instantly claimed by Kitten Overlord Barry.

Completely gratuitous cute kitten shot.

But lest you get any unfounded notions about the general state of my housekeeping, this is what it will usually look like.



Barry and Levon would like you to know that they, too, are making contributions to the current sewing project.  They’re doing their very best to fuzz up the place.  They are quite effective.

And Mr. Random Number Generator would like you to know that Leslie has won Rachel’s lovely book.  Thanks to everyone who entered, and special thanks to Rachel for making such fantastic socks!

Let Me Help You With That

Like many of the designers I know, I very very rarely buy pattern books.  Part of this is because I don’t have time to knit other people’s patterns (I don’t have time to knit my own patterns), and part of it is because I don’t want to accidentally see something someone else has done and have it lodge deep in the back of my brain and come spilling out in one of my own patterns.

This rule does not apply with stitch dictionaries.  Those I buy with complete and utter abandon.  If I see a new one, I buy it.  The weirder the better, and double bonus points if it’s in some other language.  I buy them, leaf through them, swatch from them, and mark them up with lots of of notes and sticky flags.  Now I almost never use the things in them unaltered, but they are a really excellent starting point for learning what happens if you do this…or this…or what about this funky thing over here.  I recommend everyone with any interest in knitting at all pick up stitch dictionaries and dabble, as they’ll dramatically increase your knitting vocabulary.

But, sadly, I must make one warning.  If you have a Barry, or a kitten overlord in any way like Barry, do consider putting those sticky flags on the side instead of on the top.  Otherwise they may not be there when you want to consult them.

Out the Door

I’m out the door bright and early this morning and on my way to TNNA.  This afternoon is booth set up, this evening is stiff drinks and catching up with friends.  I’m looking forward to it.  Levon, on the other hand, does not seem to approve.  He thinks I just got home and have no business heading out again so soon.  I’m not totally sure he’s wrong…

Hah, AS I was typing the above, Barry and Douglas came to join the party.  Why have one kitten when you can have three!  Note, this kitten configuration is unstable and did not last long.  But this way there will at least be some ambiguity about which cat’s hair is on my shirt at TNNA.

And So It Begins

I am a big fans of systems.  I truly deeply believe big projects are easier to get through if you have a system.  Books are big projects, so I have a system for them.  I’m starting the next book (the one that comes after KCC2), and that means the book yarn containment system has been reactivated.  It’s pretty basic…one bin for sock yarn, one bin for non-sock yarn, and one bin for swatches, labels, notes, and other important bits that must not be lost.

The yarn bins are starting to fill up (yay), but the extra bit is still empty.  Or rather it’s supposed to be empty.  What it actually is is full of Barry.  See?

Now don’t worry.  He won’t go in it once it’s full of yarn or projects (he’s particular like that), and I’ll carefully de-fur it before I put anything yarny in there, but for now, it’s Barry’s favorite place in the whole world.  Don’t tell him he’ll have to move some day, you’ll break his tiny kitten heart.


This is what the last day or two has looked like (with the cup of tea being refreshed as needed…I’m not still on the one from Tuesday).

These are the proofs for the book.  Proofs are sort of a trial run for the finished thing.  I send the files off to the printer, the printer runs off a version of the files using their printers and their inks and their paper, and then they send them back to me.  I look them over to make sure what seemed like a lovely golden yellow on my screen didn’t turn out to be highlighter bright on their equipment.  (Don’t worry, those rainbow bars on the bottom won’t be in the finished book those are just there for making sure the color is playing nicely.)

It’s also my last chance to do one more check for errors.  It’s not precisely easy to fix things now (I likely wouldn’t bother for something like two spaces after a period rather than one), but it is possible (I would fix something like an incorrect chart).  Which means a few more obsessive readings of the whole thing from cover to cover.  Barry graciously supervises.  I need more tea.

Greetings Underlings

We interrupt your regularly scheduled knit blogging to bring you an important kitten announcement.  Kitten Overlord Barry has taken the ‘over’ part of his title a bit too seriously and devised a way to get to the top shelf of the bookcase.  This does not bode well for Barry, the books, or my equanimity (he’s a leaper).  That shelf is a good 6 feet off the ground.  Let’s talk him down gently, ok?



This is the view from my office door today.  I’m pulling together all the various corrections from all the various editors and putting them into one master document that gets sent off to Zoe, the book designer (translation, it’s really really really close to done, but it’s still going to be a while before you guys get to see it).

On the desk, from right to left we’ve got:  KCC1 (to make sure any conventions established there are carried on here), Heather’s notes, The Boy’s notes, the notepad with a list of files to update, the coolest keyboard in the whole wide world (if typing hurts you try one of these, it’s worth every cent), the Chicago Manual of Style, and my notes.  On the screen are Cathy’s notes and the master document in which everything is getting combined.  And of course, supervising it all, is Barry the Kitten Overlord.  He’s hard at work making sure I make good progress.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a cup of tea if I’m to make it through the rest of this project.



Dear Human,

After careful consideration, it has been decided that your proposed trip will not be allowed.  In your application, you failed to note how this trip would result in increased kitten happiness.  You also failed to provide a detailed list of the steps you planned to take to ensure we continued to receive our daily allotment of chin scratches, belly rubs, and ear kisses.  You didn’t even outline the bribes you would procure to garner our favor upon your return.

This inattention to detail is disappointing, and no future travel plans will be approved if you do not take greater care in preparing your application materials.  We will, however, allow you to leave this suitcase here, as it makes for an excellent napping pod.


The Nefarious Kitten Overlords

Why Knitters Have Kittens

It may, at first, seem an unlikely pairing.  Kittens are not known for their restraint.  They have been found to have an unholy love for yarn, which doesn’t end well for either of the parties involved.  They are often convinced that laps are meant for them, not for pesky bits of knitting. But they do have some advantages.  If you come up the stairs and see this:

You can be pretty sure there’s some sort of flying critter somewhere up there.  Kittens are excellent moth detection systems.  Vigilant, diligent, and very very dedicated.  The moth has now been snuffed out and his tiny corpse ritually disposed of in an effort to ward off his brethren.  Barry and Levon are on the case and will let us know if we have a problem.