Bits and Pieces

There is absolutely no coherent theme to my life this week.  This means there is very little in the way of cohesion in the blog posts either.  Sorry guys, it’s that sort of day week life.   So, in no particular order:

Rabble Rousers is up on amazon now if you happen to feel a terrible itch to buy it there as opposed to from me directly (sometimes it’s easier for folks overseas, so I like to have both options for everyone).

The marvelous Carol Sulcoski has a review of Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet (plus one to give away) if you’re feeling the need for one.  And since she says it there, I’m guessing it’s no longer a secret and I can share too.  I’ve got a pattern in her upcoming book, Sock Yarn Studio, which comes out in October.  I’m just itching to see this book, I have a sneaking suspicion it will be awfully nifty!  Stay tuned for more about that as we get closer to October (oh god…can we please hold off on October…I’m not ready for the fall yet).

Despite the crazy week, I have made progress on the sock.  Remember what it looked like last time?  Remember what the finished one looks like?  Yeah, the partially finished one looks like the finished one down to about the ball of the foot.  That means I’ve got 2ish inches of plain foot and a toe to go.  With luck, and maybe some sort of mild sedative, it should be done this weekend.

And just as a reminder, this is the last day to leave a comment (scroll down to find the post) to win some of Handmaiden’s ridiculously amazing Silk Twist.  Comments close tonight and winners (plus one more giveaway) are announced early next week!  In the meantime, you can still get Whippersnapper (my favorite Plucky Knitter pattern) for free with the purchase of any other pattern through the end of this weekend.  Details in this post if you’re interested.

Crocus vernus Knit Along

Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet is now well and truly launched.  The paper version is out there.  You can order it from me, ask for it at your local yarn store, or order it from amazon (amazon occasionally says out of stock, but I’ve sent them hundreds of books and they damn well do have it…people have ordered it there and received it, so don’t fall for their crazy status updates).  And of course the electronic version is there for those of you who want instant gratification.

All of that means that it’s time to start a knit along!  I had such fun doing this with Silk Road Socks that I’ve really been looking forward to doing it again.  We’ll be starting with the Crocus vernus patterns. That’s the Crocus vernus Socks over there on the left, and the Crocus vernus Mitts down there on the right. The plan is to have each pair of patterns be the focus for a two month period (meaning cast on now, and finish up by the first day or two of August).  All the details are over on the thread on ravelry.  If either of these seem like they might like to find themselves on your needles, I’d love it if you’d come share your progress!  It’s a very friendly group, and we’ll have a good time (and, you know, prizes at the end)!

To make sure that you’ve got as many options as possible, I’ve made the individual patterns for these two patterns available.  Now to be honest, the math is against you on the individual patterns.  One pattern is $6, and the whole book of 20 patterns is $18.95.  That means if there are more than 3 patterns you think you’ll like, you get a better deal if you buy the whole book.  But people have been asking about buying them individually, so I figure I’ll make them available as we go through the knit along.

Oh, and one tiny reminder, the comments on the giveaway post for Chrissy’s new Indie Socks book will close tomorrow.  If you’d like to win, you’ve still got time to enter!


TNNA Recap

So, as promised, a recap of TNNA.  It will, alas, have to be a bit brief.  I seem to have managed to pick up some sort of cold bug while there and am trying to take it easy today in the hopes of fending it off quickly.

So, first, what the heck is TNNA?  It stands for The National Needlearts Association.  They hold several tradeshows every year.  The summer one happens in Columbus, Ohio, and it focuses on yarn and knitting.  It’s not a fiber festival like Rheinbeck or Maryland Sheep and Wool.  It’s only open to folks in the industry.  If you sell yarn, or knitting needles, or (just for example) books, you go to TNNA and set up a booth.  Then store owners from around the world come and look and see what you have to offer and place orders. If you want more details, the lovely Jaala at knitcircus has provided lots of info in this week’s issue.

Next up, what the heck was I doing there?  This part’s longer.  Do you remember back in March of last year when I mentioned I’d gone off on a trip to work on future books?  I realize now that I didn’t go into a lot of details.  I was there as part of Cat Bordhi’s Visionary Authors group.  Cat has spent the last eight years encouraging people to self publish books they’re passionate about.  The results have been sort of spectacular (the books on that page are just some of the titles that have come about because of this project).  I’m still sort of wondering just how I managed to convince her to let me come play.

Now bear with me for just a bit longer, I promise I’m getting to the point.  One of the tricky parts about self publishing is letting stores know about your project, and then getting it to them.  If you don’t want the books filling up your garage till the end of time, and you don’t want to get to know your local post office very very well, you need a distributor.  A distributor stores your books, sells them to stores, ships them out, and then sends you checks.  It’s an excellent arrangement.  The Visionary Authors generally use Unicorn Books as our distributor.  Unicorn, being the biggest seller of knitting books in the industry, has a huge booth at TNNA.  This year, because they like the Visionary Authors (and because they sell a lot of our books), they got us two booths across from their giant island of books.

That’s what I was there for.  We spent Friday setting it up.  We had books and samples from lots of our projects.  There were old favorites (like Cat’s books, and Sandra McIver’s Knit, Swirl, and JC Briar’s Charts Made Simple) and brand new projects (like Charles Gandy’s The Embellished Sock, and Chrissy Gardiner’s Indie Socks, and um, mine).  I completely neglected to take photos of the booth until we were just about to start tearing it down (they don’t really allow photos on the show floor), so you’ll have to forgive things looking a bit scattered, but this should give you an idea of what the booth looked like.

And this over here is the little section full of my goodies.  Again, it’s the end of the show and things are a wee bit rumpled, so if you could pretend it’s a tiny bit tidier that would be great.

So that’s where I hung out this weekend, except that during the show, it was filled with people.  Lots and lots of people.  Yarn store owner type people looking for books to carry in their shops.  Which was sort of the point, and was of course marvelous (though perhaps the one person who brought the cold germ with him or her might possibly have just lingered in the aisle instead of shaking hands…that would have been ok, but everybody else was spectacular).

And do you know what I heard, over and over?  I heard yarn store owners say that someone had brought The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet to knit night, and that people loved it, so they were here to order it.  So to all of you who were brave enough to preorder it (and trust met to get it to you) and excited enough by it to take it to your local yarn stores and show it off, thank you.  You guys rock.

It seems to have been more or less the most effective marketing ever.  You know how I know?  Because Unicorn posts a list of the bestsellers for the show.  Now this will totally sound immodest.  But you know what, at this point, I don’t care.  The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet made the top ten.  Out of the thousands of books that Unicorn carries, mine was number 6.  The things I said when I found out were not modest, nor were they decorous or seemly or even terribly ladylike.  They were, however, extremely heartfelt.  There may have been a tiny Snoopy dance of glee.

And with that, I think I need to end for today.  Brevity is apparently not my strong suit, and I really do need a restorative cup of tea and possibly a nap.  And with any luck, I’ll be all caught up and back up to speed by tomorrow.

Well That Was Fast

You guys rock.  All the extra copies of Silk Road Socks are now spoken for!  They’re all in the mail headed to their new homes.  I’m ridiculously glad they’re going somewhere where they’ll be used (books would rather be used than hang out in closets).  And, if you missed them, the e version is still available through ravelry.

I’m off to TNNA tomorrow.  Which means today, I’m running around like a crazy person trying to get at least three days worth of stuff done.  A graceful and serene thing to see, I assure you.  But, on the off chance you’re looking for something to do while I pack, the lovely Wendy Johnson has a copy of Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet looking for a good home.  Maybe it wants to come live with you?

Now We Are Three

Three years ago, I sat up way too late throwing together a quick website.  The goal of the site was to provide a convenient place to host a little free pattern for a pair of socks I’d whipped up.  I liked the socks, and I thought a few other folks might like them too.  I had enjoyed writing the pattern, and I thought I might want a space to share any other patterns that happened to occur to me.  I didn’t think I’d do it often.

Two years ago, I had just signed a book contract and was up to my eyeballs in the prep work for Silk Road Socks.  I was beginning to have an inkling that this pattern writing thing might actually have become something more than I first expected.

One year ago, Silk Road Socks was out.  Somewhere in the middle of creating it I had decided that not only did I want to write more books, I wanted to publish them myself.  By this point, it was pretty clear that pattern writing had moved from an occasional lark to a hobby to a minor obsession and was quickly becoming my actual job.

Today, three years to the day after I put out my first pattern, the electronic version of my second book, The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, goes live (the paper version is at the printer, getting ink on dead trees takes time).  I’m working busily away on book three.  When people ask me what I do, I say ‘I write knitting books.’ It’s actually starting to feel like a perfectly reasonable answer to that question, not like something I made up just to watch how they will respond (though that part is still entertaining–reactions vary widely).

That’s a rather dramatic transition to make in three years.  But it seems to be working out ok so far.  Care to stick around and see what I’m up to in three more years?




Did I show you the cover?  No, I don’t think I did.  Now there’s every chance you don’t actually care (which would be a totally reasonable way to feel…I likely wouldn’t much care if it wasn’t my own book), but I’m rather taken with it.  See?  Those yellow socks more or less slay me every time.  You guys seem to like them too.

And there’s also a back cover of course.  It shows off the purple socks (they wrestle with the yellow ones for the status of my very favorite socks ever…so far it’s a tie).   As always, click to embiggen should you wish to study them in more detail (but don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz).


So…it’s done.  All done (which is why I desperately needed to play hooky this past weekend).  The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet has gone off to the printer, and the electronic version is ready to go.  I’ll be putting it out on Tuesday, March 13.

This means that if you’ve bought the electronic version, or if you’ve ordered the physical version and gotten the electronic version to go with it, the full version will magically appear in your Ravelry library some time next Tuesday.  When it does, you’ll get both a ravelry message and an email letting you know it’s been updated.

Also, just as a heads up, this also means that the preorder discount will go away on Tuesday.  So if you’ve been meaning to get yourself a copy, this is the time to do it.  If you’re wondering if you’ve bought it already (I know it can be hard to keep track of these things), just log into your ravelry account, click on the ‘my notebook’ tab on the upper left, and click on the library tab on the left.  Search your library (‘Hunter’ will find it, as will ‘Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet’) and you should see it.  Right now it will just be the preview, but on Tuesday it will update.

I can’t wait to show it to you all!

All is Lost

It is possible that I’ve spent too much time proofreading in the last few days.  I’m not sure, but it seems likely.  The hissy fit I just threw because I could not find the particular green pen that I’m using to make corrections on this print out might be a hint.  The three minute rant I delivered to the cats (no I cannot just use another pen, no not even another green pen, it has to be that pen or else it won’t match the edits I’ve already made and could be another hint.  As could the fact that I’ve now secured a backup green pen (same shade, same tip type) and a back up pink highlighter and locked them away from kittens to protect against any such future catastrophes.  But dammit, my marked up draft is awfully pretty.  And now, I think I need a cup of tea…away from the computer.

Happy New Year

I hope you all had just the sort of New Year’s Eve festivities that you wanted (we watched Ghostbusters…what can I say, we’re old, that’s what we do).

As promised, the first of the Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet patterns is available.  I’m working with the wonderful Wendee of Hazel Knits on her January knit along.  All the details (including how you can download the Linaria bipartita Sock pattern free during the month of January) are over on the knit along thread.

As for my own knitting, I’m ready to do the toe on the first of the orange spiky socks.  Next post should have a picture, and some time in the next week or two they should go up for testing.


Less Than Prolific

I had all sorts of clever plans to avoid the dreaded blog silence over the holidays. And I mostly made it…there totally were posts. Just not as many (and not as knitting-rich) as I would like.  It’s mostly because I’ve been doing stuff other than knitting over the last few days.  It’s surprisingly hard to have knitting to show you if I don’t actually knit.  Not impossible…just hard.

I’ll offer two little consolation prizes. First, there’s a wee little interview with me on Robin’s site.  Second, if you come back on January first, I’ll let you know how you can start knitting on one of the patterns from The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet right away.  You know, just in case any of you might want to do such a thing.