Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #3

I love playing with hat crowns. When I’m designing a hat, I may knit swatches of the hat body itself, but mostly I’m going to be working on the crown decreases. In order to do that, I don’t typically need to knit the entire hat just so I can get to the crown. Instead, I cast on just before the decreases begin and just knit a crown. Depending on the decreases, it could come out domed or totally flat. These three are, in order, the redesigned crowns for the Four Winds hat, the Struktur hat, and the Falling Blocks hat. It’s also kind of cool to note that they are (again, in order) 4-sided, 5-sided and 6-sided decreases.

All four of these hats are now in the hands of sample knitters, so it’s my hope that they will turn out almost as well as mine did here. A few details:

The Four Winds hat has been re-designed to work with sport weight yarn, but the crown in the photo is done in worsted weight — and no, it’s not in that color combo. I was testing the crown decreases, not the gauge or the yarn — I have only so much of the yarn for that hat, and at the moment it’s all with my sample knitter. The rest of the hat is going to be done in a completely different way from the previous version: because the resulting fabric is thinner, I can design it with a fold-up brim. The brim will have the two-pattern letters on it, which will be worked upside-down so that they are right-side up when the brim is in place. The compass points will be worked in an off-the-grid style that is cleaned up from the previously posted version. The letters and the crown have been completely redesigned from scratch.

The Struktur hat has also been re-designed to work with sport weight yarn, and the resulting gauge is smaller so there are more repeats. I have also sized down the repeats themselves to add more flexibility in terms of sizing. The crown you see here is one possibility; it can also be worked with 6 repeats. I changed the color rotation for this version to what I consider to be a better, clearer version vs the original pattern.

The Falling Blocks hat shows the most significant change from the original here: what you are looking at is the new inner crown. The original hat uses a different three-color pattern on each layer, but because I didn’t want to figure out how to decrease both patterns at the same time, I opted to cut off one pattern at a strategic location and switch to a single color-rotated version on the other layer. This always felt to me like a cop-out, so this time I decided to redesign the crown so that both patterns decrease at the same time. This required a different way of looking at the decreases — they have to occur in the same location, but they need not mirror each other. As with colors, in two-pattern charts, I have the freedom to tell you in which direction your decreases should slant on each layer separately. Also, like the other two, this hat has been redesigned to work in sport weight yarn.

In case this is the first time you’re encountering these projects, you should read more on my website about my first book, Extreme Double-knitting, which I am in the process of reworking and reprinting.

Sample knitting continues apace, although there has been little progress on the piece from the previous update while I’ve been working on redesigning other things. Now that 6 of the patterns are in the hands of sample knitters, three don’t require re-knits, one re-knit is done and one is in progress, all that remains for me to do is to do the highly onerous redesign of the Footsies to make more than one size, and re-knit two of the smallest and quickest patterns. Of course, then comes finalizing charts and the ever-present looming complete and total rewrite of the book (OK, maybe not complete and total … but significant).

In other news

My Fall teaching schedule has begun with an appearance at a lovely oceanside campground in midcoast Maine. Last weekend I was at Fiber College, which is emphatically not a college, but has a unique laid-back atmosphere. Also, I got to camp out in a tent by the ocean! I hope to be back there next year.

This past weekend I had a trunk show at Mind’s Eye Yarns in my home town of Cambridge, and next weekend I’ll be doing another at Ptown Purl in Provincetown, MA. If you’re in the area on Saturday from 12-3pm, visit to check out my samples in person and maybe buy a book or two?

Coming up next in my teaching schedule will be an appearance at the Madison (WI) Knitters’ Guild on November 12 and 13. I’ll be teaching a series of workshops and then doing a guild presentation. As I understand it, this is one of the largest knitting guilds in the country and it is a huge honor to appear there. They seem to be excited to have me, and I hope I’ll live up to their expectations.

I’ll be finishing my Fall season with a double-feature weekend, visiting the Yarn Attic in NJ on Nov 17 and Loop Yarn in Philadelphia on Nov 18-19. You can check out more details on my events calendar.

I’m still finalizing my Spring schedule, so I’ll make an announcement about that later. I’ve got dates in NH, NY, CA and PA — if you’re interested in having me come to your area, feel free to get in touch.

Lastly, I have had some conversations with other small online business owners and it seems like the issue I had with missing or damaged packages initially was probably more due to the time of year (December) than the services I was using. I have therefore decided to re-enable Media Mail as a shipping option. I will take it away for December only (returning to Priority Mail only) to keep my packages from walking away during the holiday season. If you’ve had your eye on one (or more) of my books but the shipping cost has been too high, today’s your lucky day!

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #2

In the past month, I’ve made some knitting progress, and some planning progress.

First, the knitting progress: I cast on for the redesigned version of the Whorl’d Tree shoulder bag, which will be done with the same yarn (Valley Yarns Northampton) but with some subtle differences. This is a 4-color, nominally-two-pattern piece (nominally because the second pattern is simply a solid color). This means that the structure of the fabric is somewhat different than other double-knitting: instead of the fabric being locked together at every color change, this piece is hollow regardless of the color, except when the color on the two layers is the same in any given pair.

In the original version, I chose Color A (the white background color) to be the interior color as well. However, when you get to the shoulder strap and flap, which are worked flat, this makes the multi-color linked pairs more difficult to execute. To get a more predictable edge solution, I chose to make the interior color Color B (the light blue). This is the only other color that shows up in every row (Colors C and D take breaks for entire rows/rounds), and also the only other color that’s light-colored enough to use inside the bag. Of course, this will change depending on what colors others choose. The issue is that, if you cut out the motifs in Colors C and D, there’s quite a lot of empty space between Color B motifs, which means that there’s more hollow space between the layers.

So I’m going to rely on the properties of the yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton is a workhorse non-superwash wool, which should felt somewhat through use and perhaps a little during blocking. To make sure that happens, I need to make sure that both layers remain as close together as possible. To do that, I need to make sure that there’s not as much tension on the many strands inside the work, which will pull Layer 1 taut and cause Layer 2, which has no strands, to buckle outward. To help with that, I’ve introduced a new chart element which identifies the areas where one needs to be most careful about the length of your strand(s) and give them a little extra slack. It’s working tolerably well but we’ll see how it works in the long term.

Second, the planning progress: In order for me to best use my own time, I need to have other people knit some of my sample patterns for me (for adequate compensation, of course) — and I will also have need of test knitters for some patterns that require more eyes and hands on them before they’re ready for prime time. To this end, I’ve created a new email list for people interested in test-knitting or sample-knitting for me. This is something I probably should have done some time ago, but better late than never. The list, which was advertised primarily to my main email list, has a sufficient number of people — but if you really want to get on it, please feel free to contact me and we can talk.

Still no progress on the actual rights reversion from Cooperative Press, but it may be due to a misunderstanding on my part. I’ve sent an email to try to clear that up, so perhaps there’ll be news on that front in next month’s update. Thanks for staying tuned!

Return of Extreme Double-Knitting: Update #1

Last time I did book updates (for Double or Nothing), I counted down, month by month. This time I’m counting up — I’ll try to get on a monthly schedule but I don’t know how many months it’s going to be. Still, I want to give updates so that you know I’m working — and I’m guessing that some of what I’ll have to say will be of interest. If you’re interested in getting on the mailing list for announcements when the new revision of Extreme Double-knitting is finally ready for ordering, please sign up on the EDK announcement list (and thanks!).

I decided to begin my journey in reverse order, working on the most difficult patterns first just to get them out of the way. The one pattern I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do back when I originally wrote Extreme Double-knitting was the Silk Road necktie. It’s done in “off-the-grid” double-knitting which ensures that not a single stitch in the pattern is part of a vertical column. Strategically placed increases and decreases move the stitches diagonally to create a pattern of tiled spirals. In addition to the decorative increases and decreases, the necktie must also be shaped using increases and decreases. Not much of this pattern has been changed, but the yarn I originally used has been discontinued and I opted to re-knit the piece in the newly-chosen yarn. Unfortunately, the Jaggerspun Zephyr didn’t look as good in a single strand, so I doubled it and it looks much better. I’ve only got a couple more repeats to go and it’ll be done.

I’ve also chosen yarn and made swatches for three of the other pieces, with varying results.

These three hats are done in worsted weight yarn and I decided to re-design them in a finer gauge for better wearability:

Four Winds was done in Cascade 220; I wanted to go quite a bit finer so I’m redoing the pattern in Briggs & Little Sport. Four Winds is actually in breach of contract with Twist Collective and shouldn’t even be in the book — so I’m going to redesign it completely. The finer gauge yarn (up 1 st/in from the original) will allow me to create different sizes without changing gauge or yarn, as I recommended for the original. There will be a flip-up brim with the letters on it (the letter pictured here is, clearly, not one of those that would be on the hat) to better show the reversibility, and the closure will be further refined to be less square.

Struktur was also done in Cascade 220; I opted to stick with Cascade 220 here but use the 220 Sport for a lighter-weight fabric. The original three-color piece could stand up on its own, and was probably better suited for a bowl than a hat. The fabric was also done in twisted stitches, which I will be downplaying in the new revision. Without twisted stitches, the new gauge is also up 1 st/in from the original. This will require a redesign of the crown since the repeat will likely no longer be divisible by 4.

Falling Blocks is one of the oldest patterns in the book, and was originally done in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light is an option, so I swatched in that without the twisted stitches. Interestingly, this yarn behaved differently from the all-wool Cascade yarns above, and the swatch in finer yarn with untwisted stitches matched the gauge of the heavier yarn with twisted stitches perfectly. I will not need to redesign this pattern, but I still plan to do some work on it — I want to figure out an elegant solution to the closure so that I can actually decrease both patterns at the same time.

Again, if you’re interested in hearing when the book is ready for preorder, you can keep watching this space (where there will be regular updates), but you can also join the EDK announcement list to be among the first to know.

In other news, I’ve got a few new appearances on the books for this Fall — more to come as I am able to schedule them:

For more info about these and other appearances, visit my calendar. Updates will be coming soon.

Change of Direction

As I was finishing Double or Nothing, an opportunity was presented to me that I could not pass up. Cooperative Press has decided to clean house, and allowed its stable of authors to decide how we wanted to proceed with them. Having just committed to a self-published book which was going smoothly, I expressed interest in taking back the rights to my first book, Extreme Double-Knitting. Since then, there have been various delays — but I have been given at least a verbal confirmation that I will be getting my rights back for the book. The exact timeline has not been finalized, but I expect to be hearing from CP at some point in the near future.

The plan is this: I will be taking the rights back for Extreme Double-Knitting and releasing a revised and expanded edition under my own Fallingblox Designs imprint. I don’t have a solid timeline on this project, but I expect it to take about a year. I will hopefully have something ready for next Spring’s big shows.

Why a new edition? To put it simply, I’m not happy with the book in its current state. I made a number of decisions that seem strange to me now, and I have learned quite a bit since then. I’d like to incorporate my current knowledge and understanding of the subject matter (while keeping the substance of the book largely unchanged). In addition, there are several patterns which I would like to redesign for a number of reasons. It turns out that several of the yarns that I used are no longer produced or distributed in the US, and I will need to make new yarn choices. Some of the patterns were done in twisted stitches, an option which I’d like to play down. Some of the patterns were done in heavier-weight yarn than is ideal, and I’d like to redesign them in finer yarns. One of the patterns sorely needed grading, but I didn’t have the time. So there’s a significant amount of work; redesigns, new charts, new photos, revision of the text, new layout. I’d like to say it’ll take less time because much of the work is already done — but it’s still going to take a significant amount of time.

I’m going to do something similar to the last book and begin an email list for announcements. This isn’t a preorder mailing list; I’m not using it to make decisions on how many to print. I’m just providing information. If you’d like to know when Extreme Double-Knitting is revised, expanded and ready to purchase, sign up on the mailing list today. I won’t be spamming the list with regular updates; for that stuff, come here or follow me on Facebook.

One thing which I am concerned about is how to give an incentive to people who bought the book originally. Since I don’t have sales records, and probably won’t be able to get them, I have no way of giving a discount code to previous customers. I have some ideas of how to do this in the future, so I’ve put a “promo code” field in the signup form. There’s no use for that code field right now, but it might be useful in the future.

I will try to post book updates on the same frequency as I did with the previous book project: about once per month, toward the end of the month.

Thanks for your interest and stay tuned!

New Pattern: Resistimus

This will be the last “craftivist” pattern for a while — I’ve got other things I need to do, but this one was burning a hole in my brain and I decided to get it out. Shortly after I released Felis Hattus, a fellow designer got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to be part of a book of craftivist patterns. While the book didn’t pan out, I did come up with another pattern that might have been included. This one was, clearly, made for the March for Science later this month (in case it’s not clear, those motifs are resistors; pun definitely intended). As it turns out, I’ll be teaching at Yarnover that day, so I won’t be able to attend. In addition, I’m getting it out merely a week before that event, which isn’t enough time for anyone else to finish one before the event (unless you’re very, very fast, about 4x my speed). However, I think there will still be use for this kind of piece and the message it conveys even after the march.

So a little about the pattern: It’s a double-knit scarf in 15 colors — but don’t worry, you’re still only using 2 at a time. The lettering is done with two-pattern double-knitting so that the “RESIST” is visible on the other layer as well. Yes, the other layer isn’t quite as presentable; this is one case where there’s definitely a right and wrong side. But it’s still nice to look at and readable on the “wrong” side. Color B (the green background) stays constant throughout, but Color A changes between 14 other potential colors (not all 14 are used in this particular scarf, but they can be) to make the wire, the resistor bodies, and the color bands that denote what type of resistor each one is. In this case, I decided to make the second set of resistors identical to the first, but you could choose otherwise. In between the first and second sets (in the place that would probably go over your neck) there’s a resistor symbol as well.

It’s called Resistimus, which is Latin for “we are resisting”, and you can download it on Ravelry.

I used Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted, but especially for the little bands you could just use scrap worsted wool of the right colors if you have it.

Like Felis Hattus, this is a free pattern. I want people to use it in protests and any other way that helps the visibility of the movement to defend the sciences from the ravages of the Trump administration. With funding and other support stripped from science, environment, education and more, we approach the standing of a third-world country. Our momentum in innovation will only carry us so far; eventually all science and innovation will be the purview of mega-corporations who can fund scientists on their own for their own reasons, and education and the environment will be under the control of people who think the Bible is more important than textbooks and that prayers will save us from rising seawater and rapidly changing weather patterns. So I hope that if you like this pattern, you’ll do something to support STEM advancement, or at least donate to one of the organizations fighting the Trump administration’s policies.

Thanks and stay tuned for more!

Colorwork Challenging

It’s no secret that one of the most visible pieces in Double or Nothing is the Adenydd shawl — the magnum opus of that book in double-knit lace. What you may not know is that it was also one of the most enjoyable pieces to design and knit, and I’ve been wanting to play more with lace design ever since.

Each year, as I am able, I go to an event for guy knitters called the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat. It’s fun and relaxing with a great group of guys. One of the things they’ve been doing the past couple of years is called the “Colorwork Challenge”. There’s a bin of crayons, and you pull 4 or 5 out at random. Those random colors are your challenge — you can add a black or a white for contrast but you’ve got to stick to those colors. People do all kinds of things with them and it’s always fascinating to see the interpretations. This year, for the first time, I’m taking part. Here are my colors, and the yarn I chose:

I actually found the yarn on a field trip during the retreat! But I was in the middle of finishing my book at the time so I haven’t really had time to deal with the pattern I had in mind. Needless to say, it went through some permutations before solidifying into a fascinating double-knit lace pattern that I adapted from a lace pattern called “Sunspot Lace” in one of the Walker treasuries. I loved those concentric circles, so I added more and linked them in chains — and then nested them together. The resulting chart is actually impossible to chart intelligibly in a grid, so I’m finally making use of Stitch Maps to chart it. Will it end up being released as a pattern? I don’t know. But for now, it’s a great way for me to keep on my toes. I hope to be able to show you the real thing at some point soon, but for now here’s a progress shot of the prototype swatch, done in the same yarn I used for Adenydd. When blocked, the circular shapes become much more clear.

In other news:

My workshop season continues apace; having so many workshops in the northeast has understandably had an effect on my average class sizes. While this is a little frustrating for me, it’s nice for those who are taking my classes since they get more one-on-one time with me. However, in future years, I’ll probably need to be more careful about how many workshops I schedule in the same geographic area. It’s hard to remember sometimes that New England states are all so close together compared to the rest of the country, and people often don’t mind traveling across one or two of them to get to a workshop.

That said, I’ve landed another workshop in Maine! But it’s in September, so hopefully it won’t be affected by the phenomenon I just mentioned. I’ll be teaching 3 workshops at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine!

If you’re a last-minute scheduling sort of person, I’m teaching this coming weekend at WEBS! Two of the classes (an intro and a multi-color class) have plenty of room, so if you’re in the Western MA environs and have time and interest on April 1 or 2, I hope to see you there.

Speaking of this coming weekend, since I can’t be everywhere, I specifically can’t be at Interweave Yarn Fest this coming weekend. This has been traditionally one of my more popular shows and it’s too bad they didn’t book me this year. However, if you’ve been wanting to check out my book or patterns, they’ll be at the Wall of Yarn booth (#301).

Finally, another new appearance as of this morning, I’ll be vending my books and patterns at the Yarn Sellar’s Fiber Marketplace on April 8th in York Harbor, ME.

Find other workshops and appearances on my event calendar, updated as I finalize agreements.

Thanks for keeping up with me, and I’ll try to keep updating around the end of each month if not sooner.

Alasdair’s Fine Mathwear revisited

I’ve had some projects that have been waiting on the back burner while I finished the book, and now it’s time to bring them forward again. The one that’s been the longest away is a project I wrote about in my Craftstory (for the book). Not merely a knitting project, but a small side business that I stopped before jumping into double-knitting with both feet. I called it “Alasdair’s Fine Mathwear;” I designed moebius scarves, klein bottle hats, hyperbolic surfaces … but I didn’t know anything about pattern writing at that point. I sold or bartered with the pieces themselves, did a few commissions, but this business was ultimately short-lived. Many of the math-related patterns I came up with have been left alone for some time, but I think it’s time I revisited a few — but now, in double-knitting. It’s likely that I’ll be releasing these as a small ebook/print booklet similar to Parallax.

Here’s the first one — or at least, here it is before it’s been stitched together. It’s a very weird garment and a very weird shape. In case it’s not clear, it’s a tube with a slit in the center. Anyone want to make a guess as to what it becomes when it’s properly assembled?

In book news

It’s been a great first (whole) month, with fantastic book sales numbers at Vogue Knitting Live and again at the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market this past weekend. Online orders are down to a trickle, but I’ve got hope that a few new publicity opportunities will bear fruit. I’ve had some new wholesale accounts opened, so there will be a few LYSs around the country stocking my books as well. I hope Stitches West will be a big success; the Adenydd shawl will get its major runway debut there too (it took a short spin on the catwalk at the Fiber Festival of New England).

In a couple of weeks, I’ll have a new edition of the Parallax booklet available. I liked the print job on Double or Nothing so much that I decided to do a short run of Parallax there as well. It cost quite a bit, but this is a book that routinely sells well and has never had trouble doing so. I hope that it will continue to do so, since I am about to have 1000 of them. The lower price point per book means I can also afford to wholesale them as well, for those who are interested.

I’ve also begun having some of my patterns professionally printed. On my store, you can now see printed patterns as well as books to order. All of these (as well as my new book and the Parallax booklet) come with a free PDF download from Ravelry. Each book and pattern has a unique code on a sticker inside, so you can even give them as gifts and your recipient can easily redeem the code.

In other news

I’ve got another local class, and have been booked to do two intensive workshop series at two weekend retreats, in addition to the dates posted a couple months back.

March 5, 1-4pm: Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Stitch House Dorchester. There will also be a mini-trunk-show and book signing event afterward at 4pm.

May 5-7: The Flaming Ice Cube knitting retreat in Canfield, Ohio. Learn double-knitting, two-pattern double-knitting and multi-color double-knitting — a great introduction along with some intriguing next steps.

June 1-5: Camp Stitches Vermont in Essex Junction, VT. If you already know double-knitting and want a 3-day, 15-hour intensive workshop on a huge number of double-knitting techniques beyond the basics, this is the event for you. Don’t know double-knitting yet but still want to take this? Get a head start on my Craftsy class first.

Want to see where else I’ll be teaching? Check out my events calendar.

Finally, I’ve just begun to release my patterns on Fibermob, a new website recently opened by the good folks at Yarnbox. They’re still tweaking things over there, but it seems to be working, so give it a shot if you like. How can you resist the Aardman-like sheep logo?

 

Attention US customers: Due to the uncharacteristically high number of lost or damaged packages sent by Media Mail, I have disabled the Media Mail shipping option on my online store. For one or two books, Priority Mail is only a couple of dollars more expensive, will get you your stuff faster, and carries less risk for me. I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth a little more money to spare both of us the possible headache. Thanks for understanding.

Gratitude and Getting Stuff Done

On the subway that runs near my home, there’s a sign that says, “Your tax dollars pay to clean this vehicle. Please do your part by taking your belongings with you.” This always gives me a little cognitive dissonance: Don’t I already do my part by paying my taxes?

At the risk of further cognitive dissonance, I’m going to both thank you for your help and then ask for more. But first, let me give the final update.

Double or Nothing has arrived. On December 15th, a couple of friends and I moved 2.5 tons of books into a moving van, up a ramp, and into my storage unit in approximately one hour. About 10% of those books came home with me and I spent the next 36 hours packing, labeling and shipping books on the coldest days of the year (single digit temperatures with a -20F windchill). Over the next week, I began hearing from excited people who were getting their copies after a long wait (the earliest preorders came in 2 months before shipping). Since then, I’ve been troubleshooting issues with orders, sending promotional copies for reviews, shipping wholesale orders and stocking up my Amazon storefront. Oh, and spending time with my family for my birthday and Christmas, of course.

I posted on my FB page that all I really wanted for my 40th birthday was to get this book done. But now that it’s done, to be honest, what I really want is to help it succeed — not only to help make my small business pay for itself, but to really get these innovative techniques into the hands of as many people who’ll use them as possible. Now I’m going to be teaching a whole lot starting next month, and will, of course, be bringing my books to sell wherever I go. But let me be perfectly straight with you: in order to “break even” I need to sell about 50% of my current stock, or about 1500 books. I’m a bit over 20% there.

So here’s where I ask for your help. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, so I’ll start by saying that if you’ve done any of this already, THANK YOU! And all of this is purely optional; I’m happy to have any help, and every little bit counts more than I can possibly express.

So how can you, as a customer or student or (dare I say) fan, help me? In no particular order:

  1. Like (and follow) me on social media, especially Facebook. I’m happy you’re reading my blog; it means you’re of a mindset that pays attention to long-form text. But I can’t post here every time I have a little bit to say, so you’ll find me more visible and accessible on other platforms.
  2. Tell your friends. I can advertise until my fingers are blue, but the real power is in word-of-mouth referrals. Recommend my books and patterns to friends you think would enjoy them. If you follow me on social media, share my posts so your friends will see them.
  3. Tell your local yarn shop about me. I do sell some of my books and patterns at wholesale to resellers like LYSs and bookstores. Also, I teach double-knitting all over the country; if I’m not coming close enough to you, see if you can get your LYS interested in bringing me in.
  4. Tell your guild. I do speaking engagements and have presented about my techniques and my adventures in the world of knitting design and publishing. I’m not Franklin Habit, but I’m happy to share my love of double-knitting with your guild. Also, see above about teaching — it’s often more cost-effective to bring me in to teach through a guild than through a LYS (or you could collaborate).
  5. If you liked or loved my book, leave a review! New customers often want to know what other people think about a product before buying. If you bought my book from my web store and created an account when you did it, you can log in again and leave a review on the product page! You can also leave reviews at Goodreads or Amazon.
  6. If you didn’t like my book for whatever reason, please do me a favor and contact me personally about it. I’m always happy to take constructive criticism, but too many negative reviews in a public forum can really sink a small business. If I made a real mistake, I’ll own up and do my best to correct it in the next edition.
  7. Are you a podcaster or blogger or in some other way a tastemaker in the knitting world? Get in touch with me! I’m happy to send you a free PDF of my book for review, and we can even do a giveaway game with another copy for one of your readers/viewers if you like. If you’re not a podcaster or blogger but are friends with one, see point #2 above.
  8. Nobody likes to talk about money, but that’s what it all boils down to. If I can’t make sales, I won’t be able to keep doing this. To be honest, I’ll probably keep doing it anyway because it’s something I love — but I won’t be able to increase my output. Buy my books and patterns. They are priced fairly for what they are, and I try to make it easy to get them. Take classes with me, if you can, when I come to a show you’ll be attending or an LYS near you. Take my Craftsy class, even though it’s getting a little dated. If you have some disposable income and a thirst for knowledge, consider helping me to help you.

Again, thank you so much if you’ve already done or plan to do any of these things. Thank you, frankly, for getting all the way down here to the end of this post. I’ve got one more thing to ask, and it’s a little more difficult.

At one of my knitting groups, there was someone who I had always thought would make a great model for my new book. I was delighted when she accepted my offer, and we had a nice morning walking around her neighborhood and taking photos. You can see some of them in my book, and here’s one we both particularly liked. Her name was Allison. One week later (to the hour), she was killed in a horrific traffic accident when a sight-seeing vehicle didn’t see her on her scooter and ran her down on a turn. The book is dedicated partly to her memory. Her parents have succeeded in getting a bill through the MA state legislature to help keep this specific thing from happening again, but there’s also a coalition of non-profit groups trying to improve relations between pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transit in the Boston metro area. I have donated to one of these groups, and if you’re looking for a year-end contribution, perhaps consider donating to the Livable Streets Alliance in memory of Allison — and thanks.

Book Countdown: Month -1

If you’ve been following me for the past few months, you’re probably wondering “What’s up with this post title?”

Last month, I did my “Month 0” countdown post, which should have been the end. But the fact is that the book is still not out, and that was known even last month. However, by this time next month the book will be out and, with luck, those of you who preordered it will have gotten your hands on it. So next month the countdown will be done, but this month I have one more update — and no more numbers to use. Hence, -1.

First of all, I’ve got an ETA. The printer has told me that the book will be ready to ship on Dec 8 or 9. 2-3 days after that I should have it in my hands and a day after that I should be shipping. Taking high estimates all around, I expect to begin shipping the book on December 15th. If you want to change your order in light of this ship date (for example, to speed up your shipping), let me know. I’m not 100% sure how that’s done since the eCommerce site is still new to me, but I’m sure we can figure it out together.

Second, I decided to release the eBook early after all. If you’ve been waiting for me to release the book digitally, now’s the time. If not, everyone who preordered the book should have gotten an email with a link to get their PDF copy on Ravelry. As of right now, 192 people have taken me up on that, which leaves 102 people still without the PDF. If you preordered but didn’t get an email about the PDF, check your spam folder and let me know if you need a hand. Of course, if you don’t want the PDF, you don’t need to download it. Just to clarify, I’m going to be letting people download their PDFs early until the preorder period is done, then I’ll be closing that door and using unique codes inside each front cover to allow access to the PDF. These will also be in effect for any of the preordered books which are marked as gifts.

So, in case you need a reminder, preorders officially stop in about 2 weeks, or on the day I receive the books. After that, they’re just called “orders” and will ship as soon as I’m done handling all the preorders. So why preorder? Well, at this point your best rationale is to have the best chance to get a copy before Christmas, if that matters to you. I will absolutely continue to take orders after the preorder period is over, so if you’re not in a rush feel free to wait.

I am working on getting the book listed on and sold by Amazon, but it’s not going to happen before the new year. Amazon simply doesn’t want any new items to deal with until after the Christmas season is over. I’ll send an announcement once it’s available.

Here’s a shot of a friend of mine wearing (almost) everything from the book and a few extras.

2016-08-14-22-20-34

In other news, I’m booked to teach workshops all over the place in 2017, starting in January — and many of them are in the Northeast for a change!

  • Jan 14/15: VKL NYC. I’ll be teaching one class and will be vending my books and patterns at Wall of Yarn.
  • Jan 21/22: Slater Mill Knitting Weekend, Pawtucket, RI. I won’t be officially “there” and may only be there for part of a day, but Dirty Water Dyeworks will be selling my books there.
  • Feb 24-26: Stitches West, Santa Clara, CA. I’ll be teaching all weekend and my books will be vended by Wall of Yarn.
  • Mar 10-12: FiberCamp Boston, Cambridge, MA. I’ll be doing the keynote presentation for the Common Cod Fiber Guild, and vending and teaching at FiberCamp itself.
  • Mar 17/18: Harrisville Designs, Harrisville, NH. I’ll be doing a workshop event (attendees take 4 workshops with me over the span of 2 days).
  • Apr 1/2: WEBS, Northampton, MA. I’ll be teaching 4 workshops at America’s Yarn Store!
  • April 22: Yarnover, Minneapolis, MN. I’ll be teaching 2 workshops at this exclusive event!
  • April 27-30: Stitches United, Hartford, CT. I’ll be teaching all weekend and my books will be vended by Wall of Yarn.

I will also be vending and teaching at the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market in Wayland, MA — but the date has not yet been set, and I may be teaching at a shop on the MA North Shore. More announcements as I have them, and you can always check my calendar for up-to-date info and links.

If you’re still reading, thanks much for your interest! I hope to have more exciting news for you soon!