Obligatory COVID-19 Post

Friends, I am aware it has been many months since I have posted here. Life updates later; more importantly, I need to give an update on the Coronavirus’ impact on my teaching schedule.

As you may have already heard, events are being cancelled or postponed all over the country (and the world). I had been waiting for the final word on the last event in my Spring teaching schedule, and received it yesterday.

As of today, my entire Spring schedule is cancelled. Stitches United, DFW Fiber Festival, Interweave Yarn Fest, and the LYS/guild events in MA have all been cancelled. Interweave is in the process of moving its event to late August, but it is likely that I will not be able to attend. I do not have anything solid scheduled for this Fall, and I hesitate to mention the events I’m tentatively scheduled for until we know how long this situation will last.

I am losing quite a bit of this year’s income due to this virus — but at least my wife and I have other income to hold us over. I am not in as much trouble as many other indie designers and dyers etc for whom the fiber business is their only income. So, what am I doing with my “free time”?

I have had a number of projects on the back burner for some time — some new patterns, some video work, some rehashing of old patterns, etc. I’m going to use this time to take care of some of these projects — but also look into distance learning (or teaching, really) possibilities. Stay tuned! As soon as I have info for you, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, I’d like to remind you that my books and patterns are still available on my web store, and guaranteed virus-free (coronavirus, even if I had it, does not last long enough on paper to infect you at delivery. Still, wash your hands! I can’t make any promises about your mail carrier). Please note that my books are still in stock at Amazon, but I may not be able to replenish them when they sell out due to Amazon’s current rules. Your best deal will always be to order from my website, since you will get a free PDF download of the book or pattern!

In other news

My wife and I had an amazing time in Armenia last October, despite some travel difficulties and the language barrier. It’s a stunningly beautiful country with friendly people and amazing food (quite different from what you probably consider “Armenian food”) and I highly recommend it. If you speak some Russian, you’ll have a much easier time getting around than we did.

Mt Ughtasar, near the Azerbaijan border, about 10,000 ft above sea level

We have decided to go to Burning Man this year (my wife has been once without me) and I am the lighting lead for our camp. Trivia: I used to build light shows for raves back in the 90s and early 00s; my knowledge is out of date and needs some updating but I look forward to the opportunity to build some fun stuff for the playa this year. I am also double-knitting a playawear garment out of Sirdar Alpine and Caron Simply Soft in neon colors. I might redesign it in something a little more “dignified” for pattern release later.

At home, we have a recurring plumbing issue that should have been fixed months ago which is delaying the kitchen renovation we had planned for. Progress has been made, but then the virus hit, so we have no idea when the plumbing will be repaired or when we’ll be able to start in on the kitchen. Still, we have a floorplan we like and are looking forward to the opportunity.

In other (knitting) news

The last blog post I made alluded to a new pattern. This having been months ago, the new pattern is now ready for publishing. It’s a hat using off-the-grid double-knitting and beads! It’s part of a new collection called Wuxing: 5 Elements that will be completed over time as each pattern is ready. When all five patterns are complete, I’ll compile them all into a single collection. For now, however, only the one pattern is available.

The plan was to release it at DFW with a kit through BeadBiz and A Hundred Ravens (both of whom contributed materials to it). However, with the cancellation of DFW, we decided to step things up a bit. There will still be a kit — but it will be available to mail-order (at least for now) and will come with a discount code for the rest of the collection. The plan is to do a similar thing for each of the patterns, if the yarn companies are interested.

So this is kind of a soft release — I’m not making a big publicity push until the kits are available — but if you’re not interested in a kit, the pattern Agni Deus is available now. And of course, if you buy the collection now, you’ll get the other patterns as they become available.

For those of you waiting on Fallingblox Redux, it had to go to the back burner while I reworked another (thus far secret) pattern. More news on that one when it comes out, and I hope to get back to the Fallingblox pattern soon.

Thanks for your interest, stay safe, and stay tuned!

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