Spring Workshops begin soon!

It’s probably news to my neighbors in the northeast who’ve just had their first winter snow (not counting that freak thing over Halloween weekend), but it’s Spring! Well, at least it’s the beginning of Spring workshops. That’s right, folks, I’m starting my travels this weekend and I’m not going to stop until everyone in the northeast knows how to double-knit!

Well, OK, it’s not quite as ambitious as all that, but if you’d like to take a workshop in double-knitting with me and you live somewhere in the Northeast, check this out:

  • Saturday Jan 28th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Fresh Purls in Providence, RI (SOLD OUT)
  • Sunday, Jan 29th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Fresh Purls in Providence, RI (SOLD OUT)
  • Saturday, Feb 4th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Seed Stitch in Salem, MA
  • Sunday, Feb 5th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Seed Stitch in Salem, MA
  • Saturday, Feb 11th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Webs in Northampton, MA (SOLD OUT)
  • Sunday, Feb 12th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Webs in Northampton, MA (SOLD OUT)
  • Saturday, Feb 18th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Knitty City in New York, NY
  • Sunday, Feb 19th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Knitty City in New York, NY
  • Saturday, March 3rd – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 4th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Friday-Sunday, March 9-11 FIBERCAMP BOSTON 2012. I’ll be running a workshop or two here.
  • Saturday, March 17th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 18th – New Adventures in multi-color Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Saturday, March 24th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 25th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA

Want to get in on the sold-out workshops? You should have kept an eye on my Calendar of Events! But to the best of my knowledge both sold-out venues are keeping a wait-list and we’ll probably schedule new workshops at both venues if the demand is high enough.

Want to get me to teach at some other venue? I’m still scheduling for weekends April and beyond. Email me at doubleknitting at gmail dot com and we’ll talk.

52 Pickup pattern up for sale on Ravelry

It’s been about 7 months since I started this project. Much of the pattern had already been designed even then, but I couldn’t release the pattern until I had a sample — and the sample was going to take months to make. Consider that I have a day-job, and given my weekly time constraints I was able to get a single card repeat (one of 18) done each week. If I’d been able to work on it non-stop, it would have taken 4.5 months to finish. But also consider that my book came out in October — so I was working on this project at the same time as I was finalizing my book. I also had several other projects going at the same time, some of which have had progress made on them and some of which have not. So it’s taken more than 4.5 months to finish it.

This is made from Regia 4-ply; I was really hoping to get through it with 3 skeins of white and 2 skeins each of red and black. But I ran out of black and white within a few repeats of the end, so that hope was dashed. The red I ran out of less than 10 rows from the end — so in the end it’s 4 skeins of white and 3 skeins each of red and black — but there’s still plenty left of all three (especially the red). It turns out that there’s less red than black in the scarf, and I was at a loss to understand why, since the backs of the cards are almost exactly equal in all 3 colors, and there are the same number of red and black cards. But someone astutely observed that the hearts and diamonds don’t take up as many stitches as the clubs and spades. Of course! It’s so obvious once someone figures it out.

But you’re probably interested in knowing where to get yourself one. I’m willing to take on knitting another one for the right person who can afford a high 4-figure price for it, but until that person comes along you’re just going to have to knit it yourself. I’ve put it up for sale on Ravelry at $14. I know it’s a high price for a pattern, but it’s 115 pages long and I’ve already told you how long it took me to make it. Rest assured, you don’t need all 115 pages in any given project, and you only need to print off 3 at a time. There is no plan to make this available in print form — it’s just too long as a single pattern to be distributed any way other than digitally.

Fallingblox at VKL!

I’m a little behind in posting this, but if you’re already planning on going to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend in NYC, I’ll be there signing books on Saturday at the Bijou Basin Ranch booth (2108/2110) at 11am and at the Knitty City Booth (2301-2307) at 2pm.

I’ll be at the show informally the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday, if you want to catch up with me. I’ll be found hanging around the Bijou Basin Ranch booth, working on my Parallax 0.5 scarf and probably sporting my completed 52 Pickup scarf (keep an eye on this space for the pattern soon).

Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve paused briefly on my scarves to fulfill a promise I made to myself — that when The Birthday Massacre, a favorite band of mine, came through town again, I’d throw a custom-designed TBM-themed hat up on stage for lead singer Chibi (also a knitter). I had the yarn but only recently got the inspiration to design this hat, tentatively called “Down The Rabbit Hole”. According to Ravelry, there are several other patterns with that title but no hats, so I might keep it or I might change it. However, this is only a prototype. I have to work some of the kinks out of the pattern before it’s ready for the prime time. If all goes well, I won’t have the hat anymore after tonight’s concert so I’ll have to rely on my memory and my photos to help me redesign it.

This sort of fanboyism creeps me out a bit, and I dislike doing it intensely, but I have been listening to their music for years and if I didn’t know that their front woman also is a knitter I probably wouldn’t do it. But since I have a good feeling she’ll appreciate it, I’ll do it. Just this once.

For those interested in stats, it’s made from 2 colors of Manos Silk Blend (30% silk, 70%% Merino) on size 4 needles for a DK gauge of 6 sts/in.

More views here and here. For those interested in the pattern, I’m not sure whether I will release it yet in its current state. I may redesign it radically or subtly but rest assured it will be a better pattern if/when I do decide to release it.

Attack of the Double-Knit Rectangles

I don’t know how it is that I ended up working on 3 scarves at the same time. It’s a nice break from the constant innovation but I find myself itching to get going on something groundbreaking. Still, I’m having a good time and will likely finish and release these patterns before starting anything else major.

So a couple of progress shots are in order. First, I’m about 2/3 done with 52 Pickup. I was hoping to have it done and ready for release by Christmas, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen. Even if I can stay on target (roughly one 3-card repeat per week), I have 6 more card repeats to do and only 5 more weeks until Christmas. It’s possible I may yet finish it before the end of the year, though. I’m happy with the outcome so far, but I don’t know how I could possibly work on anything more eye-popping or conversation-starting than this. Perhaps I’ll do the next revision in laceweight with real face cards, better numbers and letters, and the correct number of pips on each card.

I’ve also done a couple more repeats on Parallax v1.0, and am about to get into the really interesting part where the two colorways of Kauni will start to do this dark shimmery effect together. It was really pretty in the test swatch and I’m happy they seem to be lining up the same way here.

In addition, I’ve kept my promise and designed a lower-resolution Parallax scarf, called Parallax v0.5, for those who don’t want the commitment of a scarf double-knit from fingering weight yarn. The real treat, however, is that Parallax v0.5 is designed in Bijou Basin Ranch‘s Lhasa Wilderness yarn, a luxurious yak and bamboo blend. I spent much of Stitches East with Bijou Basin and fell in love with this yarn. It has great stitch definition and a really soft hand. I’m happy to be able to do something different with it and I hope the folks from Bijou Basin will enjoy it as well.

A further announcement: Last week I did a guest post for Juniper Moon Fiber Farm‘s blog. There was a drawing for a copy of my book there. Out of respect for her own following, I opted not to post about it until the drawing was done, so as not to dilute her own commenters’ chances at winning the book. However, it’s a fun post, and you should check it out. If you’d rather cut to the chase, though, I understand: at the end of the post I announce that I will be designing two new patterns in her luscious fingering weight yarn Findley, for release in Fall of 2012.

I’ve got some unsolicited book reviews up at Amazon and Goodreads — thanks to those who posted them! Here’s hoping there are more to come. Oh, and check out Episode 61 of the Savvy Girls Podcast. I’ve got a little bit in there as they interview the Cooperative Press gang at Rhinebeck.

The book itself is now in its second printing, since presales and event sales went very well. As a result we’re very low on books for a little while. It only takes a couple of weeks for the printer to get the books to Cooperative Press, so I hope we’re in good shape for the holidays.

I recently did a presentation for the Common Cod Fiber Guild — it was well-attended and a good time was had by all, even as, midway through my talk, the projector went off and the screen retracted of its own volition. We weren’t able to get it back on, so I just did an impromptu trunk show and Q&A for the last part of the event. My next non-workshop appearance will be at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, where I’ll be signing my books at the Knitty City booth from 2-3pm on Saturday, January 14th. I’ve also got workshops coming up at Knitty City, Webs and Fresh Purls in Providence. I’m working on lining workshops up in Salem, MA and Philly as well. Check out my calendar for more info.

Whew … I think that’s it! Lots of info crammed into a single post here. I hope I haven’t missed anything. See you next time!

Upcoming appearances

Sorry for the string of non-project-based posts. I’m sure you’d like to see what I’m working on, but I don’t have new photos yet. Suffice it to say, the book is out, the buzz is good, preorders are shipping and my trips to Rhinebeck and Stitches East were fruitful. I am now about to take a much-deserved vacation to a cabin in central Vermont with my wife for a long weekend, and before I go I wanted to make sure you know when I’ll be popping up next.

In November, I have a bunch of appearances in the Boston area. Please come and visit your LYS, buy my book or bring your copy for signing. The first appearance will be at Windsor Button from 12-3 on Saturday, Nov 5. Then I’ll be doing a presentation at the Common Cod Fiber Guild on Friday night, Nov 11 at MIT, followed by a Level 1 and Level 2 workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns. The following weekend I’ll be doing trunk shows and book signings at Gather Here in Cambridge and at Newbury Yarns‘ new location in Boston. For more info, please check out my calendar. December will be mostly virtual appearances for me, and I will be planning workshops for the Spring.

And now, for the curious among you, project updates. I am still working on the 52 pickup scarf; I am starting the 11th repeat (of 18). If you last saw it at TNNA, it’s about 3 times longer now. Parallax 1.0 is creeping toward completion but is still about 1/3 to 1/4 done. I have started Parallax 0.5, a lower-res version, in Bijou Basin Lhasa Wilderness (a yak and bamboo blend). I have also accepted yarn to design a new necktie and a belt in Findley for Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. The necktie I will most likely release on Ravelry although I am tempted to see about releasing it as a kit; the belt should be in an upcoming Juniper Moon book.

Extreme Book Touring

Extreme Double-Knitting should be out at the end of the week, and by coincidence (not really — by design) I’ll be heading out to Rhinebeck at the same time. The first physical copies will be sold there (come see me at Bldg C, Booth 37 from 1-2pm Sat and Sun — I will be there other times but those times are guaranteed).

I had workshops at Webs and Fiber Lab set up, but neither one panned out. Because the workshops didn’t run, my publisher decided to scrap the trunk shows and book signings at both places too. So I will be having a slightly more relaxed travel weekend — but I’m sorry to those who had hoped to find me at one of those locations. You’ll just have to head to Rhinebeck or Stitches now.

The following weekend, I will be heading to Stitches East (Hartford, CT) and hanging out in the Market with Cooperative Press. Apparently we’re sharing space with Bijou Basin Ranch in 1005, 1007 and 1009. More info on that as I get it.

Visit my full calendar for more event details.

Hope to see you there!

The book is alive … (nearly)!

No fire, but a pretty picture nonetheless

OK, so there aren’t print copies yet (folks at Rhinebeck will get the first taste of these) but those who preordered are getting their PDF copies and initial impressions are good. In addition, we’ve finally got the patterns listed on Ravelry, so people are starting to see the new content there too. The preorder period is now officially over; the promotional price is done and the book is now selling at list price. If you want it, you can go to Cooperative Press’ order page, Amazon (showing as currently unavailable until the print copies arrive), or request it from your LYS or bookstore. I will also be making appearances at various places around the northeast in mid-October, and will have books available as I go. I will be posting a calendar of my upcoming appearances and workshops soon.

To those who are sad to see that the final cover does not have the firebreathing photo on it, I do apologize. However, that photo and several other fire photos are inside.

Double-Knitting.com is now live

We’re working on putting the finishing touches on the book, which is slated to head to the printer this Tuesday. In preparation for this, I’ve finished the website at double-knitting.com. No, we still don’t have doubleknitting.com, so I have to tell people “double hyphen knitting” but I’m OK with this for now. I’m kind of used to it, given my last name is hyphenated. I guess it sort of fits. Hope you like the new site. It won’t take the place of this one — this will still be the blog, with more frequent updates, RSS feed access, etc.

Extreme Double-Knitting now available for pre-order!

I’m going to take the easy way out and just copy some of the text from my announcement email list:

After much ado, Cooperative Press is ready to take pre-orders for my new book, Extreme Double-Knitting: New Adventures in Reversible Colorwork.

For those of you unfamiliar with the book’s content, this is poised to be the go-to reference book for anyone looking to push double-knitting to its limits in his or her own designs. At nearly 200 full-color pages, with over 170 technique illustrations, this book will take you from basic double-knitting through some of the most unusual things that can be done with the technique, with 14 patterns to give you practice in the new techniques. It is my hope that people will take these techniques and use them to begin designing their own “extreme” double-knitting patterns.

If you’re like me, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the day you get your hands on a copy of my book. If you play your cards right, however, you might even be able to get your hands on one before I do! For a limited time, Cooperative Press will be taking pre-orders for the Print + PDF pack at $23.95 plus shipping. Once the books begin shipping, the price will go up to $29.95. So order now, get your book before all your friends, and save some money to boot! This offer is available only to direct customers. Retailers should be in touch with Shannon at Cooperative Press for wholesale pricing.

As soon as I have a print date, I’ll post it up here. For now, however, just rest assured that it’s coming soon.