Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #6

As of January 1, 2018, Extreme Double-knitting is (legally) mine. The final royalty statement from Cooperative Press has come in, and (of course) as a side-effect, it’s next to impossible to get them to follow up on the loose ends. I’m probably pretty low on the priority list at this point. The book is still available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and digitally at Knitpicks. Since my relationship with Cooperative Press is now severed, any money from sales at these places should be going to me, but isn’t — and I have no way to keep track of sales so it’s up to CP’s honor to remit payments to me until we can get these venues to take down the books. Of course, there will always be used copies out there, and I’m sure the odd LYS still has a copy or two.

However, if you’re looking for a copy, I highly recommend you wait for the new version, which will be out later this year.

As I’ve already mentioned, my wrist injury has been slowing down my knitting. However, I have completed 6 of the Footsies (2 full pairs and 2 single booties for at least one example of all four new sizes), woven in a ridiculous number of ends on the Whorl’d Tree bag, and (most importantly) begun work on the actual book layout.

I have decided to lay it out oblong (like Double or Nothing) so that the two books fit nicely together on a shelf, and for a number of charts that benefit from the horizontal length. I have finished laying out the patterns and technique chapters; I am now working on the deeper dive stuff toward the end and the appendix. I’ll need to start setting the technique photos and identifying which ones need to be re-shot. Fortunately, I’m about to do a series of teaching weekends, so my hands should be regularly manicured for the next several months, which will make it easier to do those photos.

There have been a few other challenges that have popped up which are slowing me down. The first I alluded to in the previous update: there are a couple of projects that returned from sample knitters that I just wasn’t happy with — not necessarily due to the sample knitters’ work per se, but due to some other unforeseen circumstances. All my knitters have been paid, and will get full credit in the book, but I’ve taken it on myself to re-knit part or all of a couple of the pieces. The most important thing about sample knitting is that the final piece looks plausibly as if it were knit by me. This means the fabric has to meet my high standards for quality and workmanship, at least within reason. I am fundamentally a nice person (I think) and there were cases where I probably should have been less lenient — but it’s a learning experience.

Because I can’t do the model photoshoot until I have all the pieces available, and there’s only so much winter/spring weather left in the season, I am concerned that I may be waiting until the Fall to do the photoshoot and getting the book out for Christmas of 2018 rather than the Spring as I’d hoped. This will surely annoy quite a number of people, not least myself, but it is most important to me that this book be something I’m happy with than that it comes out promptly.

In other news

This week I’ll be heading to Stitches West, where I’ll be teaching (among other things) two brand new workshops on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac. I hope it all goes well! Come and pick up a copy of my book or patterns at Wall of Yarn, booth 827/829.

I’ve got a busy Spring teaching season coming up; check out my recent blog post for all the dates and locations. In addition, I am finally coming back to the Chicago area for Stitches Midwest this year! It’s been too long.

Finally, I guess it’s true: scarcity sells. After the previous blog post, 52 Pickup is down to 3 copies of the final run of 30. Thanks to everyone who grabbed one! If you’ve been waffling about it, now’s the time — these won’t last, and there literally can’t be any more since the printer has erased the file from their servers. There may be a slight delay in shipping as I’ll be out of the state for the better part of the coming week.

An unexpected reprint!

Once upon a time, I designed this truly bizarre pattern. Inspired by a slightly tipsy conversation with my wife, I decided to create a scarf that was based on a deck of cards. Using my two-pattern and three-color techniques together, I devised a template that allowed me to knit cards that each had a front and a back. I combined 54 of them (including 2 jokers) to make this magnum opus of a pattern.

I sold the pattern on Ravelry, but I figured there might be a niche market for printed versions, so I had a small run of 100 of them printed with the help of my publisher but not under their control. I put 10 of them into kits and sold the rest individually. It took me about 3 years to sell that many, and I decided it wasn’t worth it to print more so I just sold them out and that was it — they were still available on Ravelry, after all.

A couple years later, I was in the process of getting the rights back from my publisher for Extreme Double-knitting, and was told that part of the process involved deleting the digital books on file with the printer so they couldn’t print any more. I was asked if I wanted a last run of copies of either book — and I figured, since this was literally my last chance, I should print another small run of 52 Pickup.

So here you have it. At the time of this post, there are 13 copies (after sales at Stitches West and an announcement yesterday to my mailing list) of 52 Pickup back in the world. Each one comes with a free PDF download of the pattern on Ravelry, as usual. There won’t be any more after this, unless there’s sufficient interest that it makes sense to print them in several-hundred copy runs at my new printer, which doesn’t seem likely. For more info, visit the 52 Pickup page. To buy one, visit my store. And thanks!

2018 Workshops so far …

As the 2018 “Spring” teaching season begins, I felt I should make a definitive posting of the season’s final workshop schedule. Clearly missing is the Vogue Knitting Live appearance which has already passed. I’m also trying to give as much info on book/pattern sales at these events as I currently have.

  • January 20, Epsom, NH: I’ll be doing an intro workshop for the NH Spinners & Dyers’ Guild. I’ll be bringing my books and patterns for sale.
  • January 27, Wayland, MA: I’ll be doing an intro workshop at Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market Farm & Fiber Day. I won’t have a formal vendor presence here. My books and patterns will be for sale to my students; if you’re not a student but interested in something feel free to corral me at the market and I’ll be happy to sell it.
  • February 22-25, Santa Clara, CA: I’ll be returning to Stitches West and teaching (among other things) two brand new workshops on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac! My books and patterns will be available at Wall of Yarn, booth 827/829.
  • March 22-25, Hartford, CT: I’ll be teaching a few workshops at Stitches United. My books and patterns will be available at the Wall of Yarn booth.
  • April 6-8, Pittsburgh, PA: I’ll be returning to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. My books and patterns will be available at the Space Cadet Yarn booth.
  • April 27-28, Minneapolis, MN: I’ll be back at Yarnover for my second year! My books and patterns will be available at the ModeKnit booth.
  • May 2-6, West Friendship, MD: I’ll be teaching a series of workshops at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Books and patterns will be available at the Buffalo Wool Co booth.
  • June 13, Warwick, RI: I’ll be teaching an intro workshop and doing a presentation to the Ocean State Knitting Guild. I will be selling my own books and patterns at this event.
  • August 2-4, Schaumburg, IL: I’ll be returning to Stitches Midwest after a few years away; my books and patterns will be available at the Wall of Yarn booth.
  • September 5-9, Searsport, ME: I’ll be returning to Fiber College to teach three 4-hour classes. I’ll be selling my own books and patterns at this event.
  • September 13-16, Amherst, MA: I’ll be doing a series of intro and intermediate workshops at the WEBS Fall Knitting Retreat.

More to come as contracts are signed! For more details on many of these, visit my Events Calendar.

Fallingblox Designs year-end report

Just in case you’re interested, but partially for my own record-keeping as well, here’s a rundown of 2017 in book sales (no dollar amounts, just sales numbers).

Double or Nothing was (predictably) the highest seller this year, with a total of 511 copies sold. Along with my preorders from late 2016, this brings my total copies sold up to 854. These numbers include all sales of physical books: direct sales, show sales, Amazon sales and wholesale to shops. Thankfully, the majority of these sales were direct and show sales (where I make the most money, and am able to provide more benefit to customers in the form of the free PDF downloads).

Second in sales was my Parallax booklet, which has been consistently popular to the point that I elected to print 1000 copies earlier in the year. 226 of those have sold, not counting the leftovers from the previous batch.

My printed patterns have done fairly well also, although I am cutting down the number of these that I keep in stock. Once the printed versions of Spring Willow (also included in Double or Nothing) and Parallax v0.5 (also included in the Parallax booklet) are sold out, I won’t be printing more. 147 standalone patterns have sold; the highest-selling was (as usual) the Victorian Raffia pattern.

I don’t have a total count of digital sales (Ravelry doesn’t make it easy to get that kind of summary) but I know I sold 75 copies of Double or Nothing’s PDF version (not counting the free PDF downloads for those who bought the physical book) in 2017, for a total of 121 during the life of the book.

These numbers are reasonably good if not amazing; I certainly would have been happier if the holiday season had been kinder to me. I put out ads and promoted my work in a number of different ways but could not seem to find a sweet spot where the sales generated made the ad expense worth it. I will be consulting with someone more knowledgeable than I to figure out how one could better promote a book that is a year old now. The one pattern that I have noticed is that sales are always better when I am personally present at a show or vendor booth. For this reason, I will be keeping an eye out for vending opportunities and will continue to take teaching gigs.

Speaking of which, I’ve got a repeat of last year’s double-knitting workshop at the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market. This is newly added to my 2018 workshops, and since it’s coming up fast I figured I’d take a moment to mention it here. Last year’s workshop sold out, so if you’re in the area and interested in learning double-knitting on January 27th from 2-5pm, sign up soon. Dirty Water Dyeworks will be stocking my books and patterns there.

Buy your double-knitting gifts soon!

Just a reminder that your last chance to order printed books and patterns from my online store (including Double or Nothing, Parallax, and Victorian Raffia, among other standalone patterns) to ensure delivery to the US by Christmas will be Tuesday, Dec 19th. If you are closer to the Northeastern US, you may be able to order later and get 2-day shipping or even 1-day shipping, but that’s not guaranteed.

Remember, if you order direct from my store (as opposed to Amazon), every book and pattern comes with a free PDF download code. You can also request a signature on your book for a nominal extra fee. Thanks for supporting small fiber businesses this year!

p.s. If you’d like to hear a recent review of Double or Nothing, the Knitmore Girls did one on their podcast back in November. I knew they were going to, but I didn’t actually hear it was out until later — so here you go.

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #5

It’s been a month and a half since my last proper update — but I have an excuse. About a month ago, I took a fall on my bicycle and sprained my wrist. My right hand has been in a brace on and off since then, and while it hasn’t stopped my knitting, it has slowed me down significantly. It has also created difficulty in my job (it is hard to hold and turn a screwdriver while one hand is in a brace) and in typing. In addition, I had two weekend gigs with a total of 27 hours of teaching, plus book signings at four different venues. My wrist is basically OK out of the brace now, but it still twinges now and then and it will probably be a while before it’s completely healed and fully functional again.

For that reason, I’m going to try to keep this update short (note: I failed), and also focus more on the work done by other people than my own work.

First, the status of the book itself. Cooperative Press hasn’t responded to my emails for the past month, and hasn’t removed Extreme Double-knitting from Amazon or Ravelry as I requested, despite having a signed and counter-signed rights reversion agreement. I suppose it makes sense not to take them down as we go into the holiday gift-giving season, but I’d really rather people not get a sub-par product when they could simply wait a few months for a much better one. So I’m going to ask you, as someone who’s following me, to please wait. But if you just can’t wait, you can still get the 2011 version in the usual locations.

Now, the projects

I’ve gotten 5 of the 6 projects back which were being worked on by sample knitters. The sixth (Vasily) got an extension because his dog literally ate his homework. He gave me the choice of having me deal with it in person or an extension — I took the extension, and as of the most recent update, it’s almost complete and will be mailed back to me this week.

One of the others you’ve seen already — the Silk City necktie in Update #4 was the first to return. The next to return was the Four Winds hat, which has been heavily redesigned for a number of reasons. I’ll do a separate post about that later as I do my pattern highlight posts leading up to the printing. Suffice it to say, I’ve redesigned it from the ground up — new letters, new points, new closure. And it’s in sportweight yarn so it’s a little more wearable — and comes in two different sizes as well. Here’s a photo of the original and the new version side by side:

Another one that recently returned got an uncredited photo in my previous blog post: the redesigned and expanded Sierpinski blanket. Rather than going with Sierpinski carpet fractals in levels 2, 3 and 4, I opted for the original concept of a single level-5 version. This was originally a baby blanket, but strangely enough when done in sportweight yarn comes out with a similar gauge to my previous one in worsted. This means that the finished product is still about twice the size of the original one. So it’s more of a lap blanket than a baby blanket, which suits me fine. You can always go down to fingering weight if you want it smaller (and send me photos; I’d love to see that done)

Finally, Struktur has had a significant redesign: the chart repeat has been condensed for easier sizing (the closure is now 5 or 6 repeats around, rather than 4), and the yarn has been changed to sport weight. I struggled a bit with the colors because the heathered versions I was able to use in Cascade 220 don’t exist in 220 Sport. So I did the best I could. My sample knitter had difficulty with the decreases so I had to tear back the crown and rework it myself — which is a funny echo to the previous Struktur where I also had to do the crown myself due to a sample knitter’s hand injury (not related to knitting, I swear!). This also gave me the opportunity to refine the crown closure a little bit, so it was probably for the best.

The one I’m not showing yet is the Falling Blocks hat. It has returned, but the aura of the yarn is so overwhelming that I may have to reknit it. This is no fault of my sample knitter, but it is frustrating. The yarn is the same as the original but finer, so perhaps with increased surface area comes increased aura. I didn’t see this in the sample swatch I made, so I’m not sure — I’ll have to see how it goes.

In other news

While I am not doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale this year, I do have a way for you to save a little bit of money if you order from my store soon. Between now and the end of the month, Media Mail shipping will be available for my printed books and patterns within the US. For the month of December, I’ll be going back to Priority mail only — and then in January I’ll turn Media Mail back on again. So if you want to save a few bucks on shipping, order in the next few days.

Also, I’ve got my (PDF) book in an Ultimate Bundle that’s opening TODAY and is open for the next week — so you have only a short time to grab a whole pile of patterns and projects for very little money. In the knitting section, my book is far and away the most advanced, but there are sewing, weaving, applique, quilting and crochet sections if you are multicraftual or aspiring in that direction, you may find something to your liking here. In addition, if you buy in before Thursday, you’ll get your choice of a Craftsy class for free! Also, I believe you can give the bundle as a gift if you’ve got someone in mind who might be interested. And whether you’re going after the bundle for my book or for something else, if you use my link, you’ll be helping me out this holiday season too. Thanks!

Finally, if you missed my update on upcoming workshops, you can check my previous blog post and/or visit my events calendar.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

2018 workshops & last chance for Media Mail

First and foremost, as we begin the season of capitalist excess joy and gift-giving, I wanted to let you know that my online store (featuring my printed books Double or Nothing and Parallax, plus several printed standalone patterns) will be allowing Media Mail as a shipping option for only the next week. On Dec 1, the option will be going away in favor of Priority Mail for the month of December only. In my experience, during the postal chaos of the Christmas season, Priority packages have a lower occurrence of loss or damage than others. So if you want to save money on (shipping for) a book for yourself or for a loved one, order before the end of the month! (Media mail will return as a shipping option in January)

Now, looking forward to 2018 …

Here in New England, Summer has given way precipitously to Fall, with Winter coming soon, so it seems a little strange to be thinking about Spring already. Spring, in the vernacular of the knitting teacher, is a little misleading: my Spring season starts in January. So here’s the list of my appearances in 2018 so far:

  • January 12-14, NYC: I’ll be teaching a couple of intro DK workshops at Vogue Knitting Live. Also, my good friend Diane is bringing Lady Dye Yarns to Vogue for the first time, so check her out if you’re there.
  • January 20, Epsom, NH: I’ll be doing an intro workshop for the NH Spinners & Dyers’ Guild
  • February 22-25, Santa Clara, CA: I’ll be returning to Stitches West and teaching (among other things) two BRAND NEW workshops on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac!
  • March 22-25, Hartford, CT: I’ll be teaching a few workshops at Stitches United.
  • April 6-8, Pittsburgh, PA: I’ll be making my triumphant return to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival
  • April 27-28, Minneapolis, MN: I’ll be back at Yarnover for my second year!
  • May 2-6, West Friendship, MD: I’ll be teaching a series of workshops at Maryland Sheep & Wool (precise timing TBA)
  • June 13, Warwick, RI: I’ll be teaching an intro workshop and doing a presentation to the Ocean State Knitting Guild.
  • More to come soon, probably — I’ll keep you posted! For more details on any of these, visit my Events Calendar.

Am I not coming to a convenient location for you? Do you have a LYS or guild that might like to bring me in? Get in touch and let’s talk! I’ve got a few weekends still open for the Spring 2018 season.

Finally, the book project

I haven’t stopped working on Extreme Double-knitting. I know I’m behind on the updates. I’ll get a new one up soon, but I’ve been traveling, teaching, and also suffering from a sprained wrist due to a minor bicycle accident. I’ve been unable to maintain the level of progress I would have liked. However, my schedule is solidifying beginning next week and I anticipate that I will be able to dedicate more time to this project. As before, if you’d like to be among the first to hear when the book is ready for preorder, please join my temporary EDK announcement email list. This list will be used once or twice to make announcements — then will be retired. So you won’t see any traffic until sometime in early 2018. For more granular progress, just keep an eye on this blog. And thanks!

Return of Extreme Double-knitting: Update #4

Before I get into the updates, I want to make a quick announcement. My books will be at Rhinebeck next weekend! Visit Dirty Water Dyeworks in Building C, Booth 42. I’ll be hanging around on Saturday, but I’m not allowed to do a formal book signing event. That said, grab your books and come find me at the Ravelry meetup at noon on Saturday; I’ll be happy to sign there.

Now to the updates! The revision of Extreme Double-knitting continues — if you’d like to get on the mailing list to be among the first to find out when it’s ready for preorder, you can join here. My tireless sample knitters are beginning to send me their finished objects, so I’m showing off some of the newly-completed projects. Starting at the upper left:

Wrist Chakra has been subtly redesigned to work with DK (rather than light worsted) yarn, and I’ll be doing a headband version as well.

Silk City has not been redesigned, but has been reworked in different yarn by Youmna, one of my sample knitters. Honestly, I think this one may look better than mine would have!

The Box of Delights has been redesigned from the bottom up (or the top down, technically) to be done in Bartlett yarn. This is the yarn I did my original prototype in, and I decided to revisit it for the new design. As you can see, I’m using the same concept as the Whorl’d Tree bag to make one layer a solid color; the outside of the box is still nicely striped but the inside is a solid color.

Four Winds has been reworked in a sportweight yarn by Holli, one of my sample knitters. As you can see, I’ve recharted the letters so they’re worked upside down — so that when the brim is folded up, they appear correctly.

Finally, Open for Business has simply been re-mounted. I got some very nice hardwood dowels and added caps to the ends after feeding them through the existing channels.

There are four more samples that are nearly done or already on their way back to me. I’m in the home stretch on my Whorl’d Tree bag (just about to begin the flap and straps) and have successfully redesigned my Footsies in four sizes. I am shooting for finishing all my patterns by the end of this month; I may or may not achieve this but it’s looking at least within the realm of possibility.

In Other News

October is a nice break for me this year, with no teaching events, and just Rhinebeck toward the end. In November I’ll be teaching and speaking at the Madison (WI) Knitters’ Guild on the 12th and 13th, taking a short break and then heading out by train to teach at the Yarn Attic in Hillsborough, NJ on the 17th, and Loop in Philadelphia on the 18th and 19th. That’ll be the end of my Fall 2017 season. So what’s up for Spring of 2018?

As usual, I’ll be kicking off my Spring season in early January at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. I’m just doing two back-to-back intro workshops on Friday the 12th, and registration should be starting soon! I’ll be hanging out in the vendor area on Saturday.

The following weekend I’ll be teaching another intro workshop up at the NH Spinners and Dyers guild in Epsom, NH. I think this is largely open to their guild members but if you’re not, you’re welcome to try.

In February, I’m going to be doing the big CA show as usual: Stitches West in Santa Clara! I’ll be debuting two brand new classes too — on double-knit intarsia and double-knit entrelac! Of course I’ll be teaching my usual fare as well. You can visit their site to find out more.

I’m still waiting to hear about events in March, so jumping ahead to April:

On April 6-8, I’ll be making a return to Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival; I did well there a few years back and I hope people will enjoy my new offerings this year.

On April 27 and 28, I’ll be returning to Yarnover in Minneapolis. This was a short but enjoyable event and I hope they’ll continue to book me there.

Finally (so far, anyway), on the first weekend in May, I’ll be teaching a series of workshops at Maryland Sheep & Wool! I’m really excited to do this, since I have yet to attend this event and I understand it rivals Rhinebeck in size.

Regardless of whether I’m attending an event, if Dirty Water Dyeworks or Wall of Yarn are present, you should be able to get my books there.

Thanks for your interest and I’ll keep you posted as I’m booked for more dates or have more news on the book!

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!