11225723_10156184240180654_3404618327157633361_nI have to admit, this is one of the most exciting things I’ve done in a while! I created a Twitter bot (find it at @whatshouldiknit) that automagically tweets knitting project suggestions once an hour using a defined series of variables including colors, stitch types, pattern types, yarns, and pattern sources. The older I get, the more fascinating software technology is to me, and I am making baby steps towards learning to write proper code. I hope you’ll enjoy this!

What else is going on? Oh, the usual SO VERY MUCH, as you can tell from my lack of blogging. (I hate it, because I love the blog, but I find myself spending a lot of time on other social media as a result of my work obligations, and there are only so many hours in a day).

I’ve been working on reconfiguring how Cooperative Press runs so that I can spend more time writing and running events such as Cleveland Bazaar, which has grown into a business that happens to provide the majority of my personal income these days. I have to tell you, reading this post by Woolly was a massive source of encouragement, because there is nothing that can make you feel more guilty than a business that isn’t going the way you feel it should be.

I have been taking counsel from many wise friends and colleagues, and prioritizing my own health and sanity in the face of many challenges over the past year. If I had a dollar for every person who has confided in me that they are considering leaving the yarn industry, I wouldn’t have to change anything about what I’m doing, because I would be SO VERY WEALTHY. The publishing industry is often much the same. And guess which two industries I’m straddling? Aiyi.

It’s funny. You can flat out insult me directly and it won’t make me blink, but make me question my own judgment in how my businesses are run, and I am suddenly a sodden wreck.

(I recently told a good friend about an ex-friend-with-benefits who told me he’d take me to the Caribbean as a reward if I lost weight…she was flabbergasted and I was just laughing because COME ON, THAT IS HILARIOUS. He wasn’t throwing me out of bed for eating crackers, as the saying goes. Wait… what do you mean it isn’t hilarious? Ok, I think it’s hilarious, and I know the place he was coming from as the child of a mother with health problems exacerbated by her weight, but… oh… yeah. I’m learning to rethink my former ability to blow off comments like that, and call people out on their bullshit).

So that’s where I’m at these days. I’m trying to make a lot of improvements both personally and professionally in the face of what can sometimes seem like insurmountable odds, but I’m taking comfort from my wise friends, and really internalizing what they’ve been telling me for a while now:

  • You don’t have to be a martyr.
  • You have already done so much.
  • You should be proud of your accomplishments, not focused on your failures.
  • Your “failures” were all made in good faith, in an effort to succeed, and there’s no shame in that.
  • Don’t envy the picture-perfect you see on Instagram and social media; you don’t know the full story

So those are my lessons to keep repeating until I really, truly can believe and act on them.

The publishing house will continue, both books and magazines, albeit in new sales formats. There isn’t enough money available to support the level of service I want to see for the old way of doing things, but we are working on creating systems that can continue to pay the higher royalty structure while cost-cutting on the me side.

The events will continue, and even expand.

I will continue to work on my own health; migraines and other problems are no picnic but with the allergy diagnoses I finally got earlier in the year, I’ve been able to remove or at least lessen some of my triggers. Fingers crossed it holds up all winter, usually my worst migraine series come around February.

Things change. It’s the only thing that never changes.


Aurora Borealis Mittens is here!

by Shannon on March 4, 2015

I’ve been working on this book for over a year, and it’s FINALLY OUT and I could not be more excited.


Here are just some of the patterns inside:


  • Buy the digital edition on Ravelry here!
  • Buy the print + digital edition at Cooperative Press here!


Happy anniversary, Yarn Harlot!

January 24, 2015

Stephanie put out a call on the Twitter-Bat Phone this morning about the “Class of 2004″ knitbloggers on the occasion of her anniversary. Ok, lets do this. Class of (knitblogging) 2004, still online.. sound off! (please retweet, so we can find them all) — Steph Pearl-McPhee (@YarnHarlot) January 24, 2015 *raises hand* According to the […]

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Holiday gift-giving guide for knitters, crocheters and fiber people!

November 11, 2014

Obviously I’m biased and think you should buy all your books and patterns directly from me and/or Cooperative Press. (Hey look! shiny new website — that happened a few months ago, so you can understand why I’ve been distracted and not needing One More Tech Problem). But how about some other ideas? Here are two […]

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I’m BACK. Holy technical error, Batman!

November 11, 2014

After MONTHS of not being able to get into my own blog software, the Miracle Worker Extraordinaire (aka Penny) did it with some form of black IT magic, so YAY PENNY. Yaaaaaay. Right on. So what’s the haps? Oh, so many things, as usual. We’re gearing up for holiday promo stuff, which will follow in […]

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Hire me!

June 14, 2014

I’m looking to book additional teaching gigs this summer and this fall and have openings in my schedule that can save you money, dear yarn stores. Here’s the deal. I am exhibiting at the American Library Association show at the end of the month (come see me in booth 1348, librarian friends!) in Vegas. I […]

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Katherine Shaughnessy crewel (part 2) at my former shop

June 10, 2014

Katherine Shaughnessy crewel class excerpt (part 2) at my former shop. There’s nothing more awesome than a gym full of spinning wheels at Yarn School / Felt School at the Harveyville Project.

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Introducing: Daily Zen

June 9, 2014

I’m starting up a new feature called Daily Zen with knitterly stuff from around the internet. Pictures, books I think look interesting, you name it… Let’s kick it off with the source of our hobby. SHEEP! Image by James Good “Sheep along Highway 395 in California.” Image by Peewubblewoo “Sheep in winter, in a field […]

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Updated shop page & new stuff on the way

June 9, 2014

I’ve been playing around with some new tools and toys (when I’m not up to my eyeballs working on the new Cooperative Press shopping cart…seriously, it’s been 12-hr days around here with that alone), and one of the fun things I like is Amazon’s astore functionality. Here’s one I’ve been working on putting together with […]

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June 9, 2014

More fuzzy friends. I wish I was out in a field right now, frankly. Image by Ambersky235 Please visit my website www.think-differently-about-sheep.com In the photograph gallery you will find more photographs, not only of sheep but other animals. Also photographs sized for desktop wallpaper of a variety of subjects including sheep, cattle, horses, birds , […]

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