Whirlwind

by Shannon on March 15, 2012

It’s been an incredibly exciting week, one of those weeks where your brain hits the “full” mark way too early and you just can’t absorb anything else. Here’s the scoop: I went to Austin for SXSW Interactive, where I was giving a talk on niche publishing. I used what we’re doing at Cooperative Press with knit-related publishing as a jumping-off point, and people had some really great questions, which was exciting for me.

I really have to offer many, many thanks to Rachael Herron, who shared some publishing money-related numbers from her own experience with me to make the presentation a little less nonfiction-centric. She also provided me with a very cool example for my talk of what’s possible these days: her short story didn’t get used elsewhere, so she published it to Kindle herself, thus providing people with a lower-cost introduction to her characters and their world which, hopefully, will lead to them checking out her other books. Clever, no?

Then, I came home to this article about me and Cooperative Press in our local paper. That was the journalist-with-a-clue I was talking about on Facebook a little while ago — he really got what we’re trying to do. (Even if they did spell Anezka wrong. Oh well. Minor quibble! That’s what I get for naming my born-in-the-Czech-Republic-dog after a Czech saint…)

While in Austin, when I wasn’t having Important Business Meetings with my ace assistant Elizabeth (recently hired, and worth one million times the pay, believe me), I was eating tacos. Sometimes both at the same time!

No, really.

I was eating tacos like it was my job. Final total over 5.25 days = I think 28, but I might have lost track. I’m pretty sure I had tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. What can I say? The tacos are awesome in Austin. I took a lot of taco photos for my own amusement, most of them are over on Instagram or Facebook. This pretty much sums it up:

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE YARN?! MY GOD, WOMAN. TELL US ABOUT THE YARN!

Stacy at the Knitting Nest was kind enough to throw an event in my honor — hey, tell me there will be Shiner Bock and I’m there. This is a fiber art piece by Seann McKeel which is on loan to the shop at the moment. It’s hundreds of knitted, felted cranes, and it is beyond gorgeous. I fear I could not capture its utter gorgeousness with the iPhone camera, so check out more about it at Knit Not War.

I also got the chance to stop by Hill Country Weavers, where I taught last year. They’re a Shelter store and I have a crazy addiction to that yarn, so of course I had to go poke at their inventory.

In the same general vicinity (and close to my FAVORITE tacos at Torchy’s — deep fried avocado tacos? yes please) is Stitch Lab.

If you think this is cute, you should have seen the giant jars full of vintage buttons at the back of the store. I walked out with some Kaffe Fassett fabric and an idea for the magazine, as well as some fabric with adorable vintage-style typewriters on it. Possible Kindle case? I’m still deciding. OH. The magazine! Did I not mention it yet? Yes, this month has been crazy.

Here’s the scoop — Cooperative Press is publishing a new magazine that hopefully will fill a void I see in the knit-and-fiber mag market in terms of not only knitting patterns (let’s be brutally honest, there are a ton of places to get patterns), but also really high quality content, with an emphasis on the kinds of topics CP does best, from fiber art art to the business of craft, in-depth articles about designers and things that crafty people care about, etc.

Let’s call it a cross between the (late and lamented) FiberArts magazine and Yarn Market News, with some Adorn, KnitKnit, knit.1 and CRAFT magazines thrown in.

If you’re not on the CP and/or Knitgrrl mailing lists, get on them — you’ll be receiving a comp copy of the premiere issue in the next few months.

Ok! more yarn at SXSW! Speaking of fiber art, Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please did this amazing display for one of the French company booths:

Looking at them from the other direction, it spelled out the French city’s name.

I get stupidly excited when I see my own name or something I’m presenting on a sign. Like here:

Or here (this was in the green room before I went on):

But one of the most exciting things at SXSW for me, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Firefly/etc nerd was seeing Joss Whedon’s hour long panel.

He really is that funny in person, not to mention cool. (Some guy was doing — I don’t know, some kind of scavenger hunt quest thingy — where he had to high five Whedon as part of his task list, and he DID IT. Hilarious).

So it was a fun-yet-productive week, and I am full of new ideas that I am itching to implement for Knitgrrl and for Cooperative Press.

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