When they have to bring a truck to your house…

…that’s when you know you’ve ordered a lot of books.

Xan and I offered up a special deal on signed copies of our book AlterNation, then ended up having to order more in after this post went live! (If you’re planning to order or have already ordered, please note the UPDATE link re: shipping addresses)

What’s in the boxes? so many copies to sign that our hands are probably going to be cramped for the next three weeks. Thank heavens for my Dymo label printer, I cry to think of printing out all of those by hand.

Get AlterNation for $8!

In preparation for some exciting upcoming stuff, Xan and I are clearing out our stash of signed, printed copies of AlterNation, our thrift store makeover book. If you would like to order one (or two, or three!), they are $8, which includes postage. If you have a shop and would like to stock signed copies, please contact Shannon asap for info on shipping more than a few copies at once at admin (at) knitgrrl.com. And finally, if you want any special personalizations, let us know when you order. Thanks!

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Superexciting news!

Xan and I just learned that our thrift store sewing book AlterNation has been picked up by all 900 Jo-Ann fabric & craft stores! You can find the closest local store here.

If you’re a Jo-Ann’s regular, I don’t need to remind you that they’ve got great coupons, so take the opportunity to stock up on zippers, buttons and other supplies you’ll need for making over your favorite thrift store finds. Not to mention the cool yarny stuff I’ve seen them stocking recently, such as no-knit weave-a-scarf kits in black. Those are:

a. a good way to keep kids on spring break occupied and
b. a good way to use up lots of weird yarn bits, especially novelty

And, if you can, please be sure to ask which of my other books they stock. Cough, cough. Hint. Just like good Amazon reviews, asking for an author’s books definitely does make a difference when people or stores are deciding what to order.

Now that I’ve told you what to do made a suggestion, don’t forget: here’s your chance to be the boss of me — keep those suggestions coming, and thanks again!

Knitgrrl’s editor is funny

I’ve just returned from the Craft and Hobby Association tradeshow in California, and all I can say is this: we knitters have nothing on the scrapbookers in terms of stash. We were hanging out in Watson-Guptill’s booth when my editor returned from walking the floor. She slumped into a chair and said: “The next time our printers tell us there’s a paper shortage, I’m pointing them towards the scrapbookers!”

Seriously, the show was about 3/4 scrapbooking and papercraft. I was expecting at least a little bit more, fiber- and fabric-wise. Though, Lion Brand did a mini-fashion show, narrated by the always-hilarious Adina Klein, and I was excited to see Bernat adding soy, bamboo and organic cotton to their lineup.


Now the bad news — aforementioned Bernat bamboo is blended with acrylic and feels like plastic / looks shiny and cheap. Surprisingly, the soy/acrylic isn’t the same way, which makes me think it’s something in the processing. That bamboo made me sad. Their organic cotton is gorgeous, though, so let’s give them credit for that.

Xan and I did a few signings of our book AlterNation (which has its own blog here), and I signed my new book from Chronicle, The Pillow Book. Several friends were at the show, including Susan Beal of Susanstars* and Natalie Zee Drieu from CRAFT. Also, I had wonderful participants in both the seminars I gave, which made them that much more fun to do.

In short, good times.

If you haven’t already seen it yet, might I recommend checking out the Berroco design studio blog? Great stuff from Norah Gaughan, a designer whose work I adore. I think I want to knit a beet now.


As (AntiCraft cofounder) Zabet put it in an email to me this morning: Round Two!

Hey, look! Some of your comments even made it in. And, because blogging is nothing but crazy circular in nature, another bit of funny.

Yours truly has to write her own (non-snarky) column today, plus work on another magazine article and any number of other things that I didn’t get to start yesterday because I had a migraine incapacitating me for the past 24 hours. Good times. (If by saying “good times” you are being really, really sarcastic).

Too much stuff to do before I leave for CHA on Sunday. Double-sigh.

Aww, I think someone needs his bottle

Hey Philadelphians — riddle me this. What is this guy’s deal?

I should stress here that knit-Nazis are in no way like real Nazis (apart from being really touchy and big fans of the films of Leni Riefenstahl). I use the term because it’s an astute parody of the way the crafts most associated with brain-dead, soul-destroying pre-feminist housewifery—knitting, beading, stitching and crocheting—have been re-packaged and successfully sold to smugster sheep as radical, alternative and edgy.

I have two books on my desk right now, both pushing the strange idea that twiddling about with bits of wool is totally punk rock. And they’re just the tip of a huge knitted iceberg. There are entire sections containing metric shit-tons of these knit-Nazi manuals in every book barn in America.

First up there’s Alter Nation. There’s a rad-lookin’, crazy blue-haired rebel chick on the cover alongside a boast that it contains “25+ DIY fashion projects.” Be still my punky heart.

Then there’s Anticraft, subtitled “Knitting, beading and stitching for the slightly sinister.” One can only assume they’re using “slightly” here to mean “not at all.” And that “anti” is a misspelling of “auntie.”

Wow, he’s awfully edgy, isn’t he? Oh wait. He fancies himself a “punk poet” according to his Wikipedia entry. Awww, I guess we’re not PFR enough for him. (“PFR” = a term from my high school days usually applied to the trying-too-hard punk rock types, and I’m sure you can figure out what the F in the middle stands for).

Since when are crafts “associated with brain-dead, soul-destroying pre-feminist housewifery”? I suppose if you took up spitting as a hobby instead, as he recommends at the end of the review (which isn’t much of a review — more a chance for him to play punkier-than-thou), you’d be so much cooler.

Does he know anything about the fiber-as-art movement embodied in, say, the Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting exhibit, or the work of Lisa Anne Auerbach, Jenny Hart, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Lexi Boeger, Whitney Lee et al? Nah. It’s easier, and lazier, to mock a book that encourages people to avoid cookie-cutter mass culture and create their own style. It’s simpler to make fun of the model on the cover for having blue hair and plead ignorance about the wider world of craft-as-art. Lame.

So. Much. Going. On.

That’s the news here from Knitgrrl HQ. My latest book came out yesterday (AlterNation, written with my dear friend Xan — she’s in the Netherlands doing costumes for various dance troupes right now, so I had to jump up and down alone at the full-page ad the publisher took out in Adorn magazine).

One of our NaKniSweMo comrades has fallen in the line of duty and broken her arm. Get better soon, Kristy!

I dyed over 40 skeins of yarn this weekend and have more waiting, except the latter ones are going in another book and won’t be for sale. Dyeing with plant-based dyes is fun, but a heck of a lot more work than the acid dyes I usually use. Good thing my boyfriend doesn’t pay much attention to anything in the kitchen other than the coffeemaker, or else he’d wonder what the chunky red roots soaking in the blender are (madder).

Speaking of which, I just told him to leave it alone when I go to the shop. “Well, I’m not going to drink it,” says he. And then we got into a conversation about all the other things he wasn’t going to do to it in my absence, among them pee in the container.

Me: “Well, you could if it was indigo, but it’s not.”
Him: (?)
Me: (explains use of urine in traditional indigo dyeing)
Him: Ewww. History is gross.

Tomorrow, I’ll get to see two of my friends for the first time since their wedding, which is an embarrassingly long time, come to think of it. And I can egg her on to get more wheels. (Once you start, you can’t stop).

Then it’s the holiday, and trying desperately to get my knitting done on time… oh yes, this is going to be a fun week. Happy knitting and turkey to all!

Hours of amusement

Found here via the wonders of trackback:

And speaking of photos, while doing an interview yesterday, I found that a new cover for our upcoming book AlterNation has been uploaded at Amazon. Yay!

Is it wrong that I bought three new bookcases this weekend and already some of them have yarn inside? Really, Yarn Police, I just wanted to get them off the dining room table temporarily…

We are being inundated by insane amounts of rain today (not that I’m complaining — the garden really needs it), and massive thunderstorms with lightning flashing within what looks like inches from the house. I would like nothing better to stay home and knit, but have to go to the shop. It’s our interns’ last week, so rain or no, we’ve got stuff to do.

“The Knitting Circle Shows Its Chic”

A new article in the NY Times today: check it out here.

Needlework hobbyists have become more savvy, said Joelle Hoverson, an owner of Purl and Purl Patchwork, neighboring yarn and fabric boutiques in SoHo. “A lot of that is driven by fashion,” she said. Ms. Hoverson has noticed that designers like Mr. Jacobs inspire her customers. “But they’re also looking at clothes from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s,” she said. “And they’re looking at each other. It’s very cool.”

So far, so good. The quote that annoyed me, though, was this one: “Sewing is the latest of the domestic arts to be touted as a hipster passion, the rock ’n’ roll of the crafts world.”

What? What does that even mean? Just because younger people are starting to sew doesn’t make it “hipster.” (Think about it — in our parents’ and grandparents’ days, no one would have thought twice about someone wanting to make their own clothes. My mom supposedly repainted her clogs to match her outfits regularly when she was in art school, for example).

The New York Times also had an article about “hipster librarians” this week — maybe this is all part of a larger “hipster series” or something…

This just in…

My editor Christina informs me that the spring issue of Adorn hits newsstands today. It’s got an article by yours truly featuring recycled clothing and more by AlterNation co-author Xan, Lekkner, Tiffany Tomato (now at RePlayground, Betz White and more.

Adorn has a truly great blog. And now they’re offering subscriptions to the print magazine for a mere $9.99 — 33% off!

I love new magazine season, too.

What’s great about Adorn is that not only does it show you how to make things from scratch, but they’ve got a column called “Buy Retail, Add Detail” that’s a lot of fun. It’s given me some good inspirations for embellishing knitwear.