Inside Crochet debuts

So very proud! My friends Amy and Julie helped the company that publishes Yarn Forward launch its new crochet title, Inside Crochet. It’s the UK’s first all-crochet magazine.

Amy gives you the scoop here. I’ve seen the preview, but not the actual print magazine yet, I have to wait along with everyone else for the mail to arrive!

Update: The digital edition is up! Hurrah!

The digital edition of Yarn Forward must be selling like mad, it’s on the “hot list” of the digital subscription company’s main page. This pleases me to no end. Insert Sally Field-style you like us, you really like us!

Congratulations, Kim

(wait, is it weird to congratulate someone who’s leaving a job? in this case, I don’t think so…read on…the photo at left is from our 2006 book tour together)

My friend and very dear colleague Kim Werker has stepped down from her editorship at Interweave Crochet. Interweave has acquired the crochet site she founded, CrochetMe as well. Here’s a quote from the press release:

Loveland, Colo., December 2, 2008: Interweave announced today that is has completed its acquisition of, a popular social media site for crochet enthusiasts, from its developer, Kim Werker, in a move that adds to its already strong lineup of fiber craft media and online properties, which includes its crochet magazine, “Interweave Crochet.”

Kim wrote about the motivation behind her decision here, which included this:

I’m a starter. I’m a brainstormer. I’m a novelty junkie. I’m like a professional enthusiast. And when I get to the point that I love my work because I’ve come to fully understand it, I bask for a short while (a very short while), and then I wake up one day and I feel, quite literally and out of the blue, like I’m going to DIE.

I have to say I understand that — I get it completely. In fact, I could practically sense it when I saw her earlier in the fall. Poor Kim has suffered through enough one-on-one time with me, as in our Monsters of Teen Craft book tour a few years ago

(No really, kids… I snore! You do not want to share a hotel room with me! Kim deserves a medal or two on that alone).

that it’s relatively easy to notice when she’s not going full tilt. And she usually is going full tilt, because that’s just who she is. I think her dad put it best in the comments section on her blog:

You know, I think it’s a great thing that you decided to do. After all, your real strength is in your ideas and implementing them. You love to learn and create. I think you did the right thing and only really feel bad for Interweave who will be losing one heck of an editor.

So true.

And what really made me feel better about the whole thing was the positive reinforcement she’s gotten from everyone. I love being in an industry where people not only strive to do the right thing, but respect people who choose to go on their own path.

Annie Modesitt made another comment on Twitter among us all that also stood out — Kim wouldn’t have had nearly the freedom she’s had to do what she wants to do for a living if her healthcare and such were tied to the job. Canada for the win on that. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed that both CrochetMe AND Knitty were started by American-born editors who live in the great white north…?

If we want to continue to encourage creativity, entrepreneurship and everything we claim to admire in this country, we have got to fix healthcare. But that’s a rant for another day.

Congratulations, Kim. You know I love you and wish you all the best on the next phase of everything you do!

Knitting markup language

The knitter in me is excited about this. The geek in me is excited about this. Knitting markup language! Why, just the ability to translate and render patterns into new languages for international knitters alone makes this a fantastic idea.

See the post that started it all, and the original developer’s concept page. Wow.

Integrate it with Ravelry — the geekery! my gosh, the geekery! I mean this in the best possible way, of course. It’s astonishing. And believe me, after my recent spate of book pattern writing, I would love to see something like this in online software form that could generate patterns which aren’t one given item (sweaters, socks, whatever).

Or something that could generate custom knit patterns from a base formula using numeric inputs (as Art of Crochet does with crochet), except that the markup would also enable simultaneous multiple-language translations and other gewgaws.

It makes my head spin and wish I was a programmer, all at the same time. Fortunately, my boyfriend is. Hey, now I know what to put on my birthday wishlist…

The Knitgrrl Show with Kim Werker

Call in this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern to chat with Kim Werker, editor of Interweave Crochet, founder of the newly relaunched and author of the forthcoming Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution. Look inside the book here on Interweave’s website!

Questions for Kim? Call us at (718) 664-9504, or IM ‘knitgrrlshow’ on AIM. If you miss it, it’ll be up on iTunes shortly thereafter, as well as streaming from the BlogTalkRadio.

Crochet Me book launch party

Are you near Cleveland, or can you be? Then you won’t want to miss this. We’re one of five sites hosting simultaneous launch parties for Kim’s new book, and designer/book contributor Robyn Chachula of Crochet by Faye will be here for the event and teaching a class.

Interweave is even supplying cake. Come on, how can you say no to cake? Cake + crochet = good times.

Join the book crochetalong and wear your masterpieces to the party, too.

You should also know that next month I’ll be interviewing Crochet Me founder, Interweave Crochet editor, author of Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution and my dear friend Kim Werker on The Knitgrrl Show Friday 14 September at 2:00 Eastern, so put it on your calendars now…

Just… books

Two books I edited last year for Potter Craft are finally on sale: Just Socks and Just Gifts. Each book contains 30 patterns for both knit and crochet (yes, you can crochet socks!), and the projects are suitable for all types of yarn, so substitute at will.

Just Socks features fantastic designs by really amazing designers, among them Laura Andersson of Sirius Knitting, Jaya Srikrishnan, Andi Moon Smith of Knit Brit, Kate Winkler from Dove Cottage and many, many more. Even if you only knit, or only crochet, you’re sure to find many patterns you like that more than justify the low cover price.

Just Gifts also has some truly fabulous designs, from the “Greek diner” coffee cup sleeve by Sharleen Morco on the cover to anklets by Michele Ritan, an amigurumi bear by Kim Werker, a child’s bolero by Jillian Moreno, bear dress-up clothes by Donna Pedaci (which will also fit wee human babies), and adorable dog sweaters by Andi Moon Smith.

Many of the projects in Just Gifts require only small amounts of yarn, which makes it an excellent idea source for stashbusting. And personally, I’m eyeing the about-to-be-handpainted yarn here at the shop with Mary Lou Egan’s socks in mind…

Björk in freeform crochet

Thanks for all your lovely comments yesterday on the site’s birthday. This morning I had a cupcake to celebrate, because I just so happened to be going past Truffles, aka the coffeeshop with really good cupcakes. Ahem.

Check out this amazing photo of Björk in freeform crochet which I found on Ana Voog’s crochet blog string theory.

(I wish I could rock the raccoon eye makeup successfully, but can’t. I look like Robert Smith on a bender when I do!)

Grannies + SF teaching engagement

Ever wanted to learn how to make granny squares? (I can hear some of you already — nooo!) Here’s a tutorial from YouTube.

Ok, ok. Yes, I was subjected to some pretty bad crochet as a kid, too. But check it out the new-school granny square, from Cecily’s bag pattern in the new issue of Interweave Crochet (hey look! it’s Kristi modeling! my favorite tech editor and gorgeous, too) to Kim’s version of the Babette blanket at Purl.

What made those 1970s grannies so awful? Bad, bad yarn. But you have a lot of good yarn bits and leftovers, yes? All the more reason to give them a try.

So, speaking of me and Cecily — we’re going to be running the learn to knit and crochet booth at Maker Faire. If you’re in the Bay Area, drop by! And while I’m there…

Friday, 18 May, I’m teaching alt-fibers at Article Pract in Oakland, CA. Here’s the class page for more details. Sign up quickly, this one sells out fast wherever it goes! Want a book signed? I’ll be there before class starts as well, so drop by on your lunch hour.

Crochet Me: the book!

You know, I could NOT be more excited about a book unless it was my own!

Kim has posted that the Interweave fall book previews are up and hers is one of them. You see its beautiful cover at left. I know at least half the designers inside in person, most of them quite well, and I can proudly say that I saw the beginning swatches and sketches for it back when it was a “wee seedling,” as Kim has said.

(We were crammed into a hotel room at TNNA, all 5+ of us — I can’t even quite remember how many but I know we swore to never do that again — and this was one of the exciting things keeping our energy levels up!)

It’s a testament to the quality of the Interweave book lineup (or perhaps just a not-very-shocking admission that I Have A Book Problem) that merely looking at the previews page makes me want to order about half of them. Now.

My name is Shannon, and I have a book problem.

Some fiber people have SaBLE (stash beyond life expectancy); I have BubBLE (books beyond life expectancy).

Art of Crochet

Here’s a new website for crochet fans to check out: Art of Crochet. You can get two gorgeous patterns for free when you register for the site, there are patterns to buy, a Flickr group and even video stitch guides in the Crochet Academy. Very cool.

And speaking of crochet, this knitgrrl is not stopping with Crochet Style. On the contrary… there’s another project brewing that involves the almighty hook, so stay tuned.