Knitgrrl 2 up for ACE award

From CraftTrends magazine:

Finalists have been named for Craftrends’ Awards of Creative Excellence (ACE), formerly known as the Awards of Excellence. Winners will be revealed at the Craft & Hobby Association Winter Show in Anaheim, California, in January 2007.

Entries were judged on overall quality, originality, attractiveness, clarity of instructions, retail support, advertising/marketing support, and whether the products and books met consumer needs.

The knitting and crochet books in the running are:

  • Interweave Press, One Skein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit & Crochet
  • Quayside Publishing Group, Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers
  • Quayside Publishing Group,’s Fabulous & Flirty Crochet
  • Watson-Guptill Publications, Knitgrrl 2
  • Watson-Guptill Publications, Melissa Leapman’s Knitting Beyond Scarves

As if I didn’t already want to go to the CHA show! (Martha Stewart is giving the keynote this year — hey Martha! want a real Apprentice? I’m your grrl!)

Furry book models

My friend Arabella’s niece (I think she’s six, correct me if I’m wrong) got a copy of Knitgrrl for Christmas last year and taught herself to knit.

So she made a scarf for Milkshake, our cat Spike’s brother. How cute is this?

It seems my “children” have a way of sneaking themselves into the books. Spike is on a page corner in Knitgrrl, playing with the kitty eggroll toy. Anezka (our dachshund) is in Felt Frenzy, as is Spike.

Their adopted brother Giles tried to get in on the family photo action by jumping up on the table while we were photographing AlterNation. Let’s hope they put one in the final layout, there were some cute shots.

And it’s not limited to the immediate family — that white cartoon kitten in the Knitgrrl books? It’s Lily, Kathleen (the illustrator)’s cat. Heather’s dog Frankie got a shout out for his new, superior felting technique in the Felt Frenzy intro section, too.

This weekend: 3 crafty events

This is going to be a long weekend, my friends! Here’s where you can find me:

  • Friday night: the Cleveland Museum of Natural History‘s annual members’ museum store preview party, Lark. (Non-members welcome, too, see the site for details). I’m bringing my big wheel to that one, so stop by and meet Queen Liz, aka my Ashford Elizabeth II. She usually gets stuck at home in favor of her little sister Joy…
  • Saturday: Handmade Arcade in Pittsburgh. I’ll sign books at my shop’s table if you bring your copy, and I’ll also have some to buy.
  • Sunday: signing Spin to Knit in the Barnes & Noble at Eton Collection from 1:00 — ?

Wow. I get tired just reading that! This is the first time I’ve done Handmade Arcade (I’m the city organizer for the Cleveland edition of Bazaar Bizarre, which is similar), so I’m looking forward to it. Natasha will be there, as will several other shopowners I know, so it should be lots of fun. Tomorrow I need to repack everything to fit it into the car — it seems like our dining room is a perpetual staging area for me going out of town somewhere — and try to figure out how to get Queen Liz into the backseat of my Corolla. Hey, at least it isn’t snowing…

Photos on Flickr

Still sick, and probably infecting half the eastern seaboard, but we’re in the home stretch of the tour! Hurrah! Last night’s event at Knitty City was awesome — it’s such a gorgeous store and Pearl + staff are fabulous. I got to meet Kimberli, who did 2 patterns in Knitgrrl 2, and finally… FINALLY got my hands on some sea silk. More photos and commentary to come, but meanwhile you can check out what I’ve uploaded here. We’re off to Philadelphia later in the morning, so see you at Rosie’s Yarn Cellar this afternoon from 4-6:00 or until they kick us out.

Blog tour is running a day behind thanks to some internet issues I had last night, so click over to Julie today and Amy tomorrow!

Update: only 4 of the 30+ photos I have to upload actually uploaded successfully, and I need to be on a train shortly. Darn it! So I will get the rest onto Flickr tonight…

MOTC heads north to Lake Placid

Grace, Kim and Beatrice at Adirondack Yarns in Lake Placid, NY. (Photo by Kim’s mom)

Even if you’re not in training for the Olympics, Lake Placid, NY has much to recommend it… it’s beautiful, there’s lots to do, but most importantly: there is a yarn store with a coffeehouse inside, namely Adirondack Yarns. We had so much fun!

Grace started Amy Swenson’s Nakiska headband in a gorgeous cornflower blue alpaca last night. (Don’t worry, Amy, I made her promise to send photos!)

The shop was packed with kids and moms, learning how to crochet flowers with Kim and how yarn is made. Sivia Harding’s jewelry from Knitgrrl 2 was a huge hit — I taught Sophia how to knit, from scratch, on US size #4 needles with Fleece Artist sock yarn because she wanted to make jewelry. Not even one row in and she was stylin’ — a natural-born knitter. Who says you have to start with chunky yarn? there’s no law!

If you’re ever in northern NY state, be sure to check out Adirondack Yarns, and many thanks to owner Susie & staff (including her mom, who’d just arrived the night before) for a wonderful evening.

MOTC stops in Rochester

Today, the tour took us to Yarne Source in Rochester after a night filled with silly TV and some very, very fluffy hotel beds. (Hampton Inn, I salute you).

Susie and her staff were great hosts — the store is jam-packed with all kinds of fiber goodies, not just yarn. There’s buttons, yarn-related tools (her staff made some amazing scarves on the new Ashford Knitter’s Loom), and these cool weave-your-own-scarf backings. Dyeable, not the cheap plastic-y ones you see at some craft stores.

Susie designs bags, sells unusual handmade buttons (I’ll take a photo of one I bought when I have a second), and attracts avid knitters, felters, and crocheters of all ages to her cozy shop.

At left is me with Knitgrrl-fan Eve, who has considerably better taste in yarn than most people twice or three times her age. She’s my new hero…

Adrienne, a local crocheter who came to have Kim sign her books, found out that roving she gave Kristen Welsh in their local spinner’s guild holiday swap ended up in Spin to Knit. What a small world! Check out the Swedish Heart shrug and the yarn notes from Kristen after it — that pink/orange yarn was spun from something Adrienne picked out, which I then knit into my pattern! Small world, eh?

Speaking of spinning, I taught Christie (seen at right) how to use my wheel. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll be Lake Placid, NY at Adirondack Yarns for a 4:00 signing and event — come say hello, too. Who knows? Maybe you’re also in Spin To Knit and you didn’t even know it.

Boombox bags everywhere

From this article about the SIGGRAPH fashion show, spotted on

“You won’t see it in everyday fashion for awhile. It’s still very kitsch and it’s still very risky,” said Alison Lewis, who teaches fashion technology at Parsons School of Design in New York. “I mean, lights for light’s sake? That’s fine, but it’s not going to sell.” Lewis aimed for the practical consumer by designing a handbag with a light that lets the owner see what is inside in the dark and the Boom Box Beach Bag , with removable speakers that can hook up to an iPod.

Sound familiar? (check your copy of Knitgrrl, cough cough) The Boombox Bag was designed and knit in summer 2004, though the book didn’t come out ’til 2005. I’m just sayin’…

With this list of links, Christine points out that the iPod bag has become more and more commonplace, though: one, two, three, four, five iPod bags! (say like the Count on Sesame Stree for maximum effect).

I do like the idea of a purse with a lighted interior, though. (Lexie, are you listening?)

And while we’re on the topic of the Boombox Bag, I still have plans to release a felted version. It’s fallen by the wayside with all the recent deadline insanity, but it’s coming… eventually.

Things on my to-do list are rapidly clearing — this doesn’t mean I have free time, it just means other things at the end of the line are moving up! Getting things done provides such a lovely sense of accomplishment, though. Rumor has it my boyfriend and I are going to take our first real vacation in years next month and I’m suitably psyched. Let’s hope it’s no longer 100 degrees in the shade by then… stay cool, everyone!

Michigan + more

Knitgrrl 2 was reviewed on a European website recently — thanks, Eveline! (the Dutch version of the review is here)

I was in Michigan for the past two weekends, and got to see Jillian both times — hurrah! At left, here’s Jillian and me at the Ann Arbor Book Festival.

Despite the pouring, freezing rain, we soldiered on. Local booksellers told me they were having a hard time getting copies of Knitgrrl 2, which I found puzzling. What, is there a nationwide shortage or something? Also, I ran into a yarn rep I know who said “hey, I saw the two new sweaters you designed for Lana Grossa.” Me: “???” (Given that they’d only been in Lana Grossa’s hands a very short period of time) But no, she even had photos from their photo shoot with her…too bad we didn’t cross paths again that day, I’m dying to see them on the models.

Next up: the Big Girl Knits launch at ThreadBear Fiber Arts in Lansing.

First, Amy and Jillian show off with a reader. That tank top is most excellently shaped, I must say.

(There’s another photo that features Amy and Jillian pretending to hoist this same dear reader’s chest — for that one, you’ll have to go to Flickr — link to come shortly).

Humorous snacks were provided in the form of cupcakes shaped like the boob-belly-butt (3B) icons from the book, and Amy brought tasty tartlets from the good grocery in Toronto. If I’d have thought of it in advance, I’d have asked her to bring some Canadian Coca-Cola to restock my supply. I tell you — the real sugar makes a huge difference in taste! I’m still hoarding cans from the last time I was visiting Knitty HQ, in October 2005.

Next, Amy gives me a look because she knows I’m employing my tried-and-true “distract Amy in order to get a good photo of her” technique.

And finally, wow, the largest book cover on earth! This is in front at ThreadBear Fiber Arts…as if you couldn’t figure it out from the sign.

Ok, I promised a Flickr link and here it is — more photos from both the Ann Arbor Book Festival and ThreadBear. Even though it seems crazy to drive all the way to Lansing to spend a few hours with A & J, it’s so totally worth it. I love spending time with them and catching up & swapping dirt.

Also, the sheer size of ThreadBear means that even I cannot help but go home without some new bit of yarn…this time, some Jamieson’s, a bit of Cascade and a skein of Jo Sharp. All three were muted plummy/lavender shades. I think I know what it’ll be, but I haven’t started it yet. I’ve got some sketching and other things to do for various book projects first.

After we left ThreadBear, Heather and I stopped at Zingerman‘s on the way home. Whereas “hey honey, check out the new yarn I got!” will not get the desired effect from my boyfriend, “hey honey, check out the chocolate cheesecake I brought you” always will…


Full of Holes scarf correction

Thanks for the alert that Kirsten Zerbinis’ lovely pattern in Knitgrrl 2 is somehow missing its number of stitches to cast on. All I can say is that I think the printers may have not consumed quite enough coffee that day — first using the wrong schematic for Jenna’s tank, and now this!

The number you’ve all been waiting for is (drumroll, please)… fifty-five! Cast on 55 stitches and carry on with the pattern as written.

This will also be posted to the errata page.