Happy anniversary, Yarn Harlot!

Stephanie put out a call on the Twitter-Bat Phone this morning about the “Class of 2004” knitbloggers on the occasion of her anniversary.

*raises hand*

According to the Internet Archive, they first archived knitgrrl.com in August 2004, thought I know it was online before then, as a sub-site of my old personal website. In fact, I remember moving over those posts from the old blog to the Knitgrrl domain… hang on, let’s see what the earliest post is.

*runs off to look*

27 June 2002! In which we learn where and why I learned to knit, and I make an off-color joke. So, 12+ years later, I guess not much has changed… EXCEPT FOR EVERYTHING. This website gave me my purpose. It took me where  I needed to be. It brought me from a failed relationship that more or less razed my then-life to the ground (I sold my house. I left my job. I moved 500 miles away with my boyfriend, and THEN we broke up…) to doing what I love, namely writing and editing and designing and publishing and COMMUNICATING like crazy in a zillion different ways with all of you.

Not bad, internet. Not bad at all. And cheaper than therapy, all things considered. So thank you!

Where do we go from here?

(If you are a Buffy nerd you just heard this in your head, didn’t you?)

I have been having an internal struggle about what to do with the blog during its planned renovation this year. As part of a larger transformation (improving pattern layouts and instructions, doing some re-branding for the Knitgrrl patterns and getting new ones released that have been hung up during the transition), I need to decide just what happens HERE going forward.

See, way back in 2002 when I first started the knitblog, there weren’t many blogs period, let alone knitting ones. (First entry. Feel free to laugh). There was no Ravelry, no Facebook, no Twitter, no YouTube, no Instagram, no social media as we know it now. Two years after that first blog post I was sitting on a 2-book contract for the Knitgrrl books. Ten years after that post and I’m running my own knit publishing company with 20-ish available titles, not even counting the 12+ I’d written myself.

My head is spinning just thinking about it!

There are thousands of subscribers to my mailing list, which is often neglected because I don’t like sending out emails without a point. (Oh hi, beloved mailing listers! I am going to mail you about this, though!), and I know from the stats how many of you read the blog, so it’s not like I’m just going to abandon it.

Instead, I want to ask you what you want. What you need. How I can make this a more helpful and better destination for you. And so I’m doing a survey… one where you can win up to $100!

Go here and tell me what you want, what you really really want.

(First Whedon, then the Spice Girls? What is this world coming to, anyway?)

A revealing Twitter conversation:

Even though I have a Twitter account, I almost never use it. The other night, though, while prepping materials for a television appearance, I felt compelled to update. This is what happened over the space of an hour or so:

knitgrrl: getting ready to tape a TV show tomorrow.
missviolet @knitgrrl Oooh, what show?
knitgrrl @missviolet: The Girls Next Door. I’m Hef’s latest conquest. (Duh, a knitting show!)
missviolet @knitgrrl OMG, for five whole seconds, I thought you were serious. And my first thought was OMG SHANNONBOOBS! GET CABLE!

Violet my love, you have an unhealthy obsession with my rack, as proven in the past by offering a bounty for info about my… ahem intimate life. I learned about that from Kim, and offered to feed her info only if the prizes were really, really good…

(Besides, with the kind of deadlines I’m usually on, believe me, the info would not be that scintillating. For example, last night I fell asleep on the phone during a three-way…conversation with my boyfriend and his best friend).

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.

Ahem.

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.

Ravel it (?!)

Something noticed while checking out my fairy knitmother Jillian Moreno’s latest booklet of patterns for Classic Elite: a link that says “Ravel it.” So I clicked — it leads you to the Ravelry page for that pattern so you can put it into your queue. Very clever! And it seems they’re doing it with all their new pattern collections, too.

Speaking of Jillian, she’s going to be on the Knitgrrl Show in the very near future to discuss the aforementioned pattern collection as well as More Big Girl Knits, the followup to her book with Amy Singer, Big Girl Knits.

Mea culpa — actually, no: Shelfari culpa

I am absolutely, terrifically, terribly sorry about the spamming Shelfari did on my behalf. If you didn’t get the apology email I sent out shortly afterwards, here goes: I logged in to check out the service, since, as an author, I like to stay on top of these kinds of things. While looking at their “find your friends on webmail” feature, I back-arrowed in my browser and it sent out invites to all 400+ people in my webmail address book instead. (Many of whom are probably reading this right now).

I have written to Shelfari and asked for their assistance in this matter, especially since now, days later, the stupid system is now sending out reminders to everyone that I spammed them using Shelfari’s dumb, dumb, dumb web app.

Should Shelfari decide to help me rectify this situation, I’ll take down this little note, which I’ve cross-posted to my Shelfari account and elsewhere, but right now, given how unprofessional this makes me look, they’ll have to delete my account before I’ll change my mind about it.

And I’m not the only one this happened to, either — a friend of mine had the same thing happen to her when she logged in.

Knitting Daily from Interweave

Interweave Press has launched a new website called Knitting Daily. From the press release:

Interweave Press today officially unveiled KnittingDaily.com, a new online knitting community, library of free knitting, felting and crochet patterns, daily blog, and e-newsletter for knitting and fiber enthusiasts from the publisher of Interweave Knits, Spin-Off, Knitscene, and Interweave Crochet magazines, and many best selling knitting books by the industry’s most popular and talented designers. This new interactive experience combines the best content from the creative and trusted world of Interweave Press fiber books and magazines with original content and patterns exclusive to KnittingDaily.com.

So exciting! Be sure to add it to your feed reader today.

Ravelry = awesome + other pattern distro news

I finally got a Ravelry invite and could not possibly be more excited. As a designer, it’s really cool to see who’s working on your patterns — for example, the Faux Fair Isle Sweater from Spin to Knit. Yummy.

In other news, I’ve already made some vague announcements about it on the various knit design lists, so might as well make it public here, too: I am launching a new distribution and sales service for independent knit-, crochet- and sewing designers. Emphasis on the first two in the beginning, but since Megan and I are doing a line of sewn things as well, you know they’ll find their way in (as well as patterns which combine two or more of the above).

The thing that’s missing for a lot of indie designers is wholesale distribution / selling to stores other than your LYS. We’ve got a solution which I think will solve a lot of problems on both sides. It helps that I talk to both designers and shop owners a lot — I’m distilling all that brain-picking into the business. I’m really excited about this project, and it ties in well with other things I have on tap, which is always good.

WANT WANT WANT!

If you are not a techy-geeky person, you might not quite get the subject line on this post. It stems from the lolcat / I Can Has Cheezburger meme, with a little Star Wars geekery thrown in.

Apparently, there was a very bad unauthorized Chinese dub of the Star Wars movie where Darth Vader falls into the lava and gets half-cooked. Instead of the utterly hilarious “Noooooooooooooooo!” heard in the English version, the Chinese movie translation was “DO NOT WANT!!!” So it’s become a kind of catch-all phrase in messageboard threads, etc. The opposite, of course, is “WANT!” And want this sweater I do.

I found it on a shop site called Astrid’s Dutch Obsessions. They’ve got some supertasty stuff, including pre-orders on the special Kaffe Fassett sock yarn, not to mention Opal sock yarn inspired by the art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, one of my favorite Austrian artists. If you’re ever in Vienna, definitely stop by the KunstHausWien or the Hundertwasserhaus, it is absolutely worth it. He’s like the Austrian eco-Gaudí!

What did I order? (Well, you knew I couldn’t resist, right?) This Kaffe Fassett yarn and this Hundertwasser yarn. I was good.

This is going to be a very big week. I’ll be at TNNA over the weekend and our shop opens just as soon as I get back. While Heidi and I are gone, Megan will be repainting and moving in all our stuff. Sewing machines, knitting machines, work tables, chairs chairs chairs. And let’s not even get started on the yarn, fabric, etc. I’m planning to move my entire stash to the store and sort through it, since my tastes have changed over time and I should make an effort to destash/make my older stuff available to the knit-related classes. I’ve got a whole new series of kits and stuff to put together. Lots to do. Maybe I should go take a nap… rest up while I can!

In book-related news, I can now announce that I am doing a camping-inspired knitting book for release next year. My charming and fantastic test knitters will have their hands full this summer. Also, I’ll need models in the southern Maine/NH/northeast MA area in September for the photoshoot, if you’re interested. There will be a survey about the book in my next post (you’ll see why then).