Who’s got two thumbs and … uh … just finished a pair of double-knit mittens? This guy! A week ago I finished the second mitten in Finullgarn on a plane flying back from Stitches Texas (the woman in the seat next to me said “how tedious!” as I finished weaving in the ends, but she tried them on and loved them) and cast on for a new hat in textured double-knitting using A Hundred Ravens Aesir.
Good news on the sample-knitter front — I’ve got 3 patterns and yarn in sample-knitters’ hands, and I’m making good progress on many other patterns. I’m trying hard not to be distracted — I’m coming up with some other great ideas that I’m going to have to shelve until after the book is done.
I wrote Extreme Double-Knitting (and have been teaching my classes) using terminology and visual elements that were, as much as possible, borrowed from standard knitting. However, because much of what I was doing was not documented, I had to be creative about how I presented some things. Over the past 5 years, I’ve realized there are some flaws in my presentation which have made the book less accessible to many people. I have made many changes to my presentation in current patterns and in my workshops, but I am still working toward a cohesive, coherent and accessible way to explain double-knitting and all the weird things I do with it. The best thing I can do right now is to present my next book in a better way than my previous book — after all, I have developed significantly as a knitter and designer in the past 5 years; my book should reflect that.
Because I’m such a niche designer, my community means a lot to me. I want to make sure that the people who would be interested in making my patterns or learning the techniques I present are not turned off by some glitch in my presentation. I know I can’t satisfy everyone, but I can come closer than last time. Here’s where I ask for your help: As a member of the “extreme double-knitting” community, would you consider joining a focus group I’ve created?
It’s not going to be too much work. It’s just an email list, populated by people who are interested in making double-knitting more accessible to the masses. I’ll be posting “straw polls” once or twice a week for a little while (e.g. here’s a thing, do you like this way of describing it or that way). Feedback on the way I present things will be taken into account as I develop the book’s text. If this is something you’d be interested in helping with, please join. The group will get acknowledgement in the book — either individually or as a group, depending on how people feel about that. Of course, you’re welcome to leave at any time.
Update: Wow, folks, I’m humbled by the outpouring of support for my focus group. I’ve got enough people now to do a really good job, so I’m closing the group for now. If you want me to make an exception, email me and we’ll talk.
On the workshop front, I’m done with major events for the season but I have one appearance at a LYS: Westport Yarns in Westport, CT on October 24th. Visit my calendar for more info. After that, the next event on my calendar is Stitches West next February. I’ll be sending out my open dates to my workshop mailing list sometime in the next month, so if you want me to come to your LYS, please have them join that list soon!
See you in another month with another update … if not sooner!