Monday, December 21, 2009

End of the Year Miscellany

I have no monumental news or projects to report, but there are a few items to post about, not the least of which is that Harry has sold his karaoke machine and taken up meditation. When asked about this dramatic about-face, he said he was preparing to knit The Queen Susan Shawl, which is now available here.This is a temporary link, but the pattern should be available in the Ravelry store by the time you read this. The pattern But please come back and finish reading this last post of 2009.

I hope you will download the 73-page pattern even if you don't intend to knit it immediately (or ever). Those who think they could never attempt such a masterpiece will benefit from studying the pages and working the suggested swatches. You might discover that this shawl, as daunting as it appears, is still knit one stitch at a time--and the stitches themselves are not complicated.

Next, I want to address a few reader requests. I have received numerous messages, both here and on Ravelry, requesting information about how I spin such fine and even lace yarns. Given the avalanche of spinning books that have been published in the last few years, plus the enormous wealth of videos on YouTube, I decided to ask my readers: Do you want a lace spinning tutorial, and if so, do you want videos too? I don't have a video camera, so I would have to borrow one, but if there is enough demand, I will work out the logistics.

The second reader request has been around for years--that I write a book. Only one person has ever detailed what she thought such a work should actually contain, but she did have some excellent suggestions. So the question I ask here is, do you really want a book from me, and if so, what do you want it to cover? And how much of the book can be blog material? Few people read my old posts, and there is a wealth of material there that I would like to include. Asking me to write a book is an effective form of flattery, but I really need more information about subject matter that would be useful, informative, entertaining, and not already beaten into tiny knitting molecules elsewhere.

Please understand that I am not a designer, and have no intention of writing a book of patterns. But if there are enough subject requests, I will turn my attention to completing such a work in 2010 or shortly thereafter. Now is the time to speak up if there are knitting and/or spinning topics you want me to address.


And so, I bid Good Riddance to 2009, and wish all of us a lovely 2010--a new decade and fresh start.

46 comments:

TheKnitting said...

I don't know why, but I just hang on everything you say and do. You are just wonderful. You have encouraged me in many ways to knit things I never would have considered without your wonderful witty, inspirations. I would love to see a book from you. I do go back and read previous blogs all the time.

I wish you a healthy, happy, loving 2010.

Ditto to Harry....

Jill said...

Spinning fine laces YES definitely would love to see more on this! Although I do spin laceweight and finer I can always learn just that much more to make it better

GinniG said...

I've been waiting not-so-patiently for the Queen Susan Shawl pattern and now I can't download it!! I get the message "You've reached the bandwidth limit for viewing or downloading files that aren't in Google Docs format." I guess I'll have to wait until it gets to Ravelry, but I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve - I've got a present but I can't open it!

I'd love to see a book based on your old blogs. I've only been reading for the last year or so so I'm sure that there's lots of good stuff I haven't read yet.

Had to come out of lurkdom to tell you how much I enjoy the blog!

Chery said...

A spinning tutorial with video would be a wonderful treat! I love knitting lace and I'd like to be successful with lace yarn spinning.

I'll download the Queen Susan Shawl pattern as soon as I can. Hmmmmm.. a long lace project sounds wonderful my summer of travel.

LittleBerry said...

Yes and Yes to both requests...

You are a mine of information and technological know how... as for the book you know the sort of thing a 'knitting advice' book should contain and generally doesn't so you go routing though blogs (and usually end up here) to find the answer...

I along with you amglad to see the back of 2009 and hopefully onwards and upwards to 2010 and a new decade!

yarnlot said...

For me the blog is like a book in itself so I only want you to write one if it gives you satisfaction without being a stressful burden...
Whatever you write, blog posts or book, is always of interest to me, not in the least because of the funny, witty writing style. So you do what yóu like and we'll like what you do!

GinkgoKnits said...

Were you to write a book, I would hope it would include lists of ways to do certain decreases, and tips for using the "right" one in lace. A list (preferably with clear instructions and photos of the finished stitch) of decreases and increases that even approached being comprehensive would be worth buying as such technique sections are so often written with only the beginner in mind.

I imagine there would be a market for an advanced lace knitting book as I've had the best luck finding more advanced techniques online rather than in print.

kroker said...

I'd buy the book. Your blog is fun to read, so it could essentially be a succession of blog entries, with hands-on tips.

I liked the way you said for people to study the queen susan shawl and do swatches - maybe a similar approach would work for a book? I.e. swatch projects that illustrate techniques and tricks.

Päivi, Lankakomero said...

Thank you for that wonderful pattern of Queen Susan Shawl! You have made an enormous work with it! I have a similar kind of project with my grandma Hilja's baby blanket (http://lankakomero.blogspot.com/2009/09/hiljan-vauvanpeitto.html), but it's a tiny one compared to your Queen Susan Shawl project.

WendyKnits said...

I am printing Queen Susan as we speak. Thank you so much! I'd love to see you write a book. You've got so much useful information spread over your blog, I'd have no problem having blog material brought together in one place.

You say you wouldn't be writing a book of patterns -- how about having patterns from other designers included, along with all your great knowledge? You could do a call for submissions and see what you get and go from there. :-)

M said...

The shawl is a stunning achievement. Congratulations to you and thanks to you and all the others who deciphered Queen Susan.

You get involved, deeply in whatever genre of knitting you're exploring, and that depth of exploration (and your excitement about it) is like catnip to your readers. The result is an amazing repository of knowledge that runs pretty wide and deep. Would I like a book? You bet, but I'd like it wide deep and without particular attention to theme. Not sure a publisher would like that, but it is what makes your fans check by all the time.

bettymagu said...

i have spent a couple of days going over your older posts and there is truly a great deal of useful information. your style is one that makes me chuckle and wonder why i didn't think of it myself. while i have been knitting for close to (off and on) 50 years, i am astounded by what the learn to knit books did not teach me. i would love any book that had even a portion of your wonderful techniques in it.

Dorothy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for Queen Susan. I, too am having trouble downloading it, but will keep checking on Ravelry. Absolutely yes to a video on spinning lace yarns. I just took delivery of my new spinning wheel two days ago and am going gung ho practicing in hopes that some day I can spin lace yarns. I bought it expressly for that purpose. I would love to have some videos.

GJabouri said...

Absolutely - I would love it if you were to collect your tips and tricks and shortcuts in a book. And thank you so much for the Queen Susan pattern - I wasn't expecting it until next year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

GJabouri said...

Btw, I'm getting the same message as GinniG ... does that mean my computer is too old or that the file is too large ... or ... ???

PenCraft said...

I LOVE your blog. When I open the Feeds bar in my browser and see that there is a new "Fleegle" post, I click there first--a nice bright spot in my morning. I can imagine that a book containing a combination of posts, stories about your adventures overseas and knitting advice would be a must-purchase item for me. I have especially enjoyed your information about yarn suppliers and lace knitting tips. I am not a spinner, but I understand that learning about spinning, even if I don't do it (yet) makes me a better knitter. so, Please, write-away!

mawelucky said...

You already know what I think about a book, so I won't go there...unless you need a few more "yes, please".
As for spinning content, I'd love to see some more about it. The way you write makes sense for me and I love your sense of humour.

I wish you great sucess in 2010.

Sligo said...

I have learned more from your tutorials than from anyone else's to be sure. And I would love to have them all collected in one place. That's mostly because I don't enjoy the internet. So far I have just bookmarked the ones I'll use most often. But I'm thinking "the Lazy Knitter's guide to lace" would be a great addition to my bookshelf. (I hope you realize that's a reference to a comment in your blog--not an insult!) I like the idea of simple techniques that work.

I'll be downloading TQS and knitting it starting in 2010, and I really can't wait. Thanks so much for all you do!

Lorette said...

Yes, and yes. I'd love to see videos of lace spinning. Would we get to see Harry live?
And as far as a book, I would agree with everyone else. A collection of "best-of" tips from your blog would be terrific in book form.
And I'm waiting patiently for the Queen shawl site to reset to download it. I think the knitters broke it.

Sandy said...

I find your comments invaluable even when it is for a common technique that many others describe--your way of doing it or describing doing it is what always sticks with me.

desert tyrtle said...

If you can get some good, FOCUSED close-ups of what your hands are actually doing, I would love a lace spinning video. If you can demonstrate on spindle and wheel, so much the better.
As for the book, well, I love books, so feel free to write one and I will add it to my library. Maybe lace construction?

Batty said...

The shawl is stunning! I'd call it an "I'm pregnant and they put me on bed rest for 6 months!" shawl. It's amazing. 73 pages. Eeep.

Deborah said...

I tried to download the pattern and received an error message about reaching the bandwidth limit for files not in google format or something like that. Is there a cure?

Otter said...

I'd love a book! I learn so much from your blog.

I'm also unable to download the pdf, but apparently the problem is unrelated to how old/good/whatever your computer is, or even what you're using to access it. I guess we all just wait patiently for the Ravelry version!

Debbie said...

I would also like to thank you as a long time admirer for all that you do to maintain this craft.

On that note I will also add my hopes that you do a book. I think the material from your blog is wonderful and could be used as a framework. You could then update the material as you felt appropriate for the book publication. Just my 2 cents.

I wish you an abundance of joy and happiness in the new year and beyond.

~Deb

The Chickengoddess said...

Oh, rock on. This is the most amazing thing. I'm going to be reading the pattern for the next 2 days solid! Ok, Fleegle, you've sold me on a shetland lace project. Pity my poor husband and cats!

BTW the direct link on Rav worked fine where Google Docs failed.

blueflygreen said...

Is there a way to download the pattern if you're not a member of Ravelry? You encouraged everybody to download it, even if they are not going to make the shawl. Yet, your link is totally broken. Do you think you could fix it? Because I thought the point of this project was to reintroduce this wonderful pattern to the world, which isn't going to happen behind the walls of Ravelry.

Rosemary said...

fleegle, you are an amazement! This pattern is a work of art! Thanks so much for releasing it into the wild. It's awesome and exciting reading for all of us lace knitters. I especially enjoy and appreciate the "back story" and the correspondence and all. Thanks so much.

The link to google docs doesn't work, but the ravelry one works just fine.

I'd be first in line if you wrote a lace knitting and spinning book. My personal interest is in figuring how to make published lace patterns work for my ideas. Most of it is straight math, but there are some little tricks involved, too. You must know lots of these tricks, and it would be so neat to see them all gathered into one book.


blueflygreen, it's free and easy to join ravelry. You could join only for obtaining the pattern, if you like. There's no longer a waiting period, and you don't have to provide any personal information. Plus, there's a jillion other patterns in there, too.

Thanks again, fleegle,

Cheers!
Rosemary

fleegle said...

Dear BlueGreenFly--

There is no way for me to contact you to give you an alternate download site. Googledocs isn't broken, but there is apparently a download limit, which I didn't know about. If you email me, I will send you an alternate link.

Mary Lou said...

Thanks for completing this monumental gift to knitters and knitting lore. Happy Surviving the holidays and New Year.

Ani said...

I would love to see a video, its such a joy to see others spinning.

As for a book - go for it!

Thanks for all the great inspriation

Ani

ajmdehaas said...

You have done an amazing job. I look forward to try the swatches for this shawl.

Nina said...

Oh, absolutely. You really need to get down on paper your insights, wisdom, and intuitiveness about yarn, spinning and dying, and the craft of knitting. You've got a wealth of knowledge there. I wish you could just open your head and put all that into mine, so a book would be great. Go for it.

sarah said...

I'd welcome anything you care to write/illustrate about spinning for lace, knitting lace, how Harry came into your life. It's all interesting and possibly useful.

Merry Festive Season and a happy, prosperous New Year to you and yours!

Laritza said...

You know my take on the book. You also know I am willing to help during the process. You are an amazing, giving and knowledgeable artist. Looking forward to all you creations either in writing or in fiber. The Ipod app is amazing! just like everything else you do. Looking forward to staying in touch and maybe meeting in person one day.

KPiep said...

Let me first answer your questions. (With a big smile!)

1. I do think that even with the dearth of new spinning resources there is a shortage of information still on spinning laceweight. It barely gets a mention, which is tragic as it's my favorite way to spin. SO, any advice you can offer on the subject would be good.

2. I think you would do a great job on a book as I really enjoy your writting style. I'm not even going to dare suggesting a subject, though!

Finally, I'm VERY excited about the Queen Susan pattern, and will immediately go check it out.

And congrats on Harry's new, quieter hobby. The Green Woman has been suspiciously quiet herself recently, and I'm getting nervous as to what she's up to. I suspect I'll find out after Christmas.

Heidi said...

And a very merry christmas to you too!!!

I have downloaded the booklet, and I am amazed at the wealth of the information that it contains. Not only is it very infomative as well as very well written. it also covers subject that normally are not covered such as colour choices, calculations etc. It is totally outstanding, and a joy to read through. I must say that I also enjoyed reading about the process of the queen susan pattern from a picture to a finished pattern!

Would I buy a book that you have written?

YES!

what would I like it to contain?

actually - I'm with the rest. not only are you an excellent knitter, but you also present it in an informative, yet simple to understand way. that is talent!

6p00d834527e5269e2 said...

Spinning fine, yes... videos, definitely! Even those who enjoy spinning fine can learn something, always!

Book, yes! Blog content, yes! I would definitely buy it. There are seriously not enough spinning books on the market. Probably half of my meager collection (and mine is likely more complete than most) are out of print. I would definitely unquestionably buy it - can I pre-order now?

And with that comment about including blog content, I'll need to go back and read your archives now...

vollwerttigerin said...

I wrote a long comment but it got lost while verifying my identity..*sigh*

So again: YES, I would love to see a lace spinning tutorial from you.
I love spinning lace on supported spindles because I'm mostly using Angora (for plying with silk and BFL) but have always the feeling it could be better...

And YES, I will buy a book written by you - I read ALL the old posts since I found your blog, I love your style of writing (and Harry), and your "no hassle heel" was my lifesaver on my Christmas Sock Knitting because it's so wonderful fast, easy and elegant.

So I wish you a healthy, joyful and satisfying 2010.
All the best to you, your family and Harry,
Sabine

reaton said...

Even though there are many books on the market for knitters and spinners, none of them have the humorous style of your blogs. I find your blogs a delight to read and so very practical in technique. So, write a book . . . and make a video. We will buy!.

Carol said...

I cannot say enough howimressed I am at all the work you and the others put into that shawl pattern. A for the book, I dunno.

Jane said...

I really would love to see how you spin. You get such a nice fine single. A video would be lovely though I hesitate to ask you to borrow a video camera. As for a book,you have some great instructions and pictures of techniques such as circular cast-on, lifelined etc.n your blog. It would be interesting to have that all in one place since I frequently look at past blogs to review your instructions. Of course,where you would find the time I have no idea but I like the idea :-) Happy New Year to you and Roy!

Connie said...

Thank you for the wonderful booklet on the Queen Susan shawl(this would have make a great little book). I probably won't knit it, but I will download it and use the information. As for a book suggestion, as others have said a compilation of your tips and techniques. I am interested in how to read Japanese patterns (love a translation of some of the stitch patterns),and how to take a stitch pattern you love and turn it into a shawl or sweater or sock.

ChelleC said...

Okay, I only discovered your blog recently by reading you on Ravelry and linking to your blog from there so I wouldn't at all mind excerpts from your blog included in the book.

I think a book that perhaps is about spinning AND knitting lace might be a wonderful use of your writing talent - and if done in your classic humorous style, I think it would be a winner. There are many regular spinning books, but few address spinning lace and to combine spinning and knitting of lace would maybe fill a void that is out there? Not sure. I'd love to read any book you write, quite honestly.

marcia-x said...

I would love a tutorial on spinning laceweight yarn. Also, knowing myself as I do, I know I would never finish a shawl of that magnitude, but I do love to swatch!

Soo said...

Once again I'm a million years behind in my blog reading!

YES PLEASE write a book. You write well and entertainingly and you have a huge stack of tips and tricks that you can't find anywhere else (like your recent post on purl-less borders in the round).

I like when you compare and contrast techniques -- and then provide your own (generally superior) version.

Go.
Write.