Holy Geez you guys, this book. The world building in this book is so damn good. Lockstep, by Karl Shroeder.
I knew nothing about this book going in. I’d heard that the world building was good, and I love me some good world building, so I thought, what the hell. They had it at my local library, and I figured I’d pop by and pick it up.
It grabbed me right away, took me by the shoulders and screamed in my face THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA. It is just so goddamn clever.
Have any of you seen these Sirka Knitting Counters? Me wanty. Me wanty with much wanting.
Basically, they keep track of repeats; THREE DIFFERENT ONES. You know all those patterns that are like “do this such and such every 4 rows, and then at the same time, do this other really complicated thing”? This keeps track of that. You can keep track of when you need to do the every fours rows thing, and when you need to do the other really complicated thing, all one one counter. It’s so smart. I usually just make tally marks on my pattern, and then lose the tallied page halfway through, or forget what tally I was on. I’ve tried other row counters and half the time they get moved or clicked in my bag. This is an elegant solution. I have not seen one in person, nor held one in my hand, so I can’t tell you how well they work. I have no idea. But they seem clever, and they sure are pretty.
This is going to be a very long post. Fair warning, there are pictures of knits. Not for the faint of heart.
I’m part of our local Knitter’s Guild, which is basically a magical organization of amazing people who all share the same interest as me: hording yarn for the apocalypse. We horde hard, and we horde often.
I just made a t-shirt slogan, didn’t I?
Anyway. Since knitting is one of those things that you can do pretty much anywhere, unlike some hobbies, we do occasionally get pieces done. While we do have a Show and Tell at our monthly meetings, I rarely get up to show anything because OMG SO MANY KNITTERS LOOKING AT YOU. It’s a little daunting, even though everyone is super nice. The guild does a biannual Adjudicated Show, where we have a luminary in the knitting field come in and stage a death match for our knits: all the wool enters, but only one ONE SWEATER LEAVES.
Sorry, this post is getting a little all-capsy. BET YOU MISSED ME AND MY HUMOUR, READERS. THE HUMOUR! OH GOD THE HUMOUUUUUR.
Our Very Famous Knitting Person this year was Kate Atherley of Wise Hilda fame, who has written a couple of books, teaches many classes, and does an awful lot of pattern writing and tech editing. So basically, a superstar.
I was very very worried about this. Kate is an expert, and I am definitely not. Kate is excellent at the finishing touches, the things that transform a piece from well done to spectacular, all the little details that make something heirloom. I had finished my bulky colourwork jacket, which was the only item I was going to enter, but I started looking around the house and I realized how very much more I’d finished in the last two years, and so decided to enter eight items. I figured now was my chance to show them off a bit, and if I got very, very, very lucky, I’d win a third prize or something along the way.
The Adjudicated Show is a masterpiece of organization. In the days leading up to it, the knits are categorized, adjudicated and photographed. The show itself consists of volunteer models showing off the knits while the Adjudicator tells us a little bit about what she liked about each item, and then the prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category. There are also door prizes. I mention this, because I managed to actually win one of the door prizes right off the bat. I was pretty excited; I mean, I figured that it was probably the only prize I was going to go home with, so hooray! Free knitting stuff! And I didn’t have to do anything more than have the right number on my ticket and not spill my Fanta on it. Score. I’m not saying I was there to win, I definitely was there to oogle the handknits. If there are handknits available, I desire to oogle them. I will oogle away a whole afternoon if I’m able.
What you need to know is this: my friends are very enthusiastic people. They volunteer. They volunteer to help out with knitting things, like the adjudicated show, so Anne, a knitter of great repute herself, had been there at the adjudication. she knew who had won what, and who had entered what, and who had left dirty kleenex in the pockets of their sweaters. In other words, she knew what was coming.
Knitters are the best people.
I was a bit nervous to spend the day selling my robots at WWKIP day at the illustrious Shall We Knit, because it’s been A) a long time since I’ve done a show and B) I wasn’t sure how the bots would go over with a more eclectic group of knitters than the online-saavy nerds I usually associate with.
I don’t know why I worried at all.
Considering that some of the first bots purchased were David Suzuki, Space Monkey, and the Lobster, I feel confident in saying that these are my kind of people. Basically I was lucky enough to get to be around some very very awesome people.
Getting to see the dyeing process in person was such a treat; I really hope to be able to attend one of her Stained Fingers Dye Camps some year. Or every year. Or maybe I’ll just go and live in her studio once it’s built and refuse to ever leave. It’ll be fine as long as they have wifi and plumbing.
Marit had her amazing long colour change gradient gobstopper yarn of gorgeousness (uh, some of which DEFINITELY came home with me):
A note about this yarn: if you ever see it, buy it. Marit dyes in extremely limited quantities, and it is amazing. Seriously, buy it. Buy as much of it as you can, then hide it away from other knitters because they WILL burgle your house if they know you have it.
Kate Atherley, knitting expert and all-around awesome lady was there, teaching classes and running around in a superhero cape (seriously). She was offering advice on your knitting problems for a donation, which is pretty much the best deal ever. When else do you get access to a professional knitter with mad problem solving skills? Kate was also the Adjudicator at our local knitting guild’s biannual adjudicated show, more on that in another, longer, picture heavy post (spoilers: I win a door prize!)
It was a fabulous day; I talked loudly and waved my hands alot, so apologize to everyone is the city who had to listen to me extoll the virtues of Marit’s yarn, or exclaim excitedly that I was NEXT TO FAMOUS PEOPLE!!!!!!!! (followed by a squeal). I don’t know what it is about knitting, but put me in a room with Hugh Jackman, and I’d calmly inform him that his muscled looked very bulgy in that Wolverine movie, and that I hear he plays a mean maraca. But put me within 100 metres of someone who is known is knitting circles? I fall to pieces.
Huge kudos to the awesome and awesomely talented rockstars at Shall We Knit for organizing such a great day. I may have gone home without my voice, if you find it, can you let me know?
Have you heard of WWKIP Day? It’s where all us weirdo knitters go forth and Knit In Public. Which we probably already do, but now we do it EN MASS. Fear us, and our cardigans.
My lovely local knitting shop, Shall We Knit, holds all sorts of fun shenanigans, and this year I’m happy to say I’ll be there selling some of my robots. They’re eager to hold your knitting notions, and secretly download the contents of your brain while you sleep. I’ll be premiering a new bot, SUPER SHEEP:
Also available as a black super sheep for the rebels in your family.
Please join me this Saturday, June 7th at Shall We Knit? In lovely Uptown Waterloo:
As you can see, there are some pretty famous knitterly folks who are going to be there (I do not include myself as famous. Maybe… infamous).
Hope to see you there!
you know, in meatspace.
So here’s a little infographic about what’s happening and about to happen to me*:
HOW DOES BABBY BORN?
I’m currently on step one, but step two and three are coming soon. Kinda like a hurricane of poop, vomit, and lack of sleep approaching over the horizon. I am shortly expecting to give birth to twins, so as you can probably imagine, I won’t have much time for anything besides catering to tiny demanding overlords and curling in a corner to cry. This means I won’t be able to fill any orders close to the holidays; and my shop will be on hiatus for awhile; at least a few months but maybe longer depending on how illusive my sanity proves to be.
So I’m having a sale on all in-stock items! Plan ahead for the holidays, or just stock up before they’re gone for a long time!
HUGE SALE ON NOW: 35% off with the code THEYRECOMING (until November 28th or I give birth, whichever is first)
*this infographic is purely and completely from the mind of the fabulous AnnieBeeKnits. Her concept, loves.
You are all adorable.
Also, banjos? BANJOS? THANK YOU.
Please keep dressing like a westerny Doctor Who newsie. That is all.