Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hither and Yarn

Yarn

Specifically, my own first handspun, which has now joined with Noro Silk Garden Lite to become a hat. It's far from perfect, but knitted up it looks like yarn to me. Soft, strong, tolerably consistent. I call it not bad for a first go, though I wouldn't show it off at a spinning guild.

Square Hat 2

Jared's Turn A Square pattern is, as his patterns tend to be, charming and clever and interesting without getting fussy. Because of the unusual fashion in which the decreases are worked, the stripes that go 'round and 'round the band turn into squares as they reach the crown. Cool, no?

sq-hat-01

I will never learn, however, that knitting's quieter thrills, like square rounds, are well-nigh impossible to convey to outsiders.

"Lo!" you cry. "Squares! Squares at the top of my hat!"

If you are speaking to a properly trained outsider, such as a long-suffering Significant Other, you can perhaps expect an expression of polite interest. Such persons understand the potential danger of falling asleep at night next to an unappreciated knitter.

Anybody else will at best give you a puzzled look. Or, if you're really charged up, they might back away as though you'd offered to introduce them to the cool new messiah you're following to a fortified compound in the Nevada desert.

Hither (and Thither)

Folks have been asking about appearances in conjunction with the publication of the little book, which is gratifying and scary. Gratifying because one hates to go through the gyrations, mortifications, and humiliations of writing a book only to find nobody else cares. Scary because I've never put a book tour together before, and so far I suck at it.

In spite of this, thanks to a lot of incredibly patient and helpful souls, a calendar is being put together. Here's what I have so far. (And there are a bunch of shops who have asked about appearances and who are about to get an e-mail from me with more information.)

September 12. Common Cod Fiber Guild in Cambridge, MA. This isn't really a book appearance, as I'll be talking mostly about the 1,000 Knitters Project (though I won't be photographing during the visit). But you never know, I might be able to work in a sneak preview–and it will be fun to be back in Boston for a little while and meet knitters in the city where for years I was the only knitter I knew. (MIT Stata Center, Seminar Room 32-G449, 7–9 pm. Free to members, $5 for non-members.)

October 4. Yarn Con in Chicago, IL. Last year's debut event was so incredible I was thrilled to say yes when they asked me to come back. Exact details are still in the works, but I hope at minimum to have a display of original drawings from the book. This is pre-launch, so I won't have copies to sign, but I'm hoping to have some other nifty goodies for anybody who stops by to say hello. You don't want to miss Yarn Con, in any case. This year it's going to be even bigger and better. (Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., 10 am to 4 pm. Admission TBA.)

October 18. New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY. The "official" launch of the book, and the very first signing. I'll be at the Carolina Homespun booth, waiting nervously with pen in hand. (Hours TBA.)

October 26. Arcadia Knitting in Chicago, IL. The hometown launch party! Whoopee! Books and food and yarn! (Noon to 2:30 pm, with a brief reading of excerpts from about 1-1:30.)

November 13. I Knit in London, England. In preparation for this trip, Harry has learned all seven verses of "Rule, Britannia!". I'll be signing books, chatting with knitters, reading a bit, maybe even sketching a little. Hell, I'm a sucker for English accents, so I expect I'll be putty in the hands of the guys who own the place. (106 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, 7–9 pm.)

Again, more to come. There are about a dozen shops that have asked, and who are waiting for me to get my act together and tell them what I need to get there and when I might be able to show up. It's all rather daunting for a guy who has trouble making it three blocks to the grocery store once a week.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woot!!!

Kelli Simone said...

You are now first on my "Thing I Must See/Visit While at Rhinebeck" list (insert crazy fan stare here).

Congrats. I look forward to getting a book and meeting you. ~ksp

Helen said...

OMG! You're coming to London??? Sweet. Well, I'm making the trip to see Stephanie in a week's time, (even though I just got BACK from London, curse it) so it's only polite to extend the same courtesy to your good self. Do you like shortbread?

datatech57 said...

Dear Franklin, I hope you are able to come to Northern Virginia (defined as those suburbs where a lot of people go to work in the District of Columbia).

My question is, doesn't your publisher put the book tour together? I mean, that seems to be the way that The Yarn Harlot, long may she knit, handles this kind of thing.

Not that I know anything about publishing, or anything. I would rather buy the book at the place where you are making an appearance, if I can. That way, it makes it worth the while of the venue, as they make actual sales while you are there!

Love to Harry and Dolores!

Ruth

Angie said...

Well, now I really HAVE to go to Rhinebeck don't I? Can't wait to meet you. I love the way the hat came out. I am going to make one once I've got some of my projects under control.

anne marie in philly said...

philly...philly...philly...philly (she whispers to his subconscience)

you could stay with carol again in the "strawberry shortcake" room!

hell, I would even put you up in a local classy joint just to have you read to me...

(ok, time to get back to work; fawning time over)

Bunny Queen said...

Your first handspun?! I would totally show that off at a guild if it were my first handspun. Mine was not knittable into anything that needed gauge. It is lumpy and bumpy and became part of a short scarf that I can wear in fall and spring, but not winter (too many drafts through the thin bits) and I love it like crazy since it's my yarn. But it certainly wouldn't have made a lovely had like yours. Be proud of your handspun! :)

Vivienne said...

Oh bugger, now I've got to come. Tell Harry I'm really really sorry (and the Choirmaster I live with told me off for being mean, and said that two verses was quite sufficient).

Anonymous said...

Edinburgh? You are going to make it up to Edinburgh, aren't you? Or Glasgow.... or York ... or Newcastle ... or, actually, anywhere in Scotland.

Indira

Alwen said...

And Chicago is actually sort of close.

Zelda said...

October 26... Right, calendar marked.

Jenn said...

Yet another reason to go to Rhinebeck. Sigh, will my wallet forgive me? This is so exciting!

Carol said...

Gorgeous hat!

Did you explain that whole "My country 'tis of thee"/"God Save the Queen" thing to him? I love Harry and don't want him to experience culturally-different-lyrics anxiety.

Nita said...

You're coming to Cambridge? Eeeee! I'm so excited to hear this and plan to be there!

Lenox Knits said...

You can surely find your way to St. Louis. It's only a few hours away through corn fields away. Otherwise I will have to come up with an excuse to get to Chicago. I really am excited for you even though I've never met you.

Samoofish said...

The hat is lovely and so is your handspun.

A book tour! How exciting.
I'll try to make it to Yarn Con to see you since it's a reasonable distance from the way north suburbs of Illinois. More reasonable than me getting to Rhinebeck...

Dr. Steph said...

Great hat!

See you at Rhinebeck.

Kathy said...

Please tell me I'm on the list of shops waiting to hear otherwise I will be pelted wtih crappy Walmart yarn by my customers.

Kathy (kathy.elkins@yarn.com)

Dawn in NL said...

I might have known! You will be in London when I am in Chicago for a business trip. And there I was hoping that there might be an event I could get to and see you from afar.

Well, anyway, can anyone tell me if there is anything on in Chicago fibrewise, that I could fit into my trip?

Sorry for hijacking your comments.

NeedleDancer said...

I'll bug my LYS to invite you (if they haven't already). I'll bug them both.
And I'm officially offering space in my home for you to sleep, eat, recuperate etc. The cats are well behaved, and I'll put the fear of something in the kids so they'll behave as well.
(I'll have an extra wheel set up just in case).

Seanna Lea said...

I look forward to seeing you at Common Cod. Hopefully planning the rest of the door doesn't make you need a membership in a padded room.

Sue said...

Looks good to me!
I'll give a 'holla' to that!

the Lady said...

Ha ha, agree x1000 on the need for the appreciation of other knitters on cool knitting tricks. You should come to the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically Berkeley, though I suppose Oakland could do. And your handspun is pretty good lookin - my first was CRAZY.

Alena said...

Love the hat! I am planning on knitting this same hat and alternating a hand spun with a store bought yarn just so the hand spun doesn't look quite so wishy washy. Make sense? As yours turned out so grand it gives me confidence that mine will be just as cool. And show it off at the spinning guild by all means. What are they going to do - unravel it all for not being perfect? Unless you attend some pretty radical guild meetings I doubt this will happen.

Have a great book tour. Maybe you can make it out to the wilds of Wyoming - Dolores will have many friends out here. Or, hopefully you make it to Colorado and I can see you at a store there.

Angie said...

Kathy's not kidding....we are stockpiling acrylic in case Webs is not on your list (don't worry, we've banned open flame anywhere in the vicinity...we would be going for humiliation, not inferno)

(Just kidding, Kathy -- we would never subject you or Steve to the dreaded "acrylic pelting"!)

Heidi said...

In my book, handspun equates to magic. Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

can we buy a copy @ Rhinebeck?

Anne O'Nymous said...

Sometimes, when I have been hit by a mammoth attack of self-doubt, it helps to recount some of the more bizarre, challenging, or awful things I've been through. I've taught high school, I've moved hundreds of miles with only a drugged cat for company, I grew up in a house of crazy people, and I'm afraid that I'll be done in by _______________? It can help me get a sense of perspective.

Anne O'Nymous said...

Or I think of the people who have faith in me and realize that, statistically speaking, not ALL of them can be blinking idiots.

We know you can do this, and that you will be utterly charming and usually charmed.

Cathy-Cate said...

Darn, and I thought this blog post was going to be about me! (The title is my blog name. Or maybe I'm just incredibly egocentric, you know?)

I can't believe it, but somehow the planets have aligned so that I, a Wisconsinite who has only set foot in NY once in her life, am somehow going to be at Rhinebeck. This fellow Midwesterner will definitely be looking you up and getting a book signed. : )
In exchange, I'll give you a Hither and Yarn Moo card and a Hello from several of your 1000 knitters who are friends of mine, deal? (I could not make it to Madison or Eau Claire, work interfered, alas and alack.)

Ellen-Mary said...

I was on the fence about going to Rhinebeck this year. You've made up my mind for me.

Puss-in-Boots said...

All I can say is...congratulations, both on the book and the interesting hat with the square rounds. I'm trying to figure out how it's done...very interesting, that one. Good luck with the book tour...you'll be fine!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Fabulous hat. If you even get an um hum from a longterm SO in response to squaring a circle or mitering miracles, I think that's pretty cool. I don't manage much more when the equivalent is stated regarding excel pivot tables... Thanks again for the Rapture bumper sticker. :-D

countryelvis4 said...

Congrats ont the book and tour. I have a little request, please to come to Vermont! If you're going to Boston, it's a quick shot up and I'm sure my LYS would be ecstatic to host you....

Katelyn said...

Your hat looks solid. Using your handspun with the Noro really mellowed out the Noro. And while I am more of a Kaffe kinda girl, the rest of my family tends to be more mellow. It's always nice to see new ideas. I can't wait to see you at YarnCon and possibly Arcadia depending on my schedule. You photographed me for 1,000 Knitters at Stitches before I even knew who or what this was all about. Small world.

puffthemagicrabbit said...

The hat is gorgeous- especially cuz of the wonderful handspun!

I'm so glad you're going to be at Rhinebeck!! One more reason I can't wait.

Roladie said...

Be careful in London! Steven Fry could be setting up an elaborate trap to kidnap you! ;-)

Kate G. said...

I visited I Knit in London this summer. By coincidence it was co-owner Gerard's birthday and he's a total sweetheart! I predict a good time will be had by all.

Not to bitch too much, but Interweave should add San Francisco to your itinerary (and Oakland/Berkeley). Who do we need to nudge?

Danny Ouellette said...

The hat looks dang nice Franklin.

Yay for Rhinebeck! I'm just getting my travel arrangements made and will be there on 18 /19, so hope to see you there.

Glad your getting to London. It's a nice time of the year there. See if you can get up to Scotland. Now there are some melting accents for you!

WIP said...

How sad is it that I read:

"a calendar is being put together"

and the first thing I thought was, "COOL! He's illustrating a calendar *too*?!?"

-Kathleen.

Anonymous said...

You. Rhinebeck. Carolina Homespun.
WOW! The book. WOWSERS! CongRATulations, Franklin! How is Dolores handling your fame and fortune?

Katy said...

If NYC is in your plans, I'll offer up my spare room

Anonymous said...

Congratulation on having your book as the inside back cover of - was it Knitscene? Not sure, dropped that brain cell somewhere, but surely a great placement whichever magazine it was.
Maureen

undeadgoat said...

You know you want to come to New Orleans . . . You do you do you do you do you do . . . . I know, I know, blog comments are not how book tours are decided. But still. New Orleans! (except not during my finals or winter break, plzkthx)

Barb said...

baring impending unemployment I'll see you on the 18th wit hmy book clutched in my hot little hands!

Sharon said...

Can't wait to meet you at Rhinebeck!! People always thought that the line for "Socks That Rock" was long!!! Wait until they see the line of "groupies" waiting for your autograph!

Stephanie said...

The line about going to sleep next to an unappreciated knitter made me giggle unmercifully. It reminds me of when my husband said he felt sorry for any potential burglars. Why on earth...? Because, he said solemnly, there are multiple knitting projects in every room of the house, each with its attendant array of lethal weaponry. And he's right: Addi lace circulars with their sharp tips and strong cables, wicked little bamboo dps, enough Silvalume to outfit a battalion, and of course yarn enough to wreak some serious havoc. I thought about it and saw a serious flaw in his logic. After all, I don't knit in the kitchen so there aren't any pointy objects there. He said, very gently -- honey, that's where we keep the knives.

In his favor, he can fake sincere knitting interest very, very well.

Mel said...

Gah! And this'll be the first year that we're *not* neighbors with Morgaine at Rhinebeck. Oh well, it's a less-trafficked barn, so anything that gets people going there and supporting the good folks set up there is a good thing.

The Cambridge thing may be doable, as well, if I can talk David into it.

Riin said...

Your hat looks like something worthy of showing off to me!

So, are you coming to Ann Arbor?

RuTemple said...

Wait - Rule, Britannia even HAS seven verses? Simple stuff for simple sock-yarn. One would imagine Her Hooven Harridan to be inspired to learn all the verses of, say, Anacreon in Heaven, that lovely soaring tune about twining the Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus' vine, that most of us learned with different words...perhaps it would make a good Fibertarian theme?
Happy travels and book-signings, and eagerly awaiting some sign of a west-coast jaunt.
-Ruth in Redwood City

Anonymous said...

please please please consider Minnesota ... St Paul, even ... if the Republicans can find us, we can be found by all plus we are close to Chicago, yes? There are many here who enjoy your blog, your yarn, your humor

Fe said...

O, Franklin, darling, you are going to LOVE London - if you haven't been there before?

Cathy said...

please, please, please come to Madison!

Cynthia said...

Please consider taking your book tour to your favorite Public Library! Libraries love to have meet the author talks. No, you will probably not be paid. Yes, they will have one copy of your book, maybe two and it will be taken out by many (making the cash in your pocket less). However, it is really important to support our libraries. For some--especially in urban areas--public libraries are the only place knitters can get knitting books. They are good people who often do not have home computer access, so free on-line is not an option (the library probably charges to print things out).

Ok--off my soap box. I will come anywhere to see you, but hope to see you at a library very soon!

Abby said...

It is WE who will be nervous, hoping to score an autographed copy before you sell out!

Kris said...

YAY!!! You'll be at Rhinebeck! I will have sheep in the breed barn but you bet that I'll be taking a break to find you. I hope that doesn't make you want to run screaming in the other direction.

(Not that you will remember, but we met at the 1000 knitting shoot in PA. I was wearing the same earrings as you. And you took a really cute picture of my son. I know, that narrows it down to about 100.)

(Sorry about the gushiness, I am really excited.)

TheSockKnitter said...

This is AWESOME :) I may just have to find a way to get to Rhinebeck this year!

And I think your yarn is pretty awesome - especially for the first time!

Colleen said...

I couldn't convince you to come to Lawrence, Kansas, could I?

KnitYoga said...

I can completely empathise with the delight that square rounds on a hat could bring and the puzzling lack of enthusiasm from non-knitters! LOL The book sounds exciting. Congratulations! Thanks also for your comment on my first self-published pattern which is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

As someone sitting in london at the moment I'd like to ask. Is harry superwash? Otherwise you might need a raincoat and umbrella.

Jemima said...

What? No west coast tour dates? But why? Why don't you love us? What did we ever do to you to make us spurn us so?

Martina said...

Hi Franklin,

Count on me being there at I Knit in London for your book signing. I am really looking forward to meeting you. I am off to the I Knit show on Saturday, I can't wait. Sheryl (UK)

Probably Jane said...

As a long time reader of your well written, intelligent and witty blog I am absolutely delighted that you are coming to London.

May I assure you of the warmest welcome.

Jane (IKnit's visiting sock knitting teacher)

Kate said...

Too cool! ONe day we'll be able to get you, Steph and Jean on a trip to the Antipodes. THAT would be mega-sweet.

Norskybear said...

Can't wait to see you at Rhinebeck! It's been too long. BFF!

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