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.
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?
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.