Sunday, February 17, 2013

Status report: why there have been no posts for a while, and won't be for another while

As long-time readers know, I have always had in mind to write a book.  I've made several attempts over the past three decades.  These attempts have failed. All I have to show are several half-finished manuscripts, not to mention half-finished projects, meant to be photo-samples.

What changed, and why am I telling you all this?

One of my kids studies Latin at University.  In the ordinary course of things, I've been exposed.  A certain Latin tag really struck me: Ars longa, vita brevis.  In English, "life so short, the craft so long to learn." And, yeah, I'm not getting any younger.

So--in yet another victory of optimism over experience--I'm taking another run at it.  Instead of writing the "giant book o' knitting" I've aimed for in the past, I've decided to narrow it down for this try--maybe it will only be a booklet--and the subject has been narrowed, too: color knitting.

The plan is to start from the simplest--stripes--then run right through some wonderful new tricks for dealing with long floats.  These new tricks finally make possible giant picture knitting. These are tricks which free stranded knitting completely from the "5 stitches before touchdown" rule, and let you go wild with super-long floats in intarsia, too, with no show-through whatsoever on the outside, no, not even when the fabric is stretched. (Yes, these tricks exist, have been knitted up and really work.  I just need to write them up.) Other tricks I need to write up include a new trick for knitting and dyeing combined which I call "shadow dyeing," new tricks for keeping track of color patterns, new tricks with weaving, oh, so many new tricks, all fighting to get out.

I didn't want you all to think I had fallen off a cliff, or lost interest--nothing could be further from the truth.  I'm trying hard get all these ideas down in one place, not to mention the relief it would bring: these ideas have been racing around my head trying to get out and are just starting to pile up in the.most.annoying.way.

Will a book(let) actually happen?  If past experience is anything to go by, then no.  
So, don't be disappointed, OK?  Probably, I will have to come crawling back to you in a few months, book-less.  

Nevertheless, I hope that coming right out in public and saying what I'm working on might hold my feet to the fire.  And, you know, reassure you all that TECHknitting is only taking a work-break. New ideas are continuing to be generated, tried out, knitted up, illustrated and described.

(Not to mention that I have many new ideas--OH so many new ideas--about cables, too. Also a whole new afterthought buttonhole--a button-though one right in the middle of the buttonband that is completely and utterly afterthought. Oh dear...more distractions.)

Well, hopefully I will see you all soon-ish, with an announcement of success, and an e-book(let) for sale.  At the worst, I will at least return with a bunch of new posts on color knitting.

Until then, good knitting, from your (lazy-and-disorganized-but-trying-to-get-over-it) TK


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck!,

February 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Nora said...

Oh how exciting!! If you do a pre-order I'll be the first to sign up. But no pressure of course. I love your blog and I'm definitely a better knitter because of your expertise!!

February 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Naomi said...

Wishing you the best with the booklet! Your work is such an important contribution to the craft of knitting. I am a better knitter for having read your posts. Go, TECHknitter, go!!

February 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Ellen Mason said...

We love your writing, and your confessions too. We'll follow, no matter.

February 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, my dear, I don't know who does your posts if not you, but basically you already HAVE a book. Or books, even!

I've scarpered away with many of your hints and tricks and techniques and now I have my own combined "book", almost all your stuff.

Pretend you are "just" doing posts for your new techniques and then combine them into a book. Voila!!!!!!

And hurry up, willya?

February 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Brilliant! Worst-case you have pre-written several blog posts.

Word verification: What's a 'gnudest'?

February 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful!!! Love reading your blog and will certainly love reading your booklet as you have so many good ideas! Good luck!

February 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Cheryl S. said...

Good luck with the project - it sounds great!

February 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Good luck! I'll be in line to buy it…and to read the blog when you get back to it!

February 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Quinn said...

Good luck! You have the collective good wishes of many, many knitters to fall back on when you need a little extra encouragement :)

February 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

I'm not going to say "good luck" because luck has very little to do with writing a book. So I'll stick with Good Work! :)

If you haven't discovered it already, Scrivener is a wonderful tool for writing and organizing a book, the latter which is a struggle for me. I've written two books with it, countless book proposals, and most recently used it to compile a back-edition so my co-author and I can sell it on the Kindle, Nook, etc. Can't recommend the software highly enough ... and no, I don't get kickbacks; just a happy customer.

Anyhoo, I think I'm going to cross-stitch that Latin phrase on a pillow.

February 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger geeky Heather said...

OK, I won't say "good luck," either, I'll just say, "go, Go, GOOOO!" =) I haven't ventured into color knitting yet, because I am very technical and I have been waiting for the right explanations. I'll be awaiting this book(let)! No pressure. ;) And if it doesn't happen, I'll be here awaiting lots of lovely posts, in any case.

February 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Stitched Together said...

I'm pleased you having a crack at this because I think it will be a brilliant book. I love the way you look at knitting and explain things. Your blog is one of my favourite go-to places to look up how to do something. Your new posts are missed but your blog is still a place I visit regularly because it is an incredible resource, which I'm sure a book/let would be!

February 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger dkafpme said...

If anyone can do it you can! Thanks for all your previous hints.
Enjoy the effort and it will be completed.

February 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Snickers said...

WAY TO GO !!!! Sign me up for a pre-order, you are an awesome author with so much knowledge...which you so willingly share.

We will follow and wait...not patiently, but we will wait and anticipate the joys upon receipt.


February 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Cindylou said...

I would buy a book of the tips on this site, just for the handiness of having them.

February 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Sounds amazing!

February 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Taloferia said...

I would buy whatever you were selling. This site has been invaluable to me.

February 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

Your site has always been an inspiration to me, and I wish you every success with your book!

February 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Good for you for following your dreams! Best of luck with the writing process!

February 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Awfulknitter said...

Good luck with the book(let). If you get it done, I will buy it! But generally I'm just grateful that you blog as much as you do, I can't tell you how useful your methods are. It's the kind of stuff that will probably never make it into a 'big book o' knitting' - not standard enough - but that's part of what I like about knitting: improved methods, tricksy techniques, personal solutions that may or may not translate to another knitter. All the stuff that keeps it fresh for me!

February 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of luck. Don't be defeatist. Set a schedule and try to work every day.

February 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Lise Estelle Brault said...

Carpe diem!! I will be eagerly waiting for thus booklet, or whatever it will turn out to be.

February 17, 2013 at 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the best. Know that there is a ton of support for your work. I am so grateful for you blog and appreciative of the enormous amount of knowledge you've freely shared with the knitting community.

There's a saying in the horse world, "Throw your heart over the fence, and your horse will follow." Follow your heart.

Linda in Eugene

February 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

How thrilling! I can hardly wait, so get a wiggle on. (~_~)

February 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger sharonmattnadia said...

Bravo! I've been waiting years to hear you say that. I'll second another commenter who said she compiles your blog posts for her own reference. I've done that, too. If it's any help, I also cut out about half the words. It's just the old adage - if I'd had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter. But you have to let all the words out first, if only to stop them from running around in your head. So, if you ever need a heartless red pen, I'm here for you.

February 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

I hope you do complete it! I would definitely buy it. That is a great topic for a book/booklet. Best of luck to you.

February 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck. If it does become a book many of us will want it. If it doesn't, at least it will be out of your head.

February 17, 2013 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

That's terrific. Looking forward and wishing you the best!!

February 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous jennifer said...

Sending encouraging vibes. When it is published, I will definitely buy it. As another commenter, said, I am a much better knitter thanks to you!

February 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Have someone organize your blog entries AND your new thoughts into a book. You could then concentrate on just the unwritten bits leaving the organizing to an editor. Many knitters would buy that book at any price. Thank you so much for all you've already given us.

February 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

A booklet on a narrow topic sounds like a wonderful way to start. I agree with everyone who suggests putting your new ideas into post-like form, and combining them with whatever colorwork posts you've already included in this blog. Many would buy this, regardless of the "repeat" of already-published posts, for the significant usefulness of having all those posts in one place and in hard-copy form. Perhaps then you'll be able to move on to similar booklet(s) on other topics...! Brava, and I hope the process goes smoothly for you!

February 17, 2013 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog and will totally buy the book.

another Wisconsin knitter!

February 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Best wishes on your venture!

February 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be amazing to be inside your head. I imagine it would be like a pinball machine, except the pins would all be made of swatches, and your readers (the pinballs) would be whappity-thunking against them, getting crazy and dizzy with excitement.

February 17, 2013 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wishing you all the luck I can think of for this wonderful venue - may you work go as smoothly as possible, may you not lose patience during impossible days, and may you rest assured that your many, many readers will support you with their positive thoughts! Am already thrilled to see such great ideas in THAT BOOK!

February 18, 2013 at 4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go! Let all these running ideas out of your head and fix them on a page. And follow the motto of
one of my fav authors who once said: "a bad page can be fixed, a blank one can't."
Just keep them coming, and there are lots of knitters out there who will receive them with cheers.

February 18, 2013 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I will miss your posts, but I wish you all the best in writing your book. I hope you find that you have a good portion of it written on your blog. :-)

February 18, 2013 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger sgt_majorette said...

Good luck! Check in occasionally and let us know how it's going...

February 18, 2013 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy doing what you do, above all. Just because you can do a thing doesn't mean that you must do it.

Take care of yourself,

February 18, 2013 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Knit -University said...

I am very excited to read about a possible book. I want to learn all of the color knitting techniques you mentioned! I would pre-order in a New York Minute. You can do it!

February 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Marie-Thérèse said...

Sorry to join the crowd and put more pressure on you: I would buy your book too. And if a book never works out, no problem for me when you just keep writing your interesting posts once in a while. Good luck wishes from Marie-Therese in Germany

February 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I must admit I don't get ebooks because my love of the printed page in my hand is too great. Might this be a real print booklet as well? But I really want your book(let)!!!

February 18, 2013 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Jesslyn said...

Book, ebook, booklet, ebooklet, or pamphlet... I'll get it! I just discovered knitting, I just discovered your blog and I LOVE that you are dedicating the book to color knitting. I'm taking up knitting (started last week actually) so that I could knit fair isle hats and sweaters for my kidlets and me. I have no idea yet what a float even is, but I can't wait to learn.

February 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

You write and I will come to buy it!

February 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Caitlin said...

I will buy any book you write in less than a heartbeat! Best of luck!

February 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck! I look forward to seeing the booklet happen.
Best, Jolanda V

February 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of luck to you! What a boon for us! I am just getting into colorwork and I think I will read your ebook before I get into bad habits! Long floats that don't show when stretched? You tease you! This time you WILL finish. :)

February 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM  
Anonymous miekje said...

I would definitely buy such a book. I love colour knitting, and I love your explanations and inventions.

February 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous kole said...

Hope everything goes well!

February 19, 2013 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger lifgrenj said...

Where can I sign up? I long to be free of the 5 stitch touchdown rule. Love your blog. You have been a great help to me in my knitting.

February 19, 2013 at 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Budi said...

nice post, follow it :)

February 19, 2013 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Projektmanagerin: said...

An afterthought buttonhole ist just what I need right now. I should imagine publisher knock at your door already considering you are a real "celebrity" in knit-blogging circles, but then again, publishers have often been known to make the wrong decisions (which they regretted forever after. serves them right).
Good luck to you, in this case, is a totally selfish wish!

February 20, 2013 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger kmkat said...

Go, you! I'll buy that book in a heartbeat.

February 20, 2013 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Valerie Hale said...

What humility to put it all out there with honesty. Maybe use the blog for accountability to have your readers help support and propel you forward.

Your topic hit list sounds absolutely genius.

February 20, 2013 at 11:51 PM  
Anonymous derzafanistori said...

Godspeed! :)

February 21, 2013 at 5:19 AM  
Anonymous kittenknit said...

I came looking for some top-down slanted pocket advice, but best luck!

February 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous random Cindy said...

Good for you! I'm looking forward to it. Sounds like some interesting topics. I've been thinking about delving into a colorwork project, I might be better off waiting!

February 21, 2013 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You can do it! Pretend that it's just a blog post. Stitch by stitch, page by page, section by section it will be done! I've learned so much from your wisdom :-)

February 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Judy C said...

Oh my dear TECHknitter, I will miss your tips very much. I was looking forward to the segment on picking up stitches but will wait patiently and hope you come back to blogging! You have been such a help to me and many of my friends. Good luck with the book(let)!

February 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger betty2dogs said...

Good luck to you!

February 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jaxie985 said...

From what you've said,you've hit on exactly the right idea by (1) focusing on a single topic that you have passion for; and (2) by using the e-book format.

Remember that you can approach it in an ongoing format the way Cat Bordhi did with her sock e-book, by providing updates over a pre-arranged period of time.
That way, you can cover the basics of what you've already got on color knitting techniques, then add both new information and also enhancements to what you've presented as you develop it and receive feedback. All of use who buy/subscribe will be happy as clams and feel we've gotten so much more than we ever expected.
A win-win for you, who can continue to develop your ideas and hone the presentation and still have closure at the end, and for the subscribers for the reasons above. And at the end of the period, you can close that one and start another on cabling and intarsia. And you can bet everyone will be happy to buy the new one.
I'm excited for you!
Thank you for the Latin phrase; I think I'm going to knit it into the brim of the hat I'm working on!

February 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost hyperventilated when I read this, but then realized there woul dbe a book!!! Woo hoo!

February 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger yarnbarb said...

So exciting!!! Good luck with the project. I agree that organizing your blog would be a great book.

February 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous =Tamar said...

I am eagerly awaiting a way to deal with long floats, as I always hated them as a kid. I just hope there will be a way to buy your book without using online methods; I'd much rather send a postal money order or even a certified check.

March 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Judi P said...

Sounds awesome! I'm a professional writer, a very good editor/proofreader, and would be glad to lend a hand to your project at no charge what-so-ever. I owe you so much for all the help over the years, it would be the least I could do!

March 8, 2013 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Judi P--wow and thanks! This is a fabulous offer! I'd like to talk more to you about it, but can't seem to find a contact. Can you e-mail me?

TECHknitting (at) hotmail (dot) com.

wow again. TK

March 9, 2013 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger DrChopSuey said...

How exciting! Best of luck in your endevours! If there is a product we will be here to purchase it, if no product we will be here to cherish you and your wisdom nonetheless. Happy knitting and writing!

March 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is wonderful to hear. You can count me in for a copy when you see it through! :) I've learned so much from you it's ridiculous. May the Force be with you!

April 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear TECHknitter, I wish you the best! I'm missing you, but l'm also looking forward to buying your book. A peruvian fan, Armida

June 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

Just reading this now and I think a book of your tips & tricks would be fabulous! Please don't give up :)

June 19, 2013 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just dropped by to check on the status of your intriguing book project. I wanted to let you know that if getting samples knitted up is hanging you up this time around, I'd be happy to help out. (I'm sure lots of your other readers would, too). My Ravelry ID is Mollpeartree if you'd like to get in touch.

June 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi MPT--Thank you SOOOO much for your offer. The problem is not knitting the samples--the actual problem is trying to describe the techniques. Stuff I could show in a minute takes WEEKS to write and illustrate. Ah well. I am plugging along, but verrrrry slowly. If I find that sample knitting is the limiting factor, I will certainly take advantage of your kind offer. Best regards, and thanks again, TK

June 28, 2013 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with the book! I have been using your blog for all sorts of tips and tricks. However because you haven't yet written up your afterthought buttonhole, as far as I can tell, I had to invent (or more likely unvent) my own afterthought, Tamsin's Emergency Ladder Buttonhole, when I recently changed my mind about how many buttonholes a baby cardigan should have. See

I would love to know how your afterthought buttonhole works, the world needs more of these!
Tamsin in NZ

July 11, 2013 at 2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love your writing, and your confessions too. We'll follow, no matter. thanks.

July 12, 2013 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger brigitte said...

I, for one, will be the first in line to buy the book. Wishing you tons of inspiration and motivation. Your blog has been priceless, especially when it comes to short rows, tiny tubes, and yes, eliminating the jog in color knitting. Thank you for posting and sharing.

July 22, 2013 at 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Sophie at Bluebird Yarn said...

I am going to send a bunch of creative energy your way towards your goal of writing your book. As a LYS owner, I think your instructions are some of the best I've ever seen. Make it happen! I'd love to see my customers all have copies!

August 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aloha TECHknitter! Your works have made me a fearless knitter. I have been trying to figure out the best way to translate my brother's artwork into a knitted hat so I am extremely excited to learn your tricks and techniques for color knitting. Since you mentioned it would take a minute to show us, then please do! I would definitely pay for a Craftsy video course of you! Hope you don't mind that I will put that in the Craftsy suggestion box too. ;)). Thanks so much for everything you have shared. Should you need a test knitter, I volunteer to help. My Ravelry id is drAYAgonfly. Mahalo nui loa!

August 16, 2013 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger New York Built said...

Your mention of "filii Latinis studebat" sparked this story.

My daughter, in a fit of adult behavior, called to tell me, "Dad, when you made me take Latin in high school, I wanted to push you off the side of building!

But I'm glad you did.

I graduated from college in three years with a BA and a BS, History and Biology...because I knew the vocabulary, cold, and I could write better than anyone else,

Thanks, Dad."

I paused for a second, and rejoined, "Who is this, and what have you done with my daughter?"

Hope the book is going well.


New York Built

August 22, 2013 at 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog today. It's FABULOUS!! Thank you for sharing so much - everything!

Failed attempts at books? When you could just compile everything here into one mega-book of knitting wisdom, know-how, techniques, and humour? Or perhaps the problem is getting it all down to book size? Yes, that must be it.

I hope it's going well, all the best from your newest fan!

Maureen in Moncton

September 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Hi Maureen, thanks for your kind words and welcome to TeCHknitting blog. Best, TK

September 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Grace Brunelle said...

Dear TK , I have had you on my safari bar ,you and your blogs are a welcome uplift to me every time I open this, your fantastic words and incredible help are there to greet me! Try as I may, I am a very slow knitter, at other places , even my lys I feel down when I see everyone's knitting so fast, they whiz by. I am very ill a lot of neuro issues. I love knitting, though I am slow and awkward. I haved gained so much peace, help, gentle teaching words that with your site, it gave me courage to start a knit/spin/fiber/crochet group. I bring anyone with a problem here! It is like you are our fairy godmother , and thank you TK for your unwavering hope in all your posts.! You birthed this wealth of information, and my group named Ewe-Knit-Tea has gained so much support from you! Thank you over and over again! though our group be small in number, we are rich in caring. I hope, dear TK you will hear from all the creative people you have helped! I would love a book of all your teachings, in case electricy or the web were to ever fail, LOL! I hope your heart will be warmed knowing you helped a group of aged baby boomers to continue to learn. Words are so inadequate , but Bless you for this life work, I cherish you and your brilliant brain,,! Stay happy,, from, Grace, founder of the now five yr old EweKnitTea group, all of us appreciate you!

September 22, 2013 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger TECHknitter said...

Dear Grace--Thank you for your very kind words. Knitting is both soothing and creative--you get out of it what you bring to it. Being a process knitter myself (I have astonishingly few finished objects, considering how much knitting I do) I completely understand the joy of the knitting process itself. I find that the joy of drawing one loop through another doesn't derive from the speed at which it is done. Best regards to you and the other members of your group, TK

September 22, 2013 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

You've already written a book. Just print out your blog!

No matter what the result, good on you.

November 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM  

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