Tidying up

Random Wednesday. (Idea shamelessly still ripped off of Cate.)

1. The rain has had stopped and I have a porch.


I love the porch. My feelings toward this porch are so fond that I have swept it four times today when it became defiled with the footsteps of my family. Sweeping the porch is so fulfilling that it may be my new hobby. Sadly, this feeling has not translated into sweeping anything anywhere else in my house, but such is the nature of my fickle heart.

Now that the front of the house is not trashed, I can focus on the nightmare of the trashed back of the house. My expectations that I could have the old raised garden beds replaced with new raised garden beds in three short days have been shattered by rain. (Today is day 9) That big blue mountain is a pile of dirt half covered with a tarp. I’ve been watching it melt into a sucking quagmire of filthy mud for days. My backyard (really more of a patio) is paved, so the slurry of soil and water has had nowhere to go. Zero drainage, and the pile of dirt blocks the only direction for the mud to run off. For days I’ve been watching it rain, watching the forecast, and spending my time going to the back door, looking at the level of the mud and water and hoping that the fates will stop the pour before it reached the level of the office door.


Today the sun is shining scratch that, it’s raining again, and Ian’s working as fast as he can drowning. Think dry thoughts.

2. Erle is back.


Two sleeves, one back, one front. Twins still inside their mother, expected date of arrival, May 30. I’d say no problem, but I’ve decided not to tempt the fates.

3. To please Auntie Rams and her band of merry cohorts, Tuesdays are for spinning was a grand success. I spun a whole bobbin and a bit of the corridale for Joe’s Gansey,


and when I ran out I washed more fleece to finish that last bobbin.


When I’ve got this last bit spun I’ll ply the three together and get three skeins (about 500-600m) of yarn. Together with the efforts of the last year two years, it may be enough. I’ll count them and do some math, see if I’m anywhere near finished. (I really hope I’m finished.)

4. Joanne (The Canuck in Colorado) brought these back to my attention. (I’d already bought “Toronto” and “Quebec” ) I’m both charmed and perplexed by them. I wonder where the colourways for the Northwest Territories, The Yukon and Nunavut are? I wonder why some are cities and some are Provinces? I wonder where the Maritimes are? Why Calgary and not Charlottetown? (Maybe it’s the hats, Calgary does have great hats.) It can’t be the cold, I mean if you’re doing it by who needs wool the most, then whack Vancouver off of that list and go whip up a Yellowknife colourway in a big hurry.

5. Speaking of Provinces and Territories, Ryan has a goal. (I love this kind of challenge) She’d like an item for the Dulaan project knit and sent from every Province and Territory in The Great White North. (She’d like all 50 States too, if you think you can help.) She’s short items from Newfoundland and Labrador, The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, PEI and the Yukon. Anybody know anybody?

6. Grenyrn? What’s a Grenyrn? Oh yeah. I think that was stolen out of my car, (Hint: I don’t have a car.) Let’s never speak of this again.

7. The sock is packing again, this time for a quick trip to BEA, in Washington DC.

BEA isn’t open to the general public, but if you are a librarian, a bookseller, a publisher or anyone who has anything to do with books who will be there, or if you know anyone who has anything to do with books who would be there… I’m signing on Saturday from 4-5 at table 20.

I’m out Friday and back late Saturday night, rushing as fast as I can and hoping that the twins can hold off and just not be born the 28 hours that I’m out of the country. I’ll be speaking on a panel about how bookstores can do a better job of catering to knitters. It’s an interesting topic. Is there anything you want me to tell them?

199 thoughts on “Tidying up

  1. They might try organizing the books in some fashion. Dividing roughly (and I do mean roughly) between crochet and knitting is not enough, I’m talking maybe a thematic distribution – like “socks” “design”.
    Or they could get all buck wild and use the alphabet.

  2. YAY! the porch looks great. Reminds me that i need to unearth our back patio. hmmmm Maybe I’ll finish up a sock instead.

  3. I’m with Juno. Some kind of organizational system would be helpful. And maybe weight towards including some older books with the newer books. Ones with “heirloom” in the title as well as those with “quick”.

  4. Rats! Will you only be there on Saturday? Wah — my ticket is for tomorrow and Friday.

  5. Based on my local bookstore, I’d say tell them more knitting titles, more comfy chairs. (We all know how much Dave loves knitters.) And when I say knitting titles, I do not mean more pattern books showing you how you too can produce a sweater in a weekend using this funky novelty yarn (suggested gauge: 4 sts to 10 cm; suggested needle size: 135) even though you just learned to knit 15 minutes ago. Nor do I mean Sexy Little Knits. (Have you seen this book? It is amazing, and not in a good way.) We need socks, and lace, and cables, and anything written by a Canadian author.
    Oh, and more comfy chairs.
    Congrats on your porch. Condolences on the rain. Here in New England we sympathize deeply. By deep I mean way over our heads.

  6. Bookstores: knitters love a solid back catalog … the book of the moment is fun, but a classic stitch dictionary is forever.
    Backyard patio & flooding: permeable pavers. Just sayin’.

  7. I love the new porch!
    The rain is still coming down here (Vermont) and I think all my poor seeds in the garden are drowning.

  8. Comfy chairs close to the knitting books would be fab…it’s so hard to look through a book, standing, with other books tucked under your arm (and a handbag, and your coffee etc…)
    I love the new porch, congrats. I’ll cross my fingers for a dry day so you can do what you need to do out back.

  9. Bookstores need comfortable chairs, snack/excellent coffee available, mini lounges for meetups and daycare available. It would help if they could read their reference books in print and actually find the book you want to order but can’t because employee apparently can’t read. I’d be much more pleased if all the knitting books were actually together. In one spot. In crafts. Not in ‘transportation.’

  10. Better seating – sofas and comfortable chairs that can easily be rearranged as more people arrive for group get togethers.
    Better book arrangement – I can’t find anything in most bookstores knitting sections! By subject is the best way I can think – general learn to knit, stich dictionarys, socks, sweaters, babies, etc.
    Most book signings and talk by authors – especially down here in TX – we hardly get anyone!
    Have a safe trip!

  11. Lovely porch. I love porches – they are the best place for parking an arse and knitting the day away. One of these days I’m going to do just that. One of these days.
    Booksellers – knitting is different than crochet. However, I buy many of my books at my LYS and she has them very randomly (it’s Wednesday) and I love that – it takes longer to browse.
    I lover Erle – it will look stunning on any baby.

  12. Oh thank god you’re back… I was really worried you’d really packed it all in. (yesterday I even got an error message when I tried to get to your site).
    Tell them not to look at us funny when we show up every day (following the street date) looking for a book or magazine they do not have, but continue to gaze hopefully at their shelves. One day I’m convinced it will work.
    More titles. And more comfy chairs. Maybe even clusters of comfy chairs for happy knitting gatherings.
    Also, calling a huge section “knitting” (so exciting!) then filling it with quilting and paper crafts and beading and woodworking books is NOT a way to make knitters happy.

  13. Yes, yes and yes on the chairs. Yes on the ‘heirloom’ titles. Yes on the ditching of the puke-inducing novelty yarn crap.
    How ’bout a sign offering friendly ordering of books a customer would be looking for? How ’bout tracking those requests and noticing trends and then keeping the most requested (gasp) in stock!!!
    Can we go way wild and have samples like some of the craft/yarn stores do? I know *I*’m very very visual but being able to see three dimensions is even better than pictures…..and much more drool-worthy.
    How ’bout hosting SnBs and listening to attendees on what could/should be done to make them feel more at home? (unless the attendee violates the puke-y novelty yarn crap rule more than once–ya gotta try it, right?)
    Oh, yeah. And the organization thing. Why do they think we don’t understand the alphabet?

  14. I have so much to say on the topic of bookstores and knitters. My suggestions:
    1. If it’s the kind of place that puts squashy chairs all over the place, stick one back in the knitting section.
    2. Crocheting. Is. Not. Knitting. No one puts the baseball books in the football section or the romance novels in the poetry section, so stop screwing up the knitting section.
    3. In addition to crocheting, cross-stitch, quilting, sewing are not knitting either.
    4. A little organization never hurt anyone. At least tidy it up once in a while.

  15. Thank God you wrote — finally. I’ve been waiting all boring week for this!
    Anyway. Great porch! What a lovely place to sit and knit during the warm months.
    As for the bookstore, defnitely more titles and organization, and comfy chairs and a table or two near the knitting section. I have to sit on the floor of my local book store when I’m perusing the knitting books, and the older I get, the less fun that is. I also second the more variety comment — I’m interested in all knitting, not just knitting-because-it’s-trendy knitting.

  16. I agree with the comfy chairs request… and would like to add that better lighting would help. “Mood lighting” in a bookstore is just plain stupid, even if it IS in the cafe part.

  17. I agree with jpt about stocking “the classics”. No self-respecting bookstore would be caught without a copy of Pride and Prejudice, but how often do you see EZ or Barbara Walker in a bookstore? Even our beloved LYS’s often seem to focus on the newest “trendy” books, but not everybody is a beginning knitter, obsessed with novelty yarns, or both. My wish would be for more variety, more “reference” books.

  18. Stephanie,
    Hurrah on the steps and porch,it’s raining here also has been for about 2 weeks now, not a whole lot , just enough to keep you in constant migraine pain, enough said , the red sweater is looking great, what’s next on the needles?Here’e hoping to seeing you somewhere close to Wisconsin soon, Kristy

  19. I hope those green looking timbers don’t have anything to do with your raised garden – pressure treated lumber is poisonous.
    Too bad you couldn’t have done a knitstore signing while you’re here.

  20. How about a meeting space with comfy chairs, and a coffee shop, and located next to the LYS?
    Just call your backyard a moat and add a dragon.

  21. I find most book stores have too many beginner knitting books. All those beginner knitters are going to want to move on one day to something with some bite to it. Is it common practice to stock say 20 beginning photography books and only 3 for more advanced people?

  22. That’s what the ads are I keep seeing in the Books in Print datatbase-BEA. See, I am not even talking about the weather here in Alabama, where Ann and Kay had a book-signing… What I wondered about when I saw the fleece was if that fleece-snatcher squirrel was still around? Anyway, I think you should come to ALA, (American Library Association) annual conference in New Orleans, in JUNE, speaking of the weather. Lovely porch.

  23. I have to add another vote for better organization. It’s hard to find anything when the craft books are lumped together.
    Sorry about your deluge. We’re a bit damp here in NYC too, not to mention poor New England, floating away down the flood. Too bad we can’t collect it all and send it to Pakistan. They’ve got a drought. I blame Dubya.

  24. Your porch is stunning. I do not have a porch, I am jealous of your porch. My back patio on the other hand, has been taken over by the wild animals of the city (robins, squirrels, crows & spiders) and a hopeless cause.

  25. Keep dog-paddling, Hon. I feel your pain. I’m sitting here in an office at Victoria Park & Finch wondering whether I’m going to be drowned or struck by lightning before I make it to the safety of my car.
    Earle is looking beautiful, the front porch is absolutely gorgeous and even Joe’s gansey is looking pretty impressive at this point.

  26. chairs, yes, lighting, yes. Though I invariably lose a doublepoint, a stitch marker, a somthing I really need in a comfy chair (I carry extras). My LYS carries some books, is good for sitting. My local independent bookseller is WONDERFUL but carries very little on knitting. Local BigChainBigBookstore does better on knitting titles, not so well on chairs, and you have to go to the over-paved, over-sized MALL. I’d rather give business to LYS or independent bookseller.
    Does your publisher ever consider sending you to Iowa?

  27. Ya know, I was almost going to Book Expo this year. But then I went to the Public Library Association Conference instead.

  28. Have the knitting section overlooking the children’s books with lots of plush adult-sized chairs, and those rounded mirrors that are used in intersections so that we can see which way the toddler ran off when we’re helping the 3 year old tie her shoe for the umpteenth time and the 8 year old can sit and read close enough to see him!
    Or am I the only knitter who has children as her constant companions?

  29. Another vote for at least 2 comfy chairs near the knit section. I have no problem with the “beginner” books, I’m all for getting people hooked, er, sucked in, er, “encouraged”. And no problem with “the book of the moment” either. But yeah, I’m looking for something meatier most of the time. More space near the knit books would be good too. I end up sitting on the floor with a stack of “maybe” books next to me, flipping through the books and moving them to the “Yes, but not today” pile or the “buy it now” pile or reshelving them. A chair and a table next to it would be more comfy for me and more convenient for people trying to walk down the aisle. And “yes, yes, hell yes” for good lighting! (And not just in the knit section).

  30. That’s a lovely porch…I hope the rain stops soon….it’s lovely here in Vancouver!
    Often there isn’t even a ‘knitting’ section in bookstores…it’s included with all the other ‘crafts’. I guess this is usually because they don’t bother to bring in enough titles for knitting to get it’s own section. It would be great if they could have the latest most up to date books available, but often they are already dated. I like books that I will be able to refer to time and again with good, useful tips and instructions, tried and true hints for fitting and finishing, classic patterns for laces and cables with good pictures and illustrations.
    Comfy chairs would be nice, but my LBS actually removed them all! It was almost more like a library, which I guess was a problem…people were reading the books in the store instead of buying them and taking them home!

  31. Tell them to add seating and welcome small groups of knitters who need a meeting place. We are loyal, hungry, and eager to buy new books right off the truck. Particularly if we can sit and pore over them with friends and knitting by our sides. Baby sweater is gorgeous & I hope you’re done spinning,too!

  32. Nice porch! I invite it to meet my recently planted backyard. We have decided to leave that particularly nasty renovation for a year in which we do not plan on using the backyard. Ha! My hat off to your bravery.
    Mary Maxim has all the Regia Canadiana colours (provinces AND territories) http://www.marymaxim.com
    I have plans for NS and NF in the near future (as soon as my current stash of sock yarn stops throwing itself at my needles). Must support the home provinces (I’m NS, DH is NF).

  33. Believe me, you do not want to go anywhere near those bookstore “comfy chairs” or as we booksellers refer to them, “germ incubation petri dishes of filth.” Yechh. And it’s hard to keep the knitting books alphabetized (or any other reasonable order) when you straighten a shelf and come back ten minutes later to find half the books pulled out and left stacked on the floor, on top of the other shelved books, left in the cafe, etc. And most of the time when you find them stuck in transportation, or mixed in with the beading and quilting titles, it’s because a customer changed their mind and instead of returning the item to the original shelf or to a bookseller, they jam it onto the nearest available shelf.
    As a knitter, I despair that most of my shelves are filled with the latest novelty crap books. Generally, corporate will send five copies of the new trendy, and a single good, solid reference book. Guess what sells faster, and is more likely to be sold out when you visit? I (and my co-workers) are always happy to order when we’re out, just ask.
    Sorry for the rant. A bookseller’s gotta represent. 🙂

  34. I have to back up what everyone else has said, especially about the chairs. Organization would be nice, too.
    It’s beginning to dry out here in Massachusetts… we’ve been underwater, lots of roads closed, yards flooded, rivers spilling over their banks…

  35. Great porch! Who gets to paint it? Can I ask how you are washing that Corriedale? When you have a minute (cough, choke, giggle), I’d be really interested in specifics. Perhaps a blog post at some point? Oh, and I have to pass along the amazing indigo information I got from Judith MacKenzie in class at MDSW last week….instant, pre-reduced indigo. EASY, pure, cheap (she says a pound can dye a small town in Montana, should that interest you). Carolina Homespun, Earth Guild both have it.

  36. Definitely organize it in some way. I realize the irony, given that some of us have no discernable way to organize our stash, collection of books and patterns, or notions. Still, if they want us to BUY the flipping books we should be able to find the things! The Cooking sections are broken down, why can’t they get a bit more specific with the Crafts?

  37. Any update on when you are coming to Minneapolis? Do you need a place to stay (are you ok with dogs?) Do you need to be swept off your feet on a shop tour? Dinner? Chocolate? Someone to carry the sock?

  38. I’m so happy to see you’re back! I, too, thought you had abandoned the whole mortal knitting coil after the [reference to any recent debacle deleted].
    And I’m very jealous–my work supervisor is going to be at BEA this weekend. I hope you have a lovely time!
    Bookstores: More chairs in the knitting section, less non-knitting books in the knitting section, and a sign that reads “Fun Fur is Neither.” (maybe that last is a bit reachy). Better lighting as well.
    Thanks for advocating for us all 🙂

  39. I say keep it simple, since most booksellers don’t have a lot of space. In the “crafts” section please make sure all “crafts” are separated by the craft in question in alphabetical order, starting with “K”.
    Also? If a publisher was feeling like they wanted to reprint all those out of print Alice Starmore books that are running upwards of US$150 on ebay that would be grand.

  40. Do not, do not, mix knitting with crocheting books. Go a little bit out of the box and use this thing called alphabetizing, and for the love of God and all things holy some bookstores (Barnes and Noble) need to get the displays a little lower for us vertically challenged shoppers. Didn’t anyone tell them that knitters are little old ladies. Now tell me how a little old lady can reach 7 feet in the air for a book?
    Also, I’m liking the low armrest suggestion. And maybe they could stock extra scissors and tape measures that we could borrow. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

  41. Let me know if you need any yarn store recommendations or veggie restaurant suggestions for while you’re in DC. I’m pretty familiar with both…

  42. Like many before me, I wish ardently for organization in the knitting section. The more books the better (our B&N has a lot of them), but I always feel like I’m looking through a mish mash at a yard sale. Respect the knitting book!

  43. Okay…the lady with the kid suggestions soooooooooooooooo has my vote… and as a knitter and a crocheter, I’m not minding the mix up in the books…but since you’re taking ideas… how ’bout keeping series intact? You know… stocking all books in a series and not just the most recent one? (This goes for more than knitting, btw…) And my sympathies on the rain… here in Nor-Cal we went from 2 1/2 months of rain to 95 f. in the span of a week… we’re all suffering from tmperature shock…

  44. Gorgeous front porch! And good luck on the back yard – building in the rain really sucks. I’d say the rain is good for your productivity – spinning and knitting! Impressive. As for the bookstores… Better selection and organization would be my votes.

  45. Tell publishers not to shrink wrap the books in plastic. Often a new, interesting title will be shelved this way, and all you can read is the ad copy on the back. If I can’t see the contents, index, and page layout, I won’t buy the book. The stores in my area always have skimpy selections for knitting books, and so I have to use on-line yarn shops or Amazon for my knitting book purchases. The local bookstores appear to have extensive offerings for quilters, so I don’t get their logic in book buying. Are there really more quilters than knitters?

  46. Okay, I just have to comment on the sock yarn.
    1) I am intrigued to know that I now live in ‘columbia’. Where did the ‘british’ go? It does explain why its so hot outside, however.
    2)’Manitoba’ looks like it relates well with ‘Ontario’…wonder what the western separates would have to say?
    (Wish this had a spell check for those of us which are challenged by such things)

  47. How can bookstores better cater to knitters? How about not mixing the knitting, crocheting, quilting, and beadwork books for starters. Carrying more knitting books, and more than one copy of each title. Not giving us dirty looks when we plop ourselves down in the aisle to read them (I, as a former librarian, may not put the book back where I got it from, but I most CERTAINLY put it back where it SHOULD have come from). Don’t look at us like we have 3 heads when we ask if they have any more copies of the new Yarn Harlot book in the back.

  48. I wholeheartedly agree with those who have already said that bookstores should carry more of the “classics,” as well as reference books. Also, it would be great to see more knitting magazines – there are a bunch out there!

  49. Tell them to reprint Alice Starmore’s fair isle knitting book. No matter how good a book is, $150 cuts into the yarn budget in a major way.
    And tell them that crochet and knitting aren’t the same, but they’re a lot closer together than, say, knitting and scrapbooking or knitting and candlemaking (don’t let the wick fool you – it’s not yarn). I’m pretty sure no one has pointed out those things.
    BTW, that is one lovely porch.

  50. Organization definitely. And maybe put all the spinning books, if not in their own tiny corner of a shelf, at least in the computers. I’m tired of asking things like “do you have any books on spinning”, finding out they don’t, and then spotting “The Spinner’s Companion” or some such on the shelves stuck between Knitting on the Road and Crochet for a Quiet Evening.

  51. The porch is indeed beautiful! As for knitting books and bookstores, I once worked in a large chain bookstore, a nice one, and it was my pleasure and pain to have as “my section” ( responsibility ) the craft section. This meant that I had first crack at the new books headed for my section and I also striaghtened and re-alphabetized the books. This had to be squeesed in between my other duties and was the first thing to be dropped when I ran out of time. Are there any readers who would knowingly reshelve, say, a Knitting Book in, say, Stained Glass Making? No, I didn’t think so. When I was there we recieved the new crop of knitting books once a year, not nearly fast enough for my appetite. I would prefer once a month or so. Stephanie, you could ask for larger sections for knitting ( they can condense Automobiles and Airplanes ) and a “New In Knitting” space and an even mix of rank beginner, intermediate, and advanced books. The book buyers need to talk with knitters, like you are doing.The group of knitters who took up the craft in this recent surge of interest has been at it for a while now and no longer need as many beginner books ( although these will always be in demand ). They/we are ready for more intermediate and advanced work. I, for one, would also like to see more sweater styles with a fit that is in keeping with currant fashion. In addition I would like to see more patterns with dressmaker details. When I knit I want the finished work to be beautiful in everyone’s eyes, not just knitters. As it is now, to find this level of knitting book means an awfull lot of sifting to find a good one at the bookstore. I have to go to a yarn shop. Vogue Knitting On The Go series, Debbie Bliss, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and Teva Durham all got it right to my way of thinking. Many thanks, Stephanie, for going to BEA and helping us out. As usual you are improving the knitting world.

  52. Mutter, mutter, in DC and I can’t come, mutter…
    Oh well, I should be out in the garden right now anyway. My garden expansion is also taking more time than anticipated and all of my plants are waiting for more space. Hope you have a great trip! (And please let us know if you’ll be anywhere else in DC.) 🙂

  53. Auntie Rams, have you forgiven me enough for my transgression of earlier this week to allow me to refer to myself as one of your ‘merry cohorts’? I do so enjoy being a cohort. And I even tried to take those pictures for you this afternoon, but then, you know, the rain. Like Steph said. Currently accompanied by thunder and lightning. And my repeated prayers that we’ll get a phone call any moment informing us that the boy’s first soccer game has been cancelled for this evening…

  54. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d buy one of each coloUrway of the Canadian Colours. And then I’d also buy the special edition Lorna’s Laces named after Canadian places (there’s a Pender Island colourway [I may have the wrong Gulf Island, please don’t quote me] and a few others) and then I’d have comepletely patriotic feet, without the bother of intarsia maple leaves/beavers/hockey sticks.
    … one could also buy a large quantity of black sock yarn, and do an intarsia province shape on black socks in the appropriate Regia yarn… then you’ll remember whether you’re wearing your BC socks or your Quebec socks. But then you get into cities. Calgary gets the Calgary Tower, Ottawa gets the Parliament buildings, Vancouver gets… a ferry? A grow-op?
    Okay, I’ll stop now. Good thing I have no money.

  55. To echo other comments, it’s about choice, variety and keeping the darn books in some semblance of order. Why is it the knitting section only seems to get tidied up once a month?
    Beyond that, I don’t think our books only belong next to books on Brazilian Judo, or woodworking. If you want to move product, think about putting some art books / nature books on a small display near the knitting books. Please, what knitter couldn’t pick up “Remains of a Rainbow” (or the amazing sequel “Archipelago”) and not want to rush to the nearest yarn store, book in hand, and start picking out yarn? (Well, o.k., THIS knitter couldn’t resist.)

  56. Is there something wrong with the fact that you said “The sock is packing again” and I imagined a sock with an itty-bitty gun? Or particularly sharp DPNs?

  57. It would be nice if there was some place to sit and look at them other than the floor in the middle of the aisle. Actually something more than the very basics would be nice too.
    Talking to us about what their customers would actually like would be good too. My beloved and now departed local bookstore used to actually ask their frequent customers what they would like to see stocked in specific sections. Even though they were part of a chain, the local managers did have some say about what they carried based on customer feedback.

  58. Idea for bookstore owners. Locate a comfy chair by the knitting books. We like to browse before we buy.

  59. I’ll second (or third or whatever) most of the above comments – knitting is not crochet, quilting, beading, or woodworking (!), and chairs or beanbags or a bench nearby would be nice. I’d also like to see books that are more advanced – there’s nothing more irritating that looking through every book in the section and realizing that you know all the techniques and have no interest in making a garter-stitch sweater in a weekend, and that all the “wild and crazy” sock patterns rely on self-patterning yarn. And in that vein, how about books about knitting history, philosophy, spirituality, etc., if there are any being written? (Besides by our dear Harlot.) I gladly paid $40 for my copy of The History of Hand Knitting. Of course, I’m kind of a dork like that.

  60. Please find the book sellers who create the catalogues of available titles for sale to libraries and point out the value of including older, but still in print titles. I get annoyed with the library’s lack of what I consider esstential titles (such as Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries), but am assured by my librarian daughter that they are not available for order.
    Then once we get good books at the library we all need to do our part by checking them out so they remain in the collection.

  61. Yay for new porch! Boo for the rain teasing you mercilessly.
    Joe’s handspun sweater will be mighty fine. Now that I’ve washed fleece for the first time I am in awe of all the work you’ve put in!

  62. I love the Regia Canada colors! I’m slowly collecting them, and have four so far. I had hoped they’d have Nunavut and The Yukon (because I find myself fascinated by those areas, pre-Ryan even) available, and was disappointed when they didn’t, but like the other colors so much I’m getting them anyway.
    Yay on the spinning! I should get some raw corriedale and see if processing it myself will make a difference in my perception of the fiber. The batch of roving I got had an…interesting smell to it. Kinda chemical, and not very much fun for me. I think I gave it away, actually.

  63. Stephanie, I cannot tell you how you brighten my day. I am very excited about your new porch! We have a very tiny house with no real yard but 2 years ago my hubby extended our front porch and I just love sitting out there in the evenings knitting.
    I can so relate to the rain. A few years ago, we were having a medical crisis with my father-in-law and the very day that all started, our sewer line we share with our neighbors collapsed! That is the day the near record rains started and our sewer line was 15 ft underground! It was a nightmare that lasted for several weeks. I never thought I would ever be able to go outside again because the situation got so volatile, but all is well now!
    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your life with us all….and I do pray you make it back for the wee ones to make their entrance!

  64. Based on the responses to your request, it makes me wonder how well a niche bookstore would do… most yarn stores have a decent selection of books, but their focus is on the yarn. If any of you are like me, you can’t ever find the book you were looking for at a bookstore and eventually give up and order it. In a dream world maybe we have a bookstore that caters to knitters with a coffeeshop that has yummy chocolate cake and comfortable seating… and the kicker would be it would be attached to a yarn store. Of course, there would also be an annex for classes and, um… the spinning.
    Of course, I doubt anyone is going to pander to us quite that far… more’s the pity, eh?
    PS – I really think that corriedale is going to knit up in to a lovely sweater.

  65. Ok, all the suggestions so far are great and I even have a new one (unless someone is commenting at this same moment with the same idea….)
    Stock some audiobooks nearby. I love listening to a good…well, at least entertaining book while mired in the repetitiveness of stockinette 😉 (or on the bus, where I save said stockinette for easy knitting).
    Porch looks great! Feel free to send the rain to Arizona. The “storm” we got last night was more dust than water…

  66. Forgive me if these comments have been made by others regarding books stores, but here are my comments: Organize the books better. The books are usually packed together and mixed with other craft books. Bring back the classics. It doesn’t take long for a serious knitter to outgrow the basics. There are some great classics that should always be included in this section. Lots of chairs-this one is obvious.

  67. Hm. Bookstores should know that the knit section gets pretty picked over and needs some extra attention, but they will be rewarded with hungry knitters who will buy full price books. Some extra ordering is necessary and extra tidying would be fantastic. Additional Suggestions:
    – get the label maker out and label the sections where specific types of books should go. Then knitters can put them back after other knitters have pulled them out to read. We can’t shelve if we don’t know your system. All knitters have their own containment system and it is important to delineate yours so we may respect it.
    – A small section declaring “new!” which can sit there for, oh, a season before moving the books to the archived section. You do this for romance novels and I’m more likely to spend $20 on a pattern book than hardback fiction.
    – Train the staff not to stare if we bring in a bag full of yarn. We gotta see what will work with a pattern, yo.
    – If you’re having a tough time keeping things neat, put a empty basket next to the knitting section with a sign “Place Items to re-shelf here. Thanks!” We knitters are extremely capable of dumping things in baskets.
    – Consider ordering books by title instead of author. Many people know the name of a book but not who wrote it.

  68. Tell them all the above ideas, and THEN tell them that since they aren’t doing these things, they are positively driving us to amazon.com. I mean, the price is way better, there’s no tax and no shipping charge(hey, I never buy less than the minimum for free shipping!), and if they won’t stock what we want, we can’t look at it anyhow. I’d much rather look before I buy, but all there is at my local B&N is fun fur knits anyway. Oh, and then tell them again that CROCHET. IS. NOT. KNITTING. I expect the crocheters feel the same way.

  69. Oh my gosh. I actually know someone you’re talking about. I know Joanne the Canuck in Colorado. I’m in Colorado. She’s great.
    And so is your porch. Wish we had some of your rain here. We need it. Nothing but temps in the 80s and blue skies here today.

  70. You spun . . . I was wondering?!?! Anyway, bookstore people. Could we break up the CRAFT SECTION please. How about a knitting section . . . ALONE. More Knitting books in general are needed. Although I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle. I haven’t been knitting, been reading . . . about knitting!

  71. Well, I first discovered you in the disorganized, hodge-podge craft section of a small Books A Million while I was waiting to do something else. Thank goodness they had bookbookbook! And I wasn’t even looking for it. Just browsing. And about to STOP because it was same ole, same ole, mostly. Ditto on all the other comments re organization, better selection, fewer beginner books and more interesting technique and advanced books (or at least change the ratio by including a lot more of the latter).
    Hurray for the porch. And I’m keeping the fingers crossed that the twins stay put for a while.

  72. Tell them… serve coffee/tea in unspillable cups-not made of paper….have comfy chairs- to knit in…. a little trash can for the “waste bits” and allow for swatching….it’s part of the book buying process…. then– I’ll BUY MORE BOOKS.
    I promise. If I could knit and read.. that would REALLY be utopia. (ok… not literally…just sayin)
    Also– a few related books on cd.. would be a good impulse buy- to add to our area… as I CAN”T read and knit.
    I may never leave, actually.;) I could just direct deposit checks- for my support……..

  73. (Haven’t read the other comments, so sorry if I’m repeating)
    The bookstores that I frequent have “craft” sections. We’re talking 2-3 sections of shelves with knitting, crochet, quilting, sewing, cross-stitch, etc…all mixed up. Sometimes, you can kind of see which shelves are for knitting books, but usually the borders of topic blend together.
    The bigger issue is that there is usually some claim on these shelves that the books are alphabetical by author or title. In my experience, this is never the case…because I usually know both the name of the author *and* the name of the book I’m looking for, and I can’t find it. The assumption seems to be that we’re interested in browsing, when in fact I usually go into the store knowing exactly which book I’m looking for! And if I can’t find it, amazon.com gets my money.

  74. I just looked at the Vancouver colours and I think they picked those colours from the upcoming Olympics. I’ve seen a few of the many signs for the 2010 Olympics with those colours. Those colours aren’t really the BC flag, so I’m not sure how they came up with that, but funny to see it with all the German. Honestly, none of it makes sense to me!
    Have a good trip.

  75. I agree with the bookknitter and I do not work in a book store. Our local Book store had to remove the comfy chairs because people were setting up for the entire day in there and reading books and actually putting bookmarks in them so as to continue the next day. Some people actually thought that this was a good quiet place for an afternoon siesta!!! It’s the people that don’t put things back where they got them tht rile me the most and its a GOOD thing I don’t work in said shop as I’m afraid I’d be banning some customers from the store. That said —YES it would be very nice to have a section for JUST knitting books and a table close by to put them on to take a peek before buying and THEN returning them to their proper place.
    Erle is looking lovely , and the Mom I’m sure is going to love it. HURAHH for the porch builders that work in the rain!! Hurahh for you and the spinning of Joe’s wool. YOu have been a busy beaver for sure . Have a safe trip

  76. Congrats on the loverly porch….you need a rocking chair and you’ll be ready to knit the afternoons away.
    Hope the wee babes stay tucked in safe and warm until your return. DC is beautiful this time of year!!
    As for bookstores….tell them your books aren’t fiction…..that’s where I found them after going thru your name, alias, and titles and being told they didn’t have them……..I found them on an endcap in the fiction section!
    also FYI….the quilting section sucks just as much as the knitting sections! I think they should hire people who actually know something about knitting, quilting etc to chose the books that they will stock! What an idea…someone who actually knows what is good and what is crapola!!
    Arizona hasn’t had rain in months……I’d be HAPPY to take some off your hands. Here they measure rain in one hundredths of an inch! They think its a real big deal to get 1/2 an inch in a 24 hour period!!…..ah…..what I’d give for a rainy, drizzly afternoon!!!..no such thing here!!

  77. My two cents for bookstores catering to knitters…for them to keep the loafers away from our section! Unfortunately, some folks must think that no one actually shops that section and sets up camp on the floor with laptops, nonknitting books, or best friends to gossip. It would be nice to also see all the new books set out on a special table. And sales now and again are always nice, too.

  78. RAIN!!! I miss rain. I want rain. I hardly remember the last time it rained. Though, theoreticaly, it should rain today (the weather man has a loose relationship with reality though. He has been promising that for the last couple of days. I think they tell us that so we don’t riot). Send us some of your rain. Please!!!

  79. I had Dawson. It was a lovely mix of browns. It is now a lovely warm scarf. The band on the wool was the same as the Toronto one – dogsleds and the Rocky Mountains.
    Your porch is very sweet. It just needs some climbing flowering vines to wend up the sides. Maybe sweet peas, for the lovely fragrance.
    Tell them your books aren’t crafts, or fiction. They are Humour, and Knitting of the HIGHEST ORDER.

  80. Organize, more classic titles, less trendy stuff (though I like some of it *hangs head in shame*), more chairs, etc. would be good. How about they move the knitting/crafts AWAY from the darned home remodeling sections? Cause all the chairs in every local store are filled by people lookin’ at 30 different home books, none of which, as far as I can tell, they then buy.

  81. Re: bookstores and knitting books – the stores have no control over what’s published, I know, but it sure would be nice to see more books that are not geared toward the beginner. (And I say that while not being too far from a beginner myself.)
    The porch sure looks pretty. We are in a drought here, and I would gladly take some of that rain off your hands.

  82. Your porch looks great! We’ve been getting rain somthing terrible here too. The sun finally came out today after about a week.

  83. PLEASE tell the bookstores to get more books on knitting!! Most of my kniting book purchases have been made at my LYS or internet because the local and chain stores have little or nothing in the way of material on knitting. What they do have is typically hopelessly out of date. They also need to get more kitting magazines! There is more out there than Knit-It and Family Circle. Also (wish list) comfortable chairs with a table beside it, or in front of it, so I don’t have to balance a pile of books on my lap while I try to page through the one on top. Most of the mega stores have chairs and the independants need to find some space for something to sit on other than the floor. Finally, get the newest knitting books ASAP, like the day they are released. Nothing bugs me more than having to wait and wait to see a book while the rest of the world is discussing it on the knitting lists or blogging away about the great patterns, techniques etc. I cannot tell you how long it took me to get my hands on the Knitting Out of Africa book, months!

  84. What can bookstores do? Stop looking at me like I am an idiot when I ask if they have a certain knitting book yet. YES I want a book about KNITTING. Get over it. Of course, when it comes to book stores I have a choice of ONE. And it’s big box. Sigh. Lovely porch!

  85. So since I am eternally squatting on one of those teeny tiny ample bottom almost on the floor stools at Borders, always close to the knitting books which are sometimes spread across three or four sections because of course every person who enjoys ANY kind of craft loves to look at ALL the books that belong to EVERY craft (NOT!!), I first of all think some comfortable book perusing chairs would be beautiful. And since I spent more than a few minutes rearranging the books for Borders (I found MDK, YH, and WendyKnits in the crochet section for pete’s sake), I wish they would separate the crafts into sections!

  86. Clean new space! Beautiful. I would immediately co-opt it somehow for quiet moments with yarn. Bookstores: I tend to follow market pressures and will order online rather than buy from a bookstore. Not mixing up the knitting books with other fiber/hand arts would be nice. Or treat knitting like the classic craft it is and don’t order those weirdo books that have projects with eyelash yarn.

  87. Love the porch. Feel free to send some rain my way. My grass is a little parched. I like books to be organized in a logical manner (I like both quilting and knitting but I don’t like to search the quilting books to find the one copy of the knitting book that I want). And KnitPicks has Yukon and Rocky Mtns 100% merino sock yarn (Memories) for US$3.99/220yd-50gms.

  88. What can bookstores do????
    Stop putting all the knitting books on the bottom shelf. I’m nealry 6 feet tall, getting that low to the ground is a bit of a feat for me.
    Remember that knitting and quilting are different. I don’t know why Borders always has knitting books mixed in with the quilting books but they do. It is one of life’s mysteries that I would love an answer to.
    Putting the knitting books on the shelves that divide the rest of the store from the children’s section (thus having the knitting books IN the children’s section) was also not a moment of great genius (another Borders accomplishment).
    OK… that’s my 2 cents.

  89. I LOVE the porch. Every house should have a good porch.
    As for bookstores, most of them could definitely use more advanced books. I almost never find what I’m looking for at my LBS. Even if it is on the shelf, it is so hidden in the pile of big needle/fast results books that I can’t find it.

  90. I love the way the sun is shining on the porch!! Hope the sun comes out again so you can sweep and enjoy it to your heart’s content.
    I suggested my local, independant bookstore put together a Knitting Display this past winter…work with the lys just a block away and put out baskets of yarn, with some books actually standing face-front on the shelftops,a sign that indicated where the knitting books were located, one or two completed projects from one or two of the available books…all yarns NFS, except from said store down the block. How fun to find not only a knitting section, but one that had an actual knitting display in it! Even a “Knitter’s Booklist” taped to the shelf which showed which were new acquisitons for the store, publication/availability dates for new releases, etc. He pulled two chairs from a central location and placed them in/near the knitting display….admittedly, this was January and it was probably more of a seasonal display for him, but it was very welcoming.
    I also second the suggestions that clearly marked shelf space would help for reshelving and if the owner doesn’t want customer-reshelving, a basket to place looked-at-but-not-buying-it-today books might alleviate the stress of mishmash book placement on the shelf. My local store usually only had about 15-20 knitting-specific titles in the store at any one time…he is now up to about 35-40, and said that sales seem to be consistant, which surprised him since he thought of knitting as a winter season pasttime. I notice he’s adapted the display idea for gardening.

  91. Hummmm, sugestions for bookstores……how about people who actually READ BOOKS working in those big institutional bookstores (you KNOW who you are!), instead of the grocery store checkers they usually employ. And for icing on the cake, just one person who knows about knitting and other crafts, so they can order the craft books.
    BTW, Erle is mucho macho cute!

  92. Oh, re: the book stores. Tell them to talk to Cathy at The Flying Dragon. She’s doing it perfectly in my opinion. Lovely, comfortable shop, well laid out. Small selection of high quality yarns and needles near the knitting books with patterns that match, like Louisa Harding and Rowan. The offer to order yarn in specifically (if her supplier carries it) for customers. Happy for and eager and interested in suggestions from knitters.
    And best of all, her knowledge of books in general is fabulous. Especially with the children’s story and activity books I end up coming home with almost every week. I’m in there almost every weekend, and rarely leave without buying something.

  93. Stock more than just the three, five or eight books on knitting that are most popular at the moment.
    The sweater looks great. I am completely and utterly in awe of your spinning ability and perserverence. Spinning that much yarn, then knitting a sweater for Joe is truly an act of true love and commitment.

  94. For the bookstores, how about a list of suggested books, posted on the knitting shelf, broken down into beginner, intermediate, and “I-am-Nancy-Bush-incarnate?” Sometimes it’s hard to know what to buy, after you’ve mastered the scarf but are still afraid of trying sweaters, and all those knit blogs just aren’t accessible in the bookstore to advise you.

  95. HEY!!! I’m totally going to be at BEA on Saturday! How fun. I’ll see you there! You’ll be either a amused or horrified (I can’t decide which I am) that my publisher registered me as “Stitchy McYarnpants”, so now I have to walk around with that on my badge all day. You think it’s bad telling people what kind of book you’ve written, try explaining that name to complete strangers.

  96. I sympathize with you about the water/mud coming up to your backdoor. My daughter in New Hampshire has a foot of water in the ground floor of her house right now, not to mention the 8 feet or so in her basement. Living on a river was very nice for the first several years!
    But the good news is that family, dog, cat are all safe and although they lost a car (they were away from home for the weekend) they saved most of the knitting library and wool. Think good thoughts for her, please… this will be rough summer.

  97. A lot of people have already commented on this, but I’ll repeat it because it bears repeating: Please oh please stop shlepping crochet books into the knitting section and vice versa. yas, they both involve yarn, but the similarity pretty much ends right there. And yes, a little more selection in the way of pattern books would be nice too. I simply cannot believe that there’s a need for that many books on what to do with fun fur and size 17 needles. Tell those book pushers that the mighty and powerful knitters have spoken. Safe travels.

  98. Lovely front porch. Re the back, close the shades or blinds or drapes – out of sight, out of mind!

  99. The porch looks wonderful! The spinning looks equally nice. Tell the booksellers that the world needs less fun fur knitting books and encourage more knitting magazines!
    Come to Oregon! Soon! It’s been especially nice (and HOT) here the last few days. We can keep you warm and dry!

  100. A local chain bookstore in our area invited a couple of us to discuss hosting a knitting group. The PR person nixed a “stitch ‘n bitch” because it might offend someone. He wanted a name tied to literature (knitting related or not) and finally blew off the whole idea because he didn’t think anyone would come. Every time I am in the store someone–often several someones–are knitting there!

  101. As former bookstore employee, I must step up and say that not all the blame should be set upon the employees or the mega chain (though often the mega chain deserves it for other stuff).
    Every day that I worked I would open my shift with rearranging the knitting section, pulling the crochet from the knitting and both (frustratingly) from the quilting. Even arranging them all in a reasonable manner. Every evening that I closed the store, I would do the exact same thing–while reshelving the piles and piles of knitting books strewn across the floor. Now, my knitting friends, these books did not move on their own.
    I’m not saying that bookstore don’t have some responsibility. It would be nice for them to have some books that are more than a year or two old. More comfy chairs! And knitters are far nicer to have sitting in the cafe/seating areas than some of the other regulars. Just know that all the fault doesn’t lay on the employees (who are generally only making minimum wage for the privilege of working around books), or the chain�both of whom are more than happy to special order that book for you. Really. Oh, and if you DO special order? It tells the system to order more in that area. At my Borders, 50% of our stock was based on special order trends. No lie.
    My request, Ms. Harlot? Have them move the whole crafts section away from home improvement and autos. Uck.

  102. What would I tell them? I would tell both Borders and Barnes & Nobles to PLEASE keep the crafts & knitting sections somewhat organized. It seems that they’re the most neglected section in nearly every chain of those stores that I’ve been in.

  103. I’m using the Regia yarn to knit my first pair of socks! (Using your ‘recipe’.) I’m using the yarn called Manitoba. So far, so good!

  104. Really love the steps. They look great!! Tell the booksellers to at least put them in order by author or sock, mitten, scarves, etc..

  105. -Wish I were going to BEA… I met you there last year and you were so gracious about me (and others) coming up and accosting you!
    -Good for you on not having a car. I didn’t till this year, and I find it a curious mix os seductively convenient and annoyingly expensive. I regularly dream that it’s been lost or towed.

  106. Fab porch!
    Tell them to actually stock some knitting books! although it might not quite get across the pond to rainy old england here…worth a try though I guess…have fun, take care, blessed be.

  107. Lovely porch. Tell mama congrats and good job with the leg-crossing. Nice work. And keep knitting slowly though I suspect it won’t be long until she starts begging you to start sewing the thing up.
    I have nothing to day about grnyrn except to thank you for taking the hit for the rest of the team. The yarn for that project is sitting in stash and the pattern is printed on the shelf. Thank goodness it was you and not me. There are small children in my house who don’t yet know all the cuss words. We all thank you.

  108. Tell them to put an experienced knitter in charge of ordering the knitting books.

  109. Stock the bookstore with many knitting books and a staff member who knows something about them. And chairs. There should be chairs. Sometimes knitting books inspire an overwhelming urge to knit. Immediately.
    But seriously, have fun and tell them what you want!

  110. What’s with the yellow in the Vancouver colourway? They’re taunting us. I get it — green for trees, blue for ocean. But yellow? As in the sun? Never let it be said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour. (Although their geographic skills seem a bit sketchy — what is “columbia”? The river? The province?)

  111. Hmm, can you do anything about the bookstores around here that don’t have a craft section, let alone any knitting books?
    No, wait, that’s not entirely true. I once saw three copies of “The Secret Life of a Knitter” in the bargain section…they looked like some kids had kicked them around then given them to a dog to chew on.

  112. As a bookseller, let me tell you, having been to endless publishing events etc, NONE of them knit! Can you believe it.Perhaps you could demand they learn, they might listen to you. One thing you might like to do is ask your publisher if they will consider getting you a contract with an Australian publishing company, so we can sell your book here! I have had people ask if we are able to get your new book and your backlist, as they dont want to use Amazon, (inet illiterate)!
    Love the Porch by the way, in Australia it would be a wicked Verandah. Cheers Tye.

  113. Based on your last road trip, it would seem to me you might suggest putting out “more chairs than you would ever guess in your wildest dreams” when the Harlot comes to speak about knitting.
    And I think some combination of bookstore/coffeeshop/yarn shop – so that there might be browsing, drinking (ok, maybe it should be a bar instead), knitting would be ideal. But that’s just me.
    Have fun! Congratulations on the ark, er, porch.

  114. The semi-local big box stores here seem to be getting the seating right, but like many of you, I think they need to get a handle on what the ‘classics’ of the genre are. (Can one say Elizabeth Zimmermann and Barbara Walker and Barbara Abbey – thought so.)

  115. PS – lovely porch. Those wide step are begging for some potted plants. It’s lovely (and knowing that the hole in your foundation is no more must be a big relief).

  116. Stolen out of your car, huh? I think I have a couple of things I’d like to put in your car…

  117. I’ve been busily matching sock colours to itinerary for our upcoming trip to the Rockies! I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I expect to make 4 pairs of socks in the three weeks we’re gone – gourds, have you driven across the prairies??? What I think is unreasonable is the resident teenager turning her nose up at getting Manitoba socks and wanting the Columbia ones that were assigned to her father! Work with me, people! (Oh, and surely I’m not the only one offended by the Canadian *Colors* spelling!?!)
    As fer yon bookfolk, well, I am blessed to have a LBS that’s owned by a knitter :-> But could people pleeeze, for the love of all things fibrous, get more than a few copies of new releases? We are not a patient people.

  118. Books- Sorted by subject, ie socks w/ socks.. what a concept. Have a vairety of books.. general to specific. The EZ Books ( & I don’t mean easy… gezz)… someone who can alphabetically put them in order!!!
    Love the porch… hugs & thanks for the great books… they help me when I’m ready to kill the yarn gods,,, they truly make me smile, lol

  119. It is absolutely astonishing, the amount of fun and satisfaction that one can derive from a perfectly unnecessary chore. Like,say, sweeping a porch.

  120. Love the Erle sweater–wonder why anyone ever thought it would be too “girly” for the boy twin. It’s fabulous!

  121. Uh, put the coffee house inside of the knitting/crochet/fiber area like you mean it. And I second, third, etc. the need for some symbolance of organization that goes beyond the knit/not knit distinction. Nothing makes me feel more violent than scanning knitting books and fumbling on a title for something like decoupage. I’ve got nothing against decoupage – it is just that it is like having your favorite song stopped right in the middle. Argh!

  122. With regard to your point number 4, Mary Maxim actually has this yarn in colourways of all the provinces as well as Yukon and NWT…no nunavut though.

  123. RE #4: For the love of f*ck, where is the Miramichi? Maritimes, right! (that’s a two syllable right) Why NOT Halifax? Or Cornerbrook? What, are we not Canadian content over here?
    good porch, but where are you going to put the couch?

  124. The Borders I go to does a good job of stocking a variety of books, but the disorganization problem is forever. It might help to separate the crafts that use fiber by putting them on a completely different set of shelves from the crafts that use unyielding materials like sheet metal, wire, wood, and Plexiglass(R). (Yes, I know people write things about knitting with wire; put the crossover books in both places.)
    If the knitting books are ending up piled on the floor, how about putting a small table nearby for people to put them on? That would even give the bookstore an immediate feedback list of “Books people actually look at instead of passing by with a shudder”.
    I envy your nice new porch. And I second the “permeable” surface for the back yard.

  125. “Is there anything you want me to tell them?”
    Yep..tell them to stack knitting books at eye level, not on the bottom and not so high that only the “jolly green giant” can reach them, let alone see them. Oh…and tell them that knitting books should have at least the same, if not more shelf space than quilting, woodworking or crochet!

  126. Tell them we need more space. They keep cramming all the knitting stuff together and giving other (less important?) hobbies too much space. Also identify clearly how they are organized.

  127. Reading through all the comments, I suppose I should stop resenting my local Barnes & Noble for not having Wendy Knits. Aside from all the Harlot books, they have Mason Dixon. And Elizabeth Zimmerman and Montse Stanley, and a whole bunch of Vogue Knitting books, both reference and trendy. They have a reasonable (and often refreshed) selection of Interweave Press books. (And, of course, they have way too much Stitch and Bitch, and they sometimes seem confused about the difference between knitting and crocheting.)

  128. I wholeheartedly agree with Erin. And would like to add that scrapbooking is definitely NOT knitting, either. Heck, it would be lovely if my bookstore actually invested more than 3″ of shelf space for knitting books. Another hint: truly and honestly, five different titles of “how to knit and purl, the basics”, do not constitute a knitting section. Almost every knitting book (with actual patterns and such!) includes the basics.

  129. i love my porch too, it ‘s covered with potted plants and wind blowing things, chimes and spinners and prayer flags. i kept raised flowerbed, veggie beds, back in the day when i had a yard. LOL no yard these days.
    please tell the booksellers that knitting is not crocheting or anything else and tell them to give us plenty of space.

  130. I haven’t had time to read the other comments, so this may be repetitive, but I think that they could do better in two ways: number of titles, and organization. Alphabetizing by author is useless. Have one of the employees who knits organize the books by general subject matter.

  131. Now this is a topic close to my heart. I love bookstores, I hate what bookstores do to knitting books. I don’t want the books packed together in some random order. My B&N packs them so tightly that dust covers get tattered, the paperbacks get folds. I want to use these books for years. Let me break ’em in. I don’t need them used looking from the bookstore. And guess what. I’m not wearing mohair underpants, so just forget it. And please God no more scarf books. Give me good classic patterns. I may not get around to making them for five years and the “lingerie look” is probably not still going to be trendy at that point (at least I can hope).

  132. I made one of those jumpers that will not be named. In the suggested yarn. Apart from a few minor incidents with being unable to divide by two…
    Anyway, knitted correctly, in the suggested yarn, the back looks like a certain body part according to my knitting group. They call it “the vajumper”

  133. Based on my knitting book hunt of yesterday’s lunch break: maybe having oh, I don’t know, all books on the same craft together?
    This bookshop, which will remain nameless, has its craft section in alphabetic order by author, meaning you get a craft section that goes knitting, sewing, woodwork, knitting, crochet, mosaic, sewing, mosaic, painting, knitting, woodwork etc etc etc.
    Sorry, I just needed to rant about that particular bit of stupidity.

  134. Tell them that knitting is not crocheting or quilting or sewing or paper making or applique or…well you get it. And there CAN’T be as many quilters out there as there are quilting books in book stores. There just can’t be.

  135. Knit Picks has 100% merino sock yarn (Memories) in Yukon and Rocky Mtns colorways. It’s US$3.99 for a 220yd/50gm skein.
    I like your new porch, and feel free to send some rain my way (CO, but I don’t know Carole the Canuck). We could definitely use it.

  136. maybe sorting the books by skill level? i’m tired of wading through “learn to knit” books to find the gems (i’m a 30 year knitter, and approximately advanced intermediate. there’s only so many “knit this square and sew it this way!” books i can swallow!)

  137. Forget the porch, how’s the hole?! I told my new hubby that I’d always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest. He said it was too rainy, cold and cloudy. It would make him depressed. So, we moved to Alabama (from Colorado) and now we have rainy and hot (Commonly known as humid) and cloudy. Dang, that’s a real improvement. How’s anyone supposed to wear knits around here? Too bad, I’m knitting anyway. I look for unusual books. I collect books and horde them. I stopped going to a cute restaurant because the owner replaced a loveseat with stiff chairs. She asked,”How do you like my new chairs? Aren’t they nice?” I told her exactly how I felt, No they weren’t nice and I didn’t like them and I didn’t ever return. Put in comfy chairs and we will come. Add the possibility of ordering some form of chocolate drink and we will come in and love you. Knitters are loyal and predictable customers. Oh, and I don’t do heel flaps. Short row please. These can be especially hard to find.

  138. Gak. Cambridge (UK) has lots of bookshops (bliss) and just *one* store that sells yarn (that I can find). It’s a department store. Just as well: if the bookstores sold yarn I’d never leave.
    That sock yarn is interesting. I’m about to essay my first pair of socks. What’s with the ‘Alberta’ sock yarn? Where are the blues of sky, mountains, lakes? How appropriate that ‘Edmonton’ is more attractive than ‘Calgary’ ;->>

  139. All-Time #1 Hit Suggestion With A Bullet:
    More flippin’ books on knitting! 5 or 6 titles do not a ‘selection’ make, in any category. There’s more than one reason I buy books almost exclusively online. Ok, except at Powell’s here in Portland. I buy online from them, too, but at least they’re local for me. (And, for any prospective visitors, they have plenty of knitting books, used and new, plus a coffee shop with natural light from big windows. Also re-shelving carts where you can put all those books you were browsing while having coffee and a scone. Hee.)
    I also suggest the bookstores read the comments for your blog today. Get that business card with your blog addy printed up fast and hand it out, pointedly mentioning the date. Maybe they’ll take note of what’s mentioned…repeatedly!

  140. 1. order more than 10 copies of the foreign (British) knitting magazines
    2. stop hiding the knitting magazines behind the quilting and under the cross-stitch ones at the back of the rack. they like the light

  141. I know someone who has many northern connections (mine has long since moved away) — I’ll make a call and see what we can do to get some northern contributions.

  142. I would love to see reprints of some of the older books (20s-30s-40s) that have gone out of print. I recently got an ex-lib copy of The Complete Book of Progressive Knitting from a used bookstore that didn’t know I would have paid four times the $8.00 they asked. HeeHee. It’s great from an historical prospective and for the pages on mittens and socks alone. Also, booksellers could maybe put the damn knitting magazines on a shelf other than the very bottom. I’m gonna have to hospitalized if I have to shelf dive one more time
    When are you coming back to New York? Say Barnes and Noble in Union Square? P-l-e-e-z-e.

  143. “Montreal” looks WAY too much like “Toronto.” What were they thinking?
    My heart is entirely with you regarding the rain. And your porch is lovely.

  144. I’m sure others have said this, but I’d say more chairs, near the knitting books. Which presumes they have knitting books.

  145. I’m just going to be a bit different here. Our local (Rochester, NY) B&N and Borders both have a pretty good selection of knitting books. Both of them also keep their shelves tidy and in a reasonable order. Staff at both of them are helpful and knowledgeable (at least on how to use their computer systems). We are also lucky enough to have a yarn store that is taking over a bookstore. They have the best selection of knitting books, but their hours are restricted. If you work, your only choice is to go on Saturday.
    For chairs/tables, remember those surprisingly comfortable big wooden chairs that libraries used to have? Those would be nice (and easy to keep clean).
    SnB’s don’t just happen randomly, someone has to organize them and I don’t think that it’s the store’s job. How about just asking the bookstore if they are willing to let your group use the space? Corporate could be helpful in just making it clear to the stores that these kind of gatherings are supported.
    By the way, great porch! I love to settle in on ours in the summer to knit or spin. We didn’t get as much rain as everyone else did, but I’m still way behind on yard work!

  146. Yes, please please have bookstores organize their knitting better, and please urge them not to be afraid to have books other than “Knit with Novelty Acrylic!” or “10,000 Washcloths You Can Do in a Day!” Please encourage them to be bold and brave, and maybe go check what a good knitting store has on their shelves.

  147. What about putting knitting books close to the handyman/woodworking section? My local bookstore has the home repair section adjoining the crafting section. Sing with me… Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match….

  148. The porch looks amazing! And the backyard will be fine – make Ian sweep all the nasty mud back into your garden boxes. Bookstores…got to go with more comfy seating sections. And less of the funky spur of the moment “trends” and more of the classics.

  149. I’ll see you at BEA – my pub wants to take a picture of me knitting in their booth… and I think I have two unsigned harlot books that need signing. 🙂

  150. Wait! Wait! You’re going to be here, but not really? No stopover at Knit Happens? Stitch DC? My house? Whyyyyyy not?

  151. Okay, here’s one: how come I have never seen a darn Barbara Walker treasury outside of a library, but if I were just getting started or wanted to knit for kids or dogs, my local bookstore has ninety-nine options? Note to bookstores: not every knitter is just starting out – you could make a fortune with a section of technique books entitled “Ditch your Library Card: Essential Books to Build Your Knitting Library.”

  152. Mary Maxim (USA site) does NOT have ANY Regia listed!!!! Apparently, only the Canadian site has it!!! But there are lots of us Americans who want it, too. (Can we just pretend we’re Canadians?)

  153. Great porch!
    What to tell the booksellers? There are a lot of things book stores could do that would improve their knitting sections, and they don’t have to be expensive. Separate the different crafts from one another and label the sections. Don’t pack the books so tightly that it’s impossible to get one out without damaging it.
    Remind them that many of their customers (not just the knitters) have mobility difficulties and have trouble getting to the top and bottom shelves. Perhaps having some of those long-reach grabber gizmos around would help. Comfy chairs are great, but not the low-slung butt-grabbers, please. Lots of people have trouble standing up from those things.
    If none of their employees knits, consider posting an invitation for knitters to suggest what books they’d like to see on the shelves.
    For me, I’d like a good selection of stitch dictionaries and at least a few books of plus sized patterns. If a book comes from the publisher shrink-wrapped, open one copy to be a display copy, so people can look at it before buying.
    I could go on and on, but others have already covered a lot of the things I would have said.
    Did I mention I love the porch? Great place for a rocking chair and knitting.

  154. well, as a knit shop owner, i’d rather that bookstores let knit shops sell books to knitters! however, i’m sure there are many towns with a bookstore and no knit shop, so in that case, just make sure the bookshop stocks a wide variety of titles. perhaps they can use amazon’s top titles lists.

  155. I think bookstores need to put the knitting/crafting sections right next to their biggest, most confortable couch! 🙂 have a great trip!

  156. Hi! LOVE LOVE LOVE the porch; in fact my new house will have one that I can sit and knit away the hours on! I made a pair of the Regia Canadian Socks in Ontario for an exchange with a lady in London, England. I liked them so much (they are a truly funky colour combo) that I am about to start my own pair! I ordered it from Mary Maxim and intend to do more!

  157. Start out by showing them slides of all the knitters at your talks/signings. Show them why they need to be paying attention to your/our ideas.

  158. Love the porch; I’m with you…I would sweep it again and again for the sheer joy of it! Re item #5 on your list: Never heard of Duulan until I first found your blog at beginning of 2006 and it sounds worthwhile and all that, but Darfur (sp?) has been in the news and very much of my mind. They need knitted infant hats. It seems that multitudes of newborns die every day due to the cold and they have made know a need for infant hats, but I can’t find any info on where to send said knitted hats. Do you perchance have any info/details on this?

  159. I am also a crocheter, but please tell the booksellers that knitting is not crocheting… or tatting or embroidery or quilting. Thanks!

  160. I adore the Canadian socks…except I’m scanning them and thinking “I like those” and “oooooo…pretty!” until I come to the kinda ugly boring yellow and taupe and brown ones. Wouldntcha know it? Ottawa!
    Love the porch!

  161. i’ve sent some emails out to a yarn shop in yukon and to a broadcaster at cbc north r.e. dulaan project. but no luck so far. i’ll keep trying

  162. Some real knitting books, please! Although, my local mega-bookstore does have EZ’s first and all yours, so….things could be worse! Even so, I would LOVE to see a Barbara Walker(or similar) book there. They told me they were out of print when I asked them to order.This was after I called the LYS looking for Knitting From the Top, the LYS owner didn’t even know who BW was and asked if it was a children’s book. Clearly, we have some serious problems here.

  163. re: bookstores. i would suggest to them that the “trend” phase of the knitting craze has peaked, and we are now eyeball-deep in the “technique” phase. stocking the popular project books like s’n’b, s’n’b nation, etc., is great, but some of us are now eager to sink our teeth into meatier fare, such as GOOD stitch pattern books (read: barbara walker), books on heirloom patterns & techniques, etc. also, stocking more international knitting magazines (if borders and barnes and noble can stock german music magazines, they can stock british & german knitting magazines too). if they are worried about overstocking product, host knit nights or demonstrations (perhaps even partnering with a LYS) and give discounts on knitting titles for those who come.

  164. Why should book stores cater to knitters? Sheer numbers – evidenced by the number of blogs, pod casts and Olympic Knitters. And that only represents those knitters that are plugged into the internet and know to look for it. Numbers of knitters = Lots of money to them.
    Look how many commented on this one blog! My best friend is going to be at Book Expo. I am making her come to see you!

  165. I second Julie’s comment!! What can we do to see you? A non-public event indeed! Would the sock consider dinner? Seriously.
    Ah, a little sun for that porch and Bliss!
    I won’t repeat what everyone else has hammered home. I must say though that items that are shrink wrapped, I might as well buy on Amazon. The “craft” books are always sqooshed together so extracting one and then replacing it is like squeezing into my just-so jeans after Thanksgiving. Then once I pry the book off the shelf (yes, I mean pry!), it is a balancing act to juggle the books I’m buying AND flip through a potential purchase to see if it is worthy to add to my purchase pile.
    Just a thought but we have this incredible fabric store that convinces me to buy patterns/books by displaying handworked items from it. Our local bookstores show art work from high schools. Why not work with knitters by showing displays of completed items from the books sold? Of course as others have said over and over….you have to stock to demand.

  166. This advice is directed more to the publishers . . . please, please, no more “Knitting 101” books. There are tons of such books available in bookstores, but very few for the intermediate to advanced knitters.

  167. I am a bookseller and I’ll tell you what, I got lightheaded looking at the BEA webpage. WOW! Wish I was going, although I would probably be so overwhelmed that I would make a fool of myself in front of every one of the over 400 (!!!) authors. I hope you have fun! As a little side note for everyone reading these posts, some bookstores do try really hard to keep the knitting books organized. The section is important to me because I run a knitting group at the Barnes and Noble that I work at and tried for over 4 months to keep the section organized by the types of books (socks, sweaters, scarves, etc). Oh my goodness-at least twice a week I would have to just take all the books off the shelves and completely start from scratch. And this was with me already going over several times throughout the day to straighten it. Now it just back to 2 categories: knitting and crocheting. Stephanie, if you hear any good suggestions at the BEA I would love to know about them! Thanks.

  168. I love browsing regular bookstores, but consistently find the knitting books I really want at my lys. Such as the Barbara Walker treasuries, back in print now. If you can’t find them locally, they can be ordered online from schoolhousepress.

  169. Funny, we’ve had pretty heavy rain for the last 2 weeks and I keep running downstairs everytime it rains really hard. It sucks, doesn’t it?? I’ll come to Toronto and help you if you come to CT and help me. And no, you can’t just play with the baby.
    Sooner or later it’s going to come in. I can feel it.
    Happy bailing.

  170. Oh, dear Steph, you are having Louisiana weather. I am so sorry. The weather goddess is very confused this spring. Just the THOUGHT of water indoors, even in the basement, makes my stomach hurt after Katrina. I wish I could help you clean up. I hope you are very dry, very soon.
    As for bookstore tips for attracting knitters, I will add to the chorus of “Knitting is not scrapbooking” and ask bookstores to sort out crafts and hobbies by type instead of all intermingled. A section for crochet, a section for knitting, a section for weaving, a section for spinning and a section for Kute Krafts with a K.
    I despise wading through books organized in alpha order by author’s name looking for knitting books amidst tole painting, stained glass, candlemaking, potpourri making and home decor.
    Stores need a variety of knitting-related books, everything from technigue to patterns to humor. Many book stores only stock books of Hot Fashion Patterns aimed at brand new college age knitters. Yes, we need a few of those, but we also need the Harlot, and big thick tomes on the historyof knitting, and technque books, and clasics like EZ and Mary Thomas and Barbara Walker.
    Places to sit are important, and some flexibility about having knit-togethers in the coffee shop is important.

  171. I knitted the first pair of canadian fashion colors that I got from germany.The colors are amazing, I think I used Calgary. Maybe Ottawa.

  172. I didn’t read all the comments so if I’m being redundant ignore me. Perhaps the knitting stores would consider having a panel of knitters suggest books to them that they would like to see on the shelves. I know that at my LBS, I have only ONCE seen a Yarn Harlot book (and I snatched it up immediately). I am not even sure they have Knitting Rules. I’ve never seen a Nancy Bush title there. I have seen Vogue things (obviously) and XRX compilations, but usually only one or two. It’s woefully lacking and given woefully inadequate space (compared to, say, the New Age section or the magazine rack). Also, perhaps they could do more to welcome S&B groups that want to knit there…for instance, put a notice in their newsletter announcing that the knitting group meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, and then be kind enough to have a sign at the group of chairs that says something like “RESERVED FOR KNITTING GROUP, 7 p.m.” so that people who just come in to copy recipes from cookbooks or do their research don’t snag all the chairs and then look perturbed when a gaggle of knitters start knitting and chatting and ooo’ing and aahhhhing over one another’s projects.
    I think that covers it!!
    The porch is awesome. I am hoping that your rain stops soon. Ours stopped yesterday, and then today it is raining AGAIN.

  173. Well, really, the big chains are hopeless. They also put Arts & Crafts magazine (it’s about the design movement) in the “Women’s Interest” section. And refuse to move it.
    Focus on the independents who think they are catering only to college students who wear black, attend poetry slams, and read Kerouac. The Beats are so last century. Get over it. Sell the rest of us–you know, the ones with disposable income–the high-quality handcraft books we want. I don’t even mind putting knitting with crochet, tatting, etc. I’m an equal-opportunity needlecrafter. Just gimme the damn books.
    Ah, yes, and that thing about enough chairs at your talks. I would think pictures of your visit to St. Louis would do the trick.

  174. I’m new here. I have just read the first Yarn Harlot book. I’m hooked (er, knitted? needled?). Write more. I’m thinking about offering to teach my seasonal neighbor next door (I live in Florida, he winters in upper New York state) to knit. I’ll bet he takes me up on it!!!
    Iris in Florida

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