A lot of you knit Cowboy Hats for Christmas, but, amidst all the obligations and a great deal of bad weather, few had time to take and send pictures, but Lisa Darden did. Doesn't it look great? Nice hat, Lisa!
During the last year, for my friends at Cascade Yarns, I did a series of columns to introduce their e-mail newsletter to yarn stores, as they converted to electronic communication and ordering, and began a new e-mail newsletter to knitters to which you can subscribe at cascadeyarns.com. With Cascade's agreement, they are archived here as The Cascade Newsletters, under two headings: For Yarn Shops, and For Knitters. They make for some interesting reading, though I tend to think that the more controversial ones, not run, are even more fun than the less controversial ones that did. If you want to print these out, they're in Word format, not PDF, and you can select and print them, or portions of them, if you want.
You are welcome, also, to write to me (email@example.com) and tell me what you think of them--good, bad, or indifferent. There were some yarn shop owners who really loved or hated Good Manners are Good Business, for instance, when it first ran. If you want to write, please have the courage of your convictions and sign your name; I ignore people who hide behind anonymity.
As we all know, the knitting business is undergoing enormous changes right now, partly because there is a downturn in the economy, partly because internet innovations such as ravelry.com are giving knitters good ways to keep in touch with new designers, new yarns, and issues in the business and with each other, and partly because some of us don't quite like what the publications are showing us and actively dislike the way in which they are treating designers. This simmering controversy has finally emerged into daylight, and is well described on the blogs of Jenna Wilson (thegirlfromauntie.com); Miriam Felton (mimknits.com), Annie Modesitt (modeknit.com), and in many comments, as well as being the subject of a good deal of private communication. While I have never sold to magazines--when I was totally new to this, the first offer I got was so unacceptable that I thought the editor was joking, turned it down when I realized she was not joking, got off the telephone, shrugged, and began designing this site--I have every sympathy with people who have lost control of valuable rights in some of their best work. I believe we are less competitors than people in the same boat. I hope you'll go a little out of your way to find the work of designers whose work you like, many of them listed with either the Imprint webring at:
or the Independent Knitwear Designers webring at:
You are sure to find at least some designers who suit your individual style and preferences, and to whom you can return.
To all of you, I wish a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year; knitting that you enjoy; colors and textures that are endlessly fascinating; and the courage to try something you never thought you could do.