it seems like every week something (stupid) is going on, say forgetting what day it is or smelling a nonexistent breakfast. today though takes the cake, I woke up to an awesome email. when I say awesome, I mean delightfully idiotic. at least it’s wednesday and this has some entertainment value:

Hello [bitterpurl],
[your muggle editor] sent me the revised dummy text and I sent it along to the techie. She had only one concern:
All of the measurements within the patterns you’ve sent are non-metric (expressed in inches)[I love that she explains what “non-metric” means to me], but the needle sizes are metric only. This seems a bit odd for a book being published in the US [because apparently in the US knitters have never heard of the metric system, my bad].
[here’s the kicker!]
Is there any reason why the needle sizes are metric? Should we just convert them to inches?
[some other editor once removed]

now, however you may feel about me getting rid of the inconsistent US needle system in patterns, you have to take some pleasure in this email. I’m still speechless. I must’ve woken up in the twilight zone, please tell me I did. I mean, did the tech ed tell them about the inch thing or did the editor come up with that one herself?! it boggles the mind.
I almost feel like making all the patterns in metric, just to eff with them a little more. or maybe I will change the mm’s to inches…you will need .217 inch needles for my pattern. it has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?
eta: it wasn’t the techie!!
in other news, we’re in the third, fourth, tenth? sleeve incarnation.

too bad it’s hideously big, puffy is an understatement to say the least. take it from me, listen to your inner voice and gauge! if I had I wouldn’t have to frog this again. c’est la vie
through all this starting and restarting though I can safely say that this yarn takes frogging like a champ. I’m a believer in the chainette construction especially when it comes to cashmere.

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  • Kate January 31, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Oh that’s classic. Sure, convert to inches. Or refer them to the tons of other knitting patterns that give measurements in inches and needles in metric πŸ˜‰
    That post made me smile.

  • Alyson January 31, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Ha! Ha ha!! It sucks reading that at work, because I laugh aloud, and then I can’t tell ANYONE why I’m laughing because no one would get it.
    This is just about the greatest muggle tale EVER.

  • caitlyn January 31, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Hahahahaa! Oh my…that’s a good one. Did you write back yet? =)
    Now wouldn’t us knitters just love it if the needle sizes were expressed in inches? =)
    Hang in there, Yahaira.

  • stacey January 31, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    that is hilarious – obviously they have never tech edited a knitting book before!
    i’m a huge chainette fan – my favorite yarn – Rowan Cork – is (was) chainette…seems like they are discontinuing all of them! (Berroco Pleasure too)

  • ysolda January 31, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    that’s hilarious, but you would really hope that being a knitter would be a general requirement of the job ‘knitting technical editor’.
    I think you’ve got the right idea using metric needle sizes. I’ve stopped converting needle sizes into US ones for my patterns. Although it would be entertaining to see if you could get them to print the needle sizes in inches. (Er maybe not so entertaining for you).

  • Amy January 31, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    I just love this story.

  • Francesca January 31, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you. You made my day. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah January 31, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    That is so, so funny…Maybe she thinks the needle measurements refer to how long they are, and didn’t pay any attention to the numbers themselves?
    (Also, who the heck can we lobby to just get rid of the US needle size #’s altogether? They don’t even always mean the same thing, brand to brand. Lame!)

  • lomester January 31, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I love that…

  • grace January 31, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    I’m sure this is just me, but I would be sorely tempted to send a reply e-mail saying, “Inches aren’t metric? Huh.” Or something to that effect.

  • elizabeth January 31, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Wow. Yes. I will laugh for the rest of the day.

  • Stephanie January 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Boggles the mind indeed. Sheesh. I wonder what the qualifications are for a tech editor because you know, I’m available.

  • Veronique January 31, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    OK, so for the sweater I’m knitting now, the ribbing is done on size 0.12795 needles, then you switch to size 0.14764 needles. Is that clear?
    (And yes, I did go to an online converter for that).
    However, I think that many people rely on the US needle sizes, not metric, even if there is a diff in the smaller needles…

  • Ruth January 31, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Mind boggling. Perhaps I am naive, but I assumed the role of a tech editor was to be an expert in the technical aspects of the subject being edited. Otherwise, why bother?

  • amanda January 31, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    another member in the conferacy of dunces!

  • elise January 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    maybe we as the knitting community should push for a move to publish/use ONLY metric for needle sizes.
    some of my needles only have the US size printed on them. i find it frustrating to have to look up the metric equivalent to my US sizes, when there are clearly more metric sizes than US and loads of patterns specifying in metric. i’d be willing to convert my current blog to using it.
    anybody up for a ‘knit with metric needles’ webring? πŸ™‚

  • gleek January 31, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    bwahahah, that does indeed crack me up. obviously that tech editor is not a knitter.

  • Sheila January 31, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Priceless! This will tickle me for another day or so. Hey! I will probably remember it forever and have a good laugh in the retelling.

  • Knitography January 31, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Poor muggles! That is a hilarious story! Little do they know they are only scratching the surface of our weird knitterly ways.

  • Chris January 31, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Scary email – and 2 seconds of google-fu would’ve saved somebody a LOT of shame…

  • Jillian January 31, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for making me laugh on a crappy Wednesday at work!

  • Leah January 31, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    HA! I really can’t believe you are dealing with them so calmly! I’m feeling all irritated just reading that!!!!!

  • Liz January 31, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Now that’s funny! Lately the stupid people have been getting me down too, but it’s fun if we can laugh at them.

  • Ellen January 31, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    I am alone in my house crying from laughter right now. My downstairs neighbors must think I’m crazy!

  • erin January 31, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    hee, hee while we’re at it, why stop at inches or metric, should have everything in both πŸ™‚

  • carrie m January 31, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    the TECH editor? that is truly, truly scary. i fear your book will have sweaters with three sleeves and no neck opening. (they don’t read your blog, do they?)

  • heather January 31, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Ha! That is great, tell her/him that no, you want everything changed to cubits…

  • Liz January 31, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    that might be the funniest thing I’ve seen all day… yes! size .217 needles please

  • yuvee February 1, 2007 at 4:07 am

    hahaha….that’s the best morning kick EVER!!

  • Ana February 1, 2007 at 5:13 am

    This is so sad. The girl is working on knitting book; she should have done at least some research beforehand.
    Absolutely agree about American thinking that there is no metric system. It comes to the point of being absolutely ridiculous. I lived in US for one year and did AP science at school; can you imagine a science teacher who doesn’t get metrics? How on Earth he does any labs, all science is based on Metrics. I have nothing against inches, but definitely prefer cm, makes knitting a lot easier.

  • jenna February 1, 2007 at 6:31 am

    It’s difficult to tell if they’re thinking too hard or…not hard enough. (The .217 inch needles made me chortle out loud.)

  • Kelly B. February 1, 2007 at 8:08 am

    *smacking my forehead*

  • carrie February 1, 2007 at 8:38 am

    That is funny! It should be a requisite that people helping produce knitting books should have some kind of an idea of what knitting is all about. Perhaps a class? I don’t think that would be too much to ask.

  • Jessica February 1, 2007 at 10:24 am

    How funny! Maybe we should form a knitting publishing company.

  • Elinor February 1, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks for the laugh! That’s a great story! Holy crap. Have they published other knitting books??? I’d be a little nervous. πŸ˜‰

  • Stephanie February 1, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    don’t you just love non-knitters? LOL, I had a good giggle over that letter – here’s hoping the rest of the process is smoother!

  • rosalynn February 2, 2007 at 1:25 am

    it sounds like someone needs to be fired… good luck with the rest of your publishing process, and have fun educating the idiotic non-knitting tech editor. sheesh, you’d think they would’ve assigned someone to you who knew better!

  • anna February 2, 2007 at 10:01 am

    that’s gorgeous yarn – is it one stocked by Pureknits?

  • kris February 2, 2007 at 11:03 am

    fantastic! at least inches would have been more consistent than the current us needle sizes.