Just thought I’d drop in to let you know that Handywoman has now been published and that all pre-ordered copies have been shipped.

Handywoman was expertly printed at Bell and Bain Glasgow . . . from where it crossed the river, and travelled just a few miles to our warehouse in Clydebank. . . would you like to see what’s involved with packing and shipping a whole lot of books?

As I was folding book wraps yesterday it occurred to me again that I’ve enjoyed being involved in every stage of this book’s production . . . from the initial idea, through the research and writing; from the image on the cover, through the printing and publishing and finally, here in the KDD warehouse, to the packing and shipping.

Is it ok to feel a wee bit proud? I think I do.

Thanks to Tom for the crazy time-lapse, and to the whole KDD team for their combined sterling efforts in the warehouse this week. And if you’ve ordered a copy of Handywoman, I hope you enjoy it!

78 thoughts on “Handywoman is published!

  1. Just finished reading “Handywoman” and requesting 5 of the books you suggested for further reading on topics covered in the book. The book as a “make” is absolutely beautiful aesthetically and content so true and valuable. I will be recommending it to my book club, an amazing group of women who are all makers (designer, writer, painter, gardener, knitter, composer, political organizer) and who have dealt or are dealing with major life changes both physical, emotional, and psychological. Thank you so much for sharing you and many important parts of the world in this book.

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  2. I’ve almost finished reading it . . . and it is absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, incredible and amazing!! I’ve been making notes so I can thank you more specifically (my mother always told me to be specific with gratitude) because I have been touched so deeply by your words . . .

    I pray you ‘live long’ and ‘prosper’, Kate. You are a gem, and the world is a better place with you in it!!

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  3. Well, I’ve just spent today reading your brilliant book. It is a fascinating read – I couldn’t put it down. Your writing, your experiences, your reflections, make such a compelling read. I learned so much, I thought – am still thinking over such a range of areas.

    Your descriptions of the illness, the dark thoughts, and the difficulties with you attitude to your left side have helped me to understand somewhat more of what my mother went through with her stroke, although it was at the end of her life and after a great emotional trauma which I imagine added to her desire to end it all. Indeed at the time, I derived much encouragement from your blog Needled and your determination within your situation when trying gently to persuade her not to disappear. The only occasional spark of interest came when I regaled her with your exploits – she used to love knitting, and also had lived in Edinburgh for many years and loved it.

    Handywoman deserves as wide a readership as possible.

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  4. Hi Kate

    Just returned from my hols where your Handywoman and Raynor Winn’s the Salt Path were my reading companions. Wow! The resilience, determination and revolutionary outcomes that happen when we are faced with shocking adversity! Truely inspiring, both, to see what we are capable of doing.
    As always your writing, your insights and humour were spot on.
    Love the timestop film of the packing and distribution. You really are a great team, though I was a little disturbed by the lack of tea. Hope that was off screen.
    Thanks for the book, looking forward to what comes next!

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  5. I’m going to have to pause in my reading having just laughed and smiled my way through your delightful account of hunting through jumble sales with your family for treasures
    Like you I grew up to the soundtrack of the sombres of Wimbledon common making good uses of things that they find.. I have always enjoyed your writing but this is beyond perfect I’m excited to continue to journey through your story. I hope to learn things to make me a better doctor.
    My warmest regards

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  6. Dear Kate,
    Thank you for a wonderful, insightful, nuanced and candid book. It is — as everything you write — thought provoking and beautifully written. There are few, if any, people whose writing I admire and enjoy more in the often overwhelming internet landscape. Your blog is like an oasis, not least also because of the way Tom’s photography complements your words. Thank you for reminding us of the things, big and small, that actually matter.

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  7. Oh Kate! You have absolutely slayed me with your awesome book Handywoman. I have learned so much from you just by reading this book. I really, really appreciate my body now, more than ever even when it doesn’t always feel the best. I will take better care of myself after reading your story and I will continue to challenge myself in “making”. Thank you, again for writing this book, and especially for doing the hard work to become the most wonderful designer of knitwear ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I started reading it today. I loved your description of your childhood with creative people around you. Your description of your stroke was riveting, vivid, fierce poetry. I had to stop reading a few times out of anger (those jerks telling you you’d have to figure out how to go to the bathroom, for example) or just BOOM memory of my own experience relearning how to use my right arm. (Not due to brain injury, so different in some ways, but that feeling of looking at the limb attached to you and thinking. . .DO SOMETHING!!!) I do have some funny memories of my right arm, though—trying to put pieces of popcorn into my mouth and hitting random spots on my face. Your writing is terrific and I am unreasonably proud of you for honestly facing up to the anxiety/depression/stress issues, too. It ain’t easy.

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  9. I’m SO thrilled! I just got my copy today!
    I dare to say that I’m a tiny bit proud too! The cover looks awesome!
    My BEST wishes for the book and you Kate!!!!
    I cannot wait to read it. :-)

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  10. I’ve just finished inhaling your words, and wow! what a powerful collection of essays. So much to mull on – I walked with my daughter to the shops today with a newfound gratitude for simply perambulating. Thank you for sharing your worldview (and your appreciation for Women’s Weekly magazine – well do I remember the excitement of riffling through my Grandma’s cupboard when visiting to locate the latest copies).

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  11. My copy arrived here in Dresden, Germany, yesterday.
    I just opened it at any page, and began to read the chapter about the support from the knitting community – which made me cry. Your reflections were so fitting for my situation right now (albeit a very different one from yours then)… Thank you so much for putting your thoughts and feelings on paper! It reminded me that I should do this more often. Today, I did, and it helped. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

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  12. My book arrived yesterday, here in Dresden, Germany. I just opened it at any page and started to read the chapter about the knitting community. It made me cry, these reflections were so fitting, so timely for my situation (albeit a very different one to yours, at that time). Thank you so much for putting your thoughts to paper! It reminded me that I should do this more often, and today I did. It really helped.
    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

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  13. i have just started reading the book – it is very poignant for me as i was diagnosed with FND (aka conversion disorder) nearly 8 years ago and am still suffering the consequences of a very much misunderstood and little researched set of symptoms. i understand totally how badly you were treated in those first 24 hours! i have never been given sufficient evidence for my diagnosis and have continued to be treated like those 24 hours for the best part of 8 years. FND is being researched more now but is still sadly very misunderstood by most medical professionals if they have even heard of it.
    I love the writing style of your book plus your honesty and directness. you are a very brave lady and an inspiration. thank you

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    1. Jean – I really hope that better research and – most of all – better understanding of patient experiences improves the outcome for everyone dealing with FND. My very best wishes to you!

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  14. Kate, I’ve just listened to your Ted Talk and ordered a copy of Handywoman. I was blown away by your description of the complexity of a simple sock ball.

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  15. That packing film was absolutely crazy! But what a hard-working, efficient team- not a wasted motion or moment! Congratulations on all!

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  16. I’m mesmerised by the piles of books appearing and then disappearing down, stepwise, over and over. Some attention, that, to take a pic each time a book is removed, one by one, through all those numbers (how many hundred books?). Is it my imagination, or does this show the discipline of years working in microbiology labs? Dam’ fine film, anyway; well done Tom. And I was also looking at those hands folding all those book wraps (yes, including one for me, yip yip), all the long day, and thinking, ooh, those hands are going to be begging for hand cream by now. Thank you, team. I’m much looking forward to reading this, Kate.

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  17. Your book has just arrived, thank you. It is physically, typographically, and aesthetically beautiful, and I look forward very much to reading it.

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  18. You can be so proud of your literary/scholarly accomplishment, but I think even more so the hard-won achievement of becoming more and more yourself in your new body, grey short hair and all. You are smiling, laughing, more relaxed in these past few posts than in any of the others, and I think that deserves kudos as well

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  19. What an Awesome video – thanks so much for showing us how much Love; Sweat; and pure Joy has been involved in this new book! I am so looking forward to reading this book – your journey, and cannot wait until this book arrives on my doorstep in Canada. Many thanks go out to all of your helpers – and thanks again for the great video. Cheers, Donna

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  20. What fun to watch the video! Looks like your pre-sale was a big success. I received my email yesterday letting me know my copy of your book is on the way to my home in Marquette, Michigan, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. Cannot wait to read your story and will be recommending this book to my local library. Love your new look. I, too, got tired of the constant work to color the natural color my hair had turned. Much easier and it allowed me one less nagging appointment….now I just have to worry about just scheduling a haircut! Congrat’s to you, Tom, Bruce and the pup!

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  21. Congratulations- I was thinking about this just the other day- that is, what a good feeling it is to be involved from inception to having the real thing in your hand. In my previous working life (also an academic who escaped), one of my favourite parts of my job was my involvement in the publication of our in-house journal, from deciding what went in it, writing parts of it, editing the whole, working with the designers etc., through to sending them all out.

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  22. Hilarious, hilarious video! Music was perfect! Exhausted just watching it… LOL!!
    Looking forward to getting my book in the post.
    Congrats on a job well done!
    Joanna xx

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  23. I checked and 15 Lbs converts to $25.15 Canadian dollars. Is this correct? Also, what would the postage be to Canada?
    Thank you and congratulations on your new book. Also, love your hair!

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  24. I am SO excited to read this. And I love these pictures of you. Your hair is stunning, such a gorgeous sweater, the genuine smiles, the book – all so heartwarming (gush, gush, gush). Keep creating! :)

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  25. love the music – and your hair! looks a bit like sisyphus work though – as soon as the mountains of books are gone, someone puts more up:) every success for your book(s)!

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  26. How fun to think that my book is somewhere in those frames! (Mine’s the one going to Nunavut, Canada.) Mel is a folding machine 😂 congrats on getting those books in your hands and out the door.

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  27. So excited to read the book- likely to even interrupt my Booker long list reading for it. I don’t suppose you could tell us all how many balls of the main colour for that Strathendrick. When I saw the picture I was hard pressed to decide between sqeeing at the book or the sweater.

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  28. Congratulations! (And now a hair comment: Your new ‘do is so much lighter – weightwise, not just color. You look unburdened.)

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  29. Truly, well done. And I love your 2-tone strathendrick. My progress on the original strathendrick has been stalled by an urgent desire for Balmaha.

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  30. The dark-haired woman in the pink spotty top with grey sleeves underneath, then in the grape-coloured top, needs a medal – she was in practically every shot!

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    1. That’s Mel – and she is indeed indefatigable. Worth pointing out, though, that those not in shot are still hard at it – sticking labels on parcels elsewhere in the warehouse and hoiking crates into delivery vans.

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  31. You have every right to feel proud Kate. So looking forward to it arriving. An amazing video of the packing ,you must all be worn out. Love your hair style. Pauline and Gordon.

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  32. Haha, I’ll bet you wished you could move that fast!! Great fun watching all of you scurry and get those books out! Good for you!!

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  33. Fun to see where MY COPY began it’s journey to Wyoming, USA! Excited to get my hands on it, thank you for the video.

    P.S. LOVE YOU SMILING in final photo. I’ve said before, it lights up your face! 😊

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  34. Dear Kate. As we have come to expect from you and your wonderful team, this is so inspirational. Congratulations to you all, and yes, you should be proud! Very best wishes and good luck in every way!

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  35. Looking forward to receiving my copy of Handywomen, another great achievement which I can image stirred up quite a lot of emotions along the way. I do love the Strathendrick sweater, great shape next project I think.
    Congratulations

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  36. Definitely – book pride!!

    As a book lover, the time lapse made me giggle nervously, with excitement and awe at the sheer busy-ness of it. Thanks to all of you for packing and sending my book – maybe it’ll arrive *tomorrow*! What a treat.

    Didn’t get to say it before, Kate, but loving the hair. I also gave up on dye-ing, too much faff, and isn’t it so interesting to see what’s going on under there. And that is one excellent geansai, of course.

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  37. Ye gods! I am out of breath after watching the time-lapse video. Whew. I am eagerly…eagerly anticipating the arrival of one of those packages I saw. Thanks for all the hard, hard work. I hope you all treat yourselves to a nice rest!

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  38. Indeed you should feel incredibly proud! I am looking forward to receiving my copy in the mail. Are you teasing us with a new sweater design for Milarrochy Tweed?

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