Tuesday, May 01, 2012

On Gremlins & Errata, or: Stuff Happens

The term "gremlins", used to describe michievous imps that sabotage or cause damage, dates back to the 1920s. It was first used by Royal Airforce pilots, describing mythological figures that were sabotaging aircraft. Otherwise inexplicable mechanical problems with aircraft were blamed on the gremlins.

There are gremlins in all industries, in all lines of work.  Even in knitting.

I like to imagine that it's yarn gremlins sneaking about mills at night with a pair of scissors, snipping the odd strand in a skein and tying them back together, that cause those pesky knots you find once in a while.  (The gremlins at the Noro factory are particularly clever, not just snipping a strand, but rearranging colors in the skeins.)

And there are well-known gremlins in publishing. Gremlins can be damaging or hurtful - or in my case, just frustrating.

Gremlins have been at my book. We had a few photo captions go missing, and a couple of headings shift around.

But we also had a few other things go wrong, and although I'd love to blame it on mythical pixies, it was definitely human error. If you bought the digital version of the book, you should have received a link to the new version in Ravelry. If you haven't, email me at kate at wisehildaknits dot com and I'll make sure we get it to you.

And if you bought the physical edition, download the errata sheet here. In one of those good news/bad news sorts of stories, the first print run has sold out, and so the new edition going to print has all the corrections and tweaks.

Sadly, some of the same pixie- and/or human-attributable errors crept into Bigger on the Inside, too. We corrected them as soon as we found them, but please do make sure you get the latest version.

As a tech editor, I find this sort of thing totally mortifying... if I spend half of my time checking other patterns for correctness, it seems doubly awful that my patterns have mistakes in them. But yes, as a wise man once said "sh*t happens". This is the great thing about the internet, that we can distribute corrections broadly and quickly. And I am grateful for that.

It's hardest of all to check your own work, I know that. But that's no excuse. I am working every day to get better at checking my own work. I appreciate knitters' patience as we make things right.

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