About Kit

Kit Dunsmore grew up wishing she could live in a castle, own a fire-lizard, or at least get snowed in at the library. The woods in Maryland were short on flying horses but that didn’t stop her from looking. She found them in books, her magic door to other worlds as well as this one. After years of indecision (chemistry or physics? knitting or sewing? dragons or dinosaurs? Shakespeare or Tolkien? Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff?), Kit finally embraced her true nature. As a Renaissance woman, she is curious about everything and hates to choose just one thing. Writing lets her explore whatever she pleases.

A National Novel Writing Month participant for more than a decade, Kit writes about the things she loves: misunderstood witches, amusing dragons, brave children, tame wolves, and princesses who rescue themselves. As a child, she saw a puppet show of Rapunzel that she has never forgotten. The odd details in the story are so intriguing that Kit is writing a novel about Rapunzel in order to make sense of them all. She also knits sweaters for dinosaurs, makes art quilts of birds, and sketches the natural world. Her newest love is spinning yarn. She really needs a time-turner so she can complete all her projects.

Since she is more hobbit than human, Kit finds real-life adventures challenging in embarrassing ways. Her seasickness has taught her the meaning of “near-death experience” and her fear of heights makes some paths impossible to walk. Like Bilbo, she is still determined to see distant mountains despite the discomforts that come with leaving home. When she does suit up for a journey, Kit makes sure her armor covers her chest, her hair can’t get in her eyes, and her boots don’t have high heels.

Kit lives between the prairie and the foothills in Colorado, where she goes bird-watching with her husband, builds Lego sets with her young nephew, and shares a house with her sister’s family. Of all the roles she plays, Kit’s most important work is as a pillow for her miniature poodle Dory.

19 thoughts on “About Kit

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  1. HI Kit,
    I AM A NEW FRIEND OF CLEO…& LOVE HER WONDERFFUL BEADS…MY HUBBY & I WENT TO FREDERICK MD WEDNESDAY & GOT TO SEE THE WHOLE FAMILY’S ART.AT THE DELAPLAINE..HOW GREAT…THE ARMADILLO THRILLED ME, & READING YOUR BLOG ABOUT THEM MADE ME GRIN..I LIVED IN DALLAS TX FOR 6 YEARS & NEVER SAW A LIVE ARMADILLO…REALLY JUST SO BIZARRE…LIKE YOU ONLY SEEING THE DEAD ONES ALONG THE ROAD,,,,FINALLY A WEEK BEFORE I MOVED BACK TO PA I SAW A LIVE ONE…THRILLED ME TO NO END…ARENT THEY GREAT :0) ANYWAY…I REALLY ADMIRE YOUR WORK & JUST WANTED TO SAY HI…I AM ON DIAL UP & BEING A WORKING ARTIST MYSELF DONT HAVE TIME MUCH FOR BLOGS,FACEBOOK ETC…BUT JUST REALLY ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW YOU THRU YOUR MUSINGS… TAKE CARE & KEEP UP THE WONDERFUL WORK
    ALL THE BEST,
    YVONNE

  2. I found you!
    I am amazed! Snowbound this morning in Baltimore, I followed my train of thoughts from snow, to our years in Ithaca, to quilting, to you…I found Anne first…and wrote her that if she ever makes and armadillo, I’d wear one around my neck! Now it seems she has two reasons to start making!!!
    I would love to catch up!
    ~Andrea

  3. Hi Kit, I am a doll maker and freelance writer for a doll magazine. I have been asked to write an article about organizing a doll studio. In my research I came across a few pictures of your studio, one in particular (posted Dec. 8, 2009) I really like it as it illustrates a number of my points in the article. Can I reproduce your picture in my article? Credit would be given to you and your website. Thanks, Lynn

  4. Hello Kit

    I came upon your site late last night when I was looking for an image of notebooks for my website and the lovely picture of your neat and tidily labelled books popped up when I Googled ‘notebooks’ in Images. Just what I am looking for.

    Would you, would you, would you possibly be willing to let me use it? Of course I’d credit you and am happy to come to some agreement with you for recompense.

    I’m having a minor meltdown; on the basis of several friends saying how much they enjoyed my letters, I was arrogant enough to apply for an MA in Professional Writing – what was I thinking? – and we have to set up a website. I’m finding the whole thing challenging to say the least as I’m working full time and also looking after my fiercely independent 92 year old Mother (which gives you some idea of my age – but I hasten to add I am the youngest!!)

    I’ve had a good look round your site and love it. Blogging, too, is part of the course and I’ve never done it so any Beginner Tips and Wrinkles would be appreciated as you seem to have a very effective handle on it! (I may be after you for input as my blog is to be about gifting and your post about Kelleen’s gift really resonated…)

    And finally – as I suspect you are wearying of me by now – I can beat you on the East Meets West project. I made a very basic quilt for my daughter’s 18th birthday. I started it when she was 17 and finally gave it to her when she was 33!

    Best wishes from Debs in England

  5. Kit, hi! I’m so glad I found you! Wow, you and I have a lot in common, actually! I’m mostly hobbit, myself, though I’m afraid I never did sprout the thick pelt on my feet that could make a hobbit properly proud. I have only a dozen or so little tiny hairs on my big toes. Sad, really. Embarrassing, even! But I’m certainly built like a hobbit, if a smidge tall for one, plus, I’m a part-time cyborg, which helps me live down the hairless feet issue! Also, I spin, as well, and even used to help my dad construct spindles! I have my own spinning wheel, too, and my fiber stash needs a good going-through. Finally, I used to live in Colorado, and it is BEAUTIFUL there!

    1. Wow! I love it when I find a kindred spirit! Your hairy feet issue sounds exactly like mine: when I was a teen, twelve toe hairs seemed like a pelt, but now I just laugh at myself for thinking my feet are hairy. I have a hobbit’s love of food (although I’ve had to give up many of the things a hobbit would consider essential) and of home. I’m only just getting started as a spinner, but I love it. (Do hobbits spin?) I love living in Colorado. I know we may not be here forever, but I’m enjoying it while I can.

      1. Of course hobbits spin; how else do you think they clothe themselves? Certainly not in the pelts of other hobbit feet! Though I do wonder if they might not brush out their feet and spin the brushings …? Anyway, I’ve found spinning to be very zen. I’ve stopped spinning and spindling over the past few years, though, for reasons I still don’t understand, but I still have all my stuff. Oh, yeah, that’s why – after the move a few years ago, I hadn’t unpacked my spinning stuff, and I still haven’t. That’s a good reason, yeah? And with dialysis now, I haven’t got the umph to unpack my stuff. Heck, after dialysis treatments, I have barely enough umph to sit at my computer and watch Netflix! But I still love spinning! I have a drum carder and a couple of hand carders (general weight, so not suitable for anything in particular), and several boxes worth of various fibers, including a few raw fleeces. Oh, and spindles! Lots of hand spindles. 🙂 Do you have many hand spindles? Have you tried hand spindling yet?

      2. Well, they could import their yarn or even their clothes, but being such homebodies, I’ll bet you are right and that hobbits spin and weave, too. I own 2 hand spindles (1 oz and 2 oz). I actually started with the spindle and am working with one right now for research purposes. My version of Rapunzel is set in the 6th c AD, long before the spinning wheel was invented, and although most movies etc ignore it, the fact is women at that time spent lots of their time making the textiles their family needed. Getting the technology, methods, and tools historically accurate is proving challenging but it’s also adding an interesting layer to my book.

      3. Ooooh, that sounds really cool! I would love to read it when you’re finished! 😀

        I should post on my blog about my spinning. I should start spinning again so I can post on my blog about it. 🙂

  6. Hi Kit
    I found you by searching for his to knit a circle into a square.
    I too have been using rusty geometry to knit dozens of imperfect attempts.
    Please please could you help me.
    I can knit a flat circle that is good enough for my purpose.
    But to get it into a square is just not working.
    I need a circle in a square, square to be 24 stitches each side.
    To make a sun which will be inserted into a blanket.
    At my wit’s end,
    Eve

    1. I hadn’t thought about providing the instructions for how to add the corners (because that’s how I got my circle in a square; I sewed on the corner pieces after knitting them separately). I can tell you in general what I did, but it would take me a while to generate detailed instructions. I started by drawing a pattern for the corners (i.e., a right angle with sides 1/2 the total width of the square (i.e., the diameter of the circle), with the arc for the circle drawn in). Using the row height measurement, I drew lines that distance apart, so I could see how many rows I would be knitting to make the corner. Using my gauge measurement and the marked pattern, I calculated the number of stitches I would need for each row. Then I cast on enough stitches for one edge and started knitting, making sure to decrease on the curved edge as needed. Even with all my calculations, I used my pattern (which was to scale) to check my knitting against, and adjusting the number of stitches per row as needed. I knit four separate pieces (corners with “bites” out of them) and then stitched them to my circle.
      Do you want your circle to touch the edges of the square, or to not have the edges touching? Because what I did and have described is the first option. I imagine you could do a variation to get the second kind of circle-in-a-square, by making a scale pattern and then knitting the square and circle parts separately.
      If you want the first option, then we already know important things about your piece. The square is 24 stitches wide, so you need a circle that has a radius of 12 stitches or diameter of 24 stitches (use your gauge to convert to inches). Each corner piece will start with 12 stitches and then decrease down to go around the circle.
      Does any of this make sense? I’m thinking I’ll do a post with more details on what I did, but I don’t know when I’ll get to it. If you need more help, I can work up some visuals and post them to help you get going.

  7. Thank you thank you!
    I don’t have to tell you what a challenge it has been!
    I am making a blanket for my geologist husband. It is a mountain in a desert, and heaven help me, he wants stramatolites too.
    I will let you know how I get along…

    1. It occurred to me that you could just see the knit circle onto another piece of knitting as long as you don’t mind the doubled layer.

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