Newsletter
enter your email address below to subscribe to the newsletter
 
Site Search
recommend this page

Latest Book

painted woolly toppers

Recently Published

vortice

bedragonned

giostra

woodland slouch

wholesale

US distributor for Woolly Wormhead patterns

Outlets

find Woolly Wormhead on Patternfish

Woolly Wormhead's Ravelry shop

Curiosities
Archives by subject
Special Notice

Archived posts from December 2006 to December 2008 are missing their photos. Key posts will be updated as soon as I have time!

Archives by date
Tuesday
Apr072015

Perfect or Saddle?

I've been beavering away back here, getting the layout finished for the first draft of Painted Woolly Toppers, so it can to my editors and they can do their magic. I haven't had a chance yet to send out a Newsletter to announce the pre-release, yet the support has been amazing over the long weekend - thank you! 

Now that the first draft has been sent, I'll be turning my attention to reformatting the other Woolly Toppers collections for print wholesale and retail. And I'm back at this point again where I have to decide between perfect binding and saddle stitch binding.

Can you help me?

Perfect Binding

Looks fab on the shelf - not sure yet whether they'll be space for text on the spine, but nonetheless this is best option for actually looking like a book.

However, with some binders it doesn't take much effort for the spine to fall apart. It's not very practical for regular use.

Saddle Stitch

The stapled variety. This is very, very practical - it'll allow you to spread the pages open, make notes, make working copies etc.

However, it doesn't look that good on a book shelf. It's designed for books that are practical and used.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And I can't decide between form and function! I love the look of perfect bound, and to me it doesn't feel like a real book without it. Yet I know saddle stitch is far more practical, especially on a small book.

I'd like some really thorough feedback if I can - from yarn shop owners about what their customers prefer. From you, the knitter - how do you treat your books? Which would you prefer? (these are the only two options available to me through Magcloud, btw) I did ask in my Ravelry group a couple of years ago and I'd like to expand on that. 

The Woolly Toppers collections range from 36 to 48 pages, excl. the cover. They'll be 8in x 8in in size - nice and compact, easy to use knitting pattern books come manuals. I've seen Magcloud print editions with perfect binding and the quality is superb - I believe the binding holds up well. But no perfect binding will ever be a match to saddle stitch on the durability through use front. I've thought about offering both versions, but I think that'll just get confusing - I've enough things to offer as it is.

For retail (not wholesale) there will be a print+PDF combo option available, although as it's cross platform it won't go into your Ravelry library. It's just not possible to offer the combo wholesale as I don't physically touch the books and Magcloud don't offer this as an extra.

Thanks in advance!

(ps/ to save me trying to keep up with lots of different places on a slow and intermittent connection, do you mind if I keep the discussion here or to Ravelry? ta :)

Friday
Apr032015

Painted Woolly Toppers - pre-order now!

 

And here it is! Y'see why I've been itching to share this cover? This is the happiest ever yet I've been about a cover! We stumbled upon this mural quite by accident, and we all agreed that we had to make it work for the cover. The camera decided in a rather timely manner that it didn't want to focus, but we battled on and here it is.

Could there be a better backdrop for this book? (can you see me bouncing from there?!)

The mural is by a graffiti artist know as Akse and he's given me permission to use his artwork in mine. You can see some of his other work (which is seriously amazing!) at his website, on Facebook or you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

Not only am I revealing the cover, the eBook is available for pre-order today!

 

eBook only £10.00!
(PDF download only)

 

Thanks to Ravelry's new discount for bundles and sets, if you've already purchased Giostra, you'll get the amount you paid for that deducted automatically. I've also released Vortice today as a single pattern, and the same applies with that pattern.

I believe that once the value of £10 has been paid (either as a one of for the eBook or across purchases, including previous) you will get all the single patterns. I'm not sure how this works for non-Ravelry members, but if you run into a problem, send me an email (although please bear in mind that this is Easter weekend :)

The print edition will be a few weeks more yet, and that will be available through Magcloud. I'm looking into print+PDF combos; however cross platform purchases make it tricky - if you think you'd like both, hold out for the print edition as I can offer a combo there (which won't go into your Rav library, but at least it's an option)

The release schedule will be one pattern a week until the end of May, when the complete and final eBook will be uploaded. As always, you'll receive an email notification to say when the new pattern has been uploaded, and you'll have immediate access.

The latest pattern release today is Vortice:

 

 

And Giostra is already available:

 

 

Have at it, and enjoy!

Thursday
Apr022015

And the final Painted Woolly Toppers Hats are...

....all in sock yarn!

Meet Lamitra.

 

 

Bias, slouchy and sideways. What's not to love? Add in a bit of basic lace and a Garter stitch brim (with a garter stitch graft) and you have a wonderfully soft, drapey Hat that just about anyone can wear - it really is  Hat for all face shapes and hair styles.

 

 

The construction works beautifully with hand-paints. The lines flatter the shape and face and I'm very much in love with this Hat. There are a few little tricks at play to fine tune the details, the sort of things that make me feel clever designing and I hope they make you feel clever too, when knitting it.

 

 

The featured yarn is Handmaiden Casbah sock... I'd never worked with it before and it's an absolute dream. The fibre content really lends itself well to the shape. One of my testers knit this in one of the mainstream sock yarns and it's stunning, so it's certainly doable in something more budget friendly!

Our 9th Hat is Vortice.

 

 

It's sideways and pointy and structured and and and! Such a strong Hat, and such a simple concept.

 

 

This Hat won't work with plain or semi-solids - it begs for bright, vibrant yarns. It's very easily resized and offers a great chance to practice a few techniques, too. There's also the chance to change the top shape - it's up to you, really.

 

 

The featured yarn is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock, and it's a decent, sturdy sock. Just the right kind of yarn for this Hat. Not sure what else to say about this one, except that I love it!

And now our final Hat, no.10. Meet Dancette.

 

 

The construction is simply calculated increases and decreases, worked sideways. I've done the calculations for you, in 3 sizes, and once you've cast on the pattern is rather rhythmic. And once past the first few rows it's also easy to see where you may have gone wrong, as the pattern presents itself clearly - there's not as much thinking involved as it may appear.

 

 

I'm really happy with the photos for this one, too. They say it all, really! 

 

 

This is another Hat that really does want hand-dyed and hand-paints - soft or plain colours won't do the structure justice. This sample is knit in Whimzy Merino sock, in a colourway inspired by the Hunger Games, and I'm really glad this was recommended to me - a great yarn to work with!

And I've just realised - *ahem* - that my favourite Hats in this collection are all sideways.... oops ;)

So there we have the 10 Hats! Which are you favourites? I'd love to hear which ones you'd like to knit first, and what with.

And tomorrow... I'm really excited about tomorrow, because I'm really excited about the cover. More details will follow with how and when you can get your hands on these Hats!

Until then :)

Wednesday
Apr012015

Yet more Painted Woolly Toppers...

This is where I think a lot of knitters will get excited - the sock yarn Hats! I have to confess that sock yarns and finer don't always do it for me; I've a rather low boredom threshold and as much as I'm a process knitter, I'm a process knitter who needs it done already! That said, I enjoyed this exploration - the things I could do with shape and colour and form that just aren't possible with heavier weight yarns really grabbed me.

The 6th Hat in the collection is Risalire.

 

 

From a technical point of view, this was tricky to photograph. Short rows in a Garter stitch brim and a fine stepped slip stitch pattern on the body all make for fine intricate subtle details that aren't hidden by the colours, but do look like quite different up close to afar.

 

 

I'm rather enjoying bonnet shaping at the moment. It's a great solution for keeping the ears warm and shaping the face without ear-flaps. This one isn't a fast knit, but well worth it, and great comfort knitting too, I found!

 

 

This sample is knit in Koigu PPM and it's lovely stuff! Given the different levels of details, this Hat would work just as well in a plain or semi-solid, but I do love the optical effect in the brights!

The next (and final) Hat for today is Gallone.

 

 

Who wouldn't want a chevron brim in such colours! This Hat is incredibly simple to knit, with a couple of techniques thrown in - prov cast-on, grafting, picking up sts and slipped sts. The shaping is created by the folding and grafting and it's rather satisfying when it comes together.

 

 

This sample is The Knitting Goddess British Wool sock, and the shade is 'Flower Power' which I think is the perfect description! Given the construction, the Hat is also incredibly easy to adjust if you don't hit gauge or for inbetween sizes. I don't think it will work as well in solid colours - it is the self-striping nature that sets this one apart.

 

 

The sun decided to come out during these shots which isn't something I usually encourage (or rather, sun in my photos in my photos is something I prefer to avoid, similarly sky!) but I think it works - adds to the dramatic effect of the colours :)

Tomorrow I'll reveal the final 3 Hats, and then friday I'll reveal the cover and offer the eBook pre-sale offer! Early purchasers will receive the patterns as singles as they're ready, and I'll make sure there's something for you to start on over the long weekend ;) Can't wait for you to see all of them and tell me which are your faves! I kinda think I've saved the best 3 till last...

Tuesday
Mar312015

More Painted Woolly Toppers Hats!

The next two Hats I want to show you are in the DK and Sports weight range - my plan at the moment is to order the patterns within the book in descending weight order, which for whatever reason feels very logical to me!

The first pattern to share today is Helical.

 

 

Helical is everything you want in a cosy, slouchy Hat. Knit in Socks That Rock heavyweight, there's plenty of drape and vibrant colours to boot.

 

 

It's the only Hat in the book with any kind of cable or travelling stitch technique, and that's fine. Given that it is Garter stitch, you'll also find slipped stitches to help balance out the fabric.

As I'm sure you already know, one of the challenges of working with Garter stitch in the round is the join - it just jogs, it can't help itself. It's a perfectly normal thing that happens when stitches change from knit to purl and vice versa, but disguising it isn't easy. In small doses it doesn't really bother me, especially in finer weight and heavily variegated yarns. Yet at this weight, and all the way up the Hat, it had to be hidden. And it is. It's one of those little tricks that pleases me so ;)

 

 

Although it might not be obvious, there's a proportional element to this Hat too, and the design definitely ticked all my happy boxes! Garter stitch, especially slouchy Garter stitch at this gauge is yarn thirsty, and thankfully the STR yarn comes in a slightly heavier skein :)

 

The second and final Hat for today is Cornice. 

 

 

Inspired by Quynn, one of my most popular Hats, I wanted to play some more with integrated ear-flaps. It is, however, an entirely different Hat under the hood (scuse the pun).

 

 

The mathematical structure behind this Hat differs, and it has a flatter, more fitted crown. Not to mention that giant pompom! The lines of ridges help emphasise the colour changes, and the shaping at the ear-flaps - one big difference here is that the ear-flaps are shaped as they merge into the body, which doesn't happen in Quynn - it makes for a more elegant fit.

 

 

The sample is knit in Manos Silk Blend, which is one of my favourite yarns! Working up to a light DK or sports weight gauge, it's both warm, soft and light.

That's all for today - tomorrow we'll start to meet the Hats in sock yarns!