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

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Sunday
Jun142015

and..... Painted Woolly Toppers is a go-go!

 

I'm now back and (mostly) recovered from TNNA, and that means Painted Woolly Toppers is now published!

Digital pre-purchasers will have had the link to the full eBook - if you haven't, either drop me an email or comment on the Rav thread and I'll look into that for you.

Not only has the eBook gone live, but so has the print edition! After reading everyone's feedback, I went to Magcloud with the intention of offering both a stapled and perfect bound version - only to discover that the cover on the staple bound version is the same paper as the pages, and I really didn't think that would stand up to much. The paper for the pages is the best I've ever felt from a POD printer, but the cover does need to be heavier stock.

So... I went with a perfect bound option that includes the eBook for free. And I'm willing to gift the eBook via Ravelry *if* you can forward your receipt for the print edition. Just don't all email me at once, K? 

purchase print editon at Magcloud



The feedback on the book so far has been great, and it's even got it's first review over in the latest edition of Knitty! Shop owners at TNNA loved it, and knitters are telling me that they want to knit all of the patterns, not just a few. And that's very encouraging to hear. Joy at the Knitting Goddess has been working her way through all the Hats so she has plenty of samples for shows, and other indie dyers have started their samples, too. Considering that it's the summer and Hat season is at it's slowest, it's all feeling very positive!

Back end, the new wholesale catalogue is going out in the next day or two, so if your local yarn shop wants to stock the book, get them to email me with their info and they'll get a copy of the catalogue. Likewise, indie dyers can get in touch too - this book was published to support indie yarnies after all!

It's also time to start planning knit-a-longs over in the Ravelry group - which of the PWT2 Hats are your faves, and which would you like us to work through together?

I do hope you like the book :)

Wednesday
May132015

Introducing Niamh

 

I guess this post isn't just introducing Niamh as a single pattern, but also a massive thank you.

Although the demolition order was annulled last year, Mutonia was still potentially at risk until the new contracts were agreed upon and signed. And that has now happened. The community has won, and the community is secure with recognition from the authorities. And Mutonia now embraces the next chapter as a public sculpture park.

The rights to Niamh returned back to me some time ago from Cooperative Press, possibly as much as two years ago (!) but you know what the last couple of years have thrown at us, and the to-do list has been rather long. An impromptu photoshoot on site with the amazing Roberta (who also modelled for Hatopia, also within the Time Machine) yielded this great photo, and with that came the chance to have a new lease of life as a single pattern. 

The support from all walks of life and all corners of globe for Mutonia has been incredible. And it's this corner, the woolly corner, of which I'm proudest. Offering this pattern for free for a limited time feels like the least I can do to give something back.

By all means, share the news with friends! However, please share the link to the blog post, the pattern page, Ravelry or any of the images floating around the net - please don't share the file. Besides respecting my copyright, it means that everyone downloading from a legit link will get any updates, corrections etc should they ever be needed.

Thank you, and enjoy :)

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.

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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 :)