We’re on for the pre-release of Lateralis to be available from thursday and everything feels back on track! So many things feel more under control somehow this week, so I’m making the most of it.

The pre-release will work like this:

The cover and an accompanying PDF (explaining the schedule etc) will be available immediately, as will the first single pattern. Then the single patterns will be published once a week until the final collection as the eBook will be available. Everyone who buys the pre-release will receive an update notification via email each time a new single pattern is published, and you can use the link in the email to download the latest instalment. It’s been a while since I put an eBook on pre-release but I think most folk are familiar now with how the system works.

Working this way allows me to start earning, which in turn means I can pay the team promptly. It means you can get your hands on the patterns as soon as they’re ready and start knitting them! And it gives me and the team vital extra time to add the polishing details to the eBook. Should be a win, win, yes?

And so the first hat to be published will be Duality. It’s a very striking Hat with a very simple detail that’s highlighted by the construction.

 
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The stripes are created by short rows, allowing the fabric to remain balanced. As I say, the stripes themselves, beyond being short rows, are simple in and of themselves - it’s the construction and placement of the stripes that makes this Hat so striking.

 
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Because there are a lot less short rows to this Hat, and because the colourwork is easier to manage, Duality is a great introduction to the construction and an ideal first Hat to try. It also gives you a sense about how the yarns and colours work, which should help you make the right yarn choices going forward for the other Hats. Most of the Lateralis Hats have a preference to whether a variegated or semi-solid works as the main yarn, but with this one it doesn’t matter - you can swap them around and see what happens!

 
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The theme behind Lateralis is symmetry, reflection; factors or concepts of two. Unlike other sideways Hats, these consist of two sections, two halves, that are head-shaped and meet at the crown. This in turn means that the Hats can be worn in two distinct ways, and we’ve aimed to show that photographically.

 
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Not all of the Hats are worked as two halves - some are worked entirely as one piece, with the two sections becoming noticeably after turning through the crown, and some are worked as not quite halves to allow for special short row trickery at the crown, yet still result in a Hat of two equal pieces. I suspect the way the construction works may not be apparent until they’re knitted, and I promise they’ll surprise you in the best of ways.

 
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I’ve put time aside today to (slowly) build the individual pattern web pages today, so you get an idea of yardage and yarn weight requirements. They all use DK weight yarn, and these have been kindly sponsored by RiverKnits so do go and check out her yarns! She’ll be at Yarndale this coming weekend where you can grab your yarns in person; failing that she’ll have her full stock up after the weekend. (one day I’ll make it to Yarndale…. maybe next year?)

 
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Talking of yarn, do bear in mind that these are graded by gauge - there’s virtually no room to adjust the pattern for different sizes. A couple of sizes are included in the pattern, but also in the pattern will be notes on exactly how many stitches and rows make up the Hat, so you can adjust the gauge for other sizes. This something we can definitely talk about more in my Ravelry group - we’ll set up a thread for each Hat.

That’s me done here for today! Tomorrow I’ll introduce the 2nd Hat, Undulous.

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

I’ve said previously that we’re trying to work at getting our studio photography perfected so that we can work whatever the weather (usually we’re battling the sunshine, rather than the rain) and slowly but surely, we’re getting there.

For me, the biggest hurdle is lighting. We’re gathering a few lights that pack a lot into a small unit (necessary, given the size of my studio) yet somehow I’m rarely content with the lighting effects we get, even when the various set-ups that Tom puts together work well. I am so much happier working with natural light; I’ll always have a diffuser by my side as the natural light here is invariably too strong, but I loathe using reflectors as they always look so false to me - they make light bounce in ways it wouldn’t necessarily bounce. And if I struggle to use a reflector, you can imagine the state of me trying to give a yay or nay to studio lighting.

Slowly, though, we’re getting there. And the one set up that pleases me is dark and moody (quelle surprise). I don’t even care if there’s a lack of light on the face (I much prefer the presence of shadows to their absence) if the light hits the Hat at the right point. As I’m editing the first photoshoot for the Lateralis collection I can tell you there’s some shots where the face is barely visible but the Hat looks a stunner… shots that many people would say are too dark, and to my mind, that’s the point.

Before the shoot we had Monday afternoon we did a few practice shots with Aran for a future free pattern. When he’s in the mood for getting in front of the camera, he goes for it!

 
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Fun as these are, these shots told us that we needed to change the lighting and make it more dramatic… when Aran wasn’t larking around the regular shots looked too much like school photos and there’s no way I’m putting anything like that out, so more shadows on the face it is then, not less.

I suspect in the long run we’ll be inhibited by the pokiness of my studio (compared to that of a the photography studios we usually get a glimpse of) which in turn inhibits our control of light. I know I’ll also get bored of using the same background too often. But it’s a good exercise, and the next plan is try night photography around the Yard, which, if successful, would mean we may never have to battle the sunlight again.

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

Amongst all the new Hat designs we've been photographing, there's been the occasional older design, too. I do like to try and reshoot old designs when I can - different model, different light, different hair or face shape, fresher skills.

 And most recently it's been the turn of Ridgeway.

I've reshot this one a few times but I've never managed to get enough good shots of both Hats. Guess a two-in-one pattern does double the odds of not getting good photos?

Anyways, we've finally cracked it and here's a collage of the (many!) shiny new photos.

 
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To celebrate, there's a 33% discount on the pattern on Ravelry (in $$) and here on my website (in ££). There's no coupon code needed, the discount will apply automatically. 

 The promotion ends midnight GMT on Friday. Enjoy!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead

We're a week into Indie June (piloted by LoveKnitting) and I wanted to say so much before now but I've been a little engrossed in the final stages of some secret knitting!

As always there's lots I want to say but haven't been able to wrangle it all into something presentable - feel free to go through my Indie Biz tag for older posts. 

So yes, I've been engrossed in secret knitting. But my downtime from social media has produced more than that, and there's been plenty of new designs to photograph.  

 
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These are all new designs that will be coming out later in the year - a tease, I know! I'm wanting to share these photos as Tom took them all, not me, and it's been a slow but positive change to how things happen round here. 

 
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Tom's now the main photographer. My frozen right shoulder is a lot less painful than it was but I'm a long way from getting full movement back. Throw in what feels like the start of a freeze with my left shoulder and it's pretty clear that Tom's going to be primary photographer for the foreseeable future.

 
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This is such an important change to how I run things. Handing over creative control with the photography is something I never thought I'd do, once I'd started doing it myself. It's a *huge* deal.

 
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Tom's always had the skills with photography but it's having the eye for knitwear photography, and being able to continue my style with his flavour, that have taken time to refine. It wasn't easy when we first started working together - two creatives in a relationship is one thing but working together is obviously going to throw up some challenges! But we're through that now, and we work pretty well together I reckon. I'm still styling and directing, and I'm really appreciating an additional perspective on lighting and framing from someone who understands how I see things.

 
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I think as indies we have to be fluid, we have to be able to bend with the changes and take a more organic approach (or at least, that's what I aim for). There are more changes ahead for me as my shoulders continue to be difficult, but they're good changes, simplifying how I work and approach things. I've no choice right now really, so I'll be teaching and travelling less in the future, and taking on fewer commissions and collaborations. Knitting is the lesser evil with my frozen shoulder; anything on the computer is the real culprit and being able to knit then pattern write at my own pace is crucial. 

And in all honesty, I've really enjoyed my social media downtime. I've produced some designs that I'm really chuffed with (wait till you see the secret ones!) and it feels like the drive that I had when I first started is back - it all feels fresh and uncomplicated. Digital sales (of single Hat patterns and eBooks) are still the biggest chunk of my turnover - >90% - and there's no sign of that slowing down.

I'll keep you all up to date as to when these new designs will be released! You can also follow along on Instagram and sign up to my newsletter, if you haven't already. And I'll aim to scribble down some more thoughts in the near future!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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Photoshoot responsibilities are firmly in Tom's corner for the foreseeable future, thanks to my frozen shoulder, and yesterday afternoon saw us shooting a few shots with him trying to emulate my style. Tom's often done photography work for me, and now that the camera is very much in his hands I think he's starting as he means to go on!

 
 

This Hat in need of a name will be published in December. The sample is knit in Snail Yarn aran, which I picked up at the Swiss Wolle festival last year. It's a squishy, cosy yarn with lovely deep and subtle colouring, and is just right for the brioche and garter combo.

 
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Can you help name this Hat? There'll a free copy of the pattern for you when it's published, and another single pattern of mine of your choice.

Only thing is, is that I need to get the pattern to the printers sunday night, monday morning at the latest! Although it's not due for release for another 4 weeks, I need some pattern samples in a couple of weeks for an event, and that means getting it to the printer sharpish.

I'll leave this open for 48hrs - simply leave a comment on this blog post (not Twitter, IG or FB - sorry!) and I'll pick a winner sunday evening (about 6pm GMT). Don't forget to tell me your Ravelry name, your choice of 2nd pattern, and in the email field (which won't be public) let me know where I can get hold of you.

Fire away, and I look forward to hearing your suggestions!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
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