Don’t delay! Now’s the time to vote for an SSK: One sweater you’d like to see Becky or me (or both) model. The survey ends at midnight (GMT) tonight. So (if you haven’t already) please pop over to Survey Monkey and do your stuff. Thanks in advance!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s been an exciting few weeks. Not only is it American tax season (mailed ours off this morning), but I had a rather large birthday (no, I will not tell you the number) and today we are beginning preorders for print copies of Silver Screen Knits, Volume Two.
- If you would like a 20% discount code to preorder Volume Two, sign up for the SSK: Behind the Scenes e-newsletter and it’ll pop right into your mailbox.
Just like Volume One, the book includes introductions to each inspiration movie, memorable quotes from the movie, and descriptions of what to look for as you’re watching the film – plus, eleven gorgeous patterns!
Some of the movies that inspired us this time: Rear Window, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Great Gatsby (1974), Singin’ in the Rain, and East of Eden. We got carried away by a few of these films; Susanna I-C ended up designing three patterns (two sweaters and a shawl) inspired by Grace Kelly in Rear Window, while Becky Wolf and I tackled Mia Farrow and Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby, and Becky created a stunning cardigan based on the same film that inspired my Sophia Loren pullover from Knitty Deep Fall 2013.
And then there’s the Gene Kelly vest from Singin’ in the Rain, Ann Weaver’s version of a sweater worn by James Dean in East of Eden, a pretty lacy skirt inspired by Brigitte Bardot, some lovely versatile fingerless gloves by Tanis Gray, and a cardigan inspired by Lauren Bacall. You can see photos of all these garments over on the print pre-order page, so even if you aren’t sure about buying do go on over and check it out.
Print pre-orders include an e-mailed link to download a PDF of the e-book; those e-mails will also go out on May 15.
To celebrate the book’s release, in the coming weeks you’ll see:
- The release (due to popular demand) of two Volume One patterns as single digital patterns on Ravelry;
- A true, illustrated-with-photos tale of my meeting a wild and crazy movie star;
- Photos of one of the Volume One patterns on Becky and me, with advice on altering the pattern to fit you;
- Interviews with the Volume One designers (previously exclusive to the SSK Behind the Scenes e-newsletter); and more.
So, as they say, watch this space. Also, Happy Birthday to me, and congratulations to everyone who sent their taxes on time. Most of all, as always, thank you so much for your support.
No, seriously. I want you to!
This isn’t just because I spend way too much time in the morning staring into my closet (although Mr. Trask will confirm that I do).
It’s that I want to get some Silver Screen Knits sweaters onto bodies that are not size 4 or 6. I really appreciate it when designers and publishers post photos of their garments on average people, not styled models, and explain what works about the fit of the sweater as well as what doesn’t. Those of you who know me in real life know that I am short (5 foot 2) with broad shoulders, and I often need a second opinion to decide whether a garment fits me well.
Anyway – it’s high time I put my money where my mouth is.
To that end, fabulous test knitter and designer Becky Wolf and I are ready to share photos of ourselves in a sweater from Silver Screen Knits: Volume One. We’ll tell you the size of the garment, our measurements, and modifications we might try in the sweater pattern to help the finished product fit us. [Note: depending on the size of the sample we used in the photo shoots, we may or may not need to model a different size.]
If this proves popular, we’ll do it again, but for this round you can choose from three sweaters:
- The Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardigan, designed by Ann Weaver;
- The Audrey Hepburn Garter Stitch Cardigan, designed by Veera Välimäki; and
- The Faye Dunaway Traveling Top, designed by Danielle Romanetti.
I’ve set up a handy-dandy one-question survey on Survey Monkey for you all to vote for the sweater you’d like to see. So use the links above to check out each sweater’s Ravelry page, then make your choice below.
The survey closes on April 15 (next Tuesday), so pop on over and tell us what to wear. As my mother used to say – It’ll be fun!
We are having a book party in Virginia!
Sunday, Jan. 12 2 to 4 p.m.
fibre space, 1219 King Street, Alexandria, Va.
Most of you know about my love affair with fibre space. I taught knitting there when I lived in Alexandria, and I used to blog for them. Before that, I worked for Danielle‘s previous company, Knit-A-Gogo, which took knitting classes to ‘third places‘ like coffee shops, and organized amazing knitting retreats in the DC area.
I’ve mentioned before that Danielle and Karida of Neighborhood Fiber Co. conspired to bring me back to knitting after my mother’s death, encouraging me to become a test knitter, then a designer, then a knitting teacher. So it seems only appropriate to have the US book party for Silver Screen Knits, Vol. One be at fibre space, with both Danielle and Karida there because they have patterns in the book as well.
Danielle and I first met because I was moving to Del Ray and Knit-A-Gogo was listed as a Del Ray business. Through her website, I found Karida’s yarn, and I was so taken with it I wrote to ask whether I could buy some from her. Danielle was teaching a class at a coffee shop in Arlington that night, so I met her in the parking lot and she sold me some Studio Worsted out of the trunk of her car. Man, do I love that yarn.
Also joining us for the celebration are Becky Wolf (test knitter and designer extraordinaire) and series art director Elisa Morsch, as well as Ann Weaver, who contributed patterns to the book, but also sat down with me and gave feedback on all of the patterns from Volumes One and Two, talked me through self-publishing, then served as a model for the book. Ann is one of those people you just want to sit and talk to for hours, because she knows so much about knitting and art, and is so enthusiastic about sharing what she knows.
Little Miss Feisty has agreed to attend as long as it doesn’t interfere with her napping schedule, and she’ll bring Mr. Trask along as well. Please do join us! I’ll be signing books, and I bet we can convince the other designers to do so as well.
If you’d like to reserve a book, give the shop a call at 703-664-0344.
First things first: If you don’t have the time or headspace for my digressions today, you can just check out the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck, for sale exclusively on Ravelry. Plus, scroll allll the way down for two holiday gifts from me to you.
Allan (Woody Allen): If that plane leaves the ground, and you’re not on it with him, you’ll regret it – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.
Linda (Diane Keaton): That’s beautiful!
Allan: It’s from Casablanca; I waited my whole life to say it.
And now on to the reminiscence. Diane Keaton holds a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons: she’s a great comic actress; she has a sleek, funky style I wish I could emulate; and, my first year in Manhattan, I lived in an apartment she’d lived in when she filmed The First Wives Club. [In retrospect: what an odd film.]
It was the late 90s. I was just out of college and I owned (as you will see in the photo above) a pair of blue suede shoes. And a friend of a friend had an aunt who had just purchased this apartment. In exchange for letting workmen come in and out whenever necessary, four of us rented it for about eight months. For oh-so-cheap.
My room was the anteroom to the balcony on the third floor, basically a wet bar with a half bath. It was almost entirely windows, and we were on the 11th floor with a stunning view of New York in almost 360 degrees. When I described the room to a friend, he said it sounded like a bird’s nest, which was apt. It was also an ice cube tray and a sauna: at night that winter it was freezing cold such that I wore a winter hat to sleep. Then, early in the morning, the sun would come in through all that glass and I would wake up drenched in sweat. Good times.
At one point, my mother came to visit us, and she took these panorama photos. Remember the panorama setting on cameras, introduced in the early 90s? My mother loved the panorama setting, or at any rate she used it a lot. The switch on her camera had three positions: “off” – “on” – “panorama.” If the photographer turned the camera on enthusiastically, say if she was excited at all, she might accidentally turn it all the way to panorama. That is how we ended up with panorama photos of me with Bill Murray; Mom with Bill Clinton; and Clint Eastwood playing golf.
But I digress (again), because obviously she meant these photos to be wide-angle. This shot of the World Trade Center gives me a slight hitch in my throat: the New York where I lived was very much of the pre-9/11 era.
In part due to her presence in Woody Allen’s very best films, Diane Keaton seems very New York to me. She’s Annie Hall, after all, but she’s also Carol Lipton, a certain kind of New York woman who will never stop appearing in coffee shops and parks, reading the newspaper, wearing what they think looks right, having conversations about antidepressants and books.
Keaton’s Linda in Play It Again, Sam is very much that kind of woman. A predecessor to Annie Hall in several senses, the film tells the story of Allan, a divorced film critic who either imagines or hallucinates dating advice from Humphrey Bogart. Linda is Allan’s friend, just as neurotic as he is, and as it turns out she holds part of the key to his getting over his selfish ex-wife.
Allan (Woody Allen): You want a Fresca with a Darvon?
Linda (Diane Keaton): Unless you have apple juice.
Allan: Apple juice and Darvon is fantastic together!
Linda: Have you ever had Librium and tomato juice?
Allan: No, I haven’t personally, but another neurotic tells me they’re unbelievable.
Dick: Could I get a Coke with nothing in it?
Ultimately, Bogey teaches Allan to let go of some of his neuroses and live a little, while Linda teaches him to follow his heart. And isn’t that what so much of us look for in New York City: freedom, adventure, self-acceptance? [Or was that just me, age 23?]
Knit in beautiful Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER, this sweater will snuggle with you while you’re getting over your ex, preparing for the holidays, or dreaming of your own Bogie/matchmaker. Wear it for a stroll through the city to window shop or a walk down your street to see the Christmas lights. It loves you no matter what.
- If you purchase Silver Screen Knits (either as a printed book or a Ravelry ebook) in the month of December, you will receive a code to download the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck pattern for free.
- If you sign up for the Silver Screen Knits Behind the Scenes e-newsletter in the month of December, you will receive a discount code for $2.00 off the Diane Keaton Cabled Turtleneck pattern. Plus, subscribers will be entered to win a skein of SHELTER in the first e-newsletter giveaway.
I’ve been meaning to write to you all about Oxford Yarn Store for a long time. Like, for a year, because that’s how long they’ve been open. I found out about their opening from a flyer posted in North Oxford, which made the whole thing seem like the crazy fantasy of the sleep-deprived mother of a four-month-old. So I was pleasantly surprised to pop over to North Parade last year and see that the flyer’s claims were true (and I was not as far gone as I’d feared): a yarn shop had arrived in Oxford.
I think I mentioned that there wasn’t a dedicated yarn shop in town when we moved here. This was good for my pocket and for the stash-reduction project, but of course not for my soul. So I might have been a little over-excited when I met Karen last year. I took lots and lots of pictures, and kind of told her my life story.
She handled my fangirl-level enthusiasm with grace, even offering to have a launch party for Silver Screen Knits when it came out–a pretty nice thing, since she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall. And last Friday was the day.
Karen and the fabulous James planned an amazing party for Silver Screen Knits, Volume One, with people dressing up and champagne and discounts on the book as well as on yarn purchased to knit the designs in the book. [That discount is good through Saturday 11/15, so pop on down there if you haven't yet.]
One of the great things about this party was that it introduced me to more Oxford knitters. I’ve gotten to know some through Twitter and the Great London Yarn Crawl, but since so far I have been too shy to go to any knitting groups I haven’t met as many as I knew back in the States.
OYS has a really wonderful group of customers. Every time I am there, people come in and Karen knows them by name and remembers what they are working on. There are several knit clubs that meet in the shop each week, and when I have been there with the clubs their members have been friendly and inclusive. This is one of those shops you know will be around for a good long time.
Karen made a lovely toast to me and I sat there feeling super-embarrassed, and then everyone shopped and chatted and drank champagne. Due to Little Miss Feisty’s habits, I haven’t been out on a Friday night in quite some time, so this was a really exciting day for me…made more exciting by all the yarn I got to pet and dream about, and the people who came by to have me sign their book and to ask me about the various patterns.
All of the samples for the book are at the shop right now, so this is a great opportunity to take a look at the products of the patterns close-up. The fabulous Liz, one of the tech editors for the book, admitted to us that she tried on all of the samples while editing, and confirmed what I have long suspected: that both the Humphrey Bogart pullover and the James Dean cardigan make excellent women’s sweaters as well. Anyone in Oxford want to model them for a photo shoot?
Now that the party’s over, I find myself dreaming of all kinds of yarn I saw in the shop that night: Colinette, Manos, Artesano, and especially the beautiful Jamieson’s pictured above. I think it’s time for some colorwork hand mitts, don’t you? What would you make in the Jamieson’s, and what color?
Wow. The last month has gone pretty quickly, and I haven’t updated you guys as I should have. I think part of the problem is that I’ve been saving Silver Screen Knits news for the SSK Behind the Scenes Newsletter – I don’t want this blog to turn into a great big ad for my book. But I also don’t want it to go dark. It’s a balancing act, I guess. [In SSK news - the newsletter has featured some really fun interviews with designers like Ann Weaver and Veera Välimäki. Do sign up!]
While we’re on the subject, the print books have arrived, and you can indeed order one if you like:
But that’s all I’m going to say about that today.
When last we spoke, I was supposed to be headed to The Small Wool Gathering, a reunion of sorts for Plug & Play Pembrokeshire alumnae and friends organized by The Small Crafters. From all I have heard, it was an amazing weekend, with great food and camaraderie, plus top-notch classes by our favourite knitting editor, Amy Singer. But no sooner had Mr. Trask and I gotten into our rental car (brave us! driving!) than Little Miss Feisty got the merest hint of sick and we had to turn back. I am sure you can imagine that the weekend was rather different than what we had planned, and we were so sad to miss everyone.
However! This offered an excuse to go to Wantage and take two of Amy’s classes there, at Purlescence UK headquarters. Wantage is a lovely little town near Oxford. Their marketplace was up and running when I arrived:
And I was greeted by the statue of King Alfred (born in Wantage):
And best of all I got to learn Auto-Pilot Socks and Silk Spindling with Amy.
Amy is such a wonderful teacher: calm and reassuring, with a lot of enthusiasm. [I learned much more than I expected, for example, about the life and habits of silk worms.]
And came home happy.
And the next day we tried on LMF’s Halloween costume:
Which was the highlight of the month.
Additional images from here include Little Miss Feisty’s new favorite food:
And holiday clothing for one of my favorite foods:
Anyway, that’s the big news from here. What have you been up to in the last month? And would you like to come to a party?
Silver Screen Knits Book Launch
Friday, Nov. 8
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Oxford Yarn Store
3 North Parade Avenue
Oxford OX2 6LX
There will be drinks, and a discount on the book and on yarn purchased to make any of the designs in the book. And some of us will be dressed in vintage clothing. A lovely time will be had by all! I’ll be there signing books, so do pop in. Otherwise, who will I talk to?
In all the excitement of releasing the book (eek!), I didn’t have a chance to tell you guys about the Great London Yarn Crawl. This was a new event, planned by crazy Rachel and crazy Allison, in which five groups of 10-15 knitters each dashed all over London, dropping into various yarn and crafty shops, knitting and crocheting and crafting and shopping and chatting. It was amazing.
My group, the Purple Route, started in Islington at Loop:
I hadn’t been to any of the shops on the route before, and I was a little nervous. You know how it is. You hear of a popular yarn shop, it’s meant to be great – but then it’s only so-so, and…well. I needn’t have worried, because each shop was fantastic in its own way. Loop is stuffed full of yarns it’s hard to find in England, but the shop (two floors!) is laid out in such a way that it feels roomy and yet cozy and welcoming. As I type that sentence, I realize that the layout is a miracle of TARDIS-like proportions. The Handweavers’ Studio was full of beautiful, beautiful fibre, and I enjoyed looking at all of it. [Since I'm not a spinner, I also felt that I was saving money just by standing there. Is that wrong?] The Village Haberdashery has both spinning and knitting supplies, with such cute stuff and lovely staff. Check out their window:
They had arranged for their knitting teacher, Monica Russel, to be in the shop during the yarn crawl. She helped us browse the patterns and yarn and signed copies of her most recent books for us, too. We paused for a group shot before going in, and the owner (pink, back row) popped out because she was so excited about the yarn crawl:
I do wish that I knew how to sew. I mean, I can hem a skirt (by hand) and sew on a button, but nothing else. I understand sewing is a bit quicker than knitting, which sounds wonderful. But I also understand that it requires a bit more precision than knitting does, which…would probably not work for me. Anyway.
Enthusiasm was the word of the day, as we went from bus to tube to ThamesLink to stroll down the street (or, when pressed for time, frantic aerobic walking). We knit and crocheted everywhere we went:
The last stop was Sharp Works, another really welcoming shop. I had hit a wall by then, I’m afraid, and was missing Little Miss Feisty, and I now find that I took no photos. I was thrilled to see both Manos and Mirasol there, and bought some lovely sock yarn.
You all know I’m not usually a joiner, and feel sort of shy in groups (even groups of knitters). But the yarn crawl was delightful – a long, tiring day, but a worthwhile one. Would yarn crawl again!
So one housekeeping bit: do comment below or email me at KELT (at) knitlikeyoumeanit DOT com to let me know if you have knit squares for Alli’s Wool Week yarn-bombing, so I can enter you in the Brooklyn Tweed LOFT giveaway.
And tell me – were you at the yarn crawl? Or have you been to any yarn shops in London? Which would you recommend?
|Go to Ecwid to purchase the
Print Book plus PDF download
- PRINT BOOK SHIPS OCT. 21.
Obviously, if you buy the book as a Ravelry download, you’ll get it immediately. If you buy the print book, it will be shipped to you on Oct. 21, and you’ll immediately receive a link to download a PDF of the book as well.
I’ve mentioned before that subscribers to the Silver Screen Knits Behind the Scenes list receive a discount on the book; I sent that discount to them over the weekend, but you can still get it if you subscribe now. Additionally, if you purchase the book on Ravelry, you will receive a discount on the print book.
The 10 patterns in Volume One were inspired by some amazing classic movies, including Bonnie and Clyde, The Women, The Philadelphia Story, and Bullitt. The text includes descriptions of the films, memorable lines from each film, and even notes on where knitting appears in some of them.
The patterns in the book were inspired by the men and women who performed in the movies as well as the garments they wore. I started looking into knitting and classic movies because of some beautiful photos of Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, and other stars knitting on set between takes, but the book idea also grew out of the chic garments of the golden age of Hollywood and a bunch of fascinating movies, some of which we still watch today, and some of which we ought to.
As most of you know, this book has been in progress for a while, as I got permission to use film stills and lined up designers and yarn companies to participate, found an amazing photographer and stunning graphic designer, and stalked them all until they agreed to be part of the book. It took some time to pull together, but I am really excited about the result.
I launched the sales of the ebook and the preorders of the print book over the weekend, but waited a few days both to give list subscribers a chance to order and to make sure that everything was working properly before really announcing it here. Thank you so much to everyone who has ordered already – I am bowled over every time an order comes in.
I had a lot of help on this book. Danielle of Fibre Space and Karida of Neighborhood Fiber Co. told me that it could and should happen, and then they talked me through all kinds of anxiety while I made it happen…and then they contributed patterns and helped me find other designers and yarn companies to get involved.
Ann Weaver has been involved in so many different aspects of the book, from designing patterns for Volumes One and Two to giving me feedback on my designs to modeling the sweater she designed and then becoming our model for several other garments as well.
Can you believe how cool knitters are? I just love them. Thank you, all of you, for helping make this book happen.
Yes, it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for: the winners of our Spud & Chloë prizes.
First, a few more finished Right As Rainbow cardigans:
And look at even more of them over on the Ravelry discussion thread. We’ve had several people come out of the woodwork in the final days, which is really exciting.
One wonderful thing about this pattern is how flexible it is – the different choices of colors and modifications really show that off. Check out the various projects on Ravelry to see how many different ways you can make this cardigan. Excitingly, Stephanie is working on adult sizing for the pattern, so pretty soon we might need to do this again.
And now…the prizes.
Prize One! For a random person who began the cardigan. The Random Number Generator, well-known to those who read this blog regularly, chose alcbrooks, whose sweater is among the FOs above (I love those buttons, don’t you?).
Prize Two! For a random person who finished the cardigan. The RNG chose ewehinger – who, coincidentally, lives very near my hometown of Chevy Chase, Md.
And…drumroll…Prize Three! The creativity prize goes to the divine Sallywool. Having seen this sweater in person, I can tell you that Stephanie made a fantastic choice. Here’s what she says about Sally’s cardi:
I LOVE how [Sally] added rainbows to the wrist and waist. There is so much color in her sweater. She even added a little extra zing by adding buttons that alternate color. She made a lot of very conscious color decisions…ones I never would have thought of. Her cardi is full of surprises. It’s rainbow-tastic!
Thank you all so much for joining me on the crazy ride that this knitalong has been, and especially thank you to Catherine, my co-conspirator, and to Spud & Chloë, for offering such amazing prizes. Hurrah for all of you…I do love how knitters are willing to do crazy things together.
So tell me in the comments – would you want to do this again? What kind of pattern would excite you?