All knits bright and beautiful, all authors great and small

Our art director, Elizabeth, lives in Austin, so she got to attend the book signing for Hank and Gracie Save the Day at the Knitting Nest this past weekend. Take it away, Elizabeth …

HankGracieSavetheDay_frontcoverdraft

West Highland Terriers Hank and Gracie are often a highlight of any visit to the Knitting Nest, one of several lovely local yarn stores that we enjoy here in Austin. But this past Saturday, they were definitely the stars of the show. The store’s owner, Stacy Klaus, held a book signing this weekend at the shop for her new book, Hank and Gracie Save the Day (Cooperative Press, 2013). The book features a charming children’s story about two dogs who help to rescue a baby bird, simple patterns to knit, crochet, and felt your own projects to go along with the story.

There are even coloring pages, which turned out to be a particular hit with one toddler who came to the book signing. (Her mama, Christina, aka oharethey, is a developer at Ravelry, so I expect that other parts of the book will appeal as time goes on as well!)

For all of you who are suffering through bleak mid-winter weather, I’m sorry to say that it was a gorgeous day here. (You can mock us in August, when we’re on day 45 of 100+ degree temperatures.) Stacy invited Westie Rescue of Austin to set up outside the shop so that they could take donations, while Hank and Gracie guarded the fort as usual inside. It was a lovely event on a beautiful day. Hope you can visit Hank and Gracie here soon—and until then, enjoy their adventures in Hank and Gracie Save the Day!

Knit all the gifts!

Greetings, fiber fans – guest blogger Elizabeth (your trusty book designer) here to wrap you in the giant afghan of holiday excitement that we have pouring forth from Team Cooperative Press. Whether you’re looking for some quick gifts to knit or wanting to immerse yourself in some escapist fantasy, we’ve got you covered.

Spin me a tale …

One of the many things I love about knitting is how it immerses me in a fantasy world, and not just because I enjoy reading, listening to, or watching stories while I knit. The act of knitting also creates its own narrative: as I knit, I imagine myself (or the recipient) looking gorgeous in what I’m making; I line up in my head the other things that I plan to knit; I conjure up other knitters of the past – I especially love to imagine a Laura Ingalls Wilder / Little House in the Big Woods kind of grouping – and dream about what we might say to each other as we do our needlework.

So I am always so happy when another storybook comes in the door at Cooperative Press. All knitting books tell a story, but some have an especially compelling narrative voice. They don’t just provide patterns – they invite us into a world.

SubversiveSocks_frontcover

Tabetha Hedrick has a story to tell you in socks: a story of having-had-just-about-enough, a tale of thumbing your nose at the world. Her Subversive Socks is for those times when you have something snarky to say and – well – why not say it on your feet? Your calves can secretly read “bite me” all day long underneath your work trousers – or they can shout that message to the rooftops when worn with a flouncy skirt. It’s up to you.

These socks are made for walkin’ / and that’s just what they’ll do / One of these days these socks are gonna walk all over you.

Bite Me
Bite Me

If swears aren’t your thing, then neither is this book. Don’t worry: this post includes a lovely section below about puppies and cute kids – meet you there!

When you’re done sticking your middle toe up at the world, it’s time to stock up to save it….

DoomsdayKnits_coverdraft

Alex Tinsley’s forthcoming Doomsday Knits is a feast of post-apocalyptic knit fantasy – everything you need for battling zombies and foraging the ozone-depleted forests for provisions. The book’s editor, Alex, dedicated months and months to accumulating the styling pieces, locations, and makeup skills to create the illusion of a total wasteland wonderland. The results are stunning. Here’s Theressa Silver’s luscious Lunar Progression wrap …

lunar

… you know, for when the world has ended and you’re one of the few still left eating sardines out of a can in a dilapidated mansion. Or for when, in real life, you just need to look stunningly hot.

If you’re more of a timey-wimey sort of person than an apocalyptic, you must go check out Heatherly Walker’s new Dalekenium sock pattern ….

8616671191_f44b6f48b4_h

This is a sneak peek pattern from her forthcoming book with Allison Sarnoff, Unobtainables: Fake Elements, Real Knits. All the designs in the book are inspired by sci fi, comic books, video games, mythology … ahhhhh! happy geek overload!

And I absolutely cannot wait for you to see knitting designer Larissa Brown‘s novel, Beautiful Wreck (forthcoming from our trade imprint in January 2014). Science fiction mixed with 11th-century Vikings mixed with romance mixed with fiber? YES, PLEASE. Let’s just say if you enjoyed the Outlander series, this definitely belongs on your shelf.

________

Gift me …

Fantasy aside, the ticking clock of frantic gift knitting has begun. Need some help?

Perhaps you have some kids to knit for? Whip up some quick, fun, utterly wearable accessories for them with Katya Frankel’s infectious new book, Head to Toe.

HeadtoToe_frontcoverdraft

Katya really knows how to design for kids: each pattern in this book can work for boys or girls (truly), and each one fits so well into a kid’s real life. For instance, consider this: did it ever occur to you to knit a cowl for a kid? And now that I’ve said that, doesn’t that seem like the most obvious thing in the world? Because cowls don’t fall off or trail in the mud?

BOOM.

Mallard
Mallard

The photography in this book meets Katya’s usual standard of genuine, fun-having adorableness. (Seriously what cow just licked that boy’s hair into such a cute shape?) All shot in the park spaces in Northumberland, UK, it’s the essence of fall fun.

Got younger kids in mind? Get ready to plotz from the cuteness, because we’ve got a book about puppies!

HankGracieSavetheDay_frontcoverdraft

 

Sample story page
Sample story page

OK, they’re full-grown Westies, and they totally do save the day when a baby bird falls from a nest outside their yarn shop. Authored by Stacy Klaus – owner of the Knitting Nest in Austin, Texas – this sweet picture book tells a heroic story of dog rescue, has coloring pages for kids, and includes four simple knitting and crochet patterns that are tied to the story.

Pattern: Adding a crocheted edging to a flannel blanket
Pattern: Adding a crocheted edging to a flannel blanket

Your kids will love that another kid – Stacy’s incredibly talented, high-school-aged niece, Molly Wade – did the illustrations. The book is up for preorder now but will be available in digital next week. (Print coming soon thereafter, as always.)

If you now need to wipe a tear from your eye because you are overwhelmed by PUPPIES!, might we suggest a lovely dishcloth?

DishclothDivaKO_frontcoverdraft

Deb Buckingham, who brought you our much-loved Dishcloth Diva, will release her follow-up book this Friday: Dishcloth Diva Knits On! Whether you need some quick handmade gifts – perhaps to wrap around some handmade soap? – or just need an uncomplicated knit to whisk you away from the holiday family drama, Deb’s got you covered. My favorite is the cheery, slip-stitched Lucille Bell …

lucillebell1

Happy knitting!

Cascadia, Hitch and Fiber Hooligan

Andi Smith was on Fiber Hooligan with Benjamin Levisay yesterday and it was a GREAT show! You can listen to it from the embedded player below, download on iTunes here or check out the show page here!

This past weekend we released the digital version of Cascadia and I think it is fair to say it is a hit! As the patterns have gone up on Ravelry, they’ve been getting lots and lots of favorites! EIGHT HUNDRED so far on Beacon Hill (congrats, Jane!)!

The same day we released the digital for Cascadia, Hitch went live. (And all this was right after Knit Edge #4 went out, too. It has been a BUSY week over here!) Nina Dayton’s Melanie shawl is popular — 425 favorites already!

Here is where I drop the editorial “we” and be totally, personally biased as me, Shannon: I want to point out one particular pattern in Hitch for those of you looking for a great holiday pattern to knit for the guys in your life. Christina Wall’s Robie is an absolute stunner, with great knitterly details. I have a funny photo of the model from the book trying it on when it first arrived here at the studio and he is making a hilarious face, which I will not post here because I still would like to have him speaking to me and modeling for CP (it was about 100 degrees outside…not optimal “try on a wool sweater” time). Even HE loved it, and he is a pickypants about sweaters thanks to his very talented fashion school-trained mama.

(Also if any of you have nothing better to do and feel like knitting one for no reason, I want a Robie of my own!) [end personally-biased commentary]

Join the knitalongs in the Hitch group on Ravelry!

Hitch, Kids, Vikings and TV

First things first: have you voted for Alasdair (author of Extreme Double Knitting) in the My Mountain design contest? Thank you, CPers!

It’s been a pretty big month so far for CP! Our latest in the Fresh Designs series, Kids, was released last week, as was Hitch, a book inspired by the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Hitch is the second CP book by Stephannie Tallent, whose gorgeous book California Revival Knits continues to impress colorwork, lace and cable fans with its intricate architecture-inspired patterns. Like the Fresh Designs series, Hitch is a multi-contributor book, featuring a host of ultra-talented designers. If you pre-order it now, you’ll get a special bonus cowl pattern!

The main photoshoot for Hitch took place on a hot and steamy August day in a Chicago park with one of our favorite photographers, Nick Murway. (On that note, you really need to check out the photos on Kids, too — our art director Elizabeth did them, and if you’ve ever taken any photos of children, you know it’s not that easy!)


Shoot planning at Stephannie’s in-laws’ house

Trying to evoke the elegant menace of a stylish Hitchcock thriller in 99% humidity and similar temperatures is…well, tough. I think we hit the mark, though. The fabulous vintage clothing we paired with the knits came from Deering Vintage in Cleveland, Ohio, and the tweedy brown dress is a real Claire McCardell…for whom, in no small amount of synchronicity, the Claire M sweater in Fresh Designs Sweaters is named.


The middle dress is the McCardell, and the shawl is by our own Elizabeth Green Musselman

Speaking of elegance under heat and pressure, last Thursday CP authors Andi Smith (Big Foot Knits) and Kate Atherley (Beyond Knit & Purl, Knit Accessories) taped an episode of Knitting Daily TV for its next season featuring new host Vickie Howell. Both Kate and Andi will appear on the same sock-related episode. Afterwards, we went out for ice cream at Jeni’s, aka Breakfast of Champions for TNNA Attendees.

And now…Vikings? No, we’re not publishing a Viking knitting book (though give us time, you never know!) — but we are announcing our new Cooperative Trade imprint for fiction and non-knitting titles. That’s been an open secret for some time, really. Ben Vendetta, author of Wivenhoe Park, has been posting about his novel on Tumblr and Facebook for a month. The website is up.

So what’s today’s big secret reveal?

We are publishing Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown. *happy dance*

As knitters you may already be familiar with Larissa’s work: two books, Knitalong and My Grandmother’s Knitting, beautiful patterns, etc. What you don’t know is that she’s an amazingly talented novelist as well. Beautiful Wreck is speculative fiction, and more specifically a time-travel romance. (Talk about timing: just as the internet is obsessed with the casting choices for the TV version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels!) If you liked the Outlander series, if you like strong women characters and a book that will suck you into its world from the very first page, Beautiful Wreck is for you.

Our first novel Wivenhoe Park, by Ben Vendetta, will be out in October, then Beautiful Wreck a little later in the year. We will be keeping most news about the new imprints’ books on its own list with infrequent crossover on the main CP list, so please do join CP Trade’s list or the Beautiful Wreck list for news as these and other non-knitting books are released.

Some of the musicians I idolized in the late 80s and early 90s then have been asking Ben and his music journalist/PR friends for advance reading copies of Wivenhoe Park, musicians who would have had me swooning from stage as a teenager (ok, they still would, actually). Those I’m keeping under wraps for the moment ’til I know we can quote them, but the last one I heard about had me leaping up and down, inserting liberal numbers of unladylike words in my excitement.

Set in the mid-80s, Wivenhoe Park chronicles the adventures of Drew, a rock ‘n’ roll-obsessed student with journalistic aspirations who moves to England on a whim to escape various demons, including a goth ex-girlfriend, who he can’t seem to shake out of his system…will Drew find peace, love and understanding or will it all burn down like cigarettes?

You’ll find out this fall.

Thanks, as ever, for your continued support of what we’re doing here at Cooperative Press.

One last thing: Knit Edge issue 4 will be out this month and we can’t wait for you to see it!

Hello The Knitter readers + Stitching in the Stacks!

Excellent pre-TNNA news for you. One, our friends at The Knitter magazine (one of our UK favorites) featured our upcoming cruise in their upcoming issue #60. Here’s a peek:

And secondly, Stitching in the Stacks has started to ship digitally as of yesterday. The print copies should start going out when they arrive from the printer post-TNNA, so get your orders in now! The other two books in our summer preorder trifecta should be going out shortly thereafter (a few wonky file things to fix from the printer proofs that will be fast but couldn’t get finished pre-TNNA).

If you are at TNNA this weekend, drop by the booth (#355) and see the sneak preview of Alex Tinsley’s AMAZING upcoming book with us, Doomsday Knits. Yay!

Don’t be against the wall when the revolution comes…

…instead, be knitting away with a good book!

Cooperative Press is about to release the second book in the WWMDfK? series: What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?—more creations inspired by classic characters. Like the first, this book is chock full of patterns and stories from the designers about how they were inspired and what they love about the stories the guided their process. To celebrate the coming book we’re sharing all sorts of sneak peeks and designer dossiers—and free patterns, too! If you want to get in on the fun, you can join us by joining the special Defarge mailing list (so Heather and the designers can get the free patterns to your inbox).

Want to make sure you get your copy right away? We’ve got a special preorder offer: use the ordering link below and get both books (print and digital!) for $50 plus shipping. We expect book #2 to ship in April.

Add to Cart View Cart

In other news: stay tuned for the results of the Cooperative Press birthday contest, which will be coming shortly! We had a LOT of entries to go through — thank you all for your enthusiasm!

More fall knitting books than you can shake a needle at

The weather is finally starting to cool down and the autumnal equinox has officially passed (this past Saturday) — which means it’s time for fall knitting! Here at Cooperative Press we have been working feverishly to bring you some gorgeous new books — and issue 1 of our new magazine. This will be like the biggest show and tell ever.

HOT OFF THE PRESS (LITERALLY!)

Boys’ Knits by Katya Frankel

Prepare to be bowled over with the cuteness. We have two great books out this month for kids. First up is Katya Frankel’s Boys’ Knits, a collection of 16 sweater patterns that hits it out of the park. Boys are notoriously difficult to knit for — boys’ patterns generally are either too fussy to be worn or too boring to knit. But these are just right, with fabulous knitterly details that look classic and wear well.

Katya’s not only a talented designer, but also a genius at photography. Have you ever seen such natural, infectious smiles?

 

Tiny Treads by Joeli Caparco

So now you have the kid warm on top. How about their feet? Another lovely UK-based designer, Joeli Caparco, brings us Tiny Treads, 12 sweet sock patterns for kids. Joeli provides a great range of projects — from basic top-down and toe-up patterns that you can use for any fingering- or sport-weight yarn you might have lying around — to beautiful one-of-a-kind projects to knit for special occasions (or just because you’d like to try out a new technique on a small project!).

Like Katya, Joeli is a mother of boys, and she’s provided plenty here for children of all sizes and genders.

 

Dishcloth Diva by Deb Buckingham

And sometimes, as Kay Gardiner writes in the foreword to our next book, all you want to knit is a dishcloth. The dishcloth is a humble instrument, but a perfectly simple canvas for exploring color and pattern and texture. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced knitter looking for great gifts, Deb Buckingham’s Dishcloth Diva has plenty of potato-chip knitting to offer (you can’t knit just one) — 20 patterns in all.

Inspired by modern design, Deb has kept the patterns clean, simple, and fresh.

 

Fresh Designs: Hats, edited by Shannon Okey

Finally, we continue our Fresh Designs series with Hats, an exciting collection of 10 patterns in surprising, wearable, and fun-to-knit shapes. There’s plenty here for the lover of the trendy cloche and pillbox styles, including Christa Giles’ Lishton (pictured on the cover), Troche by Sarah Wilson / The Sexy Knitter, and the Beatrice Cloche by Erica Jackofsky / Fiddle Knits.

And for knitters like me who love an unusual construction, you can’t beat Woolly Wormhead’s sideways take on the classic cabled hat.

 

OUR NEW MAGAZINE: KNIT EDGE

Knit Edge issue 1 is here! Into the 72 pages of this digital-only magazine, we try to pack everything that we love to read and see: technique columns you can use right now, meaty features about knitting and crochet in art and history (yes, we miss Fiber Art magazine, too!), gorgeous photo essays on the places that inspire our craft — and of course, patterns.

Learn from Miriam Felton how lace knitting is like making jam… or from MK Carroll about how crochet came into the lives of her early-20th-century Japanese ancestors… or from Varian Brandon about how the gorgeous landscapes of Shetland inspired this cowl:

 

COMING SOON

And there is so much more coming very soon! Just to name a few books that are nearly ready to leave the nest:

  • Essentials and Beyond: Kate Atherley’s brilliant sequel to her Beyond Knit & Purl — the perfect guide for beginner knitters who want to branch out into knitting simple designs from yarns of their own choosing.
  • More lovely sock books: Andi Smith’s Big Foot Knits (finally, socks for the rest of us!) and a sock book for men from the lovely people at Unique Sheep.
  • Fresh Designs: Mittens and Gloves: Just in time to cover up those cold paws.

Will you be at Stitches East, Vogue Knitting Live, or Rhinebeck? Please come say hello to us at our booths there!

Reversible Scarves is here + Makes for Men!

We’re incredibly pleased to announce that Audrey Knight’s book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues is now available for download. If you preordered a print copy, you should also have a download link for the PDF in your inbox this evening. The actual printed copies will be shipping after 12 August (we expect them to arrive directly from the printer to our booth for Stitches Midwest, so if you didn’t preorder and can’t wait, we’ll see you in booth #631)!

A note for those of you who preordered: you just saved $3 per copy, because the price is going up as soon as the print copies arrive here! The book is rather longer than we anticipated at 134 pages, which caused its print price to go up. If you haven’t preordered yet, you have until Stitches is over to get the current $26.95 price. Click, click!

In other news, we’re excited to announce that UK knitting magazine Knit Now recently featured six Cooperative Press designers/authors in their Makes for Men supplement to the July issue (#11). You can see all the patterns here on Ravelry.

Thanks again to the authors of both current and forthcoming CP books for allowing Knit Now to focus on your beautiful work!

Knit Edge subscriptions, new books and updates!

Great news: we’re finishing up final production on Reversible Scarves and Boys Knits (expect the digital editions to hit your inboxes soon if you’ve preordered!) and the preview issue of our new magazine, Knit Edge, has already been downloaded a few thousand times! We’re getting great feedback on it, too. Last week, the first four books in our Fresh Designs series were released (MEN, SHAWLS, SCARVES and SWEATERS). Digital copies are shipping now, print will be with us and going out into the mail shortly. We can’t even tell you how happy that makes us. There will be knitalongs and other activities launching soon in the Cooperative Press group on Ravelry, please join us there!

Today we’re excited to announce that subscriptions to Knit Edge magazine are now available! You can go here for a one year PDF subscription. There is also a recurring single-issue subscription option, which would be perfect for those of you awaiting the iOS app subscriptions. Those will be available directly via your Apple device: we’ll update this post/announce when the app is online.


Things that are fun: see what items Pinterest pinners have repinned from the CP website by clicking here. We’ve added this as a button to the sidebar so you can click it whenever you’re wondering what’s catching peoples’ attention this week.

Sneak preview! Anna Dalvi’s new book

m Anna, a hint of what’s to come in her new book. We’ll be shooting photos for it this month, and will be posting a contest when images from the shoot and the preorders go live.

Just in froLike all of Anna’s designs, I know they’ll be a combination of stunning and fun to knit — I got to watch the yellow one grow on the needles last year at Rhinebeck. Our server at Arielle thought it was a crocheted hat (it was growing from the inside out, and a little gathered on the needles, but still)!

What excites you most about shawls these days?