Needles and Artifice

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The Ladies of Mischief Interrupt Their Knitting to Present to You

Needles and Artifice: A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns

About the Book

Gentle ladies and kind sirs: welcome to the world of Needles and Artifice, where corseted Victorian fashion gets an energized infusion of punk. In this fantastically playful take on steampunk knitwear design, the Ladies of Mischief offer not only 23 original patterns, but also a high-flying, busk-snapping adventure that plays out across each chapter. Pull on your goggles and spats, knitters: you’re in for a wild ride.

[Not sure what steampunk is? Click here for a primer by one of its doyennes, Diana Vick.]

Just the Facts

24 patterns
234 pages
ISBN 978-1937513108
This book is available in both print and digital format.

Meet the Author

The Ladies of Mischief are 12 friends who believe that if you mix different personalities, quirky ideas, a vast variety of talents and gifts, and a handful of challenges, with trust, love, and a little compassion you can write a book and run a business. They really believe the power of friendship can encourage, support, and push you to use your talents for creative, collaborative and visionary work. And they wrote you this book to prove it could be done. But mostly they did this because they are all really good friends. And they really like to knit. And wear corsets.

On Ravelry

Are you a Ravelry user? Click here to see all individual patterns from the book. Add them to your favorites or queue!

Read Reviews

Featured review (“Steampunk Stitches,” by Colleen Kiphart, in the online magazine The Cool Ship, 25 Oct 2012):

Ladies and gentlemen, gather round to see the most spectacular feats of nimble knitting novelty this side of the state line! Whether you arrived by airship, locomotive, tallstack, or good, old-fashioned horse, the Ladies of Mischief have got something you’d like to see! Up until last week, I thought the edgiest form of knitting I’d ever seen were multicolored granny square sweaters. Apparently, I wasn’t Googling hard enough. The Ladies of Mischief, a cohort of women committed to bringing steampunk and knitting together, have authored Needles and Artifice from Cooperative Press: one part pattern book, one part novel, and all over amazing. Their designs sail so far beyond bulky scarves and afghans that you can’t even imagine those things existing in the same universe. You see, in this universe, knitting results in decidedly sexy and provocative Victorianifty designs. These are designs that require a skilled and experienced hand to create and a confident steampunk lady to model.

Featured review (Knitty Winter 2012 issue):

As soon as I started reading this book, I was whisked away. I didn’t move from my chair until I was finished. There are some books that give me a visceral reaction for a variety of reasons and this was one of those books, and the reason was fun. By the second chapter I was wondering how soon the second volume from the Ladies of Mischief would be published. The story, knitting design and book design are so perfectly intertwined I couldn’t imagine any standing alone. Every aspect has been meticulously carried out: opulent Victoriana with a Punk sensibility. There are no short cuts or skimping in the knitwear designs. From the small batch independent dyer yarns to every single bit of shaping in the sweaters and corsets, it all fits, literally.

More praise

Love this book in all its exquisite detail. The flyleaf and title page feature beautiful hand-drawn scroll work, the photography is incredible, and the story is delightful fun. On top of that, the patterns are inspiring and look like they’d be a lot of fun to knit. – Amy Palmer, Threadpanda

This book blew me away. That could be my whole review right there. But you probably want to know what’s so amazing. Well the Quadrille Overbust Corset by Valerie DiPietro is a work of art. I fear this is the first pattern I will knit from this book. I say “fear” because if I knit it I will be obliged to wear it, and as a mother of two who doesn’t even wear clothing as restricting as blue jeans, I don’t relish a corset-wearing life. I could always have it stuffed – Ruth Roland, Kangath Knits