Cooperative Press t-shirt contest

Cooperative Press t-shirt contest

Fiber fest season gets started in just a few months! Got a t-shirt idea for us? Want $50? Check this out. We’re offering you a chance to submit ideas for knitterly, fibery and just generally crafty related t-shirts. If your idea is selected, you’ll win $50 plus a host of other prizes.

Our graphic designers are standing by–let us know what you’d like to see on a shirt! You have until the end of June to enter!

The Vikings have landed! Buy 1 book, get 3 things!

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We’ve been hinting about it for a while and now it’s live! Larissa Brown’s new novel with Cooperative Press, Beautiful Wreck (click to visit the book’s website and read an excerpt) is here!

To celebrate, and to attempt to launch it to the top of the charts over at Amazon, we’ve put it on sale for Cooperative Press friends & family for $2.99 this weekend AND you can get two of Larissa’s patterns for helping us out!

Buy the book and forward your receipt to buy -at- beautifulwreckbook.com and you’ll get a Ravelry download link for Larissa’s pattern Lichen. Hurry, this offer expires on Valentine’s Day!

Review the book and send a link to us at review -at- beautifulwreckbook.com and you’ll get a download of Larissa’s new pattern Betta!

Where to buy? For once, we aren’t asking you to buy it directly from CP, though we’ll be listing it soon. We’d really like for you to buy it on Amazon, because getting to the top of the charts there will help drive sales going forward. If you prefer print, you’ll also be able to get the Kindle version for free through their MatchBook program.

Amazon: Kindle PREFERRED | paperback
Barnes & Noble: Nook | paperback
Smashwords: digital
Apple iBookstore: digital

CAN WE GET LARISSA TO #1? WE CAN, WITH YOUR HELP!

Thank you, as always, for supporting independent publishing. Especially when Vikings are involved!

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.

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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….

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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 ….

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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 …

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Happy knitting!

Waving at Chicago from a distance

Guest blogger and CP Assistant Editor/Crochet Editor MK here today, thinking about what’s happening at Vogue Knitting LIVE! this weekend.

One of the wonderful things about the internet is how it can help bring people together and share what’s going on all over the world. Right now, I’m sitting at home in Hawaii and trying not to cry into my coffee because Shannon is in Chicago at Vogue Knitting LIVE! 2013 (booth 113), teaching, selling books with Andi, and quite possibly getting to meet author John Scalzi, who is not a knitter and just happens to be in the same hotel this weekend.

VKL twitteringThe overlap between yarncraft geekdom and Sci-Fi/Fantasy geekdom is pretty big. Yours truly has been reading SF/F since about the age of 7, and was not the only yarnie who spotted @scalzi tweeting about VKL and immediately offered to help secure passes (plus it turns out Shannon is familiar with John Scalzi via Metafilter). This is particularly wrenching for me, because I could have purchased autographed books earlier this year, when I was in Ohio for a friend’s wedding. I knew that there was a bookstore in the general area that routinely stocked his signed books, but I was Team Bride Advocate and taking it seriously (…and then I was serious about driving to Columbus before Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams closed for the day, ahem), and didn’t look up the bookstore until later. Turns out it’s Jay and Mary’s Book Center, right by the hotel I was staying in.

So I could sit here and cry into my delicious coffee, or I could sit up straight and think about a few of my favorite things, especially a few of my favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy Yarndom Crossovers. I’ve got a Pinterest board titled Unofficial Whedonverse Knit & Crochet, and contribute to Larissa Brown’s Pinterest board Whedon Knits & Crochets, for starters (just you wait for Larissa’s upcoming novel Beautiful Wreck – I stayed up late two nights in a row reading an early draft). How about CP author Heather Ordover’s new supernatural YA series, The Seven? Grounded (book 1) is out now, with companion sock patterns, a KAL, and Real Knitting Content in the book (I won’t spoil my favorite knitting reference in the book – I’ll just say it happens in a bookstore and leave it at that). How about revisiting Needles & Artifice: A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns by the Ladies of Mischief ? A lovely knitter at VKL in full steampunk gear stopped by the Cooperative Press booth – she’s knitting something from Needles & Artifice too! [Edited to add: the knitter is Babelglyph on Ravelry and you can see her project pages for the lace choker, lace mitts, and parasol there. She's also the designer of Calette, a shawl tribute to Diana Wynne-Jones.]  It’s also 2 days into DOOMVEMBER, folks, so if you are looking for practical and stylish knitting for the apocalypse, pop over to the blog tour for the soon-to-be-released Doomsday Knits, edited by the delightful Alex Tinsley, who looked at a delicious handspun sparkle yarn and thought “hooded cowl that will accomodate a gas mask.” Of course.

Then there are the Doctor Who fans. You may know SpillyJane for her Gnome Mittens (did you know you can build a kit at KnitPicks? – and if you’ve got the Gnome Mittens pattern already, Cooperative Press will give you a discount on her upcoming book!), but she’s also got Doctor Who themed mitten patterns – Police Box Mittens and Bow Tie Mittens Are Cool.

policebox mittens bowties

Add a Bigger on the Inside shawl knit in Bigger on the Inside yarn (pattern by CP author Kate Atherley, published in Knitty Spring/Summer 2012) and you’ve got some serious Doctor Who knit action. [ETA: This just in! Kate Atherley and Lorna's Laces teamed up and now you can get knitting patterns and special yarn packs for socks or a scarf for "traveling through space and time"!]

No conversation about SF/F yarn geekery would be complete without indigodragonfly yarn – with colorways like Daleks Don’t Give Pink Slips, And Then Buffy Staked Edward. The End., and Don’t Wear This On Star Trek, you can slip a geeky reference into even the plainest pair of socks.

These are just a few of my favorites (there are so many!). So tell me – what are your favorite yarngeek SF/F crossovers?

Rhinebeck beckons

Guest blogger Elizabeth here today with some enticing news about what we’ll have available at this year’s Rhinebeck.

Fall is most fiber lovers’ preferred season, and Rhinebeck (the New York Sheep and Wool Festival), coming up this weekend, captures all the charm of autumnal fibery goodness.

Our intrepid leader, Shannon, and one of our lovely authors and tech editors, Andi, have already begun wending their way there northeastward in a van loaded up with books. On the way, they’ll be making a happy side trip to Boston to show off Needles and Artifice to the Greater Boston Knitting Guild. I’ll be wrapping up some book design business today from my home base in Austin, and will be flying up to New York tomorrow morning.

We will have so much to show you at our booth! Printed copies of our newest books – Cascadia, Hitch, Fresh Designs: Kids, and our first sewing book, Sew Together Grow Together – arrived at CP headquarters a week ago, so they’re still smoking hot off the press. And we’ll have nearly 30 other titles available for purchase or preview. After all, you’re going to need to know what to make with all that yarn that of course you will not buying at Rhinebeck because you already have plenty oh who are we kidding….

Ahem.

“A couple of years ago, I was thinking how my favorite part of the NY Sheep & Wool Festival (also known as Rhinebeck), was looking at what everyone wears. I know people go to the festival for all kinds of reasons, but I just wallow in the community & people watching. It is perhaps the only place on earth you can be wearing handknit socks, a handknit sweater, a shawlette over it, handknit mitts and a hat–and instead of having people leave a wide path around you, you are embraced by strangers shrieking “ooh, is that a Damson or….{insert your fave pattern here} ? I love what you did with your February Lady Sweater! Whose mods?”

I realized I wanted to make a collection of all those fabulous outfits, for the permanent record.”Gale Zucker 

To be sure you get the news first about Gale’s gorgeous book, sign up for our mailing list.

For knitting designers, we have a new tool available that helps you develop your own style sheet for your patterns. Find me at the booth, and I’ll show you how it works. Look for my giant, smiling head floating Cheshire-Cat-like over the crowd.

This year we’ll be sharing a booth (Building C, Booth 37) with two other wonderful businesses: Cherry Tree Hill Yarn and KnitCompanion. Come by, say hello, browse through our new books, squeeze some delicious Cherry Tree Hill goodness, and play with the amazing KnitCompanion app! And then go gorge on artichokes and watch grown men and women chuck pumpkins across a field. It’s all good fun.

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!