Jan 12, 2017 :: by Leila Raabe
Today marks our official launch of Texture: Exploring Stitch Patterns in Knitwear, by Hannah Fettig of Knitbot! Preorders for the book are flying out the door and will be landing in mailboxes around the world soon. Ditto for the ebook PDF, which will be hitting your inboxes today.
Thanks so much to everyone who purchased Texture when we opened up preorders on January 3rd—it was a fun start to the year, and Hannah was kind enough to continue signing books well past our first 100 preorders (lucky you!).
If you haven't heard about Texture before now, you can see all of the beautiful designs from the book here: Cables, moss stitch, and a multitude of other textural stitches abound with 13 projects to choose from, all of them worked in Quince & Co. yarns, from laceweight wool/mohair Piper to our chunky-weight wool Puffin, and everything in between (even a kerchief in Sparrow linen!).
Hannah joins us on the blog today to talk a bit about Texture. We hope you enjoy this little Q&A! Read on...
How did you come up with the idea for writing Texture? In your own words, what is the book about?
My previous title Home & Away was very successful. Specifically, many knitters used it as a learn-to-knit book and knitted their first sweaters from it. To follow that, I wanted the next book to be the same quality, both in content and as a tangible object. I was also thinking about all those knitters who had mastered a basic stockinette stitch sweater and wanted to take things to next level. One of my most popular designs after Featherweight Cardigan is Rocky Coast Cardigan, which is an allover cable stitch design. So with all these things in mind, I thought: What if I had an entire collection of knitwear with all over textured stitch patterns and included the education to support knitters who were taking this on as a new challenge? The idea grew from there.
Knitters love insights about a designer's process from initial concept to finished garment. What are your first steps?
This is my largest collection since my first book 10 years ago. So I did start by thinking about the overall collection, what type of variety there should be. Once I started swatching, it became clear that I should explore how similar stitch patterns can behave quite differently depending on the yarn weight they are knit in. For example, moss stitch in Finch or Tern vs. moss stitch in Puffin! Very different fabrics. From there, as I swatched different Quince yarns I thought about what type of garments they would best be suited for. I also thought about my popular designs and why people like them: How could I stay true to that, while at the same time making them new and fresh.
What, to you, makes the perfect sweater?
Wearability: So first, it needs to be knitted in a yarn that wears well, meaning it doesn't pill too easily; it can stand up to some friction. Quince & Co Owl is my favorite yarn in this category. Next, it needs to be versatile for me in my life. I want to wear it over my pajamas, I want to wear it out with the kids, I want to wear it to dinner. Open-front cardigans are my favorite, and something like Georgetown from Home & Away or Pierside from Texture are excellent because they are set-in sleeve, which gives you a more tailored fit, but the giant, oversized collar keeps it cozy and casual.
Favorite design from the book?
This is tough—I'm really proud of all of them. I don't feel like there are any "throw away" projects in this book. I'd like to knit myself an Art Walk Cardigan first because it will be quick, and it's the open-front big collar sweater I talked about loving so much. I already have yarn for a West End Cardigan and the cowls (Big Cable and Big Texture). I'm curious to see what everyone else's favorites will be!
What would you say to knitters who are nervous to try textured stitch patterns?
I totally understand—I felt that way designing these pieces! Stockinette stitch is my comfort zone. I tried to give as much education and support as I could in this book. I also provided some simple accessory patterns that will be excellent places to practice knit and purl stitch patterns and cables. If you're nervous about the sweaters, start with one of the cowls! You can gain some confidence and then think about a bigger project.
What's next for Knitbot?
Ha! First, taking a breath. Between the success of knit.fm, Home & Away, and my online class with Knit Stars, I can see that knitters greatly appreciate education and support. I'll keep thinking about ways to provide that to people through my work.
I do have another idea for a book, but will wait a little bit before I jump in to this next one. Home & Away and Texture were two years apart, so that feels right.
Thanks so much, Hannah! Knitters, we hope you enjoyed this look inside Texture: Exploring Stitch Patterns in Knitwear and have filled your queue with these lovely projects.
Which one will you cast on first?