Thursday, 10 October 2013

New book sneak peek + giveaway

Contrary to what you might think if you read this blog, I have spent a good deal of this year making things.

So how come I've shown so few photos of 'things'?

Because they have mainly been made for books, and the publishers – not unreasonably – prefer one not to wave the makes about on the web before they've been in the book.

But there comes a time when publication is due and one is off the hook, and that's now for The Knitted Alphabet.

I've done this book with knit guru and generally wonderful woman, Sarah Hazell (who needs to get a move on putting her website together so I can link to it...), and it really does do what it says on the tin: 250ish pages of charted letters and numbers in 26 different styles, plus punctuation and dingbats for emoticons, plus knitted samples, plus projects, plus techniques.

Everything you need to say it with knitting...

Self-striping yarn makes for excellent knitterish spray paint...

We had help knitting the samples (about 300 of them...), and the projects, from some wonderfully talented peeps: thank you Fiona, Jools, Luise, Sophia and Amanda. Without you we would still be knitting now...

Some of the alphabets have uppercase and lowercase letters. These impeccable samples were knitted by the lovely Luise.

There are ten knitted swatches with every alphabet – made using a variety of techniques including beading and embroidery as well as colour knitting – with (hopefully) helpful captions giving you ideas and tips on how you might work the letters for your own projects.
Fiona's staggeringly perfect knitting, plus captions telling you how the samples were made.

There's lots of variety of letter styles: retro, classic, modern, quirky, handwritten, typewritten... in different scales and, because Sarah and I are knitters, the charts are done on rectangular knitter's grid – not squares – so you can see what they will really look like when knitted up.

The charts are done on knitter's grid, not unrepresentative square grid...

Samples use different techniques and yarn combinations for lots of knitting choice...

Some of the alphabets have matching numerals...

And there are ten projects, each with notes on how you can adapt them to feature your own letter choices (so you don't have to be called Lucas, Ingrid, Max, Elvis... to knit one of them).

Bribed with Marmite, Vincent agreed to model with this scarf, even if it did have someone else's name on it... And isn't my new bedroom floor lovely?

I know that I would say this, wouldn't I, but I honestly think that The Knitted Alphabet is a really useful knitting resource: you can add a letter, a name, a motto, something obnoxious... to any project with enough stitches in it (the smallest letters are 11 stitches tall, the largest 57 stitches).

However, I have to confess that at the moment the book isn't available in the UK... There's a US edition (published by Barron's) and an Australian edition (published by Sally Milner), so I'm chuffed to have a copy to give away to a UK knitter. Follow me (via the little photos on the right – I like those – or Bloglovin) and leave me a comment on this post, and I'll pick a name out of something hattish and send a book to you on 21 October.

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