Many of you know Woolly from her previous impressive body of patterns,122 listed on Ravelry, and two previous books, Going Straight and Wee Woolly Toppers. This woman knows where her inspiration lies, and she's a fuzzy, stylish force to be reckoned with in the world of headgear. Woolly's patterns range from her lighthearted Jester Hat to the structurally-complex Brownie with an impressive style range including chullos, berets and baby hats.
Woolly, like the Knitcircus crew, believes that its important to create designs for every member of the family, including babies, toddlers and menfolk. Her new book offers styles and sizes for everyone, with some playful styles available for adults and sophisticated ones for kids.
My all-time fave from the collection is Lollie, which I can totally see knitting for my twin nephew and niece. The braid and the variegated yarn interact so delightfully, and the pointed, knotted top bit adds the perfect elfin touch. Like many of Woolly's patterns, the instructions include sizes all the way up to 24', so an impish grown-up woman or man could make and wear this hat, too.
Tinker's another favorite, also offered in a full size range.
The cover hat Slable would make a perfect gift (maybe for my mom…).
And the Freccia hat, well, I'd love to knit that one for myself….
And Chevron looks like fun to knit…
Woolly's worked hard and become a master at her craft. Her book's published by a small press, Arbour House; Knitcircus is an independent publication and we like to support other small businesses whenever we can, especially when women and moms are at the helm! Woolly and her small press publisher/partner have found an elegant solution to the challenges of traditional self-publishing, with an arrangement that allows Woolly to retain the rights to and self-publish her online book, while creating wholesale and retail batches of print copies with Arbour House.
Valuing designers is central to the Knitcircus mission– that's why we only run our patterns for three months, so that the designers can use them in any way they see fit once the next magazine goes live.
When people work in partnership like this, creating creative solutions, the person reading the book gets a professionally-made book and the publisher and designer (and their families) benefit directly from your shekels and clams. When the designer retains the rights, you know that she's using the patterns exactly the way she wants, is getting full credit and setting her own prices. So as well as supporting small presses, purchasing patterns directly from the designer's a good way to get the satisfaction of supporting her right at the source.
Speaking of which, Woolly's Hat Genius just keeps rolling, and her new Bubbles Pattern is available on her website, now too!
Dang, the cuteness! The softy fleece makes the child and hat even more adorable.
Today's the last stop on the Woolly Toppers Blog Tour, and all the past ones have been fun and informative, with everything from interviews with Woolly to a test-knitter's inside view to an exploration of actually knitting some of the hats. So please check these out if you haven't already:
Congratulations to Woolly on her book chock-full of architectural and surprising patterns, and wishing her lots of success in the future! Thanks for sharing your Hat inspirations with all of us.
Quick update: the generous and accomplished designer Wendy Johnson, article author for the current issue, is giving away a bunch of Knitcircus Summer 2010 Pattern Collections and subscriptions on her Wendy Knits blog! Don't miss your chance to win…