My Second Thesis, or, The Birth of A Collection
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be writing this post -- it's been a loooong time coming, and I feel like I've spent a year holding out on you about the knitting that was actually going on here behind the scenes. It felt so wrong to be knitting my fingers to the bone on this end, with a quiet lack of output on the blog. Well, it's finally time to come clean and show you what I've been referring to over the last nine months as my Second Thesis.
I'm happy to introduce Made in Brooklyn - a collection of original handknit designs in natural fibers, published with Classic Elite yarns and available beginning next week.
As you well know, the last year was a trying one here as I was finishing up my MFA and thesis, teaching and photographing regularly. So when the opportunity to take on a project like this presented itself, I was convinced I was absolutely crazy to take on an additional commitment of this magnitude and almost surely doomed to drive myself into the ground and bring all my projects crashing down along with me in the process. And yes, the last 11 months have not been without their low points, but now that the dust has settled and all is said and done, I'm so glad that the wonderful folks at CE trusted me enough to give me this period to work up this book.
The process started very organically and blossomed out of multiple friendly discussions that I was having last September with my dear friend Pam Allen, the artistic director of Classic Elite and designer extroidinaire, but most of all an absolute golden sweetheart. I had been expressing my desire to continue exploring new directions in print publishing for the yarn shop community while still being able to keep my online distribution and the independent publishing mojo that I love so much about the internet, Ravelry, etc.
We ultimately came up with a new model in which Classic Elite would give an independent designer like me the opportunity to create a publication of designs in which I was given complete creative control over designing, pattern writing and photography, while retaining the rights to my work and the ability to distribute them as online PDF downloads as well as having them available in print at your local yarn shop. Needles to say I was thrilled!
And I couldn't have been luckier to be working with a company whose range of yarns is absolutely epic. As a designer, having such a solid range of high quality, natural fibers in a wide range of weights, constructions and colors seemed like such a dream-opportunity. And it really has been a wonderful, wonderful process.
The booklet features 13 original designs that run the gamut from simple, versatile accessories to major sweater projects for both men and women to long-term lace projects. My ever-present bug for colorwork was seriously indulged so if you're a lover of stranded knitting be sure to give the patterns a look! You'll also see a range of fibers used -- wool (of course, and lots of it!), cashmere, alpaca, silk and angora -- oh my, what fun! I had a WONDERFUL time putting these pieces together. And as I said before, I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be able to share them with all of you.
The designs in the book are all named after streets in Brooklyn and I shot all the photography on location in the streets here - which I thought was only fitting, as they are such a constant source of inspiration for me in my knitting and designing.
Now for the technical details: The book will be arriving in shops later in the week, so be sure to check your local LYS for details and yarn selection. Online sales will begin through Classic Elite's website mid-week, and pre-orders have already begun so if you prefer to go that route, please visit their site here.
As I mentioned before, the patterns will also be available for download as individual PDFs. The three patterns above will be available for purchase online immediately upon release of the book next week - both on Ravelry and here at Brooklyn Tweed. The remaining designs will become available as PDF downloads in the Spring.
Over the next week or so I'll be doing more in-depth coverage with plenty of photos here on the blog to introduce you to the new collection and these wonderful yarns, and catch up on showing you FO's from the past year! Stay tuned for more images and info on the patterns.
Before I end, I want to thank everyone for sticking around here on the blog through sparse times and for your continued support with my designs and photography. I very much hope you enjoy knitting this collection of designs -- I thought long and hard about enjoyable and intuitive ways to put these pieces together in hopes that you'll get as much enjoyment out of their making as I did. Thank you all so much.