Thursday, May 24, 2012

California Revival Knits

One of the great things about being a Cooperative Press Author is the opportunity to meet and collaborate with my peers - other wonderful knitters with fabulous visions for changing the knitting world.

One of those wonderful knitters is Stephannie Tallent, also known as StephCat.

We met for the first time at Rhinebeck last year, and we immediately bonded over a mutual love of animals. Like many of us in this business, StephCat has another life: her other identify is as a vet. She nodded her head sagely when I told her about the escapades of our hound-dog Dexter - the look in her eyes said "well, he is a hound, what did you expect?" but she was too polite to say it out loud.

Steph and her husband have an English Cocker Spaniel, Rigel, who has also been known to indulge in a little mischief once in a while. And they have three beautiful Tonkinese cats, one of whom is featured in her book, California Revival Knits.

Yes, Stephannie just published her first book, California Revival Knits.

The book contains 14 designs, all inspired by California Revival style of architecture and design.

The designs are stunning.... these Peacock fingerless mitts are haunting my dreams....

but I think the best part of the book is Steph's discussion of the California Revival style and the inspirations for her designs. You can see all 14 designs on Ravelry.

Another thing we have in common is that we both work as tech editors for other designers - and we have the same trepidation of being tech edited ourselves.. After all, says the little voice in the back of your head, we should know better. In Steph's words: "...mostly I feel really stupid when someone else finds my mistakes. Invariably some are found. But then, I catch mistakes in other tech editor's patterns (I often swap tech editing with other designer/tech editors). I'm really leery of the quality of a pattern when someone blithely announces they don't bother using tech editors.m It just can be so hard to see your own mistakes, especially when you've totally immersed yourself in your pattern." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Also, this makes me feel better since Steph edited my own book, and I know she found mistakes.

I asked Steph about what she learned while writing the book, and I found something else we have in common: when we want to learn a new technique, we challenge ourselves to design with it... in particular, she mentioned that her intarsia skills are much better than the used to be. And with those Peacock Mitts, I can see why!

Did I mention how much I love the Peacock Mitts?

It's not all colourwork (phew!), there's some beaded knits, some fabulous twisted stitches and some really great lace. And you know that being a tech editor, Steph's patterns are well written and easy to follow.

Buy a digital or physical copy here.

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