18 December 2014

Interview on Denise's Needleworks

And now my interview with the lovely Denise is up on her blog here! Had such fun answering her questions.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

15 December 2014

The Wonders of Violently Domestic

Are you a sock knitter? Then you probably already know the talented Hunter of Violently Domestic and Pantsville Press. I had certainly heard of Hunter and seen her Cabinet of Curiosity books, but because I am (embarassingly) not a sock knitter, I didn't really know too much about her. Thanks to the 2014 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long, I got a chance to check out Hunter's lovely work.

She has 159 designs on Ravelry! one. hundred. fifty-nine. And not just socks, but shawls, hats, cowls, and fingerless gloves, too. There is even a fun, free pattern for your very own whack of tentacles!

Gripping from Violently Domestic
Hunter published her first book, Silk Road Socks, with Cooperative Press back in 2011. Fourteen lovely sock patterns inspired by Oriental rugs. I remember hearing about that book, but it was the first of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet books that really caught my attention:

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet by Hunter Hammersen

Patterns inspired by vintage botanical illustrations?! What a lovely concept (and as an art director, I'm always excited to see work inspired by print publications) to inspire 20 sock and accessory patterns. The cover socks, Chrysanthemum frutescens socks, are my favorite. The photography (and photo direction) is also lovely, and impressive. I mean, how many ways are there to photograph socks (or other small accessories), really? Yet, each one is unique, showing off the details and the yarn.

Of curiosity cabinets in general, Hunter says:

Curiosity cabinets were collections of treasures—fossils and feathers, 
plants and paintings, skeletons and statues—assembled to help their 
owners make sense of the world. Offered here is a knitter’s interpretation 
of a curiosity cabinet. This is a collection, not of rocks and seeds and 
gemstones, but of fancy edgings, delicate lace, and captivating stitches 
all brought together to create charming sock and accessory patterns. 

Doesn't that sound wonderful? Who doesn't love a collection of treasures from the natural world? Hunter followed that up with two more volumes (because it's amazing how many treasures there are to be found once you start exploring):

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II by Hunter Hammersen

Volume II focused on butterflies. Socks, hats, cuffs, cowls, and a lovely shawl.

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume III by Hunter Hammersen
And Volume III (after my own heart) found fodder in the sea. Again, accessories covering all major appendages, my favorite is a jellyfish-inspired chapeau.

Hunter has also published patterns with Knitty, the Rockin' Sock Club, Sockupied, and other highly-regarded publications. But it's her own books that she publishes through her independent Pantsville Press that grabbed my attention. Not only is she prolific, but the production values she brings to her patterns, books, and website are great. In browsing Violently Domestic, I came across a few posts that share some of the book writing/publishing process that you might enjoy: How to Write a Book and How to Organize a Book. But don't stop there! Hunter's blog is full of socks and yarn and cats and all sorts of adventures worth exploring.

What may be most impressive about Hunter and her knitting is her inauspicious beginning as told on her blog way back in ... wait for it ... 2009 (and that post was two years after she first learned to knit!) - what a great story! You've come a long way, lady :)

So, be sure to check out Hunter's blog and book sites, if you haven't already. And don't forget all the other talented designers who are part of the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long this year.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen