The Color Book of Felted Crochet is a project I’ve been working on since early spring. It’s technically my first book (!!) — but since I’m not the designer, there wasn’t a lot for me to blog about during the process. Now that it’s being previewed and seems much more “real” I thought it would be fun to share some more details about it.
The book was a collaboration between me and designer Stina Ramos. Stina is a skilled and imaginative designer. From the outset, Stina and I chose a color palette and talked about garment shapes and styles. We talked about construction and crochet techniques and it turned out we think alike when it comes to crochet. Stina got to work planning designs and came back with sketches, inspiration ideas from magazines and catwalks and we picked 25 projects from among her ideas. (I got to make fun suggestions here and there, like, “how about using hairpin lace for that?” or, “let’s work that sweater from side-to-side”). From there, Stina and I picked yarns and colors. I ordered tons of yarn (that I never got to see) and Stina was off and running designing and crocheting.
There are particular challenges for a designer in a book like this–we didn’t want it to be a standard book of felting projects–we wanted garments, so Stina had to be extra careful when designing to record every little detail about the garment before she felted it so we could write accurate instructions in all the sizes and tell the crocheter exactly how to felt the project. Once Stina had put her ideas on paper, I turned everything into a set of consistent patterns. I worked with technical editors to make sure the patterns are accurate, and graphic designers to create schematics and stitch patterns. I wrote introductions, how-to text, and for the last few weeks I’ve been going through revisions, editing, dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Yes, this was all happening while I was designing and writing The Teddy Bear’s Suitcase, but things seemed to ebb and flow with the two projects so I was somehow able to juggle them both (my family will tell you it was a pretty crazy summer).
The book is scheduled for release in March of ’08, I just discovered (because I couldn’t help checking) that you can already preview (and pre-order) it on Amazon.