Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meet Deborah Newton, Author of Finishing School + A Giveaway

Deborah Newton knitting and smiling!
Today I have a very special interview with Deborah Newton, a long-time knitting friend of mine..... Deborah is a legend in knitwear designer circles. Her work is meticulous and inspired, finished impeccably and so well thought out that it that each sweater she designs belongs in a class all its own.
I first met Deborah when I began my job as Creative Director at the yarn company back in the early 80's. I called her up (on the telephone - no email then - I still have her # memorized in my head - scary) and was struck by her strong Rhode Island accent. Deborah submitted a few design ideas to one of my first pattern collections and I commissioned one of them. She was a joy to work with, delivered her project on time, and wrote impeccable instructions. 
Deborah and I then went on a long journey of collaborating on projects for each handknitting pattern collection I developed. Our friendship grew, through knitting. I moved on to my freelance career and we have kept in touch by telephone and email. 

I am so excited that Deborah has authored a new book. It is with my great pleasure that I introduce it here on my blog and offer you a very personal glimpse into the very intelligent, talented and kind and generous designer and author Deborah Newton's life.




KN: You’ve just written a new book called Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters, which I just heard is on Amazon's Top 10 Craft Books List! Wow - how exciting for you! I know for a fact that you are one of the most amazing finishers on the planet. Your attention to detail (in both your pattern writing and your actual garments) always impressed me beyond words when I would open one of your beautifully wrapped boxes when I was the Creative Director at The Yarn Company. Tell us how you learned to finish your knitwear so meticulously.

DN: FINISHING SCHOOL is a very personal book.  It is the story of my own journey through finishing, the telling of what works for me.

I was never trained to finish knitting in a traditional way -- whatever that is!  I might have read snippets about finishing in my early years, but I disagreed with a lot of it.  I just figured things out for myself depending on the needs of the project in my hands.  If I wanted things to look a certain way, and I experimented -- often on my initial swatches -- to get the effect I wanted. 

I always tell students that a knitter’s eye always goes automatically to a flaw in a garment.  Think about it -- when you see a sweater, your eye scans the piece and –unfortunately!-- it is always an area of awkwardness that jumps out.  That wiggly buttonband, the scrunched up seam, the neckline rib that is too tight…  I never wanted glitches like that to be apparent in my garments.   So I worked hard at refining the details at the end of a project.  

I just love the moment of perfection when a sweater is DONE, and I know my yarn company and magazine clients appreciate that too!

KN: I know you are a fanatic about perfection when it comes to your books. Your first book “Designing Knitwear” is still in print after how many years? How long did it take to create your latest book? And are you thinking about Book No. 3?

DN:  My book DESIGNING KNITWEAR has been in print for 21 years.  I am amazed!   It took a LONG time to write that book, a few years, and it would not have been except for the guidance of my editor Christine Timmons who encouraged me to get my process down on paper.  It was so challenging, but I learned so much.  I was an inexperienced writer, my mother was very ill at the time, and I found it to be an excruciatingly difficult project.  But somehow it got done.

On the other hand I found FINISHING SCHOOL to be a much more enjoyable project, despite the many challenges!  No book is easy to do: it is a juggling act to integrate projects with text and technique, but I am a little more experienced writer and designer these days.  It took about a year, working at pretty much breakneck speed.  Two unforeseen challenges were the fact that Paul and I moved during the process (after living in one place for over 30 years!) AND I broke my elbow. 

I have also done a few pattern books for Leisure Arts Publishing that I am proud of: DEBORAH NEWTON’S CABLE COLLECTION, and WARM WEATHER KNITS.  Leisure Arts will be publishing my book of baby knitwear in 2012 -- I am very excited about this!  Cute stuff, I think....

I do have a strong idea for one more personal-style “reference-type” book.  I am taking a little break now from books -- well-deserved, I think! --  but I am looking forward to stepping into that project in the future. 

KN: Deborah, I’ve known you and your partner Paul for over 20 years now. I know he is a science fiction writer. How does he contribute to your books? Being an author myself, I know that you need the support of your family to help out.

Deborah and Paul at one of his Sci-Fi Book Events
DN: Paul and I started freelancing together at the same time, each in our own fields.  Paul writes fiction (his short story collection STEAMPUNK TRILOGY pretty much kickstarted the steampunk movement) and he does a regular book review column for the Barnes and Noble website, called THE SPECULATOR.  I would not do my design work if not for Paul: he is much more organized than I am, and holds our busy life together.   Paul ‘s orderly and calm “yin” balances my rather scatterbrained and messy “yan”.   Also, when you lead a busy freelance life, it is almost essential to share it with someone who understands the notion of DEADLINE..

Paul sees and reads everything I design and write and I read everything he composes: we comment and suggest to each other. We are both totally in sync with each other: we get our jobs done with the help of each other. Our life is very efficient, and those who know us can tell you we do not waste much time. We do enjoy our work, and the life together that makes it possible.

KN: I love all the beautifully photographed swatches in Finishing School. You, like I, live and breathe by the swatch. But I constantly hear from knitters, oh, I never swatch. What are your best “words of wisdom” for getting my readers to swatch?

DN: Since the moment I saw the completed book I said that Diane Lamphron, my art director, deserves more credit -- she made me look good!  The design of the book is gorgeous! 

I agree that the swatch is the essential element of my work, and your work too Kristin!  Sure, I think you can get away without swatching if you don’t mind ripping and making errors, and if you are not concerned about time! 

Some of the many swatches presented in Finishing School
But you and I have no time to make mistakes.   As a professional, the swatch helps me to explore and solidify ideas, and test my finishing.  And it allows my clients to see my work ahead of time -- and they trust the idea that I am presenting. 

I think you will agree, Kristin: I always say that the swatch never lies!  It tells the story of a project long before the project is begun!  Then the knitting can proceed smoothly. 

KN: Oh how I agree with you on the Diane Lamphron Art Director Love. She is fabulous! She did the Art Direction on my book Color By Kristin

I love all the detail shots in Finishing School showing how to actually do finishing. Are those your hands? Were you there at the shoot for the how to? 

One of the excellent how-to photos
 DN: It was a lot of fun setting up those shots, and my editor Michelle Bredeson and my art director Diane Lamphron were very creative.  Due to the nature of finishing, the photography for the book had to be done in two stages.  Before I could complete the sweaters we shot the pieces and the “process” how-to shots in NYC.  Those ARE my hands, and I was present for all of those shots.  

Deborah's Knitting Studio in Providence
Then I went home to Providence and completed all the sweaters.  Then I sent the completed sweaters back to Sixth and Spring and the model shots were taken.  I did all the finishing on all the sweaters, except I remember my friend Barbara Khouri, who helped with the technical end of the book, helped me embroider the plaid lines on the collars and cuffs!  I worked down to the wire…

KN: For years, you didn’t teach much on the road but recently I have seen your name popping up on teacher rosters. Where will you be teaching next and what is the subject of the classes?

DN: I am not able do much teaching because of my second less-visible life!  I also work part time in my family’s map business:  MAPS FOR THE CLASSROOM.  We design and publish educational maps for kids.   So I am  there every morning/early afternoon, for several hours.  These are our websites: 
 
But lately I have been finding time to do some teaching and enjoying it very much.   I was at VK LIVE this year: January in NYC, and September in LA.  It was a blast: I enjoyed it very much.  I will be at VK LIVE as well as TNNA in January 2012 as well.  It is hard for me to get away, but I have been able to do a little on-the-road stuff.

KN: Wow - Deborah - you are one very busy woman. I looked at the website for Maps for the Classroom and recognized your illustrations. It is so nice to see you having success in another area different than knitting. 

But back to the knitting..... Do you have a favorite knitting book that you turn to again and again?

DN: I have all my dog-eared Barbara Walker PATTERN TREASURIES close at hand at all times.  The spines are all broken and the pages littered with post-it notes and scribbles.  I have been fortunate to get to know Barbara since I interviewed her by phone for an article I did about her for Interweave Knits.  But finally I had the extreme pleasure of meeting The Goddess of Knitting herself face-to-face: I introduced her at the annual luncheon of the Greater Boston Knitting Guild last May.  It was a huge moment for me—to meet with someone whose work I admired and who has been such an inspiration to me.  AND she signed my broken-down copy of the First Treasury!  

Deborah and Barbara Walker
KN: When you are not knitting, designing and writing, what else do you like to do? And how does knitting inform it?

DN:   Paul and I are very involved with our families and family life: we have no children but lots of nieces and nephews, and many of our family members are here in RI where both Paul and I were born and have always lived.

I am a long-time Iyengar-style yoga practioner.  I do yoga every evening while Paul reads many newspapers.  We love music of all kinds and listen to a new CD every day at that time: we call it the Yoga/Music Hour.  Yoga has helped me focus more effectively on my work and maintain the energy my active schedule requires.  For someone who has to sit for long periods, yoga has helped me physically very much as well. 

Deborah and Paul's Cocker Spaniel Brownie
I adore living in Providence, which is a very young colorful vital city.  I also love to garden, both flowers and vegetables.  Paul and I have been members of a Community Garden at the Urban Environmental Lab at Brown University for over 25 years.  At our new digs, I recently became interested in growing roses. 

Paul and I LOVE old movies and we watch one every night at 10 PM.  I take inspiration from the clothes of the 1930s and ‘40s.  We share our busy lives with our beloved chocolate cocker spaniel Brownie.  We also keep company with a bad biting cat named Penny Century, whose name is a tribute to my favorite comics artists, the Hernandez Brothers, Jaime and Gilbert, of LOVE AND ROCKETS fame.

My life is very full, and as challenging as the freelance life can be, I have been privileged to do the work I love, as well as share vital work with my family at the map business.  I have made many wonderful friends over the years thanks to my knitting and designing -- definitely one of the great perks of working in this field.  My brother says I will never retire!  Maybe he is right....

KN: Okay all - put this book on your Christmas list. You will not be disappointed. But lucky for one of you, Sixth and Spring Books has kindly donated a copy of Deborah’s new Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters to one of my lucky readers. To enter, please leave the answer to the following question from Deborah Newton in the Comments section of this post.

This question is from Deborah to all of you….
"What is the book that is missing from your knitting library?-- perhaps one that has not been written yet...."

As always, please leave an easy way to get a hold of you. Contest ends Sunday evening November 20th at 11:59 p.m.

115 comments:

Mary G said...

"What is the book that is missing from your knitting library?-- perhaps one that has not been written yet...."

Well, I'd have to say I've yet to see book that delves into the knitwear-design for kids and men ... and none that I own (or seen) have much on grading patterns to fit multiple sizes.

Mary G.
www.marygildersleeve.com
bhwh.mary@gmail.com

Dianna said...

I have many books - too many pattern books since there are always more being printed and I don't do much designing on my own. I love Barbara Walker's book as pattern inspiration and have used it many times. I never thought about learning more about finishing though - so I guess my library is missing Deborah's new book. I'd love to have it! If I don't win, it will be on my "to get" list and maybe one of my family will gift me with a copy for Christmas! Dianna @ much2knit@hotmail.com

Jane said...

I am quite a new knitter, so I don't have too many books yet. A book on finishing would be a big help to me. The main book I turn to is Knitting for Dummies.
Jane

Sally said...

Well, obviously, Finishing School! :)
I also think Clara Parkes Knitter's Book of Yarn and KB of Wool are essentials that I don't have. Good question! Thank you BOTH for your inspiration, patterns, books, and the chance to win.

Susan ERHARDT said...

What book is missing?

A good on on finishing! It seems like most patterns simply assume you know how to finish something. Too many times I have finished a project and have not been happy with the end result primarily due to finishing.

mary kate said...

Although an intermediate knitter, I am also a librarian so I have quite a few books on knitting. Most are pattern centered but I would love a book that shows the nuts and bolts of designing simple patterns for an intermediate knitter. Kristin's book's do this effectively for using color....now I have to learn how to design the garment itself as well???

Betty said...

Finishing School is missing from my library, and I would so like to win it!

Taloferia said...

I am very picky about what books I bring permanently into my home, and I must say, this one will be coming in. I LOVE finishing books. As for what's missing right now...I would love a book that delves more into the history of knitting, in the context of the current 'boom'...something that explores both the history and the future.

patty in maryland said...

I would love this title and Shirley Paden is the other author.


Patty in Maryland

Elizabeth D said...

I had no idea there was a specific Rhode Island accent!! Now I am intrigued. . . have always wanted to visit Providence, so now I have another reason.

Oh, how I need this book on finishing!! I always do one little thing that doesn't satisfy me when I'm putting something together.

The book that hasn't been written yet (or, if it has, I've missed it) is one that would bridge the gap between being a knitter and becoming a designer. I know most designers kind of get there on their own, but a book that would help in learning to understand the elements of knitting construction and how to get your idea out of your head thoroughly enough that the good knitter could then take her knowledge and run with it to create her own design would speak to many.

broadcasting from a knitting parlour said...

There may have been some attempts, but I would still love to see a book that addresses from-the-sheep-handspun yarn - only.

The peculiarities of dealing with "live" yarn (as opposed to yarn spun from treated, e.g. superwash, fiber, or blends) are unique. Many recent books take a swipe. But, I have some real live issues that have not been noted anywhere - yet. Maybe I have to write the darn book.

Raising sheep for fiber makes for exciting process and product. I know I'm not alone.

PS I still have a RI accent too, even though I shepherd in NoFla.

Cheers! for all the hard work!

Linda said...

A book on finishing (which I hate to do) is what's missing from my library. I'd also like a book that would help me get the ideas in my head out and onto my needles. I find myself putting together ideas from two or more patterns when I'm making something, but sometimes it seems in a haphazard way. Something that would help me organize this in a logical way would be wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I do need a good book on finishing. So I guess Deborah's book is it... I love knitting books, so all of them have a place in my heart (and library)... But my favs would have to be those on socks and lace, my two long-time obsessions. This Angelino rarely needs heavy wool sweaters, but wool socks and wraps always work here... And both of those are just so elegant in their construction!

KorieBethBrown@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I could definitely use more patterns for men, and I should specify that I would like more current fashion patterns. :) Mrs. Newton's book is on my Christmas list though! I find knitting sweaters for adults a bit daunting, especially when it gets to putting all my pieces together. I look forward to reading/referencing it!

Katie W. (kathryn.beckwith@gmail.com)

Bridget said...

Finishing! I'm not quite good enough yet to do much on modifying patterns or designing and I prefer to buy single patterns rather than books of patterns.

Julie said...

Other than the obvious finishing book, I'd like a book with simple sweater patterns in many gauges and sizes. Just sweaters - so that when I find a really cool yarn, I can just pull the book from my shelves and start knitting instead of trying to redo the math on whatever simple pattern I have (that never seems to be the right gauge!).

Marianne said...

Well, the finishing book sounds amazing! But a book on how to make intelligent substitutions for patterns, showing examples would be great. And a men's knitwear book, with Stephen West/Brooklyn Tweed type designs.

CB said...

The book I'd like to see would have to have a lot of magic in it. I knit left-handed (i.e., backwards - long story how that happened!), which means I have to reverse all the instructions. Coupled with that is my complete inability to "see" patterns or understand many written directions - I just don't get them. My magic book would have both clearly written directions and illustrations for everything, would always use two or more colors to show the yarn and technique, AND would include the reverse instructions for complicated stuff for backwards knitters like me. Like I said, this is a magic book! That said though, I actually like finishing projects, and would love to learn how to do it better. If I'm lucky enough to win, email cb@haunted-river.net. Thanks!

Lindsay K said...

How can you teach others to knit?? I'm terrible at explaining what to do, which is very embarrassing when friends and neighbors ask for help. We both end up feeling pretty stupid. I've been knitting seriously for over ten years and learned the basics as a toddler, so I have a hard time knowing what people get confused about and how to explain it to them.

shortoldlady said...

The book I wish I had (or rather wish there was available) is one that would teach me to accept my work as being "pretty darn good" and not the unsatisfactory blob that I see. Hopefully this is the book that will transform me! I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I love books that tell me about the designers and how they became knitters and designers. "Knitting in America" by Melanie Falick is what I mean. There are a lot of new designers, and I'd like to know a little bit about them. I have enough patterns, what I need is the inspiration! I am bfmeyersATmetrocastDotnet. Thanks!

Barbara M.

Jaye said...

Deborahs book will be a welcome addition, being a beginning knitter. I'm also wanting a book that will help me understand yarn substitutions better.

susie said...

I am missing a good book on finishing. I am always getting new knitting books, but my finishing could use help. I live Deborah 's designs. I have knit quite a few of her sweaters. Just back from Peru I have a lot of alpaca yarn to knit up.

Lynne said...

I would really love a comprehensive finishing book. My Mom taught me to knit when I was six years old and I've been knitting ever since. My finishing techniques, generally self-taught, have evolved over the years, but it would be wonderful to have a reference guide from a knitting expert.
lynne@homeinthecity.us

Mrs. Hill said...

I would love this book and will have it one way or another...but to answer the question I would have to agree with Mary G in that there are very few GOOD resources if any for Teen Boys or Men. I'd also like to see something, and maybe I just haven't looked enough on things like pleating. I remember an article I had in one of my magazines that gave some information, but when you are designing you can never have enough references, tools, materials and INSPIRATION!!!! -- I'm just returning to designing from oh let's just say the 80s...LOL

Anonymous said...

Finishing School! From quique on Ravelry

Jo Morgan said...

What a question! Knowing what is missing is a tough one! I think a beautiful and illustrated finishing book is definitely one that is missing...at least until now. A Barbara Walker treasury with color photographs would be divine.

This was a great post and it was fun getting to know Deborah better.

Jo

P.S. I am easily reached by e-mail and check in on your blog several times a week. I was not sure how to leave my e address without having it appear on my comment.

Bonnie said...

I'd love to have more information about steeking. I've read a lot about hot to cut, but not a lot about how the resulting edges are secured. As someone who doesn't own a sewing machine, I feel scared!

barbara said...

What a nice interview. She may be as busy as you are. Both of you are an inspiration.

Diane in Chico said...

I'd love a complete finishing bible in searchable ebook format. I'm looking forward to Debbie's book in ANY format.

Sharon said...

I think I would love to add any book of knitting that contains a lot of history both in pictures and words. It could be of a region and its knitting history or of a person who shaped the knitting world. Something like that.

thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

The missing book in my collection needs to be written-designing in lace!

Finishing skills are an art and would love the book
Gratitude123@hotmail.com

Cinnamon said...

I'd love to have a book that is layed out like the pattern books, little knitted swatches of the pattern pictured by the instructions, but instead of patterns, it would be examples of all the various ways to shape knitting, i.e. all the decreases compared side by side etc. There may already be a book like this out there and I just don't have it in my library!

Bonnie said...

I love Deborah Newton's Designing Knitwear and look forward to adding her new book to my collection.

I agree with a previous poster that I would love to see a design book focused on grading.

bluepeninsula AT gmail DOT com

Robin Allen said...

Great interview! Deborah Newton is a true treasure to knitters. I'll have to wait to get her book because Amazon is temporarily out of stock.

I'd like to see a book that gives you options for making something work that you have messed up beyond help. Like if a cabled sweater you knit from the bottom up is too short, you can't really pick out the rib and knit down to make it longer. So what would it look like to make the rib much longer, or add on with a different cable pattern, or some lace.

meppybn said...

It would be this one, I think! Even though I have been knitting for years and years and years, I have never been very impressed with my sewing up etc. I just learned to do the mattress seam for side seams this past year and am amazed at the difference it makes to the finished seam. I am sure Deb's book will be an invaluable addition to my library:)

meppybn said...

Oops, forgot contact info -
k1w1 at olypen dot com

PJ said...

It's probably Deborah's new one! I have a few books on finishing that just don't do it for me. It sounds as if her book might make me think through my projects beforehand, not just fiddle through the finishing when it's time to accomplish it.

I can be reached at pj456rosenthal at sbcglobal dot net

710 East Myrtle Avenue said...

I have no finishing books in my library and would love to get acquainted with Deborah's book.
Thank you for a great interview and give-away!

eevavalentine AT gmail DOT com

Connie said...

I have many books, but none on finishing...so I'd have to say Deborah's book!

Connie
tcrpm at sonic dot net

Beth in Maryland said...

Great interview! thanks to both of you.

Chppie said...

That's a really good question. I do think a good finishing book will be a great help to me.

I probably also need a "what to do when you don't love it" - things like troubleshooting what's wrong with it and what options are out there. Sometimes I don't love it but don't have the heart to frog it or give it away either.

Dani Vilella - Vacabella Knits said...

Most of my books are pattern books. I had an encyclopedia of knitting but it was destroyed by a busted pipe. I would treasure some new technique books!

Dani Vilella
vacabella@gmail.com

Stella's Mom said...

Wow! I have over 100 knitting books so I really had to think hard to decide what might be missing (once Deborah's book is added to my library).

I would like to see a book that takes standard garment techniques further. I would like a book that showed every useful (beyond the most common) cast on, increase, decrease, and bind off. It would give instruction, with pictures; but, most important, it would explain why/when you would choose one over another. And, throw in some beautiful patterns to illustrate, by example, the chosen cast on, increase/decrease and bind off.

busgirl said...

Initially, I had no patience for finishing, but now it brings me a great peace!

I would like a jumping-off point book about short rows and all kinds of options for using them!

yosoyal at aol

fracksmom said...

I am one of those that rarely swatches, and other than an old book that has stitches, all of my books are pattern books, so I would think this book will be the start of my knitting library

fracksmom on ravelry

Anonymous said...

This would be the book I'm missing---need help with finishing.

lorraine said...

this book! ;) also id like some of barbara walker stitch dictionaries and some of ez's books..i guess im missing all the classics :)

raineoc@yahoo.com

Savannagal said...

There are so many great books out there. I don't have any of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries yet and I'd like to own a copy of In Sheep's Clothing some day. But Finishing School sounds like such a great book. I have so much to learn about finishing. I've never even completed a pullover or cardigan yet. If I don't win the book, I'll surely buy it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Linda said...

My husband would probably say I have them all but... A finishing book would be a welcome addition. I'm a self-taught knitter so I always like to learn other ways of doing things.

Margo said...

Missing from my books are the Barbara Walker Pattern Treasuries. Finishing has always been a weak point for me whether it is knit or crochet. I could definitely use some help in ths area.

MicheleinMaine said...

As I branch out from socks and shawls into sweaters I realize I do need a 'finishing' book, so this would be perfect. It sounds so meticulous and thorough, a treat!

Thank you, great interview!
Michele

Emma said...

I would love to have that book. I could definitely use that.
My email is toemma@gmail.com

Diana said...

I ordered Deborah's book last week for my birthday. Can't wait to receive it! But just wanted to say thank you for this interview. The part about noticing what's wrong with a piece of knitting really resonated with me as I'm the type who'll ruthless rip out stitches to fix a mistake. My "bete noir" is finishing, so I'm very much looking forward to improve, thanks to Deborah's help. :-)

PghCathy said...

Finishing School is missing from my bookshelf! I have plenty of pattern books, but I also enjoy reading the history of knitting. Not many of that type around.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... I turn to knitting books for inspirtaion frequently - just to look and get ideas for 'what to knit next'. The more beautiful the book the better- with lots of color, beautiful photographs, amazing projects - maybe even a few outrageous projects. I can always use more books like this. I like to knit small, useful things - a lot of gifts. So a beautiful that inspires is always welcome on my shelf or table! Thank you for the great interview - I think this new finishing book will definitely make it's way to my hands!
Anne Paulson paulsons4@arvig.net

Debbie said...

Looks like a wonderful book. I would love to win. Thanks, Debbie H

Diana H said...

I have 150 knitting books in the living room, and at least twice that number in the craft (a.k.a. Junk) room. I do not, however, have Ms. Newton's Designing Knitwear (unless it's the one with the purple cover). I'm going to get that one right now. But I'd love to win Finishing Knitwear.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I've never gotten a stitch guide. Some of my general knitting books have a small collection of stitches, but I don't have anything like the Harmony guides.

Sarah said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks, Kristin.

I came to knitting via sewing, and love to finish things by hand to have them turn out "just so." This new book looks like the perfect tutor for me.

I'd like to do more experimental knitting. Have a couple of books that encourage exploration, but still lacking the perfect one to help someone with no training in art to pursue abstract design....


GrannaSarah

sarahbeth40 at comcast dot net

Jen B said...

The Barbara Walker treasuries. I keep meaning to get them, but haven't yet.

I'm knittingbug on Ravelry & check your blog regularly.

Kathleen C. said...

I had to think about this question for a while. I have a great many books and everything I want/need to know is covered in parts and pieces by each...
I guess I'd like a book that brings it all together. Opening withthe challenges of designing for a larger body and how to make good choices in the basics such as silhouette and fit. Add in tips such as short rows and bust darts, where and how. Then good suggestions for making detail choices including color and stitch textures. Then how to write it out, set up schematics and figure yardage needs.
All of this can be gleaned with a pile of books in front of me (including Deborah's first designing book which I have)... but it'd be nice to have just the one know-it-all compendium of the larger size knitters guide to the best, most beautiful sweater ever!

Tom and Jane said...

Hope that I win because I could use some help in finishing garments.

Chantelle said...

Well I think this book is missing from my library:) This would certainly be a valuable addition as my finishing is a bit weak, especially since I'm self-taught in the world of textiles.

SaraGL said...

I have one slim book about finishing and would love one that goes into greater depth. This new one sounds great!
As far as books I NEED, I'm just starting to spin so I could use some about spinning techniques and patterns particularly for handspun yarns. Also, my library lacks books of stitch patterns, like Barbara Walkers wonderful series. I need to indulge in them one day.

SaraGL said...

Hi, Kristin!
I realize that I'm not sure how to send you a comment so you can get hold of me without publishing my email address in the comment. I have a google account but it's associated with an email address I never use. Is there another way???

Colleen said...

I have had Deborah's Designing Knitwear in my library forever and refer to it often. It was fun to get to know her through this interview. Her new book would fill a hole in my collection.

Colleen
watermelonpoint@gmail.com

Carrie B said...

I think a book that is missing from my library is a book finishing. I have a small finishing book but I do agree that the eye goes immediately to a flaw and I want to fix that problem.

Carrie
badbie@hotmail.com

Leslie Bagatelle said...

I would love to see more books with patterns for men - both young and old. It seems to be a neglected area.
LESLIEB

Patti said...

Perhaps it is this one!

Crabbipatti on Ravelry

Geri said...

My knitting library is missing the Barbara Walker treasuries.

'geri' on Ravelry.

Linda said...

Kristin,

Thank you for this wonderful interview with Deborah! And that you for the opportunity to submit my name into the drawing for the copy of Finishing School.

I have yet to come across a book on techniques and patterns (e.g., socks, hats, mittens) for Intarsia knitting with Magic Loop. Perhaps they exist and I simply have yet to find them???

Thanks, again!

Arlene said...

My library is longing for a copy of Finishing School! I can be reached at thespinartiste@gmail.com

JackieLemon said...

Thank you for the very interesting interview. I've long admired Deborah's designs and am looking forward to getting her new book. Finishing a garment well is something that a lot of knitters overlook. I worked in a yarn store years ago and did the finishing work for customers. It really can make or break the garment. This is a topic that is definitly missing from my library.

KathPatt said...

I loved this interview with Deborah! I think there is a fine line between a project that looks "homemade" and one that looks "handmade"...Deborah's Finishing School will help me move to "handmade"!

I moved from Rhode Island to Annapolis,Maryland several years ago...I miss hearing that Rhode Island accent ..there is nothing else like it!!

Denise P. said...

I just learned to knit last winter and I have not one book on knitting - so I need them all!! This one looks very thorough, and I enjoyed the interview. Thanks.
flgirl1987 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview, thank you.

I think that a book of vest patterns would be nice. There is "Folk Vests" (I think that is the name), but another one would be welcome. There certainly are plenty of shapes, weights of yarn, and patterns that work well with vests.

I welcome another book on finishing. Each author presents details in a different way. I find myself searching through my books to find the one that I understand or works for me.
Paula (purlplessk on Ravelry)

Linda S said...

Linda S Love the interview-good to hear about the well rounded person that Deborah is-sure that adds to her depth of design. I would love the finishing book-seems that interest wanes after the body of knitting is done and would admit that finishing is a weakness.
The book that I would like is one for the beginning knitter-please show what the stitch one is learning looks like on the wrong side. Remember this as a great frustration when first learning to knit. Thanks so much to all you knitting guru's. lssscar@gmail.com

Maureen said...

I had the GREAT pleasure of taking a finishing class with Deborah in Providence at the time she was starting to write this book. She is an extraordinary teacher and knitter, and I purchased the book the first day it was available on Amazon. I've read it cover to cover - and I could hear her voice once again in every page - like sitting and having a cup of tea with an old friend.If I only had one finishing book on my shelf, this would be the one! I'm forever grateful that she wrote this - she has SO much to share! This book is a must-have for any knitter - from beginner to experienced. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Goldiestetten@gmail.com said...

I am a novice knitterso, my library is quite slim.mMost of my library is for scarfs, hats baby things. I also have the "knitters companion" which as of now has been my most helpful tool. I could use a book demonstrating how to create your own pieces with knowledge of basics like measuring and translating that to fit someone.

Cathy said...

One of the knitting books I want is "Design It, Knit It Babies" by Debbie Bliss. I love to knit for little ones! I am also building my library of Elizabeth Zimmerman books - I have The Knitter's Almanac and one other one (on the road, can't go check my bookshelf!). I would love to have this book by Deborah as well as your new book "Wendy Knits Lace".

Laura T said...

I loved reading the interview about Deborah and would love to read the book on finishing. I don't own many knitting books and this one is definitely missing from my small collection and know this would be so helpful as finishing is definitely a challenging area for me. I don't know if there is a book on swatching but it is a weakness of mine so it is good to hear how important it is to both of you.
Lauratawney7 at gmail com ( spaces removed)

bookagent said...

Since I am just starting my knitting book collection almost EVERYTHING is missing. This book would be a fabulous foundation for me! Thanks for the interview.
Pam
phopkin1@rochester.rr.com

Karen said...

This is the book missing from my collection! I have pattern libraries, books on fair isle, books on lace, and books on just about every topic. In every one, finishing is given maybe a chapter.
Good finishing is the difference between something "home made" and "hand made".

Lisa said...

I have lots of sock knitting books and books on fair isle and color work. When it come to finishing ...I kinda wing it...this new book would be a great addition on my shelf.
vivianos3@aol.com

Paula C said...

What is the book that is missing from your knitting library?
It is so hard to define which books that is missing. I think I would love a book that showed pattern swatches front and back. The ultimate knitting book would be a replica of my late Aunt's binder - pages of instructions copied down over the years intermixed with random patterns, ball bands, envolpes with notes and copies of patterns she owned with notes about increases / decreases for us. It looked like a battered cookbook- a knitting cookbook!
Paula
p_calestagneAThotmail.com

Anonymous said...

ok, I've commented once already, but I've got another idea! I could really use the perfect stash buster book! A book full of patterns that one can adapt and incorporate all the yarn laying around to make cool and useful things!

Bonnie said...

a book on how to swatch properly and I love this finishing book. I think most knitter are sorely lacking when it comes to finishing and that's what Makes THE Project. I would love the have this book. Thanks for the opportunity.

Turtle said...

hmmm, aside from your new book... :)... one small sized answering the odd questions intermediate-expert knitters come across that would fit in my knitting bag. So amny out there that i have looked at cover so many really beginner basic questions that it still ends up fairly large or not answering the more experienced questions.

I lived in Misquamicut, working in Watch Hill for 7 years before moving with hubby. I am a new england girl and so miss it! Thayer St was always so fun back then.

TheAntiquePalette said...

Of course this book will be added to my library, it looks like a gotta-have-it!
Deborah's "Designing Knitwear" was a real eye opener for me and is still one of my all time favorite knitting books.
Susie
ooman55@yahoo.com

Anne said...

This is a book not yet in my library which I would love to have! Otherwise, I would like to have a book that does modular sweaters with recommendations on what looks best for different body types. (There have been some wonderful online articles recently about choosing sweater styles that look best.)

The book would allow me to choose different elements and put them together in my most becoming style. V-neck or boat neck? Saddle or inset sleeves? Mix and match!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It inspired me to knit, Tracking the moment of inspiration to the final product. I do not think it has been written yet but I would love a coffee table book on knitting inspirations. Walk me thru that process with several of the great designers of today and I will be in heaven.
Of course is only goes to say if I do not win Finishing School it will still make its way to my book shelf. Margaret
maej2knit@yahoo.com

Debby said...

Finishing School is missing from my library! This is the area of my knitting that needs improvement.

Anonymous said...

a book on common sense finishing has illuded me so far so I would love this book. what book hasn't been written yet for me is a book on 2 color knittingwhich really delves into the how-to's for wrangling the in-the-round sweater into a finished garment. Meg swansen has one coming out soon...it might be the winner for me. wfdmary@aol.com mary in cincinnati

Karen said...

This is the book that I'm missing! I was just lamenting the fact that there are few local yarn stores near me and none of them offer a finishing class. I can figure most things out with a book or youtube but I would really love a class that would make finishing "fun" rather than the drag that it feels like when you've finished knitting.
Thanks for reviewing this book - it's going on my Christmas list if I don't win a copy!KarenBudnick@gmail.com

Elaine said...

This is really a hard question!! I've been knitting since I was 12 (note that I don't say how many years ago that was!) and purchased a stitch dictionary from a yarn company + the 2 Barbara Walker Treasuries. Now I may get a book with a new technique that I'm not familiar with (Knit One Below). Every time I think there is nothing new on the knitting book scene, something exciting comes along. I have Deborah's Designing book and her Finishing book would make a great companion. I tend to buy well-recommended books from people I admire and trust their judgment. Thanks to you, Kristin, I have recently purchased Jane Brocket's Domesticity book and also the 2 Anna books. Jane's book is a bedside read right now while Anna has to wait her turn. If knitters want to see tons of knitting books available they should log on to Unicorn Books.
eblim01@yahoo.com

Joy said...

I think this is the book that's missing from my knitting library. I've loved Deborah's first book and would love to have this one as well!

Pat said...

Finishing School is missing from my library, and I would so like to win it!

Mirjam said...

I would dearly love to go to finishing school, succes lies in the details!

mirjamvdb at telfort.nl

denise said...

of course deborah's book is missing but on the other hand hee hee i would like a book on knittin with one hand i have a fx radius and do miss knitting surg is today thx kn for being such an inspiration to all

Casey said...

Well, Deborahs' book is definitely missing. I would love a book on sizing socks, sweaters, all things knitty for the family.
Casey @ ashefamily@yahoo.com

Tina said...

Well I must have the book! What a valuable resource it will be for knitters now and tomorrow! YAY Deborah, and thanks for the great interview Kristin!

Mary Beth said...

That looks like a great book. I'm waiting for someone to write a book of patterns for older kids--the tween crowd. There are plenty of baby/toddler patterns and quite a few for kids, but those older kids don't get much attention

Helen said...

I am ashamed to say that I do not, as of yet, own any of the Barbara Walker books. It is mostly because I can't decide which one to purchase. I can't get them all at the same time but they really are at the top of my list.
Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

BeachBlythe said...

Lately, I have been favoring books that focus on techniques or stitch patterns. I find that too often I only knit one or two patterns from a book. Finishing is so important and I know that at times it is where I struggle. This book will fill a need area!!!

Brwngrl said...

"The Compleate Book on Steeking - available sometime in the future!

cdeck21@sbcglobal.net said...

Finishing School is the book missing from my library. I've been waiting for this book for a long time! I want it BAD.
Carol

Knitter said...

I'm missing EZ's latest book, the one filled with garter stitch patterns. I love garter since it works so well with variegated yarn=)

schwip said...

Ironically it is a good finishing book. I am an advanced beginner but am terrified of finishing which keeps me from making many lovely things.

Suzanne
schwipknits@gmail.com

Joan C. said...

Mnay many years ago I had a booth that took basic sweater patterns such as pullover and cardigans and gave directions for different sizes and yarn weights. It was my go book when I would knit want to knit in a yarn that was a different weight that given in the pattern. I lost it somewhere and really miss it.

Diane H K in Greenfield said...

A book on finishing is MUCH needed. I LOVE doing finishing work on knitwear, and would like to expand my skills in that department.

Shannon said...

Definitely a finishing book, which is so important in the final appearance of a garment, right?

ikkinlala said...

I'd love to have a book of gloves with fingers - fingerless gloves seem a lot less practical to me.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Patt Ward said...

There's always room for one more book in my knitting library! As a teacher I spent time on finishing with my students. It's not always my favorite part of the process, but I am very particular to get it right and look professional. I would welcome this book from one of my favorite designers! auntiddaknits@yahoo.com

Stitcharound said...

Really enjoyed the blog.
There are many great knitting books missing from my library as I am slowly building it. I would be thrilled to add this to my collection. Thanks for the give away