This interview with Katya Frankel is a stop on her blog tour for her new book, Boys Knits.
So let’s start with What exactly is a Blog Tour? A blog tour is a way for knitting authors to get their work into the hands of industry professionals and knitters, and gives the bloggers a chance to knit from and or review their books. It’s a great way for indie artists to get the word out without being backed with the big dollars of major publishing houses.
An Interview with Katya Frankel Author of Boys Knits
What’s the best thing you’ve experienced when writing a book full of knitting patterns?
To be able to work on a whole collection devoted to one topic only is immensely satisfying! I could play with all the little details, like loose collars and misplaced patterns and more invisible [to the wearer] details that concentrate on knitting techniques was fun. I didn’t have to limit myself to just showcasing one particular detail or style of a sweater but could put anything that worked together.
Also the fitting days were a little nerve racking. Would the sweaters fit the way I wanted them to? Would they be comfortable to wear? With every sweater in the book, I imagined how it would be worn and tried to capture the character and feel of each piece. Obviously the fitting days were worrying, but the moments when everything works out well and the fit is good, you’d hear a casual ‘I’d like a jumper like this one to wear’ from one of the boys, seeing that I was on the right track was very fulfilling.
What’s the most difficult thing you’ve experienced when writing a book full of knitting patterns?
Writing a book full of knitting patterns was easy. My head is full of raw ideas, a random mix of design elements to be included in a sweater, hat and what not. They just need time to get to that stage of almost ready to be put on paper and tested. Writing a book was the hard part for me. Patterns are a form of technical writing, they are almost like a flat-pack manual, except instead of moöse you end up with a comfortable woolly goodness. They always start with a list materials and follow a particular direction, they vary of course depending on what steps needed to get to the end result. That was quite easy too.
It’s the pre-word to patterns, the things to know before you begin knitting sweaters part that caused me most headache. It’s putting my thoughts on paper, talking to the knitter-reader as you would to somebody I know and trying to be clear that was a challenge to me.
How do you feel about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
Although I’ve been self-publishing single patterns for a while, I never actually worked on a project as large as this one before. I can estimate the effort and money it takes to put a book out as a publisher and now have gone through the whole process with Cooperative Press I am entirely convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own.
The big positive of working with Cooperative press that apart from assuming the costs related to print publishing, promotion and distribution, I was given complete creative freedom to decide what designs to include, techniques to showcase and instructions to enclose. I concentrated solely on the book, its designs and what else I wanted to put into it without worrying about the mechanics of putting the book out. I was very fortunate to have worked with wonderful people, Elizabeth Green-Musselman who edited the book and Alexandra Virgiel who tech edited the patterns, both were great to work with and I honestly couldn’t have done without them.
What do you find rewarding as a knitwear designer?
I find that creating something new is very rewarding for me on a personal level. This process of starting with an idea and figuring out how it can be expressed in a garment, playing with details to make patterns interesting and easy to follow, sometimes getting it right, sometimes not so much but always trying to get better at both designing and pattern writing. I feel very lucky to o what I love, enjoy my work and push my creative limits a little further with each design.
Find the Remaining Stops on the Katya Frankel Boys Knits Blog Tour Below
October 9, 2012 – Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches
October 12, 2012 – Joanne Scrace of Not So Granny
October 16, 2012 – Anniken Allis of Confessions of a YarnAddict
October 19, 2012 – Mari Muinonen of MadeByMyself
October 24, 2012 – Woolly Wormhead
October 30, 2012 – Ann Kingstone
November 2, 2012 – Ella Austin of Bombella
November 9, 2012 – Jill Zielinski of Knitterella
November 14, 2012 – Kate Oates of Tot Toppers