Friday, 19 April 2013

Book-tastic Blog-tastic

Hi Gang,

It's less than two weeks now until Book Day. Wowzers.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, my first book 'Knit Your Own Moustache' is released on May 2nd. Properly exciting. If you want to get ahead of the game, it's available for pre-order on Amazon here.

For a brief few hours a couple of days ago it was actually in the Top 100 Selling Knitting Books on Amazon. Obviously not any more, but not bad going for a book that's not out yet, I suppose. I took a screenshot for posterity!

With the big B-Day impending, I've actually spent the last few weeks writing more than I probably did for my book itself! I've written two magazine interviews - one for the third issue of Crafty Magazine and one for the next issue of Mollie Makes. The latter are in fact doing a bit of a feature with a pattern from the book, so I'm really excited to see that next month!

This week I also wrote a blog for my publishers' website which you can find here:

Or to save you some effort, I've posted it below! Enjoy kids xx

So I’ve written a book. An actual book that real people can buy in proper shops. Wowzers. This is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was wee, and now I have realised a dream. To be fair, I’d never imagined it would be a book about knitted facial hair, but these surprises are certainly the joy of life!
In all seriousness, I have loved making Knit Your Own Moustache. I am very proud of the end result, and the process has been a great experience.
There’s a slight clue in the title, but in case you haven’t spotted it, the book is about knitting moustaches and patterns thereof. But it is not this alone, oh no – it is in fact a selection of patterns to knit and crochet your own variety of disguises. What this basically meant for me was that for the duration of my designing and writing it, I had an excuse to wear ridiculous things most of the time. Hurrah. I’ve been knitting beards and moustaches for a few years now for my shop Wife of Brian, so I’m reasonably familiar with the world of daft. As a result, I’m always open to a bit more silly and at times I really did get carried away creating for this book! I talked to a lot of people, looked at loads of pictures, sketched plenty of ideas and, best of all, wore a plethora of silly hats, wigs and masks to work out what I, my friends, and hopefully some real people, would most enjoy in this pattern book.
Once I’d come up with a few ideas I then had the fun of making them a reality. One thing I love about knitting and crochet is that if you can imagine something, there is a way to make it. The fun part is figuring out how! In the old days I used to be a mathematician (of sorts) and so sometimes I like to be very systematic about how I go about things. Hence, for some of my designs, the graph paper came out and I employed a lot of logic before I even picked up any wool. For others the kooky lady took control and I just made it up as I went along! But everywhere I went I took the latest project and my notes – thank goodness I didn’t lose that notebook!
I have quite an unusual job, working in theatre. Thankfully this means that I work with creative and quirky people who generally don’t bat an eyelid if I smuggle some wool backstage. And I had to do a lot of that to squeeze everything in. (Thank you for your patience, Team Theatre.) As is always the nature of things in my work, the deadlines would always fall during particularly busy periods so any free minute was filled with knitting and I know I sent in a lot of my text amongst the (very) wee hours of the morning. But when you’re enjoying your work, whatever it may be, you don’t resent that. Well, not much. All I can say is, if I sound a bit bonkers in the book (and now, in fact), I can only blame it on a lack of sleep rather than an innate madness …
My publishers and everyone working on this book have been all sorts of brilliant. One thing I have especially loved is the freedom and trust I have been shown and the amount of involvement I have had. We had a great day in the wilds of Dalston taking pretty pictures of my silly things on the faces of a few of my brave friends. Everyone that was there that day got involved with ideas and although it was a long and exhausting day we had a lot of fun. You’ll see in the book how great the photos look and what a daft time we had.
Anyway, I now have in my hand an actual copy of Knit Your Own Moustache. It even has a barcode so it must be real. I am absolutely delighted with it and every minute of theatre/woolly multi-tasking was definitely worth it. If you happen across a copy, I welcome you madly to my bonkers knitty world. Happy moustache-ing, all.

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