Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Review of Hitch - and a Giveaway!

I met Stephannie Tallent in person at TNNA this year. She looked kind of terrified when I said I had submitted a pattern to Hitch, which she edited. I think she was worried I would hate her because it didn’t get in.

On the contrary, I know that sometimes things just don’t fit into a theme. Putting together a collection of knitting patterns is a lot like choosing a portfolio of images. There are always good things that you have to leave out. Also, her rejection note was so nice!

I know that seems like an odd thing to think, but I’ve had some that really left me flat. A very terse: “Not for us.” Or, worse, SILENCE. Silence is definitely the worst. Rejection is a part of any creative endeavor, so it’s nice when someone takes the time to explain why a pattern won’t work for their project. I know time is a problem for a lot of people, but even a few well-worded form letters would help take the sting out of some rejections.

The ebook version of Hitch is out. Paper copies are scheduled to become available very soon. I’m really pleased that Cooperative Press sent me a digital copy to look over - and one to share with you! I read mine on a PC using Adobe Reader. Your experience may vary a little if you are using an iPad or some other tablet.

The book is almost 200 pages long and contains 29 patterns. I love the variety of patterns. There are socks, berets, sweaters (for men and women), various wraps/stoles and fingerless gloves. Twenty-seven different designers wrote the patterns for this book, which really shows Stephannie’s talent as an editor - if it weren’t for the credits, you could easily think they were all done by the same designer.

The cute film-reel style of the table of contents is really fun and makes choosing a project easy. I’m a visual person, so being able to see a photo, even if it’s tiny, helps me choose what I might like to knit. Also, because it’s an electronic book, you can click right through the thumbnail photo to jump right to the pattern. I love it that Cooperative Press is making ebooks that are so functional and going beyond them just being an electronic copy of a paper book.

There is a filmography near the back of the book, for those who are curious but haven’t seen a lot of Hitchcock movies. Basically, you could dial yourself into netflix and have a relatively thorough movie marathon using this list.

Let’s talk about yarn for a minute. Thirty-one companies provided yarn and/or notions support for the book. The list includes relatively large companies like Blue Moon Fiber Arts and wonderful independent dyers like The Verdant Gryphon. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a very large, well-stocked yarn store near you and want to branch out into buying independently-dyed or just very interesting yarns, this is a great list to check out. Links to each yarn company’s website are included.

Charts for patterns are clear and easy to read. Pattern stitches are given as written instructions, too, for the chart-phobic. Sizing is generous. The Greenwich Village Cardigan, for example, goes from XS to 3X. (The Not Your Gal Friday Sweater goes up to 4X.) The Robie Sweater, designed for men, has chest measurements that go from 36” to 54.” I know at least one zippered-pullover-loving woman who would really rock the 36” size. Scared of sewing in zippers? Not to worry, there’s a photo tutorial for that.

Measurements are given in inches and centimeters, so there’s no need to haul out a calculator if you use the metric system. Schematics make it easy to see which size will fit best, but it looks like those measurements are all in inches. Otherwise, I think, there would just be too many tiny numbers to cram onto the page.

In short, there’s something for everyone packed into this volume. Fortunately, I have a digital copy to give away! Just leave a comment on this post by Midnight (New York time) on Wednesday, October 8. Tell me which pattern from Hitch is your favorite (and if you have a favorite Hitchcock movie!)

I’ll use a random number generator to pick from the comments and announce the winner here on October 9, 2013. The ebook will be sent either to your email address or your Ravelry member ID, your choice. Good luck!

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