warm thanks

Well, the book is out, and today Warm Hands is being shipped to knitters all over the world. I do hope you’ve enjoyed our introduction to the project and each of its talented designers in the posts we’ve put together over the past couple of weeks. In a project like this, which involves so many different voices and locales, it felt very important that each designer had the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak about their work. Lots of different kinds of work have gone into developing this project, and making it what it is, and I want to conclude our series of Warm Hands posts by celebrating some of the kinds of work you might not have ever thought about. . .

For example, the unusual and time-consuming work involved on the day Tom and Sam hoisted a camera on a boom arm, and pootled around on their hands and knees, moving all the Warm Hands gloves and gauntlets, mittens and mitts around in a circle, in order to produce this . . .

Shouldn’t all knitting books have their own stop motion film? Tom (who is enjoying making sounds at the moment) also produced the wee jingle accompanying the Warm Hands animation.

Next, I really have to mention Mel. If you are a KDD customer who has ever had a dyelot issue or a missing parcel, you’ll already know that Mel is pretty amazing. In so many respects, she is the unsung heroine of KDD, and that’s certainly the case in this project, in which Mel tested every single pattern in the collection. Warm Hands involves a few brilliant designers who are right at the beginning of their careers, as well as several whose first language is not English. Testing every set of instructions for maximal knit-ability and legibility seemed particularly important – and the rather rigorous process Mel and I developed to test, adjust and edit every Warm Hands pattern was extremely interesting to be a part of – I certainly know more about the varied intricacies of thumb and finger placement than I ever thought was possible.

Next up, Warm Hands‘ brilliant tech editor, Frauke Urban, who whipped all the Warm Hands patterns into publishable shape. Frauke did some test knitting for KDD a couple of years ago, and, after noticing the superb attention to detail in the feedback she provided, we looked her up – and were really happy to discover she worked as a tech editor! Frauke edited the patterns for Knitting Season as well: by now she probably knows the KDD in-house pattern writing style better than any of us.

Next, our fabulous models – Fenella and Jane, Mimi and Samira.

Thankyou, each of you, for your individual energy and distinctive style that helped to bring our vision for the book to life.

Warm thanks too, to Mimi’s talented mum, Gloria Onyekwere, who manages Glasgow hairdressing institution, Glow n Shine – Gloria’s handiwork certainly shines on the book’s cover!

All of us would also like to thank Joe Mulholland and Carole Dunlop from the Hidden Lane in Finnieston, which provided so many colourful backdrops for our location photography (and, very generously, a changing room).

I have to say that Tom’s work on this project has really been above and beyond – from the beautiful location and studio photography . . .

. . .to Warm Hands final graphic design and layout. This is a book with a lot of colour in it – but Tom has developed a thoughtful design scheme that makes the print book feel extraordinarily harmonious, as well as very bold. All of us particularly love the pages Tom’s designed to preface each individual pattern – combining bold blocks of colour – which speak to the palette of each set of photographs – with playful visual elements, echoing the details of each design.

Finally, KDD’s other unsung hero – the incredible Sam!

Sam’s not one for the limelight, but as well as being an indispensable eye on photoshoots and knowing some nifty moves with a pallet truck, he’s also a brilliant writer, and a very talented designer . . . he really can turn his creative hand to pretty much anything and perhaps we’ll be able to persuade him to say more about that here on the blog sometime. Throughout our work on this project, Sam’s spirited good humour has lifted the whole team and kept us all going. Thankyou, Sam.

As you might be able to tell by now, I think that the best thing about this book is its strong sense of shared vision and collective endeavour – and that has been made possible by it being edited by a team rather than an individual. Jeanette and I have had a complete blast working on this project together, and speaking personally, it has been absolutely lovely to have such an experienced and generous co-editor with whom to pool ideas, have a laugh, and share every decision, from commissioning and pattern selection, to sample shades, styling choices, and the content of the book’s introduction. Thanks Jeanette, and a final thankyou to all our wonderful designers who, through their thoughtful and beautiful pattern contributions, have made Warm Hands what it is.

Thanks too to all of you, readers and knitters, for your support of this project!

You can find the Warm Hands book here

If you are a yarn or bookstore and would like to stock Warm Hands, please contact Sam: wholesale@katedaviesdesigns.com