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July 25, 2016
Behind the Scenes with Andrea Rangel
s no accident that I
ve spent so much time with the lovely folks at Tolt. I relate so strongly to their rustic, Pacific Northwest vibe, and I think my new book, Rugged Knits will fit right in with that. It
s a book of knitting patterns that span a wide range from color work sweaters to textured socks to lace shawls - all of them functional, carefully-planned, beautiful to look at, and enjoyable to knit!
My inspiration for the book definitely came from living, playing, and working in the Pacific Northwest region. I wanted to create a wardrobe full of knitted garments and accessories that would be great for biking, hiking, and just living around here.
also got to take inspiration from rich worldwide knitting traditions and the amazing yarns we now have available to us.
The concept of Rugged Knits was inspired by the PNW, a wardrobe I wanted, and great yarn and knitting traditions, but it was a long process to go from that concept to the book that
s now in the world. It started with an email from Interweave/F+W inviting me to send them a proposal. I
’m so grateful to my acquisitions editor, Kerry Bogert for her help in refining and improving my concept. I spent about a month just sketching, swatching, and looking at yarn, trying to create a cohesive and well-rounded collection.
Once my proposal was approved and the contract signed, I
work on the most time-intensive part of the process - doing the design math and knitting the samples. I knit all of the samples myself, which was a huge undertaking, but I’
glad I did it. It allowed me to spend time with each piece and refine them all as I worked. It was really gratifying to look at the samples together and see the collection come to life.
With the samples and patterns finished, I started to put my idea for the photography and book design into words. I didn
t get to be
for the photo shoot, but I did get a lot of input into what it ended up looking like. I had a helpful form to fill out which allowed me to express my vision for the book, and it was so fun to see how the styling and photography team put my ideas into their work. All the specifics I asked for were covered - casual outdoor style, sensible shoes, minimal makeup, no belts over sweaters, a male model with a beard, and a gorgeous outdoor location. I was pretty nervous waiting to see the photography, but the Interweave team really did an incredible job.
Then came editing. Interweave
s pro tech editors scoured each pattern and we worked together to get the patterns as perfect as possible.
through all the edits and double checking each pattern was a big job, but I really appreciated all the feedback I got.
After the editing process was finished, I just had to wait for the book to be printed and start to let people know it was coming! Promoting the book has been a more intense process than I expected, but it
s so fun to see the book out in the real world and hear from knitters who excited about the designs. The
finished book totally encapsulates all the ideas that I had going into it. I
m so proud of the work and so grateful to the Interweave/F+W team. I hope you love it too!
ll be bringing all the book samples with me when I come to visit on
, so you can see them in person and try them on! I
m teaching a workshop on stranded color work knitting earlier in the day (
) and will be signing books from 3-5. I
d love to see you there!
P.S. If you’re knitting from the book and enjoy knit alongs, please join me in my Ravelry group! We’ve got a KAL for
and one for
going. I’d love to cheer you on and answer any questions you may have.
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