a yarnish tale

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Art House Co-op, Cast On Cast Off, Illustration, Sketchbook Project | 0 comments

We had our first snow the other night. Time to pull the woolly sweaters out of the trunk. I did the above sketch in early rounds for Cast On Cast Off by Leslie Ann Bestor, which Publisher’s Weekly  just named one of the top lifestyle books of the year! Noting that “clear presentation distinguishes this reference guide that should be on the shelves of knitters who want to develop their craft and their own style” I am thrilled.

My first sketches were too narrative, and eventually my illustrations play a suggestive role, indicating a knitwear piece at the beginning of each section that is organized by specific stitches with detailed photography. I worked with the super stylin’ Mary Velgos, who directed me through an elegant simplification for final art.

I wanted my figures to be doing something, rather than fashion poses. Marty became the salty fisherman reference for the section on Stretchy Cast Ons, modeling a Channel Island sweater.
That’s my Grampy Hogan’s hand-carved buoy from Nova Scotia.

First sketch round:

The illustrations became black and white with a single color that connected to each section.

My daughter posed with her signature mismatched knee socks.

First round sketch:

Final illustration:

Each illustration was merged over a page from an oatmeal paper sketchbook I have. Storey wanted
a hands-on reference guide, small and portable for the knitter on the move. Here’s a spread from the book:

So if you’re ready to knit yourself some elegant beginnings and endings, this is a must-have.

Speaking of sketchbooks, I have cool news. The Art House Coop chose my sketchbook out of 22,000 to go on a mobile tour with 999 others! Curated by Colossal, this small batch is heading to the mid-west to spread the love of sketching in a custom-made library trailer. If you can’t check out the tour, you can see my sketchbook here.

The Sketchbook Project has been a fun catalyst for seed ideas and just having fun. I’ve started my 2013 Sketchbook with this drawing of a favorite spot in Portland, Bresca.

Anybody curious about my fetching model?

Oh, more good news bits: A Warmer World received a great recommendation from Library Media Collection! Let’s hope climate change is an acceptable topic now. Here it is:

For the record, I don’t use acrylics. I work in pastel. Thanks to the librarian reviewers! I think I’ll go throw on a sweater and get back to drawing.

Stay warm, peeps!

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