Today we’d like to celebrate something fresh and new in knitting books.
It’s Knitstrips: The World’s First Comic-Strip Knitting Book by Alice Ormsbee Beltran and Karen Kim Mar.
This new book is a tour de force, an epic achievement in melding knitwear design, instruction, and advice with interactive graphic illustrations. It’s a new way of seeing how to take a ball of yarn and a pair of needles and transform it into something tangible, useful, and beautiful. It’s bursting with life and the love of knitting.
Inside, the book is organized into four chapters, or issues, each of which gathers a handful of designs by different designers.
These are not conventional patterns. They are yarn-neutral, meaning that the authors guide you through choosing your yarn, but the choice really is yours. You’ll learn how to adapt the pattern you’re making to the gauge and other qualities of the yarn you’re using. In contrast to the prescriptive approach of a typical knitting pattern, the Knitstrips approach is open ended and full of learning. As I read through these energy-filled pages, I had renewed appreciation for how much thought and engineering goes into the most familiar handknit.
The Authors: Alice Ormsbee Beltran and Karen Kim Mar
We have sentimental reasons for jumping up and down with glee at the publication of Knitstrips. In a very real sense, Knitstrips first saw the light of day here on MDK. We can take no credit for the brilliance of the idea, but we will claim every last bragging right for realizing that the idea that Alice Ormsbee Beltran shared with us was very exciting.
And when the first Knitstrip appeared, the reaction from knitters was incredible. There was an avalanche of downloads of that first Knitstrip, and each of the ones that followed.
So: we send our heartiest congratulations to Alice and her co-author Karen Kim Mar on achieving this amazing book. The mere idea of doing copy edits and technical edits on patterns that are drawn by hand—by brilliant illustrators Laura Irrgang and Michele Philips—makes us want to take to our beds for a week or so. This is a major work of vision and of writing, illustration, and editing. Most exciting of all, Knitstrips is going to introduce so many new people to the joy of knitting, the challenge of knitting, and the satisfaction of having handmade garments and accessories in our lives.
The roster of designers, which includes the authors, is stellar:
Are we proud to see MDK Field Guide designers in the mix—you bet we are!
A Peek at the Projects
Double Feature by Julia Farwell-Clay and Lucky Hat by Cecelia Campochiaro.
Wowl! by Jeanette Sloan and Quest by Rebecca McKenzie.
We can’t wait to see photos of Knitstrips patterns popping up on Instagram and Ravelry. Sharing is caring!
A Special Treat for MDK readers … Download The Darcy
We’ve come full circle: it’s time for us to offer MDK readers a download of one of the patterns from Knitstrips. It’s The Darcy by Karen Kim Mar, and it’s one of the most inventive uses for 350 yards (320 meters) of yarn we’ve seen. A lovely, versatile neckwarmer that is made without shaping of any kind.
Allow us to say how ardently we admire and love it.
Thanks to Alice, Karen, and the gentle publishers at Abrams for this exclusive downloadable PDF. (Click on the link to download the pattern.)