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Dear Kay,

I keep looking at our two most recent publications, and I’m struck by how our Field Guides creative director Melanie Falick engineered two covers that communicate a kinship between these two little books.

Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings

See the color palette for these two books?

It’s deliberate, of course. They’re supposed to be friends. One is how to knit, and the second is what to knit.

We wanted Skill Set to stand on its own as a concise set of lessons, without a lot of patterns mixed in. Putting patterns in this little book would make it a medium-sized book, and the goal at all times was Keep It Simple.

That said, we know that a new knitter has a rapacious desire to knit cool things. Which is why Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings includes six designs specifically created with the new knitter in mind—a set of projects by Karida Collins that takes a new knitter from garter-stitch Diagonal Mitts to the Simple Swoncho and Debut Pullover.

The Cover Artists

Lily Piyathaisere created the palette and graphic design for Skill Set. We loved it from the moment we saw it. She understood exactly how clean and simple we wanted this book to be.

A visit to Lily’s website shows how good design these days can range all over the place: brand identities, brand imagery, product packaging, magazines. Scroll down to her Et Cetera page here to see how she would redesign U.S. currency. Spoiler: it is not all green.

As for the Beginnings cover, it’s such a happy thing from Jessie Pickren Warner of Hew & Co. She has two previous Field Guide covers to her credit, and we love them both:

Field Guide No. 8: Merry Making
Field Guide No. 12: Big Joy

A visit to Jessie’s website Hew & Co. is such fun—Jessie works in illustration, branding, patterning, and paper, and it’s all filled with a distinctive kind of joy. Her art prints? Again, full of joy.

Her Instagram feed is one of my favorites, a happy place for sure.

All hail Melanie Falick for her skill at finding great designers for our Field Guides. She never ceases to surprise us.




  • Another jewel…as always!

  • I love Lily’s money ideas! I was just talking with a friend a few days ago about how difficult US paper money is for the visually impaired because all the bills look the same (not to mention it’s boring…).

  • I would really love a copy of Skill Set for my husband – but an extra $10 for postage to Canada? Where is the electronic version?

    • Also, Canadian shops are carrying Skill Set (and if they’re not, they can get it from our Canadian distributor, Julie Asselin).

    • The app is live. You won’t be disappointed.

      • I get a message that the link is not live. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Rachel! Please stay tuned for news!

  • The covers of your pattern books are very distinctive. They are neither frilly nor flat. Best of all, I love the size of the books.

  • I love how these two books complement each other! I also love how Skill Set teaches the simple basics of knitting without being overwhelming. To me, this is pure genius! It makes me realize my past mistake in teaching a potential new knitter; I gave too much information. Less certainly is more.

  • Although I took my first knitting class in 1983 and learned the EZ way, I am going to order this book because there is always something I can learn when taught from a different perspective

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