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California Revival KnitsApril 30, 2012

My fave pattern, Wrought Cardi

I'm lucky enough to be a stop on the blog tour for Stephannie Tallent's new book, California Revival Knits. As a fan of California architecture, I couldn't help but be interested in a book of knits modeled on buildings that, grouped together, "feature stucco, red tile roofs, coved ceilings, tile, tile, and more tile (with Spanish, Moorish or Mexican influences) and wrought iron."

After drooling over her book (which you can win a copy of by leaving a comment below), I had the chance to ask her a couple of questions. 

Wrought Mitts

What was your favorite part of this book's process? 

I really enjoy all the big picture things:  planning the palette, the yarn choices, the general pattern ideas. 

But I really love seeing it all come together, too.  I’m a big one for keeping myself organized via spreadsheets, and I admit I loved putting DONE in the pattern status column. 

It was also fun getting the patterns to my group of test knitters & getting their feedback and seeing their finished objects.

And having the final PDF is tremendously exciting.  I can’t wait for the print copy.

The photoshoot was a little nervewracking for me – I’d never done one before – but my photographer, Kathy, had fantastic ideas & made it as easy on me as possible.  Kristi Porter, who modeled for the main photoshoot, was awesome too.  I know the next will go smoother, now I know more of what I have to do.

Was there anything about bringing a book to the finish line that surprised you? 

Just how long it takes even after all the initial stuff (patterns, photos, text) is turned in.  There’s a big difference between self publishing a small collection of patterns yourself & working with a small indie publishing company (where, lol, it’s not always about ME). 

Tiles Sweater

What knitting project do you have on the needles now? 

I’m currently working on a second pattern collection of my own designs, and am in the midst of working on a lace cami in Dragonfly Fiber Dance rustic silk.  The back is done & I’m getting ready to cast on for one of the fronts.

If you’re familiar with my designs, two things probably caught your eye.

Designing with the silk is a first for me -- I usually work in wool or wool blends.   I really like the Dance silk; it’s a nubby silk noil that has lovely drape.

Also, I nearly always work seamless tops.  I didn’t have any traditionally non-seamless designs until this one.  But I decided the structure of seams would really help with this top, considering the inherent lack of bounce and memory of the silk.

After that, I have a couple hats for the book to work on next, and another sweater.  Of course there are many more patterns, but that’s the order in which I want to tackle the projects.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win the new book! Or preorder here.  Ravelry link here.  I'll draw a random winner on Friday. Good luck!  


Ooooo! I love the red half mitts! I am obsessed with mitts lately. Possibly because they're so portable and you can do so much with them. Good luck with the book (old and new).

Ooh! I'd love to win a copy! It looks like such a neat book, I may very well pick one up even if I don't. :)

Love the pictures you previewed from the book! I may have to get my own copy if I don't win this and make the Wrought Cardi. Love it!

You've done a great job knitting the cardi, and look marvelous in it. I'd love to knit it, too...so draw my name for the book. :-)

Oh, my! That cardi is gorgeous. I would LOVE to have a copy of this book.

The bottom edge of the red sweater makes me happy. I love how the patterns don't just bang into the hem, but swirl around like they are announcing and celebrating it.

I'll be ordering a copy if I don't win. Those are beautiful patterns!

The sweater is gorgeous! I'm going to have to knit that.

What beautiful yarn!

Lovely patterns, would enjoy knitting them!

Ooooo pretty! I love cables and could use a new knitting book.

I live in a California bungalow and would love to check out these knits!

Want, want, want! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Love, love, love! the mitts and the whole concept of the book. if i don't win i'll have to add it to my allotted publications list - i have to control my buying somehow!!

I particularly love the red mitts. I've made several pairs of mitts for gifts, and people love them. I'd love to learn some new patterns from this book.

loveloveloveLOVE the wrought sweater & mitts. Looking forward to this book!

Gorgeous book -- thanks for bringing it to our attention! The Wrought Iron Cardi immediately jumped out at me (and into my Ravelry queue) because it reminds me of my grandparents' screen door when they lived in Los Angeles.

I've never seen Stephannie's designs before your post. Beautiful!

Beautiful patterns. I especially like the back of the Wrought Iron Cardigan.

Oh, my that book looks gorgeous!

Am I the only one who finds it a little funny that her name is Stephannie Tallent? Which, is very close to Talent. Just me, okay. I'd love to win, but you probably already know that.

It would be a fantastic excuse for a New Englander (me) to pretend they live in California! Great interview!

I am a Julia Morgan fan from way back, and this book reminds of so many wonderful California architects in the designs you posted. Need some knitting mojo-this could do it!

Wow! Those knits look beautiful - and flattering. I would love to make a Tiles sweater. I think it would even flatter my strange apple shape!

Looks cool! Would love a copy.

I would love to win a copy of this amazing book! Please pick me!

Beautiful patterns. Thanks for sharing!

I'd love to win a copy of this book!

I am drooling over the Tiles Sweater. It's so simple but the small details make it rock!


Live in California; need a revival! Patterns look beautiful, just like California.

I do like the Tile sweater. I will need to take another look at the other patterns again.

I can see why you like the Wrought Cardi. That looks like a lot of fun to knit.

The book sounds amazing!

These look like exciting and challenging patterns!

Can't wait to see the book !! I will preorder (if I don't win your draw :)

Lovely! count me in.

I have a feeling those mitts are in my future... lovely!

I love cables! The book looks like it has lots of interesting stuff!

Wow! looks like a beautiful book with a nice variety of projects. Would love to have this in my library.

I just looked at the pattern pics on Ravelry, what a gorgeous book! I'm in!

I would love to win a copy of this book!

I love that Tiles sweater and the wrought mitts! So pretty! :)

Gorgeous designs! I'd love to have a copy of this book.

Gorgeous pictures, and amazing cabling.

What a great book. Will it come out in E fomat, too?

Oooo those look fabulous! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

Totally drooling over the Wrought Mitts and the Wrought Cardi. And the model is lovely!

Beautiful! The Tiles Sweater looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see the book up close and personal!

Looks like a gorgeous book!

Thanks for a chance to win this!

What beautiful designs! Love all those twisted stitches and beads!

Love it! Especially the mitts! Pick me Please?? Debbie H gussek on Ravelry

Wow, gorgeous sweaters! I really love the cables in the first sweater. But man, the beadwork in the Tiles sweater is amazing too! I think I might purchase this book if I'm not lucky enough to win it!! :)

Ooh, I lovelovelove that Wrought cardi. The Tiles sweater also has my interest; it would be great computer knitting, with the promise of just enough interest at the neckline and cuffs to keep it from being at all boring.

I heart twisted stitches. Yummy.

I love all those fine, twisty cables.

California Revival Knits looks fantastic. Love the sweater and anything to do with Spanish, Moorish or Mexican influences. Hope I am lucky! Hope you are doing well.

Those are lovely patterns!

That Wrought Cardi looks amazing! I've never knitted with beads but that top just screams "Make me!" Thanks for having a giveaway!

Really beautiful patterns -can't wait to see the book in person :)

Beautiful book - will own it someday.

Wow, those are STUNNING. The mitts are beautiful. The beading in the sweater is gorgeous, the cardigan is fantastic. I can't wait to see the rest of the patterns!

Thanks for the chance to win! I love the concept of this book of patterns!

I fell for the Tiles sweater. May have to buy this one if I don't win...


I love cables and cable-like stitches, so the Wrought Cardi and mitts were very interesting. The Tile sweater is also very pretty.

So many patterns, so much lovely yarn, yet so little time!

These look like really nice patterns. I have a lot of yarn right now that I really need to start using!

Oh those mitts are gorgeous. Thanks for the draw!

Very pretty sweater. Love the mitts, too.

I love knitting, seeing creations people have poured into their work and sitting back stress-free relaxing as i try to get thought my begginers brain how to work through knitting patterns. ATM i am making a pair of multi coloured half mitts but no where as awesome as the red ones, they are amazing. I would love to win a copy of the book, but not for me lol, for my mum so she can teach me some of the patterns i love but cant quite get my head around. You are amazing, and your patterns are just gorgeous!!

That cardi does look fabulous. The mitts are cute, too. If the rest of the patterns are that good, it should be a wonderful book.

This looks like an absolutely beautiful book. I'd love to own a copy, although, seriously - can my bookcase handle any new knitting book additions? (Mind you, I could always pass a couple on to my now-knitting daughter!) Loved the photos and the interview - thanks, Rachel. Also wanted to say I bought A Life in Stitches and really enjoyed reading that. So a double thanks from Australia!

Love the mitts! was going to just type beautiful.

Oh my goodness, every pattern in this book is amazing!

I love the Wrought sweater and am imagining the Tiles in a cobalt blue with silver. Can't wait to see the whole book.

I would love to win a copy of CALIFORNIA REVIVAL KNITS. Thanks for the opportunity!

I love all of those! Such beautiful, simple embellishments. My grandparents live in Arizona, where everything is adobe (or mock adobe) and red tile, so such patterns always make me smile.

Gorgeous sweater!

Wow, the designs look lovely! Great concept hope I win! Rose

Love the Wrought cardi too!

Thanks for the Ravelry link. Even if I don't win, I may have to add this to my library. Like I need more projects!

I am absolutely in love with those mitts. Gorgeous details!

Thanks for the chance to win!

Thanks for writing about the book. I might not have ever picked it up off the shelf, but the patterns you featured in this post are wonderful.

The designs in this book are just so lovely. I'd be thrilled to win a copy!

gorgeous, what a treat

I don't often love /every/ pattern in a book. This is a rare and lovely exception. :)

I love the Wrought Cardi--already added it to my Ravelry faves!

Love both patterns. Would really be happy to win book!

Gorgeous! Can't win if you don't play, I guess......

91 comments?!? Still, I'm in with a chance. That book looks lovely.

Beautiful designs; keeping my fingers crossed!

I've seen previews of many of the patterns in the book, and they are as beautiful as the architecture that inspired them.

lurve the mitts, but I'd do them in tone on tone blue ;-)

I just love those mitts, the pattern is stunning. I will probably have to buy the book just to get my hands on the pattern.

What a great set of cables on that cardigan!

I liked everything you pictured today. That is acutally pretty darn cool. Obviously we find some of the same things aesthetically pleasing.

I want to knit both of them - right now. Can't wait to see what other patterns are in the book.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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