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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!  


I love the wrought iron cardigan. I drooled over this books pics on rav this weekend. Hope I win.

I'm guessing that your surgery has already happened, or will happen soon, and just wanted to say Good Luck! I hope you have an uneventful recovery (give yourself TIME!) and that it solves your migraine problem. Sending good thoughts for healing your way!

The cardigan and the fingerless mittens are beautiful! Looking forward to your new book!

Ooooh! I love the Wrought Cardi & the Tiles Sweater! Pick me! Pick me!

I would love to win a copy of this book - it looks so interesting. I already like the projects shown and can only imagine the rest of them.

Thank you for this opportunity.

That Titles sweater is pretty cool. That would definitely go into my que.

Beautiful cardi! I have always been fascinated with the Spanish influence on the architecture of the west coast and to a smaller extent, the desert southwest. Having knitting that incorporates it will be awesome!

These look beautiful -- but I love anything California based though :)

These patterns are absolutely beautiful! While I appreciate your generosity, I will definitely be acquiring a copy of this book whether I come up for your random drawing or not!

i have been waiting for this to come out for awhile so i can knit the peacock mitts for my mother, who just loves them. wonderful book overall- i really want the wrought cardi, too. :)

What a great inspiration--I love the detail at the bottom of the sweater's panel of cables. Lovely

Love the book. Love the cables on the cardigan. Thanks for the giveaway.

I want one!!

I so want that cardigan! My town is architecturally rich also and I love love love cables. Very inspiring.

Lovely! Thanks for the heads up.

What a great design theme! Love this book and patterns.

Wow, I can't wait to see more of her patterns and projects!

OMG that is stunning!
I really want this book and if I don't win it on all the many places I am trying I fully intend to buy it.
Please count me in for this drawing!


New book with gorgeous sweaters? Of course!!!

I love the coherence of this collection—all the designs look so beautiful together! I'm a big sucker for secret matching stuff, so I would totally knit the Wrought Cardi and Socks and wear them together all the time.

That Wrought Iron Cardi is so great!

aka ThePaganKnitter on Ravelry

I love the Wrought series the most. Love the entire concept!

I want to make any of the wrought iron inspired patterns. Simply stunning!

oh sweet honeybear those cables. GORGEOUS!

Wow, those are some gorgeous patterns. I live in California in a town with a heavy Spanish influence - I bet tile translates great into knitting patterns. What a cool idea.

Those are gorgeous patterns! I can't wait to see the book in person (wherever, I mean).

Love California and miss it (lived there many years ago). The patterns look beautiful!

Excellent! I hadn't heard anything about this book yet.

I'd love to win a copy, the Quatrefoil Mitts are amazing and so are the rest of the patterns.

Beautiful patterns - so interesting!! Can't wait to see the rest of them.

MMMM, love that Wrought Cardi! I will have to bookmark this post, so I can remember to put this book on my wishlist if I don't win it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

That looks like a book that will be in my queue if I don't win. I love cables!

I love those mitts!

I especially like the Wrought patterns.

Oh that Cardi is reminiscent of raspberries - absolutely yummy! And yes, that bottom of the pattern just celebrates the cables doesn't it. Well done!

OOo, gorgeous brick-red sweater. I need this book!

Count me in please! Those patterns are beautiful and the garments look very nice, professional and well fitted. Hallelujah!

Looking for a project to fit some luxury yarn.... Hopefully we fit together

I'd love a chance to win this book!

I love working on old homes and seeing what real craftsman made with their own hands. My husbands his a master carpenter and really? It is a lot like sewing and knitting (only with heavier raw materials!) I love seeing the creations that the various craftsmen poured into their work and since I live in a small town, I can recognize the individual workmanship. I like to think that my family can recognize the same care I put into my work, too...and while I like the thought of sitting back stress-free relaxing, I am more likely to toss a piece of work, needles and all across the room and growl at my pattern. Oh, eventually, I figure it out. Nothing comes from nothing and like building, all handwork takes time and thought and practice. I just wish my learning curve wasn't quite so steep!

Beautiful knits! I am a Californian and love all the architecture all around our state! Thanks for the chance to win. Good luck!

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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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