Tuesday, March 26, 2013

launch day!

Today is a day of celebration for me. It's the day my last, and most anticipated (at least by me), and most comprehensive book launches.

So how can I say those things?

last book
I know myself to be primarily motivated by teaching. Believe it or not, I never set out to write pattern books : I set out to teach, and the patterns were merely support for that. (I know that's a rather odd thing to hear when I am probably most known for a single pattern: The Einstein Coat. But teaching you to knit it was actually my primary goal.)

Even in Sally Melville Styles (my first book, on using up leftovers), I did not intend to include patterns. The garments I made to support the principles I was teaching were meant as illustrations: I was actually surprised when my editor suggested we publish them!

So it's in this book that I teach pretty much everything I know about producing great garments. I've dumped my knitting brain on the page and don't think I have anything else to teach.

 By the way, that same editor asked me "how many books I had" in me. I answered "I think seven," At the time, I had no idea where that number came from. It just sounded good (and isn't usually considered a lucky number?)

This book is number seven!

most-anticipated book
This is the book I've always wanted to write.

My knitting career started with this material. In the late 1970's, I wrote a 100-page manual (and called it Advanced Knitting Design). I taught it at my local yarn shop, my students and I established what was (at the time) the largest knitters' guild in Canada, we brought in teachers from abroad, those teachers pushed me out onto the international stage . . . and the rest is my professional life.

 It feels wonderful to offer this book, taking me back to my roots and allowing me to say thank you to the craft I love and that has given me the life I have.

This is where I put all the tools I have into your hands.

This is where you will learn skills that will keep your whole brain alive and healthy.

This is where you will find everything I can offer to make you a fully-empowered knitter!

It is based upon the premise that everyone one of us should be able to do the following:
  • go to our closet, 
  • find a garment we love but did not knit, 
  • measure it,
  • draft it,
  • knit it, 
  • finish it,
  • wear it with pride,
  • honour our craft!
To finish, here is my own example of how you might use the book.

I have a black vest I've worn forever and ever. Very simple, probably 20 years old. I have often told myself that I should knit it. And so I finally did--a simple round-necked vest, with deep set-in-sleeve armholes, with straight-sides . . . and with a bit of an edge in its unexpected use of zippers.

I will call it Zip-Study Vest, and the pattern itself will appear on Ravelry some day.

But in the meantime, the book offers you all the tools you need to do this for yourself. When you do this, the result really can--and might--be this simple. But these are the garments that are the staples of our wardrobe and that we wear day in and out.

This is how I work, and this is what the book offers you. Enjoy!


  1. Yea! I should have this in my 'hot little hands' by day's end :-) And Thank You! Pam

    1. I look forward to your response!

      I just realized, looking at the cover, that it was probably the inspiration for my new kitchen! Same colours!

  2. Congratulations, Sally! A fitting capstone to your publishing career.

    1. Thanks so much Sandi. I appreciate this from you.

  3. Congratulations! I bought it just now and cannot wait to dig in!

  4. Thanks again! I look forward to your response--and to everyone--the results of your work from this material. I hope it empowers you all!

  5. Ecstatic! I have all of your books, have learned so much at your workshops and THIS is the one I've been waiting for!

    Will admit I did finally take a sleeveless shell a month ago from my closet and have started to "duplicate" it ala Sally.

    Now I'll have all that helpful info in one place.

    Am over the moon that you have gifted us with your design book!

  6. Oh my, you are the PERFECT student for this book!
    I look forward to the results of your work, and I so appreciate your taking the time to write.

  7. Sally, looked at your book at B&N yesterday very quickly, but think it would be a wonderful resource. It is on my acquisition list now! (Have to wait for coupons at the bookstore - unemployment is such a b**ch.)
    Also put it on hold at my library today (just announced this am and I am the fifth on the list, so word is traveling fast!)

    Sally in Ohio

  8. Wow, that IS fast!
    We've had wonderful responses so far, and I am very happy to add yours to it!

  9. I saw a friend's copy of your book yesterday, and it looks excellent. Eagerly anticipating hopping over to the yarn store to get a copy for myself.

    1. I hope you manage to get a copy and then do the work! It's great fun!

  10. Sally, i remember when I first met you we talked about your plans for your next books after "Style" and I am so pleased to see the one I've been waiting for...number seven, Drafting. I have them all and will have this one soon. Maybe ths will get me out of my knitting funk.


    Marilyn in Tulsa

    1. What a nice response!
      If anything gets your knitting brain active and relives your knitting funk, this will do it! And once you get going, you will be SO empowered! Knitting will take on a whole new life!

  11. Thank you for writing this Sally! My copy is dog-eared already!

    1. Wow, I cannot wait to see the results of this!

  12. Sally, I got your book, and I love it - on almost every page there is either a frantic head nod going on (why would anyone slip stitch selvage stitches that are going to be knit together?) or an ooh or ahh.

    I'm working on a knitted tank of my own design, and will be using some of your gems - thanks so much!

  13. Wow, you are READING it! I can tell!
    So happy to hear it's workin' for you!!!!

  14. I pre-ordered the book and when I received it I was amazed with the amount of information in it! I started with the beginning and then studied the organization of the book. I am using it currently with a sweater loosely based on a pattern I found somewhere on the internet. It's a shawl collared cardigan with a very deep (7") bottom ribbing in twisted rib. Last night I put the back on my dress form and it fit perfectly! Thank you for writing this book! (I took your class at Vogue Live in Los Angeles -- wish they'd come here again.)

  15. Oh my, this is GREAT news! Thanks so much for a) doing the work and b) taking the time to write!
    But I have to say I am very envious: two things I apparently MUST have are a serger and a DRESS FORM! Lucky you!
    PS I don't think VOGUE LIVE will return to LA. But maybe San Fran? Or you just have to come to NYC?!? So much fun!

  16. I am late to the party, it seems. May congratulations. I just got the book and am so happy to hear your voice once again through the pages! I always learn so much from you. I can't wait to curl up and read and read.



    1. Hey Sean,
      Nice to hear from you! I hope all is well with you and yours and that our paths cross again!