Thursday, April 29, 2010

Woolly's World

Hi Knitters,
A few weeks ago I was excited to see that Marie Irshad was back to podcasting again. I vividly remember that Marie's podcast, Knitcast, was the first knitting podcast out there, at least to me. I couldn't believe my good fortune to have a knitting podcast to listen to. Well, to make a long story short, Marie took a break from her podcast and when she recently returned I was thrilled to hear her interview Woolly Wormhead, a fantastic hat designer.

Now, Woolly is an entertaining person with an interesting background. Her nickname, Woolly, came from her love of wool starting when she was a child and Wormhead affectionately came from her students due to her dreadlocks. I love that. Nicknames have to be organic in order to work and this one certainly does.

Woolly has just released another self-published book of her hat designs, Twisted Woolly Toppers. She is a wonderful hat designer and I am a big, big fan. Click here to look at a portfolio of all of her self-published work. It is very impressive and inspiring. Plus, I just can't help but to love a girl who loves hat knitting as much as I do. She makes me want to knit hats and only hats. Forever.

Take a look at these beautiful photos of some of the hats included in Twisted Woolly Toppers:
Woolly Twisted Toppers, (click here to purchase), focuses on hats that incorporate cables and various twists, some more intricate than others. The patterns are well-written, tested, include charts and abbreviation definitions and the patterns are incredibly thorough. She includes resources for help, too. I love the variety of interesting shapes and sizes her hats offer. It's like hat architecture. The book includes hats for women, men and children. Woolly's designs are nothing short of amazing hat innovation for sure! The photos were taken in Italy and all are gorgeous and inspiring. You can view all of the patterns in Woolly Twisted Toppers here.

Here is a review quote from Just Call Me Ruby:
"Woolly, is one of the most sophisticated and talented designers I can think of, with a completely instinctive and unstoppable need to design and create. Her enthusiasm and intelligence is inspiring to be around and shines through in her work. Every time I knit a Hat Woolly has designed I learn something new, but without having to struggle as the patterns are so well written, the photography is beautiful, the presentation of the pattern is exceptionally well considered and as a result I admire her work immensely."

I couldn't say it any better! Wow, that's quite an endorsement.

Click here for another fun interview with Woolly. I love how she talks about envisioning her designs in 3-D before she starts to knit. I do that same thing so I know what she is talking about. Her ability to see her designs in 3-D is clear because her hats look fantastic from every angle. This is important when you are wearing the item on your head!
One of the most interesting things about Woolly and her family is that they live in a bus. Her partner recently drove this newly purchased monster bus, named Penny Lane, across Europe and had many difficulties along the way. This new double-decker is replacing their current bus/home. Woolly tweeted this entire adventure with all of her worries as it was happening. Fascinating! Fortunately, they have had a happy ending and all is good. I think they are currently residing in Italy. For more detail on Woolly's life please visit her blog here. She has a great blog. You can also follow Woolly on Twitter here.

I highly recommend Woolly's current hat book. I am planning on making several of these hats for my own hat collection. I love supporting a vibrant indie knitter/self-publisher like Woolly Wormhead. Self-publishing is an endeavor not for the weak of heart. It is a lot of work to self-publish anything. I admire her and her unusual take on things very much.

Woolly Wormhead's work is completely original just like she is completely original. That is a big part of her appeal. You feel like you are discovering a secret treasure when you look through her books. Her hat designs are like nothing else out there.

best, susie