When Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig first approached me to work on Coastal Knits, I immediately said Yes! As a freelancer, roughly two-thirds of my work is done at home, in a vacuum; my interaction with clients is mostly through email, and with one in particular the visual aesthetic, team, and work flow is solidly established that the projects are executed like clockwork. A book, on the other hand, was something new (and exciting): it meant at least 2 months of work developing a look-and-feel, formatting patterns, taking pictures, proofing, production, and pre-press. In addition to the two designers and head technical editor Tana Pageler, it involved illustrator Neesha Hudson, photographer (and Madder Made/Quince & Co. designer) Carrie Bostick Hoge, and New Hampshire-based Puritan Press. Fun project? Take a look for yourself.
Anyone familiar with either designer's patterns will see that they are 2 very different people.Whereas Alana's Never Not Knitting patterns use texture and are feminine, Hannah's Knitbot patterns are simple, what one would call updated classics. Their pattern layouts reflect their design aesthetic, even their websites. They lived on opposite coasts: California and Maine. So I decided to explore duality and dichotomy.
The title developed from an exploratory sketch by Neesha, which I combined with yarn "doodles" of California and Maine coastal landmarks. As visual clues to who designed what, the two watermarks incorporated elements of the designers' own logos. The principal colors were coastal in nature: deep ocean blue, light sky blue, misty cool grey, and sunny, warm gold. And the typefaces: contemporary sans- and slab serif faces contrasted well with the hand-drawn titling face. Elements like the belly band, seen on the cover, were repeated in the chapter dividers, as were the yarn doodles. Visual continuity was heavily stressed; someone recently told me that she liked that the book felt complete, and that's successful design. As a concession to Alana's love of scrapbook layouts, Alana's pattern images had "vintaged" photo borders. As a nod to Hannah's love of minimalism, I made some pages pure color and text or single branded images.
Coastal Knits tells the individual stories of Alana and Hannah. They shared influences, inspiration, and personal photos. (Can you see the visual play in these 2 layouts?)
And it offers ten designs and so much more: mood boards with personal narratives about the locations that inspired the knits; written directions and pictures; schematics, charts, and written directions for the chart-phobic. It's in these particular pages that one encounters the work contributed by each designer and the technical editors, sample knitters, photographers, illustrator, and graphic designer. I am *utterly* proud of these.
After months of exchanging pdfs, last-minute uploads, late-night emails, and phone calls, Alana and Hannah signed off on the book. Hi-res production was completed (that's 83 out of 92 total pages with backgrounds in Photoshop, yo) and the book was sent off to Puritan Press. A huge thank you to the team of Kurt, Kathleen, and Donna, who patiently addressed all the questions and concerns, and guided Hannah through the press check! Thank you to Alana and Hannah, for giving me free reign on the concept of coasts and knitting. It was a great experience, and I'm looking forward to future collaborations from the two of you!
Please make sure to visit the designers, sample knitters, and all the other bloggers on the Coastal Knits blog tour. See the dates below. Have a good week!
Saturday, October 15: Never Not Knitting Podcast hosted by Alana and Hannah
Monday, October 17: Kate Oates of Tot Toppers
Wednesday, October 19: Mary Joy Gumayagay, graphic designer
Friday, October 21: Romi Hill of Designs by Romi
Monday, October 24: Andrea Sanchez adventures of a sample knitter
Wednesday, October 26: Kelbourne Woolens, distributors of The Fibre Company
Friday, October 28: Allegra Wermuth of Petite Purls
Monday, October 31: Susan B. Anderson
Wednesday, November 2: Carrie Bostick Hoge, of Madder Made and Quince & Co.
Friday, November 4: Wendy Bernard of Knit and Tonic
Monday, November 7: Nicole Dupuis, sample knitter chronicle
Wednesday, November 9: Ariane Caron-Lacoste of Falling Stitches
Friday, November 11: Deirdre Kennedy, adventures of a sample knitter
Monday, November 14: Shannon Cook of Luvin the mommyhood
Wednesday, November 16: Anne Hanson of Knitspot
Friday, November 18: Julie Crawford of Knitted Bliss
Monday, November 21: Margaux Hufnagel of tentenknits
Monday, November 28: Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops
Wednesday, November 30: Jaala Spiro of Knit Circus
Friday, December 2: Cecily Glowik MacDonald of Winged Knits
Monday, December 5: Veronika Jobe of Yarn on the House