Nourishing Knits

I am honored to be a stop on the Nourishing Knits blog book tour! I purchased this serialized (now complete) ebook almost as soon as I heard about it — I love the idea and knew the patterns would be awesome.

Nourishing Knits by Kristi Schueler

Kristi agreed to an interview and while I’ve already decided which recipe I want to try first (keep reading to find out which one — there might be something in it for you), I am having a really hard time deciding which project to knit.

Nourishing Knits is such an interesting concept – what inspired you to write a book of knitting patterns paired with recipes?

Over time my blog evolved into including recipes or food posts on a semi-regular basis. Mostly those posts were filler when I was working on contractual knitting designs that I couldn’t talk about. Those food posts quickly became the ones to garner the most comments. I love cooking and trying new recipes and learning new things so I just kept going. One day while talking to my sister, Amber, on the phone and mentioned how close I was to nailing down my idea of a perfect chai concentrate. She suggested once I did to pair it with a knitting pattern. I decided she was immediately onto something.

My husband had also been telling me for years that I had a book in me, but I really didn’t believe him until Amber’s suggestion clicked. I e-mailed my editor, Amanda, and we ran with it immediately. I love sharing my cooking with friends and family as well as my handknits so it seemed natural to focus on things that are great for sharing.

I’m curious to know about you process for putting together a self-published book – what were some of the challenges and pitfalls, and would you do it again? Would you do anything differently?

I would have to say the big challenge in self-publishing Nourishing Knits was to not get overwhelmed by the enormity of the project and ever growing to-do list that accompanied it. Ultimately, it was a lot of hats to wear – knitter, designer, cook, writer, photographer, photo editor, layout monkey, etc. I enjoy having varying tasks from day to day so in that sense it was very enjoyable, but it also made it easy to bogged down in tasks.

It quickly became crucial to pick a manageable task and focus on it. In the beginning there were grand plans to photograph most everything all at once in a two or three day photoshoot. That way we could include the recipe/pattern pairing together in shots. It became clear that as the recipe developer/cook, knitting designer and photographer that such a large scale photoshoot was just not going to be doable. So we broke it up in 2-3 projects at a time and to ease scheduling with the models many of the food shots were taken as stills without a model whenever I could match the cooking with good lighting conditions.

I’d love to self-publish a book again. But, I need a break before then which will provide time to for me to explore some other design inspiration and produce some smaller collections.

I know you’ve said that choosing a favorite Nourishing Knits design is like choosing your favorite child, so I won’t make you name one of them — but which pattern appears to be the most popular?

Well, Guided By Love, since it was originally released several years ago as a fund raiser for The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey is the top pattern according to Ravelry. It has many more favorites and projects than the others. The Masala slippers are the next most queued pattern, but both it and the Cornucopia cowl have the most projects. And Ganache shawl just released in the final installment of the book is next in terms of favorites, though for several days it was leap frogging with Hits the Spot, a children’s pullover with fun bullseye elbow patches.

Nourishing Knits Pattern: Hits the Spot
Photo used with permission - copyright 2011 Kristi Schueler

I’ve noticed that you’ve been very prolific this past year — several of your designs have appeared in popular knitting magazines. What’s on the horizon for you in 2012?

I am not certain what 2012 has in store for me. I certainly have several proposals taking shape. I’m looking for more steady work with benefits so my husband can focus harder on finishing his Ph.D. in Mathematics. Finding something like that will likely cause the designing to taper off a bit. I won’t stop though, I have too many notebooks full of random sketches and the bones of other pattern ideas!

Thank you, Kristi, for allowing me to share Nourishing Knits with my blog readers. Here’s the recipe I’m hoping to try this weekend — it’s Pepperkakor, a Scandinavian cookie similar to gingerbread.

Pepperkakor - Nourishing Knits
Photo used with permission - copyright 2011 Kristi Schueler

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of the Hits the Spot pattern — but remember, if you also want the recipes, buy the complete ebook via Ravelry. Leave your comment on this entry and I’ll draw a winner on Monday!

 

Photos used with permission - copyright 2011 Kristi Schueler

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