If you're a fan of Purl Soho, or of it's owner, Joelle Hoverson, then you probably already know about Joelle's latest book: More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I first met Joelle when she was working at Martha Stewart as a stylist. A few years later I heard she was opening a yarn shop, called Purl, down on Sullivan Street in SoHo and I popped in to say hello. The store was tiny, but filled to the brim with the most beautiful yarn I had ever seen... it was like a little jewelbox of a store, all styled perfectly. One evening I remember walking past the storefront after closing. Joelle had started teaching classes in the evening and the store was literally packed with knitting students. There was this buzz, this feeling of excitement in the air. A man on the street next to me asked "What's going on? What is THIS?". And I knew that Joelle had started something special.
A few years later I wandered down Sullivan Street again. Joelle was sitting out front on that cute blue bench outside Purl and as I walked up she said "I was just thinking about you!". She was writing a new book about quilting and patchwork, and opening a second store up the street (a fabric store this time) and she needed some design help. I quickly volunteered. Joelle lived just a few blocks from my home in Brooklyn, and we would meet at night in my little office and work out the details of the book (which was later titled Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts) and design things for the new store (which was called Purl Patchwork). Joelle would hold my daughter Bee, who was just a baby then, while we picked out colors and played around with fonts.
I've been designing for Purl Soho ever since. And it's been my pleasure. When I moved to California three years ago, I was worried that Joelle (and her partners Page and Jen) might want a designer close by in New York.. but lucky for me, they've let me continue to work for them remotely. They are such lovely clients, full of amazing ideas and I'm proud of the things they've let me design like knitting patterns, and twill tape, and calendars, and new logos.
When Joelle told me she was starting a third book, I crossed my fingers she would let me design it. More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts hit the stores in the fall, and here are a few behind-the-scenes shots from the shoot (which was way back in May of 2009!). The photographer for the shoot was the lovely Anna Williams, who also shot Joelle's other two books. Anna is an old friend, who photographs regularly for Martha Stewart Living, where Page, Joelle and I all used to work, so working on these shoots is a bit of a reunion.The projects in this book are beautiful, and most can be knit in a weekend.
Joelle has a lovely home a few hours outside the city and we shot the majority of the book there. She also rented the house next door so we would all have a bed to sleep in and some pretty locations to shoot. One morning I woke up early, the fog had rolled in and the house looked so beautiful.
When I flip through this book, I see my friends. I see Joelle's gorgeous color combinations and Jen's lightning fast knitting and Page's pretty styling and Anna's beautiful light. It reminds me how lucky I am to be a small part of the beautiful things these girls create.
The nice folks at STC: Craft | Melanie Falick Books (an imprint of Stewart, Tabori & Chang) sent me a few extra copies of More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and I am happy to give one away. Leave a comment below and my little helpers and I will pick a winner Saturday morning, March 19th. Comments will close at 9 AM PST. (Sorry to my international readers, but U.S. residents only...)
And a note about giveaways: I try very hard to keep inchmark non-commercial (which is becoming a rarity these days in the blog world). Please note that inchmark does not offer giveaways for products, books, etc. except in specific cases where I was involved in the creation of the product (i.e. a book I have designed).
And the winner is #36, Margaret! Shoot me an email with your address and I will pop your book in the mail! Happy knitting!