10/20/2014 – It’s He-e-e-re: A Head For Trouble Launches

Thought I’d surface for a bit to report on the launch of A Head For Trouble last week.

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After all, it’s important to come up for air now and then, even during a very busy time. The enthusiasm that greeted the release of this new book has been truly wonderful to behold.

It seems to have struck a chord with knitters who watch shows like Downtown Abbey, see the amazing 1920s clothing designs worn by Lady Mary and the rest of the family, and wish they could own knitted versions of them. I don’t know about you, but I can imagine Mary heading off in the cloche below to manage the latest estate crisis.

It was inspired by Carola Dunn’s lady detective character, Daisy Dalyrymple, who never left home without her “emerald green cloche” in the first few books of the series.

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And can’t you just picture Downton’s newly chic Lady Edith swanning off to London in the cap below? It was inspired by Agatha award-winner Catriona McPherson’s series featuring the lady detective Dandy Gilver, who is a proper lady only when it suits her. Sound like anyone else you might know?

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It’s also been so interesting to see the countries from which knitters are ordering the book; the U.S and Canada, of course. But also France, Denmark, and the U.K., where the e-book has been especially popular, probably because mailing a paperback to Europe, I recently learned, costs $23.50 via Priority Mail International – almost as much as the book itself!

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A Head For Fashion, the bonus collection with six additional Roaring Twenties-inspired hat and accessory patterns, has been equally well-received. The Coco Cloche, above, has been a favorite.

Here’s the deal: Anyone ordering both the paperback AND the e-book of A Head For Trouble together will get the bonus collection PDF for free until Oct. 31. Anyone ordering either the paperback OR the e-book of A Head For Trouble will get the single pattern of her choice from the bonus collection. Either way, it’s always a treat to get something free!

A Head For Trouble

Knit something special for your inner flapper!

Pre-order promotions start on October 15, so stay tuned!

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Just in time for holiday gift-knitting, A Head For Trouble is nearly ready to launch! It has been really, really hard to keep this big project a secret, but the wait is nearly over. In fact, the pattern basics are now up on Ravelry, so you can decide which to knit first.

I hope you’ll feel moved to pull out your treasured skeins of luxury yarn, and work up some of these special designs.

I got a few advance copies of the book last week, and couldn’t be more excited about the way it turned out.

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The theme is quirky, I know. But how better to combine my passion for 1920s fashion with my love of literary mysteries that feature strong female crime-busters?

As a knitwear designer, nothing gets my creativity more fired up than a challenge like the one I set for myself with A Head For Trouble.

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For all of us who adore Downton Abbey and similar period TV shows, we know that it’s the fabulous fashions as much as the compelling story lines that keep us tuning in week after week, and season after season.

And again, as a knitwear designer with a penchant for period fashion, it was a thrill to set myself the task of interpreting the Roaring Twenties for today’s knitter. 

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The 1920s was a time of unprecedented change for women. Also known as the “between the wars” period because WWI had ended and WWII was not yet even a distant rumble on the horizon, in the 1920s women enjoyed freedoms that had previously been exclusive to men.

Without getting too lecture-y here (but I do love history!), for the first time women were holding jobs in traditionally male professions. They owned and drove their own automobiles. They sought higher education in greater numbers, and the right to vote became a lightening rod issue of the day. 

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We see all of these forces at work in period dramas like Downton Abbey, and fashion was perhaps the most visible manifestation of the new freedoms that women demanded.

No more corsets, bustles, or “dressing” one’s hair into an elaborate coiffure. Skirts were shortened and tops became loose and drapey to allow for freedom of movement. Women bobbed their hair into a short, manageable style known as a “shingle,” or an “Eton crop.” These new hair styles necessitated new hat styles to complement them, and that’s where A Head For Trouble comes in.

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As you’ll soon see, A Head For Trouble includes all the hat styles popular during the Jazz Age, along with the most important accessories to accompany them. And I can hardly wait to share them with you.