10/15/2014 – A Head For Trouble pre-order promotion begins today!

This is it, knitting friends. The official pre-order promotion for my new book, A Head For Trouble , begins today at 12:00 noon Central Time. I couldn’t be more excited if you told me I’d won the lottery!
















To kick off the launch, I’m offering some special bonuses when you order either the paperback or the electronic versions of A Head For Trouble, or both together.

I’ve mentioned them before, but let’s review the specials one more time so you can jump right on the one you want!

Pre-Order Promotion #1:

Order BOTH the paperback AND the electronic versions of A Head For Trouble together, and you’ll get to download the entire 6-pattern mini-collection PDF of my bonus book, A Head For Fashion. That’s this 46-page book right here, complete with interactive links to the project pages on Ravelry as well as sections devoted to ensuring your success with the patterns, yarn resources, and where to find the unique notions and embellishments that make the projects so delightful:














Pre-Order Promotion #2:

Order EITHER the paperback OR the electronic version of A Head For Trouble separately, and I’ll email you the PDF to ONE pattern of your choosing from the 6 options in A Head For Fashion. Here they are one more time:

Caroline Toque

Caroline Toque

Coco Cloche

Coco Cloche

Coco Fingerless Mitts

Coco Fingerless Mitts

Simone Cloche

Simone Cloche

Jane Slouch Cloche

Jane Slouch Cloche

Suzanne Toque

Suzanne Toque
















And that’s it. Make one of the two choices above, and collect your special bonus. Sounds like a lovely way to kick off the afternoon!

A Head For Trouble ~ What To Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders


and E-BOOK versions

128 pages
Passiflora Press, Chicago, IL, 2014

A Head for Trouble
What To Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders

20 Hats and Adornments Inspired by Lady Detectives of the Roaring Twenties
Vol. 1

by Julie Turjoman

See the book page for A Head for Trouble to see all of the projects included in the book.

Please contact Julie for a shipping quote if:

~ you wish to purchase 3 or more copies,

~ you are located anywhere outside of the United States. (Note: Shipping rate via Priority Mail International to Canada is approx. $24.95USD, and to Europe and Australia is approx. $24.95USD, and takes approx. 6 – 10 days according to the U.S. Postal Service.)

Paperback version 

Price: $ 26 . 95


Price: $ 19 . 95

Your e-book Download Link will appear at the very bottom of your purchase receipt. ravelry-icon-2 Ravelry members: Download and store your A Head for Trouble e-book in your Ravelry library. Please click HERE to visit Ravelry to purchase & download your copy. If you intend to store your A Head for Trouble e-book on your personal e-reader or computer only, then please purchase it right from my site using one of the links above.


Mini E-Book – A Head For Fashion



* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Six Hats and Adornments Inspired by Fashion Designers of the Roaring Twenties

* * * * * * * * * * * * *



Inspired by influential women fashion designers of the 1920s, this collection of five hats and one pair of fingerless mitts channels wearable vintage style for the modern knitter. Vivid textures, color work, and unique embellishments make the projects perfect for gift-giving, stash-busting, or simply for celebrating your inner flapper.

A HEAD FOR FASHION is available for sale in electronic format only.

See the Book page for photographs of the designs from this book. Individual patterns from this collection may also be purchased in the Hats & Mitts section of my Shop.

Price: $ 14 . 95

10/13/14 – A Head For Fashion

The HEAD FOR TROUBLE count-down continues. Take advantage of the pre-order promotion, and your very own copy (signed by yours truly, if you so desire) will ship to you the week of October 26th. Get ready to make a little trouble!!

A HEAD FOR TROUBLETo whet your appetites further, here are the last two of six total designs from my upcoming mini e-book collection, A Head For Fashion :

Caroline Toque_5_10 14

    Jane Slouch Cloche










Please say hello to Caroline (the lovely toque on the left) and Jane (the fetching slouch cloche on the right), both of which already are up on my Ravelry Designer project pages with all the details.

For a very short time (Oct. 15th – 31st, 2014), you can get either one of these patterns for FREE when you pre-order either the paperback or the electronic version of my new book, A HEAD FOR TROUBLE; What To Knit While Catching Crooks, Chasing Clues, and Solving Murders.

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If you order both hard copy AND electronic version, you’ll get the entire mini e-book, A Head For Fashion , with all six patterns. Watch my SHOP section for ordering specifics, coming on October 15th.

10/10/14 – A Head For Trouble pre-order promotions (continued)

With only six days to go until the launch of A Head for Trouble , say hello to Coco, a fetching cloche and fingerless mitts combination, both of which are included in my bonus mini e-book collection, A HEAD FOR FASHION.

Coco Cloche and Mitts_2_10 14That’s Coco as in Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel; brilliant, innovative fashion designer and deeply flawed human being. Creator of the “little black dress.” That Coco Chanel.

Picture-48Chanel was the designer who, during the 1920s, popularized comfortable jersey knit fabric for women’s clothing, when it had previously been relegated to the manufacture of men’s underwear.

Coco Cloche and Mitts_5_10 14As a style-maker, she was a great proponent of the high-low mix; blending expensive couture pieces with costume jewelry, for example. Her brand, encompassing clothing, handbags, and even the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume, is successful even today.

Coco Cloche Crown_6_10 14

Coco Mitts_3_10 14The Coco Cloche and Fingerless Mitts are two separate patterns in A HEAD FOR FASHION. The patterns include instructions for the sweet knitted roses and leaves you see in the photos, naturellement. Unexpected texture, and tiny mother-of-pearl buttons at the cuffs are extra special embellishments that make these two projects unique and easy to personalize.

10/8/2014 – A Head For Trouble Count-Down

Only one week to go until A Head For Trouble‘s pre-order promotions begin.














I hate to admit it, being a grown-up and all, but I’m having a really, really hard time containing my excitement.

Because given my tendency toward excess, I couldn’t just create a new book with 20 projects in it.

Oh, no.

That would be far too restrained for me. Sometimes I believe, to paraphrase Mae West, that “too much of a good thing is wonderful.”

So here’s what I did: I designed a collection of six bonus patterns – five additional hats and an utterly charming pair of fingerless mitts, also inspired by the Roaring Twenties. These will be available online as a PDF only. Let’s have a little sneak preview:

Suzanne Toque

Simone ClocheAll six of these bonus patterns have been collected into a mini e-book called A Head For Fashion, and you’ll be able to purchase it right around the same time that A Head For Trouble is released.

375178Why A Head For Fashion, you ask? Each of the six bonus projects is inspired by a female fashion designer who was known for her innovative hat creations, and was active during the 1920s, such as Rose Talbot (one of her stunning millinery designs is modeled below on the left) and Simone Mirman, who rose from poverty to become “Milliner to the Queen” of England during her long life:







But here’s the really exciting news: if you pre-order both the hard copy and the e-book of A Head For Trouble together during the promotional period of October 15-31, 2014, you will get this bonus e-book for FREE.

If you decide you want only the hard copy or the electronic version of A Head For Trouble but not both, of course that’s fine, too. Not to worry – you’ll still get something extra special.


Purchase either the hard copy or the electronic version during the promotional period, and you will be able to choose any one of the six bonus patterns from the e-book for FREE.

The individual patterns from the bonus collection will be available to purchase both on Ravelry and here on my website for $5.00 each. The mini e-book collection will be available to purchase as well, for $14.95…. and any way you look at it, that’s an amazing deal. The collection includes special features such as detailed instructions for sizing and styling to ensure your success with the patterns, as well as resources for the fabulous notions you’ll see on the projects.

More information and bonus collection photos coming soon!

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.














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.


Here’s a question: how many books can one author sign in 7 minutes?

Answer: 42 – a full case (and a cramped hand, but that’s another story).

And how do I know this? In preparation for book signings at Stitches Midwest this coming weekend, I signed lots (and lots) of copies of Knits That Breathe. Hope to see you there!

KnitsThatBreathe_Cover_Front 4 14

On another note, I can’t wait to share the details of this new design, coming for fall:

IMG_4139Meanwhile, summer in the city is in full swing, with all its most compelling distractions on display. For example, these new temporary sculpture exhibits at Millenium Park:

IMG_4041Concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion, the perfect picnic venue:

IMG_4126The “living” art fountain display at Millennium Park:


IMG_4036And the majesty of several spectacular summer storms, complete with dramatic cloud formations, lightning strikes on the tallest antennae in the city, and claps of thunder that send the cat scurrying for her “safe place” in the apartment, otherwise known as “under the dining room table.”

IMG_4101That is, when she’s not helping me knit:




Working on new swatches all week, in preparation for some fantastic surprises this fall:


Experimenting with new stitches and embellishments, which are always fun to audition before stitching them oh-so-carefully onto the final project. I was irrationally pleased to find a home for a cherished vintage button from the stash:


A little bit cross-eyed from this working up mini-landscape of cable crosses:


It’s always a challenge is finding the best foundation textures for a new project. Sometimes it falls into place quickly, when the *perfect* stitch pattern leaps out at me from the pages of one of my stitch dictionaries. More often, though, I’ll swatch four or five different stitches to discover the best one for a particular yarn. Here’s one example:



I’m excited to be gearing up for Stitches Midwest, which takes place in Schaumburg, IL next weekend (Aug. 7-10). Lots of preparation to do between now and then.

Knits That Breathe

Four of the garments from Knits That Breathe will be in the event’s fashion show, so attendees will be able to see these cool, drapey tunics and tees in action!

back cover image

If you don’t already have your own signed copy of Knits That Breathe, I’ll be doing several book signings at Stitches on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the line-up so far:

Yarn Barn of Kansas: 12:00 pm

Fine Needle: 1:00 pm

Fine Point: late afternoon

See you there!


The knitting happening here these days is mostly of the secret variety, and awfully exciting despite the fact that I can’t discuss it. For example, today I got a FedEx package from my printer containing digital proofs for the next book! I’d like nothing better than to show you those photos, but I’m working on my secret-keeping skills and this is a perfect opportunity to practice saying, “My lips are sealed.” Although I haven’t figured out how to say it and do it at the same time!

I can, however, offer a sneak peak of a new project in the works:

2014-07-14 21.00.01

It’s related to the next book, but it won’t spoil anything if I share the photo above. The Plucky Knitter yarns (Traveler in Morticia and Plucky Bello Worsted in Old Copper) are a joy to work with. There’s nothing about rich, saturated colors and heavenly soft fiber that I don’t like!

In addition, I’ve added a new recipe to my culinary repertoire this summer: mini-frittatas that make a fabulous quick breakfast or lunch on the go. The following recipe is not terribly precise, but is detailed enough for you to make your own, equally delicious, version of these frittatas.

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Now for the recipe itself:

First take several (I used 8 large ones) farm fresh eggs, break them into a large bowl, and mix them with a generous splash of milk and a shake of salt and pepper:

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Then, dice a small onion and sauté it in 1 TBSP of olive oil until it softens. If it turns a little brown at the edges, too, that’s ok. While the onion sautés, cut a smallish head of broccoli florets into bite size pieces and steam them for a minute or so, or until just tender.

If you haven’t already turned on the oven, go do that now.

Let the broccoli cool along with the onion, and then add both of these ingredients to the bowl of eggs.

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Dice about 1/2 a cup of hard salami (leave this ingredient out if you’re a vegetarian or just want a lighter mini-frittata), and grate or shred about 3/4 cup of the cheese of your choice. I used sharp Cheddar, but Monterey Jack, Gouda, parmesan, or crumbled feta would also be delicious.

Mix these ingredients into the bowl with the eggs and everything else.

Add some fresh herbs. I picked and then tossed in about a TBSP each of lemon thyme and parsley from my little herb garden. Add another dash of salt and pepper.

Mix everything one last time; you should have enough of the egg mixture to fill 2 pans – 12 of the muffin top forms.

Now you’re ready to bake them!

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Spoon the mixture into “Muffin Top” pans. Their shallowness will allow the mini-frittatas to puff up slightly, resulting in round, personal sized frittatas-to-go. Bake for approximately 15 minutes (but start checking on them after 10-12 minutes), until the tops have puffed up, the cheese is melted and bubbling, and the eggs have set.

They should smell pretty delicious when you crack open the oven door to check on them.

To serve, I put mine in the microwave oven (which keeps them from drying out) for 1 minute to heat them up for breakfast, but you could also heat them in a toaster oven, or try them at room temperature. Enjoy!

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7/13/14 – Bastille Day Promotion

Starting tomorrow and in honor of Bastille Day – July 14th – if you order a paperback copy of Knits That Breathe on my website,  you will be able to score a free download of the electronic version with its wonderful interactive features!

KnitsThatBreathe_Cover_Front 4 14

This promotion will run for a limited time, so take advantage of it while you can. As the French would say, *”Le jour de gloire est arrivé.” Only where Knits That Breathe is concerned, there will be several jours de gloire when you can obtain your very own copy.


*Translation: The day of glory is here!


There’s definitely something about Murphy’s Law: Last week, I started knitting again after a dreary month-long hiatus (to give my torn rotator cuff a break), but over the holiday weekend I managed to fall and hurt that shoulder all over again. It was a real face-plant, too. Only my Starbucks chai splattered farther than I did, all over the sidewalk.


In retrospect, I’m not sure which hurt more:

1) my pride – the 20-something individual who kindly stopped to help seemed to think I was ready for a wheelchair.

2) my wallet – It was my first caffeinated drink of the day, and I’d taken only a few sips before the fall.

3) my shoulder – well, yeah. Three days later, it still hurts every time I move my arm.

But does this mean I’m not knitting again? Nooooo… of course not. And my little helper is ready to retrieve the errant stitch marker, cable needle, you name it!


4th of July weekend was lazy, which is just what I needed. With the exception of a few loud fireworks explosions near my apartment building, it was very quiet – also just what I needed.

Have also been sending off the last few pre-ordered hard copies of Knits That Breathe to some very patient knitters. And that is a really good feeling!

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The positive reviews of Knits That Breathe keep appearing, much to my delight and everlasting appreciation. Herewith, two more, the first from Jimmy Beans Wool blog post last week,

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and the next from Carol Sulcoski’s Black Bunny Fibers blog.

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Carol and my friends at Jimmy Beans Wool are among the knitting world folks whose work I most admire. Their creativity and business acumen are qualities I emulate to the best of my ability, and achieve with, at best,  mixed results.

I enjoyed being interviewed for the review by Jimmy Beans… Kristen asked thoughtful questions, most of which were different than those I’ve been asked before.

And when Carol writes one of her “no bull book reviews,” it’s often the final push I need to add a new book to my knitting bookshelf – so I can only hope that those who read her review of Knits That Breathe will be similarly motivated!

Off to enjoy a relaxing Fourth of July weekend, and hope you will do the same! I leave you with several colorful blooms from my recent visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens that resemble booms – that is, exploding fireworks!





6/30/2014 – Review: Knitters Curiosity Cabinet III by Hunter Hammersen

Up for review today is the prolific Visionary author Hunter Hammersen‘s final addition to her Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet trilogy, KCC III:

KCC3 front cover

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with either this self-published book series or with Hunter’s prodigious knitting talent, let this be your introduction. I apologize in advance if this sounds like a girl-crush — but in a way it is.

Hunter is the real deal; a multi-talented designer whose intellectual curiosity  is surpassed only by her wide-ranging creativity. She’d probably say that her ability to keep her finger on the pulse of our knitting community’s zeitgeist is just a bonus.

Taking its theme from curiosity cabinets (holding collections of the marvels of natural science) and history, the patterns in KCC III are inspired by antique marine illustrations that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Hunter is an inspired sock knitter, and the projects in KCC III showcase that talent. Here are two lovely examples:

Planorbis corneus Sock

string theory sock banner

Fucus asparagoides Sock

plucky knitter sock banner

Each sock pattern has a companion project, and these are pretty evenly divided among shawls, hats, and mitts. All are graceful, use only a skein or two of yarn, and are very wearable. Some of my favorites include the delicate Fucus asparagoides Shawl, made from The Plucky Knitter’s Plucky Single:

plucky knitter other c

Each one features yarn that seems to have been spun and dyed specifically for that project, so beautifully do fiber and end product work together.


lornas laces other b

In addition to the projects themselves is ample evidence of Hunter’s affinity for History with a capital ‘H.’ She shares the history of curiosity cabinets as a cultural trend, describing the artifacts people collected in them hundreds of years ago, and weaves a seamless, fascinating tie-in with the knitting.

Zostera marina mitt

sweet georgia other a

Hunter is a staunch proponent of charted directions for lace, cables, and the like. In fact, there are no written row-by-row instructions for the projects in KCC III. But she facilitates the user-friendliness of her charts – and every pattern in the book includes at least one – with detailed stitch keys and careful explanations of every stitch that might give the chart-phobic knitter pause.

I’ve heard that knitters challenge themselves to get comfortable using charts specifically so they can make Hunter’s patterns, and having seen the effort she makes to keep them accessible, I’m not surprised.

Limneus stagnalis cowl

bmfa other a

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a bit about production values here. Hunter’s books are, without exception, right at home on the knitter’s bookshelf next to any volume from a major mainstream publisher. In terms of layout and design, photography, and styling, her books are generally more attractive than those from some of the major craft book publishers.

Even details such as paper quality, and whether the cover has a glossy or matte finish, do not go unconsidered. The end results are beautiful, substantial, and uncompromising. All attest to the effort Hunter expends to ensure the quality of her ‘product,’ and make them worth every penny.

Serpula contortuplicata mitt

shibui other b

For the accessory knitter looking for whimsical but wearable projects, for the history and science buff, and for the aesthete who revels in pure beauty for its own sake, The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet III is a gorgeous capstone to the 3-volume set.

Padina pavonia Sock

dream in color sock b