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.


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!

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!

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.

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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.

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.