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Old 10-13-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
RuthieinMaryland
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SOS! Need your opinions...
Hi Knitters!

I'm writing a knitting book about 'Designing your own projects using 100% cotton yarn'. It will include basic design principles (and patterns) for a minimum of 12 projects illustrating those principles. THE GOAL: You will quickly and easily design and knit your own projects! Wow!

The book is in the initial layout and format stage. Now is the best time to ask knitters to express their opinion about “the ideal knitting book”!

For example:

1)What would cause you to pass by a book on the shelf?
2)When you browse knitting books, what is it about them that would make you put it back on the shelf?
3)What would make the book least useful to you?
4) What do most knitting books lack?

You're not limited to the above questions. Please rant about anything you'd like. And pet peeves are welcome here! Just tell me what you don't like!

And, on the flip side of that coin:

1)What makes a knitting book ideal for you?
2)What is it about your favorite knitting books that makes your fingers itch to grab the yarn and needles and add one more piece to your "on the needles" list!
3)ANYTHING you love, please tell me.

As far as the book itself:
1)Would you prefer a printed version, or
2)Would you prefer an e-book, or disk, at about half the price?
3)Would you like to have both disk and print version available?

If you prefer a ‘printed’ version, how would you like it to look?
1) Snappy cover
2) Spiral binding
3) Large type style
4) Other?

Please feel free to talk about any of the issues mentioned, or any of your own. I want to thank each of you for taking the time to share your opinions! My goal is to create the most useful book I can! Feedback from you is so important because knitters know what’s best!

Thanks in advance,

Ruthie
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:52 AM   #2
saracidaltendencies
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Ok, I'll try to answer all the questions...lol

First of all, no matter what the book, I admit, I judge books by their covers In order for me to even pick up a book to glance at it, it must have an appealing, intriguing cover.

Also, when browsing books, I like to see designs that are really different. Honestly, the majority of patterns I have seen, I'm not thrilled with. Don't get me wrong, the work is beautiful, but, most of what I see is really not my taste. I guess that's another reason I pretty much don't knit for myself. I dunno, I think I have kind of weird tastes though

What would make the book least useful to me is seeing it filled with actual knitting instructions. I realize that in some cases, certain instructions may be necessary, but, I believe that's what the instructional books are for. I mean if a person doesn't know how to knit too well I think they should start off with an instructional book. If there's a certain type of stitch or BO or something for a particular pattern/s that isn't necessarily common, then including the instructions are useful, but, instructions for a basic knit or purl stitch and bind off, things like that, I find unnecessary.

I'm not really sure what most knitting books lack as I don't have a huge collection of them...lol...I have the Stitch N Bitch and Stitch N Bitch Nation books, the Domiknitrix book, the Anti-craft book, and the Naughty Needles book.

As for what makes a knitting book ideal to me is the uniqueness of the designs, and, a variety of patterns for different levels of knitting. I like to see a few different patterns ranging from beginner to advanced.

My favorite knitting books that make me want to add to my WIP's have fun and funky designs, such as the Domiknitrix and Naughty Needles books.

I prefer printed versions of books. I like being able to have a book to take with me wherever I go, and the ease of having a book on hand. Also, I think spiral binding would be best for knitting books with patterns. I hate it when I'm trying to follow a pattern from a book and I have to weigh down the page because the previous page keeps wanting to flip down...lol...Definitely spiral binding!

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:02 AM   #3
dustinac
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I'm also one that looks at the cover first and if it grabs my attention then I'll flip through it.

I like books that have gobs of patterns, if I'm going to buy the book then I want to get my money out of the patterns. If not then I could just browse and maybe buy a similar pattern on it's own.

I also don't like books that have a lot of instructions on how to cast on, bind off, knit, etc...to me that takes up pattern room and if I need help with a certain technique I can look here or google

I like printed books the best and spiral

Most of the time I will check books out at the library first and then if it's a book that I know I will use again and again...I'll buy it.

I like to also see the designer give us choices with yarn weight and sizes too, or at least explains how to go about adjusting the pattern for this.

I'm addicted to buying knitting patterns and feel that if I bought the pattern I shouldn't have to do any guess work on it.

Be sure to have others test knit the patterns for you before you send the book out there...

Congrats on writting your book and good luck
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:02 PM   #4
RuthieinMaryland
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[quote=Demonica;1162430]Ok, I'll try to answer all the questions...lol

Hi!

I can't tell you how much your feedback helps!!! And I really do appreciate it that you took the time and effort to be so thorough.

I don't just want to write a knitting book, I want to write it for knitters so that it's totally helpful and totally useful and - very important - totally FUN!!!

Thanks again for helping!

Ruthie
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
heatherg23
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1)What would cause you to pass by a book on the shelf? To many advanced techniques. If the cover isnít pleasing to look at. A bright pretty pattern on the cover would get my attention.

2)When you browse knitting books, what is it about them that would make you put it back on the shelf? Same as 1


3)What would make the book least useful to you? If itís not explained well, if there were no charts with the patterns.

4) What do most knitting books lack?
Iíve only seen 2 books so I donít know.

You're not limited to the above questions. Please rant about anything you'd like. And pet peeves are welcome here! Just tell me what you don't like!

And, on the flip side of that coin:

1)What makes a knitting book ideal for you? Beginner patterns to intermediate patterns. Explaining the techniques well. Need charts along with the patterns. I do a lot of knitting charities so if there were patterns that I could use for them would be great. LOVE stitch pattern books. There could never be enough of them.


2)What is it about your favorite knitting books that makes your fingers itch to grab the yarn and needles and add one more piece to your "on the needles" list!


3)ANYTHING you love, please tell me.

As far as the book itself:
1)Would you prefer a printed version: YES
2)Would you prefer an e-book, or disk, at about half the price? YES
3)Would you like to have both disk and print version available? YES

If you prefer a Ďprintedí version, how would you like it to look?
1) Snappy cover
2) Spiral binding--YES
3) Large type style
4) Other?

I would LOVE a spiral binding because when I use patterns I am always going back and forth between pages and the pages wonít get wear and tear with a spiral bound book.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
RuthieinMaryland
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Great points!
Originally Posted by dustinac View Post
I'm also one that looks at the cover first and if it grabs my attention then I'll flip through it.


Be sure to have others test knit the patterns for you before you send the book out there...

Congrats on writting your book and good luck

Thanks, Dusti!

You brought up some great points that will be very helpful for me to consider as I progress on this.

I believe in being thorough and there's nothing more frustrating than working away on a pattern, frogging, re-working, frogging (sigh!) then finding that there was a mistake in the pattern. So the ones I'm including will be tested within a milimeter of their lives!!!

This is so exciting! What a generous group of knitters you all are. I'm proud to be a member of this community!

Ruthie
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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I am another one who likes spiral binding. It is so much more convenient.
I like a range of patterns and for the finished garments to be shown in a range of colours. (i am not a pastel person, a book full of pastels just doesnt attract me, even though i know i could knit it in any colour i wanted, conversly somebody who did like pastels might be put off by a book showing lots of strong dark colours, even if the shape of the garment might suit them). I would like to see patterns for men in there too. and more than a token 'male' scarf or a plain pullover.

Additionally i like things to be separated very clearly, bullet points and sub headings are good. For accesability (people with visual impairments, or problems such as dyslexia) i would veer away from fussy backgrounds, or start black on white text, overly small text or charts. The best layouts i have seen are plain areas with text in and pictures in their own space or even on their own page.

I like unusual things to be explained. no just how but why. why are you using these decreases, why does this pattern cal for this cast on. Especially in a 'build your own pattern' sort of book, it is nice to understand not just what needs to be done but why it needs to be done. but that might just be me.
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by heatherg23 View Post
[b]
I do a lot of knitting charities so if there were patterns that I could use for them would be great.
Hi, Heather

ALL of your comments are helpful and enlightening. But I wanted to address the above point specifically.

I'm researching copyright restrictions now, looking for a way to protect the rights to the work while at the same time allowing a lot of latitude to knitters for their use of the patterns.

I've found that most knitters are such generous, giving souls. They love to share!!!

It's so frustrating for me when I have a pattern I want to share to be restricted by copyrights. I honor them, of course. I've been a professional artist for over 30 years and copyrights are a VERY important part of that life.

But I'd like to be able to allow knitters to make any of the patterns for charity, share them among themselves or knit them for sale! And I'll find a way to do that and still protect the book itself from pirating.

I'm so glad you mentioned this!

Thanks again,
Ruthie
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tarrentella View Post
...
I like unusual things to be explained. no just how but why. why are you using these decreases, why does this pattern cal for this cast on. Especially in a 'build your own pattern' sort of book, it is nice to understand not just what needs to be done but why it needs to be done. but that might just be me.
Hi, Sophie!

I'm so glad you mentioned this as a desired item. And the "build your own pattern" describes it PERFECTLY! Right on!

I've been going round and round in writing (and re-writing!) some of the basic design chapters to make sure the WHY is clearly shown. It's so important. If you know WHY you should use a particular type of cast on for a pattern, for instance, you'll know what to do when you're dreaming up your own!

Thanks for bringing this up, and for all your comments!

Ruthie
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:02 PM   #10
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1)What would cause you to pass by a book on the shelf?
If it seems too trendy, I like classic patterns that I can use for years and years, not while a few things are in style... and I do think that poor photos on the cover.

2)When you browse knitting books, what is it about them that would make you put it back on the shelf?
Poor pics in the book, not many pics of the patterns, not a variety of levels, sometimes I want something simple and other times I something that takes more thought and brain work. Also not a wide range of sizes, I'd like to be able to knit the item for different people and patterns that don't give year weight, I rarely use the yarn in the pattern. (How's that for a run on sentence...)

3)What would make the book least useful to you?
All trendy patterns... most patterns without variety of sizes... I also don't like them to have how to knit in a book like this

4) What do most knitting books lack?

Humor.. I love EZ's book cuz of the way she writes... and I learn something from them.

1)What makes a knitting book ideal for you?
Classic patterns, pretty much what I was saying that would make me put a book back if it didn't have

2)What is it about your favorite knitting books that makes your fingers itch to grab the yarn and needles and add one more piece to your "on the needles" list!
EZ's Knitter's Almanac, and Victorian Knits today

3)ANYTHING you love, please tell me.
I also love color work, mostly stranding... and I am VERY interested in learning more about design... I would love to see your book.

I'd prefer for the book to be both printed and an ebook, I'd like to see it and if I was enjoying it I would by the actual book.

I also really like when on amazon I can browse through the book some. Where I can see the book. My local book stores carry mostly how to knit books so most of mine I get through Amazon,

For the book I'd prefer it to be spiral... makes reading the patterns easier and having it in soft and hard cover would be preferable too.
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