Curls Two author Hunter Hammersen on Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird was the perfect ending to a full weekend of holiday and internet shopping.
Hunter Hammersen says she began her knitting career by accident. As a grad student she knitted for her own pleasure and once she got the hang of it began doing her own thing. Others would ask her for the patterns, and she admits she is ‘kinda bossy’ so writing the patterns wasn’t that big a deal. It kinda clicked. Then, thanks to Ravelry, she was very busy and contacted by publishers. She began self-publishing with Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet in 2012, which has had three volumes, then Curls in 2015 and now Curls 2.
Hunter says she works hard to create her self-published book in a way that stands beside others or she wouldn’t create books this way.
Curls began with a swatch, and she admired the curl it created and found that she couldn’t put it down. It was also pretty cool that it an interesting shape that could be a cute cowl, if you kept going it could be a scarf and then when it was bigger it made a shawl. She discovered that it was more important to get the shape and desired texture than to get gauge. Hunter loved the idea of letting the knitter be in charge, with the freedom to pick the yarn weight and working with their own gauge. The shape doesn’t really have a designated shape, Marly calls it ‘a cornucopia’ shape, but it’s an asymmetrical with a curve…. totally fun and interesting. On previous visits, Hunter really admired how it just wraps or CURLS around our shoulder so comfy.
As far as stitch techniques, most of the patterns are lace and occasionally with cables. As long as the knitter has some experience they will be able to accomplish something from Curls 2. Some people have created things from the book after completing a wash cloth! You may need to access the various resources to learn how to make the increases or decreases that gets the shape or accomplishes the stitch patterns, but she has heard from many that have been successful.
The first thing one may notice when viewing the patterns in Ravelry is that all the shown suggestions for gray (going with the American spelling) some yarns are favorites, and can be found in our local yarn shops, but others may be specialty colorways or independent and harder to find. Again, because the gauge isn’t set in stone we can use our favorites, too. The stitch patterns that Hunter chose look pretty on it’s reverse side and some are even Reversible, so if it doesn’t stay put somehow, it still looks sweet.
She also wants people to hear her when she say ‘Block Your Swatches’ including washing. You really need to see how the swatch turns out to know how your finished shawl will drape. She even suggests blocking while it’s on the needles, letting it dry, if it appears to be what you hope it will be, keep knitting. It will save so much time and heartache. She has included a section in this book on blocking. This is the first book that she used blocking wires. Marly has recommended THESE to us before, from Fiber Dreams.
TRIVIA: The names in Curls 2 are like shades of gray, shades of the truth or shades of lies. Most find this funny, but one knitter, surprisingly, said she didn’t to ‘wrap herself up in that negativity’. That’s OK, too, more lovely lace shawls for me!
Curls 2: Versatile Wearable Wraps to Knit at Any Gauge by Hunter Hammersen is available through Amazon with Marly’s affililate link. (Here is one for ANY of Hunter’s books.) Hunter can be followed through her website: ViolentlyDomestic.com Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, in Ravelry check out her Designer Page and the Violently Domestic Group.
If you missed getting to hear this visit live, it is still available as an archived episode where it aired originally http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/11/29/curls-two-with-hunter-hammersen or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. There is a great story about the Police getting involved in her photoshoot, worth listening to the whole episode. There is also video filmed behind-the-scenes from Marly’s Birds of a Feather Studio that was LIVE on Facebook.