Kate Oates designs for Grown-Ups by creating a new book, GROWN, and sharing it on Yarn Thing with Marly Bird.
Kate Oates was in middle school she learned to knit the basic skills. When she was pregnant with first son (she has four boys), she really got into making hats. She initially thought she would sell her hats, but quickly realized the unprofitable-ness of that plan. She heard about Ravelry, and began designing while working on her PHD, made sure she was working with good tech editors and testers. Kate did get her PHD but has never used it, founding Tot Toppers and continuing her adventures in design.
Kate shared a little bit about her kids learning to knit. It’s kind of motivated by competition, like when she learned she competed with her sister. They knit for a couple of rows a week or so and have all the bags and tools. Kids lives are busy, if they are consistent at a couple rows a week that’s a good thing. She also gave us an update on her neighborhood in the Hurricane Matthew aftermath, which is coincidentally very similar to her last visit about this time last year with the floods.
Oftentimes, people admired Kate’s designs for kids and wished that the garments could fit themselves as adults. Kate liked that idea but wanted to do more than just up-size the patterns. With her new book GROWN: Sophisticated Sweaters designed by the maker of Tot Toppers, she shares the story behind each design, that they are inspired by which pieces designed for kids, so beloved that a particular element created an adult sized idea. For instance the cover piece is the Jesse’s Girl (these garment links are to the patterns in Ravelry) design, that takes it’s cabled pattern from the Jesse Half Zip that was included in Knits for Boys. The Eli Cardigan includes cables and things that have been moved around from the Eliot Half-Zip and the Eliot Hoodie and includes a No-Sew Zipper. In fact, a lot of the cabled elements of some of the other designs have been moved around from the original to make it more comfortable or show off the beautiful yarns used. The Downtown Pullover was so beloved as the child version, with the leather patches, of the Grove Pullover, that it a expanded version of the classic design.
Kate believes every sweater in Grown works for women. Some of the individual designs have separate shaping to work better for men or women. The Artisan Sweater works for both men and women (check out the pictures in Ravelry as it’s modeled on a guy and a gal) and includes 20 choices of colorwork patterns. With the cozy shawl collar, it sure to be a beloved wardrobe essential.
Just a fun piece of trivia: one of the models in this book was a child model in an earlier book! But that’s OK, even Kate modeled the cover design (Jesse’s Girl), she was able to convince her husband to model for her (Eli Cardigan), which is a switch for her because he is the one that requires extra help during family photo shoots. She also convinced her sister (in the Joey Sweater) and brother-in-law (in the Scholar Cardigan) into their modeling career, The Plaza hoodie is that child model all- GROWN-up. (See what we did there?) She’s wearing the grown-up design of the piece she modeled at aged nine.
Clearly, the FAMILY element is the precious part of Kates book!
The pricing of the e-book (immediately available) is $19. There is a print one coming out in the few months, $22 and there is a package deal that will include a design that will come out at about the same time so watch the website for that.
Keep following Kate Oates through her website: TotToppers.com, where you can find her e-book, and a blog post about the book, too. Here is the link to her Ravelry Designer page, the Tot Toppers Group, the Tot Toppers Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.