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Cool Knitting - Bauer Media Books - Australian Craft Awards Entry - Category Craft Publication

BY design100 | 06-Sep-2013
Cool Knitting offers 20 unique toy patterns with a classic and cute appeal, accompanied by step-by-step photographs to make them easier to follow, an illustrated guide, hints and tips to help solve common problems and a little story in the form of a poem for each character. Everyone can enjoy flipping through and picking their favourite creature and story. Most of the toys are based off of two simple shapes - learn these and you will be on your way to knitting the whole book!
Project Creator

Bauer Media Books
Karla Courtney

Project Team

"Cool Knitting" was the result of a talented and passionate team. The book was designed by Art Director Hannah Blackmore, styled by Louise Bickle, photographed by Louise Lister and illustrations by Patti Andrews. All patterns designed and knit by and text authored by Karla Courtney. Test knitting by Claire Ward. Edited by Wendy Bryant.

Editorial Brief

There are a number of knitting magazines and books on the market, but few really engage readers, particularly children and aspirational knitters, beyond the lines of small print to follow the pattern.

The idea of this book was to create a product that would not only encourage people to knit but also to create a publication that would live outside the craft - we wanted people to flip through and read the book and fall in love with the characters so that there is more of an emotional connection to the project.

The principles are to keep the projects as simple as possible by limiting the amount of required techniques and avoiding unnecessary shapes and finishing (Ie having to sew many small pieces together). We use things like simple squares and circles wherever possible and repeat shapes so that there is familiarity.

All projects are based off two master shapes that are presented in detail at the beginning of the book. There are tips and notes for advanced knitters to create their own designs off the shapes, thus furthering the craft conversation!

Your Audience

The book was published and distributed under the Australian Women's Weekly masthead - through newsagents and supermarkets, so the audience is very broad and mainstream. This is the first dedicated knitting title Australian Women's Weekly has produced in more than 10 years.

Our imagined audience is:

- Beginner/Aspirational knitters
- Parents and children
- Advanced knitters who want to give gifts for family, friends or charity

One of our most successful titles has been The Children's Birthday Cake Book - which presents a parity of different cakes to try and speak to many different tastes. This book has a very similar principle. While all toys, our patterns vary from things like a sloth (a big internet trend popular among the 20-30 age group as well as young children), classics (bunny, cat, owl, penguin), seasonal (gingerbread man), kid favourites (robots, dinosaurs, unicorns)

Publication Innovation/Need

Our team identified a gap in the market for knitting publications that would appeal to a mainstream market.

We also noticed that many toy books had very complicated finishing techniques and little visual assistance to showcase the process.

Each of our toys:

- Is based off two basic shapes
- Contain detailed step-by-step photography
- Have anecdotal, encouraging text (IE "the horn is the most difficult part as you are working with only four stitches. Don't give up - it's only a small bit!)
- Are accompanied by a poem; (IE SUPER SLOTH "When they were assigning super powers, some could fly or scale high towers, the sloth's attraction is all tempo, his super power is being SLOW!"
- Have a list of required materials and skills. All skills are then illustrated and explained in the back.

The toys are presented from easiest to most difficult. There is a shark pattern at the back with complicated skills to appeal to advance knitters.

Cool Knitting is a beautiful, playful and innovative book that is designed to engage a range of skills and ages in knitting!