Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kitty Knits Blog Tour

Knitter and author Donna Druchunas recently published the book Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People. I had the treat of interviewing her for this blog entry.

One of the things that really made an impression on me and I think adds a very nice touch to the book is the cat themed poems interspersed throughout the book. What was your inspiration to do this, and how did you choose what to include?

I once had an idea for a book called "Poetry Mittens" that would have
a collection of handspun, handknitted mittens, each accompanied by a
poem. I haven't gotten to do that book yet, but I always liked the
idea of including poetry in a knitting book. I also wanted it to be
easy for the publisher, so I chose older poems that were in the
public domain. I liked the idea that those would be familiar to most
readers, perhaps even childhood favorites, plus there were no legal
issues in getting permission to include the poems.

When I showed the book around to my friends in my knitting groups, the project that really seemed to get a lot of positive comments was the Peruvian Lace Scarf. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

I have been in a lace knitting mode ever since I started working on
Arctic Lace. This pattern is a carry over from that book. The cat
motif was adapted by a Peruvian weaving by Dorothy Reade in the
1960s. She worked with the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Cooperative
( in Alaska when it was just getting started.
So this project ties together several of my interests: ethnic
knitting designs, lace knitting, and Alaska.

I know you have written several other books before this one. There are so many wonderful projects in this book. I was wondering, how many projects do you typically start with and how do you end up deciding which ones make the cut to be included in the book?

Every book is different. Normally, you sketch out each project, make
a swatch, and right up a description of the project. Then you send
all of that to a publisher, with an outline of your book, as a book
proposal. If the publisher decides they want to do your book, they
will assign an editor to you, and your editor will work with you if
they want any changes to the projects. Sometimes they will ask you to
change some colors, or to make more sweaters and less accessories, or
something like that. After you agree on the final project list, then
you make everything as agreed upon between author and editor.

I really enjoyed the simplicity and easy to follow instructions for the Catnip Mouse toy. I just started knitting the Kitty Socks. I noticed that the sock pattern uses a slightly bigger gauge than most sock patterns call for; did you choose this design element to make the socks a quick project?

It was just the gauge that I liked for that yarn when I made my
swatch. I wanted the socks to be soft and cuddly. But if you want
stronger socks, you can make them at a tighter gauge and use the
larger size of the pattern.

I really enjoyed this book and have a couple of the other projects tabbed for future knitting. What’s next for you? Do you have any other books in the works?

I have 2 more books in the Ethnic Knitting series in the works. I am
also going to Lithuania this summer to do some research on a future
book about Lithuanian knitting. I won't know what will be in that
book until after my research trip.

My newest books are: Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People and

Ethnic Knitting Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and the Andes

If you’re a cat lover looking for some fun knitting projects, or happen to know a knitter who love cats; this is a great book. The instructions are written clearly and are easy to follow. The book is laid out nicely with great illustrations, poems and clear text and charts. The projects for cats include warnings for yarn substitution to prevent harm. The two projects I have already worked were fun and quick (so far). I highly recommend that you add this book to your library some day soon!

The Catnip Mice pattern was a big hit with Saucey and Zelda.... Here are a few "action shots"I smell catnip....
Is it just me or is everything upsidedown??

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