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I've created a line of wooden peg looms to make potholders and projects of other sizes. Read the story behind the looms and check out my etsy shop.


Modern Top-Down Knitting Blog Tour Finale and Giveaway: Kristina McGowan Shares The Inspiration Behind Her New Book

It appears that I’m doing my best to make Kristina McGowan’s blog tour last as long as possible. CraftSanity the last scheduled stop. And I would have been on time if only I could have posted a quick review of her excellent new book “Modern Top-Down Knitting.” But being the extremely curious woman that I am, I did not deem this a very satisfying option.

I wanted to talk to Kristina and find out more about her relationship with Barbara G. Walker, the famed knitter who inspired her to write this book.

So I decided to do a mini-interview on the fly and had great difficulty working the editing time into the insanity that unfolded today at the CraftSanity headquarters. But better late than never, so here we go.

I haven’t dove into Barbara’s books yet, but now, thanks to Kristina, an intensive top-down study is on my list of things that I must do before I kick off.

Layered Ruffle Sweater

Seeing the inspired designs that Kristina presents in her book ranging from hats to sweaters and dresses, I realize what I’ve been missing.

Suspension Dress

Make no mistake, Kristina’s book is not a revision or update of Barbara’s book, “Knitting From The Top.” Instead, Kristina’s book is an example of what can done if one studies Barbara’s top-down techniques. Kristina designed a collection of fabulous patterns after studying Barbara’s work.

Annie Hat

And the most intriguing part of this story is the fact that Kristina was so inspired by Barbara’s book that she traveled from New York to Florida to spend the day with the famed knitter who was 79 at the time of their meeting.

Seaport Skirt

Listen to the audio clip below to hear Kristina describe the knitting adventure that lead to the creation of “Modern Top-Down Knitting” and then go get your hands on a copy of both Barbara and Kristina’s books and go on your own top-down knitting adventure. Hopefully this audio extra is worth the wait. :  ) The clip picks up with Kristina describing how she tracked down Barbara.

Leave a comment below to enter the random drawing for a copy of “Modern Top-Down Knitting.” The deadline to enter is noon eastern time Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010. Good luck!

* Courtesy photos by Gudrun Georges.

Download the clip


Comment from Kelly
Time: December 10, 2010, 1:00 am

It’s so neat to watch a technique (or an approach to knitting and thinking about knitting, really) like this get passed down and modified into new custom skills and knowledge as well as custom knits! Kind of like fairy tales retold, or cover songs that reinvent the original… What a neat process! (So yeah, I appreciated the audio!)

Comment from Julianne Q
Time: December 10, 2010, 1:54 am

the book looks awesome!

Comment from toni in florida
Time: December 10, 2010, 7:17 am

Love the audio! It’s so funny to hear a published knitwear designer go all “fangirl” over another designer, knowing how many non-designing knitters would do the same over her.

Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.

Comment from laurie
Time: December 10, 2010, 11:19 am

I just learned to knit a month ago, but I am hooked. Love it. I already have more yarn than I can knit up in a year. But, I dont have any pattern books yet. This would be my first. Looks awesome!

Comment from Rachel
Time: December 10, 2010, 11:25 am

please enter me in your generous giveaway ! thanks !!

Comment from teresa
Time: December 10, 2010, 11:34 am

I love top down knitting and have Barbara Walker’s top down book. I love the new, updated patterns in this book!

Comment from Beth
Time: December 10, 2010, 11:51 am

Oh, my goodness! Those patterns are gorgeous! I want to wear all three. :)

Comment from MelodyJ
Time: December 10, 2010, 1:07 pm

This looks like a great book to have.


Comment from mamayaga
Time: December 10, 2010, 2:50 pm

I want it!

Comment from Dawn
Time: December 10, 2010, 3:58 pm

What an amazing way to learn. So awesome to have the history mixed with the modern looks.

Comment from Stephanie
Time: December 10, 2010, 4:26 pm

Wow, all of those pieces look lovely! I really want to knit myself a dress or skirt, but I’m afraid it won’t flatter my figure.

Comment from Jennifer
Time: December 10, 2010, 5:38 pm

I have flipped through Kristina’s book and I love that she has taken the construction ideas of Barbara Walker’s wonderful book and created such beautiful designs. This gorgeous book is at the top of my Christmas wish list!!

Comment from Elisabeth
Time: December 10, 2010, 6:04 pm

I LOVE all the dress and skirt options in this book! I am always on the lookout for a good sweater dress, as they are quite rare.

Comment from Becky
Time: December 10, 2010, 7:28 pm

I have been eyeing this book for a little while now and had the chance to peruse it today; definitely one I would love to add to my library!

Comment from Erica
Time: December 10, 2010, 7:49 pm

Barbara Walker is amazing, and “Modern Top-Down Knitting” looks equally amazing. I hope it will help me succeed in my quest to knit a well-fitting pullover.

Comment from Kitten With A Whiplash
Time: December 10, 2010, 9:17 pm

I am fully in favor of any technique that does away with seaming! Please enter me.

Comment from Julia
Time: December 11, 2010, 12:40 am

I’m in! Thanks!

Comment from Kimmy
Time: December 11, 2010, 7:42 am

Looks like a great book!

Comment from Frances
Time: December 11, 2010, 10:49 am

Would love to add these books to my collection as a self-taught knitter. The patterns look modernly classic yet suitable for a choice of relaxed living with an edgy fashion forward sense. Simply divine!!!

Comment from Susan
Time: December 11, 2010, 5:30 pm

What a nice book! It will be fun to see the Barbara Walker’s techniques with modern patterns.

Comment from Beth Anne
Time: December 11, 2010, 7:09 pm

Thank you for doing an interview with Kristina! I have been eyeing her book.

Comment from Christine Vawter
Time: December 11, 2010, 10:02 pm

It is nice to see some fun updated patterns!

Comment from Joan
Time: December 12, 2010, 1:57 am

Beautiful knit pieces!

Comment from cruz
Time: December 12, 2010, 3:42 am

wow, an adventure for sure. the clip was great!

Comment from Eliana
Time: December 12, 2010, 1:26 pm

I’d love to win this book! Thanks for this giveaway :)

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