Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Full Circle with Loop-d-Loop

About six years ago (or was it seven?), I quit my job as an editor on physics books in order to pursue a more creative life. I had many ambitions, including finish the novel, drink more coffee, write more songs, knit more often, eat breakfast frequently with friends, and try to write magazine articles. And so, it was on one of these lovely unemployed afternoons that I found myself at Borders in San Francisco's Union Square perusing the magazines. Stacked nearby on a rack all of its own was a book called Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham, which I was not immediately sure was a knitting book. I had never really seen anything like this before. The styling was so severe and other-worldy, yet absolutely pretty and captivating. The book's paper was so thick! The trim size so large! It was the first knitting book I had ever seen that felt more like a coffee table book--an art collection, really--than something that a person would use in a utilitarian fashion (i.e., to knit from). Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my obsession with high-quality craft books.

Flash forward two years. I am living in New York, working at Stewart Tabori & Chang. In my first month working here, I passed by a marketing closet and discovered a box full of knitted ponchos that had been "on tour" with yarn shops. They were the ponchos from Viva Poncho! A book that was so popular in the yarn shop where I worked in San Francisco. It was like finding a celebrity in the closet! Or perhaps like running into a box full of old friends. This sort of thing seemed to happen day after day when I started working here.

Not long after the poncho incident, Melanie told me that she wanted to do a third book with Teva Durham--Loop-d-Loop Lace--a book which I wound up editing. It's rather surreal when you can actually recall the moment you first saw a designer's work--where you were, how it felt--and then later you find yourself working side by side with the artist. We sat in my office with the amazing photographer, Adrian Buckmaster, admiring the garments and contemplating abstract hairstyles--to loop, or not to loop? The first book was chock full of interesting hair choices which, over time, became signature with Teva's brand. And we laughed, because I have been looping my hair up into twists not unlike this model below (from the first book) for years...perhaps, subconsciously, my hair has been inspired by her original book?

So last month, Teva submitted a pattern to Knitty.com, and when it came time to photograph it, she asked if I would lend my hair twists to the shoot. I agreed, and after a quick and chilly photoshoot with Marianne Rafter, here we are. Full circle.

Lady Lovelace, as this piece is called, is a scrumptious sampling of what's to come in Teva's upcoming Lace book. I can't wait for the world to see her newest edgy-yet-feminine creations this spring! (And no, my face won't be in that book, but my name will be.)


  1. At first I thought you made that gorgeous sweater and I was so impressed! (I also really, really love that green one.)

    Someday I'd like to do my hair in loops. But I can barely manage a ponytail, so maybe not.

  2. Can't wait to see, feel and read it!

  3. That is way cool.
    I think 7 years ago.