Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Giveaway Series- Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits 2!

Wendy Bernard has long been one of my favorite knitters. Her blog, Knit and Tonic is always a humorous breath of fresh air! Her designs are simply fantastic as well! I love her simple and casual style that is very much West Coast Chic. She's hip, and fun, and refer's to her adorable daughter as "girlfriend." What's not to love about Wendy?! Here is what she has to say about her follow up book to the original "Custom Knits", the life of a knitwear designer, and a few other fun facts:

JBW: Can you give us a super quick (2-3 sentences) description of Custom Knits 2 for our readers who might be new to you and your work?

Wendy: Custom Knits 2 is more than a pattern book. It also offers formulas and tips to help you truly customize what you knit. It teaches you how to adapt patterns to your size and style, swap out yarns and stitch patterns, and change gauge.

JBW- What was the inspiration for the book?

Wendy: Custom Knits 2, like Custom Knits, was inspired by knitters who have read my blog over the years. They’ve encouraged me to write down ways to customize their knits so they work for them.

JBW- Do you have a favorite design (or designs) from the book that you’d like to highlight for us? What makes them your favorite?

"Pebbles"
Wendy- I really like Pebbles, the red sweater on the back cover. I like it because the man’s version, also shown on the back cover, proves that a knitter can take a woman’s knit pattern and convert it into a man’s and come up with something that looks like it should! I also love the sweater on the front cover, the Zuma
Tunic. It totally looks like a Southern California knit.

JBW- Besides the new set of patterns, what makes Custom Knits 2 different from Custom Knits 1?

Wendy- There are unique “recipes” in this book that cover converting a woman’s pattern to a man’s, a child’s to an adult size, as well as a handful of other techniques a knitter can add to their arsenal.

JBW- What made you want to start designing knitting patterns?

Wendy- The readers of the blog, Knit and Tonic. As I wrote about my knitting and my life people kept asking me to share my patterns. And so, I did.

"Satsuma"
JBW- As a designer and author do you have any advice for those folks out there who are just starting to design on how to make a living doing what they love?

Wendy- First, they need to know that it is very, very difficult to make a living from knitting or designing. Even the most successful writers/designers have second jobs or a partner who contributes. That said, finding a mentor who understands the business of working as a designer is a great idea. Having someone give pointers
and inform you about how magazines, wholesalers and those sorts of things work is invaluable.

JBW- And now for the lightening round! Here are some fun/silly questions we'd like to ask about you!

"Ribbon"
JBW- Where did you grow up?

Wendy- Born in Minnesota, lived in Northern California, then went to Houston, TX, and have been in Southern California since the late 70’s.

JBW- What time do you start work?

Wendy- Whenever I roll out of bed.

JBW- Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Wendy- Coffee!

JBW- Tell us about your previous life—you know, before knitting…

Wendy- I was a marketing executive for many years in the financial services industries specializing in Internet sales.

"Lemon Drop"
JBW- A little known fact about you…

Wendy- I was on a synchronized swimming team as a youngster. (Ha ha.)

JBW- Your favorite book?

Wendy- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

JBW- Biggest accomplishment?

Wendy- My daughter.

JBW- Favorite possession?

Wendy- A nude my grandfather sculpted. On the back he inscribed: “Bikini, g-string or jaybird?”

JBW- Next big adventure?

Wendy- Hopefully, after a fourth book, a book of fiction.

Thanks so much to Wendy for the fantastic blog interview! Also, thanks so much to the nice folks at STC Crafts for sending us a copy to give away to one of you fine readers! Please leave a comment letting us know what your favorite Wendy Bernard design is by Tuesday, July 3rd at 12pm (PST) and we'll select a winner (using a random # generator) and announce it in the 4th of July Blog post!


Lastly, the winner from last week's giveaway of Denyse Schmidt's "Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration" is Commenter #18- slmiller8 who said:


"I love the Tobacco Leaf quilt, but "Basketweave" makes me want to start quilting again, something I haven't done for 2 or 3 years."


Thanks to everyone who entered! Slmiller8- please e-mail me at kristen@jimmybeanswool.com with your shipping address to claim your prize!


Thanks everyone and happy knitting!
Kristen

61 comments:

  1. very difficult to pick just one. Favorite Cardigan might be it. But then again, Favorite Hoodie is pretty cool too, as well as Lettuce Coat.

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  2. It is hard to pick just one. I love Wendy's books. I think my favorites may be the Slinky Ribs and Jewel from the first book, but I like the Bijou from the second as well. Thanks for the give-away.

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  3. Hard to decide, but I'll pick Bijou.

    Thanks!

    (goodstuff on Rav)

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  4. SO difficult to pick just one. But I've always loved Sizzle. It's one of the first things I ever made for myself!

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  5. It IS difficult to select just one of Wendy's patterns, but I'm currently obsessed with the Satsuma Bolero. Such a versatile piece!

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  6. I love her newest pattern on her blog...Slip Two Slouch!

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  7. Girlfriend's swing coat. I've been waiting for a granddaughter to make this coat/jacket for her. There's a baby on the way just a couple weeks more until we find out boy or girl!

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  8. In a hypothetical world I love Girlfriend's Swing Coat, I loved following its progress on the blog, but I've never knit it. I've knit several Dream Swatch Head Wrap though, and now that it's so hot outside I think I might need to make another one, this one for me to keep.

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  9. Ingenue is totally amazing - I liked it even better in person than in the modeled shot.

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  10. For me it's Ribbon. So elegant and simple.

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  11. That "Ribbon" is fantastic! I have used her Custom Knits book several times to guide my way out of a blind alley. Ninaclock145

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  12. Love all of Wendy's designs, but I'm choosing Favorite Hoody.

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  13. Right now I'm in love with Somewhat Cowl. I just finished knitting it--took me three tries to get the size just right, but I really wanted it to be a perfect fit. Now I'm thinking maybe a second one in a different color...or maybe another Wendy design to shake things up!

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  14. Pink, Essential Tank, Skinny Empire are a few of my favorites o hers.

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  15. Customizable IS the favorite! But I would pick the Favorite Hoodie as I have been in the mood for a hoodie for a while.

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  16. Love Wendy, her blog cracks me up and her books are awesome too. I would love to have this book to add to my collection. Bijou is my fav!

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  17. Ingenue from Custom Knits. I wear mine all the time and get complements every time.

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  18. I really like Wendy's designs! I like that they are so easily adapted to your own body shape. Ingenue is probably my favorite! Thanks for the giveaway, I hope I win this!

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  19. It's a tough decision, but I think my favorite is Fair Enough. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

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  20. There are so many! I have always loved the Sahara - it's just so flattering on so many body types! I would love to make the Blithe Tee from CK2, though...

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  21. Something Red is my favorite. In any color.

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  22. I like "recipes" but preferably with a “pool boy” or two ; P

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  23. I like the elegance of Cerulean Cardigan. But mostly I enjoy Knit and Tonic.

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  24. I would love to make Pebbles for my husband!

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  25. LOVE teh humor in her blog and her designs -- especially 'Favorite Cardigan' but I'm also working on Jordan and I really like that too!

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  26. Gosh! Picking just one is really hard! I would say probably Lemon Drop and Ribbon. i love them both!!

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  27. I love the Girlfriend Swing Coat - it's a great look for my great-nieces.

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  28. I have always enjoyed Wendy's blog and designs. Something Red is a perfect office sweater for days when the A/C is on high. I just recently saw Jordan and am scouring my stash for something to make it with, but I may just have to break down and buy some linen blend I've been wanting to try!

    Thanks Wendy!

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  29. My fav is the zig zag pullover. thanks!

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  30. While I like most of her knits, my favorite is Ingenue from Custom Knits 1. I knit it and wore it when I was extra-fluffy, and I wear now that I am not fluffy, and I get compliments every time. Quick and extremely attractive!

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  31. Right now, it's the Favorite Cardigan from CN.

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  32. I love the Somewhat Cowl. It's a favorite!

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  33. Orangina, a great pattern.

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  34. Wendy has so many great patterns, especially sweaters. I think Wendy's Indigo Playmate sweater is one of my favorites. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  35. I love so many, but have used drive-thru multiple times. It makes the cutest children's cardigan!

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  36. I couldn't possibly narrow it down to just one. But I know for sure right off the top, I love the Zuma Tunic and Ingenue. So fresh and fun.

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  37. Radian Yoke is one of my favorites. I chose to knit it because it was Wendy's design. I love the shaping, how it fits and how easy the pattern was to use. I always get compliments on it. Love it!

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  38. Radian Yoke is one of my favorites. I chose to knit it because it was Wendy's design. I love the shaping, how it fits and how easy the pattern was to use. I always get compliments on it. Love it!

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  39. Wendy is one talented and funny lady. I so enjoy reading her blog! I really love the top-down in the round sweater she was knitting for her class and I would love to get the pattern to that. Although, Ribbons and Satsuma tempt me just as much. All her designs are fab! Thanks for offering the giveaway.

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  40. I am currently knitting the Radian Yoke sweater, it is my first time knitting a Wendy Bernard design. Very well written pattern, I love the way it's coming out.

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  41. Very difficult to pick, they are all so classy and feminine. But I guess, Ingenue will get my pick. Thanks for a great giveaway!

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  42. Ingenue. My first sweater, and I get so many compliments on it! In fact, 2 friends have also knit one after seeing me wear mine. How flattering!

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  43. So many great patterns.... I think I'm going to go with "Crisp".

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  44. It's hard to pick a favorite - but I'll choose the Lion Neck Cardigan. Other favs are Slinky Ribs, Lettuce Coat, Indigo Playmate (virtually anything from Custom Knits!), and Jordan. Next on the needles, though, will be the Hana Hou!

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  45. That gorgeous new hat Slip Two Slouch!

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  46. So many great ones, but my favorites are the Skylark Stole, Lettuce Coat and Slinky Ribs.

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  47. I just love le slouch and the girlfriend swing coat- they're all beautiful designs!

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  48. I love Something Red. It was my first top down sweater and my first Wendy pattern.

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  49. I think my favorite pattern so far is Sizzle. But I will have to try her patterns in CK 2 and CK accessories too!

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  50. I think right now my favorite is the lettuce coat. It will probably be something else tomorrow.

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  51. Right now favorite? Loving the Slip2 Slouch hat. She has a way of making me want to knit everything!

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  52. My favorite by far is Ingenue. I've made one for myself and one for my sister. It looks great on everyone!

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  53. meredith MC mermcoelho@hotmail.comJuly 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    I love her book custom knits one and would love a copy of #2. I knit her ripple hat and loved it, and I'm considering knitting "sizzle" as well.

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  54. HaHa! I was a synchonized swimmer too! How odd is that? Anyway, I'd love to have Wendy's book. Thanks for offering!

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  55. One that isn't in a book. Jordan!

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  56. I like Pebbles, perfect simple sweater for the man in my life.

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  57. Essential Tank - there's so much that can be done with it!

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  58. The Jorden! I love the vintage inspiration.
    Beautiful pattens all the way around.

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  59. How neat to see Wendy Bernard featured on the blog after I just finished knitting the drive thru cardigan a few days ago! This is the first pattern I've knitted by her but I'm on a search for more! For now the drive thru is my favorite!

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  60. I like many Wendy Bernard patterns, but to narrow it down - I love Ribbon. I can see wearing this with a business suit if made with 'dressy' yarn. And I've wanted to make the Lettuce Coat since the pattern was published. It is the perfect, more upscale replacement for a similarly shaped sweatshirt jacket that I have.

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