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Bringing the World of Knitting to Your Needles

Jun 10, 2009

Note from Sandi: There's a wealth of talented knitting designers here in the United States...but what about knitters in other countries? It would be a shame to miss out on the rich heritage and vibrant knitting designs offered by other authors in countries, far across the globe. Each year, Interweave Press brings you some of the best of those international knitting books--but how do we find those wonderful books to bring to you? Here's Tricia Waddell, editorial director of Interweave's book department, to tell you about this fascinating process:


The best part of my job as the Editorial Director of books at Interweave is finding new designers and great book ideas to bring to our readers. Twice a year, I have the chance to see exciting talent from around the world at book trade shows in London and Frankfurt. I meet with publishers from Scandinavia to England, Australia to Japan, and everywhere in between, looking for the latest and most exciting knitting books to share with our readers. Knitters may speak and read different languages around the world, but the knit stitch is universal.

Most of the foreign books we publish are from England, and we work directly with them to Americanize the spelling and “translate” any references that wouldn’t make sense to an American audience.  But when we prepare to publish a book that’s in another language, it’s a whole different process.

Although Interweave has published books translated from Danish, German, Korean, and Italian, each new book is a new adventure.  Our translators have a basic knowledge of knitting, but it’s up to the talented book editors and technical editors to make the book friendly to U.S. knitters. Just like a brand-new book, we make sure the text is easy and clear to follow.  We check whether the yarn is available in the United States and give yarn substitution information. We do a thorough technical edit to fit the ways American patterns are commonly written and make sure the charts are clear and accurate.  We usually design a new book cover and tweak the title so that the book can be found easily on the shelf.



But even though we utilize all our editorial and design resources to bring a book in translation to a new audience, we do our best to preserve the original voice of the author, so you can hear their design inspirations, tips and tricks, and local knitting traditions. The books usually feature the same photography as the original book—after all, our readers should get the chance to feel as excited about the book as I first did!

In translating knitting books from other countries and languages, I not only have the opportunity to bring fresh knitting inspiration to our readers—I also get to bring knitwear designers from around the world together on our list. Be sure to check out our most recent translated knitting titles, Feminine Knits: 22 Timeless Designs, by Danish designer Lene Holme Samsøe, and Classic Knits and Japanese Inspired Knits by Danish designer Marianne Isager.

-- Tricia Waddell



Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Finally! A decision has been made in the what-to-knit-for-Baby-Delaney. I've got the yarn on order for the sweetest baby blanket made of lace stars: Star Light, Star Bright, part of our new free Baby Knits ebook!

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tarly wrote
on Jun 19, 2009 2:04 AM

To PattH try they have a small amount of espanol patterns and some other language including american and english patterns in knitting and crochet. Good luck.

Lettice wrote
on Jun 14, 2009 1:54 PM
Have you considered translating a book of patterns by Stephanie van der Linden? Her socks are the most beautiful socks I've ever seen and many of her patterns are only available in German.
PattH wrote
on Jun 11, 2009 6:58 AM
I could use some help. I teach at a small mission located in a dump in Mexico 6 months a year. I would like to teach the mothers how to knit to possibly find a way to make a little money. Does anyone know of some simple patterns that are in Spanish or both English and Spanish? That would be wonderful. Thank you for any help. Patt H.C.
Bev@3 wrote
on Jun 11, 2009 3:57 AM
What happened to the free patterns. I logged on and they were gone???????
CarolineA wrote
on Jun 10, 2009 6:03 PM
Sandi, its great you publish overseas designers, but please don't convert things too much for American tastes, as us non-Americans often have problems sourcing particular yarns ( not available elsewhere in most cases) and then have to re-translate terms, measurements and yarn sizes back for European or Australian needs. I live in a country where none of our yarn producers puts the length of their ball on the label, so its very hard to substitute when you don't even know what size the starting yarn is! I'm not alone in this complaint, and I notice that other knitters are now starting to rate books using "internationality" as an important factor in determining whether a book is user friendly or not. You have an international readership; please try to cater for them and leave the continental and English references in so that we can understand what you are talking about!
AnnR wrote
on Jun 10, 2009 5:37 PM
Sandy, I haven't been getting my daily newsletters for about a week now. I really miss it. Can we start it up again?
SandyA wrote
on Jun 10, 2009 5:22 PM
I have been trying to download the Baby Knits ebook. Every day or so I try again but it will not let me download unless I register. It does not offer the option of just login. When I try to register (again) it will not let me because I am already a member. How can I download this ebook? I would appreciate any help you could give me. (I have grandchildren waiting.) Thanks for any help you can give me on this. Sandy A
on Jun 10, 2009 3:41 PM
I have recently started a job as a teacher in an elementary school in my area. I will be working at a Title 1 school, which qualifies for low income monies. Unfortunately, they currently don't have an after school program for anything but homework help. Who could I contact to have supplies donated so that I could volunteer to help kids learn to knit? I'd appreciate any comments. Thank you.
AuntK wrote
on Jun 10, 2009 2:50 PM
I'm new to Knitting Daily, but already love it! Monday (June 8), I read your article about translating "Feminine Knits" into English, thought the photos were lovely, and ordered it immediately. I don't know how they did it, but it arrived on Tuesday! I can't wait to start the 'Diagonal Lace Jacket' featured in TODAY'S email! Guess this is "Feminine Knits WEEK!" Thanks for keeping me up-to-date, Kaye S. Indianapolis, IN