Bringing the World of Knitting to Your Needles

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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