Hunter Hammersen and her new book

Hunter Hammersen and her new book, Fine Things for Plain Occasions, was our topic on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.

HHFine Things

Hunter began her patterns individually in 2009 and wondered if creating collections into books wouldn’t be just as fun. As a self-published, self proclaimed ‘control freak’ she ventured into that scary-ness (because she has to make ALL the decisions) and has found the adventure a lot of fun.

Her newest book is a sweet journey into old beloved book styles. Fine Things for Plain Occasions: Patterns Inspired by Vintage Etiquette Guides shares fifteen patterns includes shawls, a cowl, mitts, hats and SOCKS!

Each pattern begins with a suggestion from an etiquette guide, Hunter’s take on that idea and then her choice of yarn before proceeding into the instructions. For an example, Heather HH sock Women Obstinateread the quote that precedes the pattern Women are Usually Obstinate, pictured (links to pattern from Ravelry) the quote from 1873 reads: How common is the complaint among young women, especially those of sedentary habits, of chilliness, cold feet, and other symptoms of deficient circulation! And yet, how impossible would it often be — for women are usually obstinate on the head– to induce them to exchange the thin silk stocking for a warm merino one. (The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness: A Complete Hand Book for the use of the Lady in Polite Society, by Florence Hartley) Heather’s response to this quote is ‘I have, on occasion, been known to be a bit obstinate. But I will gladly reach for warm merino sock when I’m feeling chilly. I suspect you will too especially if they are as pretty as these.’

Heather says that pieces that can’t be matched with anything in a department store are her go-to project for her.  She love socks (apparent in this book as the majority of patterns are socks) and in a yarn you love is a wonderful choice. Her love of yarns really comes through. She spoke of yarn that has more plies than less, creates a more interesting texture, intenser stitch definition. With these sock mentioned above, she used Mrs. Crosby Train case and describes it as ‘fingering-weight 55% merino 30% viscose, 15% nylon with three plies’. Even with the yardage, she explains that her project used 300 yards so you can probably make any size with the 425 yards the skeins come in.

Doesn’t all of this also feel like she’s written a letter of helpful information with every pattern? That totally goes with the book, going back to an era of sharing information in writing in a personal way.  This book is created with such a love and admiration of those books that are so hard to find, the text is printed in a older-style font that makes it fun to read, includes an attached ribbon to mark your spot in the book, even a sweet end-paper.

Hunter Hammersen can be found online at her website www.violentlydomestic.com, her Ravelry designer page, also a Ravelry GROUPTwitter, and Pinterest.

Hunter Hammersen has appeared on three previous occasions, earlier this summer with book Curls, in 2013, and in 2012 to share Knitter’s Curiousity Cabinet. Sharing just in case you can’t get enough her, like us!

If you missed getting to hear this live, it is still available as an archived episode on iTunes.

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  1. Jamie Grimshaw says:

    Love the podcasts. Hunter’s book looks like it is full of projects that would make my wardrobe have better decorum.

  2. Marie says:

    Hooray! Woo-hoo! Another book from Hunter! Pardon my lack of decorum, but for an event like this, surely a little celebratory noise is allowed?

  3. Cheryl Clemons says:

    I had a great time listening about Hunter’s book about decorum for knitters – this is just what we need. Love the patterns. It is going on my wish list. Thanks for an other great podcast Marly.

  4. Linda C says:

    I think Hunter exhibits remarkable modesty and decorum with all of her patterns. Love them!!! Marly, I love your podcast and this was another enjoyable one.

  5. Suzanne says:

    My mother is a stickler for decorum but I don’t know if she is aware of how pithy and humorous the vintage etiquette books are. I enjoyed the podcast tremendously. I think the ribbon bookmark is a delightful touch. I hope I get my hands on a copy of his book

  6. KathyC says:

    I enjoyed the conversation with Hunter! I just received my copy of Curls and am looking forward to this book too!

  7. savannagal says:

    I’ve been enjoying your podcasts and this one is no exception. Hunter is such a fabulous designer. I always love her sock patterns. There are several in this book, so it’s going on my wish list.

  8. Carol T says:

    Wow! What a great podcast. My decorum is not all that elegant, but Hunters new book sounds like all of her knit patterns would fit in to any place. I would love to knit some of the patterns that I saw in her new book. Thanks for a really wonderful interview with Hunter.

  9. kathy b. says:

    Using decorum as inspiration for Hunter’s new book makes the book extra special. Thanks for this interesting interview, Marly and Tammy.

  10. Vicki Lynch says:

    What a wonderful interview! I contained myself and with much decorum, calmly looked up the book to view the patterns. It was the idea of the ribbon bookmark that just sent me for my laptop to take a look right away. I definitely think the hardcover copy is what I will get for this book rather than the ebook.

  11. Rachel Catherine says:

    I too find books on decorum fascinating. The first one I ever got was on a free shelf at the library: Emily Post’s Pocket Book of Etiquette from 1965.

  12. Mary L. says:

    What a great idea to link high standards of decorum with knitting! Great podcast – love Hunter’s patterns!

  13. Michele Byars says:

    I absolutely love this book and I pray it finds its way to my house for Christmas. The beauty of this book will surely add to any room’s decorum. It is beautiful!

  14. christi says:

    I am quite sure that the writers of these guides would not have approved of my decorum as I was unable to contain my excitement in discussing this book with my local yarn shop owner. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.

  15. Colleen Clarke says:

    I really enjoyed this episode with Hunter. I am curious enough about the advice on decorum that I will have to buy this book after Christmas.

  16. Michelle says:

    Would it be poor decorum to tell you both how you have RUINED my afternoon? Yup, I had lots of stuff planned to do. Mop the floor, fold the wash and do the food shopping. Instead what did I do? I listened to your enjoyable podcast! Bad form for me. But, time well spent. There is always tomorrow for those chores. Thanks ladies for a fun afternoon of listening…and not working 😉

  17. Debbie Austin says:

    I realy would love to have this book from Hunter Hammersen. This is a must have!!! Maybe I can bring a little decorum to my life!!!

  18. Heather says:

    So sad to have missed listening live! Thanks for the episode, though. A book using etiquette to share new knitting patterns? Awesome! It sounds really lovely. Not sure if my other knitting books have the decorum to sit alongside Fine Things for Plain Occasions: Patterns Inspired by Vintage Etiquette Guides!

  19. Stephanie Fricke says:

    I loved listening to Hunter’s enthusiasm about her craft. I was getting giddy when she started talking about pretty books with the ribbons in them and the end papers, and the general etiquette of times past. It’s so romantic to imagine having that kind of decorum. Thank you for a great show!

  20. Amy L. says:

    I loved learning about decorum from Hunter – her love of beautiful books is contagious! Thanks for another fantastic episode of Yarn Thing!!

  21. Jen says:

    decorum: a particular requirement of good taste and propriety. I am a big fan of Hunter’s patterns and her beautiful books. Congratulations to her on her latest collection.

  22. Missy Schmidt says:

    Omg. I collect etiquette books! This would go perfectly with them in my craft room! I love to read about the rules of decorum from days of old!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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