Naughtyneedlesbook

Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond by Nikol Lohr

Booksite – Link.

Amazon – Link.

Nikol Lohr’s Website: Disgruntled Housewife – Link.
Nikol Lohr’s Blog: The Thrifty Knitter – Link.

Knitting just got a bit naughty (said with Austin Powers accent) with Nikol Lohr’s fun new book, Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond. This is a book filled with sexy retro-styled patterns such as the cover “Gidget goes Hawaiian” bikini, an Austin Powers’ inspired fembots pattern and a Bond Girl tank/dress (featured in today’s CRAFT Pattern Podcast). The book takes its inspiration from the swinging 50’s and 60’s with a wide range of cute patterns as well as some brought to you with tongue-in-cheek humor, as in the “Dress-Up” section. Nurse anyone? There are also some modern patterns such as the criss-cross gloves that show some beautiful embellishments with ribbons. This book takes a fresh and stylish leap into the sexy and saucy world of knitting. Finally, a book with patterns we can really indulge in and make something fun for ourselves!

Note: This book is out next tuesday, December 19th so pre-order your copy today!

Some of you may also remember that Nikol Lohr is also the crafter who knit the Katamari earmuffs which I posted up here on CRAFT last month. Nikol was nice enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk more with me about her love of knitting, katamari, and her new book.


Nat: Please tell me about your craft background.

Nikol: I was 3 or 4 when my mom taught me to sew. My mom sewed EVERYTHING back then–clothes, curtains, elaborate dolls, Christmas ornaments–and we always made stuff together when I was little. I didn’t learn until much later that it was mostly because we didn’t have much money. So while it wasn’t necessarily her intention, my mom gave me a love of craft. I learned crochet and embroidery in a summer program in 2nd grade, and I’ve always loved to make and build things. I went through an incredibly long Mod-Podge-and-glitter phase in early adulthood. I didn’t learn to knit until a couple of years ago, when my girlfriend Kelly Sue sent me a copy of Stitch ‘n Bitch and insisted I knit. These days, I’m digging knitting & crochet, needlepoint, a little paper–and putting some crafty energy into helping fix up the old school building where my partner (Ron Miller) and I live: http://harveyvilleproject.com.

Nat: I love your new book Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits. Can you tell me more about it?

Nikol: Thanks! It’s a cheeky collection of unconventional knitting patterns with a bedroom-friendly undertone. The patterns range from cutsiepoo (the bikini on the cover, pom-pom sock garters, etc.) to a little naughty (a cashmere blend garter slip), to bondage-lite (felted corset, tapered leather I-cord whip) and role-play (nurse cap, mermaid tail). I’d rate most of the patterns “adventurous beginner”–really, that’s about what I consider myself. But I think the nature of the garments will make them great fun for all levels of knitters. The whole thing was shot by my old friend Robyn Eden with a sort of retro pinup calendar/mens’ magazine look, so even the racier patterns look kind of sweet and demure.

Nat: What are you favorite patterns from the book?

Nikol: The Great Bikini Experiment, because the pattern’s so versatile (variations on a theme: one basic pattern that forms 4 different garments, including the cover bikini and “Bond Girl” patterns, plus a halter variation that will be on naughtyneedlesknitting.com); “Kitten with a Whip”, because the knitting transforms stiff leather cord into this lovely, snakey, flexible thing and “Into the Woods” (felted Red Riding Hood cape) for the handsome shaping (plus: knits fast). Oh, and the pasties, because they’re funny and take like 5 seconds to knit.

Nat: Where do you find your inspiration?

Nikol: Generally, I like to amuse myself. If something I’m working on (or wearing) makes me laugh, then I’m very happy. And apparently, I’m a little preoccupied with sex.

Nat: What advice would you give to budding knitters who hope to be able to knit up their own patterns? Any tips?

Nikol: From a mental standpoint: Don’t be afraid to mess up. Nothing terrible will happen if something you try is a big failure. Nobody even has to know–just frog it and try again. Or scream and rip it apart and throw away the evidence–whatever works for you.

From a practical standpoint: when you’re in doubt, take it off the needles (thread it onto some waste yarn with a yarn needle) and look at it flat. My biggest hurdle in creating something new is telling what size it will be inreal life. And while gauge swatches are essential once you have a pattern, when you’re making one up, they’re less helpful, because so much depends on the nature of a particular yarn. I find work on the needles absolutely inscrutable. I’m constantly tearing back hours of work because I didn’t take stuff off the needles and look at it when I started to get suspicious about the size.

Nat: What other knitting or craft projects are you working on this winter?

Nikol: I make a limited run (usually around 250) engagement calendar each year that I hand-finish with gocco and unusual or recycled materials. Each year has a theme. 2007 is The Year of the Oddball, so I’m making each cover different, using vintage magazine scrap. They’re for sale at disgruntledhousewife.com.

I’m knitting myself a sweater to match one I just knit my mom from Loop-d-Loop (the Yoke Vest), so we can put on goth makeup and get some dour-looking portraits made over Christmas, hopefully at Sears or Olan Mills. I am way too excited about this. (My mom is Mrs. Robinson in the book, by the way.)

I’m working on getting the Art Club shop up and at ’em. Art Club is our (our = Ron + me) artsy-craftsy collaboration. He’s the artsy, I’m the craftsy. There’s a very skinny representation of our projects at http://harveyvilleproject.com/artclub and we just opened a little store with like 5 wee items at http://artclub.etsy.com.

I’ve been writing a craft column for Shojo Beat (the source of my Katamari earmuffs), so I hope to be filing a few more projects for them.

And the big one: Etta Vendetta (of Etta Vendetta’s Eyeful Tower and the Burly Q Girly Crew, Kansas City burlesque) and I are working on an all-knitted burlesque show in February, so I’m going to be doing lots and lots of naughty knitting for that (and we’re looking for submissions/knitters, so knitters: get in touch if you’re interested).

Yikes, I’d better get busy.

Nat: What’s one thing on your holiday wish list?

Nikol: The Sew E-Z blocking board.