You all are so fabulous. I wish I could have given the giant prize to everyone - goodness knows you all deserve it. The winner of the grand prize has been chosen! It's JesseKnits on Ravelry. I've notified her and I'll be shipping her excellent prize package out once she responds. I am overwhelmed with all the knitting everyone is doing. Just reading the list makes my fingers twitch (good twitches!). I think there are some great gift knitting ideas in the comments. If you get a chance, read through it.
Now for today's subject. It is a great new book by my friend Tanis Gray called Knit Local. Tanis is a former Yarn Editor at Soho Publishing and has been a friend for many years. The concept of Knit Local is to profile many of the smaller yarn companies that are popping up all over the USA. The owners of all the companies featured are passionate about their animals and fibers. Not all of the profiled companies raise sheep - there are some smaller companies that are the new "upstarts" in the biz (Pam Allen's Quince & Co and Jared Flood's Brooklyn Tweed). The focus seems to be on small, friendly and independently owned. Many of the yarns featured are only available directly from company websites. (I find that a downside to a book like this as it cuts out the local yarn store, but whatever.) That said, Brown Sheep Yarns of Nebraska is also profiled (as they so deserve to be). They aren't small by any means but they are family owned and independent (as are the majority of "big" yarn companies out there). Here are the end-papers. I love this display of all the different yarn labels set on brown kraft paper. It gives you a clue as to what you will find within the pages. Good end-papers are a very important part of a book for me! When I open a book and it just has white end-papers, I don't get a good feeling..... white just doesn't help to suck me into what is to come.
This is one of those books that has a lot to read in it if you are a knitter or fiber lover - profiles of all the companies and owners, lots of gorgeous photos of sheep, alpacas, buffaloes and other fiber producing animals. And there are 30 knitting patterns included for men, women, and children including full sweaters and lots of fun accessories. Here is a sneak peek inside.....
It is a well-edited collection, as I would expect from a former magazine editor. Congrats to Tanis on a job well done. This is one of my favorite photos from the book.... The design is called "Dreaming of Spring Mittens" and they were designed by Elli Stubenrauch and knit of Mountain Meadow Wool from Wyoming.
Tanis asked me to design something too. Here's what I came up with - a fun and quirky multi-color pair of gloves.
The yarn is called Romney Wool and it is available from Solitude Yarns of Virginia. (Kind of fun I got to design with a yarn of that name considering the base stock of our sheep flock is the Romney breed). This is the first time in ages I have knit with a yarn other than my own. It was hand-dyed in a vibrant array of colors and I had fun mixing the colors all together to create my Farmhouse Gloves. Check out the Solitude Yarns website here.
The Art Direction of this book is lovely. It is printed on a matte finished paper which yields a earthy kind of feel to the book. There are many mood photos too which add to the homey character of Knit Local. I love knitting books that are packed with lots of writing. I don't often knit anyone else's designs but still would love to get this book on Christmas Day. You all might want to add it to your Christmas wish list.
Now for the fun news.... Sixth and Spring Books has donated a copy of Knit Local to one of my lucky readers. Here's what you have to do to join the fun.....
Answer the following question???? Local - now there's a term that is a buzz word of current times. Tell me what you think is local? I can't wait to hear your answers.... as I have my own thoughts too that I will try to share with you next week.
As always, please leave an easy way to get a hold of you..... Contest ends Monday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m.