Friday, December 09, 2011

Tanis Gray's Knit Local Book + A Giveaway!

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.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays to all...and local to me means very local, around my town, my home, my heart.
--elizaduckie

Sheri said...

To me local is within a 100 mile radius. After that within the USA.

Momasly@yahoo.com

Robin Allen said...

Oh, that book is gorgeous, and so are your gloves!

Local is within a couple of hours drive of home.

Anonymous said...

If you mean "how far away is local?" then I might say, "anywhere within 50 miles of me", but then I'd have to amend that to include anywhere I lived in or frequented while growing up - that pushes the perimeter out 30 or 40 more miles.
-- stashdragon on Rav

Mary G said...

I've looked at this book at my LYS and love it!

What is local -- anything made by what used to be called "mom and pop stores" ... the small hand-dyers, the independent designers, the "little" people. I love supporting local -- whether at the farmers' markets, craft fairs or fiber festivals ... no matter where I might be. I think that's why I miss Europe so much: when we lived in Austria, "local" was all you got out in the villages, away from the big cities. And it was wonderful ....

simplesavvy said...

I read somewhere that "local" is the amount of distance a farmer can reasonably drive to a market, sell her/his wares, and drive back in one day -- or about 100 miles. For me, I consider any of the New England states local when it comes to things like food and yarn.

Thanks for the chance to win! I'd love to see what other sheep farms in the US are doing.

Barbara L. said...

To me, Knit Local, means several things:
1. If there are certain customs or designs where you live, incorporate these into your knitting.
2. Be seen knitting in public places around where you live to encourage and celebrate this craft. Offer to teach new people your craft.
3. Support your local yarn shop. Too many little community yarn shops are going out of business so you must BUY LOCAL to keep them going. Two of my LYS are closing their doors at the end of this month. I am sooooo sad.

Email: dazie4468@yahoo.com

Debbie said...

To me, local means within the Twin Cities metro area. I would love to win! Thanks, Debbie h
gussek on Ravelry

Sally said...

Hi Kristin! Love the gloves! Local? Well, there's a grocery store/cafe across the street in my neighborhood called Local Harvest that has the 150 mile standard (they put a green "150" sticker on products from within 150 mile range). That probably seems like a wide range to someone from New England, so keep in mind how far apart things can be in the Midwest!

Kathleen C. said...

Local... I hadn't thought about putting it into words before. I guess what feels local to me right now is...
I live in the middle of a Valley. It's a long valley but not terribly wide. So up and down may be a stretch of miles and still feel local, while across the mountains may be shorter but not feel local to me. Not a very logic based but a feeling based definition.
Also as an interesting twist: Claudia's Handpaint Yarns are dyed right oin my towen. Yet for a few years we didn't have a nearby store selling them. So if I picked them up elsewhere I had to wonder... were they local or no? Never answered that question satisfactorily, but it's okay now. We have a LYS carrying her yarns again! Yay!

Anonymous said...

To me, local means in my community. We lived in NJ, near NYC and found that no one who worked there (in shops or services) could afford to live in that town or be a part of that community. Now we live in NH, and the people who work here live here. Buying from them or using their services means money going back into the town we all live in.....Local!

Barbara M. in NH

Marcia said...

Local here is Lancaster County PA. Very lucky to have some sources within driving distance; local wools, local spinning; I always love seeing what others create.

But local also can mean in good ol' USofA. Not so much of that around as in the past -- a good reason to pay attention to what we have.

caroline said...

If it's about buying local, I'd say any small independent merchant in one's region. For a restaurant it's more like a geographic region, using suppliers within 250 - 500 miles. That's just the reality of adequate supply like wine, cheese, etc. For fiber I consider local to be LYSs and/or independents who use US fiber...thanks for asking!
Caroline aka FiberTribe on Ravelry

Meghan said...

I think that local means here in town and I do try to get most of my yarn at my fab LYS. But that said if here in town doesn't have what I need I am not opposed to surfing for it. Quite frankly it is all local for someone somewhere :) xo Meghan , anythingbutsnow on Ravelry

Tanis said...

Thanks for such a wonderful review, Kristin!
Your gloves are fabulous and I'm thrilled to see that you like the book.
Happy holidays, friend!
Tanis

SoccerMomKnits said...

Local to me means a couple of different things. It could mean local to my house or local to my work (there is a 40 mile difference). Really, anything in the rural northern part of Florida to me tends to be local.

Ridgely said...

In the strictest sense, "local" means prouduced withing a 25 mile radius of where you live. But in today's economy, I have broadened my definition to include anyone who is doing their best to own/operate their own business with while maintaining values of family, love for their work, care for the environment!

Rebekah said...

Hi Kristen,

Wonderful review! Thanks for sharing.

When you use the word 'local' I think of businesses, farmers, destinations, etc. that are within someone's "driving comfort zone." One person might think an hour away is no big deal, but for some, like myself, it would be considered a real trip.

There's another side of "local" for me. When I am browsing products that have been handmade, manufactured, or grown by a person I know is from my state, I feel somehow connected to the piece, even though I haven't met the person. And once I know it is a local piece, I feel more compelled to buy it to help support the person or company.

Rebekah

Turtle said...

i try to live as locally or eco consciously as i can. (i grew up on a dairy farm where every penny counted, so i think it started from necessity and just became habit : before it became the thing to do)Living where we do I think of local as being from our region of the world, our state and the neighboring states. I would love to be able to keep local to just a couple of hundred miles but it seems to fall more into an area of 5-6 hours from home driving... lots of big mtn passes to get over :) . But most of our needs are half that distance.

What a fabulous looking book!

Patty C said...

Local means in my town or surrounding towns within a small radius. Local yarn means it was spun, dyed and produced in this area. When we have traveled to alaska I buy "local" yarn produced by the natives in the area.

pclark204@comcast.net

mary kate said...

Local is sold/produced in my community....as I live in a city, it also includes produce from local small family farms and independent growers.
mary kate witry
pwitry@rcn.com

Suzanne said...

Hmm, at first thought local would be within 50 miles. I live in CT and would probably spread that out for me more to southern MA also as it is quick drive to and from.

Anonymous said...

~ Bonjour !!! What a beautiful book. The endpapers are divine. I have been collecting yarn labels for many years.
I loVe the Farmhouse Gloves & the Bird Mittens.
For me, local is first anywhere I can ride my bicycle to, since my bike named Fern is my mode of transportation rain, shine, sleet or snow. And believe me, if I want a yarn badly enough I have ridden my bike a lotttta miles to local shops or the Farmer's Market, where I can find amazing alpaca yarn from a nearby farm. But, obviously my range is limited.
Local is secondly purchasing yarn, books or knit materials from small home businesses that I would loVe to visit but is just tooooo far away. I feel supporting the farms & independent yarn & book stores is just as local, even if I have to buy it from a web site or mail order. I would rather do that than buy from a chain store. I try to support handmade & farmers where ever that may be from.
Truly, this is a yummie book.
Can't wait to see it, pleassse Winter Yarn Fairy, let me win. :)
Best,
Shell ~
YarnSoup@yahoo.com

TheQualityWatch said...

local means as close as possible for shipping. I look for the online store with shortest shipping distace,

I don't have a car, but will visit any LYS when I can combine it with another outing. I look for local indie products in those stores, and for regional products.

knitterbeader said...

Beautiful gloves! To me, local first means in western Washington state (and not a chain), then after that, anything in the U.S. (still not a chain).

Suellen said...

Beautiful gloves! Local to me is yarn from local farms in the endless mountains of PA - such beautiful yarn and colors. I love giving my business to people in my community trying to make a living doing something they love!

Jody said...

when i think of local ( and I have the sticker "knit local" on my car) I think of my county - and my hudson river region which stretches north to nearly Albany and south all the way to manhattan island. I think of my friends and family and all of the knitters in between that I've met, and have yet to meet. We are here to connect. And knitting brings us together.

Anonymous said...

Local varies. Local is NOT international. American made is very necessary. I am from Michigan, so I prefer to buy from a Michigan vendor when I am aspiring to buy local. I also look within my own town first. We happen to have a pretty awesome farm (Fence Row Farms). Their yarns are wonderful and they are sold right here in town at our LYS.

I guess that about sums it up. I try to buy local by looking for the products I desire first in my own town, then my own state, then my own country. I also don't mind paying a "little" more to be supportive of my own local farms and shops.

Anne Paulson said...

For me 'local' means very near to where I live - within about an hours drive at most. BUT, that being said... I feel a real sense of triumph and pride when I buy pretty much anything grown, raised, produced, created in my home state or in the US.

lorraine said...

the patterns in this book look beautiful! i love tanis!..im from new york so local to me when it comes to knitting would be the north east coast/new england region..as far as edible things i would saw maybe 50 miles or less.. :) raineoc@yahoo.com

jdbknits said...

I mostly think of local as locally owned business in my general area.

Anonymous said...

For groceries or food in a restaurant, I think of local as about 100 miles or so away. As someone else commented, local is a distance that a farmer or distributor could drive to/from easily in one day. For shopping, I think of local as being much closer, probably within 10 miles.

Paula (purlplessk on ravelry)

Robin V said...

What a splendid-looking book. Love those "dreaming of spring" mittens (with my name, how could I not?!?).

When I think of 'local,' I think of independent stores in our town. We have a 100-mile farmers' market, so perhaps that's a better description. And then there are independent spinners and dyers - I think they fit into the 'local' definition somehow, even if they're only accessible via the internet.

RobinV on ravelry

Walk-N-Knit said...

My idea of local is a bit more flexible. I live in Ohio, my parents live in Texas, and my in-laws live in Maine. When we travel, we drive back and forth. So to me, local is relative to where we are - I love finding a restaurant or store that is not a chain - something we haven't seen before. My favorite trip preparation is to search for yarn stores in whatever area I'll be traveling to :-)

walknknit at gmail dot com

Geri said...

To me, local means within a couple of hours of travel. It also means shopping at the small businesses rather than at the big box stores that can often suck the life out of a community's downtown area.

inglisg (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Adaliza said...

Well I'm definitely not a local, to your neck-of-the-woods. I quite understand if I can't be entered, being across the pond and all! But local - it's not a specific distance, it's more a feeling of familiarity. A sense of belonging somewhere maybe, and having a relationship with people 'a local' or a place 'locality'. Over here, 'the local' usually refers to the nearest pub! The term has a certain homespun warmth to it now, in these days of big business, I certainly try to 'buy local' from farmers market producers, even though I get much better wool from you!!!

Mimi F said...

To me, local is in your town or the next one over. The distance isn't important to me as the idea of supporting your nearby economy. Thanks for the chance to win!
mimifan on ravelry

Nancy K. said...

What a beautiful book! I want to sit down by the fire with a glass of wine and lose myself in it...

To me, the ultimate local is my own backyard. I raise Shetland sheep and I love to spin their wool into yarn and then knit lovely garments or accessories with it. Eggs from my chickens are as fresh as it gets and fruits and vegetables from the garden just plain taste better!

Nancy K. said...

Oops! I forgot to leave my contact information :

nkmajik@acegroup.cc
my blog: http://shepherdsvoice.blogspot.com/

and the Facebook Page for my Canine Rescue: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bluff-Country-Canine-Rescue/175916635834174?sk=info

sherri said...

Great book. Local to me means that I probably won't have to pay to have whateveer it is shipped as I can jump into my car and get it in a short amount of time. It also means I am supporting the merchants and grwoers in my area which I try to do as much as I can. Thanks for introducing me to this fabulous book. spreider@aol.com

barbbehr said...

I live in the larger NY metro area, which makes "local" more difficult. When it comes to LYS, it's the one that's closest to me, when it comes to food or yarn, it's anything produced in NY state and still whole. (Barbbehr@aol.com)

Bonney said...

To me, local means in the vicinity. I live in a rural area and I patronize the shops "close" to me several times a year but there are so many goodies out there only available on the web. I have 3 shops that I patronize online and am very loyal to them for their good service and products. I try to buy as much local food as I can and I love the subject of getting back to local.

Christina Habberjam said...

Thanks for this contest! Local, to me, means grown/produced in a driveable distance - something within a couple of hours. Because I live in a large urban centre, there is obviously very little land around to grow stuff on. But we do have *some* and surely it wouldn't take more than an hour to come across growable lands. Anyway, this is what I think of when I think "local".

I'm envycreative on Ravelry. Cheers!

Cate said...

Local can have several meanings, depending upon what you are buying. For food, it means shopping at the farmer's market or buying produce from local farms at my grocery store or going and picking (apples, berries, etc.). For yarn, it either means shopping at my LYS or shopping from small, independent dyers and providers -- which may involve ordering on-line. I just ordered from a small farm a few states away, but I first learned about them when they attended a local fiber festival.

Sometimes buying local means buying products from producers that are a short drive away, sometimes it means buying within my dear State of Maine, and other times it means buying US-made products -- depending upon what I'm buying!

And, sometimes it means buying from other places that were, at one time, local for me -- Scotland, Boston, Montana, and northwest Ohio -- or places I am visiting -- NH and northwest PA where my sons are in college.

If nothing else, it means being mindful of what you are buying and where it came from.

maggieinthemountains said...

I live in a smaller town in Colorado and local is trying my hardest to support those businesses. It is so hard to see those businesses struggle after a big box moved in.

Debby said...

To me, local means shopping at the small, privately owned shops in town, as well as what I can buy (grown or made ) at any of the nearby farmers markets.

Purlynne on Ravelry

casey said...

To me local means anywhere along my normal paths of travel, on the way to the cabin, visiting friends or along the route to work.
ashefamily@yahoo.com

meppybn said...

In terms of foodie things, it has come to mean grown within about 100 mile radius around here - but with other things, I try to shop the locally-owned stores rather than big box ones. Even though I know they are employing locals and thereby supporting the community that way, their profit doesn't stay within the area.

Susan said...

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this ( I didn't read all 48 comments), but here is a link to help folks find local sources for their fibers, yarns, etc.:
http://www.localfibers.com/

adodds said...

I live in Wyoming so for us I think the entire state is local and sometimes Colorado and Nebraska. My friends and I are planning a trip to Buffalo, Wy to tour the Mountain Meadows mills. It about an hour and a half drive from here.

Denise P. said...

Local means not having been trucked across the country or shipped from somewhere else in the world - produced within 75 miles of me.

flgirl1987 AT yahoo DOT com

Carolyn McClain said...

Local means within driving distance in one day and back again. We have many alpaca and llama "farms" in Colorado and a wonderful mill an hour from Colorado Springs. I almost always try to support the local growers, spinners and yarn producers!!!
Carolyn

Lisa in western MA said...

Local: homemade, handmade, grown in my backyard garden or by a local farmer, baked from scratch from ingredients found in Franklin County....

Lovely book -- would love to make a copy "local" to my home! Thanks for the opportunity!

Jen said...

Local can be more than one place for one person, as long as you know where to go to get a good cup of coffee and you know where the hardware store is.

Kamin said...

Hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays. Local to me means in my community, but also independent. I support locally owed businesses whenever possible. That being said, I like to support local in other communities as well, yarn stores, grocery stores,plant shops, restaurants etc. There is something very nice about non-chain, big box operations.

joheintz@hotmail.com said...

For me local means home grown, small business, whereever I happen to be--like you--half way across the country from me.
That book looks fantastic and your gloves are darling.
JoAnne
joheintz@hotmail.com

knitting08816 said...

Since I live in NJ, I consider local anywhere in our state.

sigfridpettersen63 said...

To me, local means within Stavanger (Norway) bus area...I have no car. I would love to win!

sigfridpettersen63@hotmail.com

Cathy said...

What is local? Locally owned, not a chain, wherever you happen to be! When we travel I try to visit any LYS I can find and purchase something to support them. Actually learned this from one of my sons...he'd rather pay a little bit more and support a locally owned business.

Stella's Mom said...

Local means 'nearby' or 'in the immediate area.' For me, I think of things made/grown in NH. Usually I expand that a little further to include all of New England. That is my 'local'.

I am IMKnittified on Ravelry.

Nancy K. said...

For things like food, I try to buy fresh from a farmer's market or 'locally grown' at the grocery store. Other products such as clothing, electronics, toiletries, etc. I look for "Made in the USA"

nkmajik@acegroup.cc

Anonymous said...

Truly local for me is some place that I would go to in the course of an ordinary day, but realistically, I think it would me within a 100 mile radius.

bookboxer on ravelry

Joan and Kevin said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Local means to me buy in the town you live in.

Anonymous said...

I agree - great question. Depends on the product to me. Local food
I would consider within 50 miles approx. Local yarn - lys or independent "small" producer.
Manufacturing - USA (although many parts are outsourced these days).

Pyrpup on Ravelry. Thanks.

Helen Hart said...

HelzHart said
I love to shop independent local LYS's. Local means one person who truly depends on the community to help support the fiber industry (yarns etc). Hate chains, but we have many in our town. Have to shop down in the state to the south for another indepent shop for wonderful fibers also.
HelzHart@aol.com

phaedra96 said...

For me, the only "local" making and selling yarn is a lady about thirty miles away who sells alpaca/merino yarn from her pacas at a local farm market. I can only purchase her yarn during the summer! I have converted a couple friends to wool making them scarves. Love, love the yarn and wish I could afford a sweater amount instead of just scarves. bonnieanne@omnicityusa.com

slmiller8 said...

For me, I think the distance defining "local" varies depending on what item is being talked about. If its fruits, vegetables, meat or poultry, local is right down the road, or a few miles away; even my yard. For other items, the definition expands out a bit-the local yarn store is 30 min. away, for example. And local could maybe even mean from somewhere in-state as opposed to out of state.
slmiller8@hotmail.com

Jo said...

Hummm...after lots of thought, I define local as "Made in the USA". I live about 200 miles away from Brown Sheep yarn mill, which I have visited at least four times. They are a wonderful American success story.

I also love yarns produced by a nearby Alpaca breeder and a Yak breeder. The markets at events like Sock Summit are packed with fabulous fibres from small dyers, but they come from a wide part of the USA.

Jo

Erin said...

To me, local means small businesses, owned by people within my community. Food grown by neighbors, etc...

Vicki K. said...

"Local" for me isn't necessarily only in my own city - it also includes small businesses whose owners have some service or philosophy that makes doing business with them personal.

christine m. said...

local is one of those relative terms, depending on how big your world view or scope is... local can be all the way across the other side of your own country if you are standing in the middle of tibet and someone asks you if your backpack is locally made from back home, when you live in Montreal but your backpack happens to have been shipped to you from Vancouver. local can be the farm on the edge of town if someone asks you if the summer corn you are serving at your backyard bbq was bought locally. so to me, local is a term to describe somethiing that conjures the idea of "home" and "belonging" in your heart.

Leticia said...

Local means so many things. For me local means supporting local business wherever I am. I enjoy local yarn shops on roadtrips...
Thanks for a chance to win! That book looks awesome book list wishlist for sure!!!

knittingmommee on rav
ljbcondon@yahoo.com

bookagent said...

Local for me means within our county and I support two LYS here. But beyond that in today's world it also, for me, means made in the USA. As this book explores, there are many small producers of wool and yarn within our wonderful country and supporting them is in my mind supporting many local economies! Great question and a great prize, thanks Kristen

Pam H

Janelle said...

To me, the mileage radius for "local" varies according to product. Local apples means within my county (since we grow a lot of them). But "local" can also mean "made in the USA with an actual person getting the profit rather than an anonymous multinational corporation." It is such an interesting value question to ponder!

This looks like a super neat book.

Savannagal said...

The term local totally depends on the item. When spreading native plant seeds on my land restoration they need to be procured from within 50 miles of the restoration site. When I "shop local", I tend to spend in my home town. But I also try to buy USA made products, which I consider local too. So, it just depends on what the item is. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

To me, local means not national and not international. A local business might have three locations in my state, but they are not one of the big national chains. Local means the local economy benefits from the jobs and taxes provided by the business. I don't worry about proximity to my home. I'd rather support a small business that has to ship the merchandise to me, than to buy at a national big box store that I can drive to. And I am so excited about this book. I need to learn more about local yarn sources!

Karen said...

I agree with Savannagal, the definition of "local" can change depending on the product. Ideally close to home, of course (our CSA is 7 miles down the road), but some things are just not available so near. For some products I am just happy to find things from the USA, or North America. I also try to take other factors into account - organic, small vs large business, and so on. A complicated thing, shopping!

jennifer.auroradesign said...

Clearly proximity plays a big part. But to me, local is knowing a business in some way--a building you pass on your drive to school, a worker you know from a civic organization, the parent of a child's friend, the vendor who sells at your farmers market. A group, organization, of company that you feel a kinship with in some way.

Elizabeth D said...

The Whole Foods in my town likes to use the term "local" whenever they can. So I do the math -- yes, corn from 35 miles away can be local. But apples from 300 miles away? No!! I am the crank who writes to them and tells them so. . . I guess if you're in an office in Colorado, it looks like southern PA and upstate NY are close together. Hrumph!! I think I would define the term as "somewhere I can drive in 2 hours or less." (Please do not enter me in the drawing, as I already own this wonderful book -- I just liked the question)

Anonymous said...

I will say 100 miles .. Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin
RAVID:atareen

B Greene said...

To me "local" means within a fifty-mile radius or so. After that, it doesn't really seem like it is truly local.