Monday, April 06, 2009

Quick - gather your fiber!

Our internet is behaving very badly this morning, which is why this post isn't already up. I am having a really bad week with technology, it seems! My next project will be to fire up the old printer and pray that it still works after spending a year in the basement...

And now on to the tour!

The book is Fiber Gathering by Joanne Seiff (click on the cover to buy from Powell's, my local Portland bookstore, or pick it up at your LYS), and if you love going to fiber festivals (or if you're one of the poor souls who doesn't have one near you and you can only fantasize about going), this book is for you. With luscious photos and great attention to detail, this book will transport you around the country to some of the best fiber fests the US has to offer.

Joanne is somewhat of a triple threat (or rather a quadruple threat) - she designs, spins, dyes and writes, making this book a treat for those who appreciate all of those different skills. She did solicit patterns from other designers for the book, however, since she was busy traveling the country petting sheep and interviewing alpacas. Her husband took all of the photos in the book, and they are quite spectacular. They visited the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR, on their whirlwind tour and I tried (and failed, I can't remember why) to meet them there. It sure is fun reading about it from Joanne's perspective!

I had to take solace in designing my own little project for the book, which is one of the most adorable things I've designed, if I do say so myself. It helps that it's modeled by the cutest little peanut... Here are a few of the shots that didn't make the book:

Don't you just love those baby feet? It almost makes me want another. But not really (I can hear Bill downstairs having a heart attack when I say that).

I don't normally like working with thick-and-thin yarn, but this project seemed made for it (in keeping with the fiber festival theme, we wanted the pattern to be appropriate for handspun as well). It's a simple little hat and cardigan that uses a simple ridged rib pattern that works extremely well with the variegated yarn (Lorna's Laces Revelation in Child's Play). I'm telling you - if an extremely colorful variegated yarn isn't quite working for you, throw in some purl stitches. It can make all the difference!

The book isn't all about knitting, which particularly makes it a worthy addition to your bookshelf. My favorite is a section on making a drop spindle out of an old aluminum knitting needle and an apple. There are lots of great tutorials on spinning and dealing with raw fleece and although I am still resisting spinning like Jamie Lee Curtis resisted Mike Meyers, it's fun to read about the process! Maybe someday I'll succumb (it feels a bit inevitable, but first I want to get my sewing machine out of the box).

And now I'm going to publish this post before we lose connectivity again. Tomorrow the tour moves back to Joanne's blog, where her husband/photographer will talk about all the gorgeous pictures he took for the book. And before I forget - leave a comment to win your copy of the book! I'll draw randomly on Friday from commenters on this post. Blogger makes it so bleeping difficult to get commenters' e-mail addresses that I can't guarantee that I'll be able to find you if you win, so please check back on Friday to see if you got lucky. You might even get some yarn along with never know!


Blogger Lavendersheep said...

That baby sweater is adorable! I can't wait to check out the new book!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Val said...

HI! I just found your patterns this weekend in Portland and Hood River yarn shops. I can't wait to try the Mix n Match toe-up socks (which will be my first pair!)and the Feather Lace Shawl. Great work and I look forward to your book! Val

12:00 PM  
Blogger BeckyS said...

That sweater is gorgeous! The book looks like a fun read.

I can't wait for your sock book to come out. I was one of your test knitters and I LOVED the patterns. The book is going to be full of great stuff!!!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Those baby photos are so cute, it does make ya want another one. Then I remember that I only have a few more years and the house will be empty and I won't have to feed and pick up and.....after everyone. :)

I've been able to look through that book, it is awesome! Haven't bought it yet though.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jean Ashley said...

The babymodel pictures are adorable! I've had a chance to look at the Fiber Gathering book, and it looks great!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive. That baby sweater is so adorable as is the baby.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous lea-ann said...

What an adorable baby and of course the design is cute too!

2:39 PM  
Blogger greetingarts said...

Gorgeous fibers on the cover. Reason enough for me to add another knitting book to the shelves! Thanks for the chance.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

The baby sweater and hat are adorable! Can't wait for your sock book to come out.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

The little one is adorable, and your pattern works well too. I'm not a varigated yarn person but it works well here, and it will go with any color of pants.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

I love reading your blog, especially since we live in the same city. Looking forward to the book! Helen

6:28 PM  
Blogger AnaMarie said...

One of the things on my to-do list once I graduated was finally go to a fiber festival. Then I moved to Japan. Looks like I'll have to get this book instead!

7:40 PM  
Blogger PICAdrienne said...

Beautiful, happy baby shots, and the knit wear is lovely as well. :)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous sprite said...

I've only been to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, so I'm eager to read what she has to say about the others -- particularly some of the more intimate ones!

10:39 PM  
Blogger thursday said...

Oh I love baby feet, too! But I still *have* a little one with very cute baby feet. Don't need another just yet. I mean, I can hardly handle this one. Hah! And the sweater is great, too, by the way.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Donna Fritsen said...

Just love the outfit and baby feet. The book looks good too. I keep thinking I should try spinning.

10:20 AM  
Blogger The Knifty Knitter said...

This book sounds awesome. Your sweater was very cute! It looks like it would be quick and fun to knit.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I went to OFFF last fall and I have to say that I'm hooked on fiber festivals now. I will definitely check out Joanne's book--and yours, too, of course.

11:32 PM  

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