Quick - gather your fiber!
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 it...you never know!