Archive for the ‘I'm reading this…’ Category

…but all the online thingys that take up my time on my iPhone and make me wish lust for an iPad. I don’t know about most folks but I do subscribe to quite a few online newsletters the greatest percentage having to deal with knitting stuff and to a lesser degree herbs, gardening, and natural living. These newsletters usually go beyond just an advertisement for a sale of a product, most times there are announcements of new products, or free patterns, or a just released pattern.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites that show up in my inbox throughout the month. Do try to keep in mind that I also read a ton of blogs too – but that will have to be a topic for another post.

Jimmy Beans Wool I love reading this newsletter & look forward to seeing the new limited time Lorna’s Laces colors that become available (loving the March ’12 Sea Turtle Dream). They also sponsor a Stitch Red campaign to stick-it to women’s heart disease. Not only do they tell you what’s new in the shop but suggest patterns to go with the yarns. I also enjoy the staff project section at the end of the newsletter. They carry Madelinetosh onseies, be sure to check them out, but they carry fabric, buttons, notions and so much more.

elann.com This is more of a sale flier for their great bargains on yarns, pattern books, and notions. Sometimes their staff designers have re-worked an existing pattern to work with a yarn they are promoting and the results are quite wonderful. The prices have made me do a double take.

Morehouse Farm. This is a NY farm that I have fallen in love with ever since I read their book: Morehouse Farm Merino knits : more than 40 farm-fresh designs by Margrit Lohrer. Great yarns, wonderful service, beautiful and creative patterns. Every child needs a ‘critter’ scarf or set of mittens.

Knitting Daily This is the Interweave Knitting daily email. Sometimes it’s great information, a free pattern, giveaways, KAL announcements, but other times it really is just a self promotion tool for sales.

Craftsy I signed up for this one not too long ago to get more information on their new model for online classes. You set your own pace, unlimited access to the online class, notes, and online access to the instructor. Classes are available on a variety of subjects from gardening to cake decorating, plus their site hosts independent designer pattern postings for sale and some for free. Worth checking out.

Schoolhouse Press The late Great knitting Guru Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s daughter Meg Swansen now runs the company and I want to keep abreast of the latest and greatest. What more is there to say?

Quince & Co. This company has been THE hot yarn and getting hotter! The two owning knitwear designers: Pam Allen and Carrie Bostick Hoge have been attracting other popular designers like Hannah Fettig, Cecily Glowik McDonald, and Melissa LaBarre to compliment their wearable, non-fussy, classic, visions of shape and ease of design which make me and many other knitters find it hard to decide which pattern to knit first!

If you have tried yarns and love them, be sure to look up their website from it’s band. Chances are they have a newsletter or blog. Lately I have been preferring a newsletter to reading a blog post. Go figure?(the irony has not been lost)

Tahki Stacy Charles

Classic Elite

Cascade Yarns



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I find that sometimes my knitting mojo wanes. It’s not for lack of projects on the needles, or ideas for projects, or yarn to knit with, or even inspiration, perhaps just slight burn out? So I tend to turn to all things knitterly or fiberish in print or online to try to occupy my cravings for my fix.

My local library system surprised me by adding a few scholarly reference knitting titles to their shelves and I jumped at the chance to loan them. I’ve been geeking out ever since! So go and search out these titles yourself:

Knitting around the world: a multistranded history of a time-honored tradition by Lola Nargi. A wonderful retrospective of the art and history of the handicraft. I was drawn in by the detail with which she researched each of the chapters and the historical photographs. There a few patterns, the knitter in me would have liked a few more, but as a library reference book this title is quite inclusive. I was a tad disappointed to not find any mention of the country where my ancestors harken from; Poland. I have yet to see it mentioned in any ethnic knitting book, I know there are lots of elaborate folk embroidery patterns from there and the Ukraine area, but I couldn’t help being curious and hopeful for a mention. Personal let downs aside I still had to renew it after the three-week loan because it was such a fascinating read. (Voyageur Press, 264 pages, $35.00 list price)

After reading about the international history of knitting I loaned the title,  Knitting in America: A glorious heritage from warm socks to high art by Susan M. Strawn Forward by Melanie Falick. It’s not often I enjoy a forward or introduction to a nonfiction book as much as I did this one, each wet my appetite for this enjoyable and readable retrospective. The images were the first thing that grabbed me on the cover, because of course we all love to judge a book by the cover, but that is like assuming there is nothing inside a creme puff! Yet inside this volume there were delectable chapters of our eras in history complimented by savory images I had never seen before. Some of my favorites were the modern art pieces towards the end, they inspired me to knit outside the pattern so-to-speak. There are twenty historical knitting patterns and the best part is that they are indexed separately in the back of the book! I do enjoy a good index. (Voyageur Press, 208 pages, $24.99 list price)

The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius. This title had me ignoring the family for many a night as I studied its pages learning about the many varieties of natural fleeces, how to use them best and where on earth to find them. Did you know that there are eleven classic colors to the Shetland rainbow? or how about the controversies surrounding upbreeding/upgrading? It’s in here! There are even entries for horse, cow, and wolf which I thought were among the more unusual. Most every entry has a photo of the fleece in various stages: raw, clean, spun, woven, and knitted when available. I enjoyed reading the histories behind many of the breeds, especially ones that were left feral for decades or possibly centuries to fend for themselves and how they adapted to the local conditions and lack of shearing. I know now more than ever that there needs to be a space in our family for a fiber animal or five soon, perhaps some angora goats and some guard llamas. (Storey Publishing, 488 pages, $35.00 list price.)

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I remember my Mom threatening me when I was young and complaining of Summer  boredom that she would make us go outside to watch paint dry, or take us to the laundry mat to watch to clothes go round OR if we really wanted some excitement she would load us in the car and take us to the local cemetery to watch the grass grow!

But seriously, I cannot believe a publisher has invested time and energy in this title! Just so you know… I did NOT  purchase this title for the collection. There is plenty of grass in Batavia. Go watch it !

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With near below freezing wind chill factors outside there has been even more snuggling under afghans and reading, pondering, making of lists, studying of seed catalogs, knitting, crafting and Wii tennis.

We have really enjoyed the title below and paired it with Snowflake Bentley by Martin, Snow by Schulevitz, The Tomten by Lingren.

I love revisiting the Ukrainian folktale, the mitten. I resurrected the classic by Tresselt but have discovered a new

version by Jim Aylesworth that I used for story time with the kindergarten, it was a departure from my favorite by Jan Brett, but I  suppose it’s okay to mix things up a bit from time to time.

These are just some new titles to the library shelves that have become family favorites! Check your local library, or pester your librarian to order them for the collection.

This is my most favorite book trailer of the moment – take the time to view it!!

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In the mini moments I have been reading quite a bit. I’ve even surprised myself with the reading list I’ve accomplished within the past month or two. Of course I’m only sharing the ones I’ve enjoyed. I hope you will too.

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Here’s just a very small glimpse of the reading we’ve been enjoying while the Christmas music plays and the snow swirls down outside.

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I've been reading

I’ve been busy reading for me, with the kids, and for work.

The Hunger Games by Susan Collins Catching Fire by Susan Collins

First the great books I’ve been reading just for me.. I started this one because I had read a lot of positive teen librarian responses about it, so at first I thought it would be my attempt at keeping up on some newer teen fiction for my job. After about 50 pages, I knew I was reading it for me and just couldn’t put it down. I finished the second in the series with the same result! Even if you are a grown-up… read it if you like exciting dystopian novels.

Twelve months of knitting

And of course a couple of knitting books to browse. Then there are the kids books. We’ve been hooked on a couple to celebrate the season.

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert Our Apple Tree by Gorel Kristina Naslund We Gather Together by Wendy Pfeffer

The work related books have been fun and interesting too. I am moderating the Woolly Bookworms at my library. It’s for kids & adults and they’re encouraged to bring any fiber project to work on. (Hmmm…. notice how I slipped in a hobby at work?) But seriously, everyone who attends enjoys themselves, talks about the book and their projects and attendance has grown (yes, my boss might be reading this!)

American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne.Ivy and Bean by Anne Barrows The Fledgling Jane Langton

Now to get started on a few new kids fiction titles…. I’m loking forward to reading the 39 Clues series and The Olympians series.  I’m always looking for suggestions no matter what age they are for!

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