We’ve added some new titles you should definitely hunt down and check out! Look for them in the Main Stacks on the 5th floor, in the TT 820’s call number range.
Alasdair Post-Quinn, Extreme Double-Knitting: New Adventures in Reversible Color Work (2011)
Gwen Steege, The Knitter’s Life List (2011)
Julie Turjoman, Brave New Knits: 26 Projects and Personalities from the Knitting Blogosphere (2010)
Mandy Moore, Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (2008)
Margaret Radcliffe, Circular Knitting Workshop (2012)
And on the 4th floor, visit the Reference Stacks to see — Vogue Knitting Knitopedia: The Ultimate A to Z for Knitters (2011). Not a huge coffee-table compendium, this book is a good, basic overview of knitting topics, with brief entries and excellent illustrations. Clearly aimed at today’s knitters, it talks about trending topics like entrelac, covers podcasts, and has brief (one-page) essays by many of today’s big names — the podcasters, authors and teachers you meet at conferences. I do have one gripe with this book. Not to sound crabby, but the text is very tiny and way too light. Who is the audience? Many potential buyers of this book, who might want it as a reference, are of (shall we say) a certain age where readability is more of a factor than price. But that’s enough ranting….
No time to read a book? Our good friend Beth reminds us that the Library now subscribes to Interweave Knits magazine. Look for the latest issue at the Periodicals desk on the 6th floor.
Well! I certainly didn’t intend for so much time to slip by. But as we come up to our first anniversary I can only promise to be a better blogger this time around.
Last time I was talking about the Stitches East conference in Hartford CT. I still remember my first Stitches, back in 2007 when it was still in Baltimore. I signed up for all the events (starting on Thursday evening), took 3 classes over the next 3 days, spent hours in the Market, and by Sunday I was exhausted. We bought so much yarn we had to ship most of it home in a huge box and jam the rest into every inch of our suitcases. The Market was amazing and overwhelming, so many vendors, so much yarn, so many pretty colors…. Sensory overload to the max.
The first time is always special, and my next couple of Stitches experiences were more governed by common sense and a budget. I tried to remember — I live in New York! We have dozens of yarn stores. I have a full time job! Time to knit is limited, and there is no point collecting yarn just to let it sit in a stash. I work at FIT — and in the Library at that! I have access to wonderful books every day for free — books on technique, books to inspire, you name it. You get the idea.
So why go to Stitches? For me, it’s a chance to see and feel the yarns. Online shopping is great for price and convenience, but even a really great photo of a skein or swatch is no substitute for tactile experience. You can ask the vendor questions, see and feel sample garments, and sometimes get a decent price break on sale or discontinued yarns. The classes and workshops are frequently taught by the authors of those wonderful knitting books. It is a chance to learn a new technique or pursue an aspect of knitting on a deeper level. And, of course, all spare downtime is spent knitting, so you get to meet a variety of people who love it just as much as you do.
This year at Hartford I just went for the Market, and did manage to limit my purchases to fill one totebag. My vote for favorite vendor is Blue Moon Fiber Arts, source of the beautiful Socks That Rock yarns. Their booth was mobbed at all times, but the Blue Moon ladies could not have been nicer, more patient or more helpful. Every other person I saw in the Market was wearing the Stephen West Daybreak shawl — and those who weren’t (like me!) were lined up at Blue Moon to buy yarn to make one. It’s a fairly simple shawl, requiring 2 colorways and knit in stripes. Impossible to choose! One of the Blue Mooners was ready with advice. She had each one of us in turn select one colorway, and then she picked out one or two coordinating colorways for us. Great suggestions and unusual choices, tailored to our preferences. Now that’s customer service!
Busy week for knitters! Last weekend was the New York Sheep & Wool Festival at Rhinebeck, and this weekend there is Stitches East at the Hartford Convention Center in CT. I missed the first, but am definitely headed up to Hartford for a day of breathing in the fiber fumes at the market.
In the meantime, and for those who like to do a little traveling closer to home, here is a quick browse through the FIT Library stacks on the 5th floor. Many of the “fiber arts” type books are generally in the TT820-TT825 section. Yes, I know there are many exceptions — don’t get me started on the vicissitudes of Library of Congress Classification! — but this is a great place to begin. Anyway, since one of the real pleasures of my job is to buy books for the FIT collection that I’d actually want to read or use myself, here are some recent additions that make me want to reach for the needles. They range from the social/historical to the practical, from fiber to finished design, from clothing and accessories to yarn bombs and cute li’l critters. Check ‘em out and have fun exploring.
The Culture of Knitting — Joanne Turney, 2009
Fiber Gathering: Knit, Crochet, Spin and Dye… Inspired by America’s Festivals — Joanne Seiff, 2009
In the Loop: Knitting Now — Jessica Hemmings, 2010
The Knitted Odd-Bod Bunch: 35 Unique and Quirky Knitted Creatures — Donna Wilson, 2009
The Knitter’s Book of Wool — Clara Parkes, 2009
Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits — Shirley Paden, 2009
Luxe Knits: The Accessories — Laura Zukaite, 2010
Modern Top-down Knitting — Kristina McGowan, 2010
Noro: Meet the Man Behind the Legendary Yarn — Cornelia Hamilton Tuttle, 2009
Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum — Sue Flanders & Janine Kosel, 2009
Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously — Adrienne Martini, 2010
Urban Knits — Simone Werle, 2011