Friday, September 18, 2009

Socks and Homespun

Earlier this week I got my copies of Kathleen Taylor's The Big Book of Socks and the All New Homespun Handknit. Bliss!

I've been fortunate enough to know Kathleen for many years, and after enticing me into sock quicksand she was ready with advice and support, but this book is something else again. 75 patterns! And all distinct and mostly multi-sized! Plus a huge appendix that details the formulae for different heels and toes in different stitch counts. One of them is a short-row heel that doesn't leave holes up the side, something I wish I had read before I turned the heel on my second socks (the day before the book arrived, dagnabbit.)

The Big Book of Socks is a reference shelf keeper, over and above being a great source of fun patterns to knit for everybody you know - even if I didn't know Kathi from Adam (do I even know an Adam, I wonder?), I'd still say that every knitter needs a copy of it.

All New Homespun Handknit is just as luscious as the original, with gorgeous photography and amazing ideas. Kathleen's got a sock pattern in there too, in gorgeous sun shades that beguile thoughts of just-cool-enough autumn days.

Lovely book but - reading through it, more so than with the original, I felt wistful about not having figured out how to spin successfully. You can see with each project how the artist has followed an idea through from the very beginning with such amazing creativity... and while I love listening to music, I know too well that it's even more exciting to be in the band hearing it all around you and contributing your part.

The next day, my mailbox yielded more treasures, including another purchase of tinyhappy zip bags I've been snapping up for gifts, and as pockets for my smaller knitting projects. When I opened the parcel this time, though...

It's handspun. Plant-dyed handspun, a gift given in thanks for my devotion to all things tinyhappy (though I still feel that the thanks should be all on my side because these little bags make all my knitting feel so much more special.)

And it's my favourite knitting colour, in a perfect weight for a huge variety of possibilities, some from the book, some from my own head. I couldn't speak for several minutes - which is most unlike me - and then I couldn't make any sense at all, I was so thrilled. Thank you, Melissa!