Thursday, May 12, 2011

Harvesting Color could be yours!

Hi Knitters,
I'm almost done with the Owl Babies pattern. I should have it up by early next week. This week has completely flown by, right? It's been a little blurry. Thank you for the sweet and wonderful response on the owl project. I appreciate it. Trisha Malcolm (Vice President and Editorial Director of Vogue Knitting) even posted my Owl Baby on her facebook page! That was fun to see. It's coming.....

Okay, a little more business this Saturday, May 14th, I am teaching a workshop (there are still a couple of openings!) from 1-3pm and having a drop-in meet and greet book signing from 3-4pm right after the class. All are being held at Stitcher's Crossing in Madison, WI. I have a big box of gifts from Blue Sky Alpacas/Spud & Chloƫ for the students! Plus I'll bring a few extra giveaway prizes as well.

Here is the phone number to sign up or for more information: 608-232-1500!

I am headed off to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, May 20-22nd, which is next week already. I think there are still a couple of openings in my class on Saturday, May 21 if you are around and interested. The class is a good size right now but I could take a couple more. I will have some Spud and Blue Sky Alpacas gifts for the students and a couple of fun giveaways during the class, too.

If you don't want to sit for a class I am having a casual meet and greet book signing on that same Saturday afternoon as well. I can't wait as this is my first Sheep & Wool festival of any sort!

Now onto the review and giveaway for the day. To be forthright, the book being reviewed today was sent to me by my publisher, Artisan Books. I get all kinds of books from my publisher and other publishers. I don't review them all. I only review the books I feel strongly about and can genuinely recommend. I have a big stack waiting to be reviewed because honestly, there are a lot of good books out there right now.

Harvesting Color is a beautiful new book by Rebecca Burgess. Rebecca is a fascinating person. This past year she has been on a journey of wearing and creating all of her clothing from seed to fabric using basically local resources only. I have been following this adventure with admiring eyes.

Click here to see Rebecca's site and to see her fantastic seed to cloth journey. The journey culminated in a fashion show that showed off and gave credit to the farmers, gardeners, weavers, knitters, dyers, seamstresses, etc. I am so impressed by this. Click here to see the fashion show. Honestly, I would love to make all of my clothing from scratch. I can't imagine how satisfying that would be.

Now a little more about the book. Rebecca has written a book about using plants to dye and stain yarn and fabrics. She gives geographical locations for harvesting the plants, how to harvest, information about wool and fiber, recipes for dying, and so much more.
The photography is beyond gorgeous. It takes you away. I was surprised to see how many of the plants are actually available in my area. I am planning on taking some Spud & Chloƫ Fine in Popcorn (a natural white) and trying out some of this dying for myself. This summer that will happen!
The in-depth instruction is so easy to follow and the results, as you can see, are wonderful shades of natural color with quite a wide range.
She also shows some spot dying techniques with flowers and leaves. I think TC would love to try her hand at this this summer.
There are wonderfully simple knitting patterns for things like a blanket, hat, scarf, hand warmers. The projects show off the natural yarns at their best. Every hank of yarn looks squishy and yummy and rustic in the book.

Spinners, you will LOVE this book! I want to spin some natural roving into yarn to then plant dye as well.
Each page is thoughtful to the fullest. I am looking more and more toward a natural lifestyle with my crafting and creating and this book makes me want to jump in fully today. I have such an admiration and respect for Rebecca's lifestyle and revolution.
Plus, Rebecca is really, really cute! She obviously loves what she is doing and believes in it with all of her heart. That quality is contagious.
Just look at the back cover of Harvesting Color. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than that as far as a fiber shot goes? I haven't. I want to jump in and stay.

You will love this book! It is a piece of art.

If you would like a copy of Harvesting Color please leave one comment on this blog post. Please include your Ravelry ID or an email address so I can gather your mailing address if you win. Please do not email me. I will pick a winner in a couple of days (I'll be back with my Owl Babies pattern by then, too).
I have a bunch of new books at my house lately. Here are a couple more from Artisan Books that you may be interested in that I highly recommend.

Guide to Girls' Hair is a fantastic book. TC has paper bookmarks all over this book. She is crazy about fixing and styling hair. When we first got the book, TC was waking up early to style her hair with the book as her guide for a good week. It was really funny.

The styles in here are do-able and cute and age appropriate for kids and teens. It is a fun, fun book! If you have a little girl to teenage girl or older you will love this book for hair ideas.

Click here to find out more about Guide to Girls' Hair!
A second book from Artisan that is completely charming and different is Snow Play. The whiteness and snowy scenes make you love winter and all it offers. There are so many fun snow-centric ideas offered in here, games, snow characters, fun things to do in and with the snow. The book is adorable and fun to look through. I just love everything about it. It's like a craft book for snow. My kids have looked through this a bunch of times and it is now on my living room coffee table as a staple. The cushiony cover has these clear droplets like snow that give it a playful feel right from the start.

A bunny snowman? You can't beat that.

Don't forget to leave a comment to win Harvesting Color! I'll be back with a new pattern.
best, susie