Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gorging Myself on Reading Material No More

If I am not gorging myself on fiber of the yarny sort, then it is fiber of the papery sort. Be it library books, free magazines, newspapers, flyers, or orders from online, there is never a shortage of reading or browsing material around our house.

Sometimes I wonder how my husband could even find be amongst the piles of literature and yarn taking up either side of the couches, coffee table, and dining table were it not for the faint cries from between the pages. There is so much that I have in my reading queue that I have decided to perform a purge and speed through the stuff I aquired on a whim.

There are nearly five books that I have renewed for over two months now from Manchester Public Library and it pains me to think that I have to return them. But it's time for someone else to enjoy them. If you have been looking for them, please accept the sincere apologies of a serial renewer.
Two I particularly enjoyed for creative inspiration were Textiles of the Wiener Werks├Ątte and Vienna and the Heroes of Modernism. Can you tell I have something for Fin de Siecle?  Both of these books are gorgeous, and for textile lovers, it doesn't get any better than the design of Josef Hoffmann in my humble opinion. When my intarsia skills are up to snuff, I am so knitting some Hoffmann textile motifs.
I also borrowed Simply Felt and Felt Forward of Interweave provenance. Both are worth a good, long browse. I never managed to get any projects started (like I need to with all those WiPs on the needles at the moment), but I did get some fab ideas and a better understanding of felting techniques. The books seemed quite similar at first glance, but I was surprised at how differently they approached the same subject.

Felt Forward took more of a knit-then-felt approach and featured sleek, modern designs with a Scandanavian feel. I was most taken by the home accessory projects like the Circles Table Runner and Placemat, the Frida Lights, and not to be forgotten Hoop Purse. At the Vancouver Art Gallery Shop, we had a similar bag that was running for over $100 Canadian. Why not do it yourself?

Simply Felt,  on the other hand, was a fiber-felting book which looked at several different techniques such as machine washed fulled fabric (aka repurpose that old jumper into a hot water bottle cover or hot pads), flat felting (ie fulling three or four layers of thick felt made into book covers, briefcases and other projects with flat surfaces to be stitched together) and finally, seamless felting (for projects you want to shape without stitching like slippers or bags).

Although most of these projects had too much of an 'organic' feel for me, I did really like the technical explanations as well as the bag and cloche hat projects. There were also great instructions for creating slippers and 'inlaid containers' (which you can see on the cover to the left).

That was my library purge. Now I can absorb the three new books I got as a birthday present in May using a Yarn Market gift certificate from my dearest Mom and collected from my Dad's Bristish work colleague in North Yorkshire. He kindly brought them back through HM Customs and saved me a ton in shipping costs. Thanks Mom and Stuart. You are gems.
Knit well and knit often. And gorge yourself on reading material.
Images courtesy of Interweave and Thames & Hudson.

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