In the last couple of days, we've experienced snow-panic in Portland. We're too new here to know how to assess the weather. Yesterday, when many spoke of snow coming, the sky was so pretty in the late afternoon. Why did Bob's Red Mill cancel our Cooking with Kamut class for today?
Because it was snowing early this morning. Just enough to be picture-worthy. Then we heard about people living north of us who'd had to wait hours for buses struggling with serious accumulation. By 11 a.m., what appears in the photo at the right (from my window) was gone.
But wait...early afternoon and here it comes again. As I write, snow and sun, nothing seems to stick on the roads. But who can tell? A good day to think about cooking and knitting and talk about my friend's new book, "A Knitter's Home Companion: a heartwarming collection of stories, patterns, and recipes." [*updated link shows color photos not in review copy]
Michelle Edwards and I met (in the internet sense) via her knitting essays for Lion Brand's online newsletter. Her thoughtfulness and her rounded, engaging illustrations, both evident at that link, led me to write her. A conversation began and took several turns over the past six years. I discovered her childrens' books, favorites of my grandchildren now, and she joined a project of mine.
But back to her new book. When Michelle first talked to me about what she planned to write, I was intrigued--yarn and food. But how to bring it off? She has taken her time and produced a small book I'm glad to own and would be pleased to give as gift to another knitter--or someone who wants a recipe for potato latkes or roasted root vegetables.
When the book first arrived, I was struck by its difference from most contemporary knitting books. It's a bit old-fashioned, takes time to lead the reader along the paths of Michelle's life from upstate New York to kibbutz to wife and mother of three mostly grown children in Iowa City. Reading along, trying to be disciplined and go page by page, I was distracted by the "Good Karma Slippers." She wrote the pattern to problem-solve for a friend who wanted to duplicate knit ones bought in India.
Did she know I wanted something lightweight, other than bedroom slippers, to wear indoors? Turkish cast-on and knitting in the round on two needles are new challenges. Time to go to my local yarn place because I want these; maybe other knitters will want to knit them too.
In one of our earliest exchanges, Michelle shared her concern about her children's learning about safe sex. Soon after, I asked her if she would add a pattern to the Knit a Condom Amulet project. She surprised me with her yarn, 100% Corn Silk from Iowa. Instructions for all seven are in the blog.
If I were still living in New York, I could finally meet Michelle Edwards on March 10 at her book signing in Lion Brand Yarn Studio on West 15th Street. It's a beautiful store opened three years ago by this 130 year old company known for its community-minded owners. I'll be with her in spirit with memories of generous people in the yarn world we share connections with--Melanie Falick, publisher of "A Knitter's Home Companion," whose interest generated enthusiasm about my Knit One Red Worm and David Bluementhal of Lion Brand who gave me many skeins of red chenille for that project.
Tomorrow--snow's melted again--I'm off to get cotton bamboo for those slippers.