Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Little Yarn to Keep You Warm

While you're reading this, I'm in Alaska. Yes, you read that correctly. And frankly, the chilliest spring and early summer on record in the Berkshires might as well be Alaska. My family and I are taking a long-planned, long-awaited trip to the cities of Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, and we'll end up in Victoria, British Columbia. Along the way we're hiking, canoeing, panning for gold (my only tourist concession), and touring the public gardens in Victoria. I'll have some lovely photos, I hope, on my return, and I'll also see if anyone in Alaska is a vegetable gardener.

The image you see at the top of this post is a wonderful book — the upcoming Itty Bitty Toys, published by Artisan Books and on sale in November. It was written by one of our family (our Workman family, that is), the inimitable Susan B. Anderson. She has a fabulous blog, which you can find here. I met Susan at The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show in January of 2007, and I've loved her ever since. We got to see some of her knitted toys here in the office a week or so ago, and grown men and women were playing like kindergartners with her irresistible projects — things like a stuffed pig; a bouncy ball with a striking felted cover; and the piรจce de rรฉsistance, a knitted cat that turns inside out into a knitted mouse! There are about 30 patterns that knitters, parents, and kids will drool over. While you're at it, check out Susan's other books, Itty Bitty Hats and Itty Bitty Nursery.

As I've often said, knitters are a special breed. TNNA is a gathering place for yarn companies, designers, publishers, shop owners, and anyone associated with marketing and furthering information about needle arts. I got the scoop on new fall yarns, pattern books, trends in knits, and, of course, our authors! Edie Eckman was there, crocheting away; Judith Durant was there, beading away; Candi Jensen was there, taping for her show Knit and Crochet Today, which airs on almost one hundred PBS stations across the country; and Kristin Nicholas was there with a new line of yarn from Nashua in her signature colors—by that I mean her lush, gorgeous signature colors.

It's a treat to be able to go to TNNA, but I worked like crazy, making some new relationships, scoping out some new authors, and working with Gwen Steege, our acquiring editor for crafts, on a supersecret new project that we'll be able to let you in on . . . oh, sometime in the future.

So if you're a knitter, revel in some summery, cottonish yarn or just wear a lovely sweater. It gets chilly at night.

Amy Greeman, Storey Publicity Director

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