Thursday, June 29, 2017

Who Am I To Judge?



When it comes to evaluating books or designs or magazines or someone's newfound love for dyeing yarn, there is a limited group of people that value my opinions.

Paying for the Blog

I have never wanted to really go to all the trouble of trying to monetize my blog.  I have put a lot of effort into maintaining QueerJoe.com for many years, but honestly, not enough effort to have made it a viable financial success...so I settle for doing things that help defray costs or make it worth my while to keep writing.

Recently, there have been a spate of publicists in the craft arena who want blogs like mine to review new books...in exchange for a copy of the book (there are also dyers and fiber equipment companies, etc. doing the same type of thing).  You've seen me review dozens of them over the years.

Truthfully, who better to review fiber-related products than someone that uses them...values them..appreciates them?  I mean, it's not like the NY Times Book Review could provide a good review of a new book of patterns.

So today, I am beyond pleased to present a new book which is due out in September (but you should pre-order yours now).


A Stash of One's Own by Clara Parkes (the full title is "A Stash of One's Own - Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn" is by far the most enjoyable book review I've been asked to do.

First, a confession...I do not like reading essays about knitting.  Elizabeth Zimmermann waxing poetic about empowering knitters or Stephanie Pearl-McPhee writing clever, funny stories about sock knitting isn't really my bag.  So it was with great trepidation that I started reading Clara's latest knitting-related essay book.  I honestly thought I might have to skip this book review and keep my thoughts to myself.

Then I started reading this anthology of other knitters and their stash, and incredibly, it spoke directly to my heart.  The essayists that Ms. Parkes has brought together in this book have put into words the thoughts and feelings and yearnings I have had for decades...some I didn't even know I had until they appeared on the pages of her book.  I'm only about two thirds of the way through the book, and at the end of each chapter I think it can only get less interesting or poignant from here, and the next chapter proves me wrong...it keeps getting BETTER!  In addition to Clara's chapter, there are chapters by Franklin Habit, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Megi Burcl, Meg Swansen, Gudrun Johnson and many more names you'll recognize and HIGHLY relate to.

I don't know if you've ever had a similar experience, but the first time I ever went to San Francisco with Thaddeus, I had the feeling I was home.  I didn't have to pretend to be someone else, I didn't have to be afraid of repercussions for expressing my love for my partner and my shoulders lowered a little bit in relaxation to being able to just be me.

It's that same feeling of finding celebration of who I am in the pages of this new publication.

Many of the guys at the Men's Knitting Retreats will understand what I mean, and you will too when you get a chance to read this book.

Again, the book won't be available publicly until September, but I would highly recommend pre-ordering it now so that you get yours in the first distribution.  You won't be sorry.

I honestly can't wait to hear/read what others think of this book...it's something I want to joyously share in being a part of.

Current Knitting

Having just gotten 10 new hanks of Koigu KPPPM, I just could stand having it look at me in all it's beauty, so I started a new shawl using one of the colorways.


The pattern is Old Shale (lengthwise) and it will block out to be a little over 5 feet long and I'm hoping about 16 inches wide.  I love this colourway and remember what a genius Taiu is when it comes to handpainted yarns.  I will probably make the exact same shawl with the other colourway for a less vibrant/more pastel version.

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