In the midst of all my busyness I still find time to read. It just so happens that lately I’ve been reading some books that have to do with fiber.
Last summer, even before I took the Woolery workshop on natural dyeing, I purchased Rita Buchanan’s A Dyer’s Garden. I loved the pages with clear photo samples of dyed yarn and the page by page descriptions of individual plants and their cultivation.
It was fun to look at but didn’t make a lot of sense until after the dyeing workshop. Now I am enjoying slowly reading and digesting the information in this book, one or two plants at a time. I would love to have a dyer’s garden and Rita’s book will help me make a start. For now I’ll probably stick to a few annual plants that I can put in a container, but she gives lots of ideas and choices for that garden I see somewhere in the future.
I walked into my local library a couple of weeks ago and as usual went to the new books shelf. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry caught my eye immediately, and I picked it up and brought it home.
While not fabulous literature, there is a quite interesting story here that is framed by the idea that one’s future can be read in handmade lace. There’s a surprising plot twist that had me thinking for a few days after reading the book and made me realize it was a little deeper than I had originally thought.
There’s not a lot about lace, but you do get some small glimpses into the art of handmade bobbin lace. I’ll be looking to see what more I can learn about Ipswich lace as a result of this book.
Be sure to watch the video on The Lace Reader website. You will get a few short glimpses of actual bobbin lace makers and their lacemaking and learn a little about the background of the book from the author.
I’m currently reading my way across Afghanistan and Iraq with Brian Murphy in his The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet.
What a fascinating book this is. Part travelogue, history book and book about carpets it holds a wealth of information about how carpets are made, the people who sell them, the places from which they come and the dye–madder–that is a mark of an authentic Persian carpet.
I’m seeing names and places I first visited in The Kite Runner and that I sometimes read and hear about in current world news. It’s a fascinating book.
I like books that give me something else to research or learn about and I’ll be looking into the work of the poet Hafez as a result of this book.
And, I can look back at Buchanan’s book to see exactly what the madder plant looks like and how to cultivate and dye with it. Very cool.