Blog tour: Ethnic Knitting Discovery

Here’s a list of the hosts for the blog tour for Ethnic Knitting Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes, by Donna Druchunas, published by Nomad Press.

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10/1 CRAFT Blog: The very active CRAFT Blog is the online companion to CRAFT magazine. Natalie Zee Drieu interviews Donna about Ethnic Knitting Discovery, focusing on research and on shaping a book idea. An excerpt from the book (the Norwegian headbands) appeared the previous Friday in the CRAFT Pattern Podcast. Natalie says, "Personally, I’m always scared to rely on my math skills for knitting
projects and this book has made me more confident about my skills. This
book makes the whole process easier with her explanations. To me, Donna
is the knitting historian of our time—introducing us to knitting
stories of other lands, while giving us the foundation to grow our own
knitting skills."

10/2 Go Knit in Your Hat:
Carol Sulcoski’s blog contains honest, funny, often irreverent
commentary on knitting and whatever else occurs to her. She likes to
provide technical information to other knitters on topics like
substituting yarns, and she tries to include previews of coming yarns
and knitting books. Her blog is also home of the No-Bull Book Review. The
infamous black bunny rabbit, Charcoal, who is the guiding spirit behind Carol’s
hand-dyed yarns, which she sells as Black Bunny Fibers. Donna writes a guest post for Carol, about how she decided what to include in Ethnic Knitting Discovery.

10/3 Community of the Land:
Susan J. Tweit’s thoughts on the community of the land:
the web of interrelationships between species large and small that
shape the landscapes where we live. She looks at what humans have to
contribute to this unique blue planet, and where we belong in the
ongoing dance of life. Susan interviews Donna about craft, passion, culture, and landscape. One of Susan’s questions would be interesting to apply to everything we do: "Do you think that craft is a reflection of our view of the world? Or simply a decorative abstraction?"

10/4 The Keyboard Biologist Knits:
Theresa Walunas is a 30-something woman living in Chicago working in
the biotechnology world and maintains an online journal for the side of her life
that doesn’t come to work. It’s mostly knitting, but spinning,
quilting, paper arts, wood working, and other crafts all show up from
time to time, along with commentary on life in general. Theresa interviews Donna and they come up with observations on winging it in knitting, and updating traditions while keeping the original feel. Donna says, in part, "I . . . wanted to show that you can update the traditional styles
without losing the traditional feeling of the garments. For example,
you can make what was traditionally a tight sweater . . . into a loose fitting garment for casual
wear today. You can take a black-and-white Norwegian design and do it
in purple and green!"

10/5 Women Writing the West:
Women Writing the West is a non-profit association of writers and other
professionals writing and promoting the women’s stories of the West in history and contemporary culture.
Donna, a member of Women Writing the West, writes here
about how she got started on a freelance writing career and what led her
to write about knitting
. She says, "Before I returned to knitting [in my late 30s], I spent almost 20 years working in corporate cubicles. . . ."

10/6 The Hook and I:
Amy O’Neill Houck’s fiber rants and raves include original designs
and patterns, tutorials and techniques, links to sites of interest, and
reviews of books and products. At the time of the tour, because Amy’s "in the throes of writing [her] own book," Donna writes a
guest post about the ins-and-outs of being a crafts book author for anyone who wants to know what it takes to get a book written and
published, and Amy follows up by posing Donna questions. Here’s an example of one of Donna’s responses: "The first time I designed my own sweater from scratch, it was such a
freeing experience that I knew I’d eventually want to do something to
help other knitters share in that feeling of freedom."

10/7 Riehl Life: Village Wisdom for the 21st Century: Janet Grace Riehl energetically explores connections through the arts, across cultures, and among families and generations. She has a series of four posts that will not be focused on technique and knitting
how-to, but on the idea of craft and art, how knitting is connecting,
how knitting is making a come-back and why:

  1. 10/5, background information on Ethnic Knitting Discovery
  2. 10/6, interview with Donna on culture, family history, and connection
  3. 10/7, guest post by Donna on knitting as art and craft
  4. 10/8, notes on "knitting by ear"

Janet says, among other things, "For me, reading the book felt like a description of how I learned to
cook without recipes and how I learned to play violin by ear."

10/8 Velda Brotherton:
As an editor and columnist for her local newspaper, Velda Brotherton
has published historical nonfiction books and short stories, but her
first love is writing novels. Under her pen name, Elizabeth Gregg, she has written four historical western novels for Topaz and her agent is currently
marketing Velda’s mainstream women’s fiction novel. Velda’s blog covers the craft and business of writing. In her tour stop at her "On Being a Writer" site, Velda reviews Ethnic Knitting Discovery. One of the things that Velda discovered: "I suppose I learned ethnic knitting and wasn’t aware of it, for I have yet to use a printed pattern."

10/9 The Independent Stitch: Deborah Robson, the publisher of Nomad Press, talks about independent publishing, knitting, spinning, and other textile crafts, and other topics of personal interest. She is Donna Druchunas’s editor and publisher for Ethnic Knitting Discovery and Arctic Lace. Her series of five posts (plus a bonus) provide insider information on the development of the illustrations for Ethnic Knitting
Discovery
.

  1. 10/9, the front cover
  2. 10/10, the charts and swatches
  3. 10/11, the schematics and flat drawings
  4. 10/13, the technical drawings
  5. 10/16, the "model shots," or project drawings, plus
  6. 10/15, an interlude on why Ethnic Knitting Discovery is illustrated in black and white instead of full color (a Blog Action Day post, topic: the environment)

10/10 I’m Knitting As Fast As I Can:
Susan Lawrence is a long-time knitter and incorrigible yarn-stasher who
chronicles her spinning, dyeing, and knitting escapades on her blog. In
addition to her self-published patterns, she has designed for Knitty,
MagKnits, Knit Picks, Lion Brand, and Vogue Knitting. Susan solicits reader’s questions and moderates a Q-and-A with author Donna Druchunas, who talks about her future books and her favorite techniques.

10/11 Designer’s Note:
Knitwear designer Leanne Dyck shares tips, techniques, news and views. Leanne, who has a new book of her own, offers a review of Ethnic Knitting Discovery and looks forward to the next volume in the series.

10/12 Yarn Spinner:

Joanne Seiff is a writer and knitwear designer who’s researching and writing a book about fiber festivals all over the USA. She has both a blog and a website. Because Joanne’s on the road a lot right now for her book, Donna writes a guest post about designing sweaters using handspun yarn.

10/13 Knittin’ Mom:

The wild and wooly world of knitwear designer Chrissy Gardiner, a
work-at-home mom of two small children. Chrissy is also
co-founder of the breastfeeding advocacy group Mom’s Milk Anywhere. Chrissy, who is designing a project for one of Donna’s future books, chats with Donna about finding a publisher, inspiration, making the book happen, and her favorite project. Donna talks about influences on her work, and she explains what she’s knitting in the author photo.

10/14 FitterKnitter:

Cindy at FitterKnitter loves knitting, spinning, designing, vintage lace, and bicycling! She does great tech editing and illustrations, and check out the links to her varied activities in the sidebar of her blog. She writes a review of Ethnic Knitting Discovery from a graphic designer’s perspective,
focusing on the design and usefulness and aesthetics of the book. We really appreciate the evaluations we get from knowledgeable folks like Cindy about our page layout and design! They help us get better at what we do.

10/15 Physicsknits: Here’s insight into the everyday life of Connie Chang, a former physicist and beginning knitwear designer who’s in New Jersey. Connie’s review talks about what Ethnic Knitting Discovery is and what it isn’t. Among other things, she says: "I’m usually a  plan-most-things-out-before-I-start kind of designer, but
by the end of the book, I’m inspired to try to design a little more
freely like the knitters that came before me."

10/16 MK Carroll:
Begun as a way for MK Carroll to write about the fiber projects she was
working on without boring those immune to yarn fumes, her has
become her way to track progress on her projects, designs, and reviews
of the books and patterns in her collection. MK writes a review of Ethnic Knitting Discovery that compares it with other books and provides a terrific set of links to other online content pertaining to the book.

10/17 Queen of Socks:
Dani Greer’s blog contains "Nothing but the Best for Our Monumental Feet." She asks Donna to help her troubleshoot the challenges of colorwork. Dani also has added Nomad Press titles to her Squidoo lens on the non-electric life. We love it when people notice this aspect of our work, although we’re pretty quiet about what we do in this regard. We kind of take it for granted. . . . (We’re also the first to admit that we couldn’t do what we do without computer assistance.)

10/18 Knitting Matters:
Kim Smith writes about her new designs and
the rest of her knitting-related life. Kim shares her
swatches and sketches for her great "semi-traditional" cardigan design based on the Norwegian concepts in Ethnic Knitting Discovery, explaining how she made her decisions about
sizing, yarns, colors, and pattern stitches. Love her original green-and-black color combination, and those reindeer she’s always wanted to work into a garment!

10/19 Modeknit / Knitting Heretic:
Annie Modesitt, also known as The Knitting Heretic, blogs about everything in
life, including knitting. She shares her designs in progress, so you
can get a glimpse into the workings of a designer’s mind. Donna writes guest post on playing with texture and color in knitwear design.

10/20 Carol’s Experiments in Textiles:
Carol Metzger offers knitting and textile adventures plus
personal commentary. She posts photos of
her recent works and works in progress, and documents important events in her
textile (and other) life. Donna writes a guest post on taking the panic out of the Norwegian technique of cutting (eek!) your knitting (it’s a cool tool to have in your repertoire).

10/21 Keep Talking:
Joanne Conklin writes about knitting, music, travel, and more knitting. Donna will write a guest post about choosing the right
weight and texture of yarn
when designing a sweater from scratch. (That’s not a permalink to the individual post; I couldn’t find one.)

10/22 Fiber Femmes: Great Women Building a Gracious World: Fiber Femme
celebrates, encourages, promotes, and supports women in the worldwide
fiber industry. Donna will write a guest column about her favorite project in Ethnic Knitting Discovery (it’s the kids’ Andean sweater, shown in girls’ colors in the book but also adaptable for boys . . . or grown-ups!).

10/23 Marnie MacLean:
Marnie pretends to talk about knitting and spinning but mostly talks about her dogs. Marnie conducts a wide-ranging interview with Donna that covers publishing decisions, what’s next, the relationship between Ethnic Knitting Discovery and Knitting in the Old Way and more. Here’s another interview Marnie did with Jennifer Stafford of DomiKNITrix. Her interview with Donna ranges across a lot of fascinating territory. Check it out!

10/24a Knitting in the Shadows:
Ramblings about knitting, life, exploits, and other things. Helen designs a scarf donation (for the Red Scarf Project). She uses Ethnic Knitting Discovery in the perfect way, as a guide to playing and discovery, and shares the steps in her design process. She got her scarf done by the 2007 deadline! Other knitters can aim for 2008 (the project requests that knitters donate ONE very nice scarf rather than multiple okay scarves). A knitter after Donna’s own heart, she says, "To be sure I made progress, I cast on before I’d made any solid decisions" Then she takes a really creative approach to a seaman’s scarf by knitting the ribbing first! Her scarf is gorgeous, and she’s provided the downloadable pattern.

10/24b Fruitful:
Fruitful is the blog of writer and activist Gayle Brandeis. Gayle is not
a knitter herself, but her poem "When You Knit My Sweater" appears in
the anthology The Knitter’s Gift, and a reader informed Gayle that she
wants the poem read at her funeral while her family wears items she
knitted just for them. Gayle, who isn’t a knitter, interviews Donna about creativity and writing, and about blending art and social change. Donna says, "I hadn’t realized it before this blog tour, but . . . it’s quite interesting to see how my life, my knitting, and my writing all function in such similar ways."

10/25 FEAST:
Rosemary Carstens is the editor of the award-winning FEAST, a quarterly
eZine. In between issues, her blog features creative musings on the topics of FEAST:
books, art, food, film, and travel. The latest issue
of FEAST can be found at www.CarstensCommunications.com/FEAST.html. Donna talks about her travels to
Lithuania and Alaska and about how she balances dreams and reality.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and meeting all these creative and original people!

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