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10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life Paperback – May 10, 2011
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“Spoiler alert: Secret No. 1 is 'Find a wise woman.' We've found two--Stiefel and Souza.... [The] convivial dialogue is peppered with asides, profiles, a sock-knitting fable, advice and, of course, patterns.... [Stiefel and Souza] invite everyone to enjoy the easygoing conversation, blessedly free of either the perky cheerleading or snooty cliquishness that tends to put off knitters from real-life stitching circles.” ―Yarn Market News
“Find a wise woman. Discover slow knitting. And learn how a ball of yarn can envelop your soul. This is a book that will make every knitter feel more like a Zen master the next time they drop a stitch.” ―Linda Cortright, publisher and editor of Wild Fibers magazine
“Vicki and Lisa have condensed years of fiber experience into wise and witty lessons not just for fiber, but for life. If knitting has been there to soften the rough edges of life for you, this book will speak volumes.” ―Shannon Okey, knitgrrl.com
“I love the way Lisa and Vicki give knitters guidelines without making rules. That's the true mentoring of creativity!” ―Lorna Miser, author of The Knitter’s Guide to Hand Dyed and Variegated Yarns and founder of Lorna’s Laces Yarns
“Vicki and Lisa give us all permission to relax, have fun and knit great things in the process. Hints and pithy advice pop up in every corner, like a lively conversation. Their well crafted stories make me feel as if I am sitting with them both, knitting and sharing secrets.” ―Norah Gaughan, design director of Berroco and author of Knitting Nature and Comfort Knitting and Crochet
About the Author
VICKI STIEFEL is a writer, photographer, and passionate knitter. She is a contributor to Wild Fibers magazine and teaches writing at Clark University. She has published four novels, Body Parts, The Dead Stone, The Bone Man, and The Grief Shop, which won the Daphne du Maurier prize for Best Mainstream Mystery in 2006. Her writing and photography has also appeared in New Woman, The Harvard Post, The Improper Bostonian, and other national and regional publications. Vicki formed her local knitting group called Cindy's Knitters, as well as the LaidBack Knitters group on Ravelry along with coauthor Lisa Souza.
LISA SOUZA is an artisan dyer, colorist, handspinner, and creator of art-to-wear garments. Early in her career she and a partner started Knitwitz, where they knitted one-of-a kind garments and traveled the craft-fair circuit. Lisa then branched off to begin her own company, Lisa Souza Knitwear, creating finished garments that were sold in boutiques around the country. Soon after that, she learned to spin and began hand-dying yarn. Lisa started to offer her hand-dyed fibers to other knitters through her website lisaknit.com in 1999 where she continues to sell her hand-dyed yarns, handspun luxury yarns, and hand-dyed roving. In 2007, after moving to rural California, Lisa opened a large showroom and workshop. Lisa regularly participates in yarn fairs and festivals around the country.
Top Customer Reviews
1) I love secrets. Secret passages. Secret messages. And the secrets of laidback knitters.
2) Great photography of animals, yarns, knitters, projects, nature. I especially love the vintage shot of author Vicki Stiefel modeling for a 1950's pattern book, Fashions in Wool for Little Tots.
3) All the models represent realistic body types and a variety of ages.
4) The interesting knitters you met on their pages--like Wise Woman, Anne Hennessey of the Wool Room at Meadowbrook Farm, Antrim, New Hampshire.
5) The kind and funny ways the authors remind you to check your gauge. "Checking the gauge is a pain. We know. But just pretend it's fun."
6) The generous spirit that guides the book's rich content, sidebars with historical tidbits, interesting links, stories, anecdotes, and useful advice.
7) See the Souls of Fibers--An entire chapter on fibers to help you understand and make good yarn choices.
8) The Vintage Quilt Socks pattern designed by Judy Summers, author of Knitted Socks East and West: 30 Designs Inspired by Japanese Stitch Patterns.
9) Do it with Hooks--a helpful, handy chapter on crochet which as the authors state is often a "perfect partner to knitting"
10) Connect the Dots--a chapter on knitting and community. It includes a touching tribute to the authors' knitting buddy, Cindy.
Michelle Edwards, A Knitter's Home Companion
Find Yourself a Wise Woman
Discover Slow Knitting
Become a Barefoot Sock Knitter
Take the Color Leap of Faith
See the Souls of Fibers
Listen as the Yarn Speaks to You
Value the Partnership in Knitting
Learn to Soar Patternless
Do it with Hooks
Connect the Dots
I'd like to talk a bit about my two favorite secrets: Discover Slow Knitting and Learn to Soar Patternless.
The idea of slow knitting is what initially led me to this book. "It's not what you think it is," we're told at the beginning of this chapter. In a way I'm disappointed. Knitting slowly is a pleasure in itself. I'm usually rushing to make a deadline, but I cherish the idea of sitting on the front porch in summer, drinking lemonade, and slowly making stitches on a light-weight lace scarf; or sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter evening, letting gorgeous wool flow over my needles as the stitches form the pieces of a sweater. The slow knitting in 10 Secrets is something different. It's related to the Slow Food Movement, and the focus is on discovering art yarns, taking time to knit mindfully, and getting back to nature, or at least to have an understanding about how we humans fit into the larger environment. It's not us versus nature.Read more ›
Vicki Stiefel is a knitter and award-winning mystery writer. Her cohort Lisa Souza is a pillar of the fiber world and creator of beautiful hand dyed yarns for her line Lisa Knits. Together they have created Laidback Knitters.
(You can preview the patterns here - both the Peasant-Bread Tunic and Solvang Weekend Vest are calling my name. Errata can be found here.)
More than fiber crammed into this colorful collection. Like a backstage pass to where knitters hang out and what we worry about when we aren't fretting over where to hide our stash. Love the links to huge knitting sites - good for new knitters and knitters new to the web. A whole section of fiber photography tips was a wonderfully unexpected touch. Another on fiber composition and color mixing makes this a very well-rounded tome IMHO. Almost every page has a tip or trivia in cute little boxes (and some are even sneakier). This is a book that you need to read several times - every time you will find something new.
I will admit that at times the mass on data was a tad overwhelming and felt a wee bit busy. The inclusion of interviews made is feel bloggy (in a good way) but made it tough at times to find the patterns. Being a curator of way too many passions - too much info is never a bad thing. And I can see how it may over stimulate some.
The photography was warm and welcoming. A great mix of candid shots with more stylized stills lent to the feel of that yarn blog you can't live without.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ten Secrets of Laidback Knitters is a very special book. Vicki Stiefel had generously given it to me as a gift and I am reviewing it because I have fallen in love with the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Isis Sousa
Patterns classified as "rocking chair" and "dining room chair," etc. according to the level of attention you need to pay. Read morePublished 12 months ago by TheresaD
It's a nice book if you're interested in the ladies they write their stories about. My local yarn store is offering a class making one of the sweaters and I bought the book used... Read morePublished 20 months ago by J48
I recommend this to any knitter!! It's helped this "newbie" learn a few things!!Published 22 months ago by Michelle M Myers
This book is relaxing to read, has patterns and makes one feel "at home" when you open the cover. Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by Scartlettcrafty
This was a pretty good book. A compilation of stories, photos and such that is an entertaining read. I got it first on kindle, but then someone bought the book for me. Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by J. Daniels