I was walking past my local independent book store last week (Avid Reader), and saw that they were hosting a book launch for Loani Prior' s second knitting book about lovely, sculptural tea cosies - Really Wild Tea Cosies (available now).
Loani resides on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia): a beachy, resort-wear kind of place - not somewhere you'd expect to find a tea cosy creator. Loani, who is having a Knit Change states, "sass sells". Sass is what got her first book, Wild Tea Cosies, published and sass also got her a Powerhouse Museum exhibition...you go girl!
When you first meet her, she warms to you, and it strikes me that she is actually a lot like her tea cosy creations: warm, quirky, fabulous, funny...real!
What I enjoyed about the launch the most was the laughter, and everyone was smiling. The 'book reading' was priceless - K2, P2 repeat to end of row. There were people knitting, tea cosies being worn on heads and even a fun audience game was had which ended in a Paper/Scissors/Rock contest for a tour T-shirt (see book signing tour dates here )!
A few things stand out about this beautifully presented knitting recipe book: The photos are big, colourful and gorgeous (courtesy of photographer Mark Crocker). The layout is perfect, not too busy, nice fonts and the intro to each pattern is just funny - and a little like reading blog postings (yes, she is a blogger too) - so you feel like you're getting to know the creator. Oh, and the cosies are crazy!
Loani also introduces us to knitting in the round with two circular needles! I've never heard of this (but then I don't do heaps of knitting) - so I'm excited to try another technique - it means there are only two joins instead of four (as there is if knitted with a set of double pointed needles). Also the joins are seamless - so I guess the only downside is having to buy (or borrow) another set of circular needles.
I wonder what a tea cosy says about it's creator or owner - have a flip through Loani's books when you're next in the craft isle, and see which cosy jumps out at you - is it The Jester, Loopy Lou, or perhaps the Grecian Lovely? I have gravitated towards the covergirl - the green Elfin - I think it's the little bit of felting which is done...and the pom poms - gosh I love a pom pom! I would wear this as a hat on a cold winter's day catching the number 44 bus in Philadelphia perhaps - oh imagine the sly looks followed by smiles.