Craft books beat rainy Mondays.
Today marked my first day of winter. Not cold, so much as grey and drizzly. Today was the first day to get dark before my bus made it home. Today I needed a hood.
On rainy days I find it a bit hard to concentrate. I snuck out of the office on my lunch break and wandered to a bookstore, one of my favourite escapes from all the meetings, emails and phone calls. Even if it's just for ten minutes, my mind clears and I can get on with the rest of my day.
I don't always buy anything. I go and check out the craft section - usually the same books from the week before - and see if there are any new magazines. Other times I stare at cook books and feel hungry. Or wander around the fantasy and sci-fi section and wish I could come up with a whole other world for a book.
Today though, I didn't even make it past the new releases. Sitting on the shelf in all its hardcover glory was With bold needle and thread: Adventures in vintage needlecraft by Rosemary McLeod.
It was only released a couple of weeks ago, and oh my goodness, it was a beacon on this dreary day.
I'm supposed to be saving. But anything that says both "vintage" and "needlecraft" in the same title is likely to draw me in pretty quickly.
After picking up the book (it's massive, coming in at 432 pages) and seeing the beautiful artwork, I was captivated. Rosemary McLeod, as well as being one of New Zealand's best journalists, is an avid crafter and collector of vintage textiles and patterns.
She's published craft books before, but this one is a stunning guide to vintage patterns - all sorts of needle work are included - drawn from her own collections that she's gathered over the years.
Projects in the book have been reinterpreted for us to make today, and each page is filled with history and context for us to understand the importance of craft and making in the home.
So this evening, as the rain storm gets louder, I'm curling up on the couch with my knitting and this beautiful book. I couldn't leave it in the shop. I did put it down and walk away once, but that only lasted for a minute. Some things just have to give, sometimes.
And an update on the knitting - the back to my sweater is almost finished.
I'm pretty happy with the stranded work. And I'm loving the colour contrasts. At this rate, the back will be finished over the next few days - that's if I'm not entirely consumed by my new book. So maybe next weekend. If I'm being realistic.