Monday, December 16, 2013

Follow the yarn

Some time ago I was approached by Reba Linker if I would like to review her new knitting book "Follow the Yarn". Of course I would, it is always interesting to see what knitters are doing with their talent. Reading about and seeing how other knitters work, always broadens one's horizon and enriches one's knitting life. She sent me a pdf-file and I began reading.

"Follow the Yarn - The Knitting Wit and Wisdom of Ann Sokolowski " is the title of her book. It is a tribute to Reba's knitting teacher Ann Sokolowski. Reba signed up to take her beginner knitting class with her friend and after taking up on this journey, or following her yarn, she found a new world, a new perspective to her life even outside the knitting. She wanted to write a book about Ann and her teaching but when she began writing, she did not know that Ann was to pass away during the process and that changed the course of her writing and of course had a huge impact on the book.

The book is like a long conversation with Ann and Reba and the reader, it is not a book of knitting patterns. To take part in the conversation I was tempted to write my own comments in the margins as somehow the feel of the book encourages to do just that. 
"Handmade is not homemade. Do it right and wear it with pride." 
Ann Sokolowski

The book has some knitting philosophy twined with practical knowledge on stitches, garment construction and taking care of the knitting, to name a few topics out of many. The book's information is based on the notes of the beginner knitting class although there are lots of good and valuable tips for advanced knitters. Amongst the text there are pictures and simple drawings. Between the chapters of knitting knowledge are Reba's musings of her own experiences and of her own story adding a new dimension to the story.

The mission of the book is to encourage the knitter. Towards the end of the book there is a chapter about basket weave pattern and how by simple changes in the pattern it can grow into many different directions. The example is there, and one could take this example further and try the same approach with other simple patterns as well. I really loved this idea and will need to try it.

I read the book quickly as Christmas is coming towards at full speed but I would have loved to linger longer periods on some chapters and plan to return to read it again. It is very interesting to follow Reba's experience as a student and her thoughts on Ann's teaching, valuable information to any teacher. Thank you Reba for sending me the copy, and thank you to Ann... I am sure you did not realize that your mission and teaching would reach over the ocean, to the Arctic Finland.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in honor of Ann Sokolowski.

Learn more at All who sign up for Reba's newsletter from now to Dec 18 will be automatically entered in the Tour Contest for a chance to win Great Prizes.  Extra chances to win will be given at and

Wool with you,
PS. The size of the reindeer is more like a deer, the elk is a whole lot bigger. Yes, I also had my doubts if these reindeer would be able to get off the ground at Christmas Eve, their bellies are so huge... But then again, when I look at the healthy tits who regularly eat at the feeders, I am amazed that they can fly. And yet they do - so well and beautifully. So no worries, the reindeer will do their job as usual.


  1. Lois B.15:40

    Thank you for continuing your blog. I enjoy reading about and looking at your gorgeous work. Seeing the reindeer outside your home is also a treat.

  2. What a treat it is to read your wonderful words, see the lovely work you share, hear about Reba's interesting book, and enjoy your reindeer photos! I know they're certainly real, but not having them here in New Jersey, they seem almost magical and quite exciting!

  3. Anonymous20:14

    Wow the reindeer photos are so amazing. Thanks for sharing those.
    Best wishes for a lovely and relaxing holiday with your family and lots of candles against the dark.

  4. Anonymous23:56

    on a de la chance de pouvoir admirer des rennes grâce à toi !

  5. Mary16:40

    I SO love your photos from the other side of our planet! Just beautiful & an amazing peek into life somewhere besides Chicago IL. :) Thank you for posting!

  6. Anonymous19:16

    Happy Christmas and I hope the New Year brings joy and health for your family.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your winter wonderland and the mystery of the north. Love all the photos of someplace so different. Your design work is amazing. Have a wonderful holiday!