When I went to that fiber festival last month, there were competitions for the fastest knitter and fastest crocheter. I happened to win the fastest knitter contest, though I know I was knitting a lot slower than I can (it's strangely stressful knitting on a stage while someone is timing you!). One of the prizes I got for winning was a collection of books from Annie Modesitt, who had been the keynote speaker at the event the previous year.
I'd read Modesitt's Confessions of a Knitting Heretic before and really enjoyed it. Her driving force, like so many of the great knitting teachers out there, is that if we could get less caught up in fear and what's supposed to be hard when it comes to knitting, we'd all be a lot better off. A self-taught knitter, her first project was a colorwork sweater, so you can see why she thinks we need to throw skill level designations out the window.
That book is both educational and inspiring, so I was excited to take a look at another book that was in my goodie bag that I hadn't read before. Cheaper than Therapy is a collection of essays from a range of knitters and crocheters exploring the healing power of sticks and string. The authors talk about how working with yarn has helped them through grief, social anxiety, debilitating illnesses, the sicknesses of family members, and all sorts of other difficult circumstances.
This book is comforting and a nice reminder that knitting is so much more than something to do while watching TV and what we get out of it is more than a sweater or a pair of socks.