I picked up an Amazon parcel from the Royal Mail depot on my way to work this morning. And contained therein were Knitting Beyond the Edge and The Gossamer Webs Design Collection. Two very different but equally cool books.
The first is by Nicky Epstein and is the third book in a trilogy of books on edgings. This one is different from the first two in that it has patterns for things like cuffs, collars and corners. All the things that you need to know to truly make the project, not just embellish it. It is basically a stitch dictionary, but much, much cooler. I sat and flipped through, then had to go back to the beginning and look at every single page in detail.
Like most of the author's books, there are the occasional pieces that make me wonder why, but for the most part it is all really good stuff that would work in my wardrobe. Plus the chapter on garment modification is really good.
The second book is more of a booklet. It is by Galina Khmeleva and follows Gossamer Webs: The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls. I chose the one I got instead of the earlier one because it had more patterns, but I should have bought the earlier one. The second book seems to build on the first. For example, reviews indicate that the first book has information on choosing yarns and other principles of the technique; sadly, the book I have lacks this information. I suspect that with enough trial and error I will be able to make shawls in the Orenburg style, but for now they are beyond my lace-making ability.
So, last night I had a really freaky dream. I was standing in the snow by a road in the middle of the night. I was outside a farm that raised fleece-bearing animals, and I was spinning laceweight camel/cashmere yarn from roving from the farm using a drop spindle. Which was pretty weird all by itself. But the strangest part by far was that I was spinning this luxury blend as practice - for spinning yarn made of polar bear fur!