By Hand Serial: From Portland to Portland (review)

I’ve been savoring a new book series, By Hand. This new venture features maker communities around the country.

Author Andrea Hungerford writes:

In this day and age, many of us are searching for community–a sense of belonging, a feeling of unity, a desire to share our passions with others. As a sense of community becomes ever more elusive, we look for ways to build our own. A community of makers–those who find joy in creating with their hands, minds, and hearts–gives us a chance to share and celebrate our ideas and passions.

Thus we have “making communities”–areas areound the country where makers with a common ethos work and, in turn, are inspired by each other–and we are “making communities,” even where physical proximity isn’t possible, by sharing our stories and journeys and images with each other.”

I love this concept. Although Andrea has a strong knitting focus, not all the makers featured in the books are fiber artists. The first lookbook focuses on Andrea’s home town of Portland, Oregon, which is my home, too. Some of the featured makers are:

  • Indie dyers Amy Lee Serradell of Canon Hand Dyes and Sarah Kurth of Bumblebirch
  • Yarn companies Woolfolk, Brooklyn Tweed and Shibui Knits
  • Other non-fiber artists including ceramicists JaMpdx (Jenn Gauer and Megan Radick, pastry artist Anna Henrick, and paper artists Tess Darrow and Kara Yanagawa of Eggpress Design and Letterpress. And more!

A visually stunning visit to Timberline Lodge was a non-fiber highlight for me. This whole book felt like a visit with friends, some of whom I have not yet met. The book also includes 3 knitting projects, a fabric project, and a recipe. I’ll be spending more time with these.

Andrea’s second book focuses on the other Portland, Portland and mid-coast Maine. There is so much fiber and textile history in that part of the country, and it is also the home of a resurgence of the industry. I wondered if I would like this book as much as the first Portland book, since I’ve never been to Portland, Maine. This did not disappoint.

The table of contents reads like a who’s who of fiber all-stars; designers that you know and love, and yarn companies that you recognize from your LYS. Hannah Fettig (Knitbot), Clara Parkes, Bristol Ivy; and yarn companies Swan’s Island and Quince and Co. There are instructios for 6 knitting projects, 2 sewing projects, and a family recipe for Cinnamon Swirled Orange Bread. Yum!

Andrea is working on her third book, which will visit Nashville, Tennessee. You know I love Nashville. I am really looking forward to purchasing this issue!

I’d like to thank Hannah Thiessen, whom I met in Nashville at Craft South, for putting me in touch with Andrea Hungerford here in Portland, and thank Andrea for the review copies of By Hand, too. I’d also like to share the fun. Who would like my review copy of Lookbook #2, Portland, Maine? Let me know in the comments. I’ll pick a winner after next Sunday, April 23.

Thanks also to my helpful assistant, Biscuit. She’s been under the weather for the past two weeks; we don’t know what’s going on with her, but she’s had many visits with our favorite vet. Send good thoughts her way?

Disclosure: Andrea Hungerford provided these review copies for me. All opinions are my own. I loved them!

21 responses to “By Hand Serial: From Portland to Portland (review)

  1. Barbara Fletcher

    Portland ME is very special, have visited twice and aloso Damariscotta area

  2. I’ve visited Portland, Maine once but it was just a weekend visit. I would love that issue!

  3. Portland ME, so near and yet so far. I would love to learn more about artists that are in my that beautiful area of the country!! My daughter and I share a love of the region, as well as or love of knitting!!

  4. Sure hope Biscuit is feeling better soon. Wouldn’t it be SO much easier if they could tell us what they are feeling? (Get well soon, sweet kitty!)

    I’d love to take a peek at the By Hand book.

  5. Dawn Sharafi

    Lookbook #2 would be wonderful! Sending healing and good thoughts to Biscuit. Get back on your feet soon!

  6. Janice Marra

    Love the concept! Reading anything fiber peaks my curiosity and gives me happy butterfly’s in my belly! Will definitely add to my must have list. Sending Biscuit love and well wishes for a speedy recovery!!!!!!!

  7. I had never hear of By Hand until reading about it here. It sounds interesting and I looked it up to order it but I found the cost was a little more than I have to spend right now and I would love to win a copy. I live on the same coast as Portland Oregon and have been there briefly.. I would love to read about the other Portland on the other coast!

  8. Anne Meixner

    I wouldn’t mind the Maine look book. I had a short visit a few years ago. Perhaps will remind me of the “Costal Knits” knitting book which had west and east coast knits.

    • Id like a subscription. Or a free copy to look over. It’s a wonderful idea. Fiber is everywhere in maine

  9. I would love to see the Portland Maine lookbook. I haven’t been to Maine since I was a small child, but it’s on my list of places I’d like to visit.

    Hope Biscuit feels better soon!

  10. Debbie Rogers

    I have always wanted to visit Maine. If I got the book, I could take a virtual visit!

  11. These look like excellent books. Great concept, would love to win one (even if it’s the other Portland ; -)

  12. Chris Schwenk

    Oh no! Poor kitty! Get better soon! Would love to have book. My kitty likes to sit on my lap too when I am knitting.

  13. The book looks awesome.

    Hugs to Biscuit!

  14. Love you photos of cats and kniiting!

  15. Might cause a need for a road trip!

  16. Sending good thoughts for sweet little Biscut. ❤

  17. Please Biscuit, tell your mommy where it hurts! Same with my kitty Max (health issues too). I would love to tour Maine.

  18. I was in Portland, ME last summer with my family and a lot of rain. Despite the weather, I thought it was a lovely town and hope to go back some day. It would be fun to do so, with a fiber “guidebook.”

  19. Hannah Thiessen

    Thanks so much for the shout out! It was so great to meet you!