In May 2016, a friend I met through Ravelry brought my attention to a Kickstarter for a book her friend Karie Westermann was writing called This Thing of Paper, with knitting designs inspired by Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press. Even with a planned publication date of April 2017, I knew I wanted this book. It’s a good thing I was patient because I didn’t receive it until December.
Westermann divided the book into three sections, as she had layed out in her Kickstarter proposal.
Story 1: Manuscript. The story of handmade manuscripts and the people who worked on making them. This story features one garment and two accessories.
Story 2: Invention. The story of the period in which Johannes Gutenberg transformed book production. This story features one garment and three accessories.
Story 3: Printed. The story of when printed matter became more commonplace and helped spread information across Europe. This story features one garment and two accessories.
The story portions were very readable and did an excellent job of painting a picture of the research she performed, including at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, at a workshop where she got to use a replica fifteenth-century printing press that had originally been built for a Stephen Fry BBC series, and at Innerpeffray Library, the oldest free lending library in Scotland. I haven’t had the chance to cast on any of the patterns yet but there are several I want to. They appear to be well-written with clear, easy to follow charts.