Saturday, June 2, 2007

Book Review

Another book review I originally wrote in December. (Re-reading the quotes I pulled out shows me that I've always loved the concept of the potential of yarn.)

Knitting Rules
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Subtitled The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter

Another humorous book on knitting by the Yarn Harlot. This one is more of a how-to, with chapters on yarn, tools, gauge, hats, socks, scarves and shawls, and sweaters, and instructions on how to knit simple hats, socks, scarves, and shawls. (Simple like: Cast on however many stitches you want, knit until the piece is square, cast off. (I can't believe I just typed that.) pg 182).

I also like it when she got all poetical about yarn - even though I've managed to remain the type of knitter who only buys yarn with projects in mind:

The reason we fill our houses with it, visit it in yarn shops, speaking of it in glowing terms, and hoard it with a passion is that it is pure potential. Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it, and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual. These six balls of wool could be a shawl my mum puts around her shoulders when she's cold, or maybe it's a blanket a friend warps her baby in. Maybe that baby takes a shine to it and it becomes his beloved companion blankie, comforting him for years and years. Maybe it's a sweater that my daughter is wearing the day she gets her first kiss, and from then on my yarn is part of her memory of that day. Maybe, just maybe, those six balls are a scarf and hat that get tucked away for years and long after I'm gone someone pulls them out and says, "Remember how Granny was with all the wool? Remember how she knit all the time?" fingering the soft wool and pondering who I was and what I did while I was here.

It's a mystery, each ball of yarn ... and I don't know what each one is going to be or what life it will take when I finally set needles to it. But each one will be something I made with my own two hands. This yarn, then - my whole big sweeping stash -
is the stuff of dreams (pg 51).

Knitting Rules was an enjoyable read, and made me feel like I should attempt a sweater. Or a pair of socks. Um, someday.

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