Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lazy day, and review of "Mason-Dixon Knitting"

Today I'm doing nothing. Sort of.

I'm sitting on the couch, working on K.'s socks and ripping the CDs we brought upstairs from the basement during yesterday's organizing, and also, since we got ourselves a DVD recorder for Xmas, recording old Tivo'ed programs that we've been meaning to record and delete. So far (fingers crossed), it looks like the *&#@!! machine is working properly. (I tried it the other day and had trouble, hence the cursing.) Also put a beef a roast in the oven, using America's Test Kitchen's slow roast method -- easy as pie, and great results.

I have a bunch of lousy CDs -- some of which I've actually paid for, but some of which come from the "reject" shelf at work where CDs that the folks at work decide aren't worth either reviewing or keeping for the library. I also wind up with a bunch of books that way -- some are gems, many are dreck. I need to go through the CD collection and decide which ones to get rid of. Ditto the books. They'll probably get recycled through the review shelf at work again -- plenty of bookworms and audioheads there, so they'll ultimately disappear into someone else's book or CD stash. So I guess you can say I'm doing a form of housecleaning today, which is fitting for the end of the year.

A relatively decent book that came through for review, and wound up in my hands courtesy of a friend at work who knows I knit, is a preview copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, who have the blog by that name, so-called because one lives in Manhattan, the other in Texas.

I wasn't familiar with their blog before reading the book, but went to check it out. Both the blog and the book are filled with witty, sassy posts, so it's small wonder they got a book contract. The two authors play off each other pretty well. They also include some contributions that readers have posted to their blog.

The projects include washcloths (I agree with their point -- it gets one over the "precious knits" syndrome), a knitted lace curtain (not a bad intro to knitted lace, though I wonder how many people will want to knit curtains), felted storage boxes (I don't think I'd use them, but YMMV), a nice intro to mitered squares, and a whole bunch of fun-looking afghan projects using variations on the Log Cabin theme. I like this book because in addition to providing the basic info on each technique learned, it also encourages the reader to think and innovate on their own.

This book wouldn't be a bad buy for a beginning knitter who was looking for something to buy after Stitch & Bitch Nation, or an intermediate knitter who wanted a chatty, interesting book with some fun projects. The projects range from the fairly simple to somewhat more challenging (but not intimidating), and between that and the entertaining writing style, it would make a decent addition to a knitting library. I think I'll give it to my friend Lisa, since the projects look like they're her style, and see if I can get her to post a review, too.


Blogger Lisa said...

Here I am, reading along and woo hoo! I see my name. I'd be happy to see the book. It sounds interesting. After the Mohair Scarf Episode (henceforth known as the MSE) I could use something challenging but not &^%$#@ impossible for an advanced beginner knitter.

(Hey, I know how to do eyelets now! I've advanced on from "How the heck do I purl, again?" stage.)

7:30 AM  

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