Monday, 16 March 2009

Review Week Beginning 16th March

Hi everyone. Two books this week, the Mason-Dixon books "The Curious Knitters Guide" and "Knitting Outside the Lines". More than just pattern books, they contain stories, pictures, true confessions, tricky bits, whole new worlds, questions, answers, pictures and jokes! Written by Kay Gardiner (a yankee) and Anne Shayne (a southerner) the two met in an on-line chat room and eventually set up masondixonknitting.com which regularly has 150,000 readers. These books followed.


Both books are great reads, but in terms of knitting, the first has a lot of easier, household related items (pot holders, bath rugs, dishcloths [yes really]) and the second has more garments. The first contains some lovely knitted throws based on patchwork -- log cabin and flying geese, as well as a rather sexy nightie and wrap.The second book urges the reader to try Fair Isle knitting on circular needles and then shows you how to make a steek (a panel of waste knitting that you cut through (!) to make a flat piece of knitting). There are also some nice kids' patterns, some socks and a curious cuff for rubber gloves....
These are amusing books, with lovely photos and some interesting patterns. Again much of the yarn is American, but with tension guides on all the patterns it should be easy enough to swop yarns. Whatever your level, there is something for everyone here. The books are £16.99 and £13.43 from Amazon; Borders are about the same price, but on-line are out of stock.


Who knows, if our Glasgow Fort group keeps going we could be writing our own books too!


If you are keen to have a go with any of the patterns from these books, you might want to check out the web site for Create and Knit http://www.createandknit.co.uk/ This is a on-line shop I've recently discovered and stocks some unusual brands, including Elmore-Pisgah's Peaches and Creme dish cloth cotton. This 100% cotton is used a lot in the Mason-Dixon books (and not just for dish-cloths) but if you have visions of the undyed loose-spun stuff that our wool shops call dish-cloth or handicraft cotton, think again. This American yarn comes in a hugh range of solid and variegated colours and at £2.35 for a 56.7 gram ball is very cost-effective. It is machine washable, but you will need to check for colour-fastness. Create and Knit also have some super sock wools, including Jawoll Yarn which comes with a spool of co-ordinating nylon reinforcing thread for heels and toes. They stock wool from SWTC which includes a full range of the Tofutsies sock wool, some yarn made from maize and one called 'Therapi' which is made from wool, silk and powdered jade! They have Wendy, Artesano and Twilleys yarn. The shop now stocks Knit-Pro needles and hooks -- these are my favourite and I'd be bereft without my Knitpro DPNs (but the on-line links not yet available). Catherine Brown the shop owner is extremely helpful, and the service is very good.

That's all for now folks. More next week. Ginnie.

2 comments:

The Sock Lady said...

In case you were wondering; the "Mason-Dixon Line" was a boundary used in the resolution of border dispute between British Colonies in Colonial America. Now in popular usuage it symbolizes a cultural boundary between the Northern United States and the Southern United States. Those to the north of the line are Yankees and the land to the south is know as Dixie.

Karen said...

That was fantastic.

I am pretty sure I have one of these books but I can't remember which. Unfortunately it is behind a rather large pile of yet more books. I'll have to hunt it out. I'll add the links tomorrow.

I'll bring my laptop along next week to work out how to add the pdf.