Sunday, January 30, 2011

Knitting Book Nerd

Knitting Book Nerd - that's me!

Not so long ago, I spent hours posting all of my knitting books on Ravelry. It was pretty impressive, and a bit embarrassing to put on display I deleted it all. But that fabulously inspiring collection of colour, design, tips, techniques, history and fun regularly calls to me from shelves near my knitting nest.

Recently, I broke down and bought a book that I had 'blacklisted' from my collection: Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. I admit, it may seem prudish to not want a book because of the title, but I felt it insulted women and knitting groups. My hackles were raised, but this couldn't have been further from the truth.

Debbie Stoller's book retells our history of knitting, extols the importance of traditional women's work ...and her edgy flair encourages the young to take up the craft. The old photos are fun, her instructions are easy to understand and her drawings are clear. Great book!

Okay, so how many knitting books does one need, anyway? When I am trying to learn a new skill from a book, diagram, photo or video, it always feels to me like something has been left out somewhere. Maybe my brain just doesn't take that leap from step four to step five. When I read the next book on the technique, that step may be well-explained but another area is weak.

We all learn differently and we all explain things a bit differently. The more we read, the more things start to make sense. When teaching a class, I could use the same words over and over to no avail ...or I could rephrase the instructions, draw a diagram, use props, show samples, hold the needles or just move a knitter's finger. Please don't give up after studying only one person's instructions or reading one book. Try another. Someone else may help everything fall into place for you. And that'll bring a smile to your face!

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Joan, you simply must put your books back in! Something hilarious? I have felt embarrassed that I only have 11 knitting books lol. Isn’t it strange what different folks find embarrassing? I would feel incredibly proud to have a vast knitting library and I hope you can feel proud of it too. Besides, I need to know which books to buy next!

    With love from Pam!