Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: The Knitter's Life List

  I was browsing through Amazon books and came across this title. It intrigued me immediately. If you ever saw the movie "The Bucket List" then you can probably associate it with this book. With a whopping 320 pages and written by Gwen W. Steege, The Knitter's Life List is an exhaustive source of knitting inspiration. This book really has it all and goes beyond the simple basics of knit and purl.
  *Now here is my disclaimer: This is not a book for a beginning knitter and it is not a book of patterns. Now with that said let me share what it is.

  Each chapter of the book picks a topic in the realm of knitting and then explores that topic to it's fullest. In fact Steege begins each chapter with a sort of 'to do list'. Some of the topics that are explored are different types of yarns, knitting techniques, and what to knit. There is even a chapter on kid's knits and one on home decor, and last but not least a chapter for fiber lover's (my favorite!). Not only do the chapters fully explore each topic but they also provide history, valuable resources and introduce you to different knitting masters in each field of knitting. A couple of people whom are included (but not limited to) are the famous Lily Chin and the uber creative Cat Bordhi. If you spin, there is also a great section devoted to this (and dyeing yarn) and with some tips on plying and recognizing different kinds of twists. You will be on the top of your game when you delve into these lists.
  So, if this is not a knitting pattern book why would I be interested in using this book? If you are like me then you get frustrated and tired of all the money you waste in the many many pages filled with the basics of knitting that are in so many of today's new knitting books. These 'refreshers' can be tiresome and annoying. Especially when you have already been using the basics of knitting so long that you wouldn't need a refresher if you died and came back to life again. I would say that about 90% of the beautiful knitting books I have include these types of pages and I think of all that wasted space on my book shelves. Finally I have a knitting book that I can (and want to) come back to over and over again because no matter how many times I look inside there are still hundreds of inspirational ideas to try out and improve my skills (or learn totally new ones). Even if I lived three lifetimes I doubt that I would ever complete every suggestion in this book. 
  If I have whetted your whistle then go ahead and check it out.  You can take a peek inside The Knitter's Life List if you look it up on Amazon.com but if you decide to buy it, check out how much it costs at a couple of different places first. I got mine cheaper at KnitPicks but it probably took a little longer for shipping than it would have if I had bought it from Amazon. Oh, and there might have been a sale going on when I purchased it. Also I don't remember seeing it on the shelves when I browsed through the knitting section at Barnes & Noble but I'm sure they would be happy to order it for you and you can pick it up at your local store. This could be a real plus if you are already a member with them.

  I'm already in love (perfect Valentine's gift?) with my copy of The Knitter's Life List and you will be too. And if you are a new knitter with some grit and determination, go ahead and pick up a copy too, it definitely could do you some good and set you in the right direction. Just don't expect it to teach you how to knit, although it will give you some great ideas and good resources to go to to discover how to knit, and it will tell you where you can find some patterns too.
Lastly to all my Ravelry friends who where wondering, it does talk about us in there too! *wink*

For anyone interested there is also a Sweepstakes going on by the publisher of this book. It is called the Knitter's Life List Sweepstakes and is open to any US resident 21 years or older as of 9/14/11. There is a great trip to Maryland for the next Sheep and Wool Festival in May, a knitter's retreat and lots of other great prizes! No purchase necessary but if you want to enter you must do it before 2/29/12. Click here to go to the website to enter the sweepstakes. 

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