Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Birthday Books

My better half gave me knitting books as a birthday gift -- they came in the mail today. Yay, me!

The Knitting Man(ual): 20+ Projects for Guys by Kristin Spurkland has lots of cool patterns in it -- sweaters, hats, gloves, socks, vests, scarves. Most of them have variations -- you can make the hat with a stranded knitting design in one color -- or another pattern in two colors -- or just plain. I like that. There are lots of patterns I'm going to want to try. I first saw a preview copy of this book when I was at Knit/Purl in Portland this summer. I think they had a copy because one of the sweaters calls for ShibuiKnits yarn. I love the picture of the guys window-shopping on the front.

The other book Jeff gave me, which must have been flying under my radar, is Debbie Stoller's Son of Stitch 'n Bitch: 45 Projects to Knit and Crochet for Men. None of the projects in this book appear to be horribly difficult. Now, I love Debbie Stoller. I taught myself to knit using her original Stitch 'n Bitch book. But I have to say some of the patterns are a little silly. A "Deady Bear" with a bee impaled in it's midsection? And a set of knitted beer bottles pillows? Interesting in their own way, I suppose, but still... There is a pattern for a sweater that looks just like Ernie's that I think is a hoot. I think I may be about 10 years too old for this book.

At first glance, these books seem to come from two different perspectives. The Stoller book says that the patterns were designed in consultation with non-knitting men. This means that "your guy" will definitely want to wear these designs. I don't know if they considered whether a guy would actually want to knit them himself. Maybe they did -- I just can't tell. The Knitting Man(ual) seems to assume that the knitters as well as the wearers will both be guys. Spurkland writes in the introduction that it was her
"...intention to create a book especially for all those bold and creative men stepping out of their expected rolls (as the receivers of hand-knit items) and taking things into their own hands to become the creators of the knits themselves."

On the actual knitting front, I'm kind of in a lull. I'm trying to figure out what my next big project might be -- these books will help. I did manage to finish the first TOFUtsies 732 sock last night. There are always socks to knit!

During the decreases for the toes, I used a new left-leaning decrease to replace SSK, described as SYTK (slip, yank, twist, knit) -- how can you not want to know more about that? I read it in a blog I've been following lately. If you aren't reading it already, and are interested in knitting from an engineering standpoint, you might want to check out TECHknitting™. A recent post on the relationships amongst neighboring stitches has me rapt.


  1. What a wonderful Bday present! Thanks for the great reviews. I'll have to watch out for the Manual. Sounds like I'm probably 20 yrs too old for the Son of - LOL!

  2. Happy Birthday! I don't know if it's already passed or not but I hope it is/was fab!

    You brought some great gift your self and I need to order mine too!

    Hope great B-day!

  4. Happy Birthday! Excellent books. I've been eying those up too.