I just finished reading through When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters, a great new book by Marion Edmonds & Ahza Moore, who "together have more than 100 years of knitting experience between them." Their funny, non-threatening and extremely helpful approach to knitting problems have produced a book that is a welcome addition to the library of all knitters, from beginners to experts.
The book is divided into four sections:
"Emergency Prevention" (how to prevent problems from happening in the first place by developing good habits, such as the right way to make a gauge swatch and the items to include in your knitting bag);
"The Secret Language of Knitting Patterns," which had a very comprehensive and user-friendly section on how to alter patterns for different sizes and gauges--something I definitely want to try. At 5'2", I often find that my sweaters, and especially sleeves, are too long because I hesitate to deviate from the written pattern. This book has made me feel confident enough to try some alterations. After all, isn't that what makes a hand-knit special in the first place?
"Good Knitting Gone Wrong," a section that helps fix mistakes without too much pain. I've already used this section to help me through ripping out several rows of my lace pullover last month.
And finally, "Don't Let Finishing Finish You Off." As someone who is not fond of finishing, I found that this section made it look easy.
The book has nice, clear illustrations and as I mentioned, it's funny. I loved their commentary on grafting, for example (maybe because for some reason, this is something that I've always been good at): "It's a great status symbol in the knitting world. When you know how to graft, you can boast about it (in an offhand, nonchalant sort of way) and watch nongrafters' eyes widen in admiration." That just made me chuckle!
I highly recommend this slim volume as a useful, accessible addition to your knitting bag!
In other news, I got my Sockapalooza pal information yesterday and I've been obsessing over which socks to make for her! I have several options in terms of patterns, and two beautiful yarns from my sock yarn stash that would both be perfect. I just have to decide which one I want to part with! Once I finish up my son's Pittsburgh Steelers socks (almost done with Sock #1), I will get cracking on the Sockapalooza project. It seems like a great group!