Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.

4 Comments:

A few year ago I for POK at the used book store in Midlo. I keep checking back for another, if I find it, it's yours! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 12:22 PM  

Bess, I found a link where you can purchase the POK book.
Hope this helps.
http://www.allbookstores.com/book/0671552333/Principles_Of_Knitting.html

By Anonymous Isobel, at 7:07 AM  

Apparently this book is published on gold leaf judging by the prices on the website I just sent you!!!

By Anonymous Isobel, at 7:10 AM  

So glad to hear that you're feeling better, dear. I'm in pain 24/7, so I can appreciate what you've been going through. Keep up the good work.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:01 PM  

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Sunday, January 08, 2006  

A Knitter's Library
Come browse the library shelves with me, for I was good yesterday. I followed MrH’s advice and cleaned out the "closet" of knitting books, magazines and pamphlets, (and plain old trash) that had spread itself all about the spare bedroom. Of course, they weren’t really in a closet - they are supposed to live on bookshelves, though the magazines are just too tall to fit on any but the top shelf unless I lay them flat and I found that didn’t work too well. It’s easy enough to pull a magazine out of a stack that’s lying flat, but it’s almost a given that I’ll be too tired/lazy/busy to put it back. The ones on top are just too heavy to lift without making a major effort. I will purchase Princeton Files (I’ll need 12!!) and store them upright. I have a little kick stool that will make it possible to access them on that top shelf.

So what did I discover in my Saturday excavation project? And how was I to organize all these things anyway? By author? Title? Type of book? It’s an extensive library but not a definitive one. Eventually I decided to create 4 categories of knitting books. There are the Mostly Stitch books, the Mostly Technique books, the Mostly Patterns, and the Mostly Musing books. Of the last category I have only 3: Zen and the art of knitting by Bernadette Murphy, the Joy of Knitting by Lisa Myers, and At Knits End, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

I included in the Mostly Stitch books the charted design books, to create a total of 9 titles. There are two Barbara Walker treasuries, #2 and 4. There is Lesley Stanfield’s New Knitting Stitch Library - which I purchased because it was pretty good, nobody local had the BWT’s at the time, and besides, it was half the price of a BWT. I also have two Nicky Epstein titles, Knitted Embellishments and Knitting on the Edge. I’m not quite sure I would buy her Knitting Over the Edge. The library has a copy, but it’s a possible addition. I like the first two the best. Then there are 4 books of charted designs, suitable to any chartable craft; needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting. 2 are from Iceland, one is Celtic and one is a collection of Traditional Nova Scotia Patterns, by Janetta Dexter.

The next category is Mostly Technique books. It’s not that these books have no patterns in them, but they are concerned with teaching a particular knitting or design skill - or with many such particular skills. Here I put Maggi Righetti’s books, and Ann Budd’s Knitting book of Patterns, Catherina Buss’s Big Book of Knitting, several books on finishing techniques, and the handouts I got at a fabulous Lily Chinn workshop I took 2 years ago. There are some sock books; an Edie Eikman and a Cat Bordii, as well as the latter’s second Mobius book. There is Debbie New’s wildly inspiring Unexpected Knitting and Horst Scultz’s less inspiring, but certainly colorful book New Patchwork Knitting. There is one book in this collection that I am keeping for sentiment alone. Wanda Passadore’s The Needlework Book, which I bought with the very last $20 I had to my name, back in 1973. I didn’t yet have a job, either, but I believe I did have a stocked kitchen. Sometime over the next week or two I started clerking in a store, but that book gave me years and years of pleasure. It’s mostly a book on embroidery, but the last quarter is full of knitting stitches. I may never use it - but I still love it, so it gets to stay. Altogether I had 20 titles but would you believe it? I don’t have any Elizabeth Zimermann books! No. I can’t believe it either.

The final category is Mostly Patterns. Many of these books have wonderful techniques in them, but they are, as I’ve categorized them, mostly full of patterns. This is the biggest category with 41 titles in it, but some of these are hardly more than pamphlets. The Anny Blatt books #184 and #191, Patons Where Did You Get that Hat? Some quaint pamphlets, printed in the 1950’s, given to me by a friend who doesn't knit. One, Shire Album #31 Fisherman Knitting by Michael Harvey and Rae Compton has a history of the fisherman sweaters, ancient contemporary photos, and several very classic patterns. It’s not more than 40 pages though, of 5.5 by 4 sheets. I have a couple of coffee table knitting books - too big to fit on shelves unless stored on their spine. Handpaint Country, Knitting in America, and a Kafe Fassett book. There is one almost dangerously moldy book from the 1940’s, Complete Book of Knitting, by Elizabeth Mathieson. I’m keeping it because it has the most delicious children’s patterns in it and who knows - one day I may have delightful g-children to knit for. There are also some scrumptious bed jacket patterns - a garment I really love though do not yet own. But beware - the adult size 18 is for a 38" bust. How the Boomers have fattened!
There are some sock books and some hat books and some mittens & glove books and here I have put the only EZ book I own - Opinionated Knitter - the latest one that is a collection of her mailer Wool Gathering. That may later go into the Mostly Technique section but at the moment it seems more like patterns to me.

With my 18 inches of magazines, sorted by title, then date, I completed the process with one little ENFP exception. There is still a small pile of single sheets of patterns, cartoons, and personal musings that I will have to sort and organize. But to leave an ENFP without some small unfinished task is to force closure upon her and why would anybody ever want that?!

So - what did I learn from this inventory? My biggest category of knitting books is Mostly Patterns. Odd, since I have knit only 2 sweaters following a pattern and I don’t see myself suddenly becoming a pattern follower. So why this enormous collection of books I may never use? Admittedly, some were gifts and some were purchased in the early days of my knitting career when I didn’t understand how sweaters were put together. But the reason I continue to buy these books is for their ability to inspire and energize me. The splash of color, the angle of stitches, the clever neckline treatment to be found in the works of fine designers can get my own wheels turning, my own engine pumping. I have some designing skill, but many of these designers have consummate skill and they are the lodestar to which I attach my creativity.

I am sure I will continue to purchase Mostly Pattern books in the future, though, perhaps with less abandon. There is always the danger, with pretty picture books, that I am impulse buying under the influential haze of communal fiber shop hopping. Like a yarn stash that is too big, it’s way easy for a Mostly Pattern book stash to become more burden than blessing.

Thought to keep #1: Consider twice and then again before buying another MP book.

As for the Mostly Technique books, well - I certainly will want to learn new techniques as I stitch along, but I believe I have most of the techniques and garments covered. If I am ever lucky enough to find either a spare what? $250? or an unbelievable stroke of good bargain luck - I will purchase a copy of June Hiatt’s Principles of Knitting but I don’t have to have an original and if she ever finishes doing the complete revision (I bet she doesn’t) I will gladly buy the new and improved version. It’ll probably be badly bound, in paperback, but I bet it can be bought for less than $50.

Mostly Technique books are not so alluring, so glamorous, so sexy, as Mostly Pattern books. This makes it a lot easier to judge their merits. Like plain girls - they develop personality that far outlasts the whims of fashion.

Thought to keep #2: I need put no limits on my purchasing of Mostly Technique books. I believe I have the discernment and judgment to buy only what I don’t already own.

The Mostly Stitch books are somewhere between the MPs and the MTs in allurement. You can always use another stitch pattern, but will you ever use them all? Still, I want those other two Barbara Walker books and I am going to get them. And Nicky Epstein is, besides one of my favorite designers, always coming up with something unexpected, so I shan’t rule out adding more NE titles to my collection. The other stitch pattern books were gifts anyway and I won’t turn a gift stitch pattern book away. But I probably won’t buy any more.

Thought to keep #3: Does Barnes & Nobel have the BW books? We’re going to Richmond today - I wonder .....

The Mostly Musing books don’t really tempt me into indescretion. They are cute. They often make me laugh, or smile. They offer shared camaraderie with like-minded people. But like a novel, unless one touches me deeply, in some inexplicable way, I don’t really want to own it. I am sure there may be the MM knitting book that stands beside Pride and Prejudice, a novel I’ve read 20+ times and expect to read as often again. A book like that I must own. You never know when you'll have a Pride and Prejudice emergency in the middle of the night. You never know when you'll have a MM knitting emergency either. Yes, MM books, again like novels, are books I really do want to read, but they are one-read books and, as such, belong in libraries where many more than one person can enjoy them.

Thought to keep #4: Don’t worry about MM books. You probably won’t succumb to impulse purchasing and you have friends and family enough to give you copies of them as presents so you’ll get to read them anyway. And you can always buy them for the library.

As for that foot and a half stack of knitting magazines - well - TheQueen one must have some eye candy in her life. Besides, I’m forever pulling them out and flipping through them. I had to gather them from 4 other rooms, including both bathrooms, just to do this inventory. At the moment, I’ve let all my subscriptions lapse except for Interweave Knits. Over the years I have subscribed to all the major magazines except Vogue Knitting. Till just recently, I haven’t cared for most of their designs, but the past 3 or 4 issues have delighted me enough that when my post-holiday junk mail included a subscription offer from them, I quickly filled it out and yesterday, just as I was heading upstairs to begin my closet cleaning, I thrust the envelope into BD’s hand as he walked out the door. The die is cast. VK will be my 2006 sugar fix.

Thought to keep #5: Looks like I’ll need a 13th Princeton File.

My 10 day respite is just about over and I must say it has been quite a success. I had one goal and one hope when it began; that I would commit to and follow through with the physical therapy and that it would work. Happily, I believe I can say that I was successful on both counts. Each day I wrapped the elastic band around my head and worked the neck muscles, lifted each leg and reached slowly down towards the ankle, flexing my spine. All those minute slow movements that don’t really seem like much of anything - I did them all. I learned to keep my shoulders down and back. I learned to stop tossing my head - or at least, to be aware of it when I did. I learned to move with more deliberation and less floppy, heedless, headless chicken-ity. And I napped. And I rested. I took hot soaky baths followed by sessions with the ice pack on my spine. And sometime in the night between Friday and Saturday something clicked back into place. Pain disappeared, though there is a slight tingling in the left arm still. Mobility reappeared - in measurable quantities. What a huge relief.
So, with clean-closet bookshelves and a pain free back, I am ready to begin the New Year. What delight - a senseation of freshness and energy in a brand new year.

posted by Bess | 8:27 AM
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