Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Book Review: Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines

Okay, this one's been out for a couple months now, but if you haven't already, I really do recommend checking out Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne's Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines. Anyone already familiar with Ann and Kay's fab blog or the equally fab first Mason-Dixon book won't be disappointed by this one. It's got everything that the Mason-Dixon Knitting world has come to represent: great design, humour, smart knitting tips and practical, yet beautiful patterns.

You know when you pick up a knitting book and instantly want to cast on for every single project in the book? This is one of those. I've put my own knitting fixation on hold since having Henry, but just looking at the pictures made my fingers itch for the needles. They've split things up into chapters: Decorating Yourself (which includes a perfect mohair cardy), The Fairest Isle Of All (a non-scary introduction to fair isle), Covering The Small Human (really cute kids stuff), Occasional Knitting (I wish I'd tackled their Xmas stockings a month ago) and The Sophisticated Kitchen. Yes, the last chapter has a dishrag pattern. These gals know where their bread is buttered.

But, the draw to Mason-Dixon Knitting isn't the patterns or even the gorgeous design and photography of the book. It's Ann and Kay. Like the Yarn Harlot, these ladies write with a warmth and inside-joke kind of humour that makes the reader feel like they're part of a secret society of knitters. They're really quite genius. A good read and a good knit -- either buy it for a knitter you love this Christmas or drop hints for someone you love to buy it for you.

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