Thursday, September 06, 2007

PW confirms it: we're still cool

Was there ever any doubt? Of course, we're cool. However, it's nice to have Publisher's Weekly, the Bible of the book world, agree. Even though the article is titled "Sew, What's New", there's alot about knitting in it. (I have to admit that I didn't appreciate the cover's subtitle: "A quaint revival extends its appeal." "Quaint"?!?! We're not quaint, we're cutting-edge.)

Claiming that it all began with Uma Thurman's knitting obssession (excuse me, I was knitting before Uma was born), PW points out that the trend has engendered a Knitting Olympics, a bestselling romance series, and countless knitting clubs. (They forgot to mention Romancing the Yarn but I intend to write to correct their oversight. LOL)

Melanie Falick, knitting author and editor, says, "In this big, insecure world, where everything moves so fast and most of our lives are spent in a virtual reality, we can find balance by slowing down and using our hands to create."

Evidently, the popularity of today's needle crafts has taken the spotlight away from what's known as the "hard crafts" like woodworking. Who knew?

As we knitters have become more proficient, we've begun to demand more diversity in our craft books. "It's the funky stuff that keeps people interested," one editor says. Publishers are looking for more niche books and using high-end photography to tempt us to buy their products.

Yarn stores see a trend away from bulky yarns (tell that to the fashion designer who commissioned a special set of knitting needles the size of broomsticks to knit his chunky sweaters on) and toward thinner yarns used to make garments and lace.

PW talks about the communities crafters create. Aha, they're catching on that we're a friendly, chatty group of folks. They also mention the rise of "craft celebrities" (like our own The Wendy) who write books and blogs and run charity events.

Here are a few of the books mentioned in the article as catering to us sophisticated, funky, niche knitters:

Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter;
Sensual Knits (Sensual Crochet will follow.);
The Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits-"hideous knitted creations. from ugly sweaters to atrocious 1970s knit shorts";
Anti-craft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister, which includes a pattern for a duct tape corset (ouch!);
Knitted Icons-featuring 25 celebrity doll patterns, including Gandhi, Madonna and Elvis.

Okay, call me boring but none of those titles makes me want to run right out to the bookstore (although I'm kind of curious about what, besides the long striped scarf, one would make for Harry Potter).

How about you guys? Anything there tempt you? Or do you have a better book you'd like to recommend?

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Blogger Kristin said...

Oh Nancy! Neat find and post with the PW! I'm not very tempted by those titles either. I guess that titles have been tempting me by where I am in my knitting journey. Lately, I've been digging into EZ's books, because I guess I'm at the point that I want to understand where we knitters come from and how to refine techniques. I'm also looking for the book on wedding knits for my wedding next year.

Our journeys are so varied, aren't they? I guess my interests are formed from where I am at the time. Of course, I just picked up the new Yarn Girls book - I love a lot of the patterns in their newest issue.

I can't wait to hear what others think of books to add! Hope you're doing well!

10:32 PM  
Blogger loribird said...

Quaint!? Uma Thurman started it all?! Geez, don't these folks read the knit-blogs? Someone give them a complementary invite to Ravelry or something :)
No, none of the titles pique my interest, but I tend towards Elizabeth Zimmermann and Estonian mittens lately... Come to think of it, I've always been a fan of Classics, literary and fibery.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Nancy...I actually do have that Harry Potter book...LOL. My adult daughter is a Harry fan and was working on a field site in Kenya when the last book came out this summer and she bought the book in Nairobi. Charmed Knits has a variety of scarves, sweaters, hats, gloves/mitts and at least one duster-style coat...all in the various "houses". I don't know much about it since I haven't read those books...not enough romance for me.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Nope. None of those on my bookshelf. What is? Waaay too many to mention, but off the top of my head, all of the EZ books, most of the Cat Bordhi books, Romantic Knits by Annie Modesit (hope I spelled that right), several lace books, several sock books, No Sheep for You, Big Girl Knits, and all the Yarn Harlot books. My husband keeps complaining that he has to build me more bookcases. ;)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

This is fun! I love hearing about everybody's favorite books; it gives me a great wish list.

Kristin, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! How exciting that is! What are you planning to knit for it? Do your bridesmaids get handknit gifts? Boy, that would be a treat for them!

Loribird, LOL! PW is sometimes a little behind the times. I always chuckle my way through their "update on romance" issue since the news they quote as hot trends is generally pretty old by then.

Vicki, thanks for the info on what Harry Potter fans will be knitting. Now I know it's "House" oriented and can imagine some very cool designs. I'm so glad to hear that you like lots of romance in your books too. :-)

Cathy, LOL on the need for more bookshelves. I have the same issue. In fact, I'm in the process of cleaning out my bookcases to make room for the new stuff. It's a slow process because I have such a hard time deciding what to part with. I've even created a shelf for what I've labelled "sentimental keepers". I'll never open them again but just looking at them brings back memories

9:59 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

I can't say any of those titles sent me straight to Amazon though I've seen some of the projects in the Harry Potter themed book and liked them.

My taste in books runs to lace and socks and updated classics, I guess. Victorian Lace Today, Heirloom Knitting & A Gathering of Lace are all getting shop worn from the number of times I've paged through them. I like the Sally Melville books for the easy going way she presents things. EZ is always good.

I feel really lucky to be knitting at a time when there are so many choices in both yarn and books. My last bout with knitting was twenty-odd years ago and there were a lot fewer options.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm in the lace and socks category, too. Also the knitty humor (like The Wendy and the Yarn Harlot). And yet, there is something about the super-intricate Fair Isle sweaters that makes me want to buy a pattern book just to look at them...

(No, I don't know how to do Fair Isle. No, this doesn't matter.)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

So, Dallas, it's good that Uma Thurman started the trend so we'd have better books to use, right? ;-)

Nicole, I'm laughing because I have a knitting book that I bought just to look at (can't remember the title off the top of my head but it's by one of those famous knitters). I have yet to tackle a single project in it but I love to page through it while drooling.

10:34 PM  
Blogger marimello said...

So it looks like PW covers are for sale....I wonder who paid for this one. Ooooh and I wonder if any one wants to chip in for the next one!
Who's with me?

10:23 PM  
Blogger marimello said...

oh's the link:

10:31 PM  

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