Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wednesday is book day!

I like to talk about fiber related books on Wednesday. These are simply books I like. I am not being sponsored or paid. :)

And today's book is:
10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza, St. Martin's Griffon, NY, 2011

I have many, many knitting books. My family would say I have too many, but we know that that’s not possible! I like all of them, love some of them, am in awe of others, but this one inspires me.
I must preface this, of course, by telling you that I was a gardener before I became a knitter. My gardening guru is Larry Hodgson. Larry writes for publications in the States so you may have heard of him, but in Canada, and in Quebec in particular, he is the god of gardening. His moniker, and so the titles of all his books, is “the lazy gardener”. It is my gardening mantra. So, when I saw the title “laidback knitters” I thought, could there be a knitting equivalent? There is, and this is it!
If you could buy only one knitting book, this is THE one!
This is a perfect knitting book because there are:
-       clearly written, easy to follow patterns
-       gorgeous photographs and illustrations
-       super sidebars with all kind of tips and tricks
-       descriptions of the fibers and the animals

-     stories about the designers, spinners and knitters that we meet in the book
And now you may wonder, don’t all knitting books have these things?
All have some of them. Few have all of them. Laidback knitters have all of them and this:
A soul, in Vicki and Lisa’s words from the introduction
“10 secrets of the Laidback Knitters gives knitters permission to relax and have fun with their knitting; to see that knitting is as much about process as product; and to know that the stitches they knit can express the inner joy they feel.”

It is as if this were written just for me! Knitting can be very hard to learn and master, particularly in a world as competitive as ours. What is the point to spending hours, even months, hand knitting a sweater when you can buy a pretty 20$ sweater at any chain store? The answer is, it has to be the process. Knitting is a fabulous anti-stress activity as long as we don’t stress ousrelves out. 

I will never be Elizabeth Zimmermann, and I can imagine her saying, “Thank God for that!”, but I can make beautiful things and enjoy every step of the knitting process. Deep inside, I new this, and Vicki and Lisa wrote the book that says I was right.
Vicki Stiefel and me!

I had the immense pleasure of meeting Vicki Stiefel last weekend at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. She is an incredibly wonderful and generous person, exactly as I imagined her while reading her book.
Thank you Vicki and Lisa so much for this beautiful gift!
Over the next few Wednesdays, I will be sharing the 10 secrets and how they have influenced my knitting. Please come along!


Isobel said...

Agree about knitting being relaxing: and the pride one can take in creating something that is both useful, attractive and warm cannot help but surpass a mere $20 pretty sweater!

Remember reading Larry Hodgson's books when we lived in Canada, but it was before I had a garden to look after.

Looking forward to hearing about the New York Sheep Fair - as well as the 10 steps..

Laurie said...

Great to know you knew of Larry Hodgson! I love reading your comments!

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