In my last post, I described a batch of new knitting-related books coming this fall and winter from PotterCraft. One of the books, "Naughty Needles," stirred up a tiny brouhaha in the comments. The book is described by the publisher as "half instruction book, half peep show" and features a cheesecake photo on the cover. I think it is perfectly legitimate -- and not ad hominem -- to discuss some of the implications of this book, namely: is it necessary, or desirable, to use sex to sell a knitting book? is it necessary, or desirable, to use a cheesecake, 50s movie star pose on the cover of a knitting book? who is the target audience: real knitters or the men in their lives who might want to view the "peep show"? what is the sensibility and viewpoint of the author, given that she blogs as "Disgruntled Housewife" and how might that affect the content of the book? Is there anything truly "naughty" about the patterns in it, or is this just a publicity ploy to get attention and sell books? In fairness, some of these issues -- but not all -- can't be resolved until the book is actually out there to be seen. There are also legitimate feminist issues raised by this (ooh, I said the "f" word), like the longtime debate between hard-core feminists, who don't think it is possible to empower oneself by adopting patriarchical constructs of female beauty and/or sexiness, and a newer generation of feminists who believe that it's possible to take back their sexuality in whatever form they choose. Given that this is primarily a knitting blog, I would refer anyone interested in this latter debate to look at I Blame the Patriarchy and other blogs that cover this issue better than I ever could.
A lot of knitters don't live near a great LYS that carries a wide selection of knitting books. Many don't even have a chain bookstore nearby that carries lots of craft books. So they're forced to buy books on-line, sight unseen. Sad, innit? I'm really spoiled by the fact that Rosie's carries an excellent selection of knitting books so one can browse through them before one purchases. But for less fortunate readers, the more information that a person can find about a book before buying it, sight unseen, the more likely they are to be pleased with the book, rather than have to return it to an on-line seller. This is one reason why I like to review books on my blog. I encourage real discussions about books rather than sunshine-and-hearts "don't say anything negative" discussions because I find real and fair discussions of the merits of a book helpful and interesting. I hope you do, too.
Aided by the able tie-dyer James, I finished Grace's cotton sweater and we proceeded to tie-dye it. I think it came out quite nicely:
Today I shall sew a button on the shoulder (what can I say? my kids have big pumpkin heads) and then hope that Grace will wear it. The yarn is Inca Cotton and I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed knitting with it. Sometimes cottons feel harsh in the knitting, or the lack of spring hurts my hands, but this stuff is extremely soft and pleasant to work with. It would make wonderful baby items and I definitely would use it again.
Happy Labor Day to all my American and Canadian (thanks, Mamaloo) readers!