Friday, November 10, 2006


We've had a parade of new books and movies through the house, so here you go.

First off, the book I mentioned the other day:

"The Opinionated Knitter" by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

I don't suggest it as your first EZ book, because the pattern directions are on the sparse side. However, if you're a big fan and used to how she wrote directions, you'll love this book. Lots of family photos, back story, tales of how she started designing, etc. Very entertaining and fun, with lots of useful stuff. I was particularly interested in the dating of when she first came up with her percentage system, and how, but then I'm the big history fan so that follows. (For a first EZ book, I suggest "Knitting Without Tears" or "Knitter's Almanac".)

Then we have the Second Treasury of Knitting Patters from Barbara Walker.

I've had the thrid one for years (it's charted patterns, and I prefer charts) and recently started to buy up the rest of the set of four. The first book is good, contains lots of basic stitch patterns, but this second one is really fun. Lots of new stuff in terms of cables and lace patterns, mosaics, and miscellaneous neatoness. I think I'm using a lace pattern out of it for my next fuckin' scarf. Anyway, if you do anything other than knitting straight from patterns, all these books are worth owning.

Then we have "Folk Hats" by Vicki Square.

I'd heard from several sources that the book was rather impractical and contained a lot of patterns for hats no one would ever wear, and I confess I bought it entirely for the pattern for the Samurai kabuto. (I need one to wear for my profile photo, don't you think?) When I got the book, I was surprised, though. There are patterns for nearly every kind of hat imaginable in there. Cowboy hats, ball caps, fedoras, all kinds of neat stuff. I may not ever knit myself those EXACT hats, but she gives the hows and whys of shaping to knit any hat you'd ever want to make. So in a way it is practical, as a starting point for designing your own hats.

And now a movie for a change of pace.

First I must own up to being a major fan of Pixar movies. I did a storyboarding workshop with someone from Pixar a few years back when I was in Hawaii and learned a lot, and I just flat-out admire the creativity that goes into their stories. So I'm biased. And being married to a gearhead who watches car racing all the time, I also had the background to get the 'in' jokes. Plus I grew up in a small town so watching the 'city boy in hicksville' aspect is also enjoyable to me.

It's a hoot. If you haven't seen it, go rent Cars.


Anonymous said...

hi --

i totally agree on ez being the best if you start with "knitting w/o tears." the other women in my knitting group are amazed because i have knit, in recent months, a bag to felt (just bound off last night), a fingering-weight (or cat. 3, not sure) ez yoke pullover . . . to which i added a hood that i made up on my own . . . for my granddaughter, and an ez yoke sweater in dk, w/fair isle bands on the wrists, abdomen and yoke, for my daughter -- all w/o a single pattern.

i also learned, from an ez video, how to knit continental, which has more than doubled my knitting speed while making my stitches far more even.

since ez now is deceased, i think of her as the secular "patron saint" of knitters. i think she'd find that amusing.

Sheepish Annie said...

Zimmerman and Walker are two authors whose books I've looked at and always put back thinking, "those are for the 'good' knitters." I think maybe I need to let go of that mind set...

Pixar question about it!!!!!

Amy Lane said...

I'm a total PIXAR fan...we were going to give the Cave Troll CARS for his birthday, but big brother fished the dvd out of the bag before I even had a chance to get Kewyn out of the car, so we're on the hunt for another birthday present... (My dad LOVES cars--he was totally there for the in-jokes...otherwise, I would have been very lost.)

Bells said...

nice reviews Julie. Thanks! Am itching to get my first EZ book...

Love Pixar. The Incredibles were fabulous. They were pixar, right?

Rae said...

DD almost made it through all of Cars. At 2, I think that's pretty good. We're raising a TV junkie.

Love the book recommendations. I have very few books and have heard of Barbara Walker and EZ over and over and over again. I'm compiling my Christmas wish list. ;)

Amy Lane said...

Ohh.. did you see the short w/Mater in it? TOOOOOOOOOO cute!!!!