Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let's talk books, shall we?

We all know, the only thing I like as much as knitting and reading, is talking about knitting and books. Talking about knitting books is double the fun. (Okay, I might like chocolate as much as books. Maybe.)

Rae came up with this little meme thingie, and it got me thinking, and I'm rather horrified by some of these answers, but I figure my answers are good for some laughs.

1. What is your favorite pattern book?
As always, narrowing it down to one is hard, but probably "Norsk Strikke Design", since I want to knit almost all the sweaters in the book.

2. What is your favorite technique book?
"The Principles of Knitting" by June Hemmons-Hyatt. Unfortunately it's out of print and selling for outragous amounts on line ($200-$500 USD).

3. What classic technique book should every knitter own?
I'd love to suggest "Principles" but that's insane. Vogue Knitting's technique book isn't bad. I'm still looking at technique books, trying to find one I like enough to suggest to other knitters. I need to find the XRX book in a book store so I can leaf through it.

4. How many knitting books do you typically buy in a year?
This was the part that horrified me. I thought, "Well, two a month would be... twenty-four. Shit." and honestly, it's probably more like fifty. Though I've only been buying knitting books like this for the last year or two, when I noticed all these new, GOOD books coming out.

Tag, you're all it. I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks. (And I'm sure Rae is too or she wouldn't have started this.)

I've had a few business ideas I thought I'd run past my Beloved Readers:

First, would anyone be interested in dyed roving? I THINK I've got a way I can do dip-dyed roving or sliver. Would anyone be interested? (This is something that wouldn't happen for a while, but any thoughts are welcome.)

Second, would there be a market for custom knitting patterns? Mail me a swatch you knit in the yarn you want, with the needles you want, with measurements and a drawing of the sweater you want to knit, and for $20 (or something) I'd write up a pattern and mail it back? Would that be cool, or is it a useless service?

Oh, and for those of you leaving comments through the month, and not just on the contest post, you might get entered more than once. I don't plan to do that, but your odds go up, the more comments you leave. Hahaha. Just sayin'.


Netter said...

I'd so totally pay for a custom sweater pattern! I think you should make a caveat that you can sell it again as many times as you want. Would $20 once really be fair?

Theresa said...

I like "The Big Book of Knitting" by Katherine Buss for general reference.
I have gifted a couple of new knitters with it because of the great illustrations.

Rae said...

Is it totally obvious I'm scamming from everyone's book list to create my "wish list" in amazon? Just wait until DH sees that price tag!!

I think the custom sweater idea would be neat for the casual knitter who doesn't want to dive into making their own patterns. I've seen it a lot in the LYS in the city. These are the same people who don't want to finish a garment and so bring it to the LYS and pay to have someone else finish the __ (sleeves, collar, button band, blocking, weaving in ends, etc). I don't know how much traffic you'd get in the blogosphere, but it's worth a try!

barb outside boston said...

Oh, you coment whore ;-)
I like the Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley, but I probably use The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman the most.
Re: custom patterns
I actually enjoy the math, etc. to tailor a pattern, but I hear there are lots of people who don't!
Right now, I would pay for someone to tell me what to knit with my Classic Elite Premiere--or what pattern would be best for some Samurai-dyed laceweight!

debsnm said...

Like you don't get enough comments! A custom-made sweater pattern might be kinda cool. I love the idea of having a sweater designed for me, and I don't have the time or the patience to do it myself.

Julie said...

Well. Not to push the lace yarn or anything... but the 880 yards in one skein is enough to knit all the scarves and some of the other patterns in "Victorian Lace Today" (which everyone seems to have a copy of), and if you REALLY wanted to do something huge, I could dye more than one skein of laceweight to however you wanted it, giving you 1660+ yards which should be enough for almost all the patterns in the book.

Just sayin'.

Oh, and I'm gonna do a skein fo Purple Trainwreck laceweight, but it's gonna be pricey 'cause it's a time-consuming process at the best of times, let alone when ealing with an 880 yard skein.

Louiz said...

I would be interested in dyed rovings, absolutely. And check out the list on my page (going up shortly anyhow) for books...

bev said...

The custom pattern service sounds great. Are you sure you just want to charge $20?

Julie said...

I think I'd make it negotiable, depending on the pattern. If you want a fitted knee-length coat with all-over two-color knitting that has to be centered, it will cost more than a basic plain sweater. You get the idea.

But if someone wanted the equivalent of a knitted sweatshirt and was willing to do it in the round, I'd crank out the pattern for $10 and feel like I was stealing their money.

Bells said...

I don't have enough knitting books to be able to give a comprehensive view. I've only been buying them for a year or two and very slowly. But I think I just borrowed Principles of Knitting from the library. It's in a stack of books at home. It's huge and seems amazing.

Pam Kanthor said...

I think $20 is a great price. My LYS will write a pattern if you purchase the yarn at the store, but won't help if you buy the yearn anywhere else. Maybe a discount if we purchase your yarn?

Pam (making those comments add up)

amy said...

More than $20. Really, it's a custom pattern. I like doing it myself, but that's me. I think people who DON'T like doing it themselves will certainly pay, and, knowing how much time I sometimes put into figuring out a pattern, I'd say it's worth more than $20.

I don't have enough knitting books to comment, sadly.

Amy Lane said...

I think the custom sweater pattern is a great math is so fuzzy...I've often thought "I'd pay for someone to adapt that for me..."

Ellen said...

I love Norsk Strikke Design but I don't own it because it is out of my league. I mean... I could probably knit one of those but while it takes you a couple months, it would probably take me years... I'm just not there yet. But I look at it everytime I am in B&N. My list is here:

And I personally wouldn't have need for the custom pattern, but I agree with the person who said it's definately worth more than $20... even if it's something that would be an easy pattern for you.

MrsFife said...

$20 seems like too less.
And poor Sekhmet missed you...

Camille said...

Ooooh... A fitted knee length coat... I'd pay for a pattern for my measurements!

Also, while $20 does seem like too little, it would be within my student budget (yes, I'm considering the extra for a fitted coat)

jaaladay said...

I was just looking at your Etsy store, and wondering if you ever do DK-weight yarn? I like your yarn, but I'm not a lace or sock knitter!

Lauren said...

I'm interested in dyed roving, either to purchase or DIY (with simple step-by-step instructions from Julie, of course!). I've enjoyed dyeing commercially spun yarn using Julie's crock-pot technique, but as a spinner, I'd like to try dyeing roving to spin myself.
And, $20 for a custom sweater pattern is an excellent price!