Friday, September 10, 2010

Brave New Knits, Take 2

In the little window of time every day between rolling out of bed to make coffee and then heading out the door for our daily walks, I usually sit with the requisite coffee and either check e-mails, blogs, Facebook, etc., on my iPhone or catch up on reading (real, tangible books, magazines, etc.). This week I read Brave New Knits from cover to cover. Julie Turjoman, the author, so kindly referred to my first post about the book as a review, but that would be like calling a PBJ a gourmet meal. Now I'm ready to give you a true assessment.

Here are just a few reasons why you should buy BNK:

1. It's beautiful. Thanks to Rodale, Jared Flood, all the contributing designers and yarn companies, and Julie Turjoman for assembling them all, this book is filled with gorgeous pictures of projects you will want make. I wish I could cast on the Lenina Cap and the Orchid Thief Shawlette right now--for many reasons, not the least of which is that I have the very yarn used right upstairs in my stash. (No, must focus on my own projects. Whew. Had to talk myself down.)

2. It's a great read. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I am a snobby reader. I had this annoying quality even before I became an English teacher. I just don't usually have the patience for reading bad writing. Sometimes I'll push myself if the subject matter is overwhelmingly enjoyable for me, but not often. Fortunately I did not have to push myself to read Julie's book. Julie's writing style is right up my alley--brimming with information given thoughfully and smoothly. As I used to teach my students, good writing has no obstacles that get in the way of your consummation of the information. It just flows. Julie also has a gift for turning an interview into a wonderful, generous piece of writing that's not only infused with the subject's personality, but that obviously treats the person with the utmost respect. Not once did I wince when I read her treatment of the results of our phone interview of last year. Of course, any interview becomes dated as soon as it's done, but Julie even made sure to go back and add updated information from each of us. I really appreciate that attention to detail.

3. In reading this book, not only do you get to benefit from the unique style and viewpoint of each designer, you get to know each one of them a little better. Before reading BNK, I only really knew two of the designers, but thanks to Julie, I feel like I know each of them a little better and that makes me appreciate more what they bring to their work. And what a range of personalities! I always find it amazing how this craft of hand knitting brings people of so many different backgrounds together. Well, it's just that worthy and just that intriguing and challenging. BNK certainly showcases that phenomenon.

4. This book is an affirmative statement that the internet is an effective way to bring folks together. No, there is still nothing like sitting with people in real time, getting acquainted the "old-fashioned way," but what a boon for us in this craft community to have blogs, Ravelry, Facebook, etc., to be able to expand that community in a way never before possible. BNK inspired me to pay more attention to my own blog and to keep investing my time in accessing all the incredible information out there at our fingertips. We are indeed fortunate.

Hey, Julie. You're really good at this type of journalistic endeavor. I'd love to read the results of your interviews with, let's say, Barbara G. Walker or Alice Starmore. Whatever Julie's plans for the future, I'm a follower. I can't wait to read more! Of course we can all read more on her blog until the next book or article comes out. Keep it up, Julie! And to the other 25 designers in BNK, I'm glad to know more about you! I hope we get a chance meet the "old-fashioned way" sometime.

4 comments:

La Rue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
La Rue said...

Wow, you make me want to go out and buy the book and I am in the throws of a renovation/move project and have no place to put said book. Later, when the dust settles.... Keep up the writing!!!

Keya said...

Did I miss the Off Kilter Mitts finale? I hope not. I am so looking forward to see everyone's entries!

Anonymous said...

I just bought a copy yesterday and really like reading about the designer/bloggers like yourself. Some I knew of, others I didn't. So , I hope to visit all the sites and learn more. I really like the theme of how Ravelry has become such an important on-line community.