Saturday, June 10, 2006

Judging a Book by It's Cover

Is this a bad 70's porno film? The barechested, waxed down man on the bed? The bangs, the yellow (??), surely arylic yarn, the title, the author's name????? - Betsy HOSEGOOD (poor woman)???? All you need is that bad "bow chik a bow wow" music. No my friends, this book, which in it's description promises, "This glamorous and gifty book will inspire knitters everywhere to pick up their needles and join the fun. With real-life knitting stories, yarn shopping advice, a fresh look at knitting fashion and knitting testimonies from celebrities, this book is a must-have for anyone who loves to knit," will arrive in your local yarn stores in the fall. What celebrities? - a knitting testimonial from Anna Nicole Smith? Debbie Gets Her Knit on in Dallas?

In the last episode of Knitty D and the City, I threw out there that Norah Gaughan's new book, Knitting in Nature, was my favorite book of the year. Knitty D, not so gently, reminded me that the year isn't even half over. So, I decided to see what was coming up the pike. Our knitting, which seemed to have taken an intelligent, creative and sophisticated turn with Knitting in Nature and Inspired Cable Knits, is being set back not just decades but centuries -- what's this -
Never Knit Your Man a Sweater - unless you have the ring??? What is this - don't buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? According to this book, your knitting should fit your level of commitment, and it provides appropriate patterns for your stage in the relationship - the "Dinner Date Scarf, customized with the colors of his favorite sports team, doesn’t scare him with thoughts of commitment but does give him something warm he’ll be happy to wear to football games." "With Never Knit Your Man a Sweater Unless You’ve Got the Ring, Durant not only warns stitchers about appropriate project-to-relationship ratios, she offers 22 of the smartest patterns available for men’s clothing and accessories." Smartest patterns? From such a smart book? We'll see. Does she tell you when you should knit the pot - as in, the relationship has reached shit or get off the pot proportions? Too bad this book releases on December 30, 2006 -- just think of all of those relationships that will go down the toilet because someone incorrectly evaluated the project to relationship ratio at Christmas.

And then theres, "Naughty Needles - Sexy Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond." This book scares me - particularly that "beyond" part. I'm a fan of the Sexy Knitters Club - I think it's very empowering to knit something in which you're going to feel sexy, great. With that said, not everyone feels sexy in the same thing. Me, personally, I feel sexy when I'm comfortable, and that's usually a pair of worn jeans, and a well-loved sweater. I tend to stay away from the tight sweater which reveals a bit of a muffin top, a camisole in which my boobs will inevitably flop out of. And, knitted lingerie? When I throw on lingerie, it's about him, and what the friend with benefit likes, not necessarily what I feel sexy in. And, that's ok -- it pleases me to make him smile, and it only stays on for the beginning portion of the program anyway. So, why knit something that is meant to be removed,l thrown into a ball, tossed into the corner, to lie on my floor until my cleaning lady picks it up? Nah. And the knitted bathing suit? This is a disaster waiting to happen. And what's this beyond stuff? Beyond where? With whom? What are they talking about?

And with that said - I know sex sells -but why does it have to sell knitting? I love to knit because of the creative process, the finished garment, the addictive nature of feeling up fiber - I know I frequently make analogies to knitting and relationships, etc., but that's my life - I'm not trying to sell anything. And, what if that Don't Knit Until You Have the Ring book actually does have smart patterns for men's garments? - I'll be reluctant to purchase the book because of it's premise. And, suppose a guy, knitting for himself, wants to knit one of those smart patterns - is that the book he's going to buy? We need more patterns for men, but is this the way it has to be packaged?

I guess it's better than this package -- Knitting with Balls, featuring two oversized yarn balls and a hunter/gatherer-like bundle of weapon/needles. This cover seems to suggest, that, yes, not only can you knit despite having a penis, you can actually knit with your penis. I'm all for men knitting, if I find a straight man that knits, he's probably my soulmate - although cuddling on the couch might be difficult - but is this the "face" that we want to put on men's knitting - where is his face?? We all know what "head" this cover is focusing on -

And to make matters worse for men who knit - we have "Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them." What is that poor dog wearing? What does that guy have on his head? Would only a dog love a guy who knits? "It’s a stand-out-from-the-crowd collection that features strong, colorful, and masculine designs that will appeal to men of all companion items for their four-legged friends -- Imagine a quirky Rasta-inspired hat and a cool matching doggie jacket. Or a classic gray, cabled vest in merino wool and cashmere—one for him and one for Fido. " What is masculine about wearing matching clothes with your chiuaua???

There is hope for knitting in the fall - I'm banking on these two books saving us from the Bridget Jones syndrome which seems to be invading our knitting bookshelf. The first is Arctic Lace, which features projects inspired by Alaskan knitters, knitting in the oh-so-expensive Qiviut.

And, this book from Koigu, the Painter's Palette. I've never been a big fan of the pattern support for Koigu, but I one can always hope!!! Even if it sucks, I'll probaby buy it - now that's how to sell a book by it's cover!!


Dorothy said...

Wow! I actually have to censor my thoughts on these new books!
While I agree that publishers need to sell the craft as well as thebook, I don't think we are all so thoughtless as to be uh ... seduced with desperation, slutty titles and "flaming" pictures. I mean really, I like the idea of sexy knits, don't get me wrong, but how about knits that actually flatter real women. My husband took one look at the book of the "men's" books and said three words; pathetic, gay and queer. About sums up the top ones.

I look forward to thumbing through the last two.

KnittingJones said...

LMAO -- especially the Men with Balls quip!

Hysterical. And anyone who wears knitted underwear, or bathing suits, should be committed.

Pretty soon it'll be how to F&^* while knitting -- knit one, .... two...


Sherry W said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherry W said...

I do kind of like the 'pin up'cover of the sexy knits book.

I really hate the constant attempts to making knitting cool, to try to push it as 'young and modern'. First it was crazy yarns, then it was cool because movie stars did it, and then they started selling books using 'edgy' titles like 'bitch' and 'hooker'. Now it's sex, or the battle of the sexes.

It's sticks and string, the same as Grandma did. Patterns for knitted thongs, willie warmers, Chicken hats or ipod cozies isn't going to change what knitting is.

Kat said...

Wow, I am sitting here amazed at what can be published. I do know someone who is knitting a swim suit out of Classic Elite's Star - now I am not sure whether I think that is a stupid idea because she will actually look good in said suit, but I can assure you I would not knit that suit to wear! So I have "size envy" - but looking at those books, one would think that knitters are brainless twits! NOT! Wake up publishers - we knitters won't stand for your superficial opinions of us. We won't spend our money on just anything, nor will we sacrifice a member of our stash on something so beneath us. Thanks, Wendy for bringing this out of the proverbial closet! :-)

Donna said...

This is hilarious! I have also noticed an inordinate number of sweaters being photographed on models wearing no pants. Is this a related phenomena?

I'm glad Arctic Lace stands out from the pack.

Donna Druchunas