Sunday, October 08, 2006

A tale of 2 books

that have nothing in common except they're both knitting books.

Knitting For Anarchists by Anna Zilboorg came out a few years ago. I borrowed the book from the library finally after being on a wait list for months. I hadn't heard or read much about this book but from what little I'd seen I though it was an attempt at updating Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears book. In a way it is - a new book urging knitters to know what they're doing so they don't need to be dependent on patterns. She doesn't say to stop using patterns, in fact she includes patterns for a couple of sweaters. While I agree with the idea of knowing what's happening in the knitting so you're not trapped in a pattern (especially if it's got errors), I didn't like the book. I got the feeling it was written by someone who didn't really care about knitting but was going to write about it anyway - which isn't the impression I got from reading her other books. It does have a lot of good information about knitting, especially recognizing twisted stitches and compensating for them. And the chapter on reading your knitting (which she refers to illiteracy - since there's no written patterns) is good. But the book as a whole was dry and unemotional. While I don't agree with everything in Knitting Without Tears either, there's a passion for knitting that comes through in Elizabeth Zimmermann's writing that's missing in Knitting for Anarchists.

Changing patterns - discovering the fabric of your creativity, by Daena Giardella and Wren Ross.
Another library book - and this one is going on my 'to buy' list. Very interesting and thought provoking. The book is divided in two - the first half by Daena Giardella talking about creativity. I've got over a dozen yellow sticky's sticking out of the pages of this book. The first one on page 5 marks these sentences:

When you make space for a regular creative practice, you exercise your brain, release stress, and increase your ability to meet life's challenges with flexibility, resourcefullnest, and confidence. ... [t]he four cornerstones of creativity [are] process, purporse, passion, and curiosity.

The second half by Wren Ross, takes knitting and relates it to creativity and life. You have start-itis (starting many projects and finishing few of them)? She explores how that might be part of your 'real' life. Personally, I like the PRINCE acronym - Project Resurrected Into a New Creative Endeavor - which comes after a project turns into one you can stand , a TOAD - Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust. So fairy tales do come true and you can turn a toad into a prince.


sopranospinner said...

I disagree that your books are unrelated. They are both about not being afraid to break the rules, whatever those rules happen to be. Have a great time!

Lillian said...

Good point, I hadn't thought of that (obviously {g})