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Books/Fiber/Knitting/How-To: Stitch ‘n Bitch, The Knitter’s Handbook

Filed under: Folkcat's Craft Library — folkcat at 9:27 pm on Friday, August 26, 2005

Title: Stitch ‘n Bitch, The Knitter’s Handbook
Author: Stoller, Debbie
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Copyright: 2003

Additional Category: Books/Fiber/Knitting/Patterns

Yes, it’s true – even though I’ve been knitting since the late 60’s, I own a copy of Stitch ‘N Bitch.

This book was so on the leading edge of the explosion of knitting as “hip” and “trendy” a couple years ago that – well, heck, it defined the edge. And yet, as an experienced knitter (“I was knitty when knitty wasn’t cool”), I still found that I could learn things from Stoller’s explanations.

The author has accomplished something that most knitters who set out to teach someone the craft never manage to do. She has noticed all the little things that we never think about in our knitting anymore, that can trip up a newbie knitter badly and make them give up. Like making sure when you turn your work, that you carry your yarn around the correct side of it, lest you wind up with something that looks like two stitches on the needle where there is only one. And she has illustrations for all these things, and she explains not just the differences but why things are different, and how to make it look like it should when it doesn’t.

Stoller’s own knitting is based on a long-standing family tradition, and she leads us into the knitting adventure by giving her own knitting history. It serves as a stepping-off point for understanding the place of knitting in women’s history, and how women in the post-feminist age are reclaiming it for their own.

Between the tutorials, and the anecdotes, and the knit-witty sidebars, this book is packed with good, solid, information. Add a hefty selection of patterns by multiple designers that range from cute, to trendy, to “hey wow, how’d you do that?” – with a good dose of the traditional basics – and Stitch ‘N Bitch becomes a real winner.

Recommended for any knitter, of any skill level. In fact, if for some reason you can only have one book in your knitting library, you wouldn’t go far wrong making it this one.

P.S.: Just for the record, the term “Stitch ‘N Bitch” has been around for decades. Among other uses, it has long been a traditional term applied by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism to any gathering of needleworkers, seamstresses, and tailors, especially if they’re female (though not exclusively). No one owns it, and anyone who claims they do is pulling your chain.

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