Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Knits for Nerds

Full Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Take a look at what's out today, everyone! Toni Carr's Knits for Nerds was published today, and never, in my life, have I regretted being a crappy knitter before.

Until today.

The first thing I noticed was from the introduction--all the pictures were taken at NEIL GAIMAN'S HOUSE.

I can has?

There are only five patterns labeled "Easy" out of the 30+ patterns in the book, three of which are scarves--but really cool scarves. One is an easier version of the classic Dr. Who scarf:--basically this, but skinnier (and perhaps a little shorter). Unfortunately for me (but fortunate for all those who are more skilled knitters out there), there are some truly awesome patterns in here.

If I'm going through what I desperately want to add a +5 modifier to my knitting skill for, the number one thing is Carr's "Aim to Misbehave Brown Jacket." It's gorgeous, and I want it! Based on Firefly's Browncoat pattern, I couldn't help but think that River Tam would have had a Browncoat in this pattern. And as long as I'm on the Firefly themed patterns, the cunning scarf (one of the easy patterns) and the cunning socks might go well with the Jayne hat I crocheted for my brother-in-law a few years ago. Yeah. You know you want one (and knit patterns for the hat can be found all over the internet).

Other beautiful things I loved? The "Secret Beaded Bag." Done in purple tweedy yarn and embellished with some really pretty beads, it's inspired by Herminone Granger's Bag of Holding from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The "Light of Earendil" shrug is delicate and beautiful, and way beyond my skill level. It features a leaf pattern and beading, and makes me wish I was the kind of English teacher who could get away with the ethereal kind of clothing (all I can get away with is my tie-dyed skirt). One particular strength of this collection is the number of bags--including a laptop bag which can be spread out to make a chessboard.

My enthusiasm for these patterns not withstanding, there are a few bombs, which one would expect. The Princess hats (all based on Star Wars hairstyles) are a bit silly (though I can definitely see how "Padme's Battle Cape" would work for roller girls), and the Catwoman hat is patently ridiculous. And to be honest, I wasn't much of a fan of many of the patterns in the third section of the book that dealt with comics and manga, but that's more of a style thing on my part than a reflection on the patterns. Also, the sci-fi trivia used to fill in blank spaces at the ends of patterns is a bit hokey--if you've bought this book, you know the answers to these questions.

There is a fairly good how-to section at the back of the book to assist those novice knitters, like myself. Now if I can just get to where my purling doesn't look like a cat has taken its claws to my yarn.....

Overall, there is more good than bad in this book, and the "Aim to Misbehave Brown Jacket" is worth the price of admission alone. If you're a geek crafter, this is definitely a book for you. Grade: A-

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