We’ve definitely crossed over that line at work — in case you had any lingering doubts. We are in BTS (back to school) with a vengeance.

Yesterday, a customer came up to check out with all black stuff — border, letters, probably a dozen black items. I asked her if she was going for a Goth look for her classroom. It struck me as a reasonable question, which says something about the level of fatigue I had reached or possibly about my blog-reading habits, and it gave her a good laugh. (Um, no — she was a ballet teacher. Her backgrounds were pink.)

We’ve gotten the announcements for the new fall knitting books — along with a hint that knitters like to start their holiday projects “months in advance,” so we had better get the books into the stores.

The Yarn Harlot has a new book coming out. Nicky Epstein, author of Knitting on the Edge, is following it up with Knitting Over the Edge. Stewart, Tabori, and Chang are bringing out a new holiday knitting book with gifts, decoration, and clothing. Alterknits combines knitting with quotes from Albert Einstein, always an appealing choice.

There are a couple of new crochet books that look interesting. One is for converting knit patterns to crochet — something that does not appeal to me at all, but would be helpful for crocheters who cannot knit. There is also a book on felted crochet. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought about that before. Crochet gives you a firmer fabric in the first place, and you also have more immediate direct control over the shape of your object. And yet, often we do not choose crochet for a project because the look or texture of the fabric is not quite what we’re after. Felting could solve that — I am definitely going to experiment with it.

I also saw a sample pattern from Compassionate Knitting, a book which promises to help knitters “connect with the basic goodness of the world.” This sort of thing leaves me cold, frankly, though it is obviously a new fad in the knitting world, to judge from the number of books promising us enlightenment with our knitting. But the sample pattern, a toddler outfit with shooting stars, is very cute. I’ll keep it in case I ever have grandchildren to make it for.

None of these books is on my personal booklust list. I am wishing for Poetry in Stitches, a hard-to-find book of Norwegian sweaters.

A little review may be called for here. I have been looking at knitting books in search of a perfect triangular shawl. I did not find one. I did buy Denim People, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, and Celtic Knits, none of which contains a shawl pattern, perfect or otherwise. I cannot defend this. Particularly in a month which requires so much in the way of tuition, school clothes, and stuff, three knitting books was way over the top. So I definitely will not be buying Poetry in Stitches. Family, you can club together and get it for me for Christmas.

I realize that I have not told you anything about the Handy Book. I think that is because it is strictly a utilitarian book. My grandmother had a leaflet which gave the stitch counts for every possible permutation of raglan sweaters in all kinds of sizes and weights of yarn.  You could make a chunky cardigan for a toddler or a laceweight pullover vest for a a grandfather or anything in between. This book purports to do the same thing for several styles of sweaters. I won’t know whether it delivers until I make a few sweaters from it. I can tell you this: if you buy knitting books for the gorgeous pictures of moody people in stunning garments, you won’t like this book.