There is a brief spell after you buy a new knitting book when you think that your collection is complete. The technical issue is covered, the lack in your stitch pattern collection is corrected, the sheer number of designs you would like to make is sufficient to last you forever. You can now make everything from tea cozies to piano bench cushions, socks to gloves, and you will never need another knitting book.
The spell is brief. I own a mere 32 knitting books (I have 47 cookbooks, for perspective). I have stitch pattern collections, American, British, and French. I have books on technique. I have Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmerman. I have baby collections, children’s knits, knitting books for children, sweater collections, and a couple (well, four if I count the ones I bought for my daughter) of hip-knit books. I have Dutch and German knitting magazines. It would be hard for me to say that I really needed any more knitting books.
But things change. Sometimes something really new comes along — like Viking Knitting. I had to have that book, and I love the things I have made from it. And felting — which rates only a brief historical note in Mary Thomas’s knitting compendium — is now all the rage, so I have to have at least one book on that. Can I be the only knitter on the planet who does not have a pattern for a cell-phone holder? Hardly! And sometimes a book is just so full of lovely patterns that you want it for no good reason except desire.
I now have my eye on Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection. I clearly must have this book because it continues the methods in Viking Knitting, my current favorite. And it has a lot of Fair Isle knitting, and I only have three or four books that discuss Fair Isle. Even just the pictures of people in vampire-like makeup and elaborate sweaters strolling moodily across the moors make this book well-nigh irresistible.
Okay, here is an example of the problem with blogs. Bloggers are only writing for ourselves, even though we let other people read our maunderings. We therefore do not have any fact-checkers to check up on us. Thus, we end up claiming that the dramatic figures wandering aimlessly through photographs are on the moors when, truth to tell, we have no idea what a moor is. I’m thinking Ms. Starmore is in Scotland, and I vaguely associate Scotland with moors, and I have faint memories of Heathcliff in torment wandering aimlessly across the moors — it’s been a long time since I read that — so I leap to the conclusion that they are on moors. For all I know, these goth girls and their ghostly dogs are in a field, or for that matter a tundra. Beach, hills, forest, and city about exhaust my direct geographic experience. Fortunately, I have a knitting blog rather than a political one, so I expect to get away with it.
So perhaps they are not on moors. The photographs are still gorgeous. The marvelous landscapes have clearly inspired the marvelous colors and textures of Starmore’s sweaters. And I am sure the models will cheer up once they find something to do. The guy who’s fishing seems cheerful enough.