Review: Knitorama

Knitorama: 25 great & glam things to knit 9781840729863 by Rachael Matthews is a very quirky book. JQ should look at it (unfortunately, I don’t think there is a copy remotely close to her). It is written by one of the organizers of Cast Off, a London group that knits in public, with each meeting at a different place and time to expose more people to knitting.

The author states:

Organizing a knitting circle in public is relatively easy. You can’t really get in trouble for group knitting because you are “just knitting.” You can use the preconception that knitting is a harmless pastime practiced by old ladies to your advantage. You will always appear peaceful and non-threatening when you are knitting, so use this image to make the most of public spaces that you wouldn’t normally use. Some public spaces have terrible lighting. Cast Off members recommend wearing mining lamps, which consist of a lamp on an elastic headband.

You just gotta love a group that operates like this. When looking at the Cast Off site, I saw the project to try to cover a WWII tank with a pink blanket as an anti-war protest in Denmark. I may need to send in a square (and TH says I may need to teach him to knit).

The book begins with basic instructions. They are not as thorough as in many books, covering a lot of techniques very quickly. Many photos in the book are superimposed on 1950s and 1960s interiors, adding to the book’s campiness. Most of the patterns are far from practical—the duster glove and the apple cover (which I could use because my afternoon snack can get a bit banged up on the walk to work), fried egg ear muffs and the shoe laces are some of the more useful items. Many of the patterns are for food, such as Battenberg cakes, ham and cheese sandwiches, a glass of stout etc. The knit turtleneck and vest for the hot water bottle is probably the only thing I am tempted to make. Although if DJ actually got TV reception, she might appreciate the bad TV hand grenade.

I do need to share a bit of the commentary on the garter: “We were discussing what a garter is for because you usually have just one, so it’s technically not for holding up stockings. So apart from being beautiful, we suggest you use it for all sorts of things like holding shopping lists…”

While this isn’t a book I want to own or would even use, I really enjoyed reading it and it got me thinking about knitting in some different ways.

Rating: 3


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