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Book Review - Mason-Dixon Knitting

“Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, And Familiar Ones Too.”, written by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, is probably one of the most entertaining books I have ever read about knitting.

I got this book from the library with the intent of checking out the rug pattern and found myself sitting down and reading the entire book cover to cover. This book is filled with lots of patterns, pictures, illustrations, stories, tips and advice. There are patterns for things to wear, holiday and household items, including one rug pattern. As I read through the book, I actually found myself laughing out loud at times. On pure entertainment value, I give this book two thumbs up.

Now I have to admit, I’m not very good at knitting. Almost every project attempted has ended up looking like a triangle, but this book has inspired me to pick up some needles and give it a try again. Since I am not very good at knitting, I think the true test of this book is to give the colorful rug pattern called Kiki Mariko a try. The rug is knit using the Fair Isle knitting technique and bulky wool yarn. The pattern is short and easy to read – just one page, love that! The Fair Isle knitting technique requires that you knit two yarns at the same time using both hands to knit. Circular needles are used and the rug is knitted like a tube. The rug is felted, than you actually use scissors to cut the rug open and lay it out flat. (And it doesn’t unravel!) Let it dry and whip stitch around the edges.

Not quite ready to invest in another knitting project that I wasn’t sure if I could handle, I decided to use left over yarn from another project and do a test run. The result….I can knit and it didn’t look like a triangle! This book does a good job of explaining and illustrating the Fair Isle technique, but it still took me a few tries to figure it out. For anyone experienced in knitting, you will probably find this pattern quite easy. If you have never tried knitting, this probably wouldn’t be the pattern to start with.

If you like to knit and have been looking for a new rug pattern, I would encourage you to check out “Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines” at your local library. Don’t be surprised if you have to put your name on a waiting list for the book or decide that you like the book so much you want to purchase one for your home library.

I’m off to purchase some bulky wool yarn. I’ll keep you posted on my progress in the forum and would love to hear how your rug is going!

Buy Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too from Amazon.com

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