Confessions of a Knitting Heretic

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Confessions of a Knitting Heretic [Spiral-bound]

Annie Modesitt
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


A gold mine, chock-full of information presented with style, wit & humor. A great addition to your library! -- Wendyknits Knitting Blog, May 2004

Assuming her readers are intelligent, Annie doesn't dumb down her instructions ... a subtle, refreshing difference that left me totally engaged -- Knitters Review, May 2004

I enjoyed the essays & was happy to see the 'I-Bobble' - at last a good looking knit-side bobble! -- Anna Zilboorg, Author, Knitting for Anarchists

From the Publisher

This is a self published book. After shopping the idea around to several knitting and craft publishing houses, I found that they felt there was no market for this book.

In it's first 10 weeks it has sold more than 2,000 copies, which is amazing for any knitting book, let alone a self published one.

It is true that the quality of this book is not the glossy, coffee table book standard. The pages are printed in black and white and a few of them could be clearer.

Having said that, I find that many of my customers are returning to purchase extra copies for sisters, friends, cousins - folks they want to sway toward the heretical thought that There Is NO Wrong Way To Knit!

From the Author

I've poured a lot of myself into this book - my hope is that reading the book will be the next best thing to taking a workshop (or five) with me.

My personality fills the pages along with my own personal favorite techniques and tips to make your knitting more satisfying.

We all knit for various reasons, but we want to be happy with our knitting. I think we can be happy with ourselves, too - and that self-contentment can be tightly woven into our knitting.

From the Inside Flap

You are not
knitting wrong.

You knit better
than you imagine.

You can knit
more beautifully
than you ever

The only thing
stopping your hands
is your mind.

Become a heretic,
embrace the freedom
of the knitting

Join us...

About the Author

A self taught knitter who began writing for Vogue Knitting the year she started knitting, Annie soon discovered that although her knitting style was fast, efficient and created a beautiful fabric, it was "wrong"

After leaving the knitting world for 10 years (during which time she worked as a milliner on Broadway and on the Martha Stewart television program) Annie returned to knitting in 2000 - once again designing and writing.

Her work has appeared in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knitters Magazine, Cast On and other major knitting magazines as well as in the books "Stitch & Bitch" and "Weekend Knitting"

Annie currently designs and teaches knitters to comprehend how and why their stitches are doing what they're doing.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Why Knit?

My mother never knit. Her mother had been a tremendous knitter, and her grandmother had been a rather well known knitter in the West Virginia hamlet where she was raised in the mid 19th Century.

But my mother never felt the need to knit, and thus I was not taught to knit as a child. I once asked my mother, "Didn’t you ever want to knit a sweater or pair of socks as you were growing up?"

Her practical answer, "Why knit a sweater when I could buy one for $3.00? It just seemed like too much work!" Mass produced machine knit sweaters are cheaper - and certainly easier to come by.

I was reminded of this when a friend confessed to me that she was considering artificial insemination to achieve a lifelong dream of motherhood. Astounded at the relative ease with which one could become pregnant "by proxy" she exclaimed, tongue in cheek, "It’s so practical - you can kiss all the heartache of dating goodbye! I can’t believe everyone doesn’t get pregnant this way!" It made me think of my mother’s comment about how much easier it is to just buy a mass produced sweater. Easier, yes, but not as much fun!

And then there’s love...

I knit as much for the love of the process - for the rhythm and color and joy of the fiber - as I do for the finished product. I enjoy the sensual pleasures of the yarn - the colors, textures, the smell of the wool, the feel of the silk. I enjoy knitting on so many levels that at times it seems positively indecent.

All knitters have this spark of passion in them, and I believe that a knitter grows in skill as they allow their passion to grow.

Enlarging Our Knitting Soul

Everything we do should enlarge ourselves as humans. All tasks we undertake should help us understand more of our selves and our souls. Knitting is beautifully suited as a method of self-evaluation and improvement. Parallels between the stumbling blocks in our life and the snags in our knitting are numerous. Quite often by making a connection between the two, using problem solving skills acquired in knitting, we can devise creative approaches to predicaments in our lives.

The reverse is true, too. Assigning personality quirks to my knitting gives me a new way to approach a recalcitrant cable or an unhappy cast on. I confess that I’ve always thought of my stitches as a row of pregnant friends, all gossiping and laughing together on the needle.

One by one a new stitch - a "baby" is brought out of the old stitch to create a new generation on the opposite needle. As soon as the new stitch is created it contains in its’ loop the possibility of creating new "life" - a new stitch. And the old stitch, the "mommy", is dropped off the needle to go take a much needed nap.

This is a very physical reminder to me that those who have gone on before us create the fabric of our lives.

When I intentionally drop stitches down several rows to create a laddered design element I quite often feel that I’m exploring my knit swatch’s "geneology" - moving through the generations of rows on my needles. When I twist stitches or cable I think of it as a little visit of some of my stitches to their cousins, who they seldom get to see.

When the stitches begin talking back to me, though, I put the knitting down and take a walk.

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