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Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures Hardcover – March 28, 2006

147 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne are the rock stars of the knitting community--fans flock to their popular blog ( for a daily dose of knitting genius, tips, and humor. In their first book, Mason-Dixon Knitting, you'll find practical advice, instruction, and more than 30 incredible patterns. Want a taste? Check out the details below for making your very own Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. --Daphne Durham

Pattern Preview: Moderne Log Cabin Blanket

This lightweight blanket in a sophisticated wool/silk yarn proves that a log cabin can go to the Big City. There is no "center patch," and there are blocks of color instead of concentric strips. Drape it over a Barcelona chair, or your shoulders, and enjoy.

SIZE: 60" x 50" (150 cm x 124 cm)
MATERIALS: Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, [1.76 oz (50 g) balls, each approx 192 yds (176 m), wool/silk]
A: cream 4 balls
B: brown 5 balls
C: light purple 5 balls
D: dark purple 5 balls
Size 6 (4mm) needles
GAUGE: 22 sts + 44 rows = 4" (10 cm) in garter stitch.
Note: Throughout pattern, always pick up and bind off stitches on the RS. See entire pattern


"Mason-Dixon Knitting is one of those books that makes a home in the heart of knitters. Like a couple of favorite aunts ushering you into a sunny kitchen for tastes of cookie dough and the sharing of secrets, the authors comfort, inspire, amuse, and brighten the life of the lucky reader who steps into their world. I fell in love right away with the book’s colors, playful approach, and designs... Ann and Kay’s friendly repartee and wry senses of humor, genuine friendship, and the steady rhythm of cheerful and obsessive knitting interwoven with the pulsing music of family life make this a book to curl up on the couch with as well as to knit from." —Cat Bordhi, author of A Magical Treasury of Knitting
"Receiving a pre-publication review copy of this sparkling new book is one of the happiest things that's happened to me in good long while. To read Mason-Dixon Knitting is to find yourself surrounded by a world of smiles; it is to remember what's really important in this world (hint: it has to do with loved ones, home and joy); and, to discover some amazingly good, exciting knitting!" —Nancy Parsons, author and editor of

"When I heard that Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne were writing a book, I was intrigued. Gardiner and Shayne are the two voices behind Mason-Dixon Knitting, an ingenious blog based on the ongoing correspondence of two friends (they met in an online knitting forum, and one lives in New York while the other resides in Tennessee–hence Mason-Dixon). Their blog is a warm and welcoming place, and their creative endeavors never cease to inspire me. The book is slated for a late March release, but I got my hands on an early copy at TNNA last week. I tucked it in my bag and promptly forgot about it until later that night when I was back in my hotel room and getting ready for bed. Having already read the room-service menu not once but twice, I figured I'd let Kay and Ann put me to sleep. But they didn't. An hour later I was still wide awake, relishing every word and unable to believe the book could be this good." —, Clara Parkes

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft; 1St Edition edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307236056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307236050
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How about knitting a dragon panel for the back of a jeans jacket? Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne say "Yeehah! Go for it!" These designers have cooked up a knitting book that has patterns that roam far from the usual range. There are the practical--dishcloths and handtowels, the decorative (that applique panel for a denim jacket) and the just plain beautiful--a flax lace edging for a baby's traditional bassinet basket (the kind of cradle or baby bed that is a lined rush basket on a stand.)

Fun, simple project abound in this book. How about scribbles--scarves made of thick yarn and way-way thin yarn that when knitted in a stripe pattern, make a kind of floating scribble on a net of fine-gauge knitting. If you have a stash of lace yarn and some interesting novelty yarn, you have a fascinating scarf project just waiting for you. Or perhaps you would like to knit a camisole or nightie --a lace top with ribbon straps.

I found many things I wanted to knit in this book, like a bathmat in Peaches&Cream absorbent cotton, a flying geese blanket in colors like a raspberry sundae (it uses a log-cabin piece-knitting technique.) And then the fabulous "Nina" shawl that can be made loud and wild in coral, pink and black, or go completely multiple-personality with muted fuzzy yarn in the colors of a winter marshland.

There is LOTS to knit here, and the book goes from simple to moderately complex. So a beginning knitter could start on the dishcloths and scarves and graduate to intricate pieced blankets and lacework. This book is especially recommended if you like to knit gifts for people as there are many projects that beg to be made for a loved friend or relative. Highly recommended!!!
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Swede VINE VOICE on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you - like me - don't particularly care for log-cabin blankets or cowboy hats, you are STILL going to love this book! Both Ann and Kay are terrific writers, generous in giving credit to others, and their projects can be translated to any level of taste or price that you like.

Want your hand towels in Lion Brand - great! Dying to knit yours in a subtle Alchemy silk - have at it! From Smalltown to SoHo, you'll find original patterns that suit your home, and the folks you love.

I found the linen towels, knitted kimono (adult robe and baby sweater versions), and felted boxes irresistible!

It's rare that I splurge on a hard-bound knitting book, but this one is full of good writing and good ideas for new knitting projects. I'm sure I'll come back to it often just to enjoy the stories, or when I need inspiration for a lone skein of Euroflax.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By K. Hughes on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wow, wow, wow. I loved every picture, story, pattern. It is smart, funny, well written, different, real, but most of all so inspiring. I decided it is the perfect knitting book, because it is perfect to read while you knit. There is a lot here: really cool patterns, touching stories, funny stories, memories. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to drop everything and knit.

Plus, this is one beautiful book, sort of like a coffee table book. A REAL TREASURE!!!

Thank you Kay and Ann for such a treat. I am going to cast on for a rug today thanks to you!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By nanapama on April 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you can only afford to buy one knitting book this year, buy this book. This book is a perfect knitting confection filled with beautiful pictures, funny and heart warming stories, beautiful knitting designs and simple instructions. You will know the minute you open "Mason_Dixon Knitting" why I am so excited about this book. The minute you open it you will not be able to resist diving into your stash and cast on.

The simplicity of the designs make it perfect for knitters at every level. Who ever thought you could knit quilts. Brilliant! And that nightgown - stunning! The baby kimono, I going to make one for every baby I know! And I could go on and on.

Buy this book! It's a must have for every knitting library.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By L. Bixel on April 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I realize that the authors have a loyal following on their humorous knitting blog, but I'm not a regular reader. Thus, I can't be accused of blind blog fandom when I say that this is one of the most inspirational knitting book I have added to my library.

I read it cover to cover, and then mysteriously found myself itching to knit, of all things, cotton dish cloths! At the local yarn store sale last week, I purchased linen yarn for finger tip towels. Can a log cabin blanket be far away?

Buy this book if you are a fan of Melonie Faleck's "Weekend Knitting". You will find small, portable projects that will adorn your home, make great gifts, and satisfy you inner craving to finish things.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Legal Knitter VINE VOICE on March 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. LOVE it. It is clever, thoughtful, visually beautiful, emotionally honest. There are great patterns that you can carefully follow, but even better, inspiration flying out of (nearly) every page; I'm ready to go out tomorrow and start armfuls of new projects.

As a faithful reader of Kay and Ann's blog, I was pretty sure I would like the book, but I am blown away by what they've put together, and how special it is in the world of knitting books. Some of the best money I've ever spent!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Aara Suksi on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book will satisfy any knitter's need for addictive ideas, gorgeous photography, intelligent writing, twinkling wit and great doses of heart and soul.

You will keep going back to it because the ideas it has to offer are not the kind to be exhausted by a single project. The log cabin blanket alone can keep a knitter pondering its endless possibilities for months.

I love it.
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