The Knitter's Life List: To Do, To Know, To Explore, To Make
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90 of 90 people found the following review helpful
This is not a collection of patterns so if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. The idea of the book is that it provides checklists for all the varied and fascinating things that there are to explore in the world fo knitting.

There are lists for yarns to experiment with, cables to learn, color knitting to conquer, socks, hats, scarves and so much more. Each list includes techniques and designs that the average knitter may not have tried yet. There are suggestions for designers whose patterns may add a real kick to your knitting and yarns that can make all the difference.

I've been knitting for over two decades and this is the kind of book that can make knitting an exciting challenge all over again. The first section devoted to yarns drew me in hook, line and sinker! Who knew that the different breed of goats and sheep would make a difference in whether the yarn is better for hats or sweaters or even rugs!?

I love that the first chapter also includes a clear list and information on yarn mills and spinners based in the United States. There is also a section on knitting for charity, recycling yarn, visiting fiber festivals and so much more. There are gems scattered throughout this book and it will keep you coming back for more.

Be warned though. there are no patterns to be had in this book. This is not what it is about. The whole idea is to immerse yourself in the world of knitting, the love of yarn and the challenge of learning something new about a craft you may already be practicing for years or might have just picked up yesterday.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Are you one of those knitters that knit for a time and then put your yarns and needles aside for a while until something new or vintage sparks your interest? Is one of your pass times searching the internet for new ideas, fibers and new techniques.
Whatever it is that makes you pick your needles up again this book will be that inspiration. If you watch old movies before people had TV's you may see someone peacefully sitting by the fire knitting something to wear or to give as a gift. The allure is most likely a combination of some or all of these. We as knitters are always looking for the new and stunning knits that we see on the run ways during fashion week. Gwen interviews many well-known knitters and you will come away knowing each and their unique designs.
Some reviewers are calling this book the "Knitters Bucket List" everything in this book is related in some way to knitting. There are eleven chapters in this book and each chapter is dedicated to a certain knit item. This book has a resource list of books, magazines, and websites to help you along your way. These resources will allow you to dream of projects you have never thought of trying. There are lists that you can highlight what you would like to try and an area where you can add to the list. This book offers up a little history of fibers and garments made from these fibers. There is a little on "which came first, the sock or the shoe?" You will learn about famous people in history that were knitters and knitting for causes, like the soldiers that needed socks.
Gwen introduces you to fiber experts and fiber artists who have contributed their talents to this book. Find out the Who's Who in This Community of Knitting Experts. For information about their books and Internet activities' listed in the resource areas. This book is not a pattern book it is a book filled with stunning pictures and timely information on every area of knitting. There is a list of patterns for designs shown in the book, see pages 309-311. Gwen covers all things fiber and how to use each.
"From the book" HOW TO USE THE LIFE LISTS
At the beginning of each chapter, you'll find a "life list" suggested by the topics covered in that chapter. They are roughly organized by the themes, such as Meet, Discover, Do/Try, Learn, Go, Experience -- plus sometimes some for Extra Credit (just to keep you on your toes). Gwen hopes these lists will inspire you to jot down more ideas for things you want to learn and explore, as well as places to go, books to read, and patterns to try, so that this book truly becomes your own Knitter's Life List.
Gwen W. Steege has been a fiber fanatic for nearly 50 years, and she hasn't tired yet of spending late nights with her knitting needles and a good ball of yarn, sometimes spun from the fleece of her own sheep. By day, she is an editor who has worked on dozens of books about knitting and other fiber crafts. She lives in western Massachusetts.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
I am always looking for something different in a knitting book because I have so many. This one is different and I love it. The lists are a blast. I have learned quite a few things from the book. It is fun and it gives me new things to explore. I am not a new knitter so I think this book would be appreciated by new and seasoned knitters alike.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
This book was on my CHRISTmas wish list and my daugther surprised me with it. I own close to a hundred knitting books and this is one of the most interesting ones yet!! There is a LOT to read in it for educating yourself and for pure enjoyment. It is NOT a book with patterns in it. So if you want a pattern book this one is NOT for you. If you want a book that will encourage you to learn more about knitting and hundreds of suggestions of how to "grow" as a knitter and be entertained while doing so...then this is for you. I own a few knitting books on techniques and yet this one is so differnet from them. I rate it a TEN. I do highly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2012
This was a Christma gift and it has really been fun, since I've been knitting for 40+ years it was great to just go through and see which projects, or techniques or yarn I have already tried. I think the biggest kick I got out of it was when the author suggested you view a "sheep to shawl exhibit" (sherring, carding, spinning, knitting) and I knew I had already done so--thirty years ago. I was in the exhibit as the spinning part.
Although this is not a pattern book of any sort, it does put out a lot of ideas. It's fun to just pick up for a few minutes and in general it's great for keeping you interested in knitting. I think I'm adding Knitter's Life List to my Bucket List.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
Have you ever been to an expo or public show held in some cavernous building with the latest-and-greatest products and recommendations for improving or expanding your knowledge of gardening/home improvement/golf/wine/______ (fill in the blank)? I love those things! I find myself dashing from display to display, taking notes, and seeing new stuff. I usually come away from them really energized and full of ideas, ready to try something new. Gwen Steege's Knitter's Life List is a fiber expo in a book (without the yarn fondling and coveting, of course!)

The basic premise of the Life List is that, as a knitter, there is so much more to knitting than just some pointy sticks and some yarn; expanding on that thought, each chapter is devoted to a single topic such as "Gloves and Mittens" or "Sweaters" (of course), and "Fiber Lovers". It's what she's done within each chapter, however, that made it so expo-like for me; each chapter contains some combination of categories like "Meet", "Do/Try", "Go", and "Explore". Each "Meet" article, for example, contains a profile and interview of an author or expert of note that relates to the topic at hand, like Meg Swanson or Kaffe Fassett.

This is not a "How to" book - this is better! This is an idea book. The author provides enough information to actually perform many of the techniques (like knitting backwards or how to save thumb stitches in a mitten), but provides only a basic understanding of some topics that are too big to cover in an "expo" writing style, like dyeing and spinning. I also appreciated the list of knitter's acronyms because I now know that I am a proud STABLE owner (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy)! I would recommend to anyone reading this book that they do so with a computer and a package of post-it notes close at hand to capture your thoughts, write down things to investigate, add websites to your "Favorites" list to explore in the future, or look up words that may be new to you (like "suint"). Not only will they be helpful references, they will become the basis of your own Knitter's Life List!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
The Knitter's Life List by Gwen W. Steege is chock-a-block full of just about everything `fiber' you could ever aspire to learn, try, or explore. I dare say there is not a fiber artist on the planet who has tackled everything listed here.

Gwen W. Steege is veteran fiberista with more than 50 years of experience in the fiber arts. She is the creator of those awesome fun shaped knitting books Knit Hats!, Knit Stockings, a pair of knit baby books, (and I think I saw a cookie cookbook in there too - so right there she is okay in my book. LOL)

The book is broken up into eleven chapters. Each chapter focuses on a different knit item - like socks, or sweaters. Each chapter starts with a list some are quite lengthy (the sweater list alone would probably take me a lifetime). Each list is broken down into fibery fun to do, to know, to explore, and to make. Still with me? This list only occupies a few pages. The bulk of the book is crammed with trivia, interviews, lovely photos, and gobs and gobs of new things to try.

My only complaint - and I admit that I am reaching a bit - is the volume of interviews with the same fiber goddesses (and gods). I really don't know how else she could have possibly organized the book to put all the interviews from Cat Bordhi, for example, on one page without disrupting the overall flow of the book. It's a lace weight squabble that may have gone unnoticed if I had not read the entire book in one go.

This is not a `pattern' book. This is an armchair travelers guide through the universe of the fiber artist. This book will guide you through everything wonderful and mysterious in the world of fiber. It's not so much a picture book - but there are plenty enough brilliant images to keep the pages turning. Including the list at the beginning of each chapter allowed me to skim and get an idea of where the chapter was headed. Be warned - don't skip a chapter just because you think you have `done it all'. Tons of tasty tidbits lurk on every page.

Empowerment, learning the history, and growing upon it are what I took away from this book. There is a constant push to work outside your comfort zone, make mistakes, and make your fiber art your own. Benchmark projects , like a bohus sweater, feel more like an attainable badge of honor after reading the history. All this rolled into a very forward thinking voice that gets me all a twitter for where the fiber community will go next.

This would be a perfect book for just about any knitter. Really. This is the grand-daddy life plan of all things fiber. Everything from knitting a scarf to herding sheep on the Shetland Isles is mentioned here. And after reading this book you will be confident enough to do it. (if you want too)
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who knows me, CraftLit, or What Would Madame Defarge Knit? knows that I enjoy things that live between the lines--that aren't easily pigeon-holed. Ms. Steege's book, therefore, makes me very happy.
I enjoy the eclectic nature of the profiles which range from camelids to designers, farms to fabric, and all the while conveys a gentle good humor and love of our crafts.
Anyone who loves to learn and loves all things soft and warm will find themselves smiling through this new book. It is, indeed, a knitter's list of things that fill our lives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I wish I had had this volume when I was a young knitter. It is crammed full of things to make, animals to see, places to visit and buy yarn, techniques to try, designers and their philosophies of knitting. Every time I pick it up for a minute I learn something new.

Thank you, Gwen! You've provided a valuable and fun resource!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
I received this book as a gift from a knitting friend. I liked it so much that I bought it as a gift for another knitting friend. It's a different concept for a knitting book. Full of knitting information and inspiration, this is a great choice for any knitter no matter how experienced they are.
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