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Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too Hardcover – September 16, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Building on the success of their Web site and blog (masondixonknitting.com), Gardiner and Shayne wind their way through patterns for adults, children and homes, including patterns by other knitwear designers such as Bonne Marie Burns. Helpful and humorous sidebars discuss the pitfalls of the sweater coat (including bathrobe syndrome), the beauty of Shetland wool, how to make a stitch marker out of citrus peel or tin foil, and the Holy Crap moment, where a pattern breakthrough occurs. Gardiner and Shayne alternate personal anecdotes throughout, with an especially enjoyable piece by Shayne about participating in the Tennessee State Fair knitting contest. With pattern names like Stephen Colbert's socks and Golightly Kitchen Gloves, Gardiner and Shayne demonstrate that the secret of knitting is that the longer you knit, the more fun it gets. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Knitters fall into two categories: those who think knitting dishcloths is good use of precious knitting time, and those who don’t. Gardiner and Shayne, bloggers and authors of Mason-Dixon Knitting (2006) are among the former. In this second book, there are several patterns for household items, including one for a mop cover. But even knitters who scorn dishcloths will find plenty to like here. As fans of the duo know, much of the fun comes from their patter and from adherence to their number-one rule: “Knitting is spoze to be fun.” That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, and the authors don’t shy away from patterns that include Fair Isle and felting, but as they say, “We wouldn’t put it here if we thought you couldn’t do it.” Along with the patterns comes some sympathizing and plenty of down-home philosophizing. The range of projects is deep and wide, everything from sweaters for both adults and children, through Christmas stockings and tote bags, to towels. Fans have been waiting for this one. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Craft (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307381706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307381705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never thought they could equal their first book but they've certainly equaled it, maybe even exceeded it. There are many attractive patterns, things I want to knit. Here are some of the patterns in the book.

- A light and airy cardigan knitted with 2 skeins of Kidsilk Haze that is a very attractive coverup for a cardigan, a camisole or a party item. They say about it, "We have to keep samples of this under lock and key. Everyone who sees it wants it." This is sized from XS - XXL

- A very nice geometric shawl, called "Belinda" that when layered one on top of another gives a plaid effect. You can wear one at a time too.

- A gorgeous Coat in a stitch that gives a tweedy effect with a decorative pattern on the collar and sleeves. This is knit in Lamb's Pride Bulky and is sized from S - XXL.

- A classic coat done in a ribbed design, sized from S - XL.

- A leafy patterned, lined handbag knit from hemp.

- A beautiful, velvety scarf, with petal-like edges.

- The "daily sweater", a top down sweater that is a classy alternative to a sweatshirt. This is sized from XS - XXL.

- Several cabled sock patterns (I don't do socks)

- A sweater with a message, sized from XS - XL. This is a very elegant design, almost edwardian.

- Two very nice fair isle shawls

- A _BEAUTIFUL_ rug, knitted with Lamb's Pride Bulky. It is a geometric pattern, knitted in the round and then felted and steeked after you finish. It measures about 34" x 60" after you finish. This is on my short list to knit.

- A great denim sweater for children (sizes 4-6 thru 12-14). It is a mock wrap-around style. I only wish it came in adult sizes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was hard to rationally imagine how the authors could top their first book, but both are such talented writers that I was expecting another home run. And yes, this book does not disappoint! Other reviewers have done a great job running through the projects in the book -- suffice to say that although my stash already equals a good-sized yarn store, I will be adding more very soon. (Yarn is squishy. It will fit.) There are (in my opinion) some wicked clever things in here that I've never seen before, and if you saw the size of my knitting library, you'd realize that's saying something. Clever, and yet doable and enjoyable to knit whether you're a newbie or have been at it for decades, like I have. And the writing! Oh my. It's pretty good when a book that you buy for the projects makes you laugh at loud. The Mason Dixon ladies really seem to capture the spirit of why I knit -- it's not just about whipping sticks and string around to make a sweater or a blanket, it's also about connecting with our families, our tribes, our best and worst caregiving impulses, our individual vanities, strengths and foibles. There's good stuff in here.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book - The Curious Knitters' Guide. The authors' second book does not disappoint - it is filled with great patterns, offered up with humor and stories.

There are five chapters:
1. Decorating Yourself - fabulous patterns to wear including coats, sweaters, socks, scarves, and a purse
2. The Fairest Isle of All - Inspiration to try fair isle knitting with great patterns
3. Covering the Small Human - Obviously patterns for children
4. Occasional Knitting - Patterns include Christmas stockings to lanterns. Many different items to knit!
5. The Sophisticated Kitchen - The ballband dishcloth is back in a new form! Also other patterns like kitchen gloves . towels and potholders

I'll be reading this book and pouring over the many delightful patterns for quite a while. I'm motivated to go out today and start a new project!

If you are a previous Mason-Dixon fan, this book will live up to your expectations.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like Mason-Dixon wit and conversation, you may like this book. But not if you want carefully edited patterns without errors. It's time to let publishers know that expensive knitting books should be copy edited and proofread with great care. Before buying this book, sign on to the authors' web site and check the errata list. If the chit chat and the pretty pictures justify the price for you, fine. But if you do buy the book, why not email the publisher and enter a complaint about the error level. I returned this book because I thought it was a poor value. Not very many projects that appealed and the one I would have made had a huge omission in the instructions for the size I wanted to knit. Starting now, let's campaign to insist that publishers of knitting books give us our money's worth. Here's to error free instuctions!
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I really wondered if Ann and Kay could write another book as satisfying and engaging as their first, which spent as much time in my lap as a favorite grandchild. So I am both delighted and a bit astonished to find that this new book is at least equal to, and perhaps even much better than the first!

Ann and Kay have a way of making you feel like you're in your pajamas sitting next to them in their pajamas on the third floor of a creaky white-washed house by the seashore knitting in the wee hours after all the boring people have gone to bed, and in between sips of cocoa, you're laughing, learning, and happy as a child. They weave charm, humor, and comaraderie with wisdom and technical insights like no one else.

There are some designs in this lovely book that I predict will become legendary: The Mystery Sweater, which in itself is a stunning design, given in sizes from small to extra large, which I think would flatter anyone. The knitter chooses words to write around the bodice using chain stitch, for an effect that has literary value, yes, but which is also absolutely enticing to the eye, since the words are worked in the same color as the background, making them subtle and mysteriously decorative, yet fully readable. I'll bet this sweater will be worked in many different languages, by mathematicians writing favorite formulas, on and on - I can't wait to check it on Ravelry in about a year to see the thousands of variations. I wish I had time right now to start one myself.

There's a new dishcloth pattern which also made me want to stop everything and knit dishcloths . . .
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