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15 June 2014

Stitch and Bitch
Debbie Stoller
Workman Publishing New York
Publication Date
Crafts, Knitting


Join the movement! Four million strong and counting, hip, young chicks with sticks are putting a whole new spin on knitting--while turning last fall's Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook into a surprise national bestseller (from The New York Times to the L.A. Times to BookSense) with 215,000 copies in print. So influential is the book that the number of Stitch 'n Bitch knitting groups tripled in the past six months--spawning a Stitch 'n Bitch Nation.

Written by Stitch 'n Bitch author Debbie Stoller, Stitch 'n Bitch Nation features 50 hip, new, even funkier and more fabulous patterns by Stitch 'n Bitch designers, who come from San Francisco to Brooklyn, Chicago to Cambridge to St. Paul, Minnesota. The Om Yoga Mat Bag. Felted Monster Slippers. The London Calling Union Jack Sweater, because even punks get cold in winter. A Double-Duty Shrug. Polka Dot Tankini. That '70s Poncho. The Boob Tube. Spiderweb Capelet, Cabled Newsboy Cap, Chunky Baby Booties and Baby Bunny Hat. And the most ingenious project, a Knit-Your-Own Rock Star doll--with a choice of Joey Ramone or Henry Rollins. All designs are complete with full-color photographs and step-by-step instructions, and are made from sexy, contemporary yarns, including multicolored angora, alpaca, lace, and mohair. Includes the best tips, shortcuts, and techniques from Stitch 'n Bitchers, profiles of knitters and their groups, and a how-to refresher on all the stitches used in the book.

My Review

Strictly speaking, it's not stitching but knitting. Something different from me today - yes, knitting (and other needle crafts) is on of my other hobby - which I never seem to have enough time for any more. Yes, one day, when I retire :)

The book's title is already indicative that it tries to completely change the public perception that knitting is for grannies. As we know now (this book was published in 2004 - now 10 years ago) - it worked. Or at least I think it did. Knitting is hip again. 

The book has following contents:

Part 1 - I knit it may way
Explains how a knitting pattern works, how to change the yarn, sizing, gauge etc. Even though I'm an experienced knitter, I still struggle with sizing. This book helped me towards understanding it better certainly, to some extent, though some of it still goes over my head. One thing I really like is the language of the book - very easy to understand, not technical at all. In fact, it feels like you are chatting with a friend. 

Part 2 - The Patterns
This is the largest section in the book and covers 'scarves, hats and mittens', 'sweaters and ponchos', 'sexy summer knits', 'legs, bags and beyond', 'babies, dogs and cats' and 'gifts and more'. 
(I really hope you all wonder now what you could possibly knit for a cat :) 

Part 3 - The Knitty-Gritty
A refresher course. Covering the basics such as slip knot, cast on, knit and purl (English and Continental), binding off, increase, yarn over, knit two together, sewing seems, mattress stitch, picking up stitches, three needle bind-off, fringe, pom-pom, cables and fair isle (basic), simple crochet chain stitch. (not an exclusive list)

Part 4 - Resources
Yarn Stores and Suppliers, index, knitting notes (you can make your own notes here - very handy!)

My favourite part of the book was the first section where it explains the sizing and how to convert different yarns - basically an idiots guide and the second step once you know the basics of knitting. I also liked the fresh patterns. 

I would not recommend the book for a complete beginner. Though the basics are explained at the end, I think it would be good to get a 'Complete Beginners'  book first. But this book is ideal if you have trouble understanding changing the size, the yarn, the style. Also, if you want fresh patterns which are still easy - I did not knit all of them of course, but I think they all don't look to difficult. I think you will also enjoy the little bit of gossip from 'real knitters' dotted around the book. 

As this is an US publication, the yarn brands / yarn stores will be all US based, and there were quite a few I didn't know and struggled to convert to UK brands. I suppose you can put your yarn converting skills learned in Part 1 to good use straight away.