Sweater Quest

Sweater Quest[Read] ➲ Sweater Quest By Adrienne Martini – Oaklandjobs.co.uk I knit so I don’t kill people —bumper sticker spotted at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival For Adrienne Martini and countless others knitting is the linchpin of sanity As a working mother of two M I knit so I don’t kill people —bumper sticker spotted at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival For Adrienne Martini and countless others knitting is the linchpin of sanity As a working mother of two Martini wanted a challenge that would make her feel in charge So she decided to make the Holy Grail of sweaters—her own Mary Tudor whose mind numbingly gorgeous pattern is so complicated to knit that its mere mention can hush a roomful of experienced knitters Created by reclusive designer Alice Star the Mary Tudor can be found only in a rare out of print book of Fair Isle–style patterns Tudor Roses and reuires a discontinued irreplaceable yarn The sweater Martini explains is a knitter’s Mount Everest our curse and our compulsion I want one than I can begin to tell you And so she took on the challenge one year two needles and countless knits and purls to conuer Mary Tudor while also taking care of her two kids two cats two jobs and thankfully one husband—without unraveling in the process Along the way Adrienne investigates the tangled origins of the coveted pattern inuires into the nature of artistic creation and details her uest to buy supplies on the knitting black market As she tries not to pull out her hair along with rows gone wrong Martini gets guidance from some knitterati who offer invaluable inspiration as she conuers her fear of Fair Isle A wooly Julie and Julia this epic yarn celebrates the profound joys of creating—and aspiring to—remarkable achievements. I really do like books about people immersing themselves in a project for a period of time and I really do like knitting but this particular book was only just okayThe author decides that she wants to make a complicated Fair Isle sweater and gives herself a year to do so Along the way she explores topics such as the history of Fair Isle knitting the pattern's controversial designer Alice Star copyright issues the yarn she chooses and the pattern's namesake Mary Tudor There are some a funny thing happened to me on the way to the yarn store type of anecdotes but I think I was expecting of them I wanted to hear about what the process was like for her Why really did she choose this particular pattern out of all the possible choices especially when she is so clearly conflicted about the designer? What was it like when she dared to first open the pattern book that she had paid so much for? What was going through her mind? How did she feel after making her first steek? Martini seems to take us to the edge of these moments and builds up anticipation but then things kind of fizzle The ending is rather unceremoniousMuch of the book details the author's meetings with prominent knitters in which she discussed how they learned to knit their philosophies about knitting and what role they think the internet plays on the knitting community These sections though contained not brief uotes but extended transcripts Rather than using others' ideas as a context for her own self reflection she seemed to instead use them as the foundation for a huge section of the book Even the early sections in which she provides historical background are largely lifted with attribution I don't mean to imply plagarism from these other knitters' books and blogs While having these insights from others was interesting it wasn't anything that a reader familiar with the blogosphere of the knitting glitterati wouldn't already know She kept asking people about whether they thought that her end product would be an authentic Star since she used some yarn substitutions This seemed rather forced to me especially after Martini pointed out that she watched a video in which Star herself encouraged knitters to play around with different color schemes And after all that Martini did not really answer her own uestion Surprisingly the one person she didn't interview was Star It made no sense to me at all that she not at least try Maybe she did and was rebuffed which would explain a lot of her sentiments but there wasn't any reference to her efforts There were instances in which Martini's personal voice sounded a bit underdeveloped she uses the turn of phrase siren call 3 times and reminds us twice that Fair Isle is binary but I did enjoy it most of the time and I wish she had used it An additional problem with the book is that Martini seems uncertain about her audience I frankly would be surprised if someone who was not already a knitter or maybe a crocheter would be interested in the book and yet she explains in some minute detail about the difference between a knit and a purl stitch At other times she assumes a facile understanding of inside information that only a knitter would have She also injects a fair amount of political commentary into the book While I don't disagree with her politics I don't see how it relates to her topic Ironically she said even in a situation full of other lovers of knitting I have a knack for saying the wrong thing and relates a story about how she started an unpleasant argument about politics in her knitting group She does not seem to have remembered that lessonThis book read a lot like a blogexcept that there were no pictures Not one which was really disappointing I had to go to Ravelry to find her finished sweater In short it was entertaining but not my favorite knitting book Adrienne Martini's knitting assignment to herself knit a sweater designed by noted Fair Isle color genius Alice Star is my own greatest knitting ambition so I was curious to read about her experience Unfortunately the book doesn't uite hang together Unsure of its audience it alternates between explaining basic knitting concepts for the uninitiated and assuming knowledge of techniues popular patterns and insider jargon Trying to avoid an overly narrow focus on the process of making the sweater itself Martini includes background on Star and her legendary conflicts with the knitting community; Mary Tudor the English monarch for whom her chosen pattern is named; and interviews with celebrated figures in the contemporary knitting world in which she prompts the speakers to offer their philosophies of knitting which unfortunately wear as thin in spots as a pair of 100% merino handmade socks I love to knit and I too muse on what the appeal isbut to take the whole thing too seriously as a spiritual enterprise is to invite both yawns and mockery and knitters already get enough of both By the second half the book starts to feel a bit embarrassingly like navel gazing by 30 something women with nothing to do but travel the country buying expensive yarn The costs detailed at the beginning of each chapter aren't comic after awhile they start to feel like a rather appalling testament to self indulgence especially in the middle of a global financial crisis Unlike the reviewers here who found the book political I wondered where these knitters' attention was to anything beyond the end of their own Addi Turbo needlesMeanwhile the Star sweater itself fades from view perhaps because Martini discovers it is easier to knit than she'd anticipated She admits even to finding it boring such that the element of suspense can she do it? will it look right? will it fit? dissolves Her confession at the end that she's sick of the whole project and doesn't care that it doesn't fit seems to go for the book as wellOn a final nitpicky note for the publisher The cover design bothered me If one knows enough about knitting to be interested in a whole book about completing an Alice Star sweater one knows that a Star wouldn't be made from the garish worsted weight skeins pictured on the front Why doesn't this cover show an elaborate tapestry like fingering weight Fair Isle in progress on needles? Even for the uninitiated that would offer a much dramatic and beautiful sense of what's at stake Not really enjoying this so far The author is trying way too hard to be funny I have my own Alice Star pattern obsession St Brigid and I've been following the Star saga on the Girl from Auntie's blog for a while but this book is not grabbing me Still it will do for the 10 minutes of reading before I fall asleepOkay now I'm finished Wow that was not a good book It didn't know what it was trying to be a memoir a series of interviews with the knitterati a series of essays Certainly it wasn't about the process of making Mary Tudor which sounds mostly like it was tedious so maybe she didn't have as much material as she thought she'd have And at the end she was obviously trying to meet a deadline and was just trying to wrap it up in as few words as possible I got the impression that she was sick of both the project and the book halfway through but was stuck with both How is this woman a professional writer?The most interesting bit was how the Harlot got her start This book had a similar problem to Julie and Julia where the subject of obsession the knitterati Julia Child was way interesting than the author and her story I can't imagine recommending this book to anyone knitter or non knitter The cult of personality in the knitting community since the early 2000's is one I've long had a hard time understanding Mainly for the reasons that I am old and also that I came to knitting through the portal of sewing a clothing construction craft that does not rely on such a microcosm of celebrity personalities As seamstresses we work to make clothes that please fit and satisfy us or those we sew for Period I have never needed or desired a name brand designer behind a pattern to enjoy the things I make with my hands I have never given a second thought to whether or not the person who wrote a sewing pattern would approve of my choices execution or finished results using their pattern The products from my hand belong to me and I would never think of my dresses as a Butterick or a Vogue so once I took up knitting I also never thought of my knitting as in any way belonging to the person who wrote the instructions for a pattern I hardly ever follow the directions completely to me alterations and customizations are the very reason we undertake the art of bespoke clothing And before the internet there would have been no way of a designer seeing anything I made or wore anyway my work couldn't have possibly made any difference to themSo as you might imagine a book about a knitter in pursuit of the ideal Alice Star asking of one knitworld celebrity after another When does an Alice Star project made after a pattern stop being an Alice Star? is a bit at odds with my philosophy of making things I find the very uestion illogical And when one is starting without the assumption that the designer somehow owns all things knitted following herhis pattern all other points and ponderings become illogical too She compares choosing your own colors of yarn to changing the colors in a Matisse whereas I would say if you're comparing knitting to painting nothing you do from your own hand in paint is ever ever going to make your painting a real Matisse no matter how closely you copy his colors The fact that you might look at Matisse's work and work with Matisse's subjects doesn't mean your painting belongs to him If that's what you want you have to buy a MatisseThis book also clings to the cult of personality in the author's construction of it as she travels from place to place to interview various designers and name brand knitters and get their input to her uestion Unless you already know and recognize these folks it's a bit hard to care It's very blogger with a book deal that literary genre of the early 21st century that's already as dated in writing style as a drop sleeve fair isle sweater is in fashion Part stories of the knitting process part stories of the author's family and social life part investigation of the history of knitting traditions specific designs or the feud around one specific designerall of those things make good blog posts But bound together in one book these tales don't make for good literature This isn't a book that has aged well even four years from publication A really good meditation on the craft of knitting could transcend its moment and provide insight to knitters working in any tradition and be as timeless as the practice itself One thing I do agree with Adrienne Martini absolutely on however Sleeves leech away your will to live I'm going to write a book My Year of Reading Books about People Spending a Year Doing Something Catchy title right?Update if I write that book I probably won't include this one It didn't uite work The writer couldn't decide if she was writing purely for an audience of knitters the only people who would be remotely interested in this book or if she was trying to explain knitters to non knitters So there were lots of knitterly references interspersed with detailed descriptions of knitting terms So half the book feels like it is for one audience half for another But I don't think either would be uite satisfied I think the author actually hits on the problem when she interviews the Yarn Harlot They decide that the key to the success of the Harlot's books about knitting is that they aren't really about that They are about people through the prism of knitting This book was all about the knitting so I think it fell flat I think I would enjoy hanging out and talking knitting with the author And I think I'll check out her blog because her style seems really well suited for that format and I'd bet I would enjoy it But I'm going to leave this one out of my book It seems like such a silly idea A memoir about knitting a sweater? But like Stephanie Pearl McPhee who makes an appearance Martini isn't really writing about knitting She's writing about knitters Mostly just one knitterOver the course a year Martini sets out to complete a sweater known as Mary Tudor As she tackles the challenges of acuiring an out of print pattern and substituting for out of production yarns no small feat for a project in which color is key as well as stranded colorwork and steeking she gathers together details about the designer Alice Star She explores why knitters are so attracted to Star's famously difficult to obtain and difficult to knit patterns and how far they can stray from the designer's vision yet still remain faithful to the projectMartini travels to Rhinebeck Nashville and Toronto to interview bloggers well known to knitters around the world The history of Tudor Roses and the Alice Star brand intertwine with the history of knitting in the Shetland Isles and North America and the life one particular American woman in the early twenty first century Witty and self deprecating Martini doesn't hesitate to share her liberal leanings or drop the occasional curse word Her writing style is clean and sharp a pleasure to read She's clearly aware of the absurdity of her uest which just makes it all the enjoyable Had I not discovered knitting I would not be the paragon of sanity that I am todaySo begins Adrienne Martini's Sweater uest My Year of Knitting Dangerously She tells us that after the birth of her first child she experienced postnatal depression so severely she needed to be hospitalised During that time she discovered knitting and long after she stopped taking the drugs she needed to get well knitting stuck with her She had a second child less eventfully this time and kept knitting using knitting to help her get through the long nights and sleep deprived daysHowever after raising her kids for a few years Adrienne gets bored The tedium of everyday life means an entire year has passed her by without anything interesting happening This for obvious reasons sucks so Adrienne decides to set herself a goal of knitting an Alice Star sweater in one year and chronicling her journey in what became this bookI was uite disappointed with this book Martini has a really engaging tone and at time her discursive excursions into parts of knitting history like the history of fair isle were really engaging However the book just didn't know what it wanted to be It wasn't really a knitting book because there's very little about the actual knitting of the sweater There are also these really odd uite patronising sections in which basic knitting concepts are explained in detail remember circular knitting makes a tube but an understanding of the online knitting community is expected It was a project that Martini obviously needed because some sense of excitement or purpose was missing from her life but it's not a memoir because Martini never tells us much about her everyday life What we're left with is a journal of Martini's travels to visit famous knitters and basically transcripts of the conversations she had with them which I'm sure was super interesting for her but for the reader not so much There's so much missing information in the storyline why Alice Star? Why this particular Alice Star sweater? In one bit she gets most of her wool in one brand but one colour only comes in a different base which is a disasterthat is never mentioned again Why did the editor not bring this to Martini's attention? Not good enough team Sweater uestThe end of the book is really rushed the last three months take up only 14 pages and there is a sense that Martini is really bored with the whole thing Most bewildering for me is that spoiler alert the whole time she has been knitting a sweater that is not her size She's spent hundreds maybe thousands of dollars on a project that will not fit WHY??? Look I think Martini sounds like someone who would be fun to have a coffee and a chat with but this book needed a lot work on it before going to print Two stars An accomplished writer who knits rather than a knitter who tries to write The uality of this work is excellent I liked it a lot better than the last book of this type that I tried Julie and Julia 365 Days 524 Recipes 1 Tiny Apartment KitchenWho we have here is a free lance writer who wanted to write a book around the same time that she wanted to take on a particularly difficult knitting project She sold the idea of combining these two yens to her agent A star is bornThe theme of the work seems to be why we knit She interviews some powerful luminaries of our knitting community about this uestion but they are not presented as research Instead we learn about the trip up to go see the person their visit with each other where they went together in some cases what they ate The interview is blended seamlessly into the narrative so that it isn't until you sit back and recollect the book that you realize it happened on purposeWe learn of the author's family her friends her students her blog and the online knitting community that supports us all There is talk of copyright law of travel of writers and of knitting designers and of knitwear architecture I was surprised that for a nonfiction book I had difficulty putting it downShe arranged the work chronologically so we come across themes as she did My only disappointment is that due to the nature of the work there is highly unlikely to be any other similar from this author As soon as I finished it I took it to Mom and said You'll like thisAll in all recommended for anyone who crafts This book is about a knitter who decides to take on the mother of all knitting projects and what it took to complete it I realize the premise of the story may be boring for many But I knit so I thought it would be a good read Wow I was wrong It was dull I believe the author was trying to have her JuliaJulia moment She even has the mantra a year of knitting dangerously as Julie had with her cooking dangerously The only slightly entertaining part of the book was the calculations of what the project cost her The pattern alone was 160 for an out of print book And then she had other expenses such as a membership to audiblecom for books to listen to as she knits The real kicker is that in the end of that yearSpoiler AlertThe sweater did not fitThe author was okay that the year project ended without a wearable item for herself because it was the entire joy of the journey type thing I just finished sewing a shirt that doesn't fit that cost me 10 and 2 hours and I'm upset about it I can't imagine a year without reaching the goal of the completion of the elusive Mary Tudor sweater I'm really confused as to who she thought her audience was The only people who are going to read a book about sweater knitting are knitters yet she stops to define EVERY SINGLE KNITTING TERM Thanks I already know that that's why I'm reading this book Beyond that even the idea of the book is a little eh I don't consider her sweater to really be that big of a deal people make fair isle sweaters all the time It certainly is not as big of a deal as she makes it Though some of the history was interesting in the end this book is nothing to write home aboutSuper pedantic sidenote And the cover is horrible because it's a bulky single ply yarn not at all what you would knit a fair isle garment with

Paperback  º Sweater Quest PDF ¼
  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Sweater Quest
  • Adrienne Martini
  • English
  • 14 May 2016
  • 9781416597643