Essentials

I generally avoid those, “If you were on a desert island …” sort of exercises.  Being asked to make choices in a vacuum seems a pointless use of time.

Then I started clearing out chez Owl to make the little box presentable for market.  In so doing, I reduced an entire bookcase of knitting texts and pattern leaflets down to bare necessities.  I didn’t like packing away old friends.  Maybe they’ll really like new digs if they don’t have to share space with anything as pedestrian as ~ fiction.

The former library

How did these end up staying shelved?  They are either go-to texts and reference manuals, or books I’m reasonably likely to need to put my hands on over the next three months.  Or they wouldn’t fit in the two three four boxes (and counting) that went to storage.

I am less than nervous about this one short shelf.  That’s probably because my vast electronic pattern collection is stored on The Cloud.  If there’s something I need, I can get it anywhere, anytime.

That said, the bare essentials are a trio:

  • I don’t go far without access to Nancie Wiseman’s Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques ~ still the most useful book of knitting choices I know.  Why use SSK vs SKP?  Find out here.  And do yourself a favor – do buy the hardcover with the spiral spine.  You’ll be glad you did.
  • EZ’s Knitting Without Tears always has a little nugget when I am in need.  (Funny, I have three copies of it and they all look different.  That’s staying power.)
  • Cool Knitters Finish in Style from Lucy Neatby has nice little details that make all the difference in a perfect finish – great gift from Luann.

I have a project going now (which seems to be going on indefinitely) from Melissa Morgan Oakes’ Two-at-a-Time Socks book, because if you really have to make socks (or anything else paired), you might as well make both simultaneously.  Others here hold current or likely little projects I could pick up.  You cannot live without at least one Barbara Walker.  Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Knitting Patterns will get you through anything in any size and any weight.  Kim Hargreaves’ Pipsqueaks (now out of print) is the single best children’s book I’ve ever seen.

And it never hurts to have a couple of skeins of a favorite yarn (Spirit Train Fiberworks Birte) ready to go for the next project.  As Luann puts it: “Break-glass-in-case-of-emergency knitting.”

Too many emergencies these days ~ not enough knitting, IYKWIM.

ETA:  Oh, and an update on our not-so-little Ravellenic kerfuffle.  Because it’s just bad form to denigrate people.  The USOC “apologized” to us.  Not really.  Hence the quotation marks.  They sent an intern to do a grown-up’s work.  Adding proverbial insult, etc.  Oh, you mean you invite us to spend our precious time and talent making things you clearly don’t want because you’ve already belittled the bejeebus out of them?

But did you really expect any more?  C’mon.

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3 Responses to “Essentials”

  1. Luann Says:

    I too have been pondering which books would make my “knitting essentials” shelf. All of the above, plus KBOW, I think.

  2. Bullwinkle (@Outofyarn) Says:

    I think I kept out more yarn when I was last moving … maybe that’s my lack of local yarn store 😉 I certainly did not keep out so many books – but you’ve mentioned Nancy Wiseman’s so often, I may have to check it out.

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