Monday, October 4, 2010

Pints and Purls

In honor of Ocktoberfest, I've decided to review the following book.

Pints and Purls: Portable Projects for the Social Knitter by Karida Collin and Libby Bruce

The concept of this book intrigued me. I like to knit (wow what an obvious statement), and I enjoy beer and wine (I have created a few beer and wine cozies in my day). I have been known to whip out some knitting while at social gatherings, and have found that some projects are just too distracting to work on when I have a lot going on. The ratings of these patterns are unique. They are organized by the number of drinks you could have while working on them (designated driver - advanced, 4 drinks - way easy). These projects were designed with the thought you could bring them with you to your favorite bar (as long as you could get a table!)

The Patterns:
  • Linden Wrap - A beautiful piece, but I wonder if my favorable thoughts are in part due to the tassels at the end. I think that it HAS to be knit in a heathered yarn to have the rich effect.
  • Haramaki Belly Warmer - The concept of a belly warmer seems strange to me, but I have to give them credit for making something that is not found in every knitting book!
  • Tie-One-On Scarf - I think the Icord (versus ribbon) tie gives an elegance to this fast scarf. I also think that a lighter, solid color does more justice to the pattern. (I also love that the model's hair is wrapped not around rollers, but around empty beer cans.)
  • Barfly Pullover - This comment is not about the sweater, but the title. When I read this, I didn't think "Bar Fly" I thought "Barf-ly". I thought, who would name a sweater after puking? My bad!
  • Don't forget your Mittens! - This attached scarf-mitten combos are not just for children anymore! This accessory would certainly solve the problem of loosing your mittens when you've gone out for the night!
  • Drink-Like-a-Fish Cozy - Okay, hands down this is my favorite. The felted cozy has a bottom tall enough to fit a beer can, with goldfish running around the sides (Glued on googly eyes makes the finishing touch). The top of the cozy goes up and closes with a clasp like a cape around the neck of a bottle. So 1) fun color pattern that goes beyond stripes, and 2) interesting silhouette = my favorite of the book.
  • Snakebite Hats - This is a hat/scarf combo, that laid out looks like a big striped snake. The mouth is at the brim of the hat, so when you're wearing it it looks like the snake is clamping onto your head. The LOOOONG pointy portion of the hat doubles as a scarf.
  • Wine Charms - Icords with wire inside make a easy way to tell whose glass is whose.
  • Other Socks: Fox in Socks (two colored and funky, the good kind of funky), Dancing Bamboo Socks, Weavy Way Socks,
  • Other Hats: Happy Hour Cappy, The Ol' Pappy Cappy, Slouchy Hat
  • Other Sweaters: Drunken Sweater (asymmetric... is one sleeve longer than the other?), Fizzy Sweater, Absinthe Sweater, Two Fisted Tank, Cherry Cordial Cardi
  • Other Accessories: Ruff Neck Warmer, Raspberry Wheat Ale Messenger Bag, Sideways Scarf, College Colors Cozies (felted), Wine Bottle Sweater, Wine Cozy (tote with handles), Dishrag Trio, Six-Pack Carrier, Zori Coasters, Leg Warmers, Cowl and Arm Warmers, Hangover Lap Blanket, Whiskey Sour Messenger Bag
This is one of the first books that I've seen that starts with the advanced patterns and moves towards the easier ones. Of course, this fits in well with their theme of knitting and drinking! In between patterns there are tips, such as what to have in your notions bag or how to fix a mistake. Unfortunately, you'd only notice these if you explore the book from end to end, as they're not listed in the contents. This book should not be your first knitting book. Although there are instructions on how to knit in the back, there are no images. (I'm not sure of anyone who could learn to knit from a paragraph!)

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this book, thinking that at the least this book would make a great novelty book for a knitter. (Friends, too bad I found this before you did!) I love the authors point of view. The comments and descriptions of the patterns are as exciting as the patterns themselves (making this a great book). Some of the patterns are quite plain, but there are some that are so unique and fun that I can gloss over the ones that are more boring. Pick up a copy for yourself or your friend!