“The only reference book you’ll ever need.” How many times have you seen this designation on a book cover? I think this is definitely a misnomer. I would prefer seeing the words “an excellent reference resource”.
I have a fair number of knitting and crochet books, from reference resource books to pattern books. I refer to them quite often, bookmark pages, and enjoy all points of view as I do my perusing. I keep an open mind when I study pages of needlework techniques and patterns to find information to enhance my knowledge.
There are many talented, published knitting designers and instructors in the needlework world. They express their studied opinions, applying personal spins on the how-tos as they write instructional pages. I most always find one or more places in a new-to-me book that I mark for reference. As a designer and teacher, I participate in these writing efforts myself, and I like thinking that needle workers might dog-ear my pages as well when they feel I have expressed a technique or how-to in a unique fashion, so-much-so that they will want to reference it again and again!
Knitting and crochet professionals work to tweak these processes, adding to the abundance of material presented in interesting and well-expressed ways. Sometimes words used to
describe contents of new books will include “new” and “original”. These words are sometimes misused. Regarding the fine art of knitting, in 1905 the Fleisher Knitting Manual told us that “ … there is really nothing new.” Rather, it is the continued reinvention of the binary system and its applications of the knit stitch and purl stitch.
I always respect others’ opinions, disagreements, and the like – all toward a healthy promotion of these historical, wonderful, fine arts of knitting and crochet. I continue to look at new books and dog-ear a lot of pages. But I think I am going to need to get a wheelbarrow to keep in the corner of my library so that if the house catches on fire I can throw my favorite “excellent reference resource” books into it for evacuation along with my other valuables.
Susan D. Kerin
Knitting & Crochet Designer, Teacher