Marsha Knits

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Name: Marsha Brofka-Berends
Location: US

Marsha knits . . . and reads and cooks and edits and gardens and hikes and thinks and eats and photographs and sings and writes and travels and plans and hopes and . . .

09 April 2007

Stardust

No, I'm not talking about some casino that was blown up in Las Vegas recently. That Stardust pales in comparison to the upcoming film Stardust, based on the fabulous novel by the fabulous Neil Gaiman. I saw the trailer a couple of weeks ago, and I've been drooling with anticipation ever since. Based on that, it looks like it will be fairly true to the book. Gaiman discussed it in his blog, and he says he likes it. He also says in another post that he isn't contractually restricted from saying anything bad about the film adaption of Stardust. So if he thinks the final result is lousy...well, I hope he tells us!

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05 March 2007

Review: A Guy Who Knits

When I first saw two of Lucinda Guy's books of handknits for children in a catalog, I was utterly charmed--so much so that I bought one of them, Handknits for Kids, sight unseen. Last week, I finally got my hands on its sequel, And So to Bed..., thanks to my local library. Both books are beautifully designed and feature patterns for clothing, blankets, and stuffed toys suitable for ages two to five or thereabouts. The designs for girls are girly, but mostly in a heavy-on-the-pink way and not in a frilly-curlicues way; similarly, the designs for boys are boyish but not obnoxiously so. Handknits for Kids is divided into four "chapters," each defined by a season. Each chapter includes a blanket (one has trucks and cars on it, and one is completely pink, but the other two aren't gendered), a stuffed toy (dog, bird, mouse, cat), and a sweater for a girl; three chapters also include sweaters for boys. The designs are clever and fun--stuff I could actually imagine children wearing (and enjoying!) without looking ridiculous. You can see photos of all the projects in the British version of the book here. (It contains the same projects and has the same design as the American version; only the title and surely some spellings are different.) Look at the Jack Frost Jacket in the last chapter--isn't that adorable? I'm giving serious thought to making one of those for Sylvia...maybe even in the pink that the pattern calls for. (I am not a big fan of lots of pink, so that's saying a lot about how much I like this design.) And So to Bed... is equally charming in its presentation (like Handknits for Kids, all of the illustrations are photographs of the knitted objects against cartoon drawings--there are no photographs of people wearing these handknits). The projects here didn't appeal to me as much, though. They're all bedtime-themed (clever idea!), and include blankets, pajama cases, robes, and cases for hot-water bottles. (All of the projects can be seen here.) But, aside from the Dream Cardigan and the stuffed owl, I had a hard time imagining myself knitting any of this stuff. I should mention that this book is from Rowan and thus features only Rowan yarn. Beautiful stuff, to be sure, but holy cow is it expensive. The Dream Cardigan I mentioned would cost about eighty bucks if I used the yarn that is called for. Ouch. Unless I can score an exceptionally good deal on eBay, when I'm ready to start these projects I'll definitely be substituting other yarns.

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