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Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too
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Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines: Patterns, Stories, Pictures, True Confessions, Tricky Bits, Whole New Worlds, and Familiar Ones, Too

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  849 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Mason Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines features helpful and humorous sidebars that discuss things such as the pitfalls of the sweater coat, the beauty of shetland wool, how to make a stitch marker out of citrus peel or tin foil, and the moment where a pattern breakthrough occurs. Building on the success of their website and blog, authors Gardiner and Shayne wind their way ...more
Hardcover, 159 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Potter Craft
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,244)
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I spent way too much time reading this in bed last night. I loved the first book and was anxious to see how the second compared. I think it's a great follow up book. I spent 20 minutes reading the pages on steaking. (I am still not brave enough to CUT my knitting - it just seems so WRONG!)

Once again this book has projects that you look at and think - oooooh - Maybe someday! and others that had me thinking about next Christmas for gifts already. (Only 361 days till next Christmas!)

I love the ligh
They've done it again. Created a great book filled with fantastic patterns and wonderful tidbits/stories. Some of the patterns are a bit more advanced than their first book, but nothing will require you to be a master knitter and there are plenty of patterns simple enough for beginners looking to expand their knitting beyond scarves. I'm looking forward to trying the sweaters, including the top down! So far, I've been enjoying the ease of knitting the mitered hanging towels. I love that they pro ...more
One of my favorite knitting books ever. It's full of Kay and Anne's wit, love of knitting, beautiful pictures and well wrought language. Kay is (presumably) the one of the two Mason-Dixon ladies who is (now) a retired attorney, so it's not surprising she has the gift of language. I have laughed out loud while reading this book, which is not unheard of, but also is not the rule for a book about knitting. I found this gem while perusing the bookstore at Colonial Williamsburg. I couldn't put it dow ...more
There's a lot of reading in this book about knitting! Gardiner and Shayne keep a very funny, very readable knitting blog, and their talents transfer well to this book. The patterns in the book aren't as accesible and appealing as those in their first book.
This is, overall, one of the better books of patterns that I've encountered to date. Granted, the patterns in this book are a bit advanced for me for now, but there are some gorgeous patterns! I will be coming back to this book - I would love to make the Cardi Cozy at some point. The dotted baby blanket is very cute, and the Liberty blanket is beyond words - best looking knit blanket I've seen in any book. There are also patterns for children's clothing, Christmas things, and a knitted yarmulke ...more
I will buy every book these women ever write. The knitted Swiffer cover is just about worth the price of admission. I finally "get" Fair Isle knitting, too. They just explain everything in a way I can understand. Must be the sarcasm!
This book is hilarious. My partner thought it was kind of weird that I was laughing out loud while reading a knitting book. I usually don't read much from a knitting book beyond the pattern, but the humorous pieces in this book cracked me up. The piece about what NOT to knit for kids who have "reached the age of reason" is so spot-on:

"It is forbidden to knit:
1. Animals, whole or in parts. Even if they're really cute. Just cut it out.
5. Intarsia... Your son likes to surf. I know it makes no se
Really terrific book! Love the "Liberty" throw, Flapotis scarf, Belinda 'plaid' mohair wrap, and "SK8R" pullover patterns. Also the Kiki Mariko Rug. And the Emma Peal Dress for little girls is a hoot. Rather, the little girl modeling the dress is a hoot!

These ladies have a wicked sense of humor which I just love. You rock!
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I have a confession to make: I rarely actually read knitting books. I generally flip through and look at the patterns, skimming any non-pattern related text for anything that sounds interesting. But the Mason-Dixon books just reel me in. The stories and instructions are funny and interesting. I can't help but savor every word.

This collection is just as enjoyable to read, although I didn't like the patterns as much. If I rated it on patterns alone, I would only give it a 2 or 2.5 stars. But the
I'm almost to the sleeve stitches of the cardi-cosy, (p. 13)and it is fabulous. The instructions are a little gapp-y but it makes for a satisfying challenge figuring out the puzzle of the in-between rows. The hand towel on p. 140 is a fun knit. The tone of the book is cheerful and humurous, even while pondering some craft and knitting conundrums.

Update: the cardi cosy pattern is fraught with errors, including a gross miscalculation of the yarn requirements. The finished sweater looks heinous on
I like the different ways the authors look at things - like using a pre-existing canvas bag as a liner for a knitted bag cozy -- using the canvas bag to worry about the weight of the contents and letting the knitted piece be gorgeous without the risk of ruining or warping it from weight. Plus, bag handles are pretty expensive, and it's really easy to find a cheap clearance canvas bag anywhere! FABULOUS idea.

Most of the patterns are a bit too advanced for me, but the real merits of the book are
Danielle Byron
Just as fun as the first book. I have another dish cloth pattern
started out strong but really fell off mid-way....
I laughed a lot reading this book, which includes many patterns that are well beyond me. In fact, all the patterns are that way, but still, I loved the energy of the book, the humor, and the serious bits of advice (no child over the age of reason will wear a handknit!) I loved the handknit Swifter covers, but don't think I'll try them. As someone just picking up knitting again after a long time, I found this book inspiring and full of lots of suggestions for further reading. I'll definitely chec ...more
I had loved the first book and so I was pretty stoked when I saw that these two authors had written another. I love the format of this book, the colors are spectacular and the patterns are simply amazing. I get inspired everytime I look through this book. They always do an excellent job of covering every possible thing you could ever want to knit. I would definitely recommend this book.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Not as funny as the first Mason-Dixon book (although check out the "Hall of Shame" at the end). This volume is a little more serious, the authors have a little more to say so the size of the print is smaller and takes up more of the page. There is more emphasis on techniques, like Fair Isle, that require working with several colors, but still many interesting and practical projects. If you loved the first Mason-Dixon book, you'll probably like this one also because it is very similar in style.
Oct 15, 2008 Ruthie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wendy Davis
If I had any free time on my hands, this book would have inspired me to track down some gray wool yarn and knit the amazing coat pictured on p.20. Or the beautiful green one immediately following. Or maybe the adorable child's sweater called "Fern."

Combine the lack of time with the fact that a purl stitch is a grand accomplishment for me, and.... I decided to just enjoy the book for the fun writing style, and the thought that "someday.... look what I could do if I put my mind to it."
Erin  Hopkins Weber
This is a library book I have renewed three times. Aside from some great patterns (I made the pilot cap and am almost done with the stocking) and excellent tips, the writing is engaging and funny throughout. They have a great attitude and their writing makes it contagious. I especially love to story about the perils of competitive knitting. Also great instructions for fair isle knitting. I can now do something I never thought I could do. Score!
Disappointed by what I consider a misleading title. The "Mason-Dixon" line has historical significance and I hoped that this book would say something about the history of knitting in America. None of the patterns appealed to me. There are two charts that one might find helpful. One is a chart of letters and numbers in duplicate stitch. The other has information about yarn.
Those Mason-Dixon gals are at it again. I love the giant pictures, clear directions, advice for where I'm gonna screw the whole thing up since they managed to do that for me and write about it, and a crack me up end of the book with the impractical and the wall of shame. Great beginning to intermediate projects for any knitter you know.
I enjoyed the first Mason-Dixon book far more than this "sequel" - I suppose it's difficult to come up inspiration for new patterns. This one left me a bit wanting for something spectacular. There are some very quaint patterns, but nothing that jumped out at me. Invest in the first book. Check this one out from your library!
This volume is even better than the first. The allocation of text sections to one author or another is more clear, which I appreciate, since I am always trying to figure out which author said what. The project ideas show more finesse and mastery but are still accessible to beginner knitters.

I would buy this book.
I got this from the library a while back, and apparently forgot to review it. I enjoyed this just as much as their first book - it's still very chatty and funny, and the patterns are great. As I recall, there's a good mix of patterns -- some home decor, a couple of kids' patterns, and some adult sweaters.
Just as awsome as the first installment! I find their hints and tips to be extremly helpfull and the adorable and easy to use patterns will probably keep me going for a long time. I especially like their explination of Faire Isle, which I'm deathly afraid of and in love with at the same time.
If you're a fan of the Mason Dixon ladies, or you're looking for some fresh ideas for your knitting, I definitely recommend adding this book to your library.

much more in depth review?
read on here
Laugh-out-loud writing about knitting; I particularly enjoyed the tale of competing in the county fair and also the "hall of shame" at the end of the book. The patterns are interesting and the tutorial on fair isle knitting will be very useful to me; I have been looking for this sort of thing.
How can I not love Kay and Ann? They really really crack me up. I want to knit all these projects but I might do one. Which one I dunno. I borrowed the book from the library so I need to decide before I return it. ARG THE PRESSURE....oh...I can always borrow it again.
This book is a brilliant balance between knitting humor and knitting patterns. These women will make you want to knit a sweater, or perhaps something very different. Swiffer cover, anyone?

Gorgeous photography by Gale Zucker, as well.
My knitting is so rudimentary I can probably only do one of the patterns described in this book, but it is such a fun read I find myself reading the patterns just for the laugh. I never thought a knitting book would have me laughing out loud.
This book is just as exciting as the first - but the patterns are little bit more technical so it will probably be a while until I attempt. I am most excited about the Fair Isle knitting, the blankets with dots are very cute!
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