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Mason*Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide - Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes and Pictures
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Mason*Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide - Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes and Pictures

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2,054 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
Enjoy the practical advice, real-life knitting instruction, and irreverent humor of Yankee Kay Gardiner and Tennessean Ann Shayne, the duo behind the renowned knitting web log masondixonknitting.com. The ladies of Mason-Dixon Knitting will take you on a thrilling adventure through Knitopia, a place where knitting and creativity unite through the zaniest knitted items imagi ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Potter Craft
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Teri-k
When my Mom was alive she once confessed to me that she liked looking at quilts, watching people quilt and reading about quilts, but she didn't like quilting. I told her that was OK. :) In the same way, I like knitting and there are some knitting books that I enjoy looking at and reading, though I have no desire to make anything in them. This isn't one of those books. I want to make almost everything is this fun, lavishly illustrated knitting book. And for the few items I don't want to make, I w ...more
Shelley
Oct 01, 2007 Shelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
Absolutely hysterical! I love their common sense approach to projects. I'm not sure how many of the projects are for me, but I am intrigued by the log cabin pattern...
Callina
Mar 21, 2008 Callina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: knitters and people who want to be knitters.
I'm a new knitter, and this book definitely inspired me and reaffirmed my decision to knit. First of all, it's really funny, and there's not much I love more than a book that can make me laugh out loud, because so many of them don't. Even some of the patterns made me laugh. It even had my husband chuckling (and why he was reading it I have no idea).

It's full of interesting anecdotes, witty jokes, and great advice. There are 30 patterns in the book, and they're not your usual suspects. Another t
...more
Jen
May 19, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading the stories in this book, and there are several good patterns, but overall a little underwhelming considering I know how popular this book is. A good percent of the patterns also use the same yarn, which looks lovely, but I like some variety as well.
Sybylla
Jan 02, 2013 Sybylla rated it liked it
Shelves: knitting
As a reader of the Mason-Dixon blog, I knew Kay and Ann had fantastic sense of humor. I have also seen several log cabin blankets which were genius and beautiful. But somehow the long introductions to every pattern sucked my enthusiasm for them out of my bones.
Leslie Jem
Feb 16, 2011 Leslie Jem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: needlecrafts
I have found my knitting idols! Love the authors' philosophy of knitting and life. Next employee discount days, I will buy this book.
RH Walters
Feb 17, 2010 RH Walters rated it it was amazing
The authors' friendship and saucy writing style is the biggest part of these books' appeal for me; the inventive patterns are a bonus.
Jennifer Ochoa
Jul 22, 2016 Jennifer Ochoa rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I've had this book for years and it's a favorite. Beautiful color photographs, witty writing, and the story of a magical friendship between two women who met on the internet. I would say this is a book best for novices who know the very basics but are ready to move on from boring garter stitch squares. The patterns are simple, but not boring and the color selections are spot-on.

Their blog is pretty great too, with the unique format of them addressing their posts to each other. It's like reading
...more
Linda
Mar 01, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it
Normally I wait until I am completely done with a book before reviewing it. However, I just finished ripping apart The Gentle Art of Domesticity and this book shines in contrast. Mason Dixon Knitting is both pretty and practical, fun and informative, everything I hoped Gentle Art would be but wasn't.
This book is also blog-based, yet it succeeds as a book in its own right. Partly that's due to the truth in advertising of the title. It really is "stories, patterns, advice, opinions, questions, ans
...more
Celeste Miller
May 08, 2008 Celeste Miller rated it really liked it
Shelves: crafty-crafty
The fact that I found this pattern book an entertaining, funny read is perhaps testament that my knitting hobby has gotten a little out of hand. The irreverent spirit of Kay and Ann's now-famous blog is preserved in this collection patterns and anecdotes.

That said, I'm probably not going to knit anything in this book, save for a dish towel or two (and what dish towels they will be!), they certainly did inspire me to consider that yes, I can create more than human garments with my knitting obsess
...more
Tracy
Sep 07, 2007 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: knitters with a sense of humor
I love this book -- it's probably the only knitting book I've ever read, as opposed to skimmed. The authors share many of my sensibilities about knitting -- that it shouldn't be so difficult as to be work, but should be challenging enough to be fun; that experimentation and possible failure are part of the glory; and that knitting with friends, or sometimes even just talking about knitting with friends, constitutes a rollickin' social occasion (particularly when mixed with good food and/or drink ...more
Skylar
Jul 21, 2009 Skylar rated it liked it
My mom has this book and I have browsed through it a couple of times. However, I have been contemplating the purchase of this book for myself over a period of time so thought that I would check it out from the library for one last once over to determine whether or not I should add it to my well-pruned personal book collection.

After reviewing each pattern and reading the book through, I find this book to be fun and entertaining. Some of the patterns are quite appealing to me, such as the Moderne
...more
Kel
Jul 14, 2007 Kel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting
Kay and Ann simply are stars in the Knitting World. Their blog is fantastic and this book just continues in the fantasticalness. ;o) The book is beautifully photographed, the projects are mostly easy ones that knitters of any level can complete with success, and what little there is to read outside of the patterns is great just like the MD blog is. And I LOVE a book that is mostly dedicated to projects made with yarn that can be bought for less than $2 a ball in most stores. :)

My only problem wi
...more
Jan
Apr 22, 2012 Jan rated it it was amazing
A knitting book beautiful enough to be displayed on one's coffee table. The authors' writing is entertaining and informative, but most of all inspiring. It moved me to push my knitting into new places, like using drop stitch patterns and more colors, while it also pushed me to try new fibers like linen. Sometimes I just pull it out to stare at the photographs. I even took a photography class from Gale Zucker, who shot the book, I loved it so much. This book has something for everyone--neophyte t ...more
Ashley
Sep 14, 2015 Ashley rated it it was ok
So I'm not done with this book yet, but the patterns are really poorly written for beginners. The colors, layout, and graphics of the book are great and appealing. However, they really should have had a beginner try to follow their patterns without asking for help. I'm sure they would have found it as frustrating as I am when trying to make this darn baby kimono. I'm sure that I'm about to turn this kimono into a horrible disaster.

The ballband dishcloth pattern was great even though I had to goo
...more
Inder
Dec 29, 2008 Inder rated it really liked it
Gorgeous photos, some great-looking projects, and fun, easy-going, chatty text. These ladies make knitted dish cloths seem hip, cool, and totally with-the-times (so ecologically sound!), which is sayin' something.

My only complaint is that the patterns are a bit difficult to read and full of omissions (like, how many skeins of yarn does the pattern require?). If you're a beginner, you may need a basic knitting book in order to understand the patterns here. However, the style, tone, and can-do att
...more
Jan
Jul 19, 2012 Jan rated it it was amazing
A knitting book beautiful enough to display on one's coffee table. The authors' writing entertains and informs, but most of all inspires. It moved me to push my knitting into new places, like using drop stitch patterns and more colors, which it also encouraged me to try new fibers, like linen. Sometimes I just pull it out to stare at the photographs. I even took a photography class from Gale Zucker, who shot the book, I love it so much. This book has something for everyone--neophyte to expert--a ...more
Lucy
Jan 07, 2012 Lucy rated it it was amazing
Couldn't find anything I really wanted to make in here, but the graphics are gorgeous.

***UPDATE 1/7/12 . . . . I do not know what I was thinking the first time I read this book and gave it a two star review--it is awesome. I guess I didn't really get it until I read it really carefully and thoughtfully. THIS BOOK IS RAD. DO NOT RECALL IT FROM THE LIBRARY. I plan to renew and renew and renew until I have made all the things I want to make, some of which will require a deep level of commitment tha
...more
Canesgalactica
Jan 15, 2013 Canesgalactica rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the few knitting books I own in which I sat down and actually read the commentary and amusing stories that accompanied the patterns.

It was funny in parts and endearing in others. The patterns range from household items (like dishcloths and bath mats) to lingerie and baby items. Many of them are very nice and easy to follow (though many of them utilize Peaches and Cream (or like cotton yarn) and sportweight (which I never seem to have on hand in large quantities).

Either wa
...more
Jessica
Apr 25, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
I really liked the ideas for log-cabin knit items. Most of the projects weren't my style, though.
The only complaint I have about the book is that it mostly had very small and very big projects, and not much in between.
The ideas for making super-bulky yarn (like way past what you'd buy in the store. This is like yarn that you knit and then use to knit again! Or fabric strips, or potholder loops.) into rugs and things are really good ideas. It's a shame that I don't think something like that would
...more
Birgit
Apr 26, 2009 Birgit rated it liked it
An likable how-to set amidst the story of a developing friendship between two knitters. This book is more suited to knitters who enjoy looking upon their knitting projects--all over the house. As a callout box on one page says, "I have a very strong urge to knit all the furniture." And this just isn't me. I don't need felted boxes or knit bathmats or negligees. But as always, I loved perusing the colorful and creative projects (though most I'll never try). This novice knitter is still amazed at ...more
Diane
Jun 13, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
I checked this out from the library to take a look at it so I would talk myself out of ordering it from Amazon. No such luck! It's at the top of my list now. This was really fun to read, had lots of great information, and I liked nearly every single pattern in it. That's pretty rare.

I've never read their blog, so this isn't fan solidarity. It's just very readable. I haven't actually knit a single pattern from it, but the instructions look clear enough even for me, and I'm seriously pattern-phobi
...more
Knitology
Aug 28, 2007 Knitology added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Enjoy the practical advice, real-life knitting instruction, and irreverent humor of Yankee Kay Gardiner and Tennessean Ann Shayne, the duo behind the renowned knitting web log masondixonknitting.com. The ladies of Mason-Dixon Knitting will take you on a thrilling adventure through Knitopia, a place where knitting and creativity unite through the zaniest knitted items imaginable. Kay and Ann reveal that a pattern is a starting line, a launching pad, the front doors of Saks the day after Thanksgiv ...more
Tina
Apr 23, 2008 Tina rated it really liked it
When I first glanced at this book I didn't know what all the fuss was about. The projects seemed simple and a little boring to knit. As I started to read it and work up some of the projects I realized how brilliant it was in it's simplicity. These projects are meant to be enjoyed but also used. Most of the projects are very budget conscious. I also found the authors to be funny and straight forward. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for baby projects that are simple, functiona ...more
Bibliothekerin
Dec 28, 2015 Bibliothekerin rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting-nf
This book is great, full of quick patterns for practical things like baby bibs, a throw and a blanket. "Baby Bib o’Love" is the cutest darn baby bib pattern I have yet to see. Shaped into 3 'petals'.

I also like the Flying Geese Blanket pattern (looks like the Flying Geese quilt pattern) and the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket, which, although it looks nothing like the traditional Log Cabin quilt pattern (which is OK!). It is modern-looking, abstract, big blocks of color. Sophisticated and refined. Kin
...more
Simmin
Feb 23, 2009 Simmin rated it really liked it
When did I start reading knitting books, I wonder? Well, just about 2 months ago when I started knitting...and became totally OBSESSED! This book is fancy and colorful and full of cute anecdotes and nice patterns. They love the garter stich as do I, so perhaps I'll start a giant bedspread quilt one day soon. For now, I'm working on their baby bibs and burpies for all the preggers ladies in my life. Not the best for beginners - I tend to go to other books for basic info.
Leslie
Jun 23, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
I've been reading Kay and Ann's blog for years. Lately they've fallen silent online and I missed their witty knitting muse and terrific, playful way with the English language. Reading the book did not disappoint. Kay and Ann are up to their usual eyeballs in crazy, out-of-the-box ideas for making things with two sticks and some string. And I got to read about the genesis of the "Eight pound ball of yarn" referred to online. I hope these two are around for a long time.
Elizabeth
Nov 19, 2007 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
This was the first knitting book I've read recently that I don't feel totally compelled to go out and buy. The majority of their patterns are for the house, not for wearing, which I might find appealing at some stage, but not right now. I really liked the log-cabin technique, and that is one that I want to try at some point, but I'm not ready to start knitting blankets and rugs. Or at least, I'm not interested. I'll definitely come back to this.
Linda
Jul 21, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
It's more a 2.5 for the charming authors, beautiful projects and can do attitude. The downside, these projects scared the life out of me and I've been knitting since I was 10.

It's obvious I will never be a gourmet knitter, just a meat and potatoes one. A friend recommended this to another friend and my curiosity got the better of me. I adore them both though they've been knitting for less time than me but are much better knitters, true artists.
Naomi
Jan 07, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any knitter
Shelves: knitting, 2009
I re-read this book this fall and I think it gets better every time, I'm upgrading it to 5 stars. This time I knit one of the dishcloth patterns and made a scribble scarf after reading it (last time it was an afghan). The patterns are great, the pictures are lovely, and the best part is that it is all presented with great encouragement to go out and do your own things: the patterns are presented as starting points and inspiration not finished products.
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