Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,279 ratings  ·  105 reviews
From the best-selling author of At Knit's End and Knitting Rules! comes yet another hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek observations on the world of knitting. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off invites knitters of all ages, levels, and persuasions to embark with her on a journey deep into the land populated by those who are obsessed with yarn, needles, and what’s on their need...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Faye
I loved Knitting Rules. It was funny, plus it has lots of great knitting tips and tricks that are easy to reference. I agree with the previous reviews that the concept for Casts Off was really a stretch for an entire book. I'd go a bit farther and say that the metaphor for knitting as a traveler's journey was a stupid concept for a book.

At first glance, I thought this book was about an actual knitting road trip in which the Yarn Harlot had visited lots of fabulous yarn shops and festivals all o...more
dreamer
I was all ready to give this book one star, I never really was able to get into it and essentially had to force myself to finish it.

But my total excitement at her "Traveler's Life Afghan" has me adding a star. I only wish that the whole book had been so exciting for me.

One of my friends said she felt as though that the Yarn Harlot had been pressured to hammer out another book for her publishers and I think that sums it up perfectly.

I love knitting books but really felt this one had very little s...more
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Sep 15, 2010 Mollie *scoutrmom* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All knitters
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, AKA The Yarn Harlot, has deviated from her earlier formula. The other books looked like, and probably were, collections of blogs and/or essays. They were funny. We all wished for more. Here it is.

This book is written as a travelogue through the land of knitting. One point of view shown is that of a newbie who becomes a Knitter (with a capital K), and is exposed through letters written by that person along the journey, as if she were in that land writing home.

The rest is...more
Kiri
I love all of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's work -- whether yarncraft or wordcraft! She has a rare wit, acres of knitting expertise, and a charming candidness that's captivating. I adore her blog.

That said, this book only gets 3 stars because it is, well, kind of mediocre. Very likable, and with some brilliant bits, but overall feels like an attempt to stretch a metaphor a bit farther than it can really reach. Organized like a travel guide, this book introduces you to the land of Knitting, which is e...more
Hilarie
Rating:
Genre: Humor, Knitting
Format: Audiobook, Read by the Author
Reading Challenges: 1 for 100+ in 2010

If you are a knitter, then you probably have already heard of Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee. If you are a non-knitter, you are probably wondering if it is truly possible for a book to be both humorous and about knitting. Let me assure you that most knitters have a very healthy sense of humor. We almost have too! Surely you have seen some of the hideous hand knitted objects out there.

McPhee is a pop...more
Kendra
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a writer who makes me giggle. I have read several of her books, and they have all just made me lighter and happier for having read them. I highly recommend becoming a yarnharlot.com fan if you are a knitter. I was checking out ebooks available to be checked out from my library the other day and saw Casts Off as an option. This is an early work by Stephanie, which I had never read.

The premise is similar to her other books. She is able to take certain aspects of the knitt...more
Leslie Jem
I'm sharing this quote because it perfectly sums up knitting for me:

"It turns out that knitting isn't about the yarn or the softness or needing a hat (although we really can't argue with these secondary motivators). It's really about this: Knitting is a magic trick. In this day and age, in a world where science and technology take more and more wonder and work out of our lives , and our planet is quickly becoming a place running out of magic, a knitter takes silly, useless string, mundane sticks...more
Kate Irwin-smiler
This is a delightful piece of reading - funny, light, and handily packaged in bite-size chunks. It doesn't need to be read start to finish - just pick up the book anywhere. There is a nice set of letters from/about "Alice" - following her development from a knitting stalker to a Knitter-with-a-capital-K, which is best read in sequence, but it's still nice and funny if you don't get them that way. The book is based on the idea that Knitting is a land unto itself, and Knitters travel there. Just a...more
Kendra Fletcher
My least favorite of Stephanie's usually great books.
Katie
I loved this book for its wit, honesty, and unapologetic truth about what it means to be a knitter. Written like a travel guide, the book takes the reader, or in my case the listener, on a journey of self-discovery through one of the oldest and most popular fiber arts. It explains to the "unenlightened" (read person who has yet to be bitten by the knitting bug) the reasoning behind a knitter's "peculiar" behavior. I look forward to reading more of the author's work and lengthen my stay in the la...more
Joy
It's been a while since I read one of the Yarn Harlot's books, so I picked up this one with some of my Christmas gift certificates for my kindle. This one is written almost as a travel guide book to the land of Knitting, with various sections covering visiting, finding embassies (yarn shops), and so on. The author's typical entertaining writing style and humor are present as always, and I quite liked the approach she took for this book. There are also plenty of cute illustrations, as well as a s...more
Jen
Oct 16, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Knitters
I kinda got this as a fluff book. You know a whole book about knitting...what a waste of time...right? Uh..no.

It was funny, clever, and fun to listen to (I had to listen to it while knitting...)

In the last year, I've completely rediscovered my love of knitting. I used to think i was this massive casual knitter...and I felt kinda alone. Ravelry and my friend BL changed that and I've been completely enjoying the social aspect of knitting as well as my new found love of really expensive yarns (ask...more
Jennifer Johnson
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off or "the Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting" is the most recently released book by the author. (In fact I purchased it fresh from the printer in NYC at the "Represent!" event and it's SIGNED.) [Yarn geeks everywhere are totally jealous, I swear!.:] Pearl-McPhee has taken her unique wit and written a book to guide your through your journey through "knitting land". She hits it right on the head when she says, that most people only plan to visit 'knitting la...more
Kate
Jun 06, 2007 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Another book of knitting culture humor from our dear Yarn Harlot. I loved it, but I have to admit that I didn't think it was quite as hilarious as her previous books. This might have been because the "travel guide" format, while very fun, was a bit of a stretch at times. Still, it was great. I'm impressed by the way that Steph has used different formats for all of her books so far, and I'm curious to see what she does next. (But I'd rather another book of hilarious essays, say, than something le...more
Naomi Wheatley
This is one of my regular picks for times when I don't want to listen to music and I don't want to concentrate on a story but I want to listen to something. The quips are amusing and easy for me to relate to.
Amanda
Sep 09, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: knitters
I'm a fairly new knitter (almost a year!) and have read some of the Yarn Harlot's blog. I decided to get some of her books from the library to see what's what.

Pearl-McPhee is a pretty funny lady! In this book, she welcomes us to the land of Knitting. We learn how to pack for vacations, the pests associated with knitting, diseases (the dreaded second sock syndrome!), etc. We read about politics (natural yarn vs. acrylics) and etiquette (is it ok to knit in public?)

Right now, I'm knitting my very...more
Andy
Hilarious. Seriously that one word is all it takes to sum up this book. I warn you, however, if you are not a knitter (either of the upper case or lower case variety) or you do not have a knitter in your life, you may fail to see the humor. If you personally know a knitter (yes, looking at one in the mirror constitutes as knowing one), then you will enjoy this guided tour through the land of Knitting. You will marvel and giggle over the apt descriptions of the inhabitants, their cultural practic...more
Chrissy
My Yarn Harlot spree continues. I really enjoyed the letters scattered through this book, and I also continue to like her anecdotes about knitting, but this one missed the mark slightly. The whole "travel" concept was a little contrived. It's still wonderfully readable, but I like her other books and blog so much, I'd have loved more of the same. This one tried to be different. I've got high hopes for the last one, which is now in my possession. Once it's read and reviewed I promise to stop read...more
Tara Choate
Really, this book deserved 2.5 stars (between ok and good). It had three main problems. The first is that the main metaphor of the book (knitting as a destination/place) was very labored. Second, the graphic design made it difficult to read; there were pages with black text on a dark green background. Other pages were designed to resemble hand-written letters, but were just hard to read. The final issue was the lack of a message; the book did not contain either great knitting stories or useful k...more
Liralen
True to form, this book by the "Yarn Harlot" is full of witty knitting humour. It's funny, it's a quick read, and it puts a new twist on knitting.

The main problem I had with the book is pretty simple: Knitting as a location aside, there's really nothing in here that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee hasn't said before. It's still funny, and it's still worth reading, but it's the same sort of knitting joke that I've read over and over in her other books or in her blog. I wish she'd stretched Knitting's bord...more
Maria M. Elmvang
A 3.5 star review.

Knitting as seen through a traveler's guide. I thought the concept was very amusing and worked well. Besides, I was very pleased to see that I'm definitely not alone in bringing waaaaay too much knitting with me on vacation. It's always nice to have company in your madness.

I found out that I'm slightly more a product knitter than a progress knitter - but only very slightly - and that I'm definitely not a perfectionist... but the latter I could have told you already.

Amusing and...more
Joanne Smith McCaskey
I love to knit. But for the life of me, I can't understand the appeal of this book. The humor was completely lost on me, even as an avid knitter.

This book was full of Seinfeld-like observational humor, but unfortunately, I don't think knitters are that interesting or entertaining to observe. "What's the deal with knitters? They always want to buy more yarn, even though they already have a lot already." "Isn't it funny how knitters get angry when they can't knit?" Uh, sure..
Libby
I started this immediately after getting to see the Yarn Harlot in person, and I put it down not because it wasn't fun but because other reading interests were muscling in at the time. I picked it up a few nights ago and quickly finished it. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as her other books, but it was a really cute overview of Knitting (note the capital K), reimagined as a country. It will be most likely enjoyed by other knitting enthusiasts or fans of Pearl-McPhee's other works.
Nicholette
I absolutely loved this. I got to listen to the audio read by the author from Overdrive, and it was absolutely fantastic. I fell in love with a lot of it because much of my knitting journey was done on my own. I was glad to know the way I felt about the knitting community was not isolated. I would listen to it on my way to or from work to just relax or cool off. The Yarn Harlot has done it again with brilliant, kind, and approachable writing. Three cheers for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!
JK
Mar 12, 2008 JK rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Knitters witha sense of humour.
Recommended to JK by: My mother
I love the conceit of knitting as a destination with its own unique denizens. The quizzes about individual knitting styles are fun, as are the discussions of various aspects of knitting culture, such as the cultural institution of the yarn shop. The discussion of travel was particularly fun. Perhaps not as full of handy hints as "Knitting Rules", this was still a laugh-out-loud read in which I recognised a lot of myself and other knitters I know.
Madina
Mediocre a best, but will have to do till someone composes a true modern masterpiece on knitting (that will be available as an audiobook). Nice to knit along with or lift your spirits on "one of them days" if you can't get your hands on actual yarn... But let's face it - anyone who has ever spend an entire night "knitting one last row" is doomed to like it, however unsophisticated - we tend to be forgiving with people, who share our passions
Diane
"From the best-selling author of At Knit's End and Knitting Rules! comes yet another hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek observations on the world of knitting. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off invites knitters of all ages, levels, and persuasions to embark with her on a journey deep into the land populated by those who are obsessed with yarn, needles, and what’s on their needles now."

Amusing for those of us Knitters (with a capital "K").
DMluvsPrufrock
A very clever look at knitting as a journey, this book is written as a travel guide through the land of knitting. There are geological formations to beware (the wild stash), tribes to embrace, and immigrants to welcome. It's a quirky, fun look at one of my favorite hobbies and I really think that all knitters would get a kick out of it. Non-knitters? Skip it. This is not one of Stephanie's works that translates well to the fiber-free set.
Ann
Jun 03, 2009 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: knitters
Shelves: knitting
I kept looking at this book in bookstores and putting it back without flipping through it. For some reason I thought it was a book about regional knitting events and stores and such. (My mom used to have a couple of those for quilting, which may be why) Instead it uses the metaphor of travel to talk about knitting, and going from novice to addict. As all of Stephanie's books it's a funny and charming quick read.
Cheryl
This book was somewhere between 3and 4 stars for all the reasons others have mentioned, but I gave it 4 because it was the first of her books I've read and and I was diverted by it. I liked the travel guide idea, and I think the graphic design and illustrations added to the enjoyment of the text. It was light reading, not something you'd want to devour cover to cover in one sitting.
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as the Yarn Harlot) is a prolific knitter, writer and blogger known for her humorous but always insightful anecdotes and stories about knitting triumphs and tragedies.
More about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...
Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatcing, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your Inner Knitter Free-range knitter: The yarn harlot writes again At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not)

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