Kay Gardiner, the Yankee half of the blogging and knitting duo Mason-Dixon Knitting, says in the audiobook Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines and Stories from the Nation's Leading Bi-Regional Knitting Blog that "knitting is so nonverbal!" And it is, but Gardiner and her partner Ann Shayne manage to find ways to talk about it that the rest of us certainly enjoy.
In this recording they read blog posts from 2003 to 2005 and share the essays and tips from their book Knitting Outside the Lines.
The blog post portion of the audiobook is particularly entertaining, because even those knitters who have followed the blog since the early 2000s probably haven't reread any of these entries, and knitters who weren't following the duo back then will be glad to catch up.
This best-of collection includes Kay's tribute to the Gees Bend quilts, the pair's answers to an online questionnaire that was going around a few years ago (which includes the stories of how the ladies learned to knit), the etiquette of yarn crawling, the horrors of early sweaters, procrastination, blocking, two-handed Fair Isle knitting, the joys of Rowan, Koigu and Debbie New and much more.
There are many laugh-out-loud moments, as when Ann remarks "Alice Starmore is the Phil Specter of knitting" (not in the sense of the murder trial, of course).
The rest of the audiobook beyond the blog entries is the essays that accompany the patterns in Knitting Outside the Lines. They talk about knitting with mohair, knitting words, Fair Isle, knitting for kids, the perils of competitive knitting, Christmas and other occasional knitting, felting and more.
In all, the audiobook is three CDs and runs for three hours, 30 minutes.
Of course the problem with listening to a knitting book with patterns is that you don't actually get the patterns; you still have to buy the paper book if you want to knit -- or even look at -- the finished projects. But it's still a lot of fun to listen to these essays, and especially the blog posts you might not have read, or at least not read in a very long time.
Listening to Ann And Kay is almost as good as having them in your living room as you knit. You'll find yourself laughing out loud and maybe even talking back to the CD, as if it's possible to have a conversation with them over the air.
The warmth, enthusiasm and fun of these two knitters comes across even more so as they read their words than they do on the printed page or screen, so if you're a Mason-Dixon fan, you'll want to add this one to your collection.
Publication date: July 2009