Thursday, April 13, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Mother of Purl by Edith Eig

There has been a resurgence in the popularity of knitting, driven by celebrities who stepped into the spotlight, needles and yarn in hand. An increasing number of glitterati have taken up the craft, knitting on sets and even appearing, yarn in hand, in movies and TV shows. No longer an activity only for little old ladies, knitting has come a long way, thanks in part to Edith Eig, knitting guru to the stars.

Eig is the owner of La Knitterie Parisienne, the knitting shop now famous for its celebrity clientele based in Studio City, California. For ten years, she has been dispensing advice, teaching knitting neophytes and helping individuals create the “perfect” sweater. More recently, she hosts Knit One, Purl Two on DIY and HGTV. Mother of Purl: friends, fun, and fabulous designs at Hollywood’s knitting circle is her recently released entry into the increasingly crowded knitting market.

With so many new knitting books hitting the shelves each month, how does a discriminating hobbyist which is worthy? This reader assesses each on three categories: technical information, patterns and entertainment value, before deciding to take the plunge.

How does Mother of Purl fare in analysis? Eig provides solid instruction to take the beginning knitter through the stages of learning this craft rather than teaching experienced knitters new skills. She shares interesting tidbits about teaching celebrities knitting basics, which should help put novices at ease, and explains the variety of equipment needed to get off on the appropriate hand-knit, sock-clad foot.

Mother of Purl begins its pattern section with the ubiquitous scarf patterns; however, these aren’t just any scarves. Readers are invited to knit up the “Very Sex and the City” scarf that Eig gave to the cast after they wrapped the show or to create the scarf knit by Scarlet Johannson in Lost in Translation. The rest of the patterns include a little bit of everything – ponchos, afghans, sweaters and suits. The yarns Eig recommends for these projects are mainly novelty and/or very expensive, and would be difficult to locate in a basic craft store.

Anyone who enjoys celebrity gossip will love this book. If constant name-dropping is not your cup of tea, then you will want to skip Eig’s offering, as the celebrity references are sprinkled liberally among the 240 pages. While this may not be the knitting book for everyone, Mother of Purl will have your fingers itching to pick up some decadent yarn and head out for a night of stitching with some knitting friends. She has truly captured the community spirit present at knitting circles throughout the world.

See the review as it is posted at Curled Up with a Good Book - Mother of Purl

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