Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book Review

My mother gave me the book "How to Knit in the Woods." I was terribly excited for the book to come out and even more excited to get an early birthday gift. At first glance there were some really great practical things like a camp chair knitted with sisal, some stuff that I wasn't sure I'd want to knit for the woods (really, who spends hours knitting a sweater and then wears it camping?), and some really silly stuff, like a Nalgene water bottle cozy. But, being the outdoorsy knitter that I am, I dove right in and began to knit with gusto. I made the Ell Pond Nalgene cozy, and who knew, it really works! Who would have thought that wool would keep something cold?! But it's great, I love it, I've since made two, have had a friend ask for one, and am enjoying embellishing them.

I have also started on the Cooler Hammock, which is knit from butcher's twine (kitchen cotton) and meant to suspend your Igloo cooler from a tree branch to keep out of reach of marauding beasties. I'm not sure about how well it would stand up to the black bears we have around here, but it will at least keep the ants out of my cooler when I'm car camping.

Then there's the camp stool which I've tried to knit three times and can't get to work. First of all, sisal is nasty to knit with. It's stiff and grainy and little pieces shred off it. It's meant for baling hay and the like. Second of all, the book says you can get what they used at the local hardware or home improvement store. I hit four and can't find what they are talking about. Mine's not white and it doesn't knit to guage. It's huge. So forget that for the time being. Maybe I'll make it out of nylon or polypropalene or something.

THEN there's the fact that the book does not stand up to weathering well. One would think that a book made for knitting in the woods would be able to take a slight beating. Well, my Camelback leaked in my backpack and the book is now ruined. I'm not sure if I am going to get another copy or not. We shall see, my friends, we shall see.


Shannon said...

Hiya -- Shannon here. The white nylon cord in the camp stool is actually nylon, not sisal. It comes in what looks like a tall spool. More like this (although I think this one is a little thick):

Stephanie said...

Ah! Well, that explains my difficulty! Sisal be damned! Next you need to get your publisher to make your book stand up to a beating (though in all fairness, I did get an amazing amount of water on it).