book crush friday: Weekend Knitting

I knew it was my stitches and the love I knitted into them that were keeping his hands warm. -- Melanie Falick, Weekend Knitting

[These projects] fit into my idea of an idyllic weekend, one filled with fresh air, beautiful scenery, good friends, delicious food, laughter, and time to knit. -- Melanie Falick

Yes, this book crush is a day late. Yes, it's also worth it. Because this is a book that, against formidable odds, flat-out changed my life.

And I can't say that about just anything.

First of all, it was August. A hot, sticky, 100 degree day on our vacation, and we wandered to the cabin next door, which turned out to be: a yarn store.

And that's where I, an off-again, on-again crocheter, who repeatedly turned down offers of knitting lessons, first saw this:

I pulled it out of the crammed bookshelf, to see this:

And when I opened it up, I fell in love with an entire lifestyle.

Melanie Falick certainly knows how to present a book! The photographs are charming, the projects are intriguing, and she really does do it: she sells a way of creative, beautiful, joy-filled living in Weekend Knitting.

In between the wonderful projects and their photos are great quotes about knitting or creativity ... and we all know by now how great quotes are a direct path to my heart...

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his heart is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head, and his heart, is an artist. -- St. Francis of Assisi

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. -- Pablo Picasso

Certainly knitting is not the only thing that fingers can do, but it is a good thing: simple yet capable of endless complexity. -- Anna Zilboorg

And then, there are recipes, for the perfect cup of tea, or hot chocolate, or butter cookies. She's compiled lists of movies for a knitting-movie festival, or books for a knitter's reading list. There are ideas for decorating with yarn, or gifts to give a beloved knitter.

After resisting for such a long time, I fell so hard and so fast for knitting.

I sat outside in the August heat and flipped through these pages, again and again, trying to decide what I'd make first. (It turned out to be the lap blanket on page 20, and then the union square poncho, and then the look-back leg warmers...)

I showed it to everyone in my family at least once, I begged my mom to teach me to knit as soon as we got home, I dreamed about wearing the hats, the mittens, the legwarmers.

Now, as you know, I'm a full-out knitter. I've made a bazillion scarves by now, launched this sweet little shop with my sister, and hey, I'm off to a ladies' knitting night in two hours. I dream, quite literally, of new projects to try.

I guess it's not surprising, though, that it was a book that finally opened my heart to knitting. Pick this one up and see if it does the same to you.

Recommendation: Yes, absolutely, you need to page through this whole book in one glorious sitting, with your cup of earl grey tea and a few shortbread cookies. Most definitely. It's ideal for a Sunday afternoon, so grab a copy before then.

On a side note, I can never get enough of anything done by Stewart, Tabori, & Chang. They are geniuses of design and presentation, and I drool over every single book they produce.

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