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

by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Paperback, 2007






Crafts. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) More tongue-in-cheek, laugh-out-loud observations on the world of knitting from the best-selling author and self-proclaimed "Yarn Harlot." Anyone who thinks knitting is for little old ladies hasn't met the Harlot. In her latest book-successor to her previous bestsellers At Knit's End, Knitting Rules!, and Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter-Stephanie Pearl-McPhee journeys deep into the land of those who are obsessed with yarn, needles, and what's on their needles now. Using a travel guide format, she describes and critiques every aspect of this territory she knows so well: its people (young and old, male and female), familiar phrases ("purl this, darn that"), strange beliefs, currency (skein trading), etiquette, holidays (any sale day at the local yarn shop), and customs. And, while the land of knitting is a mostly peaceful place, it does have its controversies, such as the acrylic vs. natural fibers and circular vs. straight needles debates, which Pearl-McPhee visits with relish and glee.… (more)


Storey Publishing, LLC (2007), Edition: First Printing, 218 pages


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1580176585 / 9781580176583



User reviews

LibraryThing member Antheras
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is the Jon Stewart of the knitting world. She skewers us with our own needles, unravels our obsession for the uninitiated and helps us learn to laugh at ourselves. Her fresh, tongue-in-cheek observations about the crazy world of knitting have become wildly popular on her
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blog, her speaking tours (accompanied by her trademark socks-in-progress) and in her three previous books.

In her newest book Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: the Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting, Pearl-McPhee looks at knitting as a journey and sets off on a whirlwind tour of the land of knitting. Whether a newly arrived visitor, a long-time resident or a tourist seeking understanding of a loved one; Casts Off is an essential guide to the people, customs, tourist attractions and common ailments of this fascinating land.

Divided into the areas of reference commonly expected in a travel guide, Pearl-McPhee investigates packing tips (just how much yarn does one need to take on a trip), consulates & embassies (local yarn stores), politics (the great “acrylic versus natural fibers” debate) and common ailments (the dreaded “Yarnesia” or the debilitating Viral Second Sock Syndrome), treatment and prognosis.

Knitters who have caught the “Harlot” bug will find themselves laughing uncontrollably through Casts Off and most will remain convinced that Pearl-McPhee knows them better than their closest friend. Whether she is commenting on the “four ways knitting is like playing the violin” (both are worked from a chart) or how to cope when bad knits happen to good knitters, knitters respond to Pearl-McPhee because she understands us. She knows our foibles because she shares them and like all good enablers, she helps us explain ourselves the skeptics around us. After all, as Pearl-McPhee reminds us, “We know it looks like yarn, but it’s love…and for this it’s worth giving up all your closet space.”

This knitter recommends regular doses of the Harlot, along with infusions of social knitting and stash diving, to ensure a pleasant and healthy stay in the land of knitting.
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LibraryThing member Brandie
Great book! I really did enjoy it. Despite the humor I thought there was a lot of truth in that book ;-)
I definitely need to read some more of her other books ...
LibraryThing member knittingpanda87
Great book! I love her blog and have read a number of her books I just have a few to read still and am looking forward to reading all of them. They are all so hilarious I just can't stop laughing as I read them.
LibraryThing member Jaie22
Fun! Perhaps not particularly informative except in a "You too? At least I'm normal" kind of way.
LibraryThing member gmillar
Sub-titled: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting.
LibraryThing member bjtilt
A wonderful excursion to a knitting land of enchantment with a language all its own. The Yarn Harlot is the perfect tour guide into this land and all its nuances. I found it perfectly entertaining.
LibraryThing member TheDivineOomba
This book is suppose to be a funny look at how knitters arrive at the land of knitting. There a few cute parts, lots of repetition (how many gauge stories does a book need?) but no actual knitting advice or help. I also found that the new knitter in this book to be a bit overkill. I especially
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didn't like the story at the end, where a mother was concerned about her daughter going back to a more traditional role. I found it to be too over the top, especially as far as I can tell, the new knitter didn't work.

I think this book was suppose to a companion book to "Knitting Rules" (which is a fine book, and covers much of the same topics, but with helpful hints and such). As such, I found that the author was failing on topics. It might have worked if it was one of those small gift books, but as a full sized paperback, there was not enough information to justify it.
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LibraryThing member njmom3
Let me start by what this book is not. It is not an instructional knitting book. It was not meant to be, and if that is what you are looking for, this is not the book for you.

This book is a "travel" guide to the world of knitting. It is humor interspersed with some facts about knitting
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organizations and history. It is definitely an explanation of a passion for knitting. Some of the material is the same as in her other books. But it still makes for fun reading.
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LibraryThing member TerriBooks
Fun and breezy. Easy and delightful read. If you knit, you will find yourself in this book.

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