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make wonderful, beautiful things

Mine are Spectacular

Last night, I did what I said I was going to do, and I read not one, but two knitting books. Are you excited? I am, because I actually came within a hair’s breadth of going to bed without looking at either of them. I was freezing cold, and I turned on the heating pad to warm my bed, and it almost drew me in. On a side note, I slept really well last night. When I woke up this morning, I realized I had only turned the heating pad to low before I drifted, not off as I meant to do.

But back to the books! I think I must have read the two most opposite books in the box when I chose these two. First up, the newer book:

Twelve Months of Knitting cover

There are several interesting patterns in this book, but only a couple I can see myself actually making as shown. The Girl’s Valentine Cardigan would be a hit with three of my girls, I really like the Stitch Therapy Turtleneck for myself, and The Cottage Socks are winners for everyone; being knit from worsted weight yarn, they’ll be quickies. Many of the patterns in this book are drop shoulders with a deep V neckline. It’s apparent that they were all designed by the same person, and I don’t mean that in a bad way—it’s a very classic style, and you could knit several of these to pull a wardrobe together. They are good looking garments, but Mine Are Spectacular, so I don’t do dropped shoulders. However, I am a devilish mastermind with a calculator, and I could modify these patterns to work for me. That’s something I do with regularity, and it doesn’t take more than 5ish minutes to do the math and make a few notes.

There are three projects per month, one each for beginning, intermediate and experienced knitters. In the front, you’ll find a handy chart to let you know when you should start each project to have it finished in time to wear it at the proper time of year. The one problem with that is that it doesn’t tell me how much knitting time per day they are assuming. Sometimes, see, I get to knit for hours on end, and sometimes, I am lucky to make 37 stitches. The colors and textures are beautiful, and the pattern notes are educational and entertaining. You’ll find knitting tips with each pattern.

And now for the book I mentioned the other day. Before I even show the picture, I need to tell you that no, I did not buy this book. I asked for it, and it appeared on my desk as if by magic. Or the wonders of Fed-Ex. I knew you would wonder after I said I was not going to spend money. No, I didn’t. Put your pitchforks away.

Now, I glanced at the cover of this book when it first came out, and decided not to get it. And then I read something on a blog that someone had learned from it. And then I saw a pattern on Knitty that incorporated the short row bust (which idea I used for TheClone’s pullover with great success) and then I saw the Curvalicious Cardigan on KnitPicks and I said WHOA! That’s the book for me!

Big Girl Knits cover

See, I am not technically a Big Girl. I only wear a 14 even today, at the heaviest I have ever been. But I am also just a bit less than 5 feet tall. I have the proportions of a Big Girl, but I wasn’t sure that this book had anything going for it besides bigger patterns. See, Big Girls need more than just bigger. Garments need to actually be cut differently. Just like you go into Victoria’s Secret, and the 36D is just a bigger version of the 32A, and the bra doesn’t fit, so it is with clothes. And Jillian Moreno and Amy R. Singer understand that. And even at 130, when I look ravishing, I have Big Girl proportions. Mine Are Spectacular, after all, and 8 babies have passed through these hips, after all, and I. Love. This. Book!

There are wonderful, enticing patterns in this book. There are patterns for Boob Girls and Butt Girls and Belly Girls, because Big Girls come in a variety of shapes. There are patterns that work for combination shapes, too. The first couple of chapters explain all that and tell you what design elements to look for in order to draw attention where you want it and deflect it from where you would rather eyes not linger. And every pattern in this book is marked with one or more icons to let you know which body shape it will most flatter.

I cannot end this post without sharing this quote. I laughed for a goodish time after I read it: “On the boob girl, a high neck will magnify her rack, making it look like an immense loaf of home-baked bread stuck to her chest.” That said, I wear turtlenecks anyway ;)

SB16W customNow that I have confessed that I am as heavy as I have ever been, I will also confess that I am doing something about that, because it’s darn uncomfortable, my clothes don’t fit and my joints hurt all the time. (But I don’t stink like cigarettes anymore. so that’s good–as a matter of fact, my six month anniversary was this past week.) I’m counting calories and I am drinking water. Water??!!?? I heard your collective gasps. Yes, water. I hate water. I want coffee or tea or Pepsi, not WATER. So, I have this water bottle filter on my desk as well. It makes my water taste like……….water. Not like all the crap they add to the water. The downside is that I have to squeeze the bottle pretty hard to get the water out, and that hurts my hands. Yeah, it sucks being me, sometimes. I should probably be taking Aleve every morning, just as Ang. suggested.

Oh, one more thing. The Mine Are Spectacular thing. One of Dh’s clients gave him this book. It’s not porn. Porn would be better. This book is so sucky that I could not get past the first three pages. The writing is trite, the story was cliche, but I did learn to look at my rack and say Mine Are Spectacular and not be embarrassed one bit. Especially wearing a 40 dollar bra. Perhaps I am being unfair to Mine Are Spectacular, and if I run out of other reading material, I may try it again. Or I may poke myself in the eye with a hot fork instead.

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