New and Noteworthy: Catching Up with Books

By Kay Gardiner
September 7, 2017
Think of our yarns and kits as the Trapper Keepers of knitting supplies.

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33 Comments
  • FYI, Hannah Thiessen will be signing her new book at Rhinebeck this year, along with selling it, of course, at the Merritt Bookstore venue.

  • I had never heard of a Trapper Keeper. Reading the history of the thing made me wonder where I was during those years. I wasn’t in school any more, but did I pay absolutely no attention to my popular culture? Well, ok, I still don’t, but really, how did I miss this phenomenon? Am I the only one?

    • No, you’re not! I never heard of it! I’ve seen similar but the name meant nothing!

    • They were after time in school. I always thought they were awkward and cumbersome.

  • One knitting book that i am looking forward to seeing has an early October release date: https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Knitting-Stitch-Bible-Exquisite/dp/4805314532

    • That one is very enticing! Will add to the list for October, thank you Jennifer!

    • Oh my goodness! By the time I finished typing my comment, you had already mentioned the book I was asking about. That settles it. I am proceeding to checkout now.

    • I’ve been lusting after this since I saw the Chinese edition at work. Was even considering asking a coworker to translate the symbol key when I came across the English translation.

  • And only vaguely related, but fun, “Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore” by Terry Newman. Browsing my library’s copy right now.

  • I know of Trapper Keepers, my daughter had one. When I was in grade school, in the 60’s, the popular notebook was called a nifty. The notebook paper only had two holes in it, and it was held in place with a magnetic flap. We had to take typing class and we had round erasers with brushes attached to sweep away the crumbs. Enough of that.

    Thanks for the good book recommendations.

    I am wondering if anyone has looked at/purchased the “Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns” by Hitomi Shida. It looks like an amazing reference book. It is just waiting for me in my Amazon cart. What do you think, should I proceed to checkout?

    • Nifty notebooks! I remember them well from my gradeschool years – didn’t use them for school, but kept all my drawing paper and drawings in them.

  • I am not to old to remember Trapper Keepers, but because it was an important aspect of back to school shopping for my daughters, now in their forties and sending their own children off to school…with laptops no less! The selection of the trapper keeper was extremely important: it had to distinguish itself from everyone else”s, but not be too different, or worse yet: all wrong. All of a piece with having the right clothes for the first day of school, and the gods forbid that the Mom would suggest a similar product that was not the real thing.
    In the olden days, before for Trappers, all we had was a three ring binder (we called them notebooks in Ohio) uniformly covered with dull blue gray cloth that frayed as the year went on…life was so black and white in those days.

    • I loved those 3 ring binders! You could write on them so they would come a sort of journal of the year and were shabby chic as they aged. Trapper keepers were during my children’s school years too, but we always found them awkward and cumbersome, taking up too much desk space.

  • Also, Ultima Thule – Patterns Inspired by the Shetland Islands from Lost City Knits. A lovely travel book with patterns. http://lostcityknits.com/product/ultima-thule-patterns-inspired-by-the-shetland-islands/

  • i am also looking forward to amy twigger holroyd’s book of hand made history called folk fashion. you are right that this year has a bumper crop of inspirations!

  • Ah, the Trapper Keeper – thanks for the memories! I remember having one in middle school. I was never one of the cool kids, but the TK kept me from being booted into pariah territory.

  • Dang it, Kay, now I want fried perch.

    • So delicious. Dredged in cornmeal. Might as well mix up some hushpuppies while we’re frying things.

  • Anyone else seeing inspiration for Alabama Chanin in “Papercut this Book”? That cover is very enticing.

    • You just blew my mind, Carolyn. THESE ARE STENCILS.

  • AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs by Andrea Rangel – I just love looking at stitch patterns, this would be a coffee table book for me.

  • Fried *lake* perch is the best. The Friday night fish fry is a tradition in WI where I’m from (but alas, not currently located). Lake perch, coleslaw, french fries, rye bread with butter. Sigh.

    • I feel like I should mention we had a fried walleye dinner in a tiny town along MN Route 52 when we wrapped the photo shoot for that book. Sides as mentioned above 🙂 Could not have been more delicious or more perfect end of the day.

  • The Trapper Keeper!! My middle/high school *must have*. I had to click the link you provided on the Trapper Keeper’s history, and it made me tear up a little – ahh, nostalgia! My pre-teen stepkids just got back to school at the end of last week, so I’m probably just feeling extra mushy. 🙂
    Your knitting book recommendations look amazing, every last one of them. My favorite purchase this year was Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook – I’ve oogled over every last picture in that one many hours, it’s fantastic.

  • Every time I see “Pee Chee portfolio” I have to mentally correct my pronunciation from “porta-flow” to “port-fo-li-o.” I’m OK with the word otherwise. I only have trouble with it when it’s followed by Pee Chee. My brain can’t be unwired from that association, apparently. And, though I am of the Pee Chee era, I have also always loved all things school supply-ish. I remember Trapper Keepers, and cruise the back-to-school aisles even now! Also, many thanks for altering me to these knitting book titles, Wool Journey, Fashionpedia, and A Stash of One’s Own, in particular. Finally, I strive to emulate Louise Tiffany’s languid pose, but have to wonder where she put her knitting…

    • I have never heard of Trapper Keepers and being left-handed, I always had a love-hate relationship with binders and spiral notebooks but I really had a thing for colored pens and pencils. Cheers for the Pee Chee folders! That’s my era! Great to color and doodle on when you’re in class.

  • The English translation of Arne and Carlos new book is supposed to be out soon.

    • There is also a wonderful book Knit for Health & Wellness. It is written by a physical therapist, Betsan Corkhill. She discusses in a clear and simple manner the complex issue if how knitting can benefit health and wellbeing of the knitter. I think every yarn shop should be carrying and showcasing it (it would probably up the sale of yarn, too).

      • Yes!!! I was about to mention this one, I’m so glad you did. I’m about 2/3 of the way through my copy and already thinking of how many friends will be getting it for the holidays. Yes, it’s that good and helpful! I think it should be required reading for all of us knitters who have autoimmune diseases – she discusses this in depth and it has helped me more than many doctor’s well meant advice, such as “reduce stress from your life.” Hah! I wish I had been knitting back then, lol!

  • Well darned if I’m not ordering up a couple of these RIGHT NOW! And, thanks for sharing the happy slideshow from Minnesota 52, it perfectly presents the knits and spirit of that project. Fun stuff!
    PS I am anti-Trapper Keeper. One of my fe strong opinions on stationery goods. Just putting that out there so we can avoid it in future conversations xoxox

  • After an attempt to organize my “wool room” I came away rather shaken when I realized that I have so much beautiful wool, silk, cotton and other wonderful fibers. I have made a vow to pretend that it is Lent and I’m giving-up purchasing yarn until…
    My bookshelves are also sagging with all of the incredible books that are coming out. I took my first knitting class in 1983 and have not stopped since. The choices we have now are incredible. No more guard hairs in my alpaca 🙂 I look forward to the snippets on Saturday and now I know where to find books. Many Thanks for your beautiful contribution to this art form.

  • Marie Wallen is releasing a new book later this month, “Shetland”. The previews look beautiful.