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Book Review


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A Treasury of Magical Knitting and a Second Treasury of Magical Knitting
by Cat Bordhi
  Buy the first treasury now at Amazon.com
  Buy the second treasury now at Amazon.com


Cat Bordhi likes to think outside the box—or in this case, loop. She turned sock knitting on its heels using two circular needles in her book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. The book was so successful that it briefly surpassed John Grisham on Amazon's list of best sellers.

Bordhi then turned her attention to children's literature, writing the award-winning book Treasure Forest. (She changed the spelling of her last name from Bordi to Bordhi in 2003.)

The Magic of Moebius
When Bordhi returned her analytic eye to knitting, she chose the mysteries of the moebius strip. This continuous one-sided surface is formed by rotating one end of a rectangular material 180 degrees and then attaching it to the other end. The result is rather like a rubber band but with one twist you can never undo.

Those of you who've let your cast-on stitches twist on a circular project may already have some notion of the moebius strip, although this doesn't produce a robust moebius form. Elizabeth Zimmermann proposed grafting the ends on a twisted rectangle in her 1989 book Knitting Around, creating a scarf that is still popular today.

A Circular Solution
But Bordhi wanted to push the envelope. So, with her trusted circular needles, she set out to create a seamless moebius—and stumbled upon a truly magical technique you must see to believe.

It involves wrapping the cable of a long circular needle into a loop, and casting your stitches onto your working needle and the inside of the wrapped cable in one seemingly continuous row. As you knit, stitches grow on either edge of your first row—there is no cast-on edge.

When you're done, cast off your stitches until there are no more on the cable, and you're done. (Like I said, you must see this to believe it!)

Book One: The Magic Begins
Bordhi's moebius exploration begins in A Treasury of Magical Knitting. She clearly and patiently outlines the technique for achieving this "magic loop." Casting on is a tricky procedure and very hard to describe in words. But Bordhi succeeds, helped with several clear photographs that illustrate every small step of the cast-on process.

After showing you the secret of the magic loop, Bordhi walks you through several variations of scarves and wraps, plus one stunning cape. She uses different trims, finishes, stitches, yarns, widths, and lengths. She even shows how you can use the moebius concept on felted boots.

Book Two: More Magic
Bordhi's next book—A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting—moves beyond shawls and scarves to show how the magic loop can be worked for bags, bowls, baskets, cozies, and a series of adorable and inviting cat beds.

Many of the items in this second book are felted, including a trifold knitter's bowl that is architecturally ingenious.

Sometimes the moebius is only a small element of the project—a twisted rim or handle—but it adds an element of intrigue, a visual pause where you notice greater depth than you'd expected.

A Good Read
Bordhi writes in a fluid, friendly, and engaging style that makes both books a pleasure to read. Even when conveying fairly dense technical information, her manner is clear and light-spirited. These books are both self-published, and their editorial, print, and design quality are outstanding.

I admire Bordhi's constant curiosity, the way her analytical mind can see beyond what is and think of what could be. I can't wait to see what Cat gets her claws into next.

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  Buy the first treasury now at Amazon.com
  Buy the second treasury now at Amazon.com
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