Sunday, March 29, 2009

Musings from Carol Anderson

Well, the blog hasn't moved yet. I had some problems uploading the new Knitting Purls to its blog, so I decided to wait to move Knit-a-while until those are worked out.

I have a book review for you. Musings, Memories, Matrimony and More…, by Carol A. Anderson. Carpenter, Iowa: Cottage Creations, 2008.

Most knitters know the name Carol Anderson or Cottage Creations. After all, the Wonderful Wallaby has been a popular pattern; approximately 66,000 copies of the pattern booklet have been printed! So, it’s easy to understand why so many people anxiously waited for Anderson’s autobiography.
Musings, Memories, Matrimony and More … is more than an autobiography about Carol Anderson the knitter, the designer, the business owner. In fact, those facets of her life comprise a small portion of the book. This book is about Anderson’s life. As she stated in an interview published in the September 2008 issue of Knitting Purls, her family and community involvement are the top priorities in her life. This is evident in the stories she chose to share with readers.
The story Anderson tells in Musings, Memories, Matrimony and More … is not unlike those that many women of her generation experienced: how she met and married her husband, the sometimes-difficult task of setting up a home, starting a family, and having a love-hate relationship with kitchen appliances. Though the stories may be familiar, Anderson tells them in a way that makes them interesting, that makes you want to move on to find out what she’s going to write about in the next chapter.
Throughout the book, it is obvious how much the author’s family means to her. Anderson writes lovingly of her family members. The chapter about her brother Arthur, who had Down syndrome, is especially moving. Unlike what one finds in some autobiographies, one never gets the idea that Anderson has idealized her family members or others in her life. These people are very real. Readers will be able to identify people in their own lives who share characteristics with those in Anderson’s family.
There are technical issues with the book. There are spelling and grammatical errors, as well as stylistic ones (titles should be italicized in print, not underscored). In the table of contents, chapters are numbered but not in the text. Some “problems” with the book are more technical, running into design and publishing issues. Text runs wide across the page and deeper into the gutter than one finds in most books. That could be problematic if someone has a dexterity issue. It invites the reader to open the book wider, which could break the binding. There’s no ISBN, which means the book’s availability will be limited, and there’s no copyright notice—which does not mean it’s not protected by copyright.
Should those things keep people from reading the book? Of course not. Like Cottage Creations’ patterns, Musings, Memories, Matrimony and More … has that homemade, friendly look, and that is part of what has made the company—and Carol Anderson—popular for so long. She’s like an old, trusted friend, and her readers love her for that. And, they’ll love the book.
The book can be ordered from Cottage Creations, At the Farm of Deer Creek, Carpenter, IA 50426. It is also carried by some LYS, including some online.

1 comment:

mirtooli said...

Carol- I work in a yarn store. A customer came in wanting to buy your "wonderful wallaby" pattern - which she had found through Ravelry.
What a hard time she had finding a place to buy this pattern!!! I suggest you post some links for people so they can get to places to but your patterns on line!
Perhaps create yourself an identity on Ravelry too!
( aka mirtooli)
ps. seems THIS is the ONLY way to contact you at all!!!