“Håll käften, jag räknar” – a review

I do enjoy a good knit lit. I’ve read my first in January 2009 so I’ve done it for a while. I’ve read funny stories about knitting, knitting humour, knitting crime novels, knitting drama and knitting romance novels. For my birthday this year I got some more knit lit, the first (?) ever Swedish knit lit: Håll käften, jag räknar (Shut up, I’m counting) by Julia Skott. She also has a knitting pod together with some friends – Rätt avigt – but I’ve never listened to it before. All in all, I’m more familiar with the English speaking knitting world than the Swedish one but after this I might consider changing that.

I enjoyed the book very much. In the beginning I found it a bit slow but it improved the more I read and the final chapters were very interesting and well written. Julia Skott mixes well known (to the knitting world) “facts” and ideas with her personal opinions and she philosophizes around knitting. For a new knitter, or a more experienced knitter who would like to expand her knitting world, this book is great, since it tells you and explains most aspects of the knitting world. For me there wasn’t much that stroke me as new, and in the beginning I thought Skott to perhaps be a little too influenced by the Yarn Harlot, but then again I’ve been reading said author regularly for about eight years, I have all her books and there isn’t much going on that she hasn’t spoken about before. Also, Skott mentions Yarn Harlot in the end and I figure, who wouldn’t be inspired by that wonderful woman?

No matter how much the Swedish knitting society is picking up, we are still years behind the English speaking one (our’s is also with a twist, we have our own knitting society with our own traditions and history which of course is reflecting in modern knitting but we can’t deny that a lot is happening overseas and a lot of it is great too) and this book is really something if you want to expand your knitting world or if you would like an introduction to the knitting world beyond. I know a lot of knitters who “doesn’t do computers” (direct quote) or who feels intimidated by patterns in English (funny enough, the most recent person who said that doesn’t think twice about bobbin lace patterns in Dutch, but I digress), or over all is a little bit afraid to go beyond their local yarn store and there is nothing wrong with that as long as they are happy with it. But for someone who feels limited by this, this book is perfect. It explains all you need to know, all things you might have seen and wondered about and I know that every knitter, no matter how experience they have or if they’ve just picked up a pair of needles once or twice, will find something in this book that they will recognize. That’s not the easiest thing to do but Skott manages it beautifully.

I will definitely start listening to the pod from now on.