In January of 2016 DYNT added a monthly book club, Fictitious Fibers, to the class and event roster. And then we promptly ran into problems getting books that were not of the "how to", information, or pattern variety. And we are still working on rectifying that issue; and trying to decide if it's ok to use books for the club that DYNT doesn't carry, assuming you will search your local independent book seller or the library for the titles.
But in the meantime, DYNT chose "Mad Man Knitting or Will Knit for Food" by Gregory Patrick for the March and April book. This book is actually 2 books / memoirs in one: "The Water and the Fly" and "Slip, Slip, Knit"; which is why it will be the book for 2 months.
Many of you, once you start reading it, may wonder why on earth I picked this book. It definitely isn't a Miss Marple, "Friday Night Knitting Club", or the memoir of a middle aged woman working through a troublesome knitting project. Not to mention that the writing style can be a bit more gritty than some may prefer.
So why did I pick this book?
As you may know, DYNT specializes in American Made yarns and supplies for fiber lovers. We do this for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that by purchasing American made goods we are supporting our neighbors. And that goes for books too. I'm not sure where every book I sell is published, but this particular book I was able to purchase directly from the author. Just like when you buy a tomato from a farmer at the farm stand and the farmer gets paid directly, by purchasing a few copies of this book, I put the money directly into the author's hand. That's important to me.
Also, it's the memoir of a MAN knitting. DYNT has a number of male clients, but I still can't figure out why more men don't crochet or knit - both are very structural and mathematical crafts with useful end products. It always confuses me that fiber arts are seen as women's crafts. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to read about an ordinary bloke who uses knitting as a way to deal with all that life throws at him. Are the reasons he reaches for his needles any different from ours? I doubt it. Stress, creativity, and soul searching are genderless issues. How we each handle the issues in our lives is what makes each of our individual stories interesting.
There are a gazillion memoirs out there - I once read one about a woman returning to her Jewish roots and learning to keep a kosher kitchen. "Mad Man Knitting" seemed to have just the right amount of uniqueness to it to make it just a wee bit different, and worth the read. It might not always be a "feel good" memoir, but what it is, is a memoir of a man struggling to find his place in the world, and often knitting away his troubles, stress, and free time. It isn' t so much about knitting, as it's about moving home, growth, and relationships - with families, friends, partners, co-workers, and just about everyone in an average life.
"I couldn't believe it, but was given, I think, the first lesson in my life about going home. It's not always as you remember it. It's not always glamouros and beautiful and warm. Life isn't always a success. Sometimes it's a downright disaster for the wrong ones, the ones who either give up, or had no hand to help them." - Mad Man Knittng, by Gregory Patrick.