Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cataloging is fun! Really!

I had such a great time looking at every book on my knitting bookshelf over the past week. Ok, yes, bookshelves, if you're going to look at me like that!

I started last Monday and finished yesterday. Sicko that I am, I really enoyed this cataloging chore. For each book, I tried to locate an "author" or knitting designer, the publisher & date, the title and the name of the photographer. For giggles, try this yourself. Figure out who is the publisher of a book which has been printed in England and the US. Find a publication date on, say, an older issue of Rebecca. Or Rowan Ten (Swallows and Amazons).

Each item puts forth a new challenge, but handling each item also reminded me why I bought it. My cataloging task drew me in to reading a bunch of books that I haven't touched in years. Very inspirational! I plan to post the whole list of books online soon. Until then... a summary of what I learned thorugh my cataloging exercise.

We don't talk enough about photographers

There are so very few photographers working in the main knitting publications. I think they are very influential on our response to the designs. Photographer/designer relationships sometimes last 20 years or more. Look for their names in your books & magazines. I found Joey Toller at Rowan and associated spin-off books like Zoe Mellor's 50 baby booties. Joe Coca appears to photograph nearly everything Interweave Press ever does. Sandra Lousada has been working with Debbie Bliss since the '80's. And of course Alexis Xenakis takes nearly all the photos for Knitters' and their associated books. Whose work do you like?

There is joy hiding in the detailed credits

I discovered that it is not entirely accurate to say that I love Dale of Norway baby designs.. it's one designer : Kari Haugen. She is credited with the vast majority of designs in the Dale Baby Collection books. I was flipping through Dale of Norway pattern book #44 thinking, maybe I should let this one go... But then, POW. I saw Kari Haugen's only design in the book. And decided to keep it. I will read the pattern credits more often.

We should all take a vow that when we are famous and run yarn companies, we will PUT CREDITS and DATES on our leaflets.

The actual books were not that hard to catalog, but the yarn manufacturers' pattern "books" and magazines drove me nuts. I'm talking about the longer booklets, like the Rowan & Rebecca magazines, a softcover booklet like "Big just got Bigger" or Jaeger JB29 or Dale of Norway Dale Baby Collection #89. Come on people! Help out your future collectors with some dates.

I'm a pretty sharp investigator and those wily manufacturers can't get me down!

I think I conquered every one of those blasted leaflets so far. I was very stubborn, because I could hear the typesetter taunting me "Oh, so you've figured out that we sometimes hide the name of the publisher on the first or last page of the pattern instructions, after the photos, have you?? Well, let's see how you do when we hide the name of the photographer in tiny, tiny letters, sideways, at the bottom of the back cover! Hah! And if you crack that one, how about finding the designer name in the Norwegian text, but not the English. Hee hee hee!" Well, take *THAT*, you wily publishers. I've got your number.

Finally, before I forget, thanks to everyone who responded to my post about missing items. All 4 items are now accounted for. Where were they?

Debbie Stoller, Stitch-n-Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
      FOUND. JV says it is "in the mail" on it's way back to me.

Nancie Wiseman, The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques
      FOUND. Guess what? It's on my desk at work. Silly silly me!

Sally Melville, The Knit Stitch (autographed!!)
      FOUND. I willingly, knowingly loaned this to SH, my latest knitting instruction victim about a month ago. And forgot.

Filati Special, Kids & Babys
      FOUND! Another victim of clever filing. This one had gotten out of the "kids" section of the shelf and into the "Euro" section. So hard to find good filing help these days.

So all four stories ended happily. And I also received lots of other notices & returns of borrowed objects. I got 2 pairs of circular needles and a magazine back from H, a set of size 9 dpn's from J, and several reminders from other knitters, Mel, Jeni and Mom, that they have my stuff. My dragonish need to count my stuff is soothed, I can go back to knitting & fondling my books.


Blogger Abigail said...

I'm glad you found your books! Looks like it's time to clean off the old desk, eh? ;)

November 16, 2005 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy to hear the lost sheep have found their way home. You'll have to keep a list of loans from now on, eh? mom

November 17, 2005 1:04 PM  

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