65/100 A Tangled Yarn by Betty Hechtman

This fifth book in the yarn retreat series is awesome.  It really is better if you read these books in order, but I don’t have 3&4 on Kindle so I have to read them in paperback.  I’ll go back and read them soon!  You can easily read these out of order if you do not mind spoilers, the characters are fun and funny.  The crafts mentioned tend to be interesting, I wound up learning finger crochet and arm knitting when my mom read the books, and the personality conflicts keep everyone hopping.  With all of the pressure on Casey during these retreats, balancing baking, the retreat, a murder investigation, and two guys interested in her, she must just sleep between retreats!

If you ‘re looking for a fun, fast paced, fiber oriented mystery then this is the book for you.  There is a bit of romance, but it occurs at a reasonable pace.  In Romance Novels boy meets girl, or boy, or girl meets girl, and the next thing you know you have to skip five pages+ for a graphic sex scene.  There is none of that here, though something is alluded to from book 3 or 4 so I’d better get reading!

Happy Reading!

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64/100 Wound Up In Murder by Betty Hechtman

This is a great addition to the series. Casey finally admitted that having her friends help her out really makes the retreats go smoother. Unfortuantely these friends have two different styles to their crafting. One has to have a regimented idea of what is going on, what the product will look like, and step by step of how to get there. The other enjoys the journey of the craft, isn’t too worried about the end product, and feels that everyone should have a choice of what they will end up with. Since they are both trying to help lead the retreat, and the topic is mystery bags which drives the regimented one up the wall to begin with, things get interesting. Add in a bunch of people trying to pretend it is half a century ago and a dead body on the ground (with Casey harboring a ‘fugitive’) and things get really interesting.
For a fast paced, funny book, that illustrates (quite well) some of the different personalites involved with crafting this is a great read.

64/100 Silence of the Lambs Wool by Betty Hechtman

This is one of the funniest books I have read in a while. The constant series of mishaps that occurs every time this poor woman tries to put on an event. If you don’t mind a little murder with your crafting, and a few quirky characters then this is the series for you. They do not get into the crafting in much detail, don’t expect to learn how to spin from this book, but you get a decent overview into how much work these various crafts really are/can be.
Between the quirky characters, the fast paced plot, the bumbling shop owner/baker, and the murders (don’t forget the murders) this is a decent book. I really enjoy reading about people that have the same passions as myself.

62/100 At Knit’s End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

This is the be-all, end-all of knitting humor. If you think you are completely insane about your craft, you have nothing on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. From stashing stash in the freezer, stash acquisition, what kind of knitter are you, and so much more. You will find yourself both laughing at some of her analogies and cringing at how accurate she is sometimes. This is a great read/listen for knitters and non-knitters alike. Knitters so they can sympathize and agree, non-knitters so they see that the knitter in their lives isn’t quite as bad as they could be (or are they?).
Happy Reading (and crafting, let’s be honest here).

61/100 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

If you are at all interested in knitting or the fiber arts, and have a decent sense of humor, then this is the book for you. A light hearted ‘tour guide’ to the world of knitting, this is a great way for beginner and advanced knitters to learn a little something without worrying about taking notes. If you think you are the only knitter in the world, don’t know how to reach out to other knitters, or simply take your crafts too seriously, then consider listening to this book. If you are a non-knitter, or pre-knitter (it looks neat, but I don’t think I can do that), then consider reading or listening to this book so that you are better able to understand the knitter in your life.

If you think that the opinions in this book are too extreme/unrealistic…you don’t know, or really know, any knitters.

Go find some, they rock.

29/100 Yarnitecture by Jillian Moreno

Okay, when I say I read this, I do admit I did not read every word of every glossary and index found in the back. There were several really neat knitting patterns in this book. I enjoyed reading the tips, the graphics were wonderful, I have a much better grasp of how to spin fine after reading this book. I also have a much better understanding of what I am looking for in a knitting yarn and why yarn is spun in a particular manner. I think that if you are a dedicated knitter hoping to get into spinning this is certainly a book for you. If you are a spinner that wants to spin knitting yarn then read this book and watch the video ‘Spinning for Lace’ they both have great tips.
If you are a spinner that spins for fun and knitting is a very far back burner hobby, then this is not the book for you.
All in all an interesting read!

76/100 Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning by Lexi Boeger

This is an author with revolutionary theories on handspinning, as well as a bent toward political agendas.  I really enjoyed reading this book, it was completely hilarious.  I really enjoyed how serious this author was with her revolutionary and artistic ideas toward spinning.  I had just finished the book, Spin Control, how to spin with a purpose to get the yarn you want/need for a project, so this book talking about letting the fiber tell you what it wants to be, is quite the change.  This book actually reminds me of a psychology teacher I had in college.
She was supposed to be teaching us about gender studies.  She spoke about how breasts are just lumps of fat, so she shouldn’t feel bad that she doesn’t have any (her words, not mine).  She spoke about how she spent some time wearing a fur coat she found at a salvation army until she realized that one of the people she was trying to impress probably donated the coat in the first place.  She also showed us one of those videos that PETA tries to propagate about how chickens are treated in One of the companies.  I had the audacity to ask what this had to do with gender studies, she fluffed it off, something about how men treat women.  The only class I ever came close to failing.
Needless to say this author and her very artistic ideals trigger some bad memories.  Despite this, she does have some good ideas, and decent descriptions for creating various yarns.  She does say in the beginning of this book that you need to be able to create a balanced yarn before you can begin breaking the rules.  She does always seem to be breaking every rule and since most of the yarn she creates on purpose looks a lot like early mistakes, it really does make a person wonder how much is justification…but to recreate things over and over you have to have some skill.
This is certainly a book to get your creative juices flowing, and if you are conservative have a good laugh at the same time.