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Book Report: Boys Don't Knit

Obviously, I picked up Boys Don’t Knit, by T.S. Easton, because I am a boy who knits. Done.

It turns out that it’s quite a good book. Funny, silly, rude, sweet, outrageous. I’ll keep an eye out for the second one in the series.

I’m a little curious about the editing for the American edition—this is a very very English book, and it’s jarring when he talks about his father offering to take him to a soccer game. Does Macmillan US really think that American teens would be confused by references to football? Are they right? There were a couple of other places where there were what felt like Americanisms stuck in between the Tesco and the tea cozy, if you know what I mean. On the other hand, I’m told that British English now has Americanisms stuck in like that particularly amongst teens (such as this book’s first-person narrator) so perhaps a British reader of the American edition would find it totally smooth. Dunno, it seemed off to me. Although the choice not to change lollipop lady to the American crossing guard also confused me, so what do I know.

This also connected to a mini-gripe about the knitting talk—mostly it was marvelous, with our main character a kind of savant who has to visualize the whole pattern in his head before he begins, and then knits with machine-like precision. Not my way, but I loved reading it; the knitting was an extension of his character. I’m not convinced by the pattern for the easy-knit huge-stitch hoodie, I must admit, but hey, there’s a lot of stuff on ravelry I’m not convinced by, with pictures and everything, and that’s presumably real. As an idea for a pattern by a teenaged asbo who discovers a gift for the knitting needles, it works. No, my gripe is that in discussing a completed (or nearly-completed) knitted item, he several times says that there were no dropped stitches at all, and I think once says that an item knitted quickly was good, even though there were a few dropped stitches. I don’t know if a dropped stitch is something different in American Knitting than in British, but in my experience, a dropped stitch is a significant calamity which is likely to leave a large unsightly hole in the finished product. A twisted stitch is more the sort of thing I think a good knitter in a hurry might do, uneven cabling, or there’s probably a name for it when your stranded colorwork has the wrong tension and puckers the fabric, right? Anyway, dropped stitch clanged on my American ears quite badly.

But those are minor gripes in what was otherwise a fun YA sort of read.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,