Book Review and Giveaway: Knits for Nerds

Today I’m reviewing Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy by Toni Carr, and I’m also hosting a giveaway for my review copy, courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing, so read on for details!

Book review

Knits for Nerds has a simple concept: if you like to knit and you like to geek out, you will want to make projects inspired by popular sci fi, fantasy, and comic book characters and themes.

The book opens with a brief intro from Toni Carr (a.k.a. Joan of Dark), sharing her own childhood introduction to all things geeky.  The book is organized into four sections: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comics and Manga, and Other Stuff for Nerds.

The Fantasy section includes projects inspired by Vampire Academy, Wicked Lovely, the Temeraire series, Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods and Anansi Boys, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s  The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.  There is also a toddler “elf” hat which looks more like a Viking helmet to me. (I should say that I’ve never been much of a fantasy reader, so it is very possible that elves and Vikings actually look the same.)  I wasn’t very familiar with many of the references in this section.  The Hobbit Feet slippers look about as humorously gross as I would expect from “real” hobbit feet.  The Summer Queen Shawl and the Light of Earendil Shrug are both lovely and would definitely be appreciated by people who aren’t familiar with the inspiration.

I was a bit more at home with the Science Fiction section, which includes projects inspired by FireflyDr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the Star Wars and Star Trek universes, and Dr. Who.  Since this is my particular nerd territory, I liked the Space Princess Hats, Padme’s Battle Cape (though I personally could never imagine knitting something that large!), the Next Generation Sweater, Trek Girl Dress, and Aim to Misbehave Brown Jacket.

In the Comics and Manga section, you will find projects inspired by Tank Girl, the Sandman universe, Filler Bunny, Catwoman, and Mystique.  The Mystique project is a convertible outfit – a sweater, shrug, tube top, and halter top – inspired by her shapeshifting ways.

The Other Stuff for Nerds section casts the net a bit wider.  Inspiration sources include The Big Bang Theory and Real Genius, as well as DNA and Mobius.  This section is where you will find the electronic cozies and bags.

Overall, there are 5 easy patterns, 22 intermediate patterns, and 6 advanced patterns.  In terms of project types, in addition to the convertible Mystique outfit,  here is the breakdown:

Hats: 5

Scarf/Shawl/Mobius Cowl: 5

Sweaters/Vests/Jacket: 5

Gloves/Mitts: 3

Socks: 2

Bags/electronic cozies: 3

Toys: 3

Cape: 1

Dress: 1

Legwarmers: 1

Shrug: 1

Slippers: 1

Tie: 1

 

While most projects are for women, there are a handful of designs for men, and a toddler hat.  Only a few of the projects are posted to Ravelry at this point, but you can view those here.

The book features the work of nine designers.  24 of the patterns are designed by Toni Carr (including 2 co-designed with Irene Basey), and the other designers are Linda J. Dunn, Ashley Fay, Laura Hohman, Genevieve Miller, Callie Need, Marilee Norris, and Rilana Riley-Munson.

You will also find trivia sprinkled throughout the book, along with some humorous notes in the patterns.  At the end of the book, there is a section with abbreviations and brief descriptions of all the techniques used in this book (including the basics like knit and purl).

There is an interesting range of patterns in this book, and I think many knitters will find several projects which appeal to them, whether or not they are interested in sci fi/fantasy/comics.  Speaking as a nerd, I would reach for a book like this for two reasons: to share during my geeky themed event (just as I used to put Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook on display whenever I had a Star Wars party – and yes, there were a few!) and to use for Halloween or other costume inspiration.  The book meets both of these requirements.  I could also see these projects coming in handy during Nerd Wars.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars for a self-identified geek or nerd knitter with basic to intermediate skills.  If you aren’t excited by fantasy, sci fi, or comic books, I don’t think the book will seem cohesive enough to draw you to it.

The Giveaway

I’m giving away my review copy of Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy by Toni Carr, courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing, to one reader.  The winner will be chosen at random.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post by Sunday, March 11 at 11:59 p.m., telling me what makes you geek out.
  • For another chance to win, join my Ravelry group.  Then you can either post a comment on my Ravelry group or here again so I will give you another entry.  (If you already are in my Ravelry group, just post a comment for another chance to win.)
  • For another chance to win, share the link to this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog.  Then post a comment here with the link to your Tweet or blog post, or leave a comment on my Facebook page so I will give you another entry.

Good luck!

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