Saturday, June 24, 2006

DVD Review: The Art of Knitting

Soon after I published yesterday's post complaining about how hot it was, we received a fantastic thunderstorm with a lengthy torrential downpour and cooler temperatures, which have stretched into today. What a blessing!

Another blessing -- no hard-and-fast plans this weekend, so this afternoon I decided to pop in the "The Art of Knitting" DVD I'd rented from Netflix weeks ago but had yet to watch.

Below is my review:


Overall rating: 2½ stars out of 5

Highlights, (or, why this DVD got 2½ stars instead of just 1):

* Hey, it's a DVD about knitting - those are few and far between!
* I enjoyed the segments about Alpaca farming and processing their fibers
* Semi-decent, (if brief), overview of continental knitting
* Interesting stitch library
* Semi-decent glossary of terms and abbreviations
* Semi-decent lists of knitting books, magazines, websites, charities and events

Low points, (or, why this DVD received no higher than 2½ stars):

* Bad sound quality
* Bad lighting
* Bad editing
* Way too many talking heads
* Idiotic segments including:
* Couture knitted swimwear designs, (appropriate for 0.001% of the population)
* Too-long, too new-agey segment on the "Zen" of knitting
* Color Theory, where the girl, obviously not a knitter, kept referring to "weaving", "sewing" and "threads", instead of knitting and yarn
* Ridiculous segment on the new-agey "Knitting as Soul Food" knitting circle based in La-La land; (leader actually said, "let us now call our ancestors into the room")
* A silly "Fit-to-Knit" workout

* Not enough time devoted to intermediate knitting techniques
* Outdated Yarn & Craft Store list

I have to admit that I did not have the patience to watch the entire "Getting Started: The Basics of Knitting" segment, as I find it painfully boring to watch someone teaching someone else how to knit. So I cannot honestly review that section of the DVD, although it, too, was plagued by especially bad sound quality and bad lighting -- another reason I skipped watching most of that part. That segment might actually be helpful for a brand new knitter to watch, but I cannot judge that fairly, since I can now say I'm beyond that level. (whoo hoo!)

The DVD also showed "sneak peaks" of their next releases, (Volumes 2 thru 4), and I'm hoping that they've learned something from the first one and the technical quality will have improved. A better presentation might make me more patient with the topics that are less "appealing" to my personal taste.


If I end up staying in town next weekend for the holiday, I think I'll finally pop in the Elizabeth Zimmerman DVD's I purchased a few months ago and give them a whirl.

People tell me they're great.



Anne Margaret said...

Kntting videos through Netflix? I had not idea! You're making me run over to my queue and start fishing around (just not for this one!)!! Thanks for the tip!

Robin said...

Thanks for making me feel--normal! We have this at our library and I too found it a little dull in certain areas. Maybe a non-knitter would like it?! I did like the Alpaca farm.

Yeah--right--I'm going to knit me a bikini!! NOT!!

Mary said...

Anne Margaret -- unfortunately, I think this may be the only knitting DVD that Netflix currently has, which, despite its bad reviews, is why I rented it. And now I understand the bad reviews.

Robin - I can't imagine a non-knitter liking this DVD, unless they're dying to learn how to knit and don't have access to episodes of "Knitty Gritty" on DIY. But the alpaca farming segment did make me think that it might make a nice new career! ;-)