Monday, October 26, 2009

An FTC/Litigation/Copyright-Safe Book Review

A few posts back, I mentioned a test-knit that I was doing for a designer. I fearlessly quote my own blog post below, as I wrote it and gave myself written permission to quote it elsewhere under the Fair Use provision of copyright law. The excerpt is fewer than 50 words, so I should be doubly safe from self-litigation.

... a test knit so hideous that Laptop scuttles out of the room (hissing) whenever I remove the thing from its lightproof bag. To add insult to injury, the supplied yarn's texture rivals that of steel wool, but is not quite as soft.

Having placated the copyright cops, I state here, for the comfort of the FTC, that both the pattern and the yarn were given to me. However, neither were gifts, as I must return both the knitted object and the remaining yarn to the designer, for which I will be paid a pittance. I did, however, receive a free copy of the pattern, and this I shall gleefully burn. Aside from the appearance of the thing, which Harry and I agree is the single ugliest knitted work in the history of textiles, the pattern contains several errors. The designer did not respond to my queries, so I assume that the errors are now written in stone printer's ink.

It turns out that the pattern is from a book the designer has written, as I discovered on Saturday. I picked up a book at SAFF, and was smacked in the eye by The Ugly Object as I riffled through the pages. It occurred to me that I ought to do a book review, since I have an intimate acquaintance with at least one of the patterns contained therein.

I am not, however, going to mention either the book title or the author, lest I be sued for libel. Similarly, I will not be showing you any photographs or quoting content, for fear of breaking copyright law. I am safe from the FTC as well, because I neither bought, nor received the book as a gift, so do not now, nor have I ever, had it in my possession.

So, I present to you an FTC/Litigation/Copyright-Safe Book Review. Please feel free to reuse the words here for your own book review. As you will see, my coverage will work for just about any knitting book you dislike, while keeping you out of the courts and the prison system! Furthermore, I give everyone blanket permission to blatantly copy everything written below in perpetuity.

Fleegle's Hard-Hitting Review of                                                                  , by                                           , available from                                             , 2009.

The title of this book is very descriptive of the contents, but the designer's taste leaves something to be desired. I've never seen anything quite like these finished objects, which are actually not intrinsically ugly. However, the designer's choices of yarn and color transformed the plebeian patterns into a chaotic visual jumble.

The body text font is a very thin, condensed typeface, making it difficult to read and even more difficult to follow the directions. The color plates, paper, and binding are very attractive. Nice job, printers!

The book has a table of contents, an index, and a bunch of designs in between. I won't tell you how many there are, because you might figure out which book I am talking about and notify the designer. In turn, the designer would contact a lawyer and I would be sued for libel. Let's just say that there are more than five and fewer than 100.

I noted that most of the patterns could be found for free on Ravelry, and would most definitely benefit from your own personal and tasteful choice of color and yarn. I am not going to tell you what kinds of patterns we are talking about, because again, you might guess the book and I would be sued. The patterns are definitely all knitted, most with worsted weight yarn. Some patterns were knitted with other yarns, but I am not going to furnish any more details, except to say that you will need some knitting needles to complete them. A few stitch markers would be a good idea, too.

So, to conclude, unless you are a fan of visual hysteria, I discourage you from purchasing this book.

And with that, I leave you until next time, when I shall present photographs of an actual finished lacy sweater, knitted and photographed by me, and completed this very day.

27 comments:

=Tamar said...

The ultimate tweet?

Cheryl S. said...

You are such a tease.

BammerKT said...

O.o

KPiep said...

My first reaction is....did we work for the same designer? But no, mine's book is still in production.

So would you like to join my friend and I in our pact to never,NEVER work for these people again?

Anna M said...

This is why I typically don't knit from anyone else's design. Too much risk in actually discussing why you did or did not like it. I do like knitting humor books.... HINT!

Sarah said...

Okay, now I really want the details ! Tease.

Sarah said...

Okay, now I really want the details ! Tease.

Jane said...

Great review of what sounds like a very scary book! Sorry you were the "canary in the coal mine" but the rest of us are spared because you took the hit!

Pandora's Box of FIber said...

That was incredibly amusing.

punkin said...

But if you read this post out loud so that it could be heard by passersby by, then would the copyright police be able to fine you. (reference to a previous post)

I enjoyed reading today's post. It did tweak my curiosity a bit.

fuzzyjay said...

Now I'm going to look for thin, condensed typefaces in a knitting book. Then I'll sue the bastards for using a typeface that doesn't suit my older eyes!

paulkbiba said...

Great post. Did a link on TeleRead today.

Paul Biba
Co-Editor, www.teleread.org

Ger said...

I believe you mean FTC not the FCC.

heidi said...

what an excellent book review:)

I'll make sure to avoid this particular book whenever it shows up in the book store:))

Of course having been a test knitter for this particular book must have filled you ugly knitting ration for this year/decade;)

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Myself and I are entering into self-litigation against a party to be named myself.

WendyKnits said...

I too will be dashing to the bookstore to try to figure out which book it is!

Thank goodness I know it is not mine, as you have not testknit for me. ;-)

Laritza said...

I will not buy it, that is for sure.

Helen said...

Brilliant. I am d-y-i-n-g of curiosity.

larascreations said...

Lol; on a roll, are we? I was just wondering how that lacy sweater was coming along.....if it's the one I'm thinking of in the softest ever yarn.

May your eyes never again be tormented with the sight, er, unsightly, object from beyond!

gayle said...

Best book review ever...
Since I seldom buy books anyway, I shall have to warn the library not to loan me the book with the Incredibly Ugly Object in it.
Whatever it might be...

Carla said...

I shall be sure to avoid this amazingly bad knitting book. If I can ever figure out which one it is, of course.

Carol said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...GASP...HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Judith said...

ummmm, is this a real book, or just another hilarious piece by you? because I find it hard to believe you would willingly take on such hideousness at so many different levels!

fleegle said...

Dear Judith-

Yes, it's a real book. And the designer did pay for the test knit. Unemployment makes one do strange things :)

BadCatDesigns said...

I will be sure not to buy this book! If only I had a clue which book...but wait! Maybe my own good taste would stand in the way even without the benefit of your review. I can only hope:)

So I guess that test knitting is thankless, but can also be nauseating.

Tenna Draper said...

Maybe the AUTHOR likes those colors? And he really is from Mars?
Maybe the author is blind? Do we dare hope?
Maybe the author's wife dresses him now and again, and just didn't for the book?

LOL!
Used to have a teacher that would wear a striped tie with a striped shirt...it was just too much most days.

Notice that I think it's a MALE author? I figure no self respecting woman would go out of doors in clothing that didn't at least look halfway decent--unless she's still in curlers and just headed out to the mailbox in her fuzzy slippers.

=Tamar said...

Now that the text has appeared... I think you're safe. I'm sure I've seen that book, but there are so many possibilities that I couldn't guess which one you wrote about.