I have a secret affection for owning knitting books. I know I can find 1000s of free online patterns. My ravelry queue is more than 5 pages long and a single search for a particular type (say, hat) nets me 5 or 6 new ideas. I have 3 or 4 projects on needles and I keep thinking of new ones. But I really like the books because reading them absolutely drives my inspiration. I find all sorts of things I really love, and I think about changing them, and dream about the types of garments I could make if I had the patience to shell out for 12 balls of yarn.
The problem with this is that I'm frugal. I don't want to purchase a book that has patterns that I dislike. Since I've never encountered one book with 100% me-appropriate patterns, I've settled for a reasonable percentage. 50% to consider it. I'd like to say 80% to purchase, but I've bought a few books far below that.
This is especially a problem with the felting books I'm currently looking at. I am very interested in wool and the concept of felting, and I want to give it a try. I'm a scientist. I'm sure I can figure out how to do it from a minimum of research (and I already know it involves 100% natural animal fibers, hot water, and agitation) that I can do on the web for free, but I want a book because I want to read all about the complications in size, gauge, and color effects.
But every single one of these books (that I've found on Amazon) has felted balls.
I hate felted balls.
I'm sure they look really cool on some people as necklaces, or in some houses as decorations. I even understand the usefulness of starting with a simplistic project to teach me about not killing the washing machine, and the behavior of animal fibers under the hot-water-and-agitation principles. But to me they are nothing more than a cop-out in the pattern department. They're round balls, for crapsake! You're lucky if they're on a necklace and not just something you stuff in a bowl! They are not remotely useful. I know that it is a lot to ask for patterns to be useful, but I suppose I really mean, "something I would ever employ as a knitter." I don't need felted balls, and I really really don't need decorative balls that go in a bowl to look pretty. I don't have kids, but I do have pets--decorations do not last long in my house. Including them as one of your 10 or 16 patterns means that they are 5-10% of the value of the book--this is not fair!
All right, grumpy aside, I think I'm going to have to put up with them if I want to get a felting book. Maybe I can just cut that page out and pretend it doesn't exist. Yeah. Repression is the answer.