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Review: Knitting Lit

Sometimes, of course, you want to read about knitting, but you don’t want to read about KNITTING. You’re not interested in patterns. You’re not interested in yet another collection of stitches, or in reading the knitty-gritty of some new knitting technique.

This is where essays are remarkably handy. Collections of stories, reminiscenses. Tales of sweaters long gone, of learning at Grandma’s knee. Or explorations about how knitting feels, how enjoyable, rewarding, and altogether satisfying it can be.

Here are five books like that, that you might enjoy. (Alphabetical by title–no playing favorites)

Knit Lit: Sweaters and Their Stories … And Other Writing About Knitting
by Linda Roghaar & Molly Wolf
–This is a collection of essays and stories–each by a different writer–where, to quote the back cover, “knitters of every color celebrate their hobby and share with you the joy it brings into their lives.”

Knitting Lessons: Tales from the Knitting Path
by Lela Nargi
–This book follows the author as she “seeks to discover exactly what it is about the practice of knitting that draws people in and keeps them returning, day after day, to their yarn.” All stories about different knitters, all told by one voice as she follows her quest.

The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice
by Susan Gordon Lydon
–Here, the author “turns to her hobby as a way to rehabilitate a fractured bone in her right arm. Soothing, absorbing, productive, and meditative, knitting becomes more than therapy, more than a way to pass the time, more than a means of creative expression … she finds it a way to discover the stillness within, a way to contact the soul.”

Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales: A Knitter’s Stash of Wit and Wisdom
edited by Kari Cornell,
–Also a collection of stories from 23 wise and well-known voices in the knitting world. “The authors whose pieces are represented here find joy and comfort in knitted pieces and in those who make them. With humor and insight, they have created a charming collection of stories that knitters of all generations and backgrounds will relate to.”

This is How I go When I Go Like This: Weaving and Spinning as Metaphor
by Linda Collier Ligon
–In this book, the author “publisher and lifetime weaver celebrates both the simple pleasures and profound joys of the fiber arts.” “These pursuits are antidotes to haste, impatience, pressure, conformity. The remind us to respect the natural world and the materials it provides. They give us a sense of continuity with our past and a sense of linkage with other cultures…. When you practice these crafts, you end up with so much more than a bunch of placemats or a jaket or a nice wall hanging.”

My Gush: Pour a cup of tea and curl up for some good reading.

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