First, the facts:
Author: Michelle Edwards
Published by: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011
Type: Stories, patterns, recipes
The In-Depth Look:
I want to tell you that this book was sweet and touching and delightful to read. In fact, I need to tell you that (because it’s true).
Yet, every time I’ve sat down to write this review, I’ve been speechless. Words just refused to come. How many times can I tell you that a book is sweet and nice and good and filled with heart-warming little stories and patterns? You’re going to stop believing me–they can’t all be that good, can they?
But, really, this IS a sweet book. And it says “heart-warming” right on the cover.
This is a collection of stories, recipes, and patterns centered around knitting, family, friends and what it’s like to be connected to each other. Which, really, is what it’s all about.
Here, I’ll let her tell you:
“Knitting is like belonging to a tribe complete with initiation rituals, customs, rites of passage, and language. After knitting a while, you acquire strong opinions about thumbs, gussets, and heels. And when you have been knitting for a long time, like I have, knitting shapes your worldview. Reading a picture book about a chair a family buys for the mother, I think about the chair I knit in. The main character in a movie appears in a handmade hat, and I stray from the plot, lost in the hat’s cables… Knitting is not just a metaphor. Knitting is a life. And because my knitting flows into what I draw and write, what I cook, and what I read, this illustrated gathering of my stories is connected to recipes, patterns, and books.”
Firstly, I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets distracted by knitwear on TV and in movies.
Secondly, there are some delicious-sounding recipes in here. Foolproof frosting. Tomato sauce. Deviled eggs. Latkes. Soup. Jam. (Though, for the record, you don’t need your oven for the soup, even though it tells you to preheat it. I asked.) They all sound delicious.
Third, the projects are adorable. A baby blanket. A clutch purse. Slippers. A scarf. Even little soft-cooked egg warmers shaped like chickens. Nice little warm and woolly things.
But ultimately, the reason to love this book are the STORIES. The author talks about teaching her daughter to knit. Finding a perfect skein of yarn to cherish. Making the perfect blanket to keep a dying friend warm. The stories are about the things that pull us together as people, not just as knitters.
The beauty of this book is that–like many of the books that I love–it’s not just about knitting. It’s about bringing warmth and grace to the world through the wool on our needles and the bonds they make between people. This is a book to cherish in small doses, not one to rush through. It’s nourishment for your knitter’s soul, not just something to keep your needles busy.
This sweet and lovely little book can be found at Amazon.com.
This review copy was kindly donated by Stewart, Tabori, & Chang. Thank you!