Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

Ann Hood

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 039334987X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“In this lovely anthology, Sue Grafton, Barbara Kingsolver, and other authors go public with their passion for knitting.”―People magazine, four stars

“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters. . . . These essays will break your heart. They will have you laughing out loud.”―Ann Hood, from the introduction

Why does knitting occupy a place in the hearts of so many writers? What’s so magical and transformative about yarn and needles? How does knitting help us get through life-changing events and inspire joy? In Knitting Yarns, twenty-seven writers tell stories about how knitting healed, challenged, or helped them to grow. Barbara Kingsolver describes sheering a sheep for yarn. Elizabeth Berg writes about her frustration at failing to knit. Ann Patchett traces her life through her knitting, writing about the scarf that knits together the women she’s loved and lost. Knitting a Christmas gift for his blind aunt helped Andre Dubus III knit an understanding with his girlfriend. Kaylie Jones finds the woman who used knitting to help raise her in France and heals old wounds. Sue Grafton writes about her passion for knitting. Also included are five original knitting patterns created by Helen Bingham.

Poignant, funny, and moving, Knitting Yarns is sure to delight knitting enthusiasts and lovers of literature alike.

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the talk go softer, as long as it needs to be, fondly ribbed and yarned-over, loosely structured or not at all, with embellishment on every edge. Laughter makes dropped stitches. It begins with a pattern. The arresting helical twist of a double cable, a gusset, a hexagon, a spiral, a fractal, an openwork ladder, an aran braid, a chevron and leaf, the eyes of the lynx, the traveling vines. The mimsy camisole you arguably could live without, the munificent cardigan you need. A mitten lost in

devilish left hand and the alien-looking patterns. But the real reason I was a failure at knitting was a basic unwillingness to try due to the unease I felt watching my mother, who reminded me of a modern-day Madame Defarge, smirking with satisfaction at the adulterers getting their comeuppance on the soaps she watched every afternoon. She crocheted wave after crashing wave of afghans in her zigzag pattern, delicate baby blankets in blue or pink threaded with ribbon and edged with silk, cunning

voicing his concern about the course of a conversation. His prime directive is to be in physical contact with humans—with me in particular. I would not have it any other way. How could you not want to bring pleasure to this strange creature that is in large part a dog, but many other mysterious things besides? To me, in case it is not already clear, he is more than a pet. He is a living being with a consciousness, preferences, desires, fears, and joys. I find myself comforted in the ways that I

world’s largest open-air asylum. The other really is in an institution. Perhaps that is why I got it into my head that I needed a dog. Companionship. I had wanted a dog for years, but New York City does not lend itself to dog ownership. The work hours and commutes are long, not a good life for animals that crave companionship. By leaving my job to have a go at novel writing, I found I had space for a dog. But what dog? I considered every breed, from Great Danes to Vizslas to Weimaraners to

mother knit. My grandmothers knitted us hats with pompoms and fancy cabled sweaters with intricately designed yokes, patterned with snowflakes, leaves, and flowers. The tag in the back reading always, Made with Love by GRANDMA. My mom knit, too, although not with the same zeal. Her sweaters had dolman sleeves or were made out of eclectic yarns, some spun with feathers. THE FIRST THING I made—the only thing I recall making was a rainbow-colored rug for my dollhouse. Okay, it started out in my

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