Things I Learned from Knitting ... Whether I Wanted to or Not

Are you among the growing legions of knitters? Has your best friend been known to cancel plans when there is a yarn sale, or your mother and mother-in-law to stash away yarn for blankets for grandchildren yet to come? Perhaps even your husband has caught the bug and is working on some lovely cables as we speak. If so, buy this book now; because Stephanie Pearl-McPhee gets us. She gets the perseverance of knitters who find themselves unable to knit a swatch even though that is the "right" thing to do. But fair warning: if you don't know what a swatch is, this book isn't for you. Structured in a self-help format, Pearl-McPhee's brief musings will touch a chord (and a cord) with the yarn-obsessed. Her people are the ones comfortably knitting socks at the airport to the endless drone of canceled flight announcements. Pearl-McPhee observes that knitting doesn't teach patience; it helps the impatient not go insane while waiting. The author also writes the popular Canadian blog, the Yarn Harlot, where knitters who are (gasp) not at the moment knitting enjoy her dry, self-deprecating humor. Reading her blog is like checking in with a close friend. How are those unbelievably complicated socks with the tiny grape leaves coming along? We feel her pain and obsession as she rips back hours of work. Happily this book stands alone and doesn't have the "I cut and pasted this from my blog" feeling. And it contains both copious laughs and vital truths. Perhaps the biggest: babies grow. "I feel terrible pointing out this simple truth that knitting has taught me, but I've seen so many knitters burned by this that I can hardly not."

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).