Knitting Yarns edited by Ann Hood

As well as walking and reading, my main hobbies are fabric crafts: sewing and knitting. I knit whenever I get the chance: on the sofa, on the train, in a corner during my lunch hour and the gradual building up of stitches has gently become how I think about things.

This book was tucked in a corner of the LRB bookshop, an American import without a price in pounds. My aunt, who I was in London with, kindly bought it for me has half of my birthday present (the other half is a book on mathematics which I haven’t yet read).

It is a lovely collection of stories and essays, covering how knitting brings people, mainly women together. From mother-daughter bonding over learning together to a passionate gap year affair. Then there are the serendipitous meetings an conversations, because knitting in public is a way to break down the barriers that stop strangers talking. But mostly it is about how construction of fabric from a ball of string using a pair of sticks is a wonderfully soothing, powerful thing to be able to do.

I did wonder if the non-knitter: Elizabeth Searle’s friend was Suzanne Strempek Shea, as they seemed to describe each other so well, one wanting nothing more than to sit by her knitting friend and watch her produce something from just that ball of string.

My only misgiving about knitting the patterns included is that there are no photos in the book, so no indication as to how they will turn out. But I have Ravelry, so patterns aren’t something I am short of, and photos of the finished projects are never far away

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