Not all “knitting” books are about knitting — some of them contain, besides a lot of knitting by the author, life lessons learned and wisdom earned at the hand of their knitting endeavors.
In this post we’ll look at some top knitters who are not only great writers as well, but also seeming as close as an old friend who can impart pearls of wisdom for your life when you need it most. With a good sprinkling of humor as well, of course!
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Yarn Harlot)
A favorite knitter and writer for many, this Canadian has blogged as Yarn Harlot since 2004. With her endless wit and wisdom, she has amassed a large fan base for a reason.
Her books, and books in which she has essays, include the following:
- The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On
- All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin
- Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again
- Things I Learned From Knitting Whether I Wanted To or Not
- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting
- Knitting Rules! The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks
- Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter
- At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
- Knitlit Too edited by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf
Clara Parkes (The Yarn Whisperer)
Another knitter-writer well-known in the fiber world is Clara Parkes. She lives and breathes fiber and love to teach others about it — she even has a Bluprint class on Fiber!
Her books range from practical guides on fiber (The Knitter’s Guide to Wool), to wonderful collections of essays, including:
Contributors to A Stash of One’s Own, include New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Debbie Stoller, Meg Swansen and Franklin Habit, Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner, Adrienne Martini, and a host of others. The book was also named one of the top 10 lifestyle books for fall 2017 by Publisher's Weekly.
This book of essays by Rachael Herron mixes the ups and downs of life through her eyes as knitter, romance novelist, and 911 dispatcher.
“This beautifully crafted and candid collection is perfect for the knitter who loves to read and the reader who loves to knit.” - Amazon
“In Zen and the Art of Knitting, Bernadette Murphy explores how knitting fits into the larger scheme of life itself as meditation, creative expression, a gift to express love, a way to connect, and much, much more.”
“A cozy and charming collection of essays about the joys of knitting—complete with lovely patterns and yummy recipes” - Kate Jacobs
Although there are many instances where a character knits in books, there are some books in which knitting is one of the focal points. Here are some books to try!
It starts almost by accident: the women who buy their knitting needles and wool from Georgia's store linger for advice, for a coffee, for a chat and before they know it, every Friday night is knitting night.
And as the needles clack, and the garments grow, the conversation moves on from patterns and yarn to life, love and everything. These women are of different ages, from different backgrounds and facing different problems, but they are drawn together by threads of affection that prove as durable as the sweaters they knit. The Friday Night Knitting Club – don't you want to join?
‘A lovely, warm, heartfelt story that focused on family and getting your priorities straight. The book made me want to take up knitting and snuggle down with my loved ones. Creative, fun, feel-good – a gorgeous book.’ - Rosie Blake, The Hygge Holiday
The Vampire Knitting Club (First in a Paranormal Cozy Mystery Series)
Urban fantasy meets cozy mystery in this series that already spans 11 books.
“At a crossroads between a cringe-worthy past (Todd the Toad) and an uncertain future (she's not exactly homeless, but it's close), Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to visit her grandmother. With Gran's undying love to count on and Cardinal Woolsey's, Gran's knitting shop, to keep her busy, Lucy can catch her breath and figure out what she's going to do.
Except it turns out that Gran is the undying. Or at least, the undead. But there's a death certificate. And a will, leaving the knitting shop to Lucy. And a lot of people going in and out who never use the door—including Gran, who is just as loving as ever, and prone to knitting sweaters at warp speed, late at night. What exactly is going on?
When Lucy discovers that Gran did not die peacefully in her sleep, but was murdered, she has to bring the killer to justice without tipping off the law that there's nobody in the grave. Between a hot 600-year-old vampire and a dishy detective inspector, both of whom always seem to be there for her, Lucy finds her life getting more complicated than a triple cable cardigan.
The only one who seems to know what's going on is her cat ... or is it ... her familiar? “ - Amazon
Creative Non-Fiction for Crocheters
Mary Beth Temple
Creative non-fiction books for crocheters is, unfortunately, not as prevalent, but you can indulge in learning and laughing with Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot by Mary Beth Temple.
Described as “a book that lovingly and humorously explores the craft of crochet and is written by a true crochet zealot”, Hooked for Life is a collection of essays (and some patterns) in the same vein as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and Clara Parkes’ books.
Beth Wolfensberger Singer
When Bad Things Happen to Good Crocheters: Survival Guide for Every Crocheting Emergency by Beth Wolfensberger Singer is both a guide to fixing crochet mistakes, learning to read patterns, and more, while also containing entertaining anecdotes.
Leslie Blackmon and Tanis Gray
What’s your favorite knitting or crochet read? Let us know in the comments!