The first book of the new year has been finished and declared good. Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl McPhee is a series of essays about knitting. I know, it doesn’t sound fascinating, but McPhee is no ordinary knitter. She’s a Knitter, with a capital K. She obsesses, hoards yarn, has piles of projects going at once, and is just generally hilarious. Her stories of fending off a yarn stealing attack squirrel and her admission to hiding yarn in the piano had me laughing out loud.
Some of her essays are poignant and touching; her experience as a doula (somewhat like a midwife), knitting a single baby sock for a mother waiting to give birth to her stillborn baby was especially sad. But that story, as well as the others, express the deep meaning that knitting, and creative hobbies in general can hold for us. They give us a way to express the unexpressable, and provide us with metaphors with which to understand our lives.
While her focus is knitting, McPhee manages to hit on the universal elements of obsesssive hobbies in such a way that even someone who has never picked up knitting needles could see themselves reflected in her observations.
McPhee has a blog, (I don’t have the book in front of me, but I think it’s yarnharlot.com), which I’ll be checking out on a regular basis. Even if you’re no knitter, her writing is crisp and clever, and she might even inspire you to break out the knitting needles.
Current total: 1
Just finished: Yarn Harlot by Stephanie Pearl McPhee
Currently reading: The Best American Non Required Reading 2005 ed. Dave Eggers