book crush friday: Yarn Harlot

Well. I've been writing feverishly, listening to the genius Inception soundtrack until I turned into a zombie. A zombie with a keen appreciation for Edith Piaf.

I've been trying to straighten out a bit of mid-chapter dialogue that won't work no matter what I do. Plus, there is snow outside again. It's all too much. So I'm here with a mug of tea and this wonderful book, for a much needed break.

If you're a knitter or fiber-appreciator and you haven't heard of the Yarn Harlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee... well, you're in luck.

A lot of luck.

Because in her brilliant books and blog, she will prove she understands your knitterly psyche inside and out. She will also make you laugh until you collapse. Medical intervention may be required.

I love her because she gets knitting. She understands the sweet, deep, emotional significance of it... and also the raw fury and tantrums that accompany the mistakes. (Remember those tangles yesterday? Right. I never throw tantrums.)

So, consider this quote, from Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter:
Each knitted gift holds hours of my life. I know it looks just like a hat, but really, it's four hours at the hospital, six hours on the bus, two hours alone at four in the morning when I couldn't sleep because I tend to worry. It is all those hours when I chose to spend time warming another person.

And this:
Knitting is love, looped and warm.

I love that. Love it. Because she's so right.

It's why I love knitting for family and dear friends, and why I feel a rush of pride every time we send one of our scarves or neckwarmers out to a customer. I always want to say: this is part of my life I'm giving you! And I'm so happy to do it!

Love, looped and warm.

... And then there's the dark side of knitting. The obsessions. The crazy shopping sprees. Needing sedation the fifth time you tore out the same inch of stitches...

I cannot bear the look on the children's faces when we are all homeless (with fabulous sweaters) because I've spent the mortgage money on yarn.
The sight of this mess is enough to send a seasoned knitter into a catatonic state; as it is his first sweater, I expect his reaction to reduce him to the fetal position, gibbering and weeping. This sweater is cursed.
I sit on the floor clutching the sleeves and waiting for the blackness around the edges of my vision to go away. ... With God as my witness I swear that I am going to pick up the scissors and cut up this sweater.

Yes. I have been there. And it gives me such delight to read her tales of knitting success and knitting, um, not successes.

I'd love to read those chapters to everyone who said, "Oh, you knit? How ... quaint."

Nothing quaint, thank you, in our knitting, not the way Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (or I) go about it.

Recommendation: Read her books or her blog in a wide window-seat, hopefully in a yarn shop. A yarn shop that sells coffee.

Oh, that sounds great. Save me a seat. I'll be right there.

1 comment:

  1. Jenn,

    You're inspiring me to pick up knitting again! That book sounds marvelous. My favourite quote: "Each knitted gift holds hours of my life." It's so true!

    I hope you're having a wonderful beginning of spring.