Knitting is taking over my life.
I tend to go on reading jags. For several weeks, or even months, I find myself focusing almost exclusively on a single genre: fantasy/SF, mystery, children’s/YA, historical romance. Then suddenly (and unpredictably) I feel surfeited, and I switch to another genre.*
Recently, I’ve been on a knitting jag. I’m devouring knitting books. I’ve borrowed 10 or 12 knitting books from the library in the last two weeks. Pattern books, books on technique, books about knitting… Wait a minute, I hear you thinking, books about knitting?
Yep. Turns out, there is a whole subgenre of books about knitting. They aren’t pattern books, though they might feature a few basic (or even several complex) patterns. They aren’t technique books or stitch dictionaries. They aren’t fiction featuring a knitting theme (though these exist and can be fun; see Maggie Sefton’s knitting mysteries or Debbie Macomber’s “Blossom Street” novels for popular examples.**) No, I’m talking about books that explore the why of knitting — the history, process, and attraction of knitting. And there are a lot of them out there.
There are the hilarious (and sometimes poignant) books by the well-known knitting blogger, The Yarn Harlot (otherwise known as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.) Her Knitting Rules is more of a technique book, but in her blog and books like The Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter and The Free-range Knitter, she offers a wry and witty look at the ups and downs of being a knitter.
There are books like Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity, by Bernadette Murphy, which does exactly what the subtitle states (and does it very well.) Books like The Joy of Knitting, by Lisa R. Myers, which features essays on knitting in community and knitting in the digital age alongside chapters on fiber, color, and texture. Books like Knitting in America, which looks individual knitters, designers, and fiber producers from across America, with lavish photographs (and a number of beautiful patterns.)
I’m having a wonderful time reading all these knitting books, but there’s one major drawback: if I’m reading, I’m not knitting.
Like I said: Knitting is taking over my life.
*Usually, I intersperse the current genre with some nonfiction and an occasional foray into other fiction genres, but for the duration of the jag, 75 to 85% of my reading will be in the dominant genre.
** Check out the Cozy Mystery List Blog list’s post for more fiction featuring knitting and other needle/fiber arts.