Knitting is therapeutic, I tell you (except, of course, for those times you discover a mistake several rows back and you must unravel an hour’s worth of work while cursing quietly). But for the most part, curling up in a comfy spot with a hot cup of something and a giant pile of fluffy yarn…well, there aren’t many better ways to wind down at the end of the day.
Sometimes you need to mix things up, though. Sometimes you’re just in the mood to unwind with a book and a hot drink, instead of the knitting (especially when you have just unraveled a day’s worth of work and you need to put it all away before you stab someone with your needles, though I’m sure they would deserve it).
For times like those, I have here six novels about knitting.
I didn’t realize until I started looking, that knitting novels are almost a genre of their own. There are a lot more out there than I expected. Many of them are mysteries – perhaps because people sitting and knitting have plenty of time to think? If the books are to be believed, the body count around knitters is shockingly high. I haven’t noticed this myself, but if people keep getting murdered in strange and mysterious ways around the rest of you, I’m interested in hearing about it.
Most of these books aren’t great literature – they’re fluffy reads that aren’t too taxing. Comfort reading. But a few tackle some more serious subjects and would be good picks for book clubs…even if not everyone in the group is a knitter.
Also, if you can’t decide whether to knit or read (I know! Decisions!) …you could always download the audio version and do both at once. It’s an amazing time we live in.
Six novels about knitting
1.) The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil – When Jo Mackenzie’s husband is killed in a car crash just after he asks her for a divorce, she packs up her two small boys and moves from London back to her seaside hometown. She takes over her Gran’s knitting shop and finds new friends in the women who drop in.
I just started this book and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do so far. I expected it to be twee and cute, but it’s actually funny and snarky and feels very much like Bridget Jones’ Diary. There is, however, more swearing than one might expect in a knitting novel. You’ve been warned.
2.) The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs – Once a week, a group of women from all walks come together in a New York City yarn shop to knit and talk. And when single-mom Georgia, who owns the shop, faces a crisis, her knitting friends band together. This definitely feels formulaic and people seem to either love it or hate it…for that reason alone, I say it would make a great book club pick.
3.) The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber – four women are brought together in this Seattle yarn store to learn to knit a baby blanket (for four very different reasons, of course). Although their ages and backgrounds vary wildly, their time in the shop brings them together and helps them make unexpected discoveries about themselves and each other.
4.) Knit to Kill by Anne Canadeo – I hadn’t heard of the Black Sheep & Co series, but they’re a bunch of light, breezy mysteries. In this one, the Black Sheep knitting circle heads to a New England island for a girls’ weekend before member Lucy Binger gets married. Shortly after their arrival, the body of a prominent resident is discovered on the rocky coastline below the cliffs and the group investigates whether his death was an accident or something more sinister (spoiler alert – it’s something more sinister.)
5.) Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton – not quite as well-reviewed as The Black Sheep mysteries, but still a nice, cozy book (and it takes place here in my state! I’m intrigued…)
Kelly is a CPA who returns to Colorado after her aunt is killed. She befriends the owner of a local yarn shop, and takes up knitting to help her with her grief. Then she discovers that her beloved aunt has a secret past that may shed some light on her death. Bonus: the book includes a pattern for a cable knit scarf and a recipe for chocolate mint fudge.
6.) A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie – or any Christie novel featuring the marvelous Mrs. Marple. While this isn’t directly a book about knitting, Mrs. Marple is one of the most famous knitters in literature I think. She’s a little old lady who usually sits before a roaring fire (or in this case, on the beach), knitting something fluffy and solving violent crimes at leisure. She’s a classic.
What do you like to read when you’re not knitting?