Have you read this book yet?
When I was first approached with the opportunity to read the preview of this book back in August 2020, I was ecstatic. I was so excited to learn more about knitting through history, and also the bond that knitting creates through generations. What I didn't know was how connected I would feel and the memories it would bring back. **I do not claim to be an expert for reviewing a book. I receive this book as a preview last year.
I purposely waited a while to see what parts I remembered best from this book, and it is most definitely the personal aspects of it. The book opens with memories, ones that I have experienced myself as I'm sure many of you have as well. Sitting and watching, learning the skills we needed for life through knitting (and for me, crochet as well). I find that I relate better to books when I have a connection of some sort, and this one is definitely a strong one. I remember sitting with my own grandmother, watching her crochet and knit without patterns, knowing that she taught herself these skills. I remember being in awe that she was able to do make beautiful doilies and sweaters, and I was struggling to knit a scarf. Here, Loretta chooses to tell her story, sharing with us a part of her life that most would not have shared, and how knitting kept her life together through tough times. That is what resonated with me.
The historical parts of this book are very fascinating as well. I have never looked into the history of knitting, the power behind it, and the political aspects of it. To be honest, I don't remember a lot of the specifics from the book because that wasn't what drew me in. (As with any historical text, it's important to take what is written with a grain of salt, and that is what I recommend here.) I didn't realize that there had been so much controversy within the knitting and crochet community just in the past decade either! This isn't the purpose of this post though. To me, knitting is an inclusive activity. It is meant to bring peace, a sense of creativity and calm.
As evidenced by 2020, many of us turned to knitting as a way of finding solace during this pandemic. Experienced knitters, new knitters, those picking the needles back up after a long absence.. we've all found something comforting in creating something with our hands, and in it we have found strength. Many of us have found new friendships, even though we have never met, and some of these bonds are stronger than we could ever imagine. When I think of this, I immediately think of The Traveling Afghan Project. (If you don't know of this, it's a year long project sponsored by Lion Brand Yarns where designers create a 10" x 10" square, either knit or crochet, and add it to a afghan that is sent around the world.) It is something that symbolizes togetherness, as one project travels from one place to another, being added to piece by piece.
So I've gone off on a tangent, but my point is that if you need to find strength within yourself to get through tough times, read this book. Not for some revelation, but to know that you can do it. Until next time, keep creating!