Weekend Review: A Knitter's Home Companion by Michelle Edwards
As a novice knitter who is just stumbling on its vast and intricate community, I've found that knitting is many things to many people. But for those who are knitters the act of slipping stitches is more than a hobby. It's a way of life. This is the case for Michelle Edwards who explores the many ways that wool and needles are enmeshed in her life in A Knitter's Home Companion: A heartwarming collection of stories, patterns, and recipes (2011).
I'll admit that I picked this book up because it's written by a local author and I always delight in reading about things and places that are near and dear to me. Edwards divides her essays into four categories: Motherhood, Home, Community, and Legacy with a scattering of original patterns and recipes throughout. Her writing is unadorned and direct, allowing the driving theme of each short essay to be the focal point. While she writes with sentiment about the links between knitting, her mother, and her daughters, for example, she never veers into cheap sentimentality. Her musings are those of a woman who obviously feels passionately about family and community, but who is also very pragmatic and level-headed.
This is a very quick read and the brevity of each essay made this a perfect choice for me to read while nursing. For me, the recipes and patterns didn't add much to the overall experience of the book, with one exception. Edwards writes about a slipper that a friend bought in India and her process of puzzling out how it was knit in order to recreate it. Maybe it was because I enjoyed the backstory, but this was the only pattern that seemed new and interesting to me. For anyone who feels a strong connection to the art, the community, and the act of knitting, this is a great little read.