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A Life in Stitches: Knitting My Way through Love, Loss, and Laughter

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  898 ratings  ·  152 reviews
In these 20 heartfelt essays, Rachael Herron celebrated romance novelist by day, 911 dispatcher by night, and founder of the hugely popular blog Yarnagogo.com shows how when life unravels there's always a way to knit it back together again, many times into something even better. Honest, funny, and full of warmth, Herron's tales, each inspired by something she knit or somet...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 3rd 2011 by Chronicle Books
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(showing 1-30 of 2,014)
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Sarah
My goodness, what a sweet surprise this book was. What I expected was a book of musings on knitting, which I would've enjoyed, but probably not found memorable. What I got was a selection of poignant, funny, and well-written essays on Ms. Herron's life - with the role that her particular hobby has played in it. Make no mistake, this would be a brilliant book even without the uniting thread of stitchcraft. But through her knitting, Rachel Herron shows us how a hobby can bring incredibly disparate...more
Deb
I came across Rachael Herron's essays by chance. I was waiting for my husband at our local Wellness Center, and I picked up a copy of a "woman's magazine" sitting in the lounge. (I honestly don't remember which magazine it was.) An article on knitting caught my eye. I read it and wrote down the author's name and blog site. When I got home, I read her blog "Yarnagogo.com" and went to Amazon to buy the book from which her essay was extracted. I was not disappointed. Her collection of essays about...more
Janet
I first read Rachael Herron in 2004 when I was doing a search (pre-Ravelry) for "ChicKami" - a pattern for a knitted tank top (she's knit a LOT of them). Rachael's blog, Yarnagogo, became one of a handful of knitting blogs I was reading regularly while learning how to knit. Admittedly, I often skipped the posts with no knitting content, but when I did take the time to read them, I was always affected in some way. In the past few years, my blog reading has dropped, but I've been reading real book...more
Tevilla
I loved this book of essays. I am not sure if you need to be a knitter to fully appreciate these writings but it helps. Each essay was wonderful, full of heart and soul.

I have been reading Rachael's blog for years, and knew some but not all of many of the stories. I knew about Lala, and watched the relationship grow on the blog, little Mama and the love and sadness when she died, the blanket that was sent to heal, and Digit. I don't know how many times I have read the post about Digit's return o...more
Autumn
After reading Rachel Herron's essays I searched for her blog and read more. Tried to borrow her romances, especially HOW TO KNIT A LOVE SONG, but only found it on e-audio which I dislike. Haven't given up and I will read her fiction one day. I cried with this book as I read about her disbatch work and her co-worker and her mother's passing. I hugged Gracie, the tablet I was using as an ereader, as I read about her attempt to knit a wedding dress. I enjoyed Rachel Herron's views and writing so mu...more
Sarah Mackey
I am unable to be unbiased about this book because (a) Rachael is my friend, and (b) it's a book of knitting essays by a sarcastic Bay Area-residing writing nerd, how could I NOT love it. But it's so much more than a book of knitting essays - saying this book is about knitting is like saying Friday Night Lights is about football. Knitting is just the structure behind the story. This is super readable, extremely well-written, and just all around delightful.
Beverly
I adore Rachael. I've been reading her blog for years, tweet with her, and when I have had the chance to meet her in person, I just want to rent a big house where all the knitters can crash and hang out with her. I enjoy her fiction.

All that aside, I am grateful that she wrote A Life in Stitches. Rachael's blog is beloved for the authenticity of her voice. She shares the happy stuff (have you seen her playing the ukelele?) and the deeply sorrowful moments without making more or less of them than...more
The Book Garden
I was already enjoying this memoir, the author's writing style, the insights she shared about her life experiences, smiling and laughing with her one moment, then feeling her pain the next. I lost myself in all the intricate story-telling, but the surprise came at the end when she reveals her locality at a lighthouse - one which I have been to. Put a check mark next to my name that says "fan". She included the lighthouse in her next book.
Another nice touch is that she includes a pattern for kni...more
Tori
May 10, 2014 Tori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Found this hanging out on my overdrive app that connects to my library. I have this thing for getting obscure books that nobody has ever heard of out there and every once in awhile I find a real jewel. This was definitely a jewel. How jealous I am of the author's childhood. Learning fun things like knitting and exploring the world. I got an abusive small town existence where I didn't know anything wonderful existed outside the Midwest until getting a hair up my ass to go to Australia by myself....more
Cindy
A memoir and series of essays on knitting and life. I was looking for something light after a couple of emotionally demanding novels. While this book wasn't exactly light, its positive messages, hopefulness,and knitting tales was just what I needed. I've also enjoyed finding.the author'a knitting blog which has pictures of many of the projects referred to in the book. Great read, especially if you are a knitter.
Barbara
Came across this book of essays by accident and am I ever glad that I did. This book is not so much about knitting as much as its about life. She teaches life lessons in a funny entertaining manner
Carolyn
Rachael is a dear friend of mine and I cannot be in anyway objective when it comes to her writing--I just LOVE to read it.

That said, I just BAWLED my way through this book. So moving.
Katrine Judd
I am a knitter but I believe people who are not knitters would enjoy this book. The author writes warm, honest, and entertaining essays about her life.
Sandra
I often read books about knitting; I like mixing two of my favorite pastimes. I have to say that this is one of my favorite knitting books to date - even more so than some of the others by "rock star" knitters. (I say that only because I have never heard of this writer before and just stumbled upon the book by accident. Whereas some of the more "well-known" knitter/writer/bloggers are, well, more well-known.)

As a matter of fact, I think this book is probably my favorite nonfiction knitting book...more
Janet Killips
I have been reading Rachel's blog sporadically for many years. This book of stories was like spending an evening having a wonderful series of conversations with her. As a knitter, I fully appreciate her method of linking her life events to her knitting. Her craft is so interwoven with her life that I started to understand the way it has been interwoven within my own life.

Rachel's voice is so strong through this book that I feel I would know her anywhere, and I also want to read her other books,...more
Sarah
As seen on The Everyday Reader

A Life in Stitches was one of my picks for the 2013 TBR challenge, having been on my to-read pile for JUST over two years. I can’t remember how it first came to my attention – it was certainly on my to-read pile before I even realised that Rachael Herron was a fiction author, or the author of the yarnagogo blog.

The book is a series of essays on the writer’s life, with the connecting factor of her lifelong addiction to knitting. She reflects upon periods of her life...more
Danielle
Bonus points to the author for citing one of my favorite works, The Yellow Wall-Paper. What I don't understand is the obsession with hot water bottles (I'd never seen one until recently, and don't get all the knitting patterns for them). I also don't understand why she tried to make knitting seem so incredibly difficult; she just didn't understand the Cat Bordhi moebius cast-on! She just can't get kitchener! Zomg this craft is HARD! Bah. I'm no knitting wizard, but I can recognize when someone i...more
Carol
I loved,loved,loved this book. Ok,I love to knit but this book is not so much about knitting as about a knitter. The author, Rachel Herron does weave in bits about knitting and things that she has knitted because after all, she is a knitter.

If you are a knitter, you can probably can look at a finished project and remember what was happening when you knitted it. That's what the author does and that's what I do too. I can look at a scarf and know that I knitted it sitting beside my husband's bed w...more
Blair
One of my favorite things while walking the dog at night is to peek into the houses that we pass. Nothing weird, just as we pass on the sidewalk in the dark, glancing in at the light-filled houses. You get a quick glimpse of a family at dinner or settling in after a long day. It's an interesting snippet of people's inner lives.

From this, I would think that reading memoirs would be a natural progression. In a memoir, I get a little more than a snippet and it's in the author's own words, instead o...more
Rosa
A Life in Stitches is pleasant, and as comforting as you imagine the author’s knit cables to be. It’s a quick read, easy to pick up and put down because of its essay format, but the essays don’t linger much and stay with you. Perhaps they would have if I was one of her blog readers, but this was my first introduction to Herron, and she had a hard act to follow: I read this off and on at the same time I was reading The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball, which I loved, and the two memoirs are quite di...more
Zoe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Celia
Oct 16, 2012 Celia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: blog readers, biography lovers
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have been a follower of Rachael's blog for many years. I have wanted to read of one of Rachael's books for a long time. I finally got this book. I was pleasantly surprised by what I read. It is snippets from her life, and what she was knitting at the time.

I was fortunate to get the book on Kindle, so I highlighted some of my favorite quotes:

"...knitters, overall, are the nicest people in the world, and I mean that with all my heart." I really think so, too.

"Man...more
Sara
I really enjoyed reading this book, and am definitely going to pick up Herron's fiction to read. The stories in this particular collection were centered on how knitting creates amazing things, both out of yarn and in life. I loved the visual of the author purchasing multiple enema kits solely for the hot water bottle; it reminded me that I need to pick one up for myself! There's even a pattern for a hot water bottle cozy at the end.

The relationship the author had with her mother was quite intere...more
Jess
Sep 22, 2012 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
I saw this book while I was browsing my library and I grabbed it. I don't know why I hadn't heard of Rachael Herron before, but yarnagogo.com has earned a new reader this week! I'm really glad to find another way to get some more of Herron's wit and stories, because I just blew through her book in just about one sitting!

Herron takes what seems to be ordinary life challenges and exposes the humanity, hope, and endurance of the everyday person, while telling each story one knit (or spun) project a...more
Christina Drew
May 04, 2012 Christina Drew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Laura O'Brien
Shelves: crafting
A friend of mine from work text me to let me know she had come across a book she thought Id be interested in. I am an avid crafter and a few years back a began my own small craft business. I often find myself crocheting through life's many obstacles and I found this book to capture that feeling. The author describes her passion for knitting as a security blanket, a type of safe zone, and I think this is a feeling many crochet/knitters are familiar with.

Rachel takes her readers through some of t...more
Patricia M Brown
Not my cup of tea

in all fairness this is not a badly written book. I thought it might be interesting and teach me a little
bit about knitting with a few laughs along the way. Just not my type of humour, oh and by the way the,author needs to bone up on military bases. Fort Bragg is in North Carolina not California.
Jamie Klucsarits Zaikov
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I love memoirs! I love knitting! How could I not love the two things combined? Because the one thought that ran through my mind as I was reading this was this: I could do this better.

The title of each chapter was a knit stitch. Cute. Except in most usages, it was not related to the chapter at all. "Basket Weave Stitch" was about her cat. A successful use of this chapter title would have been similar to how knits and purls create the motley pattern, the a...more
Helena
Let me preface by saying I'm not usually a crier, but some of Herron's essays had me in tears. They're about knitting, yes, but so much more. Glad I had it with me on vacation, since I ended up sitting in a chair nursing a sick baby for three days--and since I had a good book to read, it turned out OK.
Amy Mallison-austin
A lovely book of essays by the funny, poignant and lovely Rachael Herron. As a knitter who has knitted through happy and sad life events, I found myself nodding along a lot. If I ever get to meet Ms. Herron in real life, I will probably burst into tears and give her an inappropriately long hug.
Belinda
This book is a series of essays linked by a shared focus on knitting and spinning. It reminded me a lot of the Yarn Harlot's work, but without the humour (so like the most recent Yarn Harlot book...).

Look, I don't want to give this book a bad review because I am all about writing about knitting and sharing the love of one's crafts. This book definitely suffers from the memoirist's curse of chronic overuse of the pronoun 'I' (editors, why are you letting this happen?) and it's, well, kind of pre...more
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Rachael Herron is the internationally bestselling author of the Cypress Hollow series (HarperCollins/Random House Australia) and of the memoir, A Life in Stitches (Chronicle). Her newest novel, Pack Up The Moon, will be available in March 2014 from Penguin (USA) and Random House Australia (NZ/AUST). Rachael received her MFA in writing from Mills College and is a 911 fire/medical dispatcher when sh...more
More about Rachael Herron...
How to Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #1) How to Knit a Heart Back Home (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #2) Wishes and Stitches: A Cypress Hollow Yarn Pack Up the Moon Honeymooning: A Cypress Hollow Yarn Short Story with Bonus Material

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