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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  920 ratings  ·  152 reviews
In Anne Bartlett’s engaging novel, a chance meeting sparks a friendship between two very different women who share a fascination with knitting. Sandra, a rigid academic, struggles to navigate the world without her husband, whom she has recently lost to cancer. Martha—a self-taught textile artist with her own secret store of grief—spends her days knitting elaborate projects ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 9th 2006 by Mariner Books (first published April 16th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Anne Hamilton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really wanted to LOVE this book; it combines two of my favorite hobbies; knitting and reading.

This book had a lot of potential, but ultimately both the characters and the plot felt under-developed. I never felt overly connected with any of the characters. They felt like cliches; Sandra as the uptight, prudish grieving widow who will be enlighted by the eccentric, odd-ball but very sweet and child-like Martha. I finished this book, but with great difficulty.
Anne Bartlett, who turned out to be Australian, wrote a book about my favorite hobby. It was a novel called, appropriately enough, Knitting. The characters are odd balls and imperfect and don't have anything in common, but you want them to succeed. I will admit she pulls them together in a odd fashion and they grow in fantastical ways, but the reality is we all are imperfect and we all need some fantasy to fix things. I find myself relating to both characters, and hoping to never have to deal wi ...more
When I first started this book, I expected it to be a fluff book about knitters and their romantic problems. I was surprised to find that it took place in Southeastern Australia - interesting - and the the main characters were Martha, an expert knitter who had a life history of mental problems and dragged her mistakes around with her - literally - in three big bags. They were her knitting mistakes masquerading as her life problems. She gave new meaning to someone having a lot of baggage. The oth ...more
Connie N.
4.5 stars for sure, just not quite a 5-star read. This is a book about the accidental relationship and unlikely friendship between 2 very different women who meet because they both stopped to help a man who fell on the sidewalk. Martha is an older woman who is rather disheveled and plain but who knits like a dream...creative and beautifully and from the heart. Sandra is brittle and rigid and mourning the recent death of her husband but who is creative in her own right although with words. Knitti ...more
As an avid knitter and reader, I had high hopes for this novel. I really wanted to enjoy it, but sadly, I can only muster 3 stars for it. The only reason I can even give it 3 is because it is about knitting. For me, one of the major downfalls of this novel is the whining, rude main character, Sandra. She's sad and full of grief, but I still couldn't bring myself to care about her. Martha is different enough to be just plain weird sometimes, and I couldn't understand her actions and thoughts. The ...more
While the characters in this story are not particularly lovable, they do seem real and so different that you would not expect the friendship to develop. There is some heavy-handed symbolism...I wondered about those bags Martha toted around for almost two-thirds of the book before their secret was revealed.. There is so much true to life that the story gives you much to think about. For those who knit and love textiles this is a lovely story.
Sari Lynn
Sep 12, 2009 Sari Lynn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of good literature, whether knitters or not
Recommended to Sari Lynn by: Paula at PBS
What a wonderful story! Who would ever have suspected a friendship would form between two such different people?! I loved how the author used knitting as a metaphor! Poor Martha, lugging her mistakes around with her, unable to let them go! And poor Sandra, unable to express her grief at the loss her husband, and totally unaware of her own tendency to run roughshod over other people. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book by Dr. Bartlett...
Karen M
I picked this up because it was about a writer and a knitter - both things I like to do. It looked like a pleasant piece of fluff. And it is. This 2006 quick little read might best be described as a “cosy"; there's nothing particularly challenging, nor is the anything particularly thought provoking. It's like a scone - you know what you're getting and sometimes it's just the ticket. Of course, not all scones turn out well, they lack the lightness to be truly great. In this novel the characters a ...more
Well written!
This is a review for Knitting by Anne Bartlett. When I first began this novel I was really excited about it. The premise and plot seemed really interesting. I am currently learning how to knit, but I have been crocheting for about five years, so a book in which its mainly theme is all about knitting and the fabric arts in general was very intriguing. I gave this book four out of five stars because all though storyline and the characters were fascinating to read, the book didn’t really pick up pa ...more
This is the story of two women who meet coincidentally, helping a man who has collapsed in the street, set in Australia. Sandra is recently widowed and is having a hard time finding purpose in her life as an academic. Martha, who was widowed young, is a very different type of person, living on small means after she quit her job knitting custom pieces for a design house. She enjoys making unique pieces and trying different techniques with her knitting, but in some ways she is just as troubled as ...more
This book has been sitting on my shelf ever since I received it as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago (proving that I actually do eventually get around to things ...). It is primarily a story of two women in Australia who become friends more or less by accident, and what happens in their relationship over a period of a year.

Sandra is a college professor, with a specialty in women's studies. Her husband has recently died, and she is more or less still at loose ends as the book starts. Martha
An easy and quick read for a sensitive and insightful novel with a strong connection to knitting, yarn and fabric. I wouldn't have picked up this book if I was not a hobby knitter myself.

The story is set in Adelaide, southern Australia, and follows the lives of two very different women. Sandra is a tightly-wound academic, who is trying to cope with the recent loss of her husband to cancer, while Martha is a free spirit who gives most of her time to her creative knitting. A chance meeting of the
I enjoyed this quick little read about the way our lives intersect with others, and can lead to opportunities for growth and self discovery if we allow it. In reading some of the other reviews, it is apparent that there is an almost universal dislike for the main character, Sandra. She is grieving the death of her husband, and is very cold to others around her. While I understand that was the author's goal, I agree it is often hard to enjoy a book where the main character is disagreeable. Again, ...more
Sandra Feldes, a recent widow, needs something to bring her out of her grief and to help her get back her life. When she has a chance meeting with Martha McKenzie, who has been a widow for many years, they become friends. (Martha has stopped to help an injured pedestrian, and Sandra comes along and helps get the man to the hospital.) Martha is a knitter, Sandra a student of the history of textiles. Sandra becomes obsessed with mounting an exhibition of knitting, and persuades Martha to knit the ...more
Yes, it's a novel with knitting at its heart, and it deals with mental illness of several kinds, it's much more than that. The author is obviously an experienced knitter, which is why reading her language explaining how you think or experience/explore while knitting is so validating. I wondered about the bags, and they made sense in the end, but I'm not giving away their multipurpose reason for existence.
Ann Boytim
Two very different women get to know each other through meeting a man who fell ill in the mall and they stopped to help him. One is an avid knitter and does odd jobs and the other is a business woman. These women support one another and end doing a project which involves research into old patterns and knitting. Their friendship at times is strained but they come through to help one another out.
Amber Hissom
While it was a good read, it was a very light read. It seemed very superficial; everything was cut and dry, black and white, good and bad, almost tedious cause and effect. The imagery had it's moments of brilliance, but there wasn't much to the depth of color within the book. It's recommendable. It's simply a more gentle novel with more subtle motifs.
Maria M. Elmvang
A 3.5 star review.

I'd read a sample of this on my Kindle, and thought it sounded interesting enough to get the entire book. It didn't quite live up to my expectations, but came pretty close - and if nothing else, it gave me a craving to take up my knitting! ;)

My biggest problem with the book was that the main characters were just not very sympathetic. I never came to like either of them all that much. One was too spineless the other too much of a bully, and while they both improved during the ca
The story of two mismatched friends. They meet helping a man who has fallen. One is a professional woman, calm and a bit constrained. One is a professional knitter, who is out spoken and a bit bohemian. Somehow they create a friendship and enrich each other's lives.
Would love to rate higher but it was lacking in something, seemed to start slow, then get interesting, then abruptly end with loose ends I felt still to tie up.

That said I did enjoy the story, a nice quick read. It just needed something else to give it a wow factor.
I enjoyed this a lot, it's intelligently written and doesn't seem typical of the knitting genre of novel as there aren't women cooing over each other while they reveal tragic events and knit together as a form of group therapy. I can see why 'Knitting' has been described by a reviewer as a 'Spirited feminist take sure to find favour with women's book groups.'

I wasn't quite sure about the hospital cleaner, the bags and what ensued between him and Martha, nor was I sure what the cherries in the c
Mad Martha (a seasoned knitter) should learn to say NO and not be so compulsive about her knitting mistakes and she unravels in the story.

Selfish Sandra (textile academic) not the kind of friend I would like to have – pushy, self concerned, unrealistic…

The “friendship” of widowed Martha and Sandra starts when they find a collapsed man Cliff at the mall and help him acquire medical help. They bond over interest in textiles and knitting, but the friendship gets tense when preparing for an exhibit
Dec 06, 2014 Eva rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I made it through because I was interested to see the emotional progression of the two main characters, but the writing was oddly distancing--for a book so interested in friendship and emotion, I never felt that the bond between Sandra and Martha was believable.
I wanted to read this book because of the knitting component in it. I had a very hard time liking the Sandra character and I think in real life I would avoid this type of person. All in all I would say this story was ok.
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Didn't really connect with this one. The characters annoyed me and never endeared themselves. Didn't believe that these people would stay in contact as they were so different.
This was a very slow moving story. I had to take a break and read another book but finally came back and finished. It ended up being a good moral story, just not exciting at all.
Susan Grossey
This book started out well but then went rather downhill for me. I enjoyed the premise - two different women, linked by a shared interest in knitted textiles - but I just couldn't warm to the two women. Martha was slightly better, although I found her kookiness a bit grating in a woman of mature years (imagine her played by Zooey Deschanel, and you're there), but Sandra was simply ghastly - the sort of self-centred person we all know and avoid. Quite why Martha is so keen to help her, and why sh ...more
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“And in the act of making things, just by living their daily lives, they also make history.

Knitting is clothing made in spare moments, or round the fire, whenever women gathered together... It's something to celebrate-clothes made in love and service, something women have always done.”
“She turned back to inspect a bank of greens: olive, jade, leaf, kiwi, lime, a silver-green like the back of birch leaves, a bright pistachio.” 9 likes
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