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3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,065 Ratings  ·  168 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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The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate JacobsThe Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie MacomberA Good Yarn by Debbie MacomberThe Knitting Circle by Ann HoodKnit Two by Kate Jacobs
Good Yarns: Knitting Fiction
9th out of 149 books — 226 voters
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Fiction for the Fiber Artist
8th out of 50 books — 34 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne Hamilton
Nov 16, 2015 Anne Hamilton rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2009 Kerry rated it it was ok
Shelves: everything
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
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.
Jan 04, 2010 Rebekah rated it really liked it
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
Apr 18, 2012 Marsha rated it really liked it
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
Feb 15, 2013 Bonny rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, knitting
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
Feb 05, 2015 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put the book down, well, I did put it down, but I kept picking it back up and for me to read a book in two days, that is saying something. I was immediately entranced with the creativity of the characters and they are people I know. It gave me some insight into behaviors, reason for behaviors, and how we all have our personal space and things we will tolerate in our friends. I don't want to add spoilers so i will not comment on some, but it was a beautiful read and I do hope Anne Bart ...more
Janyce Murray
Jan 20, 2016 Janyce Murray rated it it was ok
In this story, two women from very different backgrounds meet when they are the only ones to stop to help a man who has fallen on the sidewalk. Sandra, an older academic and Martha, a gifted knitted, are both widows. Sandra lost her husband recently, and has dealt with the loss by becoming cold and demanding. The younger Martha lost her mate years before and then lost herself in her knitting. She uses the preciseness of the art to deal with her loneliness, but she stresses when she runs into any ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing  ·  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...
Jamie Klucsarits Zaikov
This book had lovely characters and beautiful writing, but it suffered from not having enough conflict. There was not enough consequences to the character's actions, and the book began to drag because of it. The author is a talented writer, but the book lack substance.
Apr 26, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Here we have a debut novel written in 2005 by an Australian author, Anne Bartlett, as the creative writing component of her PhD. It became an Australian best seller. This little book was on the bargain shelf at my local book store; I suppose it was that and the author's bio that made me tuck it under my arm as a take-home. Bartlett is a pastor's wife, the mother of four children, and a knitter who went back to school, earning her PhD, after her children were grown.

It's a quiet story that looks
Kelley Mittan loop
Mar 14, 2016 Kelley Mittan loop rated it really liked it
I stubbed across this book at a local library in the "for sale" section when looking for something else. My mom is a knitter so I thought she might like it. Then I had the brilliant idea to read it too, even though it's not in my genre. I think readers will know someone like Martha or Sandra. Martha reminded me of my mom.

It's amazing how you can become such friends after a chance meeting. With this book I felt many different emotions. Easy read and just a nicely written book.

I requested to my
Kunni Biener
Dec 24, 2013 Kunni Biener rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
knitting is what ties this story of people together. People lost and found, ones who think that they are in better shape than others. Lovely story.
Karen M
Apr 30, 2015 Karen M rated it it was ok
Shelves: aww-2015
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
Jun 05, 2012 Andi rated it really liked it
Well written!
Oct 03, 2015 Kirsten rated it really liked it
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
Oct 23, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
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
Jul 02, 2009 Bridget rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
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
Aug 06, 2010 Randa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Shari Blakey
Nov 30, 2015 Shari Blakey rated it liked it
This is a better book than my rating might indicate to most-it is more like 3.5. And it is really not about "knitting". Knitting is a theme in it, but I have read books about knitting and quilting before and there is usually a lot about the how's and the materials and the patterns-that is not true of this book. Knitting in this book is a means to an end as it is really more about the characters and their relationships. The author is Australian and the book's setting is in Australia.
Mar 15, 2016 Claudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this book as it was written by a woman from Adelaide, Australia, and we were traveling there. I had read a bit about the author in Knitting Pearls, so I thought her book would be fun. It was just ok. Bartlett spins her story around two main women going through difficult times. The main character is really more interested in words than knitting, but she is pulled into the craft for a project she gets involved with. Sandra is still dealing with the death of her husband, and this proje ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Joy rated it liked it
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
Sep 09, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok
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
Apr 23, 2015 Hope rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2015 Ann Boytim rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2014 Amber Hissom rated it liked it
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 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
Mar 23, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it
Because I love to knit, I found this book interesting.
One character has just lost her husband and she meets a friend through the gift of a shawl. Martha is a textile artist who spends her days knitting. Sandra is an academic who researches old patterns, has Martha knit, and together form an exhibition.
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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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