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Things I Learned from Knitting: ...Whether I Wanted to or Not

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,784 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
With a knitter's perspective, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee describes the astonishing wisdom and hard-to-swallow truths that are embedded in everyday clichEs. You'll laugh with Pearl-McPhee as she realizes that "babies grow" after spending nights knitting a now-too-small sweater. "Beginning is easy, continuing is hard" takes on a new meaning to the knitter who has five projects g ...more
ebook, 161 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Storey Publishing (first published March 19th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,659)
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Dec 30, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knitting
I ordered this book from Amazon on a whim, thinking I wanted something other than a pattern book for some light reading. This pocket sized book is a collection of musings from the Yarn Harlot paralleling life with knitting.

It was cute, if sometimes a little forced. I think anyone can find a knitting/life parallel if they try hard enough, and none of the anecdotes were earthshaking or eye opening. Pearl-McPhee rights with a quick wit and a sense of humor that makes the read enjoyable, though, an
Feb 11, 2014 Gwynneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on one of THOSE days and promptly sent the author some well deserved karmic kudos. Boy, did I ever need the laughs.

Granted, knitters will be the most appreciative of this humor but trust me, any crafty kind of person, male or female, will enjoy this book. Just swap in whatever you use, thread, beads, glue gun, hammer, blowtorch, etc., and you'll be off.

I won't say anything else but instead, will share a few of the wonderfully humorous observations.

From the side bar, 1 of 4 th
Jan 30, 2010 Regina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I tend to shy away from books that put a philosophical spin on knitting. I do not enter into some transcendent state of enlightenment as a result of knitting. Yes, it is a passion, therapy and outlet, but knitting has not taught me things, rather, life has and I am able to apply what I have learned to my craft. If anything, knitting is a microcosm of life with its increases, decreases and WIPs! How I approach knitting is as a result of how I learn to handle life. None the less, there were plenty ...more
This was honestly just adorable and made me giggle so many times. I found myself on several occasions reading out many bits to my family (none of them are knitters, but they live vicariously through me, sigh).

Also, CANADIAN AUTHOUR! 10 POINTS AWARDED TO GRYFFINDOR! (Seriously though, she actually lives in the same city as me, it's kind of a big deal, I'm really excited, I could run into her in a knitting shop somewhere and I could tell her I read the book and sincerely loved it, and she could li
Feb 10, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Knitters of any level
This little book is a humorous take on knitting written by a long time knitter, and she recounts the life lessons that she has learned from knitting. It draws parallels to real life situations and it's pretty funny. I guess you have to be a knitter to get the full enjoyment out of it! I found out that I sat there chuckling to myself during my daily commute yesterday while reading it. :)
Kathy Rudd
Aug 31, 2013 Kathy Rudd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious collection of life's and knitting's little lessons. Fast read that I finished in one evening. I am not a very good knitter, I am much better at and prefer crochet. My relationship to yarn has taught me these lessons as well. If you have your own relationship with yarn, you will love this quick little read.
How can you not love a book that takes all the stupid mistakes you've ever done in knitting and turn them into one of the funniest stories you've ever read? Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is an excellent writer who weaves in profound truths that you thought you learned long ago (and yet, still think stuff like gauge doesn't really matter for This pattern) all the while making you clutch your stomach and complain of pain from laughter.

I heartily enjoyed this book, I almost couldn't stand reading it beca
Aug 15, 2014 Nada rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knit-and-crochet
Review first published on my blog:

Things I Learned From Knitting is another collection of essays by blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. As a knitter, I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement over a lot of the material. Anyone passionate about a craft will recognize that we all start to see our philosophy of life reflected in elements of our craft. Our crafts teach us, keep us busy, and enable us to show ourselves to the world. And they teach u
penny shima glanz
Mar 31, 2008 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: knitters
I was planning on waiting to purchase this book until I showed up at whatever venue Stephanie was speaking at (to say thank you to the book store or yarn shop). I was sad about this because if there is anything I’m impatient about waiting for, it’s a book that’s been published that I want to read. So imagine my delight when a good friend I’ve lost touch with sent it to me as a surprise!

What to say and how to say it? I see Steph as the older sister I don’t have. She’s smart, she’s witty, she’s ve
Meh. Tries too hard. A couple pieces made me giggle, but mostly it was uninteresting. I knit (A LOT), but I don't take it that seriously. It's an outlet for creativity, it's a hobby, it helps me manage stress and life, I use it to create fantastic cold-weather clothes. But I don't think it's the end-all and be-all of life, and I clearly don't take it seriously enough to 'get' this book. Comes across as trite.
Jodi Ralston
Good book. I'm a wannabe knitter (I even have some yard sale yarn and needles). Not only does this book inspire me to want to (someday) open that forgotten drawer and move from wannabe to actual knitter, it is entertaining. Cute insights, funny voice. Anyone with a hobby or passion can relate to and enjoy this book. And it's pretty too.
Jul 08, 2013 Isabel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Gave this quite a bit of thought. I remember Stephanie Pearl from pre-blog days when I would get Knitlist delivered directly into my email inbox. I didn't even know what a blog was then, if the word had even yet been put into common use. Sometimes her post would seem so poignant and spot on that tears would come to my eyes and I thought they would never stop and other times I laughed so hard I thought the tears would never stop. Often I would read a post out loud to my then pre-teen daughter, wi ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing that horrible book I just read for book club, I picked this one up as one of the few Yarn Harlot books that I haven't yet read. It was as enjoyable as her others, with the stories sorted as a list of "things knitting has taught me" interspersed with cute lists and statements of "what knitting is still trying to teach me." The content of the book was good, but it was much shorter than I was expecting although maybe this would have been apparent in the paper copy rather than the el ...more
Treva Smutz
Seemed like half the book was too similar to other books I've read by this author. This is the sixth one I've read. Not sure where this one is in the order or what she has written but will probably not bother with anymore of them in the future.
Jun 06, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things I Learned From Knitting…. Whether I Wanted To Or Not is a quick, fun read that is sure to amuse knitters (and anyone who has a knitter in their lives). There are some really funny laugh-out-loud moments (my personal favorites are “5 Things Worrying non-Knitters Have Warned Me About, 5 Ways Knitting is Better Than Video Games, 4 Things that are Really Funny When They Happen to Other Knitters, and a particularly cute letter from the author to her yarn stash) mixed with some thoughtful, inte ...more
Oct 11, 2008 Natalia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a gift for a new knitter, along with needles and yarn
Shelves: 2008, knitting
I was expecting something more like "The Secret Life of a Knitter", a book of longer essays with some personal experiences and knitting insights. I aparently mixed up this book with "Free Range Knitter" that's coming out soon. Unlike those two books, this is not a book for reading, it's essentially a "gift book" - full of short, pithy sayings and funny little blurbs. Like those little "You're the Best Sister" books they sell at Hallmark.

If I were putting together a little learn-to-knit gift for
Sep 21, 2015 Alcornell rated it really liked it
Shelves: knit-lit
Another Stephanie Pearl-McPhee book of essays. Chatty, funny, grounded in her life of family, knitting, and the art of living her life. She is a hoot. You
gotta love a woman who gives knitters perspective, forgiveness and personal space to be the OCD, ever-hopeful, yarn-hoarding folks we are.
Lee Barber
Enjoyed some parts more than others. Glad she stressed that knitting is good for the soul, mind and body. Kept a smile on my face.
Liz White
Apr 10, 2014 Liz White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are wonderful musings. I'm going to buy a copy for a beading friend, I think most of the thoughts apply.
There are no knitting patterns in this book. It's mostly a book of antecedents and a few factoids.
Apr 18, 2016 Siobhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knitting
I enjoyed this book! Full of humor! I great little book for a beginning or experienced knitter to read!
This was a Christmas 2014 gift from Emi. I love Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's outlook on knitting and life.
Dec 16, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book it was a nice change to read. Personally preferred her yarn harlot book, but I would pick this up to read again at some point.
Jun 07, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like knitting books generally and her blog specifically so I'm biased but a fun read for a knitter.
Jan 01, 2015 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flew through this one, as per with the Harlots books. Lovely collection of essays and some light relief.
Mar 13, 2016 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing knitting talk when I am not able to knit (or just feel in the mood to read).
Jan 30, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun easy read. Light hearted and a lot of fun. Great to read while crafting or doing a mindless activity you'd like to spice up. Looking forward to reading her other books.
Dec 27, 2014 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knitting
Not quite as funny as her book Yarn Harlot, but certainly worth a read.
Nancy Dardarian
Funny, quick book for knitting nuts like me
I picked this up because I thought it would be amusing, and because there are very few books out there on knitting that aren't pattern or technique books - it seemed like a fun addition to my library.

Unfortunately, I found the writing (or humour, I'm not sure which) trite and - as such - not terribly insightful. From a more adept writer, I think this could have been a great little book. Or perhaps it should have been part of a blog.

Edit: I take that last bit back. Apparently she does blog. No w
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as the Yarn Harlot) is a prolific knitter, writer and blogger known for her humorous but always insightful anecdotes and stories about knitting triumphs and tragedies.
More about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...

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“You don't knit because you are patient. You are patient because you knit.” 20 likes
Five things I'd rather do than swatch for my new project

1. Get a spinal tap.

2. Scrub the bathtub after all three of my daughters have come home from "Sandbox day" at the park.

3. Babysit two-year-old triplets while simultaneously diffusing a bomb.

4. Bathe a cat.

More quotes…