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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,899 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Cast off with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee on the ultimate journey through the knitter’s world. Pack your crafting bag, chart a course to the nearest yarn shop, and pick your traveling companion by looking for the telltale needle holes in her purse. With wry humor and a contagiously obsessive love for everything knitted, Pearl-McPhee takes you on a hilarious tour of the Land of ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  1,899 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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Leslie Jem
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, needlecrafts
I'm sharing this quote because it perfectly sums up knitting for me:

"It turns out that knitting isn't about the yarn or the softness or needing a hat (although we really can't argue with these secondary motivators). It's really about this: Knitting is a magic trick. In this day and age, in a world where science and technology take more and more wonder and work out of our lives , and our planet is quickly becoming a place running out of magic, a knitter takes silly, useless string, mundane sticks
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Humor, Knitting
Format: Audiobook, Read by the Author
Reading Challenges: 1 for 100+ in 2010

If you are a knitter, then you probably have already heard of Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee. If you are a non-knitter, you are probably wondering if it is truly possible for a book to be both humorous and about knitting. Let me assure you that most knitters have a very healthy sense of humor. We almost have too! Surely you have seen some of the hideous hand knitted objects out there.

McPhee is a pop
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
I loved Knitting Rules. It was funny, plus it has lots of great knitting tips and tricks that are easy to reference. I agree with the previous reviews that the concept for Casts Off was really a stretch for an entire book. I'd go a bit farther and say that the metaphor for knitting as a traveler's journey was a stupid concept for a book.

At first glance, I thought this book was about an actual knitting road trip in which the Yarn Harlot had visited lots of fabulous yarn shops and festivals all o
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was all ready to give this book one star, I never really was able to get into it and essentially had to force myself to finish it.

But my total excitement at her "Traveler's Life Afghan" has me adding a star. I only wish that the whole book had been so exciting for me.

One of my friends said she felt as though that the Yarn Harlot had been pressured to hammer out another book for her publishers and I think that sums it up perfectly.

I love knitting books but really felt this one had very little s
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All knitters
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, AKA The Yarn Harlot, has deviated from her earlier formula. The other books looked like, and probably were, collections of blogs and/or essays. They were funny. We all wished for more. Here it is.

This book is written as a travelogue through the land of knitting. One point of view shown is that of a newbie who becomes a Knitter (with a capital K), and is exposed through letters written by that person along the journey, as if she were in that land writing home.

The rest is
Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I love all of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's work -- whether yarncraft or wordcraft! She has a rare wit, acres of knitting expertise, and a charming candidness that's captivating. I adore her blog.

That said, this book only gets 3 stars because it is, well, kind of mediocre. Very likable, and with some brilliant bits, but overall feels like an attempt to stretch a metaphor a bit farther than it can really reach. Organized like a travel guide, this book introduces you to the land of Knitting, which is e
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: knitting
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a writer who makes me giggle. I have read several of her books, and they have all just made me lighter and happier for having read them. I highly recommend becoming a fan if you are a knitter. I was checking out ebooks available to be checked out from my library the other day and saw Casts Off as an option. This is an early work by Stephanie, which I had never read.

The premise is similar to her other books. She is able to take certain aspects of the knitt
This was a really uneven book. I frankly got sick of all her talk about out of control yarn stashes and I didn't like the letters from the homesick woman, who struck me as just whiny. But other sections were cute, like Knitting as Sport and the musings on the first person to knit a sock heel. I think about that sometimes when I'm turning heels, too. :)

Again I listened to the audio and found the author's voice easy to follow and quite restful.
Fun light hearted read about knitting. One funny thing was to read about the internet in 2007. I think it would be fun to pick up from time to time when needing inspiration between projects. My own #nonfictionchallenge - category: "she's crafty"! ...more
Kendra Fletcher
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
My least favorite of Stephanie's usually great books. ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but it didn't turn out to be quite as funny as I expected - a lot of the humor seemed understated and wry, and I went in expecting something more jovial and expressive, I guess. I did find it warm and lightly humorous, and occasionally snarky. (Which I definitely liked! One can never have too much snark.) As a relatively new knitter, I also found it enlightening in some places, as well as some helpful tips scattered throughout. I was a bit ambivalent about the fictional letter ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
For the most part, I adore this book. It is a love letter to knitting, and an explanation of why people love to knit, as well as what it means to be a capital-K Knitter. Being one, myself, I agree with a great deal of the book, and even many of the things I do not experience, I find relatable.


The discussion about stash.

I have no trouble at all with someone who has a yarn collecting hobby or is inspired by having All the Yarn. It's how she FRAMES it that gets under my skin.

Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2020
I always enjoy reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog, Yarn Harlot, so knew I'd enjoy her audiobook too. As other reviewers have mentioned, the travel metaphor is stretched a bit thin at times. It can be quite a fragmented read - there are lots of very short chapters, interspersed with lists, quizzes, profiles of notable knitters, and fictional letters from a newbie knitter called Alice - but I found that this made it very easy to pick up and put down without completely losing track. Ultimately, ...more
Giselle Smith
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stephanie's sense of humor creates spontaneous laughter that makes your husband wonder what is going on. Take a trip around the world with her in this wonderful "guide" to knitting. She describes the feelings of knitters everywhere during their knitting (and regular) life through letters from Alice and descriptions and suggestions for surviving the craft that you love.

Even if you are not a knitter you will probably enjoy this book. Anyone who has a craft or skill that they adore will relate to
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee gives a very light hearted look at the world of knitting through stories, letters and lessons. This book is funny, but at the same time, I could see myself in a lot of the situations. I got a lot of chuckles out of reading it. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to knit and even those who have to endure those of us who knit!! I can't wait to read some of her other books. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Knitter: I love all things Harlot.

However, taking this book on vacation, I bought the Kindle version. I don't know about your Kindle, but mine is about six years old, and the letters included in this book are illustrations. As such, I could not adjust the font size so I could not read them.

Wish I'd just loaded up a couple more mystery/thrillers for vacation, bought this in hardcover like the rest of my books by Steph, and saved it for when I got home.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was really entertaining. As a novice knitter I found a lot to connect with and learn from, although I imagine there were parts that would make more sense with a better knowledge of knitting terminology.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is simply hilarious. If I remember correctly, as I read it years ago, this one is to introduce family/friends of a knitter into the world, i.e., explain why we do the things we do. It is laugh out loud funny.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I picked the wrong day to reread this book. There were some funny and interesting parts, but most of the book wasn't enjoyable. I especially disliked the letters. I did also like the Traveler's Afghan. I think that's a nice idea but not something I will ever do. ...more
Jane Lebak
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun. I loved her narration, and there were several laugh-out-loud moments. It was enjoyable and the general quality you've come to expect from the Yarn Harlot. :-) Recommended for knitters and people who are immediately adjacent to knitting. ...more
Martha Tetrault
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Audio book read while knitting fittingly. The author has a wry sense of humor and self awareness about her passion for all things knitting and makes those if with similar passions smile and sometimes even laugh at loud. Not her best, but pleasant.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful romp through the land of Knitting, where all the quirks and peculiarities of people who live their lives as "Knitters" (as opposed to "knitters") are celebrated with understanding and humor. ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You have to be a knitter to appreciate this book. Having said that, its hilarious!
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
McPhee makes me laugh. I love her humor and self-deprecating pure joy of yarn.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
She totally gets me.
Carrie Ridgeway
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
I love this lady's humor and the style of her writing! ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just right for listening to while knitting, or cooking, or rocking a baby... lighthearted and real.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this. I needed something that wasn't too heavy and even if I crochet instead of knit a ot of the humour still travels ...more
Ann Stader
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really funny, really relatable for a knitter. Although iy recycles a bit from other books of hers, still really enjoyable.
Barbara Lipkin
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed listening to her voice, her stories & her knitting hints.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #3 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off 1 2 Jan 05, 2016 01:44PM  

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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.

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