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Knitting

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,581 ratings  ·  257 reviews
When Sandra is widowed tragically early in her early 40s, with no children to distract her, and a career as a college lecturer only keeping her mildly busy, she feels she needs a new direction in her life. This comes in the unlikely shape of Martha, a woman she meets completely randomly when they both stop to help in a medical emergency in a shopping mall. Martha has also ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 28th 2007 by Penguin (first published April 16th 2005)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,581 ratings  ·  257 reviews


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Jennifer
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 Hamilton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerry
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: everything
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marina
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I started reading this book for a real-life book club that decided to meet through Zoom during ‘lockdown’. Although there were some interesting and well-written bits (I liked the idea of the knitted horse), I just couldn’t believe in the characters or care what they did.
Spending hours a day, at home, in online meetings for my work , I came to the conclusion that I didn’t really want to do online meetings in my leisure time too. And as I wasn’t going to attend the book club meeting, the book was
...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
Kathryn
I listened to this as an audiobook (sometimes while crocheting my own work!) and enjoyed parts of it, and I love to sit and crochet with friends or on my own, however reading about working with yarn needs something else in the story to add some interest. The interaction between Sandra and Martha had some elements that I was curious to see resolved, but wasn’t enough really to keep me engrossed. I liked that it was set in Adelaide (I’ve never been there, and haven’t read many books set there), al ...more
Marsha
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bonny
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sari Lynn
Sep 07, 2009 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... ...more
Diana
DNF. Listening to the audio book I love the use of language and the landscape, but I am not interested enough in the characters to keep going.
Jane Thomson
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost walked past this book because I couldn't imagine a whole story based on knitting! However, the author, Anne Bartlett delights the reader with a complex friendship between two unlikely women all because of a man who passes out in a shopping mall. The characters draw us in from the beginning; they are so quirky and so real or unreal depending on the situation. The author keeps us reading even when we are uncomfortable with the plot because we want to see how the main characters will survi ...more
Laner
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know where I found this book except on my bookshelf. Hmmm. It was a warm comfortable and quick read. Two women that became friends and helped heal each other.
Rebekah
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bridget
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gwen
Feb 02, 2015 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
Linda
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Pgchuis
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lent to me by a friend. It started off promisingly - it is unusual for me to read a book set in Australia and it is also unusual to find Christianity portrayed positively in a book with no seeming evangelistic intent. Some of the characters were interestingly odd, but the main character was very selfish and unlikeable and the plot was thin. Skimmed it.
Jane
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book I wasn't expecting to like nearly as much as I did. Knitting doesn't interest me at all but it really doesn't control the book, rather it ties things together. I did enjoy Anne Bartlett's style of writing and found it was like putting on a comfy pair of slippers, just really enjoyable. ...more
Tracy
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dumped
Don’t bother. What a load of waffle. A homeless man, a demented knitter and a snobby widow.
Boring!!
I actually love reading and knitting so held out high hopes. So disappointed. As soon as my new book popped into my library I dumped it. If I had to wait a few more days then I would have finished it but really when there are so many good / great books out there why do it to myself??
Jamie 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. ...more
E Van
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the characters and situations are a bit weird. But since I actually know people who are like this and since I know how knitting 'works' I found it quite realistic. However not quite the feel-good book I expected it to be. ...more
Kunni Biener
Dec 24, 2013 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.
it’s a book thang
Book 41 of 2019;

Knitting - Anne Bartlett

I started this book because I had nothing else to reach for on my shelf...I dare say that will be the case until I can get out of bed again😢 this change of season has had me catching something bad!

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 diff
...more
Meg
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how this book appeared on my list...but the title spoke to me, so I tracked down a copy (thank you ILL). A small book from Australia...that just did not grab me. The characters were there. They were likeable....but they were flat. And one was incredibly long winded in her thoughts about random textile topics--- but did not hold my attention. I also didn't find them believable and I quickly grew annoyed with recently widowed one (I won't name names). I really wanted to like this boo ...more
LyndaIn Oregon
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book, and raced through it in two sittings.

Bartlett has created a complex story that touches on grief, obsession, madness, mirrored in the physical art of creation.

Sandra Fildes is a brittle, controlling, still-grieving widow whose chance encounter with the eccentric, generous Martha McKenzie grows into an odd friendship centered around Sandra's attempt to launch a multi-media display of knitted garments of the 19th century.

Yes, there's knitting content here, and if you're
...more
Miriam
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Australia, "Knitting" is the story of two women who are drawn together by the beauty of fiber and garments made from them. Sandra is an academic, recently widowed, and searching for purpose and passion in her life. Martha is a knitter who not only loves fiber but also knits the most gorgeous garments imaginable.

While there's a lot of talk about knitting and its role in domestic life and its role as a meditative focus, the books about people finding peace within themselves through their a
...more
Sue Wright
I enjoyed this book and the way the relationship developed between Sandra and Martha. If they had not met when they were the only two people to respond when a man collapsed in the street they would never have become involved with each other. Both women annoyed me at times, Sandra especially as she was obviously using Martha’s talents and the fact that she found it hard to say "No". Like a lot of non knitters Sandra had no concept of the time or cost of producing hand knitted garments and became ...more
Regina Spiker
Favorite Quotes:

“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.”

"She did not appear to own much, or earn much. She mus
...more
Lindsey Lindsay
I liked this book at the beginning, but Sandra quickly became way too much for me. Whether it was her incessant, unyielding selfishness or her constant attempts to brush it off and blame others, she became entirely unlikable. And unfortunately, her “recognizing” how toxic and selfish she was, and narrating that she wished she could stop as she continued to wound her friends again and again, did very little to endear her to me. She was a character beyond repair. Difficult to enjoy a story when yo ...more
Dorina
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you spotted someone in need, having a seizure on the sidewalk, would you stop to help? Well, these two main characters did just that while many simply walked past. The three become friends but the story is mainly about the two women, knitting, friendship and healing. It is a fast and light read, nothing too deep. While I don't knit, makes me want to pick up some needles and start crocheting again (haven't since I was a kid). ...more
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Who else hates the term chick lit? 1 1 Aug 19, 2017 10:37AM  

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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.”
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“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.” 14 likes
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