Fiber Fiction

An avid knitter, I am also a voracious reader. I like everything from Jane Austen to historical fiction to biographies, thrillers and espionage. I especially love books that combine both my passions – books that have knitting as a theme.

I recently came across a new-to-me series. The first book came out in 2009 and the last in the trilogy was released in 2012. The books are: The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, Knit One Pearl One and Needles and Pearls. The author is Gil McNeil who lives in Kent, England. The series begins with a newly-widowed mother of two young sons who heads to a small seaside village to take over her grandmother’s yarn shop. Given that the author is English, there are a few terms that are unfamiliar to many Americans, but can easily be understood in context or “Googled”.

Knitting terms are sprinkled within the book. One term I kept coming across was double knitting yarn. Perhaps it is my own ignorance, but I really had no idea what kind of yarn it was. Didn’t I feel the fool when I discovered that the author was referring to DK weight yarn? I personally never heard anyone refer to DK as double knitting. Obviously, it makes perfect sense. When did American knitters stop referring to DK as double knitting?

I quite enjoyed this series. The characters were easy to relate with and the descriptions of small town life and the colorful local characters were delightful. I especially liked those passages where the lead character, Jo, works on her store window. Her picture window vignettes reminded me of the lovely displays Sue puts together in Lovelyarns’ window.

I remember I enjoyed a popular knitting themed book from 2006 — The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. There was some talk for a while that Julia Roberts (an avid knitter) was involved in turning this novel into a movie, but I haven’t heard anything about it recently.

Popular author Debbie Macomber is also a yarn shop owner (A Good Yarn in her hometown of Port Orchard, WA) and features knitting in her Blossom Street series. She has also published pattern books based on what her characters are knitting.FiberFiction-page-0

Ravelry has a number of forums surrounding knitting and crocheting fiction. Some of them are: Fiber Fiction, Maggie Sefton Fans, A Good Yarn, Hooked on Murder Dying to Crochet, and  Knitting in Fiction.

Once I started looking at the list of books I’ve read (yes, I keep a list and have done since 1988!), I found many knitting fiction as well as non-fiction books. Mostly, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them. They are generally light reading; no great American novel to be found here. For the most part, these books are comforting, light reading just like those patterns we are sometimes drawn to that provide easy to remember repeats or straight stockinette or garter stitch. Though not at all challenging, they deliver a great deal of satisfaction when completed.

What’s your favorite knitting-themed book?

This entry was posted in Books, Observations, Ravelry, Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fiber Fiction

  1. Valerie says:

    I started “Death by Cashmere” by Sally Goldenbaum and her 7th mystery knitting theme novel recently been published. . Her book mentioned using dental floss as a life line, does anyone use dental floss for a complicated pattern?


    • Jayne says:

      There are quite a few knitting/crocheting related books in the mystery genre. I haven’t read any of Sally Goldenbaum’s but will check one out. Regarding dental floss for lifelines, all I can say is “YES”. I’ve forgotten where the suggestion came from, but I’ve used dental floss whenever I’ve knitted complicated lace patterns. It has definitely proven to be a “life saver”.


  2. Lenna Kennedy says:

    Thanks for the lists of themed books.

    Lenna Kennedy


  3. Emilie DeMillo says:

    I loved the Gil McNeil series !


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