In early July, I went to Borders to pick up a couple of birthday presents. While there, the salesperson convinced me that based on my previous purchasing history, it would probably save me money to buy the premium membership. I’d even get coupons that would make back the whole $20. I knew Borders was in trouble, but I’d just read in Publisher’s Weekly that there was an offer in for it, so I didn’t worry. Two weeks later, Borders was going out of business. I hiked right out to see what I could buy – mostly things for other people, but I picked out this one book for myself.
The Knitter’s Home Companion by Michelle Edwards. Edwards writes homey essays about the role knitting has played throughout her life – as a student, first married, a young mother, and now a mother of teens; knitting for herself, for babies, for ill or bereaved friends, and for charity. The essays are interspersed with recipes – suppers to let simmer on the stove while you knit, or cookies to nibble on while you knit alone or with friends. In between these are knitting patterns, mostly relatively simple, for baby blankets, mittens, socks and hats. The patterns are all knit from Lion Brand yarn (though I’ve usually seen their acrylic, she does thankfully use mostly their natural-fiber offerings) and are the kind of pattern that you can embellish or just crank out multiples without needing to think too much – good basic non-fussy patterns. All three – essays, recipes and patterns – are grouped up into sections of knitting for home, for gifts, and for the community. There are also little “read-alongs”, book reviews of books from picture book to novels and memoirs where knitting plays a part. This is a book to warm the knitter’s heart, one that will stay relevant even when fashions in knitwear change.