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A life in Stitches

Reading a memoir by a person who you know absolutely nothing about can be a slightly unnerving experience

‘A life in stitches’

Rachael Herron – Harpercollins

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Reading a memoir by a person who you know absolutely nothing about can be a slightly unnerving experience. To start with, it’s a bit like reading someone’s diary, albeit with their permission, but you do still feel as if you are infringing on the writer’s privacy.

You also don’t know how the story is going to end – which, on the plus side, means you can be pleasantly surprised as it reveals itself along the way. And so was the case for me with A Life in Stitches, by Kiwi- American knitting enthusiast/ blogger Rachael Herron.

Rachael has a sizeable band of internet knitting disciples who follow her on her website, yarnagogo.com, and who have created an online crafting community quite unlike any other.

Not being a knitter myself – or having read any of her four previous romance-fiction books based on the topic – I had fairly low expectations of A Life in Stitches but I soon found myself charmed by it.

Comprised of 20 previously unpublished short stories, the book covers significant moments in the author’s life and how they were intricately woven in with her crafting pursuits.

From giving up smoking, to living on a remote Pacific atoll, to trying to connect to her emotionally stunted New Zealand-born mother, every momentous point in the writer’s life is related to something she has knitted.

In one particularly funny and revealing story, a yellow afghan Rachael creates invokes the so-called “boyfriend curse” – where knitting something for a spouse spells the end of the relationship.

Funny, revealing and utterly honest, just like any good memoir, A Life in Stitches is for devotees of knitting and good writing alike.

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