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All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Who is the Yarn Harlot? She is the inner voice of knitters everywhere. She writes what all of us are thinking, and she writes what only she could think of (and it’s up to you do decide which is which).

In this, her third collection of knitting and non-knitting-related essays (although she does try to use the word “knit” at least once in each, even if it’s in the last line), you’ll find some old favourites as well as some new ones. Returning are her elaborate love/hate letters to inanimate objects, mostly knitted ones. Missing are her hilarious “Dear Designer” letters; although, there is one that could have disintegrated into one if not, I think, for her personal relationship with Nancy Bush and a healthy realization that this particular train wreck was not, this time, the fault of the designer.

Appearing for the first time is a treatise on… *gasp!* — crochet. (Yes, I have a new appreciation for it now because of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Who would have thought it possible?)

Also returning are her insights into life, knitting obsession, and the insanity of teenagers. It’s clear that the Yarn Harlot spends most of her time thinking deeply and philosophically about all things yarny and yarn related, and we all get to benefit from her musings. As usual, she had me laughing out loud, and, unexpectedly, she about had me in tears a couple times, too.

Because of our dear Yarn Harlot, I could tell my husband that that it’s okay that I am a crytoscopophiliac because there’s a word for it and because apparently everyone else is one, too — except, of course, for him. He still thinks I’m crazy, but I think he’s about used to it by now.

I also discovered that it’s the non-knitters who are insane time-wasters, not me. Yay! (Some may beg to differ, but I prefer to be biased towards my own hobby, thankyouverymuch.) I don’t think I really needed her to tell me that, but it was nice to hear it just the same. Actually, I think that’s why we all love her so much: she makes us feel good and normal and like productive members of society, like knitting is the only sane thing that is holding the world together at its seams. (They are kitchener-stitch seams, of course.) And really, who doesn’t want to feel like that, while having a good laugh over a cup of coffee and a one-point knitting project?

I’d say that the Yarn Harlot has done it again.

And if you’ve read her books or blog before, you’ll know what I mean.

(And if you haven’t, and you like yarn or knitting even the teensiest little bit, then for the love of all things woolly, go and read something by her right now. You won’t regret it.


All Wound Up is due out in October, and I am privileged to have read an advance copy from the publisher for the purposes of review. They didn’t tell me I had to like it, but I was pretty sure I would. I love being right!

You can pre-order your copy here:

All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin