My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


A Life In Stitches

Well, it’s not my life in stitches . . .

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a review copy of A Life in Stitches by Rachael Herron.

I’ve known Rachael since way back when we were both baby bloggers in the early days of knitblogs, so I have of course read each of her novels as they were published — and loved them.

I finished reading A Life in Stitches last week. This is not a novel but a collection of autobiographical essays with knitting content (and a fun pattern at the back of the book). I highly recommend this book. Rachael is such a lovely writer (I’m sorry, but there is no other way of putting it) and her words are simply a pleasure to read. And knowing Rachael in real life, I can tell you how genuine her writing is. Well, read this book and you’ll see what I mean!

The print version has been out for a bit and today the ebook version was released so no matter how you prefer to read, you can grab a copy.

This week I conducted a mini-interview with Rachael via email.

Wendy: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? When you write a novel, do you have the plot worked out ahead of time, or does it develop as you write?

Rachael: My writing process is this: write every day. If I do that, I tend to get less overwhelmed. A little bit of writing is always better than none, and you can always fix it later. As to plotting, my writing is one part plan, two parts accidental. I tend to start with a fantastic idea which gets less and less awesome as I work on it, and I’m left sitting in front of the computer with a dazed look on my face. Really? I thought I could write a whole book about this? What was I thinking? Then I go have a little lie down on the bed and try not to hyperventilate while I stare up at the cobwebs on the ceiling fan. Usually I get struck with the obvious answer either while in the shower or while driving — both inopportune times to write anything down, you’ll notice — and that new idea will carry me until the next freak-out.

Wendy: My Lucy is an “only child” but I know you live in a multi-critter household. Does everyone get along most of the time or do various factions gang upon each other?

Rachael: Hoo boy! Yep, we have three dogs and four cats. It’s a zoo. Most get along: Clara the border collie has her very own cat (Waylon), and she drags him around the house (the cat loves it, and is often completely covered in dog spit), and our chihuahua cuddles with our beagle/pit mix. Now, my cat Digit? Lucy’s boyfriend? The only animal he gets along with is Lucy, I’ll have you know, and that’s because absence makes the heart go fonder. He hates everyone and everything else (I’ve had him since he was four weeks old–he’s pretty much always been a sourpuss), but he makes an exception for me, for which I am glad. I love that cat SO much.

Thanks, Rachael, for answering my questions!

But wait — there’s more!

Would you like to be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of A Life in Stitches? Leave a comment on this blog entry by noon Eastern time on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. The great and might Random Number Generator will select a comment at random for that commenter to receive the book.

I promise that I have been knitting since I completed my last sweater last Friday, but it has all been stealth knitting. But I am starting something I can show on the blog, and will do so in my next blog post. Honest.

Lucy sez . . .

Well, Lucy isn’t saying anything because, as you can see, she is in the middle of a very important nap.


  1. A life in stitches sounds amazing! Just the vivid image of Clara walking around with this cat Waylon in her mouth just cracks me up! I’m going to have to check it out!

  2. I’ve heard great things about Rachel’s earlier books, so I look forward to reading them and this latest work.
    sprite´s last blog post ..sunsets through the week

  3. The book looks very engaging; I’d love to have a copy!

  4. ooooh, I LOVE knitting related essays!

  5. Sounds like a great book!

  6. I always like your book recommendations
    Lynda´s last blog post ..WOW!!!

  7. I love that you chatted about the animals! Right now, I have 2 cats of my own and my brother & his future wife are staying with me and their weimaraner. My two cats can sometimes be found snuggling together, but mostly they just tag team being alpha of the neighborhood and carrying on their love affairs with two of my neighbors’ indoor-only kitties. I often come home to them staring through the window at their girlfriends before they run on back to great me. I’m sure my neighbors *love* my cats.

  8. I love me some knit-lit. Put my name in the hat. 🙂

  9. kate lathrop says:

    (raises hand) I would love to be put in for the drawing.

    The things you learn – I had no idea that Lucy and Digit were an item. I remember the amazing Digit sage when he went on walkabout; I cheered when I read her ‘he’s home’ blog post.

  10. I love to read about knitting. This book sounds wonderful!

  11. Linda Fleming says:

    Her books sound great! I would love to read one.

  12. Great interview! I have been wanting to read this book!

  13. Would love a copy of the book – enjoy your long weekend, Wendy. I going to settle down and read Wendy Knits Lace and of course, knit.

  14. Rachael’s cat must be related to my Tigre. He’s perfectly pleasant as long as you don’t expect him to act like a cat.

  15. This book sounds perfect for a long transatlantic flight that’s coming up, along with some toe-up sock knitting of course :>)

  16. Savannagal says:

    Another terrific book to read. Thanks for the contest.

  17. Hello there, random number generator; would you please pick me this time!

  18. This looks like a book I would love to have.

  19. Thanks for introducing me to this author – the book sounds great! Pick me, pick me!! : )

  20. Ruth Porter says:

    This is a book I would like to have on my shelf. Since I usually borrow my fiction from the library (saving pennies for knitting books), I’ve just put Rachael’s latest “How to Knit a Heart Back Home” on reserve.

    Hugs to napping Lucy.

  21. Put my name in the hat! Thanks for your generosity.

  22. Lucy Cobbe says:

    I would really like to read Rachel’s new book.

  23. Count me in! I’d love read it.

  24. I’ve read Rachael’s books and couldn’t put them down until the book ended. Would love a copy of her new book.

  25. I’d love to read her book.

  26. I LOVE reading anything to do with knitting and I love everything Rachel Herron has written. Also loving your new book. Must finish some WIP’s so I can cast on for one of the patterns in it!

  27. Oooh, yes please!

  28. hi —

    i promise to give “a life in stitches” a cozy, cat-loving home if i’m the lucky winner!

  29. Sounds interesting. Any household where a dog has his own cat gotta make for a great book.

  30. Love that her dog has his own cat for playing with 😉

  31. deidre corbet says:

    I love Rachel’s blogs and would love to win a copy of her new book. Thanks for the chance.

  32. Well, I always enjoy a book by a lovely writer… add in knitting content and I’ll be in heaven!
    PS We once knew a dog that had his own cat. The cat used to hang upside down from his belly when he walked around. Strangest and most adorable thing I’ve ever seen..
    nursenikkiknits´s last blog post ..WIP Wednesday #32 – In which I start talking to inanimate objects.

  33. Would love to read this book. I have read Rachael’s novels before and enjoyed them!
    What we won’t do for our animals. They are the best though!

  34. Need. A. Book.
    Thank you very much.

  35. I’d love to read this book!

  36. Liked the interview with Rachel. Would love to win a copy.
    Renee´s last blog post ..Meet Suzie! My new best friend.

  37. This sounds like a very interesting read. I’d love to give it a try.

  38. Book sounds great.

  39. Sunnyknitter says:

    Sounds like just the book to get me out of my reading funk. I keep starting things and putting them down, just feeling somewhat fractured right now I guess. Thanks for the recommendation!

  40. There is quite the buzz about this book, you aren’t the first blog I’ve read about it on TODAY. Thanks for the opportunity to win and for introducing the knitting community to enrichment opportunities as well!

  41. Sounds like a great book

  42. I’ve been in the mood for some knitting essays!

  43. Once again, count me in!

  44. I’d love one. It sounds lovely.
    Liz R´s last blog post ..Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

  45. Please sign me up. This sounds like a great book.

  46. sounds like a great book! I will have to check out her earlier books too! Thanks!

  47. I love the idea of the dog having her own cat – but then border collies like to herd so I imagine she thinks of him as her responsibility. 😉

    The book sounds great, I would love to win it.

  48. I love good books that involve knitting, even if they’re not “knitting books.” Know what I mean?

  49. Would love a copy of the book. I think I will go right over to Amazon and look for her other books now!

  50. I’d love to win this book… I’m not familiar with Rachel, so I’m off to google.

  51. Ooooh – that book sounds great! *Off to google it*

    Sarah – Crafts From The Cwtch´s last blog post ..What a GREAT day!

  52. Looks like a good book.

  53. I’d love to win. Had to laugh at poor Digit the sourpuss. I have one of those, 18 year old Jensen who I had since he was 8 weeks old. He loved one dog we had and when that dog died, he has hated every dog and cat since. He terrorized my nephew by swatting him everytime he walked by him. My nephew is now 20 and is still afraid of the cat.

  54. Love Rachel’s writing. Can’t wait to read this one.

  55. That book sounds very interesting. Would love to have a copy.

  56. I would LOVE a copy of Rachael’s book!

  57. anne marie in philly says:

    my 57th birthday is 9/6…just sayin’…(wink wink nudge nudge) 😉

    so, how is the new job?

  58. This books sounds like a good fall read, curled up with a pot of tea. I just downloaded the SAMPLE on my Kindle. Thanks for the giveaway, Wendy.
    JoAnn W.´s last blog post ..Stranded in Limbo

  59. Awesome!!! I had no idea Rachel had came out with another book but I have loved her last 2. Thanks for the giveaway!

  60. Melissa HB says:

    the book sounds lovely. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  61. Sounds like a book I would really enjoying reading. Lucy looks adorable, as usual.
    Jill Ferneau´s last blog post ..Fast, faster, fastest….best, better, more better?

  62. Looks like a very enjoyable read. Thanks for a chance at it!

  63. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
    It sounds delightful!

  64. Sherry Anderson says:

    As always, love your blog, and all book recommendations! I’m knitting lace!!!!!

  65. Thanks Wendy, you talented person, … :o) for the generous opportunity to win this most interesting book of knitting literature! Hope you and Lucy have a restful Labor Day Weekend! Thanks again!

  66. Tami Thurston says:

    Rachaels book sounds as good as her previous books. I didn’t know that she had a new one out. I might just have to download the e-book. I downloaded your latest today and immediately wanted to start casting on. The only thing that stopped me was a lack of needles. I guess I have to finish a few things to free up some needles first.

  67. I just went over to Amazon and was delighted to see their “look inside” button was active on this book. After reading the introduction and the start of Chapter One, Casting On, I’m hooked. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Travel knitting revisited

  68. Andrea in Tn says:

    that sounds like a lovely book. Pick me!!!

  69. Would love to be in to win!
    Rachelle´s last blog post ..A Yarniful Day

  70. Lynn in NM says:

    I love to knit – I love to read. Best of all is reading about knitting.

  71. Lucy sez, “Wake me up when Digit gets here!” Please, i would love a copy of the book!

  72. Ooh sounds like a nice book. But stealth knitting again? Should I start to get worried for LB?

  73. PLEASE!!!! random generator….please pick me!!! 🙂
    stephanie young´s last blog post ..How I love baby hats…let me count the ways

  74. I’d love to read this book….sounds great!

    Thanks for the give-a-way!

  75. My life has been full of stitches, from my knitted soakers when I was an infant to the hand knit sweaters my mother made and then my own knitted projects as I grew older. My feet are never happy unless they are clad in home-knit socks, especially when I’m curled up reading a good book.

  76. I would love a copy of Rachael’s new book. Please!

  77. peggy connolly says:

    more cat stories!! I love it.

  78. I love Rachel’s blog & am looking forward to reading her book. Speaking of books…. I finally got myself to the book store today. O.M.G.! I LOVE Wendy Knits Lace. I want to knit every single project. Have the feeling True Love may win even though I’m far from an “advanced” lace knitter.
    Jeannie´s last blog post ..Hurricane Preparedness

  79. Joan from Wisconsin says:

    Toss my name in the ring for the drawing. Sounds like an absolute must read. Suppose Lucy will read it also.
    Joan from Wisconsin

  80. The book sounds very interesting. And I have a lot of animals too! 2 cats 2 dogs and 2 guinea pigs!!

  81. I’d love to have Rachael’s book…Sure can relate to her critters and their favorite friends.
    Now I will go find her novels, too.

  82. OH, I would love a copy of that book! Please tell Lucy that my cat Angel (also a rag doll) could be her twin!

  83. I would love to add this book to my collection of books on or about knitting and knitters.
    Beth´s last blog post ..Cable On the Sides Mitten Pattern Review

  84. Fun Interview! I’d love to throw my hat in the ring for a signed copy!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..When the weather starts to turn

  85. I would love a copy of this book!

  86. Thanks again for a chance to win. I read her last book and I agree with you, she is a fine writer.

  87. Libba Hicks says:

    My fingers are crossed for this one!

  88. Kathleen R says:

    This book sounds great, thank you!!

  89. I would love to have a copy of “A life in Stitches”. Isn’t it fun when someone you know makes it big? What fun that you know the author. And your Cats are best buds. Rachael mentioned that her Border Collie has it’s own cat that it drags around the house. I too have a Border Collie and she had a cat that let her drag or roll it around. Wouldn’t you know it was long haired and when covered with dog slobbers it really looked gross. The cat is gone now but the Border Collie is still with us, her name is Suzy.

  90. Lucy has the right idea. Nothing better than a nap. Thanks for the chance to win such a great looking book. I look forward to reading it.

  91. Sounds like a great read!
    Susie Kline´s last blog post ..50 Books: The Talk Radio Series by Mary Kennedy

  92. Stephanie Reynolds says:

    I would love to read Rachael’s book. Anyone that loves pets and knits has to be a special person!!!

  93. How cool! Autographed, wow! Hope your new job is going great!

  94. I enjoyed reading Rachael’s other books and look forward to reading this one….

  95. I love Rachael and her blog and I can’t wait to read her newest book.

  96. Jean Palionis says:

    I need some down time and a good book is just the answer “thank you very much!” I would love to have this delightful novel.

  97. Wendy, in another blog you mentioned her books, so I went in search and found them! Loved them and would so enjoy another one of her books! Autographed!!! Thanks for the chance to win……..

  98. Another knitting book would be wonderful! Please enter me! Thanks!

  99. Oh, I so want this book, it’s on my wish list…….love reading your blog!!

  100. Now I am intrigued and hope I win the book