My current work in progress:

Long Line Slipover designed by Lesley Stanfield, knit from Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift  on a US 3 needle

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. I’m always looking for a good read.

  2. The book sounds wonderful — I hope I win.

  3. Thanks for telling us about Rachael, Wendy. The book sounds like fun. Please count me in. Thanks.

  4. The book sounds lovely. Hope I get picked.

  5. I love to read late at night after all my knitting and crocheting are done for the day. Reading relaxes me enough so I can go to sleep about 100 pages later! I have read several knitting books lately and they are lots of fun. I’m looking forward to reading Rachel’s book.

  6. Sounds like a fun book! I read the “Romancing the Yarn” blog, and have come across Rachael Herron’s books before (yes, and actually read at least one…), so I’d love to win!
    I’d also like to knew if the carry-cat started her lot in life as a kitten… I have one cat who got carried around by the head in the mouth of our biggest dog, and that seems to mark her in the eyes of the other canines as “portable” somehow, much to her dismay. The other dogs came much later and have never seen this undignified stage of her kittenhood, but something apparently lingers…
    Anne´s last blog post ..Hurricane day

  7. I loved your interview – I’m glad I’m not the only one curious about animal behavior in other people’s homes!

  8. I’ve so enjoyed all your other recommendations….and I do love to read about knitting/spinning/sheep and fiber related stuff. Thanks for the give away…..and have a great weekend.

  9. Of course I would love a copy of this. I am a writing teacher……………..

  10. Ginger Klein says:

    Looks like a good read. I’m in!

  11. Oooh, I’d love to read this book!

  12. I am a long-time follower of Rachel Herron and have loved her other books. Would very much cherish this one as well.

  13. I would love a copy of “A life in Stitches”!
    Peg´s last blog post ..Knitting for relieving stress

  14. I am just getting into this kindle thingy.. I think I like the ol paper thing a lot better.
    Helen´s last blog post ..What is on my needles

  15. Love the pet pairings! I have a cute (neutered) kitty who’d love to be Lucy’s boyfriend if things don’t work out…his name is Mr. FluffyPants!

  16. A book about knitting AND a chance to win??? Count me in -please

  17. Hope your new job is going well — you started this week, correct? Plan to spend quality time with my daughter this weekend who is flying in from Chicago to visit her parents in their new home in Salisbury. First stop after the airport — new yarn stores on the eastern shore of Maryland! My copy of your latest book will accompany me on the shopping adventure. I met Rachael at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival where she was promoting her first book. Feel in love with her book and writing immediately! I know that if I don’t win, I’ll put this on my holiday wish list. Thanks for another chance to win!

  18. I just put Rachel’s novels on reserve at the library and will eagerly anticipate reading her newest book.

  19. I am going to look for the Kindle version. It sounds like a good read. I plan to look for her other books also.

    Enjoy your blog very much.

  20. Rachel Herron……a great writer. I look forward to reading ‘My Life in Stitches

  21. This looks like a fun read!

  22. Pick me, random number generator! Pick me! (You look very pretty today. Just sayin’.)

  23. Knitting and Crochet have helped me through many low times and high times (car accident, knee replacement, births, to name a few) in my own life. I would love to read another perspective on knitting through what life puts on our plate.
    Rusty Boyd´s last blog post ..All shook up, first day, and Irene

  24. Love Rachael’s books!

  25. Pick me…pick me….pick me… As you can see, I’m praying to win the signed copy! Thanks!

  26. Have two Yorkies…couldn’t live without them. They sit is my lap (yes both of them) when I knit or read. We would all enjoy this book I think! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  27. I want that book – pick me, pick me! 🙂

  28. I would love to win this book! I love Rachel Herron’s writing and the book was already on my wish list for birthday presents next month. Also, I’m glad the weather didn’t stop your book signing Saturday!

  29. Lucy’s got it just right. But maybe she’s also avoiding the possibility of being carried around by a rogue border collie.

    Thanks for offering the book. I’m going to read it, whether I win it or not. 🙂

  30. I would love to win Rachael’s new book. Thanks so much. Lucy is looking very content too. Debbie H

  31. Elizabeth H. says:

    I’m in awe of anyone who’s brave enough to have 3 dogs & 4 cats!

  32. I read about this book last week and drooled about it. Now…maybe….I…can…!

  33. Oooh! Looks an author I want to investigate. I love story collections like this — perfect for little snatches of reading time. Thanks for sharing the copy with your readers.

  34. Rachael’s house sounds like mine. We just got a border collie mix and my lab mix loves to try to carry her around by the neck! Our two cats go back and forth between snuggling together and chasing each other around madly. Like she said…it’s a zoo!

    Her book looks great…I’d love a copy!

  35. I’ve been looking at this book with interest! Thanks for the chance to win it

  36. I’d love to own a copy of My Life in Stitches. I actually have it on reserve at my library!
    Leigh´s last blog post ..twilight garden part one

  37. You have me intrigued. If I don’t win a copy, I will definitely be buying one. Thanks for sharing.

  38. One of my favorite knitting authors gifting me with a book by another of my favorite knitting authors–how great is that? Come onnnnnnnnnnn number generator!

  39. First, I have to say that I love your photos of Lucy.

    And, I would love a copy of Rachel’s book – sounds like it will be a great read.
    Robin V´s last blog post ..Thousands of Words

  40. I can’t wait to read A Life In Stitches.

  41. Sharon Kubichek says:

    oooo, me too, me too! trying to knit and pet the cat and the dog and take care of algebra students, so adding in a book to read makes perfect sense.

  42. Sounds like a great book!

  43. You can never have too many knitting books! I would love to read this one.

  44. Sounds l like a great read. Hope your new job is going well also…

  45. It does look like a lovely book! I’d love to win it.

  46. Been reading Rachael since way back when. She’s the best.

  47. Jessica Peled says:

    Pick ME!!!

  48. The book sounds like a must have! I’d love to win it!

  49. Susan Shelly says:

    I will buy this book even if I don’t win! I am a knitter with a multi critter household as well;O)) Sounds like really good book!

  50. The book sounds great. Thanks

  51. Please pick me– I’d love to have it. I now feel better about the two of my four cats who have “issues” relating to others.

  52. ooh, would love to read this! my library consortium does not have it yet, so if i don’t win–will request that they buy it!

  53. Love the critter stories, and I’m sure I would enjoy the book!

  54. QuotingCarol says:

    Love the animal tales!

  55. Cheryl Meier says:

    Hope I Win this lovely book!

  56. Wow! I am very intrigued! I am a writer and a knitwear designer. This book sounds right up my alley. I am putting it on my list! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Connie, the daisyhead´s last blog post ..Baby Bag

  57. Lucy sez: This is the magic, winning entry!
    Thanks Lucy, and the Magic Number Generator!

  58. Kamilla Mazanec says:

    i really really deserve that book.

  59. Racheals book sounds like a good read which I would enjoy. Thanks for the chance

  60. The book sounds so interesting. Next to knitting, my favorite past time is reading.

  61. kathleen in wisconsin says:

    would adore the book. We have 2 cats, litter mates, rescued at age 2 from local humane society. We love them to pieces.

  62. I’d love to read this book!

  63. Your blog and Rachael’s are two that I’ve been reading for years, and thanks for the interview with her!

  64. This book sounds awesome – I loved the interview questions you posted. And I cracked up when I read Lucy has a boyfriend – way to go Lucy!

  65. This sounds awesome. Please count me in! (I love Rachel’s romance novels, and it is definitely not my first genre love.)
    Seanna Lea´s last blog post ..nothing is done without XP

  66. This book sounds lovely. Yes, please.

  67. Lucy and Digit…who knew?!
    Teri S.´s last blog post ..Decisions, Decisions…

  68. Oooh, I want to a chance at A Life In Stitches! Lucy is taking her all important beauty nap for her boyfriend Digit! she resembles a little hedgehog in that shot though, don’t let Digit see 🙂

  69. handmadebysue says:

    I have read Rachel’s novels and enjoy them very much – both as an avid knitter and avid reader.

  70. I’m so glad Digit is still with Rachel. I remember Rachel’s surprise and absolute relief when he returned from his “rumspringa.”

  71. Oh great and mighty Random Number Generator, please pick my number. I would be happy to read the book to my two dogs.
    And thank you Wendy for putting up this give away 🙂

  72. I would love to read this book!

  73. Donna Jefferis says:

    I have read Rachel’s 2 other books, most likely recommended by you, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

  74. I love Rachel’s books – thanks for the chance on this one!

  75. Sounds like a good read! Hope I win!

  76. evelyn Macway says:

    The book sounds good. I would love a copy. And thanks for the interview. Very fun reading!

  77. Samantha Edwards says:

    Rachael is an amazing writer! I would love to win a copy of this book, thanks for an excellent giveaway!

  78. It would be lovely to read about her managerie while knitting…

  79. I’m NinnaNH on Ravelry. I’d love a copy of the book. I’m curious. You knit so many stealth projects. Do you eventually share those with your blog readers or do they remain stealth? How is your new job coming along? I hope you enjoy it and are successful.

  80. I would love to win this book. I hope you pick me.

  81. I would love a copy. Thanx for the chance.

  82. Her book cover looks like my coffee table — full of wool! Great piles of wool! However, hers is neatly folded and probably all finished projects. Okay, so it doesn’t look quite like my table.

  83. Kathy in Alaska says:

    Three dogs and one cat, here. Two of the dogs are teeny-weeny MaltiPoos, put ’em together and they’re not as big as the cat, but that cat just adores those puppies, and lets them jump on him and maul him and tackle him and wrestle him and….. And then there’s the big dog, the husky, who’s kind of afraid still of the littles. It’s quite the circus here. Thanks, Wendy, for the fun stories and another chance to win! Have a good weekend, all.

  84. I am intrigued by this, because I love reading about knitters beyond the patterns. Please include me in the giveaway.

    otherdeb´s last blog post ..Oh, and because I just can’t leave well enough alone…

  85. Judy aka lamazeteacher says:

    I would love to read this book. Rachael’s answers in the mini-interview were interesting enough to make me want to read more of her writing.

  86. I miss my kitties so much (both gone to the big scratching post in the sky). One would be great, two would be better, but no way could I do 3 dogs and 4 cats!

  87. Sorry for my english. But I love reading english books. And I have read two books from Rachel. If I will win, do you send the book to Switzerland? I hope so.

  88. Sorry for my english. But I love reading english books. And I have read two books from Rachael. If I will win, do you send the book to Switzerland? I hope so.

  89. I’ll have to look for her books at the library.

  90. How lovely that Lucy has a Beau!

    Like the author I also have 4 cats. Which makes for some very interesting times in a small one-bedroom apartment!

  91. I would love to win a copy of Rachel’s new book!

  92. My life right now is cat less. The interview brought a few tears to my eyes as I think of the of the love and humor the cats bring the dogs and your friend . I too would love to read a lovely book .

  93. Love your new book. Can’t decide what to make first. And I would love a copy of A Life in Stitches.

  94. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. I loved the line in the interview about teh cat covered in dog spit!!! just got my copy of Wendy Knits Lace! it is a beauty!

  95. i love that lucy has a boyfriend… =)

  96. I read an excerpt in a magazine; it was wonderful! I am looking forward to reading all the essays.

  97. that looks like a great book. thanks for the chance!

  98. knitting reading! love it!

  99. im just lori says:

    O, Great Random Number Generator, please pick me. The book looks to be a great read, and I would be sure to treat it well. 🙂

  100. This seems like a book I would love to read. I so enjoy reading your blog. Lucy is so cute. My kitty Cleo’s favorite thing is to cuddle next to me while I am knitting. Sometimes I have to remind her not to chew the cords of my circs! Thanks Wendy!