My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm 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. Looks like a great book – thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Carol Hathcote says:

    Enter me please. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Thanks for the info on this book. It will make a nice gift for a fellow knitter this Christmas! Of course, if I win, I’ll keep it and buy another for my friend. 😀

  4. Would love a chance to read these essays and then pass it on to my mom.
    Thank-you for a chance!

  5. Alice Moisen says:

    I would love to read this book. I allmost ordered it the other day. I think I’ll wait until after the raffle.

  6. Sound like a great read!

  7. Who knew a dog could have it’s very own cat? Don’t know how that would go over in my house. Each of my cats tolerates the other as long as they are not in their space, but I find it interesting that I have two that look almost alike ( Maine Coons) and they are the only ones that actively play with each other. Like they recognize themselves in the other. I would love to read My Life in Stitches. Can’t get enough of reading, knitting or sewing.
    working on your Seaweed socks now and love the pattern.

  8. LOL I have a Boston Terrier, Bella, who rules the roost when it comes to my German Wire Hair Pointer, Hunter. It’s great to hear about others who’s lives are enriched by their pets as well. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  9. I’m always looking for something new to read, and a knitting theme makes it all the better. Would love to give this book a go.

  10. Would love to read this book.

  11. I really enjoyed Rachel’s other two books and would love to get my hands on her new one.

  12. The book sounds like a really great read, I’d love it!

  13. Count me in! I love knitting essays.

  14. Sounds like a fantastic read. Would love it!

  15. Knitting essay books are one of my favorites!

  16. I would love to read this book! It’s on my ‘to read’ list.

  17. I’ve read all of Rachel’s books and this one will be waiting in the wings while I finish your latest Lace book. How I wish I had this when I jumped into the deep end of lace knitting. No one out there should be afraid of knitting lace with this book on their shelf! Great giveaway! Thank you for everything!

  18. Ooh I would love to read this book.

  19. Always interested in reading other writers’ and knitters’ thoughts.

  20. I’d love to enter!!! Thanks!

  21. Thank you for sharing this interview with us. I’d love to have a chance to get Rachael’s new book.

  22. This sounds like a great concept for a book. I definitely have some knitting projects that have certain memories wrapped up in them because of what was going on in my life when I knitted them.

  23. This is a book every avid knitter would love to have in their collection

  24. Thanks for giving us a chance to read the book. BTW hope the new job is going ok.

  25. I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. Clare Lukacs says:

    Looks like an nteresting read. Please enter me the draw.

  27. Clearly, Lucy needs a pet dog of her own! I love the image of the author’s dog dragging the pet cat around. Cute!

  28. I;ve read her other books. I’d love to get a copy of her essays.

  29. what a delightful read!!! my shihTzu would fit right in!!! please pick my number/name!!!

  30. As always, cool giveaway! I’d love a chance to win.

  31. Roseanne Nichols says:

    I would love a copy of this book, have enjoyed other books of Rachel’s. Thanks for the chance and have a good holiday!

  32. Count me in! I do need a new book… 😉

  33. Thanks again for another great giveaway opportunity. I picked up your lace book, can’t wait to start a project but have to narrow down where to start first…… so many beautiful patterns.

  34. I love knitting essays. They are so validating! I would be excited to win a copy of this book (and may have to buy it if I don’t win!)

    Happy weekend to you! Hope the first week went well!
    MicheleinMaine´s last blog post ..Kiss Me Pink Owls Project Bag with Owl Bead

  35. Yup! I would love to win a copy! I love both your blogs!

  36. Sounds like a fascinating book to read! I love seeing what other knitters write about. (which is why I surf knitting blogs….)

  37. The book sounds interesting. I also love the idea of factions among the furry children. I also agree with Lucy–every nap is highly important!

  38. oh, me! Me!!! [Hi, Lucy!]

  39. Sounds like a fun read. Can’t wait to see what flows off your needles next.
    Denise´s last blog post ..Challenged – A Yarn Saga

  40. Oh mighty random number generator please pick me!

  41. Another wonderful give-a-way.

  42. I love her writing also and would be very happy to win a copy of her book.

  43. I’d like a copy of the book too

  44. Please enter me!

  45. Thanks for continuing your “giveaways”…fun, fun, fun!
    Sounds like a great book.

  46. life is all about the stiches, so I woud love to read this
    thanks, Karen :o)

  47. I enjoyed the last book Rachael wrote, so I’m sure this will be a delight as well. I hope you tell us about your new job soon – do you love it?
    Virginia´s last blog post ..So, I heard a loud noise in the back

  48. Michelle Bingnear says:

    The book looks wonderful – would love a copy! I only have one critter, a bichon frise who thinks she’s a black lab. Oh, unless you count teenagers, I have two of them.

  49. I would love to win this book – I got an email notice about the e-book and was wishing it was in the budget!

  50. I recently read a description of this book and wanted to read it!!

  51. must get for my thesis. bwahaha
    Beck´s last blog post ..Hand-spun Aqua and Purple Ascot

  52. I can’t wait for Rachel Herron’s next novel but this will certainly help the wait along.

  53. Gina in the SF Bay Area says:

    I absolutely loved Rachael’s earlier books and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one – one way or another.

  54. I’d love a copy of ‘My Life in Stitches’ – it looks great!

  55. Oh RNG pick me! I love Rachael Herron’s books.

  56. Rosemary Chapman says:

    Your lace tunic is stunning! Would love a copy of this book.

  57. I so love knitting books! I’m reading one of yours right now, Wendy Knits: My Neverending Adventure in Yarn, and I’m loving it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  58. I would like to be entered to win the book. The only thing I like better than reading and knitting is reading about knitting.

  59. Sounds Like a lovely read.
    Anita´s last blog post ..Tour de Fleece 2011

  60. How fun! Thanks for the drawing.

  61. Sounds like a great and wonderful book. Love your blog as well, especially Lucy’s pearls of wisdom. We talk about Lucy almost every week at SNK. Is that stalking?

  62. sounds like a great read! How goes the new job!?
    turtle´s last blog post ..I know I know

  63. This sounds like my kind of book. I’d love to win it.
    Carol´s last blog post ..BLEND 1961 100% Merino

  64. Helen Johnson says:

    Sweet Miss Lucy…I love the pictures of her that end each blog post.

    The book sounds great–even if I don’t win a copy, I’m putting this on my Kindle.

    Have a great weekend!

  65. I love that there’s another cat in this world who likes to be dragged around. I’m a fan of Rachael’s writing, and I’m very interested in her book!
    Kristen M´s last blog post ..Mister Clingy

  66. Rachael Herron is a lovely writer! I am disappointed that my library has not purchased this one!

  67. Sharen Warren says:

    I have enjoyed her previous books and I would love to own this new one. Thanks

  68. Sounds like a great book. As for dogs, I was just watching 2 of my dogs play tag with a ratty old towel that they’ve practically torn to shreds. They were having a ball.

  69. Jennifer J says:

    I love knitting essay books! Would love to win A Life in Stitches!

  70. This book sounds really interesting. I would love to win this many others ..I haven’t won anything before..=-)

  71. I would love to win. Thanks for the chance

  72. I SO want to win this. I’m waiting for the main Swedish online bookstore to carry it (they will) since I have a gift certificate – but I’m tired of waiting! (And can use the certificate to buy the third Cypress Hollow novel later… ) YAY!

  73. I am another soft hearted animal lover, currently 4 dogs, 1 cat and a rabbit (all rescue critters) and would so enjoy reading this book!

  74. I’ve read Rachael’s blog forever and loved her books. (I am particularly a fan of Digit!) If I don’t win her new book, I’ll buy it!
    janna´s last blog post ..No pictures, and almost no computer

  75. I’ve read Rachael’s blog since the beginning and have read both of her books so I know I love her writing style. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  76. sounds like a wonderful book.. would love a chance to read it.

  77. Would love to win this book!

  78. I would love to have a copy of the book — and a picture of the border collie and the cat! That sounds too rare.

  79. I would love to have a copy of Rachel’s new book. I’ve been following her blog for ages and have read both of her novels. Enter me in your drawing please.

  80. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of the book. Lucy is one smart kitty…naps are good.

  81. I had the pleasure of meeting Rachael at Stitches South after her first book came out. Delightful lady and wonderful writer.

  82. Hester from Atlanta says:

    Love to knit – love to read what people have written about people who love to knit.

    Hope everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.

  83. Sounds like a fun book!

  84. The book sounds great! I know I’d enjoy it — she sounds delightful, and I *love* her description of her household critters!

  85. I’m new to your blog, but have been reading Rachael’s for a while now. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  86. I can’t wait to read Rachel’s new book. I have loved her other books.
    Crystal´s last blog post ..10 Things You Love About Your Family

  87. I’ve been meaning to get Rachael’s books.

  88. Always appreciate a chance to win a contest! Thanks Wendy. Am ordering your toe up socks in a box! Just knit my first toe up sock and am forever changed 🙂

  89. I would love to receive a copy of the book! Thanks for offering it!

  90. Sounds like a great writer, and a fun book. Put me in the drawing, please.

  91. Sounds like a great writer and an interesting book. Please put me on the list.

  92. Sorry about the double post…This thing said that it didn’t go through after the first post.

  93. Sweet….

  94. this sounds like a really interesting book. I would love to read it

  95. Yes, please! Add me to the list of people who would love a copy of this book.
    Lynn´s last blog post ..Yet another quick post.

  96. I have read all books except this one. Please enter me in the drawing, fingers crossed!

  97. I love to read anything associated with knitting!

  98. Interesting book.

  99. book sounds so nice i’ll get it for my kindle if i don’t win =)….and btw wendy – picked up your lace book for my kindle…Love the link for the pdfs!

  100. Thanks for adding my name to the drawing. Have a fun, safe and restful holiday weekend! Jo