For me, it doesn't get any better than curling up with a good book. Well, it could get a little better if I could knit and read at the same time. Wait! I can.
Have you tried listing to audio books while you're knitting? I've been listening to some of the Knitting Out Loud audio books lately and I'm really enjoying knitting while listening to books about knitting. It's official: I'm a knitting dork!
My favorite book so far is History of Handknitting: The Compelling History of this Ancient Craft by Richard Rutt, read by Melissa Hughes. (Click on the book title for a short sample.) It's the story of hand knitting from ancient times to the present. Rutt examines museum collections, literary references, and popular legends. Rutt, the former Bishop of Leicester, is an established historical writer, and he brings knitting history to life. Much of this fascinating story takes place in the UK, but Rutt covers knitting as it made its way to the Americas, too.
The next audio book I think I'll try is KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting's New Wave, written and read by Sabrina Gschwandtner. (Click on the book title for a short sample.) This collection of profiles of contemporary designers is sort of the opposite of History of Handknitting, I guess; it's all about what's happening in knitting now. I love reading about knit designers, and this book fits the bill. I'm a huge Norah Gaughan fan, and there's a profile of her in this book, so that's my hook. There are also twenty-five more profiles, so that should keep me busy for at least one sock's worth of time.
I'm always surprised how absorbed I become in an audio book, whether I'm knitting or driving or relaxing in the sun. When I got my iPod a couple of years ago, I wasn't sure how much I'd use it. Turns out I use it every single day. It's loaded with my music, of course, but there's also a healthy list of podcasts (many about knitting) and several audio books. I'm a sucker for a trashy mystery when I'm going on a car trip and I usually like a good bit of literature when I'm sitting around knitting. I've also been known to download Ricky Gervais or David Sedaris, though, so I guess I can't be easily stereotyped in my "reading" taste.
You can imagine how happy I was to see the list of audio books in Interweave's catalog. Kathy Goldner, the owner of Knitting Out Loud, the company that produces the audio books Interweave offers, is working on several more classics, including a collection from the Mason-Dixon gals, and an audio version of Knitting for Peace.
Click here to see the audio titles we have to offer and stay tuned for alerts about forthcoming audio books.
I'm putting my iPod in my notions bag now so I don't forget it!