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Audio Books: My New Must-Have "Notions"

Jul 13, 2009


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!


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NancyG wrote
on Jul 20, 2009 4:12 AM

Concerning the audio books on knitting - the one titled:  History of Handkniting sounded nice and clear on the sample stream. I could clearly make out every word, and would consider it worth buying. But the other one featured: KnitKnit (profiles) read by  Sabrina Gschwandtner was a disappointment. Seems every sixth or seventh word, her voice drops, and the word gets lost and is hard to make out. I had to replay parts of the sample stream several times to make out what she was saying and even then, I missed some of the words (even on such a small sample) - so I can imagine what a chore trying to listen to a whole book would be. Unfortunately her presentation/reading is poorly done for an audio book. She has a habit of swallowing words and lowering her voice every so often.

JeanieM@4 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 10:19 AM

Kathleen.....enjoying your comments so much!  Speaking of

I-Pods, I recently won a contest in "CountyWomanMagazine" for my knitted and felted cell phone, I-Pod, digital camera  or etc., holder!  Shown on page 47 of the current August/September issue.  They will publish the pattern in a later magazine.  It's very handy to have a little case with a closure for your I-Pod don't you think?!  Especially one made by us for us!!!  Sincerely,  Jeanie Maier, Missoula, Montana

chihuahuakat wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 7:46 PM

I am a knitting dork 2  :)

Welcome Kathleen.

LindaS@40 wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 8:21 AM

I'm a relatively new Ipod user and so far I've just bought audio books and downloaded podcasts through ITune.  I love some knitting and fiber art podcasts but some I can't listen to late at night or I get "too excited" to get to sleep.  Is there someplace I could get a tutorial on downloading from Interweave sites into ITunes?

CindyR@20 wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 6:02 AM

Has anyone seen Stephanie Pearl-MePhee's books in audio?  Those would also be fun to listen to while knitting!

cranmere wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 5:03 AM

Or you could just learn to read and knit at the same time.

limedragon wrote
on Jul 14, 2009 4:48 AM

If you have a good hands-free book holder, you can also read while stitching. : )

Anikka wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 11:58 PM

I loves your books very must and and very cheap. And so many times i  thing now i bye them, but i living in Finland and you to know how exspensive it´s postage. Then i cant to ordet them. I´m very sorry

caring carer wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 10:44 PM

I have  always listened to audio books while knitting or doing my cross stitch. I have loads and I use every month.  I listen to them when on night duty and going to sleep as they are so relaxing too.

Try the Friday Night Knitting Club and Take Two by Kate Jacobs!

Lynne In Dorset, UK

Linda TB wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 7:14 PM

I too love to listen to audiobooks while I knit.  I haven't tried the audio knitting books, but I do like unabridged books.  I'm a member of and download 2 books per month.  I just listened to a wonderful one called "The Help"  by Kathryn Stockett.  I highly recommend it.  About a group of maids in Jackson Mississippi in the 50s and 60s.  Several different readers are used.  

Thanks for mentioning two of my greatest pleasures...sock knitting and listening to audiobooks on my iPod.

on Jul 13, 2009 6:23 PM

Another great new invention is the Amazon "Kindle".  It's a reader, but it also can read to you.  And the price just came down.  Check it out at

Also, I suggest any books by Elizabeth Zimmermann for enjoyable & witty entertainment while knitting!

LisaR@2 wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 5:52 PM

I LOVE listening podcasts and audiobooks while knitting.  I confess I make heavy use of our local library for audiobooks.  Great way to combine my two favorite hobbies!

Kabira wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 5:37 PM

I love audio books and use them all the time while knitting and crocheting.  But I am so disappointed that Interweave has only created abridged versions.  Of course project patterns have to be omitted from those books which contain them, but it seems that all the books, even the 'knit lit' ones, which you are offer are abridged.  So sad.

KathyB@76 wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 5:15 PM

If you've got an iPod Touch or an iPhone, you really need to check out the fantastic knitting tools available as apps.  Just search the apps for "knit".  There are needle sizers, stitch counters, stash management tools, converters, and even tools to generate ideas about what to knit next!

DeannaT@2 wrote
on Jul 13, 2009 4:45 PM

Or you could just check an audio book out of the library, like "Twilight" or "The Host" or "Harry Potter" or "Quilter's Legacy" or "Fablehaven" or "Pride and Prejudice" or 'Inkheart."  All great books for knitting.