Which Audiobook Makes Your Stitching Soar?

|Sponsored| Does the audiobook play a role in your handmade life? Our staff stitches and listens with some voracity, although certain projects may not work so well with riveting storytelling. There may be frogging involved once a plot point gets too intense. But if the audiobook in question is worth the mistakes, you’ve made an excellent choice.

Recent audiobook choices among the Interweave staff demonstrate that although tastes in fiction can vary, it is the constant repetition of the stitch that can carry the listener away. Whether you’re into the multi-perspective narrative, short stories, or a touch of fantasy, audiobooks can help elevate the time you spend with your knitting needles.

Check out additional suggestions from Penguin Random House Audio along with the suggestions we have for you below. The storytelling experience of an audiobook has the potential to make your stitching soar.


Do Not Underestimate the Housewife

Anne Merrow, Group Editorial Director, Yarn & Fiber

The modern world is not kind to housewives. Where homemaking was once expected and respected, today’s pop culture often portrays it as outdated, unnecessary, even stifling to women. Housewives, you might think from television, are as current as a rotary-dial phone.

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because you’ve heard all those things about knitters.

I sat down with a new knitting project and American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis, and I soon had a problem: I couldn’t stop listening to these stories of independent, sassy, variously deranged women.

I got so much knitting done that week. As I worked on a new cowl project, I relied on stitch markers to keep me from losing my place in the pattern. Otherwise, I would have ended up with a foot-long tube of mesmerized stockinette stitch instead of the pattern I’d chosen.

I vowed to follow some of the advice in “How to Be a Grown-Ass Lady” and most of the wisdom in “Take It from Cats.” I thought better of a posh life on the Upper East Side after reading dispatches from the trophy wife vs. cat lady battle in “The Wainscoting War.” And I finally found a celebrity reality TV show to love: “Dumpster Diving with the Stars.” (And that’s even before we get to the bra fitter.) Each of the dozen stories is told in the voice of a different formidable woman, and 4 talented narrators invite you into their worlds.

I first fell in love with audiobooks when I first learned to knit. I received a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I listened to the book (on tape!) as I knitted my first scarf. Ever since, I’ve kept an eye out for all kinds of books to knit to. American Housewife is my first audiobook of short stories, but if this is the kind of funny, can’t-look-away experience I can look forward to, it won’t be my last.

Give it a quick listen! Click on the below to sample Anne’s selection.


Stitch and Listen Multi-Tasking

Susan Horton, Editor, Handwoven

Working as editor of Handwoven magazine means that I split my time between my home and family in California, and my job and apartment in Fort Collins, Colorado. That means I am in airports and on airplanes—a lot. I would like to tell you that I’m always dutifully working on my laptop, but in truth, I usually knit and listen to audiobooks. This is triple-tasking: waiting (or flying), knitting, and enjoying a good “read.” Recently I picked out Delia Ephron’s Siracusa which turned out to be an audiobook that made the transition from triple-task status to “I can’t wait to get back to it” status.

Each of the four main characters of Siracusa narrates the story from his or her point of view. As you hear their description of events, you come to know the characters, their many flaws, their finer points, and their ulterior motives. Many times they are self-serving in their descriptions, and at other times unflinchingly honest. Interestingly, the character that doesn’t speak, Snow, one couple’s daughter, is the catalyst that drives the story. Without their being aware of it, Snow cleverly manipulates the adults to her will with devastating results.

If you like a good story with compelling characters and twisted relationships, one that unfolds in a beautiful place with spooky undertones, Siracusa is a must-listen. You might flub a stitch from time to time when Snow works her “magic,” but it’ll be worth it.

Sample Siracusa in the below player.


The Plot Thickens, and My Needles Quicken

Laura Hulslander, Project Editor, Knitting

I love books. Microhistories, thrillers, classic lit, trashy romance novels—I love ‘em all. Unfortunately, life being what it is, I don’t have as much time to sit down and read as much as I would like. However, audiobooks make it possible for me to enjoy books without having to carve out time for them. I can listen to a great story in bits and pieces as I run errands around town, or make dinner. Best of all, because the audiobooks are on my phone, they’re always with me. Stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office? Pop in your headphones and drown out all the coughing and sniffling with a fun tale.

I have found that knitting on the couch with my ears engaged in an audiobook is the best of all. Stitching along to a riveting story moves my needles in a way that I don’t experience while ingesting other forms of entertainment. If the project has a repetitive stitch, I can dig in and simply let my muscle memory do the work. This was definitely true for the last book I listened to, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.

The Immortalists tells the tale of four brothers and sisters from New York who visit a fortuneteller only to discover which day each of them will die. The story follows each sibling from their visit with the psychic to the day of their death, examining their life and where it took them. It’s such an interesting thought experiment: how would you live your life if you knew when you were going to die? Did each character choose their path, knowing their final day, or were they swept along by fate? It was a highly intriguing and enjoyable stitch-and-listen—I would definitely recommend it!

Click below listen to a clip of The Immortalists.


For more crafting suggestions, visit TryAudiobooks.com and you can sign up for the Penguin Random House Audio newsletter to receive an exclusive sampler of new releases. We would love to hear about what kind of stories you stitch along to. Let us know in the comments!

3 Comments

  1. SonjaM at 9:54 am September 21, 2018

    The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain – could not put it down.
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, felt good to read it again.
    The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (she wrote The Nightingale

    • Anonymous at 1:10 pm September 21, 2018

      Great article. I have listened to audiobooks while knitting for years. I just finished Cottage by the Sea by Debbie Macomber and a murder mystery The Word is Murder. The only drawback to audiobooks is that I don’t retain the content as well as when I read the books. But since these are for entertainment and part of my brain is on my stitching, that’s ok. And about the frogging – true true, but that’s ok too.

  2. Anonymous at 1:17 pm September 21, 2018

    I love to be carried away by a good tale and characters with whom I am glad to spend my time.
    Recently, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novic. Skilled narrators are a must.

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