Hear Me, Feel Me, Knit Me: 5 Reasons Audiobooks Deepen Our Love of Knitting
The Interweave team recently found themselves in New York City for a book fair (we love reading books even more than making them). We struck up a conversation with friends from Penguin Random House Audio and realized during our chat that audiobooks hold a revered and important role in many of our knitting lives.
The gracious folks at Penguin Random House Audio are allowing us to indulge in a few juicy page-turners and cozy up to our favorite WIPs at the same time. Our minds are stimulated, as well as our hearts and our hands.
We told the folks at Penguin Random House Audio that we would spread the word about audiobooks being perfect for knitters and they gave us a list of new audiobooks that they thought we would love. It turns out they really know us.
Here are the five reasons why knitting along to an audiobook feels so right.
Top 5 Reasons Audiobooks are Perfect for Knitters
1. TWO-FOR-ONE TIME MANAGEMENT.
~ Maya Elson, Book Editor
With audiobooks, reading and knitting can get equal time.
I have been a bookish person since I was a child, and I’ve always made at least a little time for reading each day. My knitting habit, on the other hand, revved up in my early 20s, but it also requires a daily fix. For a long while I had enough time for both and they happily coexisted.
But just like for anyone who starts a family, eventually time became a precious commodity. Books and knitting started fiercely competing for my free minutes.
To knit or to read? This was a frustrating question! Until I realized the answer was audiobooks.I listen to many genres, but I particularly love plot-driven fiction and memoirs for my knitting-reading time. That’s why I’m excited to have started listening to Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer. From the bit I’ve enjoyed so far, it’s a raw, honest telling straight from the author’s mouth (obviously, since she’s the narrator). This story is going to be part racy, part relatable, and I can’t wait for it to unfold as I knit up the sleeves of my current sweater-in-progress.
2. HEADPHONES SIGNAL “I’M HAVING ME TIME RIGHT NOW.”
~ Andrea Lotz, Social Media manager, and Kerry Bogert, Editorial Director
There are two activities I do every day during which I really don’t like to be interrupted. Interrupt me while I’m reading or interrupt me while I’m stitching, and I have been known to get disproportionately enraged.
Headphones are wonderful, because they signal to the world that my mind is occupied and I don’t want an interruption. When it’s a wonderful audiobook coming through those headphones, so much the better.
I’m just starting Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and so far, this qualifies as a wonderful book. Indeed, this book has already made me laugh out loud a few times, which is super awkward while wearing headphones and knitting in a coffee shop. Embrace your inner recluse-in-a-crowded-room and give this book a try before the movie produced by Reese Witherspoon comes out… Want to find out where life takes Eleanor?
Kerry’s Travel Tip
My favorite time to listen to audiobooks while knitting is on long flights from my home office to the Interweave offices in Fort Collins, Colorado. I’m treated to a solid few hours of uninterrupted quiet time—free of emails, phone calls, meetings, and text messages—to crush chapter after chapter and row after row. I know, it’s a wee bit antisocial—I could be chatting it up with my seat neighbor—but I just can’t resist getting lost in a story while flying through the air. (That, and sometimes the person next to you smells and it’s best to pop in your ear buds and focus on the stitching.)
I’m headed out to visit the offices again soon and I’ve already downloaded The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman. Reading the book’s synopsis I was instantly imagining what the main character Collin James’ chalk art murals might look like. Throw in a romance with a high school teacher who finds inspiration in “young, creative and unhappy” Collin and you can be sure my needles will be flying while I’m enjoying my flight.
3. LISTENING HELPS ME ABSORB STORIES MORE FULLY.
~ Deborah Gerish, Editor
I’ve always been a bookworm, and a speedy worm at that. I read every word (unlike many speed-readers) but I ZIP through fiction like lightning. This habit means it often takes me 3 reads to fully appreciate a book: first read for plot, second read for characters, and third read for writing style.
Audiobooks allow me to experience beloved favorites or brand-new reads more fully the first time around. With a great reader or a full-cast recording, I can luxuriate in the language, the characters, and the settings. My next big listen, Fiona Barton’s The Child, caught my eye because a) it’s a mystery-thriller, b) it’s set in London, and c) the synopsis reminded me of Bones, one of my favorite shows. Reviewers have rhapsodized about Barton’s use of language, character development, and twists in the story. These are things I’ll enjoy all at once in audio-book format!
4. FAST-PACED STORIES MEAN FASTER KNITTING.
~ Meghan Babin, Editor
Long before I picked up knitting needles, I had books in my arms. Predictably, I was a literature student in college. Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Dickens, Austen, Joyce, Hemingway, Falkner, etc—my poor face has experienced violent, wake-up assaults by each of these heavyweights while reading into the wee hours. I’ve even been impaled by The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, which should have a warning label for tired college students, IMHO.
At first, I was resistant to audiobooks (I’m a paper person), but when I began knitting and designing, I quickly realized they were the key to my overall happiness. Instead of being chained to a giant book, I can listen to my favorites while referencing a complicated cable or lace chart. FREEDOM!
I just finished listening to The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’m late to the party, I know. But I was hooked to the end, which happily resulted in high-speed knitting and a quickly completed project. I figured another Hawkins would be a good choice—just in time for a beach vacation—so I was delighted to see her new release, Into the Water on the Penguin Random House Audio list for summer. Queue up Into the Water and watch your needles fly.
5. AUDIOBOOKS FUEL MY JOURNEYS…KNITTED AND OTHERWISE.
~ Sarah Rothberg, Assistant Editor
I spend a large amount of my time knitting and driving. I commute two hours everyday—podcasts and audiobooks are with me through both. They give me the fuel for these independent journeys. And I think I’ve found an amazing novel to share with you.
Draw Your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles is a rare combination of inspired writing and tutelage. Sentilles elegantly combines a memoir, dedicated reporting, history, literature, and theology to craft a moving defense of the peaceful paths chosen in life. Her hope is that art could eventually provide the tools for sculpting a better world.
I’m only at the very beginning of my journey with Draw Your Weapons but it’s a wonderful choice for entertainment while knitting or otherwise. I look forward to reviewing my beliefs involving compassion, war, and empathy— all crucial elements in creating a better world—through her many facets.
Do you like to knit and audio at the same time? Check out some recommended listens for your multi-tasking here.
Let us know which of these you would choose – and if you are already a fan of pairing audiobooks with craft projects, we want to hear from you on our Facebook page!
Happy summer listening,
—Lisa + the Interweave Team