Handwork Inspired by Literature

We invited Sheila Derrington, Interweave’s fulfillment manager and digital circulation manager, to share her thoughts on the newest issue of PieceWork.

I have too many books—I have books in my bedroom, books in the office, books in the guest room, books in the hallway. I actually have turned down invitations to book sales because I’m afraid I’ll come home with more books and have no room for them! As I think upon the books I’ve read, I recall some that inspired me to make changes in my life. But I must admit that I have yet to read a book that inspired to me crochet, knit, or stitch. The September/October literary-inspired issue of PieceWork has shown me that it truly can be done!


Isabella’s Scarf to Knit by Carol Huebscher Rhoades
(All Photos by Joe Coca)

A Lady’s Life in the Mountains by Isabella Bird is the first book added to my to-read list from this issue. One of the most extraordinary travelers of the nineteenth century, Isabella Bird adapted her clothing to the cultures of her surroundings or the circumstances she faced at that time. And there’s a lovely, delicate scarf you can knit based on the clothing she would have worn. It looks so soft and delicate; just right for a lady, but also warm and protective for a traveler.

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Betty Heath’s A Hooked Hot-Dish Trivet

I’m ashamed to say I have yet to read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Her books focus on women in rural communities in the 1900s, and they are sprinkled with references to a variety of needlework—crocheting, embroidering, knitting, quilting, and rug hooking. I may need to add more of her books to my to-read list, including Pat of Silver Bush. The inspiration for The Hot-Dish Trivet came from this novel and you can find the instructions in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of PieceWork.

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A Scarf from a Twist of Crimson Silk to Knit by Mimi Seyferth

If you have read “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton, what do you think she might knit? Perhaps this silky crimson scarf inspired by her short story. The complete instructions are also in this issue, and I envision this scarf around my neck in the future!


No matter how many books I might have to turn away, PieceWork will always have a place in my home. I’ve been inspired by the stories that go with the beautiful projects in every issue and look forward to making some of my own. You can, too, with a full-year subscription. And stay tuned for more treasures in next year’s literary-inspired issue!