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Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again Hardcover – September 23, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is the author of several books and three collections of essays: Yarn HarlotFree-Range Knitter, and All Wound Up. (Two of those are New York Times best sellers, which both Stephanie and her mum are really proud of.) She maintains a popular virtual home at www.yarnharlot.ca, and a less organized (and popular) actual home in Toronto, Canada. She’s a mother of three, a wife of one, can drive a standard, and has owned two cats in a row that don’t care much for her.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; First Edition, First Printing edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740769472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740769474
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.1 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is the author of Yarn Harlot, At Knit's End, Knitting Rules!, and Casts Off. She maintains a popular blog at www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/. She lives with her family in an untidy, wool-filled house in Toronto, where she avoids doing the laundry and knits whenever she gets a minute.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Cat Bordhi on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephanie's newest book leaves me unable to find words to match those inside the book. I doubt I can do this book justice.

This fine book is about knitting, yes, but really not so much about knitting as about what happens when knitting is part of life. The stories and essays glide and ripple and twist, carrying the reader pellmell into intimate contact with men, women, children, animals, ideas, and humor - and always the light of knitting is leaking through, shining its innocence, tough love, and grace onto stumbling humanity.

Stephanie is a master at fostering reflection through story-telling. The first story, about a very young knitter named Annabelle, holds many layers of meaning about incredibly important things. And the last story, about a very old knitter, who needed no yarn to knit, let me close the book with a sense of fulfilment. We knitters, as well as non-knitters (who would love this book) are so very lucky to have someone like Stephanie spinning tales for us, with her sharp and shiny wit rising so naturally from an honest heart. I am grateful.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By D. Vance VINE VOICE on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just when I had Stephanie pegged as a writer of humor,(Just visit her website!) she pens this thoughtful, insight little book. I enjoyed reading it, and do not regret adding it to my knitting library...and yet....
I wanted to LAUGH!! The kind of "wake the hubby up because I am shaking the bed laughing" read. With a cover so like her first book, I was hoping for a repeat of that winner! There is some funny stuff, but I left reading Free Range Knitter feeling sad. I can see where she's going with the essays in the book and building her theme, and it is beautifully crafted. It just wasn't what I thought it would be or what I had hoped for.
While my copy of The Yarn Harlot is tattered from frequent reading, I rather doubt that I will reread this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mle Erin Hawkins on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am at the half way mark and I can say this is a very entertaining book.
For a knitter, all of these situations, anecdotes are totally relatable to. Most of this has happened to a Knitter at some time !
For those who loved the previous books by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, you will not regret your purchase.
For those who love this one, you will probably end up buying the previous ones.
I'm a fan of the writting, the subject matter, the lay-out of the book (really beautiful and almost delicate)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Quinlan on January 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of stories. While it's written by knitters for knitters, you don't actually have to be a knitter to appreciate the stories. (The lingo might make a bit more sense though.) Since one of my ex-girlfriends liked to knit (and consequently, I've been on trips to buy yarn), I'm not entirely unfamiliar with knitting, but I've certainly never done anything with knitting needles that didn't involve pretend sword-fighting.

However, like I said, you don't have to be a knitter to appreciate the stories. The book's author/compiler, Susan Pearl McPhee, winds her own stories (and humourous letters) throughout the book, giving it a nice overall cohesiveness, and the stories that she's brought in from other writers are quite good. Broken up into sections which have knitting names ("Cast On" for the first, "Cast Off" for the last, etc.), the book is easy enough to read by story or by section.

There were times during the stories when I found myself laughing out loud, so I'm confident that others will really enjoy this book. Even though it's skewed toward a female audience (there's only one story about a male knitter, written by a woman, who then talks about how women view male knitters) the underlying themes of family, trials, tribulations, love, loss, happiness, and yes, knitting, speak to a human audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marge on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as the Yarn Harlot, has written another collection of essays about knitting. Writing essays is a nearly lost art, but with blogs and the internet it is not lost yet. If you have not read any of Pearl-McPhee's books this book will be a pleasure for you.

Free Range Knitter includes essays about knitting, about yarn buying, yarn stashing, nice (read more expensive) and not so nice yarn. Mostly what Pearl-McPhee does is share her love of all things related to knitting and make those who share that love laugh, cry and mostly agree with her. There is something about knitting that creates a community, as the art enjoys a resurgence and a popularity with young people, writers like Pearl-McPhee bridge the gap. Her essays verbalize the fun of knitting and attempt to explain why knitters knit.

In the past, a long long time ago, or back in the day, people may have knit to save money, to make money, or "for the troops". Now people knit for a variety of reasons, Stephanie's essay, Smarter than they think , talks a lot about why we knit. She uses the analogy of women in countries who knot rugs. These women are not allowed to learn to read and write, but their rugs tell stories about the people who create the rugs. Knitting is a lot like that, she writes that we knit to cover our children's feet when they go to college, or clothe our babies, we make hats to keep those we love warm. This book may not help non-knitters understand knitters, although it will if they take the time to read it, but it will draw knitters closer together.
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