Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Review: Knitting for Good


The subtitle of Betsy Greer's book is "A Guide to Creating Personal, Social and Political Change, Stitch by Stitch." As someone who has long believed that knitting (as well as most other fibre arts) is healing and life affirming (and, it must be admitted, a contributor to the book) I give "Knitting for Good" a heartfelt recommendation.

Betsy ( of "Craftivism" fame) offers lots of personal testimony, some easily digestible political rhetoric, and, at the end of every chapter, some suggestions for actions that help integrate the positive power of knitting into their lives. As well, the patterns in it are fun to knit and have quite a bit of style, a nice improvement on the basic patterns that are usually offered to those who are knitting for charity. There are lots of references included to make it easy for the reader to follow up with their own research.

I particularly like the discussion around knitting for personal expression and the therapeutic aspects of knitting, as well as the use of knitting as a political tool.

Betsy has an articulate and fresh voice that makes this book a pleasure to read. It may appeal slightly more to a younger audience than the somewhat similar volume "Knitting for Peace" by Betty Christiansen that came out a couple of years ago. Even if you have that book, though, "Knitting for Good" is valuable for the way it expand the possibilities of mindful knitting. And on the practical side, its smaller size makes it ideal for slipping into the knitting bag.

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