Synopses & Reviews
Beyond Stitch and Bitch collects essays exploring the emotional and spiritual experiences common to women (and men) who knit. Women Are So Lucky Sometimes shows the ways knitting brings women together and adds purpose to their lives. Elizabeth Zimmerman describes the way a single woman turned the work of her hands into a legacy for generations of others. Stitch and Bitch offers a lighthearted look at a Thursday-evening knitting circle and its eccentric regulars. Neither a how-to nor a collection of patterns, this wide-ranging book finds much more in knitting than might be imagined. Author Afi-Odelia Scruggs, a knitter for four decades, mines a wealth of insight from the crafts colorful yarns, flashing needles, and the feelings they inspire and draw out. Photographs are included in this collection of thoughtful writings.
"Scruggs's book on the deeper aspects of knitting and purling will strike a chord with crafters who find their trade to be a meditative process. For master knitter and former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Scruggs, counting stitches can turn into a chant, while moving her hands as she makes a hat can revive her limbs. And, if she concentrates fully on the work between her needles, she finds that her 'conscious retreats' enough so that a 'divine presence can advance.' Thus, knitting can be a 'spiritual practice' that enlarges and calms the mind, or so Scrugg argues in the first of this book's 10 mini-essays. The volume's other pieces include an homage to renowned knitter Elizabeth Zimmerman (whose 1999 death garnered a New York Times obituary), a riff on Scruggs's own difficulty in parting with old skeins and a piece on the pleasure of giving a hand-knit gift. Scruggs's homey prose style should appeal to most knitters, and a few simple patterns to round out this pleasant and uplifting tome." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Knitting teaches us to be producers, not consumers... A peaceful, useful book."
—R. Kimm, Small Press Review (May-June 2005)
"Beyond Stitch and Bitch" collects essays exploring the emotional and spiritual experiences common to women and men who knit. Neither a how-to nor a collection of patterns, this wide-ranging book finds much more in knitting than might be imagined.
With every knit, the author tells a story; with every purl, readers weave a little of themselves into the tale. Beyond Stitch & Bitch
explores through essays the emotional and spiritual aspects of knitting.
Although the book is targeted to knitters, any craft person will appreciate the passion and affection that these essays communicate. Readers laugh at the author's inability to reduce her yarn stash in "The One Who Dies with the Most Yarn Wins." Every hobbyist will recognize herself or himself in "A Knitter's Life," as the author confronts her mortality while knitting hats for her young nephew.
Afi-Odelia Scruggs, a knitter for over forty years, has written a book that is engaging, appealing reading for anyone who has fallen in love with a craft.
BEYOND STITCH and BITCH is a collection of essays that explores the emotional and spiritual experiences common to those who knit. Its engaging, appealing stories chronicle how knitting can be a spiritual, meditative experience, and how one can learn patience, creativity, discipline, and diligence from knitting.Intertwined with the essays are knitting patterns with easy how-to steps and photographs.
About the Author
Afi-Odelia Scruggs has been knitting for over forty years. Over the years, Scruggs has knitted sweaters, shawls, even skirts. She also quilts and studies tie-dye with a master artist from Nigeria.
Scruggs has been a full-time journalist since 1987, when she began working for semi-weekly papers in the Washington D.C. area. She has worked at papers in Jackson, Miss., Cincinnati, Dayton, and Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a metro columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer from 1996 to 2000. Presently, Scruggs is a visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH.