I recently finished reading Knitting Heaven and Earth by Susan Gordon Lyon. It is aptly subtitled Healing the Heart with Craft. Susan Gordon Lyon also wrote The Knitting Sutra.
In this book, the author writes about how her knitting helped her deal with different experiences in life. She especially likes to knit lacy shawls, which she says are often how she feels herself - porous and full of holes.
A heart-breaking romance, the death of her father, and a breast cancer diagnosis leave her in a fragile emotional state. Through it all, Ms. Lyon finds strength and comfort in her yarn and knitting.
The majority of the first part of the book is about her crazy relationship with her on-again-off-again boyfriend. She starts the relationship knitting a lovely blue shawl (emotional roller coaster), then goes to a white shawl (wedding thoughts??), then ends with a black shawl grief). Ms. Lyons describes her relationship with this man as being a lot like knitting - you have to hold on with just the proper amount of tension - yarn and men! She also learns that with men, like with knitting, "the patterns don't lie" - you get what you see - you aren't changing the man.
Later in the book, Ms. Lyons writes about being diagnosed with breast cancer and how that changed her life and her knitting. She joins a support group and takes her knitting with her. She learned to knit outside the box, to look at her knitting and not at the pattern as she went.
In Knitting Heaven and Earth , Ms. Lyons also writes about her father being ill and in hospice. She reminds us that knitting is perfect for those times when there is nothing to do but wait - times of life transitions.
To sum it up - a quote from Knitting Heaven and Earth -
"It (knitting) has kept me inspired and happy. Though it hasn't been good for my pocketbook, it has been good for my spirit, soothing to my troubled mind. It has grounded me in times of happiness and consoled me through times of illness, sorrow, and loss.
Knitting has given my soul a way to fly free. I owe to the humble practice of knitting more than I can ever say."
I'm all about sustainable practices, and because I most likely won't read this book again, I'd like to pass it on to a fellow yarn crafter. To WIN this book - leave a comment below on the blog and on the Little Monkey's Shop Facebook page post about this book review, and sign up for my newsletter at Little Monkeys Designs, if you haven't already. A winner will be picked at random in one week.