Bringing my friend Hope Ramsay back!

Hope Ramsay5X7In October I attended the NJRWA conf, Put Your Heart in a Book Conference, held just outside of Newark and it was so awesome.  My seond Brennan sisters novel, The Good Daughter had finaled in their mainstream with romantic elements contest, and most wonderful of all, I had the pleasure of dinner with Hope Ramsay.

I’d “won” dinner with Hope in Brenda Novak’s auction last May and was thrilled to finally have the chance to sit down with her, have dinner and a drink, and talk about, books, writing, faith, and life.

I’ve always loved Hope’s writing, but our dinner together made me a forever and ever Hope fan.

Hope is…incredible.  Inspirational.  And so when I heard she had a new book out I had to share because she’s got this huge heart and I’m a fan.

So, yes, many of you have met her before.  For others, she might be new to you.  Either way, I do hope you’ll enjoy her guest post, as Hope Ramsay tells us about her new release, Last Chance Knit & Stitch.

Busy Hands, Warm Hearts (and Heads)

My mother was a knitter.  She always had knitting needles in her hands.  And I have deep, deep memories of the sweaters she made me.  Putting on one of her hand-made sweaters was like wearing a hug.  And I remember putting in orders for specific kinds of sweaters.  I will never forget the beautiful argyle sweater vest she made me when I was in high school – at a time when argyle was not popular.

Mom tried to teach me how to knit, and I did learn how to do it, but my projects were. . . well. . . ugly.  I was so much better at crochet and sewing, so I stuck to those things.

Until Mom passed away in 1997, and I inherited her knitting needles.  In my sorrow, I tried to take up knitting a second time, and I failed.  This time I think it was because holding her needles was just too emotional for me.  I needed time to come to terms with losing her.

And then a few years ago, several of my author friends found out that I knew how to knit but had given it up because, well, I basically sucked at it.  Let me just point out that these dear friends were complete yarn junkies.  And they were determined to make me one, too.

I got emails with patterns.  I got links to yarn blogs. I got pushed and shoved.  And then my son announced that I was about to become a grandmother.  I suddenly realized that there was no one to knit the new baby a blanket and sweater using the pattern Mom used for every baby born from 1948 until the day she died.

EllaSweaterBlankie

I couldn’t stand the idea that my grandbaby would be denied a hand-knit lace blanket and newborn sweater.  So I picked up the knitting needles again.  And this time, for whatever reason, I found myself utterly lost in joy of knitting.  I’ll be honest, when I knit I feel as if Mom is right there in the room with me, warming my heart with so many memories.  And, of course, I now have a bunch of dear friends, all of whom are as addicted to yarn as I’ve become.  I’ve come to see that knitting is a way to keep my restless hands busy.  But it’s also a way connect to past and future generations of the mothers, sisters, and friends in our lives.  Knitting, I’ve discovered, is a blessing.

Just recently, one of my readers contacted me, and knowing that I knit, she asked me if I would spread the word to my knitting friends about The Hatbox Foundation, Inc., a non-profit group that provides hand-made hats to patients undergoing chemotherapy.  I was happy to spread the word, but I quickly decided that I could do more than that.  So I’ve organized a cyber-knit along in support of this charity.  I’m asking knitters and crocheters to make at least one hat this November and send it to me or directly to the Hatbox Foundation.  The details of my knit along can be found here, and I invite any of you who knit to join with me.  Knitting for others is one of the best thinks about this hobby.

Given all this backstory, no one should be surprised that I have included knitting in some of my books.  My new book, Last Chance Knit and Stitch, which goes on sale tomorrow, is all about the yarn shop in the little town of Last Chance, South Carolina.  It’s the story of Molly Canaday, a yarn whisperer, who happens to also be an auto mechanic.  As much as Molly loves to knit, her dream is to start her own body shop where she can restore classic cars.  But Molly’s mom, the proprietor of the yarn shop in town, throws a big monkey wrench into those plans.  Mom runs away from her less-than-thrilling marriage and leaves Molly in charge of the shop.  Enter the Purly Girls, a quirky group of charity knitters who are not about to let Molly permanently close the yarn shop.

Last Chance Knit & Stitch

And if dealing with a group of slightly senile knitters isn’t enough, Molly’s plans are also upset by the tall, dark, and handsome Simon Wolfe, who has just returned to Last Chance on the occasion of his father’s death.  Simon wants to deal with the estate quickly and get back to his life as an artist in California.  But his father’s estate is more complicated than he imagined.  So he’s stuck in town for a while and takes a short-term lease on an abandoned building that would be perfect for studio space.  Unfortunately, Molly had her eye on that same building for her car restoration business.

Of course the sparks fly — in more ways than one — when Molly and Simon butt heads over the real estate.  Leading to the question: can two headstrong people, both of them commitment phobic, ever find happiness?

It was fun writing about a group of quirky charity knitters that wreak havoc on Molly’s life.  I’m pleased that they also managed to teach Molly a few lessons along the way.  Knitting will do that, you know.

So, are you addicted to a craft like knitting or scrapbooking or quilting?  Tell me about it.  And tell me about how you learned your craft and how doing it makes you feel.  One lucky commenter on today’s blog will win a free, autographed copy of Last Chance Knit & Stitch.

~~

Thank you, Hope, for joining us today!  I am so glad you could join us to talk about Last Chance Knit & Stitch.  I love having you around!  🙂

Readers, I’m adding to Hope’s giveaway a $10 Starbucks drink card, a digital copy of my new cowboy story, Take Me, Cowboy, and some treats and sweets.  So comment below and you could win.  The giveaway will run through Wednesday and we will announce the winner Thursday morning.

And don’t forget, you guys are amazing.  Each and every one of you!

Have a wonderful week!

xoxox

122 Comments

  1. What a wonderful blog. It’s always fun to *meet* another yarn lover. Me, I love to knit socks. I started a couple of years ago and find it so relaxing to unwind with a project that finishes relatively quickly and that proves useful at the same time. My mother showed me how to do the basics with knitting and for the rest I’m pretty much self-taught (which frequently leads to much frustration–less said about that the better!) When I was growing up, I had a much adored grandmotherly neighbor who cautioned me never to knit for a boyfriend because it would break the relationship. I didn’t heed her advice (twice!) and my brother ended up with a new sweater the first time. The second, well, the guy involved came back to pick up his sweater when it was done! LOL! So far my hubby has never had a hand knitted sweater from me but I have tested the waters (after 28 years of marriage) with a few pairs of socks and so far I think we’re safe. Do you know of any other superstitions around knitting?

    1. Hey Yvonne,

      Thanks for sharing your knitting story. I have knit my hubbie a sweater that he really likes. He wears it on cold days when he goes fishing and says it’s warmer than his fleece. Which makes me very happy. But I doubt that I will ever knit him anything again. He’s such a big guy that it took months and months to knit this sweater (on big needles with chunky yarn, no less!). As for socks, I’ve knit a few pairs and while I do love sock yarn (for baby sweaters) the joy of knitting socks seems to elude me. My best friend loves to knit socks, but I always end up swearing whenever I try a sock projects.

  2. Unfortunately, I am not any of those oriented. 🙁 I Tried quilting, but have not finished…one day, I hope. I envy all those who do accomplish these things. I read with my spare time, fiddle with my camera. Thanks for the great intro, Jane!

  3. My Mother taught me how to knit, sew, crochet & embroider and I did enjoy it as a child. I had a 30 year gap of not doing any of it & then one day I felt compelled to knit. I’ve taken up with all of the crafts again. LOVE IT!

    1. Hi Mary,

      I know exactly how you feel. I used to make most of my clothes back when I was younger. Then I got so busy raising kids and working at the same time that there just wasn’t all that much time for those hobbies. But now the nest is empty and the Dear Husband has converted our basement into a sewing room for me. So I have a wonderful space for my yarn and my fabric and my sewing machine. And a cute grandbaby to keep my hands busy.

  4. While taking a moment to get away from the ICU, I entered a raffle for a beautiful purple blanket that was knitted by one of the hospital volunteers. My mother-in-law passed later that day and needless to say I ended up winning that blanket. But as beautiful as it was, I could not keep it. I passed it on to an elderly woman who immediately fell in love with the vibrant purple color. She deemed it to be perfect! As grateful as I was to win the blanket, I am even more thankful that someone was able to give the blanket the proper love that it deserved!

    1. Nancy,

      Thank you for sharing this story. It brought a tear to my eye. There is something unbelievably comforting about a hand-made hat or prayer blanket or sweater. It’s like a hug you can send across many, many miles.

    1. Cate,

      It’s never too late. My enabler friends have proven it to me. I was certain I would never successfully knit anything, but they just kept at me and I discovered that I could do it. And now it’s my favorite thing to do. (Besides writing, of course.)

  5. What a lovely post. I’m also a knitter, thanks to my mum and my gran. My hand-knitted creations helped my out when I needed some spare cash at university, but I think doing so much knitting then put me off. Then recently I found a big bag of leftover bits of wool and took up my needles again. Aran is my favourite, I like complicated things that force me not to think about anything else. It’s lovely to know that the tradition isn’t dying off. I wish I had time to send you a hat, it’s a lovely idea, I wish you lots and lots of luck with it.

  6. Hi Hope,
    It was a pleasure meeting you at the New Jersey conference this past October! And for the record I tried knitting on more than one occasion with little success. My mom is an avid knitter and I so wish I had the talent and patience to do it the right way! Your path to knitting success is a heartwarming story.

  7. Growing up, my mom was never without a ball of yarn and her knitting needles. I was always in awe of all of the gorgeous blankets, sweaters, scarves … etc .. that she was able to make. I “tried” learning, but was able to only do one continuous, long line.

    I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds wonderful!

  8. I’ve never tried knitting but as the daughter of a very talented mother I did learn to macramé, decoupage, make candles, etc. I tried to sew and paint with her but I confess by being intimidated by my mother and giving up on almost all crafts.

    My “art” would be baking. I love to find new recipes and creating desserts and breads that make people smile makes me very happy. I also bake for bake sales that help families with AIDS.

    Your book looks great and will be on my reading list. Thanks for sharing your story about your mother.

    1. Kirsten,

      Thanks for sharing. I think my mother’s skill with knitting needles probably intimidated me a bit when I was younger.

      And baking is a wonderful hobby. I have to admit that I avoid KP duty whenever possible. Luckily the Dear Husband likes to cook.

  9. I Knit and crochet. I learned too crochet from my grandma and to knit by a primary teacher i had with only one arm. I don’t know how she did it, but she could knit like no other.

    1. If you’re really interested, find a yarn shop in your neighborhood. Chances are they have knitting classes. And it’s so much fun to get together with a group of women and knit together. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I used to embroider when I was young. My mother taught my and I enjoyed it greatly. Love to read now. Your book sounds captivating.

    1. I remember learning to embroider by making a sampler of stitches. My Aunt Annie taught me to embroider and it was, for a very long time, my favorite craft. Alas my eyes are not good enough to do it anymore. Knitting is way easier.

    1. Mary Jo,

      I’m not left handed, but I have to tell you that I didn’t really come to enjoy knitting until I learned how to knit using my left hand to carry the yarn. Which is NOT the way my mother knitted. So, here’s a YouTube link to a tutorial that shows you how to knit in the “continental” style, where you carry the yarn with your left hand. Maybe this will work for you.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story! I don’t knit but I love meeting “new” authors. I find that stories including knitting or crocheting, are always the warmest and touches my heart like nothing else. I am able to feel that peace that knitters feel just by reading the stories.

  12. I remember one childhood Christmas receiving a Knitting Jenny loom. I loved it and was so excited when I finished a scarf. I’m not too sure how I’d do with knitting needles.

    Last Chance Knit and Stitch sounds like a great read. I’ve added it to my holiday reading list.

  13. I have had two failed starts at learning to knit. The first was as an exchange student in France in 1984 – my French father asked if I was making a pair of underwear, because of the “larger at the top, smaller at the bottom” shape I was creating. The second was with my church’s “Prayer Shawl” group. They are a bunch of wonderful women who create shawls that are then blessed by the church and given to people who are ill. I figured out from that second experience with knitting and crocheting that neither hobby was for me – I don’t have anything near the patience it takes..lol. I’ll stick to reading, thanks…:-) Heading to Amazon to buy yours right now.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      There is something very magical about those blessed prayer blankets. I have a scene in Home at Last Chance with a bunch of little old ladies making prayer quilts. It’s such a lovely thing for people to do.

    1. Kribss,

      It’s not that hard to learn. As noted above, find a yarn shop in your area and find out if they have classes. You’ll make new friends and have a hobby that’s very handy come Christmastime.

  14. I love your post Hope and hearing about your mother 🙂 I am really looking forward to your next book (tomorrow!). Yes, I’m a knitter too…I come from a long line of them. Ironically though it was my Danish neighbour who taught me to knit when I was probably about 9 years old, so I knit a bit different than my Mum (I think it’s European?). Which makes it hard when I need Mum to show me how to do things, lol!! Socks, I love homemade 4 ply socks! And I have a million scarfs! Have made lots of baby blankets too. One of my favorite projects was a chunky cardigan/scarf/hat I made for my daughter. Currently it’s another scarf on the pins (a ‘helix’ scarf) that is taking me forever to get finished for some reason. But now I have the urge to pop downtown and get more wool…I also scrapbook and have my own craft room where I hoard my supplies and books!! Thanks for sharing with us!!

    1. Hi Sue, you sound like a woman after my own heart. Isn’t it nice to have a room you can dedicate to your obsessive hobbies. And I so totally get the urge to pop over to the yarn shop.

  15. One of the ladies at work kept bringing in her crocheting every day last fall. The other 2 ladies and I would watch her in wonder and in fear. We were convinced we couldn’t do it. She and her daughter have taught us and now at lunch we all crochet together. The are admittedly faster then I but I still have two young boys at home so lunch time is really the time I crochet. We love going out at lunch to buy more yarn and we have a group that meets twice a month to chat and crochet and they donate blankets and hats to the local nursing homes and hospitals. Newborns are close to our hearts as one of ladies lost her newborn almost 2 years ago. It has brought us closer and given me a way to give warmth and love to those I care about and those in need.

    Jennifer

  16. What a fun blog! I’ve never gotten into knitting – my fingers just don’t seem to be coordinated enough. Although I have done cross stitching and a small amount of crocheting in the past. I envy people who can knit well 🙂 The book sounds like a lot of fun as well. I will definitely have to check that one out 🙂

  17. What a beautiful post and it brought back so many wonderful memories! I am a knitter in a big long hiatus, not because I don’t like it anymore, but I don’t have the time. At night I am way too tired to sit down and knit. But I did for a long time. I learned very young from my Mom and I liked sharing it with her and her sister and my cousins. Sometime we would all get together for knitting and chatting. And we all knitted countless baby blankets and booties and hats and sweaters for family and friends. A few year ago my daughters wanted to learn and I taught them. They just knitted scarves, but they both felt great they were able to create something. They lost interest after a while, after all we are in the time of electronic gadgets, but usually around Christmas they start thinking about it again. So we will soon be back to a shared pastime. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories.

  18. I’ve always loved crafts. I taught myself how to crochet and made everyone an afghan in my family one year, learned some knitting but I found that harder, some needlepoint too. I must admit though that reading and the computer now interfere and I don’t do as much as I use to. I need to change that!

  19. I really enjoyed your journey on how you started knitting again. My mother was a crocheter, tried to teach me but I am not gifted in that department, same with knitting, I do donate to my Oncologists office for the people who cannot afford the medicine needed to kick cancer in the butt. I am also a two time kicker in the butt of breast cancer. Be happy everyone.

  20. What a wonderful post. I can’t wait to read the book.

    I am not a knitter, but I had a friend who knitted and crocheted beautiful blankets. She passed away 16 years ago and I still use them and think of her every time I do. It really is like getting a hug from them. Because I did not know how to knit or crochet she even made a special blanket shaped like a dinosaur for my godson, he is 22 now and still has it, but the other day his mom said he wanted to know if I would like it back. =)

    I have cross stitched before, but not for a very long time. In the last year I have taken up painting and I never thought I would be able to do that, but I have found out that I can do a pretty decent painting and I enjoy it and it is a great stress reliever.

    Thanks for sharing Hope with us Jane, and Hope thanks for sharing your story. The books sounds wonderful!

    Kim

      1. Ok, now I have to read it! (I was already planning on it.)

        I had no idea I could paint, seriously took a class on a whim.

  21. I love Hope Ramsay and her books!

    I’ve never quilted or knitted before. I don’t really have any crafts like that but I’d like to learn!

    1. Hi Jennifer. I’m so glad that you like my books.

      You might check with your local community’s adult education programs. They usually have a few involving crafts. Or you can check with your local Michaels Stores. They do tutorials all the time.

      And then there is always YouTube.

  22. My grandmother taught me the very basic basics of knitting and crocheting. I didn’t do much of either until I had kids and I learned a fabulous knit from the neck down on a circular needle pattern for sweaters from my Ukrainian neighbour. And I knit sweaters for my kids…and only for my kids because I’m all about instant gratification when it comes to crafting and kids’ sweaters are small and fast. I also don’t read patterns well, so I was pretty much limited to scarves… But I always wanted to knit socks and was intimidated by turning the heel and the patterns. I did, however, find a really easy pattern two years ago and haven’t looked back. My daughters love handknitted wool socks and I always have a pair on the go… easy and a project that finishes up in 2-3 weeks. Perfect for me!

    I also quilt, which I absolutely love. My fabric stash is ever growing and I have many projects on the go… and many UFOs!

    1. Hi Kathryn. I have to admit I don’t much like knitting socks. I have no idea why this one thing evades me. I’m also quite intimidated by knitting mittlens and cloves. It all looks so very complicated. But I’ve been told by all my knitter friends that socks are supposed to be wonderful. I just never have felt the joy. 🙂

  23. Wow- your story sounds somewhat like mine. My grandmother owned a knit store & made many beautiful things & taught many of the old movie stars wife’s to knit. There was always a beautiful new sweater for any new baby until a friends son got one & the wife asked where she could return it as she did not like pink.Yes, it was for a baby girl. Bottom line- the gal didn’t want it because there was no “label”.My grandma never made another sweater she was so hurt.I was only able to do booties with grandma’s help. Now that she is gone I have tried again & am now able to do caps for kids with cancer.But I find crocheting faster.

    1. That’s so sad, Sue. Shame on that woman for not understanding the love that goes into something hand made. I used to like crocheting a lot better than knitting — until I learned how to knit holding the yarn in my left hand. When you do that, knitting becomes a whole lot like crocheting. I posted a YouTube video above on knitting with your left hand. You might want to check it out.

  24. I love making soap. It’s like cooking without the calories.
    🙂
    There are so many different varieties and recipes to use. The selection of the oils is awesome. Most of them smell sooooo good.
    Lavender is my favorite. Orange blossom is a beautiful one too.

    Work seems to get in the way a lot times but it is one of those crafts that I enjoying doing when possible.

  25. A month ago today my mom gave me a blanket she knitted for me for my birthday just loved it now I want to learn cause my kids just love the blanket.

  26. Hi Jane and Hope! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    My neighbor taught me to cross stitch when I was a kid and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got away from it though and couldn’t tell you the first thing about it now. My aunt tried to teach me to knit a few years ago and let’s just say it didn’t go too well, ha. I’d love to be able to do it but I just don’t think I have the patience for it.

    1. Well I’ll tell you a secret about knitting. I do it while I’m watching baseball, or football, or listening to the news. It’s something to keep my restless hands busy with while I’m doing something else. So there not much patience involved. 🙂

  27. I am so excited that you have out a new book Hope and so happy for you and Jane to have dinner together…bet there was lots of laughter. On Jane’s recommendation and reading about you on her blog here earlier, I ordered your book Welcome to Last Chance and just got it from Amazon where another book held up the order. Can’t wait to read it and then go onto the rest of your books including this new one which sounds like a great read. Wish I could knit, but I do have a DIL who taught herself and she knits beautiful hats, sweaters, socks etc. We are blessed to have her in our family. Also, congrats. to you Jane on your book honors…well deserved!

    1. Hi Library Lady,

      My dinner with Jane was the absolute high point of the New Jersey conference. I’m a huge Jane Porter fan. But this was the first tie we really got to talk to each other, and I think if we didn’t live on opposite ends of the continent we’d be fast friends. I felt as if I’d known her forever.

      1. Hope, I am really enjoying your book Welcome To Last Chance and encourage anyone who has not read it to order it right away. Now I have all the other Last Chance books in my Wish List and hope my family will take the hints. Hope you continue to enjoy knitting and keep writing!

  28. I am very impressed with your baby sweater and story of knitting. I have tried crocheting and it looked like knots. I would love to learn one day how to crochet or knit. It seems like such a great way to relax and make something beautiful at the same time. It really does sound like your mom was there with you guiding the way to make the baby items. Your book sounds very interesting too. I don’t really have many hobbies except for reading. I used to make jewelry but got bored with it.

    1. I’ll say it again. Visit your local yarn shop and take a group lesson. You’ll make friends and have fun, even if you don’t become the world’s best knitter or crocheter.

  29. I too picked up knitting after my Mom passed away. Knitting is a wonderful way to relax. I love reading books that incorporate knitting in the storyline. Know I will live to read this book. Enjoyed the blog very much
    Like the author one of the first things I made was for my first grandchild..

  30. I’m not much of a knitter, my mom did some knitting and I have a few sweaters that I’ve kept just for the memories, do wear them when the weather changes here in fla. She was a great dress maker-I took over the cooking and baking! love to win Hope’s book, it sounds so good also love to find a new author so I can get some new reading material!

  31. my Mom knit and crocheted and she, along with 4H club, taught me to knit and embroider.

    loved your story about the coffee times/chatting.

  32. Would love to win a free, autographed copy of Last Chance Knit & Stitch. I haven’t learned to knit or crochet; would love to try it. I like to re-purpose items/it makes me feel good when i can take something and turn it into something different or freshen it up! Thanks for a chance to learn about a new book!

  33. I have a few crafts I am addicted to. I quilt, knit and make cards. I learned to knit and crochet when I was a child, often making clothes and quilts for my Barbie dolls. I picked up quilting when my first child was born and added card making shortly after. I still meet monthly with my quilting group and card making group – my 2 mom breaks!

    1. I did a fair amount of quilting when I was younger. But I didn’t have any friends who did it, so making a big quilt was a huge chore. I think I was quilting before it became really popular again. I haven’t made a quilt in a long, long time. Knitting has the benefit of being way more portable.

  34. I never had much luck with knitting or crocheting – couldn’t get the tension right, but I do enjoy counted cross-stitch. That’s very regimented and makes me feel like I’ve got it under control.

    1. When I go to Michaels and pass the scrap booking aisle I always want to stop and take it in. I think I could quickly become addicted to this hobby, which would probably make my husband scream. I’ve already taken over the basement with my sewing and knitting.

  35. READING ABOUT HOPE’S JOURNEY WITH KNITTING,HER MOM,MEMORIES,AND HAVING TO GRIEVE FOR HER BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO TRY AGAIN,WAS SO TOUCHING. IT MADE ME THINK OF MY DAD,HE WAS MY WORLD,MY FATHER,DAD,BUT ALSO MY BEST FRIEND. I AM NOT A KNOTTER[TRIED SEVERAL TIMESBUT MY AUNT JUST COULDN’T GET IT THROUGH TO ME]SO I TAUGHT MYSELF HOW TO CROCHET. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE FIRST MUFFLER[SCARF]I MADE HIM.IT WAS NOT ONLY A BAD JOB,BUT IT WAS REALLY,REALLY UGLY. BUT,HE JUST LOOKED AT ME WITH THOSE BLUE EYES OF HIS AND SMILED,LIKE I HAD WON FIRST PRIZE IN A COMPETITION,OR SOMETHING.HE EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO WEAR IT TO WORK,WHICH BEING COMPLETELY HONEST WAS A BRAVE THING TO DO.I’M GLAD YOU’RE ABLE TO CARRY ON YOUR MOM’S TRADITION,TRADITION IS AN IMPRTANT THING IN A FAMILY,AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE PASSED ON….GOOD LUCK HOPE….SINCERELY,BARBARA

  36. A few months back I found some knitting needles at a thrift store and bought a whole lot of yarn. No one in my family, that I know of, knits. My dad mentioned that his birth mom did and had even taught him, which I thought was cool, so while learning how to make myself a scarf via Youtube videos I did feel a little closer to the woman I never met but so many people compare me to. I haven’t picked up the needles since, because I’ve gotten so busy but I do plan on picking them up again in the near future. It helps me concentrate and forget everything else around me. Just as writing and reading does. 🙂

    1. Speaking of men who knit. My GRANDFATHER is the one who taught my mother to knit, probably because my grandmother died when Mom was only 12. On the other hand my mom’s sister learned to knit from my grandmother. And Mom and Aunt Annie had different knitting styles.

  37. I love Hope’s books.Thanks for this giveaway. The sweater in the picture is precious. I wish I had learned to knit years ago.
    Carol L

  38. I sewed a lot of my clothes back in the 50s and kids clothes in the 60s. Have also crocheted many afghans and slippers, done embroidery and crewel. But I just can’t get the hang of knitting.
    Perhaps it’s time to get started on one of these again!

    1. When I was a teenager I went through a phase where I just loved to do crewel embroidery. I haven’t done that in years and I don’t think my eyesight would take it. I did try my hand at some English smocking earlier this year. It was fun, but I needed a pair of those geeky magnifying glasses to do the work. I think I’m sticking with knitting for a while. 🙂

  39. I did learn knitting back then when i was in junior high school. Did some shawls for my self, but i don’t do it anymore..maybe i should start again ? 🙂

  40. This post was so relevant and timely to me! My mom was also a talented knitter (and crocheter too). She tried to teach me, but I never could do it well and got frustrated.
    She passed away a few years ago and recently I have decided to try to crochet. I have some of her yarns and bought a hook…now I need to give it a try.
    I’m a bit intimidated. Reading this tonight gives me some extra motivation. What a worthy cause!
    I hope a lot of people help out – maybe I can too 🙂

  41. What a great blog. Loved reading it and the story sounds like something I would enjoy reading.
    My mother and grandmother knows how to knit and my father knows how to crochet but sadly I’m not good at either. I know how to do it but it just turns out badly.

  42. Hope, I’m so glad you started knitting again. A friend’s grandma made baby blankets for our boys and I have them tucked away for someday when they have babies. Hand-knitted baby things are magical.

    Your story sounds wonderful!

  43. HI Hope,
    So glad to see you have another book out. I have read your Last Chance Book Club and loved it. i am going to have to checkout all your other titles.
    Like you I could crochet and sew but knitting I gave up on. I used to sew a lot but my girls grew up and don’t wear the dress I used to make for them.

  44. I still make photo albums. I don’t love doing it all the time, but I like the end result. I rarely look at them, but my kids love to. I really enjoyed your short story excerpt in December’s Good Housekeeping, so I think it’s time I checked out your books.

  45. Hi Hope, I also can crochet and sew a bit, but have struggled with knitting. Maybe I will have to try again! I know there are tons of tutorials on youtube. My husband’s grandmother is still into crochet and knitting at 97 years old, I think following patterns keeps your brain active!:) Will definitely put your book on my “to read” list!

  46. Tole painting is something that was getting pretty good at, thanks in part to my mom’s patience in teaching me and encouraging me. She passed away 8 years ago, and I don’t paint now. I cry when I pick up the paint brush because my mama isn’t there to paint with me. I do lots of crafty things, stamping, bead work, decorating anything that can’t walk or run away. But, the painting is the one thing that my heart longs to do again. I am adding your new book to our list of must reads in book club. It sounds perfect!

  47. I have the best readers and friends! Thank you for all the great comments and making Hope feel welcome. Our winner is –

    #28 Deborah Favorito

    Deborah, please email me with your mailing address and we’ll get the prize in the mail asap.

    Have a wonderful weekend, all!
    Jane

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