Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Stitched: Knit Me a Bestseller

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Stitched: Knit Me a Bestseller

Article excerpt

What is it with knitting? We've got used to pictures of celebrities clacking their needles on film sets. Geri Halliwell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman and Cameron Diaz all indulge in yarn therapy. And in a slightly showy display of one-upmanship, Julia Roberts has had a pattern for a "random-striped sweater" published in McCall's magazine.

Now fiction is cashing in on the home-craft craze. This month, Things to Make and Mend by Ruth Thomas (Faber, [pounds sterling]12.99) hits the shelves. This is a stitching rather than a knitting tale but treads the same homemakers' ground: protagonist Sally is a champion needlewoman ("homelier sister of Wonderwoman").

Next month sees the publication of Divas Don't Knit by Gil McNeil (Bloomsbury, [pounds sterling]12.99), marketed as "chick lit meets domestic goddess". Gil's heroine is Jo, who takes over her grandmother's knitting shop in a Kentish seaside town. Meanwhile, an A-list actress moves into the local mansion and sets up her own "Stitch 'n' Bitch" group. Not so improbable judging by the list of names above.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In April, comes the mother of them all: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (Hodder & Stoughton, [pounds sterling]12.99). Written by a Canadian author who was inspired by her knitting-mad Scottish grandmother, the film rights have--naturally--been snapped up by Julia Roberts, who wants to star as the "brittle single mother" heroine who runs a wool shop and helps knitters untangle their messy emotional lives. …

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