Listen to This – Make That

I adore audiobooks.

They kept me sane during my long Atlanta, and later Washington, DC, commutes. They were my traveling companions on long solo road trips. And they continue to allow me to combine my two favorite pastimes – reading and crafting.

Airpods/earbuds pouch modified from the pattern “Pocket Pouch” from “Knitting: Learn to Knit Six Great Porjects” by Anne Akers Johnson

What I love most is when a book includes one of my hobbies. For instance, when I served on the Nutmeg Book Award committee I discovered the book Far Far Away by Tom McNeal. There is loads of baking in the book and I immediately asked my friend Karen in Sweden for the recipe for Prinsesstårta cake to take with me to the committee meeting.

For me, the books don’t need to be 100% about sewing or crafting. In fact it’s more satisfying when a fictional character shares a hobby I love. Characters seem more real when you can imagine spending an hour having a cup of coffee and knitting with a character.

Below are some suggestions for book/craft pairings:

Anne of Green Gables pairs well with knitting:

Anne of Green Gables series from my book collection, basket of yarn, original bookmark design I made and my favorite mug for morning coffee.

First, there are eight novels in this series so you will have plenty of story to keep you entertained, although your knitting project may not last as long. Check your local library/bookstore for the book Green Gable Knits by Joanna Johnson for some extra patterns just in case.

I do NOT like patchwork,” said Anne dolefully, hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds with a sigh. “I think some kinds of sewing would be nice; but there’s no scope for imagination in patchwork. It’s just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere. But of course I’d rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than Anne of any other place with nothing to do but play.”

Montgomery, L. M. Anne of Green Gables, Duke Classics, 2019.

Second, I have fond memories reading the series and watching Kevin Sullivan’s film adaptations as a kid. I wouldn’t recommend pairing quilting with Anne of Green Gables, but the quote above makes me want to make a red and white quilt – maybe the one on my UFO list!

“Knitting a quilt” is mentioned a lot at least in the first book of the series. It’s a little confusing but essentially they are knitting squares and sewing together a bedspread. When they are actually quilting they refer to it as patchwork. Here is a good explanation.


Sewing pairs well with Howl’s Moving Castle:

Yes, the movie by Hayao Miyazaki is stunning, but Howl, Sophie and other characters have more depth in the book. Sophie in the book and movie works in a hat shop

By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. “I’ll make some hot buttered toast,” she said. “Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??” Howl asked. “Make toast!”

Jones, Diana Wynne. Howl’s Moving Castle, EOS, An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York, EPub ed. 2012.

Yes, Howl, toast makes everything better.  Also, I’m thinking Sophie’s dress would be a fun Halloween costume!

Bonus book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because Celia’s dresses sound amazing.

As for quilting, I honestly can’t recall a single book that has quilting, a quilter or even a quilt in it. If you have a suggestion, give it to me. One of my favorite quilt designers has a loooong list of books with a quilting theme:


If you have read any of the books mentioned I would love to hear your thoughts or give me a recommendation. Extra points for audiobooks with a fantastic narrator.

Yours in stitches,

Coach Dawn

Currently reading: The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil (reader’s advisory: swearing, lots of British slang you might have to look up)

Currently listening to: Knit Two (book two in The Friday Night Knitting Club series) by Kate Jacobs

By stitchingcoach

High school librarian by day, crafter for life. I'm an award winning embroider, quilter and knitter. I advise a high school sewing club as well as volunteer with Days for Girls. Students will find I'm passionate about all needle arts and want to pass that along to all generations and skill levels. Learning to sew, knit or hand embroider can be intimidating, but with the right support can become a lifelong hobby that provides joy to your life. Let me show you how to get started. I look forward to helping you exercise your creative side.

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