The Knitting Sutra:
Thoughts on Handcrafts, Nature and Spirit

by Susan Gordon Lydon


Harper SanFrancisco, 1997. ISBN 0062512021.
Reviewed by Susan Wittig Albert
Posted on 01/08/2001

Nonfiction: Creative Life; Nonfiction: Arts/Crafts

This wonderful, and unusual, book shows us how our passion can lead us inward, to the spirit. Susan Gordon Lydon is a knitter, a teacher, and an inspiring writer. The making of crafts, she says, brings us into the circle of women who, throughout human history, have poured their passionate souls into the making of serviceable and beautiful things. "I knit because I love to knit," she says, "because the process of designing and then fashioning a piece of clothing with my hads is something that has excited and inspired me since childhood." Fired with her passion, she knits constantly (whenever she's not writing), finding that she needs to keep several projects going at one time in order to satisfy her need for variety. But the busy-ness of knitting gives Lydon food for thought: "If the devil makes work for idle hands," she asks, "then could constantly busy hands entice angels to whisper in the knitter's ear? And is it possible that female spirituality through the ages may have been concealed in the minutiae of domestic life rather than expressed in the grandiosity and pomposity of churches and sermons?" If you can read just one new book by a woman whose passionate attachment has led her deep into the soul, this is it. And if you're a knitter, you'll find an extra delight in this treasure.

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