by TS Easton
Review by KM
A few days ago, I was working at the movie theater when my boss told me a hole had appeared in his pocket. His keys kept dropping and he was cursing his bad luck. I told him he could easily stitch the broken pocket together. He said, “I’m not that gay.”
I raised my eyebrow and said, “My husband knits.”
For some unbeknownst reason, fiber crafts often get labeled as effeminate. They really aren’t and it was great to see a book that encourages all of the awesome impacts knitting can have. So, while my boss heads home to his boyfriend of two years and my husband heads home to me, neither of their sexual orientations impact their knitting abilities.
After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation.
He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) with the impression that it’s taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect.
Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to discover he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It also helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved . . . or knitted.
I have to say, Easton knows their knitting. A lot of real-life knitting terms were dropped through this book and, as a knitter, I loved ’em. There was a horrifying scene with a size 3.5 Addi Turbo needle that sent shivers up my spine. Seriously, I treasure the few sets of Addi needles I have, just like Ben. I was surprised to see Ravelry, the giant knitting forum, left out. With a huge pattern database and over a million members, Ben would have totally loved Ravelry.
Despite loving some of the references, there were quite a few that made me want to sigh. There was a lot of pop culture put into the book, like mentions of SodaStreams, Jennifer Lawrence, and X Factor. When I see those, I can only imagine a teen grabbing this book out of the library in a few years and realizing how dated it is. Not to mention, they use all of the British slang and even refer to the UK Knitting competitions, but then change the word football to soccer. C’mon, we all know that everyone else calls it football.
It was nice to see Ben’s opinion of knitting change, despite what the people around him would say. It was great to see him calling out his father on his crappy homophobic language, too. More than anything, seeing Ben’s reactions to the women in his life change was the best (even though that was slow and totally realistic of a teenage boy).
All in all, I think this book pulled together the stress of being a teenager, all the expectations and stereotypical taunts when you dare to break away from the mold. It was great and I’d love to see some boys knitting in public.