Amy Artisan

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Friday Night Knitting Club


In October (in the midst of the work craziness) I received an email from Penguin Books inviting me to receive an advance copy of a new book: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I responded that I was interested & when I got back to Chicago after Christmas the book was waiting for me. I immediately started into the book & was done with it in less than 24 hours. What a fun read – it was a great book to end 2006 with since the year was so knit-filled for me.

As the title implies, this book is set around a group of knitters that gathers weekly in a small knitting shop. The stories of their lives are woven together throughout the book & through their shared passion for knitting. In November, there was advanced buzz about the book because Julia Roberts has signed on to star in and produce the movie adaptation of it. In recent years there have been a lot of books written that are based on the “women coming together in a group over a common interest” – one of the characters in this book even comments on this knitting club being like a new quilting bee.Â

This book isn’t only “for knitters” – in fact, one of the characters comes to the shop with a preconceived disdain for knitting. This is a story about independent women and how they come together to support each other.

In addition to the “standard” chapters in a novel this book also contains several extras: a scarf pattern that is used in the story, a yummy muffin recipe from the store and each section of the book is introduced with a knitting basic – which becomes an analogy for the life unfolding in the book.

As I was reading this book I started thinking about the concept of “women coming together…” and reflecting on my own circles. I’ve actually been thinking about this concept for several months…While I don’t have a “Friday Night Knitting Club” per se, I do have several circles that are important to me.

On the knitting front, I haven’t “joined” in an organized knitting group (maybe this year?); however, since teaching Jen & Kristy to knit we often have our own ‘knitting club’ sessions – while knitting & purling we catch up on life, watch silly movies, order Thai from our favorite place and just have fun.

Since starting to scrapbook in 2003, I have found that to definitely be a “circle” activity. As I’ve mentioned before I host a quarterly crop club where friends gather in my dining room once a quarter to work on albums and catch up on life. When possible, I also go to other crops. Each January I also go to a scrapbook retreat – 3 days of uninterrupted time to work on albums (in fact, next weekend is the retreat!). This is a larger circle but the conversations are the same.

A circle I’ve been a part of since first moving to Chicago is my book club. We are quite a varied group – professionals, teachers, stay at home moms, creatives. Our monthly Thursday evening gatherings are a lot of fun. We normally discuss the book we’ve read – even if just for a bit. Most months the book also seems to be a launching point for all sorts of other conversations. This is a group where even if you’re gone for a couple of months when you come back in it is easy to pick up where you left off with everyone.

Sometimes a circle just comes together – one of the highlights of my December was my Christmas Tea.  It was fun to see how quickly we found commonalities among “strangers until today” and had lots of group conversations instead of just “two-sies” & “three-sies.”

What is your Friday Night Knitting Club?

P.S. As part of this advance copy, I received several copies of a “Special Sneak Peek” of the book. If you are interested in a copy, leave me a comment and I’ll send one your way.


  1. I’d be interested in a copy. Another knitter also received an advanced copy and reviewed it on her blog. It seems like a good, relaxing book.

    In terms of “Clubs” – not sure I have any right now. Last year a group of us would get together and knit, but since I’ve moved away from Santa Cruz, it’s a bit harder to get together.

    Something to focus on this year – being with people.

  2. I’d love to read it, if you still have any to spare.

    Actually, the internet and blogland is my Friday night knitting club. At this stage in my life, where I’m working days and running kids hither and thither at night, real knitter gatherings are few and far between. That will change eventually, but for now, I really enjoy my online buddies.

  3. If you still have any copies of the “Sneak Peek”, I would love one! I’ve been looking forward to this book, and now to the movie too. Thanks.

  4. Hi Amy, I’d love to read a sneak peak if you have an extra. What fun to get and advance copy of the book.

    Right now my knitting circle is my Knit-a-Bit class I teach at school. It is like a knitting circle for kids. I love it.

  5. Would love to receive a copy!! I love to read any novels I can find that revolve around knitting. Thrilled that Julia Roberts will be starring in the movie. I am a rug hooking teacher, as well as a knitter/spinner. I have run annual rug camps for years where “hookers” come and learn and share for 3 days to 1 week at a time. Our local hooking guild meets every second Saturday of each month from about 10 AM to 2 PM to hook, share, and have lunch. We’ve published a cookbook, celebrated and supported each other during life’s ups and downs, and basically supported one another’s creative endeavors. I don’t have a lot of knitters locally so was so thrilled when I was out of town for work and found a knitting group that meets at Barnes & Noble every Tuesday night!!! I immediately felt like part of the group — shared passion. I am hostessing a knitting retreat near me in 2 weeks and look forward to meeting and making new friends with other knitters!! Women that share a passion — there’s such a strong connective thread between us.

  6. I have a group that meets monthly and focuses on Aran Knitting. A new group is forming to meet one Friday nite a month and work on Alice Starmore projects. These are great opportunities to knit and chat. The book and movie sound fun.

  7. sounds like a great book girl! I’ve been talking about starting up a knitting group in my area for some time now. When I go up to visit my mom, if we are able to, I attend her weekly knitting group. Its so nice to be able to sit around and chat.
    For now, I’m enjoying being apart of the knit blog community. I’ve “met” some amazing people since I’ve started, and have constantly been inspired. 🙂

  8. Sounds like a great book.. If you got some left…

  9. If you’ve got one left, I would be interested 😉

  10. heh, sounds like everyone is interested. I guess I’ll just wait for it to hit the bookstores. It sounds like you enjoyed it.

    I, for one, have found that my life has been much more fulfilling since joining a regular knitting group. So many people I wouldn’t have met otherwise have become fabulous friends. There’s some things I talk to them about that I don’t even talk to my sisters or non-knitting friends about. It’s weird how you can bond so tightly over something as simple as knitting.

  11. Just catching up on your posts. I love all the groups you’ve joined in the previous email. I joined the It’s Not a Gift and Project Spectrum too. They’re really flexible for those of us with crazy schedules. 🙂

    As for a knitting club, I tried to start one where I live, but it didn’t seem to work very well. I could never get people I know who knit together at the same time. So…I’m hoping that if we are able to sell our house and move, I can find out from the LYS there about any groups that meet. Also, I’m hoping to spend more time knitting with some knitbloggers who live semi-close by.

  12. My knitting group has been a wonderful place for me to make friends in a new city. I’m sure other groups could do the same, but I do think it’s funny how much knitting has been the center of my social life for the past year or so. When I first started attending, the yarn and projects gave me some common ground to start conversations, and now, as I know the folks better, we’re even hanging out without the needles now and then. 🙂

  13. I saw that news about the movie coming out with Julia Roberts and couldn’t find the book anywhere…makes sense why now! Do you have any copies left?

  14. The knitting blogs are my club too, I don’t know too many people who knit and I’m kind of housebound taking care of my elderly Mom. Hard for me to find time to even get out to shop these days. Some day in the future, there are lots of things I’d like to be able to do again. I will get that book though, sounds like a good read..:)

  15. The link you provided for the NY yarn shop appears to exist, right? Perusing the site doesn’t enlighten me. If it does what great publicity! I try to attend a knitting circle that meets at our local library. The women are nice. Albeit at age 48, I’m one of the youngest! The venue is not very cozy, hard plastic chairs, flourescent lighting, large impersonal meeting room. Florida is a tough place to find a group to knit with.

  16. i was just thinking about that book…and wondering if i’d like to read it. it sounds like a worthwhile read. the ‘extras’ in the book sound fun too.
    i love to read, but it seems like as the knitting time goes up, the reading time goes down. maybe a little re-balancing is in order for 2007.

    thanks, too, for the comment about my socks! i’ve decided i like them too.

  17. Thanks for featuring that yarn. I remember that hosta colorway!

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to snag the photo for the A Piece of Vermont gallery.

    (And I know exactly what you mean about “not enough daylight.” Even though it’s been warm, until now, it’s definitely winter.)

  18. As you know, I have a few “Friday Night Knitting Clubs…” – the time I spend with you and Kristy, knitting, eating yummy Thai food and watching “girlie” television or movies, as well as my time spent – in various ways – working on my album scrapbooks with others who enjoy doing the same.

  19. Amy –

    Sharon & I just finished the book. I wasn’t going to cry at the end but I did. Sharon is having fun casting the movie. I have been in contact with Kate and we are making plans.

  20. Amy, I have not read The Friday Night Knitting club, but have you read any of Debbie Macomber books she has a series about a knit shop. She is a great witer. I really have enjoyed your site your knitting is beautiful. God Bless You Pamela

  21. I’ve just finished The Friday Night Knitting Club. What a great story. I also read Debbie Macombers book, A Good Yarn, which has websites of other knitters and techniques. These are two of my favorite books.
    I started knitting in 6th grade, but took a hiatus between my own kids growing up and my grandkids starting to grow! It’s been really fun knitting little sweaters again. My cousins and I started a knitting club a couple of years ago, taking turns hosting, but life has gotten in the way and we’ve kind of broken up.
    My quilting group has been alive and well for 25 years, with various members over that time. We’ve had many many retreats where we just sew for 3 or 4 days. One gal said “I’ve been sleeping with you guys longer than with my husband.” There’s nothing like a small group of women supporting each other.

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