"The simple practices of handknitting and needlepoint have enabled me to journey within myself, to explore the mysteries of my own heart and my connections with others, to find the relationship with my true self that empowers me to live from my core," writes Susan Gordon Lydon in this combination memoir and celebration of crafts as catalysts for personal transformation.

In a previous book, The Knitting Sutra: Craft as Spiritual Practice, she demonstrated what an important role this pastime has played in her life, especially in connecting her to the riches of Native American spirituality, African religions, Sufism, and Judaism. In this paperback, Lydon shows how knitting has been an ally and a source of consolation in times of emotional heartbreak — a failed romantic relationship, the death of her father, and her own battle with breast cancer. Lydon brightens the lives of others with gifts of handknit scarves and cashmere sweaters, and she passes on knowledge about knitting to her daughter.

The contemplative nature of this craft also serves her well. Its pleasures serve as counterpoints to the fear and nausea that come with chemotherapy. Seeing knitting as something that enables her to spend a lot of time in her own company, she feels the ties that bind her with women through all the ages who have creatively expressed themselves in the same way. "The stitches I've made with my hands, one following another, have carried me to a peaceful landscape within, a place of spacious presence and luminous hope." It is a real treat to read this tribute to knitting as something that can heal the heart.