Books to Listen to While You Knit (Plus Pattern Ideas)

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Knitting and listening to books go together like peas and carrots. When you knit, you sometimes sit still for hours at a time, keeping your hands and eyes busy but leaving your ears completely free. It’s the perfect recipe for listening. And wouldn’t it be fun to listen to a book that lasted exactly the length of the project you’re working on?

In search of new recommendations, I reached out to a few dozen of my craftiest, most bookish friends. Like the wonderful, generous people they are, they shared their favorite listens like gangbusters, and you can rest-assured that these audiobooks are knitter-tested and approved.

Here are our picks arranged by length and genre, along with a few pattern ideas to spark your imagination. (And, of course, knitting times are approximate and will vary widely based on the knitter, pattern, yarn weight, needle size, gauge, and all that fun stuff.) Any of these listens would work perfectly for other crafty projects, too. Happy crafting!
mug cozy2

Mug Cozy: 1 hour

Pick a Pocket Cozies by Simply Notable

 

pointy hats for newborns

Baby Hat: 1-2 hours

Pointy Hats for Newborns by Purl Bee

 

 

fightin words mitts

Fingerless Mitts: 3-4 hours

Fightin’ Words by Annie Watts

  • Fiction: Home by Toni Morrison, read by the author (4.5 hrs)
  • Memoir: Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt, read by the author (3.5 hrs)
  • Non Fiction: The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, read by Howard Cutler (3 hrs)
  • Science Fiction: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, read by Alan Munro (4 hrs)
  • Young Readers: The BFG by Roald Dahl, read by David Walliams (4.5 hrs)

 

 

mr fox

Scarf: 5-6 hours

Mr. Fox Stole My Heart by Tiny Owl Knits

 

love socks2

Socks: 7-8 hours

Love Socks by Devon Clement

 

baby leggings

Baby Leggings: 9-10 hours

Little Leggings by Susie Johns

 

moko moko

Cowl: 11-14 hours

Moko-Moko by Olga Jazzy

 

stripe study shawl

Shawl: 15+ hours

Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Välimäki

 

 

corners baby blanket 600-4

Baby Blanket: 20+ hours

Four Corners Baby Blanket by Purl Bee

  • Fiction: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, read by Jonathan Aris & Paula Wilcox (19 hrs)
  • Memoir: Life by Keith Richards, read by Johnny Depp & Joe Hurley (23 hrs)
  • Non Fiction: Genius by James Gleick, read by Dick Estell (20 hrs)
  • Historical Fiction: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, read by Susan Lyons (23 hrs)
  • Young Readers: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, read by Barbara Caruso (20 hrs)

 

chelsea morning 2

Sweater: 25+ hours

Chelsea Morning by Elizabeth Davis

 

knitted pants

Pants: 30+ hours

Knitted Pants by Kristina McGowan

  • Fiction: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu (32.5 hrs)
  • Memoir: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, read by Michael Boatman (27.5 hrs)
  • Non Fiction: The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson, read by Scott Sowers (29 hrs)
  • Historical Fiction: Outlander by Dianna Gabaldon, read by Davina Porter (33 hrs)
  • Young Readers: The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, read by Carolyn McCormick (35 hrs)

 

beekeepers-quilt-2

Blanket: 40+ hours

The Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits

  • Fiction: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, read by Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor & Mark Boyett (47 hrs)
  • Memoir: Far From the Tree by Andre Solomon, read by the author (40.5 hrs)
  • Non Fiction: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, read by Suzanne Toren (41.5) hrs
  • Fantasy: Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin, read by Roy Dotrice (202 hrs)
  • Young Readers: The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini, read by Gerard Doyle (101 hrs)

 

 

A few parting words of wisdom: several knitters mentioned that they have to be careful when the book gets exciting because their gauge can tighten up (One knitter even said her worst knitting ever occurred when she listened to The Shining… she had to frog the whole project at the end!). And sometimes they have to rewind a little at tricky parts, especially for lace, Fair Isle, and other techniques that require strict attention. Favorite listens were ones that are engaging but forgiving enough that the knitter can tune out for a few minutes when the going gets tricky.

Thanks to Abby, Alex, Alexia, Amanda, Amber, Courtney, Emily, Kim, Laura, Liza, Lovina, Michelle, Nancy, Rebecca, Tricia, and Valerie for sharing your suggestions. You guys are inspiring crafters & readers!

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