Handywoman – Kate Davies

Cover of Handywoman by Kate Davies
Handywoman – Kate Davies

I have bought a few of Kate’s knitting books – Colours of Shetland, Yokes, Inspired by Islay and The West Highland Way – and I am currently knitting Braid Hills Cardigan. I also follow her blog. I was very keen to read this book as I find her knitting essays to be thoughtful and eloquent.

I wasn’t disappointed. This is a very personal memoir of a person who had a stroke and their subsequent rehabilitation and recovery. It is a positive and thought provoking look at illness, feminism, disability, ability, knitting an design. It has made me think about the world and how I move through it with my able body. It has made me think about the design of the objects in my life and how U put up with poor design (because being able-bodied I can). For example, my sewing table is the wrong height and the gap for the chair is in the wrong place, inconvenient but still usable. However, I notice I don’t sew as much as I would like. 

Every chapter was interesting. I kept thinking this is my favourite only to move onto the next one and think ‘no this is my favourite’. It made me think about brain injury and how because it is invisible we might not be as sympathetic or as accommodating as we should be – for example, when we are in a crowded space behind a slow moving person, etc.

It also made me think about community – our local community, our knitting community, etc and the connections we make.

Another review and another.

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