Book Review & Giveaway: 10 Secrets of the Laid Back Knitters

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Knitting | Comments

Remember: to take part in today’s giveaway, you must be a member of Craftsy. (It’s easy and free to join)

From the publisher (St. Martin’s Press): 10 Secrets of the Laid Back Knitters speaks to all knitters who want to enhance and expand their knitting experience in joyful and substantive ways. With humor and insight, authors Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza illustrate how to become a laidback knitter — one who enjoys the process as much as the product.

I love the concept of this book.  A few years ago, the press touted knitting as the new Yoga, because it was supposed to help us relax and slow down a bit.  To take our minds off the daily grind, step back, and zone out for a while.  I think that it’s too easy to get caught up in the itty bitty details and forget to enjoy what we’re doing while knitting.

The authors traveled extensively during the book’s production and met with the designers who contributed their projects.  Visiting knitting groups and talking to them about what knitting means in their lives.  I love interviews with knitters, famous and non, and I really like to know what knitting means to people.

The Secrets outlined in the book (I’m not sure if I should give any away) are actually quite touching, and do cause the reader to stop and think, if only for a moment, about the yarn used in the project, about the designer (who is a real person) who created the knitting pattern, and about color.

Here are two of my favorite projects from the book:

Norah’s Scarf for Bill by Norah Gaughan:

Spiral Galaxy Pillow by Daniel Yuhas:

We have TWO copies of this book to give away, and if you’d like to win one, join Craftsy, (It’s easy and free to join) and then leave a comment below this post telling us whether you consider yourself to be a laid-back knitter & why or why not.

If you need to brush up on your knitting skills, why not try our KnitLab, our online knitting course? With 24-hour access for as long as you like, and our 100% money-back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Remember: to take part in today’s giveaway, you must be a member of Craftsy. (It’s easy and free to join)


  1. I am the very opposite of a laid back knitter. There is much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when I knit. I’m sure this is because before I learned to knit I’d been a crocheter for 35 years. This book could be a great help to my anxiety levels!

  2. Carole Martin says:

    I definately am a lay back knitter….right now I am knitting hats for children and adults in Afghanistan….its a legacy to a young local man who was a medic there and was killed by a roadside bomb…..I akso make teddies and dollies to send over too….knitting is very relaxing and theraputic for me,,,,,I cannot sit doing nothing….I am interested in taking one of your crochet courses as all I can do is single crochet….which one is best for a beginner…..Iwould be so excited to get the book you are offering… love love Crafsy…..Hugs and have a great day….Carole…

  3. Dee says:

    No, I’m not a laid-back knitter because I want every stitch to be perfect–and that’s not possible. I have to remember that blocking hides a multitude of “sins.”

  4. hilary says:

    Lovely! I’d like to think I’m a laid-back knitter. :)

  5. brig125 says:

    I do consider myself to be a laid-back knitter. For me, knitting is about taking time for myself, and showing others how much I care about them (enough to knit something!); it’s not about perfection. Ok so my daughter’s new shawl/shrug has a bit of a wonky part in the lace section. No big deal. The point is that she has something beautiful and warm to wear, and that I took the time to make something for her with my own two hands (and had fun doing it).

  6. angie s. says:

    I would love to add this book to my collection.

  7. lorraine says:

    i would def consider myself a laid back knitter..i almost never set end dates and just knit at my own pace..

  8. Tonya says:

    This looks to be a fun and interesting book.

    1. Tonya says:

      Replying to my own post hit enter before finished comment
      I am a laid back Knitter….I feel the project will get done when it gets done.

  9. Michele says:

    I am a laid back knitter. I have to confess I am a fairly new knitter but I just take my time learning new stitches, picking projects, and work on them whenever I feel like it. I took up knitting for my own enjoyment and I refuse to make it a stressful event.

  10. Ellen Bloom says:

    I’m such a laid-back knitter, that sometimes it takes me more than one year to finish a project! I just zone-out while knitting and daydream!

  11. Diana says:

    I’m pretty laid back about it. Truth be told I knit because the idea of making pretty things and the simplicity of yarn and needles are a nice calm spot in a very crazy day. Sometimes I do get stressed out and just want to be done with something, but it’s the most enjoyable hobby I’ve found yet. Creating beauty never gets old.

  12. Katie says:

    book looks great!

  13. Chris says:

    I am definitely a easy going knitter. I knit to relax and to escape from my real job of designing children’s clothing.

  14. Monique says:

    Knitting is my time to wind-down from the day. My work day is so busy and crazy that at night once I put my kiddo to bed it is my time to relax. I have only been knitting for about two years and it is my way to keep my sanity.

  15. Brandy says:

    I consider myself a laid back knitter. I have too many interests to be a hard-core one! :) But, I don’t usually knit for others because I’m not sure they’d appreciate my knits as much as me… so does that make me NOT laid back? :)

  16. As the name indicates, I am a laid back knitter. I start more projects than I can possibly finish in a year, and that’s okay with me. I switch projects willy nilly, if one gets to monotonous or another gets to tedious, I switch. My knitting is what keeps me sane amidst an insanely stressful career (I have been through TWO vicarious trauma trainings already this year), and I can not count how many co workers tell me ” I should take up knitting, because you always appear so composed”. Maybe its the biweekly yoga along with the knitting, but having something to occupy my fingers often takes my mind off everything else.

  17. Kacy says:

    I consider myself to be a laid back knitter because I use knitting to unwind at the end of the day. I try to choose patterns that are easy to memorize and simply knit while watching movies with my husband.

  18. Liberty says:

    I am the very definition of a laid back knitter. Fiber is what keeps me connected to me and my world. Simple designs and vibrant colors keep my world in balance and my sanity in check. Now if I could just find more time to spend with the knitting basket. =D

  19. MelodyJ says:

    This loos like an interesting book.

    1. MelodyJ says:


  20. Kathy Fox says:

    I’m a member of Craftsy. I love the idea of the book. That pillow is awesome but I’m very intrigued by the goldenrod sweater on the right side of the cover! I think I’d *like* to be a laidback knitter, but because I’m a procrastinator with too little time, I ended up being a stressed knitter because I end up with self-induced nearly-due deadlines. Thank you!

  21. Kendra says:

    I’m definitely laid-back knitter because I tend to improvise a lot when I knit without strictly following a pattern. Plus, I don’t mind making mistakes! (p.s. I’m a Craftsy member!)

  22. Linda LeVinus says:

    I think I am a laid back knitter because its okay if I don’t finish every project at warp speed. Most projects, I really enjoy the process of knitting the stitches, and seeing the fabric come to life. I think that is why typically no matter how long a project sits in hibernation, its typically not my style to frog it back to the beginning, and never complete the project.

  23. deborah gosnell says:

    I am a very laid back knitter. I only knit socks, scraves and hats. I knit to relax.

  24. Deane says:

    Sometimes I am so laid back, it takes me months to finish a project. Seriously, though, I love product and process. I started knitting because a friend took me to a yarn shop and I fell in love with the yarn–the color, the texture, the feel of a soft merino or a nubby cotton. I still love the yarn, and the process, and the garment at the end of the process.

  25. Sue Westcott says:

    I’m not a laid back knitter, too new at it and way to anxious about dropping stitches! But hopefully (with the help of this book should I win it) I’ll be able to become one!

  26. Elaine Sai says:

    I am definitely become a laid back knitter over the years. I knit to relax and create beautiful things for myself and others, In the past I’d be crazy if I had to take something apart, but I actually just frogged a whole sweater because the fit wasn’t right and it didn’t feel like such a big deal. After steaming the yarn to unkink I’ll will re-knit to fit (and with thanks to Stefanie’s Fit Your Knits class I’m sure it will!).

  27. Nicole says:

    I think I alternate between being a laid-back knitter and being a wound-too-tightly knitter. When I’m knitting something I have confidence in, I’m quite laid-back and enjoy the process immensely. But when I’m trying something that requires a lot of concentration or that I’m a little worried I won’t be able to do properly, I can be wound very tightly and become very anxious. I would love this book — I could definitely stand to learn more laid-back-ness. :)

  28. Debra Wolf says:

    A long time crocheter, I’ve only been knitting for about two months. I have my own style {I’m sure there are others, but I’ve not found it online and no other knitters in my area have seen this method either} and it works for me. Folks have screeched, “you’re doing it wrong” but I simply smile and ask if they like the way the end product looks; well, yes, they admit. But I’m doing it wrong, they assert.

    Most knitting books spend time on patterns and how to knit. I inter~library~loaned “No Idle Hands” which is a history and discussion of cultural influence of knitting and how it’s taken on political tones during the American Revolution and Civil War. I’d love to learn more about the actual anatomy of the stitch, as I think that would help me to be able to understand more about knitting.

    So in a way, I’m laid~back as it doesn’t bother me all that much that I’m not knitting as others insist is the right way. In many ways tho, I am not laid~back, as I would love to learn more about knitting {and crochet too, tho there isn’t much out about crochet and its influences and place in history and various cultures}. I do need to learn to relax more in life and not be so anxious in general.

    This book sounds ideal, as it seems to be more about the art of knitting than the stitches and patterns of knit themselves. It seems to focus on those aspects of knitting that I do enjoy and have an interest in learning more about. And if it can help me relax some and approach life in a laid~back way, I’m all for it! grins, debra

  29. Linny O'Hara says:

    I didn’t use to be a laid-back knitter, but I think I will become one in the future.

    You see, I just recovered — well, working on the *full* recovery — from going toxic on a prescription medication, which in turn damaged my liver, and nearly cost me my life. This morning is the first day of me being “out of the woods.” What was extraordnary is that I did not reach for my prayer book, my journal, the phone, ect. No, on finally being able to sit up, I reached for my knitting! I’ve not workd out why, exactly, yet, but somehow, the movement of my fingers, the gentle clicking of the needles, the feel of my own hand-spun yarn moving through my hands and becoming a beautiful pattern…. somehow, it was, at that moment, the most life-affirming, prayerful, thankful-for-being-alive thing I could do.

    Then later this morning, I found Craftsy, was looking at the Online courses, and decided to join. From there, I looked at the blogs, and that’s how I found you and your book offer.

    I’ve managed to wear myself out in a little less than an hour, but I am so happy I spent some of my renewed strength here. It’s been a wonder-filled morning, and I’m glad I joined.

    Blessings, prayers, and continued success to you all,

  30. Michelle says:

    I think that knitting HELPS me to be laid-back. As a graduate student with 2 jobs and a large dissertation to write, knitting in the evening helps me to relax and be reminded of the simplicity and beauty of creating something tangible. It maintains my sanity! :)

  31. Stacey says:

    I’m a fairly laid back crafter, but knitting is still very new to me. I’d really enjoy reading this book as much as making items from it.

  32. Debbie D says:

    Just recently joined Craftsy (like 2 minutes ago!) and hoping to get back into the crafts I loved as a teen (many moons ago). I have in the past, most definitely not been a laid back anything–type AA! I hope I’ve mellowed over the years, because I want to be more laid back and able to enjoy the journey, rather than worry over every stitch. I hope my perfectionist days are behind me, but I am trying and would love to use this book in the process.

  33. susan says:

    i’m not very laid back…more of a perfectionist. but i do find it very relaxing.

  34. Joanne says:

    I believe that I am a laid-back knitter – but, for me, that came with time. I knit what I want to knit and at my own pace. As a knitter, I find that people often ask if you’ll knit for them. If I knit something for someone else, it’s something I’ve chosen to do. I’ve stopped trying to knit for everyone on my Christmas list. I’ve also learned to trust my own insticts and not be a slave to patterns. I find my knitting time relaxing and rewarding.

  35. bwillydesigns says:

    Love to knit and enjoy reading about knitting. Looks like a fun book. I’m definitely a laid back knitter

  36. waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry) says:

    Well, I was a laid back knitter until I lost my comment here. Now my tension is too tight.

    Just breathe and pick up the needles again . . .

    1. waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry) says:

      Blood pressure is back to normal.

      Words dropped are coming back to me . . . soft, rhythmic click-click-clicking of needles relaxes like rocking a warm, sleepy baby on your chest. Mind wanders, problems are thought through and worked out, troubles dissolve, all is right with the world.

      At times, I may not be a laid back knitter, but knitting is what I do to make myself laid back.

      I think that counts.

  37. Danielle says:

    I do not consider myself to be a laid back knitter. I am always in such a hurry to get the project I’m working on finished so I can start the next one! There are just many excellent patterns out there and I just can’t seem to slow down and enjoy what I’m working on now. Sigh…..

  38. Carol Wray says:

    I’ve always thought of myself as a laided back knitter. I don’t stress out over knitting, just tackle it as it comes and fix what you can if need be. Things always seem to work out. Love the idea of the book and the patterns look like ones I would enjoy knitting.

  39. Karyn says:

    I am both laid back and anxious with my knitting. I want to be laid back though. I do enjoy the process of knitting and have many WIP’s. they can be the reason I get anxious. . . feeling like I should finish them even though something else is calling my name.


  40. Patty says:

    I soooooo need this book. I am not a laid back knitter. I get tense and intense over my projects. Learning to chill out would definitely help! I think it’s the perfectionist in me.

    Thanks for the chance to win. Hope I’m not too late!

  41. Katie says:

    I definitely need this book…I have a very type-A perfectionist personality, and while my work ends up good the process can be crazy, and I obsess over all the little things!

  42. Georgianna says:

    I knit to indulge my problem-solving nature. Tackling a difficult project and seeing each row completed… seeing that pattern work out right… is so enjoyable to me.

  43. OneOfTheHive says:

    I’m definitely a laid-back knitter. I’ve found that if I let myself get wound-up and over analyze things, it just makes me unhappy and leads me to not getting any enjoyment out of what it is that I am trying to make.

    The book looks amazing… hoping to add it to my very tiny knitting library :-)

    Good luck everyone!

    oneofthehive at gmail dot com

  44. Denise says:

    I’m a very laid back knitter. I just trend to get obssessive with my knitting, especially when I’m really excited about a project.

  45. Velvet Wood says:

    It depends on what I am knitting. Being a new knitter, some times reading a pattern and counting and trying to figure out if I am doing it right…not so laid back. However, if it is something I am comfortable with, sure.!!!

  46. Mollybean says:

    I’m not a laid back knitter yet — I’m still new and don’t know enough to be really comfortable and laid back. I’m a relaxed knitter though so I’m on my way!

  47. Stephani Beattie says:

    I’m a rip-out knitter. It takes me forever to knit, I’ve been told not to be such a perfectionist and just relax. I’m trying. I would love to have this book. Maybe if Ican’t win it, I’ll have to buy it but that’s o.k. too.

  48. bwilliams says:

    Laid back?well, yes and no. I really enjoy knitting and use it as a means of reproving the stress I accumulate teaching teenagers on a daily basis. But, I take pride in my work and have been known to rip back unmercifully even though my husband assures me I am the only person who will ever notice my mistake. My grandfather keeps whispering in my mind “if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing right”.

  49. Mary Anne says:

    No, I am not a laid back knitter. Laid back crocheter, yes – but I am more comfy with that!

  50. waningestrogen (craftsy and ravelry) says:

    I guess I am not a good laid back knitter.
    I keep coming back here to see if I’ve won a copy of the book yet.