At the beginning of the year I posted about some plans I hoped to roll out in 2016. This year has turned out to be quite the doozie for, well, the whole planet, and as a resident of Earth, I was not immune to what my best friend and I have coined 201666. To turn the frown that is this year a little upside down, I thought it was time to plow forward with an idea I have been excited about for a long time: hosting a read along knit along! (#RALKAL? I think so!)
As an avid audiobook knitter and librarian, this book-group-meets-knit-along idea is something I’ve wanted to do for years. Get your hands ready to be occupied, friends! Starting Monday, October 10, we’ll be knitting a relaxing (and audiobook listening-friendly) shawl and reading one of my favorite new books of 2016, The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.
About the book
This young adult title is a gut punch of a book in the best possible way. Set in Alaska in the 1970s as the region grapples with its newfound statehood, four young people find their complicated young lives intertwined. From Goodreads, “In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.”
At just 240 pages and an audiobook that runs under 6 hours (and has multiple narrators which helps keep characters straight if you’re knitting while listening), this isn’t a crazy commitment time-wise. While the title is written for young adults (a.k.a. teens), I’ve had amazing conversations with every adult reader who’s feasted their brains on this special story. You’ll be in good hands with me as we discuss the book in the Hands Occupied Ravelry Group, by the way! I’m a librarian who has worked with teens and adults in book groups featuring both adult and teen titles. I’m q-u-a-l-i-f-i-e-d to discuss me some books! The book is currently available in hardback, paperback, and on audiobook. My library has lots of copies on the shelves, so you should check yours to see if they have it too!
About the pattern
Inspired by the book we’ll be reading, the Other People’s Houses Shawl will be released for free on the first day of the RALKAL on October 10. We’ll be knitting and reading between October 10 and 31, sharing progress and finished pictures with the hashtag #RALKAL. To knit this shawl, you’ll need: two 100g balls of Louet Gems Euroflax Sport yarn in your choice of color (pictured is Cloud Grey), 1 pair of 40 inch US 3 circular knitting needles, and a tapestry needle and scissors to weave in ends.
As an added incentive to get your reading and knitting on, there will be a Louet giveaway prize pack raffle at the end of the RALKAL, and everyone who finishes the book and the shawl can enter to win. I’ll post more details and prize pics in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to cast on and start reading with you all!
If you’ve got any questions about the RALKAL, holler in the comments. :)