Not just for crafters, Alanna Okun’s essays about life as a independent woman in the modern age are written from the heart. She explores timeless subjects from learning to live with yourself (literally and figuratively), to body image, facing fears and anxieties of all kinds, and (of course) fitting knitting and what it is to “be a crafter” into everyday life. Alanna is relatable and interesting, funny, and thoughtful. I like her and I think you will, too.— Megan
The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater is a memoir about life truths learned through crafting.
People who craft know things. They know how to transform piles of yarn into sweaters and scarves. They know that some items, like woolen bikini tops, are better left unknit. They know that making a hat for a newborn baby isn’t just about crafting something small but appreciating the beginnings of life, which sometimes helps make peace with the endings. They know that if you knit your boyfriend a sweater, your relationship will most likely be over before the last stitch.
Alanna Okun knows that crafting keeps her anxiety at bay. She knows that no one will ever be as good a knitting teacher as her beloved grandmother. And she knows that even when we can’t control anything else, we can at least control the sticks, string, and fabric right in front of us.
Okun lays herself bare and takes readers into the parts of themselves they often keep hidden. Yet at the same time she finds humor in the daily indignities all crafters must face (like when you catch the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome and can’t possibly finish the second in a pair). Okun has written a book that will speak to anyone who has said to themselves, or to everyone within earshot, “I made that.”
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“It is reminiscent of Nora Ephron—charming and lighthearted, but bright with vulnerability.” —The New Republic
“[A] hilariously quirky and heartwarming essay collection…a book you’ll underline and highlight and read to pieces—and then immediately want to share with all of your best friends.” —Bustle
“Okun’s writing is entertaining, often funny, and relatable even to noncrafters.”
“Relatable, witty, and comforting, this collection has a little something for creators of all types.”
“Through her essays, Okun discusses her deep connection to crafting in a way that brings meaning to every handmade object, and will certainly inspire all of your future projects.”
“Often funny…and always deeply felt…”
“You don’t have to actually care about knitting to be completely engrossed in The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater…”
“This book draws you in just as an oversized, hand-knitted, and unexpectedly soft sweater does. Alanna is so sharp and so charming and so genuinely warm that, regardless of your prior experience with crafting, you will only want to put down this book if it is to make something yourself—and you know Alanna would approve.”
—Katie Heaney, author of Never Have I Ever, Dear Emma, and Public Relations
“Alanna Okun’s poignant, hilarious, and infinitely instructional essays about crafting will help you have a more beautiful life, whether you ever pick up a pair of knitting needles or not.”
—Jen Doll, author of Save the Date