Debbie Macomber on Her Love of Knitting

The best-selling author wasn't a great student, struggling mightily with reading and math, but when she discovered knitting, doors began to open for her.

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- Posted on May 25, 2017

Debbie Macomber with her husband, Wayne, and dog, Bogie

If you know my books, you know that knitting weaves its way into my writing. It all goes back to when I was a girl.

I wasn’t a good student. My third-grade teacher told my mom, “Debbie will never do well in school.” I didn’t learn to read until I was in the fifth grade, and math might as well have been a foreign language. I prayed for something I could be good at, and I became drawn to knitting.

Apparently, I had yarn in my genes. My grandmother was a whiz at crocheting. But she died when I was young. My mom was clueless when it came to knitting. So she took me to the yarn shop in our town of Yakima, Washington, and asked the owner, “Could you please teach my daughter?” From that point forward, every chance I got, I walked the two miles into town and sat with women there who loved to knit.

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I was good at spinning a yarn in other ways too. I made up stories for the kids I babysat. All my babysitting money went to buy real yarn. Learning to knit helped with my comprehension skills and with math. If I needed to decrease three stitches on each side of the garment, I had to keep track of the stitches on my needles.

Knitting turned out to be the answer to more than one prayer. And I haven’t stopped knitting or praying since. As the yarn moves between my fingers, I lift my cares and concerns to God.

I have more yarn than I’ll ever need. I also have more stories in my head than I’ll ever be able to write. I’ve decided that’s what heaven’s for, at least for me—the endless joy of spinning tales and knitting.

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