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A Good Yarn [The Knitting Books #2] [Secure eReader]
eBook by Debbie Macomber

eBook Category: Romance/Romance
eBook Description: Lydia Hoffman owns the shop on Blossom Street. In the year since it opened, A Good Yarn has thrived--and so has Lydia. A lot of that is due to Brad Goetz. But when Brad's ex-wife reappears, Lydia is suddenly afraid to trust her newfound happiness. Three women join Lydia's newest class. Elise Beaumont, retired and bitterly divorced, learns that her onetime husband is reentering her life. Bethanne Hamlin is facing the fallout from a much more recent divorce. And Courtney Pulanski is a depressed and overweight teenager, whose grandmother's idea of helping her is to drag her to seniors' swim sessions--and to the knitting class at A Good Yarn.

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2007


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1 CHAPTER

"Making a sock by hand creates a connection to history; we are offered a glimpse into the lives of knitters who made socks using the same skills and techniques we continue to use today."
—Nancy Bush, author of Folk Socks (1994), Folk Knitting in Estonia (1999) and Knitting on the Road, Socks for the Traveling Knitter (2001), all published by Interweave Press.

LYDIA HOFFMAN

Knitting saved my life. It saw me through two lengthy bouts of cancer, a particularly terrifying kind that formed tumors inside my brain and tormented me with indescribable headaches. I experienced pain I could never have imagined before. Cancer destroyed my teen years and my twenties, but I was determined to survive.

I'd just turned sixteen the first time I was diagnosed, and I learned to knit while undergoing chemotherapy. A woman with breast cancer, who had the chemo chair next to mine, used to knit and she's the one who taught me. The chemo was dreadful—not quite as bad as the headaches, but close. Because of knitting, I was able to endure those endless hours of weakness and severe nausea. With two needles and a skein of yarn, I felt I could face whatever I had to. My hair fell out in clumps, but I could weave yarn around a needle and create a stitch; I could follow a pattern and finish a project. I couldn't hold down more than a few bites at a time, but I could knit. I clung to that small sense of accomplishment, treasured it.

Knitting was my salvation—knitting and my father. He lent me the emotional strength to make it through the last bout. I survived but, sadly, Dad didn't. Ironic, isn't it? I lived, but my cancer killed my father.

The death certificate states that he died of a massive heart attack, but I believe otherwise. When the cancer returned, it devastated him even more than me. Mom has never been able to deal with sickness, so the brunt of my care fell to my father. It was Dad who got me through chemotherapy, Dad who argued with the doctors and fought for the very best medical care—Dad who lent me the will to live. Consumed by my own desperate struggle for life, I didn't realize how dear a price my father paid for my recovery. By the time I was officially in remission, Dad's heart simply gave out on him.

After he died, I knew I had to make a choice about what I should do with the rest of my life. I wanted to honor my father in whatever I chose, and that meant I was prepared to take risks. I, Lydia Anne Hoffman, resolved to leave my mark on the world. In retrospect, that sounds rather melodramatic, but a year ago it was exactly how I felt. What, you might ask, did I do that was so life-changing and profound?

I opened a yarn store on Blossom Street in Seattle. That probably won't seem earth-shattering to anyone else, but for me, it was a leap of faith equal to Noah's building the ark without a rain cloud in sight. I had an inheritance from my grandparents and gambled every cent on starting my own business. Me, who's never held down a job for more than a few weeks. Me, who knew next to nothing about finances, profit-and-loss statements or business plans. I sank every dime I had into what I did know, and that was yarn and knitters.

Naturally, I ran into a few problems. At the time, Blossom Street was undergoing a major renovation—in fact, the architect's wife, Jacqueline Donovan, was one of the women in my first knitting class. Jacqueline, Carol and Alix, my original students, remain three of my closest friends to this day. Last summer, when I opened A Good Yarn, the street was closed to traffic. Anyone who managed to find her way to my store then had to put up with constant dust and noise. I refused to let the mess and inconvenience hamper my enthusiasm, and fortunately that was how my clientele felt, too. I was convinced I could make this work.

I didn't get the support you might expect from my family. Mom, bless her, tried to be encouraging, but she was in shock after losing Dad. She still is. Most days, she wanders hopelessly around in a fog of grief and loss. When I mentioned my plan, she didn't discourage me, but she didn't cheer me on, either. To the best of my memory, she said, "Sure, honey, go ahead, if you think you should." From my mother, this was as rousing an endorsement as I could hope to receive.

My older sister, Margaret, on the other hand, had no qualms about drowning me in tales of doom and gloom. The day I opened my store, she marched in with a spate of dire forecasts. The economy was down, she told me; people were hanging on to their money. I'd be lucky to stay afloat for six weeks. Ten minutes of listening to her ominous predictions, and I was ready to rip up the lease and close my door—until I reminded myself that this was my first official day on the job and I had yet to sell a single skein of yarn.

As you might've guessed, Margaret and I have a complicated relationship. Don't get me wrong; I love my sister. Until the cancer struck, we were like any other sisters with the normal ups and downs in our relationship. After I was initially diagnosed with brain cancer, she was wonderful. I remember she brought me a stuffed teddy bear to take to the hospital with me. I still have it somewhere if Whiskers hasn't gotten hold of it. Whiskers is my cat and he tends to shred anything with a fuzzy surface.

Copyright © 2005 by Debbie Macomber.


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