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Lisa Van Allen | Magical Knitting

October 28, 2013


Dear Reader,

When the weather starts to turn colder here in the Northeast, I always reach for my knitting needles or my crochet hook. I learned to knit when I was in my early twenties. I didn’t actually want to learn, but a determined aunt ignored my protests, sat me down, and said “you’re going to knit and you’re going to like it.”

Sure enough, she was right!

Now, a decade later, my favorite part about knitting or crocheting is giving away what I make to the people I love. I always send some prayers and good energy in the direction of the recipient. Its feels so natural to do this–I believe that handmade gifts are, in and of themselves, wishes for blessings.

It wasn’t a far leap from there to, “Wouldn’t it be cool if a person could knit magic spells?”

And that’s how my novel THE WISHING THREAD was born.

In the story, three estranged sisters in the historic village of Tarrytown, New York, must come together to save their family legacy: a yarn shop called The Stitchery that’s rumored to be magical. There, generations of Van Ripper women, going back to the Revolutionary War, have been knitting spells for their neighbors for centuries. Some people say they’re angels. Some say they’re crooks. The Van Ripper sisters themselves aren’t sure.

THE WISHING THREAD is everything about autumn that’s always been so magical to me: hot apple cider on a cold night, spooky ghost stories, the sweet smell of the leaves as they fall, the Hudson River darkening as the weather changes–and of course, the possibility of finding true love.

I hope you’ll learn more about THE WISHING THREAD on my website. But in the meantime, enter to win a print copy by posting a comment below as follows (US readers only):

Tell me about one special handmade gift that you received or gave.

Thanks for reading–and extra thanks for sharing this story with the knitters and crocheters you know! I appreciate your kindness in helping spread the word.

Wishing you a beautiful and magical autumn,

Lisa Van Allen

About The Author: Lisa Van Allen lives in New Jersey with her husband and their pet hedgehog, Cleopatra. Learn more at her website.


For fans of Jennifer Chiaverini and Sarah Addison Allen, The Wishing Thread is an enchanting novel about the bonds between sisters, the indelible pull of the past, and the transformational power of love.

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.

When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

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