Book Review

Knit Tight by Annabeth Albert

I expected to like Knit Tight. I mean, the odds of me not liking a romance featuring a knitwear designer hero are slim. I just didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It’s a short book — 112 pages — but those pages pack a lot of feels. One scene had me ugly sobbing.

Brady has a lot on his plate for a twenty-three-year old. He’s raising his four siblings by himself after the tragic death of his parents and he’s barely making ends meet on his salary as a barista. Sure, he’s got amazing coffee-slinging skills, but his boss doesn’t appreciate him. A relationship is the last thing on Brady’s mind, until he meets Evren …

Ev is in town to take care of his aunt Mira while she undergoes treatment for cancer. Mira owns a yarn shop and Ev is a freelance knitwear designer.

I just drooled a little when I typed that because if a magical unicorn granted me a wish, I would probably wish for my very own Little Yarn Shop (LYS). Or to the have the talent to be a freelance knitwear designer.

Brady and Mira know each other well. Every month Mira hosts a Knit Night in the coffee shop. For those of you not in the know, a Knit Night (sometimes called a Stich ‘n Bitch) is when a bunch of people (usually 90% female) get together to imbibe copious amounts of wine and/or coffee and talk about knitting. At least, we’re supposed to talk about knitting. The reality is we wind up talking about everything except knitting. It’s basically a variation of the time-honored tradition of women sitting in the corner ostensibly working on their needlework while really plotting and laughing and maybe planning a murder or a coup d’état.

Knit Night is where Brady and Ev first meet and the sparks are immediate. Brady cautiously pursues Ev, but there are some hurdles in the way of them having a successful relationship. For one thing, both of them are caregivers, and their time and energy are consumed by their families. The other issue is that Brady is bisexual, and Ev has some hang ups due to failed relationships he’s had with bisexual partners. He conflates bisexuality with promiscuity and Brady calls bullshit on that pretty fast.

I didn’t expect Knit Tight to be as emotional as it was for me, especially given it’s length. The caregiver storylines really punched me hard in the feels. Brady doesn’t have perfect plot-moppet siblings. These are real kids that he’s raising, and he’s still a kid in many ways. He’s twenty-three, for God’s sake. The strain of taking care of his siblings while maintaining his sanity is very real. Arguments are had over who got the most chicken nuggets. He has no privacy or time for a sex life. Sleep is non existent. At times he feels angry about being placed into a position he never asked for.

Similarly, Ev is taking care of a terminally ill relative with no family support. His own family rejected when he came out and it was Aunt Mira who raised him. He would never dream of leaving her to face her illness on her own, but caring for a sick family member is emotionally and physically draining.

There are wonderful scenes where Brady and Ev’s relationship grows as they snatch moments out of their schedules. They watch TV together while talking on the phone and doing chores. One of the most adorable moments in the book is the two of them bonding over Storage Wars. They both struggle with the guilt of wanting a relationship while their obligations make that nearly impossible.

I think the thing that was so heartfelt to me was Ev and Brady standing by each other during their worst moments. They hold each other up when everything feels too big and impossible. I’ve been caring for my mom post surgery and I know how tremendous it is to have the love and support of a partner when you’re trying to balance multiple roles: caregiver, employee, friend, wife, etc. So to me, moments that might seems small, like Ev offering to watch the kids, were really huge and poignant.

Knit Tight is a truly beautiful novella and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer.

Well, I have one other regret, too: at one point Ev makes Brady a pair of socks (from his original pattern which he calls “Barista Blues” SOB) and if that sock pattern had been included in this book I would have completely lost my shit.

If you want a short emotionally satisfying read, then Knit Tight is the book for you.

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Knit Tight by Annabeth Albert

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  1. Nemo says:


  2. cleo says:

    This sounds great. I’ve had pretty good luck with Annabeth Albert’s novellas in the past.

    Have you read A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North (in the anthology How We Began)? YA mm about two high school boys (one bi, one gay) who bond over knitting. Before I read it I used to say mm and ff knitting romances were unique because they have more sex and less tragedy than mf knitting romances (why do all the knitters in mf seem to get cancer? It’s a concern). But this one also hit me in the feels, in a good way.

  3. TheoLibrarian says:

    I started this one this morning and I’m loving it so far.

    Even without the inclusion of the pattern, having hand knit socks as a gift between the heroes is really great. In my home, it is widely known that hand knit socks, especially for big man feet, are a gift of the truest love.

  4. Todd says:

    If you like knitting, may I recommend “Sweater Quest” – it’s non-fiction, but documents a woman’s decision to make a fiendishly difficult sweater. I don’t knit, but I loved the story – her quest is made difficult by the fact the pattern (an Alice Starmore) was out of print, the company that had made the very specific yarns was out of business and she’d never made that particular kind of sweater before. It’s funny but also interesting, even to a non-knitter.

  5. kkw says:

    @cleo I know, right? What *is* it about knitting and cancer?

  6. Carole says:

    I have had it for a few days and this review just moved it to the top of my TBR Pile. Thanks Elyse

  7. Chris Alexander says:

    I shared this in my yarn-y groups on FB. 🙂

  8. Chris Alexander says:

    And, how can you not adore the cover?

  9. Katie Lynn says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the other books in this series, and immediately after finishing Knit Tight I had a moment where I was intensely dissatisfied with it. The other books contain little scenes or allusions to the past couples, and I think I was expecting more of that and missed visiting old friends. However, I do feel (a few days out) that the overall story has grown on me and it feels more organic that this couple in particular would be more insular, considering their circumstances. I also really enjoyed the snippets from Ev’s blog at the beginning of the chapters, it allowed us to see a bit of what was going on in his head without having a switch in narration.

    I was trying to figure out who would be the next hero, but the only person I can think of is Roger (I think that’s his name, the current owner of People’s Cup), who shows up only briefly in this book and I don’t believe he has a speaking part. In the past he’s been cast as kind of the bad guy because of his failed relationship with the hero from Delivered Fast, so I’m interested in seeing a bit more of him.

    I’m really glad that Ms. Albert’s work was featured here, I picked up Status Update because of a review a few months back and have really enjoyed everything I’ve read by her.

  10. ClaireC says:

    Oooh, I might have to pick this up as an antidote to another knitting-romance I just read, The Sweethearts Knitting Club (only the barest hint of knitting, and the heroine has a big secret re: knitting that I just couldn’t get past, plus the not-romantic-hero is an asshat). This sounds so much better! And yes, handknit socks are a gift of true love.

  11. Thank you so much for the review! If you want to try the socks, may I suggest this pattern, done in M or L for man’s foot: I envisioned a great coastal feeling sock yarn like this one in aquatic. To make socks for a man, plan on using a bit more yarn than usual–I’d order an extra hank and then just make hand warmers or something with the leftover rather than run short.

  12. Cyndi Delia says:

    What a thoughtful review. You sold me, I really want to read this book now.

  13. Anne says:

    Elyse, I’m so glad for your review, since it hooked me* before I read the blurb on Kobo, which [gasp] does not talk very much about knitting.

    Then, in reading the preview, I discover that Annabeth Albert intimately understands the barista struggle, and I’m just throwing money at the Internet. Our knitting ladies come on a weekday morning, and they’re absolutely lovely people, but there definitely are a lot of them all at once.

    *Crochet joke, get it? I know, different thing, but “SSK” doesn’t work there.

  14. Denise Webber says:

    I bought this based purely on your review, I had an hour to spare and wanted something quick but satisfying, and I AM SO GLAD I DID!!!

    I love love love this book, I love both Brady and Ev, I loved Mira and all the non plot moppet children, and I particularly loved how Annabeth debunked all those tired myths about bisexual people.

    I laughed and I ugly sobbed in certain places.

    I gave it an A+ and have told so many people about how awesome this book is, that several have brought it.

    p.s and the sex is so so so HOT.

  15. Chris Alexander says:

    Gah. I’m a hooker, but I love a good yarn inclusive romance. I’ll be sharing this with my FB yarn group, too. 🙂

  16. Chris Alexander says:

    I scrolled up to read comments to discover that I already shared this. *laughs*

  17. Rebecca says:

    I’ve just read this book a week ago, and I’m still thinking about Ev and Brady. I fell so hard for all the characters in this book! Such wonderful, diverse characterisation, with real-world issues. Emotional and sexy, I can’t recommend this book enough. This series, really, has been so great!

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