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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author.

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater is journalist Alanna Okun's cozy audiobook 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. 

In The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater, Okun lays herself bare and takes listeners 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). 

Alanna Okun's newest audiobook will speak to anyone who has ever said to themselves, or to everyone within earshot, "I made that". 

©2018 Alanna Okun (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Okun's narration, lightly poignant and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, enhances her witty writing style.... Listeners need not be knitters or crafters to relish Okun's delightful, self-deprecating stories." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

The only objection I had to the collection of essays is that it wasn’t longer. It’s the perfect thing to listen to while knitting- both relatable and inspiring.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tina
  • QUEEN CREEK, AZ, United States
  • 03-22-18

Not quite what I expected

What disappointed you about The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater?

It was more of a family memoir than about knitting.

What could Alanna Okun have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stick to the knitting theme.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater?

The hair pulling & fingernail biting- ew! Seriously, nobody wants to hear about someone else's gross habits.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the bits about knitting, but it was only maybe 1/3 of the book. I was excited to hear Alanna's thoughts about it and her experiences, but found myself wanting to skip ahead often because I wasn't interested in her family history. It's important to her, and a part of who she is, just not what I wanted to read or was expecting to spend my money on.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Palmer, AK, United States
  • 07-07-18

Neurotic Knits

The writer is obviously talented, but she spends too much time discussing her worries and fears. This is a day-to-day blog on audio.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Tales of Life and Knitting

If you're looking for a knitting tutorial, this is not the book for you. If you are a dedicated crafter who understands, like Okun does, what place knitting and crafting has in our hearts and in our relationships, this is the one for you. Okun's essays hit me right in the feels. I don't think I've ever heard someone so accurately describe what it is really like to be a 20-something "millennial" woman, beyond the Buzzfeed listicles and Facebook memes. Trying desperately to "check the boxes" - good college, good job, find a boyfriend, get married, buy a house - but also don't forget to "find your truth!"(does anyone know what that actually means?).

As we transition from teenage years to the mock adulthood of our 20s, Okun examines the people we encounter, changing relationships with family, trying to hold onto childhood and tradition while struggling to craft a new life all your own. It's really great stuff, and she knits her way through it. She inspired me to pick up my knitting needles after many, many years away. She reminded me that my grandma taught me, and, even if I'm still crap at it, I can weave those memories into every stitch. Bravo!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

related to this book

As a knitter, quilter, sewer, maker who raised her family a few towns over, this book was a snippet of my life as well as my children (same age as Alanna). I am sharing it with friends and hope I run into Alanna at my local LYS one day!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • Manalapan, NJ, United States
  • 04-23-18

Okay. Stream of consciousness.

The author sounded young and read the book fast. When I realized it might sound better at a slower speed, I slowed it to 75 percent, and that did sound better. I enjoyed some of the thoughts expressed, but at times she sounded spoiled and self-centered. Not my cup of tea.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Depressing and Off Topic

Would you try another book from Alanna Okun and/or Alanna Okun?

No.

What could Alanna Okun have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stayed on the topic of knitting.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater?

The authors in depth description of her own self mutilation had nothing to do with the original topic of the book and was very disturbing to read about.

Any additional comments?

This book was very depressing and off topic.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Description and title are deceptive<br />

This is the personal memoir of an uninteresting young woman with a few knitting references

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

heartwarming

I wasn't ready for all the emotions this book made me feel. 💔 loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cozy, fun & relatable

I greatly enjoyed this book. It was cozy, fun and relatable. The author did a great job with the narration. I know I will listen to it again and again. It has a real beauty about it and warms my heart. It put a little smile on my face every time I turned it on.