Cover Image: A Call to Needles

A Call to Needles

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Member Reviews

By far one of the most interesting books I've read in ages. Who knew needle crafters could be so insurrectionary!
You don't have to be a knitting, crochet, embroidery etc junkie to enjoy the book, but it probably helps!
I was particularly delighted to discover subversive cross stitch and have a few hand-worked slogans up in my house now.
Heaps of social comment and observation to enjoy and mull over, as well as plenty of historical elements.
Fascinating book.

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Craftivism is something I was turned on to during the Trump years so I was really looking forward to reading this book. I took part in several of the projects mentioned as well as some not mentioned. Great book and I’m really happy I was able to review it.

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I was interested in the idea of crativism so thought this would explain more. The projects discussed were interesting and the anti Trump stance made it even more appealing. At times the politics overshadowed the craft but that was understandable. All in all an interesting book.

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I turned to embroidery and needlepoint during the Covid lockdown pperiod. It was a therapeutic way to deal with the craziness of our United States politics and the absolute amazement that I was living through a pandemic. This wonderful piece of non-fiction expertly, emotionally, and compulsively described these times. The author turned to craft to deal. I adored it.

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Very interesting read. Looking back into the history and seeing where “craftivism” – activism using crafts – is used is interesting. It was not quite what I was expecting but in the grand scheme of things it will make you think, and I believe that is something we all should do more off.

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There’s a lot I love about this incredibly thorough look at crafting as activism. It features a huge range of wonderful projects well past pussy hats, Covid masks and the AIDS quilt. It covers the history of crafting as a political statement, and the author goes to great lengths to address issues like racism.

It would be a five star for me if not for three things. First, it is just so long and wordy. This is great if you like reading long articles with tons of info, but I’d prefer less talk and more photos. Second, there are no patterns, which I had hoped for (though there are links and sites you can visit to look for many). Third, I hated all the talk about Trump. Perhaps if this were printed at the start of his presidency I would understand the need to discuss him so much but I honestly avoid just about anything about him. I wholeheartedly love these projects that use crafting to spread love, inclusion, education, activism and community. I just prefer to focus on the good of these sorts of projects rather than the anger and ugliness. It also already dates the book somewhat, which is a shame because it highlights so many really awesome projects and offers such a great history of craftivism. I would have liked more talk about other marginalized members of the crafting community too. It does a good job of addressing racism but I wish it addressed things like the privilege necessary to even craft, both in time and money. (Okay, I guess that makes four things.)

All that said, I still highly recommend the book. I learned about so many inspirational projects and I loved seeing all the wonderful crafts people created. Well worth the read.

I read a digital copy of this book for review.

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I wanted to love this book. But it's very political. The author assumes you are a die-hard liberal and hates Trump as much as she does. She mentions Trump many, many times in her book. If you of a similar mind, you might really like this book. But if you are a moderate, a conservative, or not particularly interested in mixing crafting with politics, this is not the book for you.

The author's thoughts on "craftivism" - activism using crafts - are interesting, and she certainly covers the gamut of ways in which women have protested the status quo or expressed their political opinions using handicrafts. However, the author tends to ramble and go down rabbit holes that have nothing to do with crafting. A long, long section at the end of the book attempts to teach the reader how to do yoga, complete with photos.

I didn't like this book. I'm an avid knitter. I indulge in my craft to get away from all the noise and conflict in the world. I understand and even admire some of the creative protesters described in this book, but I found the author's focus on a political figure who isn't even in office any longer off-putting and dated. The book would have benefitted from a much tighter focus and a more uplifting, inspirational tone.

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As an avid knitter, seamstress, and all-around-crafter, I was very curious about the contents of this book. Many of my friends are politically active, but the ideas germinate over time spent making together and are not the actual object of the activism itself. Crafting is communal - from quilting bees to knitting bees to stitch n' bitches - so it seems only natural that the world's problems, big and small, are solved by groups of individuals (majority female in this book) coming together to make things.

I appreciated reading this book as it gave me a new perspective on something I already love to do. I think individuals who are really into crafting and activism OR grassroots organization but don't craft would gain a lot from reading this!

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Great read about yarn activism!!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this title in exchange for my feedback.

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I started reading this book thinking, “I already know all this stuff.” As an active textile artist and Craftivist, I’ve participated in many of the projects described in this book, ranging from national and international initiatives to local programs. I’ve read a lot of the material Ms. Eisner mentions. But I read with growing appreciation for the comprehensive approach she takes, and ended the book wanting to purchase several copies and give them out to fellow crafters who have the potential to make a difference with their creativity. Ms. Eisner not only presents excellent examples of Craftivist projects, she includes pictures, extensive notes, and even a few tutorials and patterns. If you are a knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, or other needle crafter, do yourself and society a favor and read this book.

Thank you to Proving Press and NetGalley for the advance reader copy I received in exchange for my honest review.

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Bet you thought Mme Defarge was the only one.
Or Martha Washington and Eleanor Roosevelt and their incessant knitting of sox.
I've always thought of my own knitting as a service to others and rather separate from participating in nonviolent protest activity. This book demonstrates that it can also be used as a political tool.
I requested and received an e-book copy from Columbus Publishing Lab/Proving Press/self-published via NetGalley.

Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op and Columbia Publishing Lab

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Grrrrls grab your needles, we've got work to do!

I saw this book available and I jumped at the opportunity to read it. I had no real idea what I was getting into, but I thought that I was really here for it! This wasn't quite what I expected, but it certainly was educational. While a wee bit preachy in parts, I found it interesting, in part because of the loving care to weave in these real life events and its connection to women and crafting, nee craftivism. I completely understand the need to weave in the political stances to illustrate the impact of policy on what feel like basic human rights, etc. Eisner references other literary books on crafting and its history and the power of art as a means of protest or resistance from Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust, to present day policies enacted by the U.S. president; focusing on the intention of crafters, especially the women, who have long suffered, often with little recourse to counter in the legal/political arena or address injustices.

Thank you Columbus Publishing Lab, Proving Press for the ARC via NetGalley.

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A Call to Needles: Acts of Craftivism and Crafted Kindness in the Age of Trump by Dee Ann Eisner is a comprehensive look at how our needlework became a tool for change, especially in the Age of Trump. Needleworkers have a particular set of skills, and this blending of craft and activism is often referred to as craftivism. This book pays homage to craftivists and needleworkers reacting to challenging times. The ideas, the design and development of patterns, the teams that have been built around these ideas, and the outreach to other needleworkers to support and sustain these efforts deserve more attention. Eisner builds on her backstory, calling on readers to feel their own Call to Needles, whether they participate in an existing project or create a new phenomenon. Writing this book began as the author's coping mechanism while watching the slow chipping away at democracy, both in the US and around the world. It quickly became a passion project. The moment came that, even knowing there was more to discover, the writing simply had to stop. The story will continue, with updates on those in the book and new endeavors at

A Call to Needles taught me a bit about the history of crafting in the activism lens, and I feel like I learned a great deal in that regard. I had no idea about some of the craft related protests and projects, both in our relatively distant history and much more recently. While I knew about the pussyhats and the penguin sweaters, many of the other projects and movements were things I had never heard about and things I very easily could have taken part in. The book has made me more interested in getting involved, and looking more at what I can do locally and globally with my resources and skill sets. I thought the book was informative and inspiring, with a great deal of information and resources to help readers further research the things that interest them and to do some self assessment to understand our own motivation and not only how we can help, but the most effective, efficiently, and ecologically friendly way we can do so. Time to put me privilege, skills, and inability not to have at least two works in progress to better use.

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We needed this book, I was always looking for women to write essays on in school now I now I should have checked the craft section. The fundamental undermining of woman's work, protests and art by calling it a craft.

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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book covers the history of craftivism and the mainstream acceptance of crafting in the modern world.

The book dives into how craftivism has been used in some cases throughout American history and talks about recent examples, like pussyhats and feminist cross stitch. While this book was interesting, it felt surface level to me at times and very focused on specific examples while not addressing others.

This is an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of how women have shared stories and movements through crafting and where it could lead in the future.

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“A Call to Needles is a comprehensive look at how our needlework became a tool for change, especially in the Age of Trump. Needleworkers have a particular set of skills, and this blending of craft and activism is often referred to as craftivism. This book pays homage to craftivists and needleworkers reacting to challenging times.”

Past. Present. Future. Crafters have always and will always have words to say and effs to give. From knitting socks for soldiers in WWI to making Covid masks (of which I made almost two thousand) to whatever aid our next calamity will require, it was gratifying to know you’re part of a whole host of, not only witnesses, but participants.

It was a delight to relive movements of which I’ve been a part (the Pussyhat Project, Blankets for (Humbolt) Broncos, Knitted Knockers, and Prayer Shawls) and engaging to read about ones of which I’ve never heard (The Giving Doll, The Tempestry Project).

What a bright book in a dark time.


A big thanks to NetGalley and Columbia Publishing Lab for this crafty ARC.

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I love how the author outlined the history of craftivism and some of its most recent movements. For generations, the women in my family have been crafters. I am a crafter. I can knit, crochet, quilt, sew, embroider, etc. When we make things, there is a purpose for the making. Whether it's a gift or a donation, makers have a way of using our craft as an expression of feelings. From WWI sock to the Pussy Hats, to Covid masks, makers have used their skills for a cause. I have participated in a few of these (prayer shawls, pussy hats, Covid masks, & knitted knockers), but looked at them as single events, not as a collective or as part of craftivism. This book is a signal to look at the bigger picture and it altered my perspective, so thank you for that!

There are some pattern designers featured in this book, but there are no patterns. However, there are some yoga poses and stretches for you to follow to keep the body in good shape to keep on crafting.

A huge thank you to @NetGalley, @victoryeditingngc, and Columbia Publishing Lab for this crafty #ARC. #bookstagram #bookreview #acalltoneedles

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