Julianne Moore, Hilary Swank and a slew of other Hollywood stars spin a yarn

By Lori L. Tharps
Updated May 12, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Here’s a yarn you won’t hear at Oprah’s Book Club. One of the newest ways celebs are whiling away the hours is…knitting. Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Will & Grace‘s Debra Messing, and Julia Roberts have all taken up the heretofore geriatric pastime. ”It’s like a mass reaction,” says Edith Eig, of Studio City’s La Knitterie Parisienne, who is guru to the likes of Daryl Hannah and Patricia Arquette. Knitting is perfect for killing time on TV and movie sets, and Tinseltown’s baby boom has only boosted the trend. ”That’s how Julianne Moore came to me,” recalls Eig. ”She wanted to make a blanket for her son.” Most celebs are happy just to keep their hands busy, but others are taking a cue from models-turned-domestic doyennes Martha Stewart and B. Smith by launching crafty careers. Justine Bateman creates custom-made knit fashions, while Monica Lewinsky‘s handbag collection was inspired by her knit-one, purl-two hobby: ”I needed a bag for my yarn.” Talk about minding your knitting.