Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
The dreaded pink thing…
Yesterday I broke a curse… well, kinda…
As some of you know, I knit. And the dreaded pink thing is one of those projects that I think all knitters trip over from time to time – the project from hell!
It’s taken me months… no… if I’m honest, years to get it right.
But I know I’m not alone – and I also know it’s not just about knitting…
I think anyone who attempts something creative – knitting, writing, painting, playing an instrument – has one – a Nemesis project.
When I rediscovered knitting about three years ago in New York, the very first pattern book I bought was from Rowan – because I really loved the look of their casual, slouchy cover-up. Lightweight and soft… it was exactly me.
I bought the book first – then started looking for the right wool.
A year later – I finally found the perfect yarn – at the right price here in London. I decided that would be my very next project.
A year later (yep – one more year) – I finally started knitting it.
Yesterday, I finished it… How long to knit it? No – not a year – only about seven months.
And I think the reason it took so long is all about the creative drive…. you see, I had to get it right, or at least as right as my knitting skills could make it.
I knitted the back – realised I had made a mistake and pulled half of it out and knitted it again.
I knitted the front and my tension got a bit loose – so it was going to be too big. I pulled it out and knitted it again.
Then I knitted the neck band three times – the first time was just a mess. The second time I had four stitches out of place. Just four. No-one would have seen them… but I knew they were there. So I pulled it out and did it again.
Then I sewed the cuffs – and decided they were two small, so I pulled that out and did that again too – because I knew I could do better.
And that’s what it’s all about. Knowing I had done the very best job I could do.
It’s the same when I write a book. When my readers open that book, I want it to be the very best book it can be. If there’s a flaw – even if I am the only person who notices it – then I haven’t done my job properly.
That’s not to say my books are perfect – far from it – but every single one is the very best book I could write at that time.
I am about to start doing the final edits on my second Coorah Creek book – which will be released next year and, by coincidence, includes a character who knits. You can be sure I will go back and re-read and tweak it as many times as I have to – whether it’s a chapter that’s wrong – or just a single word that’s not quite right. Because I want it to be the very best it can be.
And in the evenings, when I step away from the computer – I guess I’ll be starting my next knitting project. I’m not quite sure what it will be – but I can promise you this – it may be black or white or yellow or green.. maybe even blue. But it will not be pink!
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