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Knitting up a story

My first attempt at knitting something for a baby. You can't see the mistakes... can you?

My first attempt at knitting something for a baby. You can’t see the mistakes… can you?

This is my latest knitting project – it’s a pretty baby jacket. I’ve never knitted a baby thing before, and there was a very good reason I suddenly had to knit this.

As an author, I draw on real-life experiences in my stories and my characters.

In real life – I travel a lot for my day job and am cautious about being out, alone, in a strange city at night. Especially when I may not speak the language.

Therefore, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms, where there TV channels are usually not in my language either.

And I knit.

It’s great for the RSI I sometimes get from spending too much time at a computer keyboard, but it is also very very relaxing after a hard day’s work.

I knit at home too – mostly things for myself or a friend, because webmaster John doesn’t like knitted things. There is also a rumour that I hand knitted a lovely colour co-ordinated blanket in pure wool for my cat. Just a rumour of course. Along with the rumour about me knitting blankets for rescued koalas.

Orphan koalas need something to snuggle up to. I can knit that.

Orphan koalas need something to snuggle up to. I can knit that.

So – when I started writing Quinn – the heroine of my new book The Wild One, I discovered that she too spends a lot of time away from home, in hotels or campsites. She needed something to relax her, so she knits.

But there’s a secret story behind her knitting. A terribly sad story that has left her emotionally scarred. Knitting is her way of dealing with her pain. The knitting becomes a symbol of her pain – and her eventual escape from her past.

A work in progress - book and knitting.

A work in progress – book and knitting.

This jacket is not the one Quinn knits in the book. She is a far better knitter than I am. But I wanted to knit it so I could understand how long it takes, and how detailed the work might be.

I love this pattern – the front lace panel is removable and I could knit several panels in different lace patterns, or even different colours. As for the buttons – I may yet use the leftovers on a grown-up item for myself. I found the pattern here.

I love the pretty colours in the buttons

I love the pretty colours in the buttons

So – for all the knitters out there, this book is for you. Keep those needles flying, because in today’s world, too many old crafts are being lost. And there’s a lot to be said for looking at something beautiful and saying – Wow – I did that.


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6 Responses to Knitting up a story

  • You’ve done a beautiful piece of knitting, Janet. It’s gorgeous. Agree with you how good knitting is for relaxing – I’m still sock making. Remember those socks at Penrith conference?

    • Thanks Kate. I certainly do remember the socks. I still have the pattern. It’s on my TBK (to be knitted) list which is just a fraction longer than my TBR list 🙂

  • What a good idea to have a removable front. Babies always dribble down them; you can change the front without taking off the whole garment.. When I’ve finished work for the day and sit down to relax, I would fall asleep if my knitting didn’t keep me awake. Plus my niece runs an online wool shop and I like to keep her busy. Your blog has made me put your boook on my TBR list. (Getting longer all the time).

    • Hi Mary,
      I thought the removable front was a great idea. And a way to change it from time to time with different colours and patterns. I do find knitting very relaxing. What is your niece’s shop called? I will go take a look. I’m always n the lookout for nice new yarns. J X

  • I just love the baby’s top, Janet. It’s so pretty – and practical, too. And, of course, you can customise it with the buttons of your choice. I’m not good at knitting – I wish I were. I put it down to being left-handed and being taught as a child by a right-handed person who kept getting cross when I got in a muddle at the end of a row and somehow started to unknit what I’d just done!

    • Thanks Elizabeth. I was taught may many years ago by an elderly lady I helped care for when in the Junior Red Cross organisation. she was lovely. I’ve only recently come back to knitting – but I love it!

Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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