Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.
Knitting up a story
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.
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.
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.
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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