Wicked Wednesday–Knit One, Purl Two

yarn4We’re celebrating the release of Sadie Hartwell’s Yarned and Dangerous. So Wickeds, here’s a question for you. Do you knit? If yes, tell us why. If no, have you ever tried? Done it? Success or no? What were the results?

Sherry: My mom had someone give my sister and I knitting lessons once upon a time. For years I moved the two needles with the twenty rows of not-so-neatly knitted pink yarn attached around the country with me. I don’t think I ever made it beyond knit to purl. I admire the dedication and concentration it takes to knit. Who knows maybe some day I’ll give it another try.

yarn1Liz: I’m hopeless at stuff like this. My mother had tried to teach me to sew and crochet, but I really just wanted her to leave me alone so I could read…

Julie: I do indeed knit. My grandmother taught me, and I’ve kept it up. In fact, I have rediscovered it lately–it is meditative. I have been mostly tackling hats and socks lately–quick projects. But I think I may work on a sweater for one of the nieces. PS, Sherry, we have a couple of trips coming up. Maybe I’ll teach you how to knit at LCC.

yarn2Jessie: I am a passionate knitter! I agree with Julie about its meditative properties. I keep a ball of yarn that I like the feel of and a pair of needles on my desk and whenever I get stuck whilst writing I just knit back and forth, making nothing at all. Something about it unlocks my brain. I also love how it is an entirely different sort of creative pursuit than writing and yet the two practices have so much in common. Each is built on one small unit, a stitch or a word, placed with other and another and another until you have created something wonderful to share.

yarn3Barb: My paternal grandmother was a fabulous knitter. I still have some of the things she made me, 35+ years after her death. She tried to teach me, but I have the manual dexterity of the six-fingered sloth. (They probably have great manual dexterity–but with six fingers. Which is how I type.) My sister-in-law, Ann Ross, however, is a tremendous knitter. She teaches and is an all-around knitting maven at GoshYarnIt, a yarn boutique in Kingston, PA. (She took these beautiful photos.) Ann coached me enough that I could put a knitting clue in “Bread Baby,” my Agatha-nominated short story. Julia knits in the next Maine Clambake Mystery, Fogged Inn, but not with good results, I’m afraid.

Edith: I learned to knit in high school. And promptly got kicked out of senior biology for knitting in class (there was some attitude attached to it, you can be sure). In the winter I always have a longing to knit, but since I only pick it up every five years or so, I kind of have to reteach myself. Made a couple of sweaters with spectacularly long sleeves for my sons when they were younger, and realized I really should just stick to scarves. I am a much better seamstress, though, in my defense!

Readers: Do you knit, crochet, needlepoint, sew? Do you like mysteries that incorporate these skills?

22 Thoughts

  1. Never did learn to knit, but when I was very young my Aunt Edith taught me to crochet, She was left handed and I’m not, so she taught me by using a mirror!

  2. I never got the hang of knitting, but I do know how to crochet. I haven’t crocheted for over twenty years, but I made quite a few afghans and even a sweater for my youngest son’s Cabbage Patch doll.

      1. That’s all my son wanted for his 2nd birthday. Needless to say, he didn’t take the doll with him when he moved out. “Abe Spencer” has a place of honor on a child’s rocking chair that I used when I was little.

  3. I love to knit and have two foster puppies which are preventing it–my fingers are itching. I have read a number of quilting mysteries and one which included knitting. Can be fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I learned to knit when I was in the Brownies. (Do they still have Brownies?) However, I never did anything with it for 59 years, when my granddaughter was born. I was determined to knit her a pair of booties. I ended up knitting 15 booties before I had two that were good enough to give to her.

    1. Jeanine–that is hilarious. I think my main character, Julia, may have to knit 15 or so booties for her expected niece or nephew before she gets two!

      I’m pretty sure there are still Brownies, but Edith Maxwell is our resident Girl Scout expert.

  5. I kinda knit. I can hold my own on a knit one, purl two. 🙂 I’ve just started a scarf (multiple times, ugh) and it has a coordinating hat, can’t wait to pull that one out dozens of time. I needlepoint and I do counted cross stitch. I enjoy knitting mysteries. They entertain and inspire me. I’m looking forward to Yarned & Dangerous. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Edith! I also knitted in class, after a friend taught me one weekend. I defended my action by claiming (truthfully) that it helped me concentrate and was allowed to continue, even after the time the ball of yarn fell and rolled right over to my teacher’s feet. I still knit anytime I have to be still and listen, once scandalizing a new teacher who told someone of a forced district inservice (because the board couldn’t justify a raise without adding make-work), “There was even someone KNITTING through the meeting.” A colleague reassured him, “Oh that’s just Mary Garrett. She always does that.” I gave an ornery assistant principal an apple hat when she announce she was about to be a grandmother. It didn’t change her much, but at least I tried.

  7. Carol, using a mirror is brilliant! My grandma was determined to teach all the grand-daughters to crochet, and was flummoxed by my lefty status. Finally, she found a book with directions, “Mary’s good with books,” and I did figure it out. After hearing Sheila Kay Adams talk about learning ballads knee-to-knee from her gran, I realized we also could have overcome the dilemma by sitting facing each other.
    Those who can’t/don’t want to learn crafts . . . you are just fine, no longer a survival skill. We now can buy all the clothes we need, so if it’s not fun, do something else. 😉

  8. Hi everyone! I’m traveling today with limited connectivity. Sorry I can’t respond to everyone individually. I sew, knit and crochet. Like Jessie I use knitting for its meditative qualifies. I’ve worked out a lot of plot problems by knitting! You can imagine how thrilled I was (and am) to have the opportunity to write a series about a yarn shop!

  9. I’m just getting caught up on 5 days worth of emails and posts, so I hope I’m not too late to comment here. Yes, I knit. I don’t have a lot of patience, though, so I mostly knit Barbie clothes. They’re done on #1 and #2 needles, for the most part, so the garments are teeny, tiny. Every Christmas I adopt a couple of kids from the Salvation Army Angel Tree and try to get at least one little girl whose heart’s desire is a Barbie. I then make a whole wardrobe, from sox to a wedding gown, and buy a few things like shoes and other accessories to go along with it. I’ve never been able to get the hang of crocheting and my sewing is laughable. I can’t even put on a button neatly. But I hope my knitting “skill” makes some little girl happy every year at Christmas time.

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