WhirlwindOctober 21, 2011
Whew! That was soooo fun! My little book tour is over, and I had the best time last night at Bookshop West Portal. PEOPLE CAME! Lovely, fun, wonderful people, and I soon as I saw that they were there, instead of relaxing, I got even MORE nervous, because wouldn't you want to impress a crowd like this?
My sister Bethany is making a face, so it's her own fault it gets posted like this--this cracked me UP. (Also, the Herrons, especially sister C, are MASTERS of the crazy-photo face).
I was beyond excited. Bookshop West Portal is where I gave my first reading, and it remains my favorite, because it always becomes a party. I bring wine and cookies, people nosh and gab and hang out and hug and I LOVE IT. It would do to remember this when I spend a whole afternoon sick with dread that no one will come.
(Apropos of nothing, if you find it hard to read the font on this new page, don't forget for all webpages you can hit Ctrl+ to make the font bigger, or on a Mac, Command+.)
So this: I hope you will read either/both of my new books. I will stop pushing them now, because really, I'm more comfortable pushing other books, and LOOK! Here's one now!
She has a new book out, Knit With Love, and she's DARLING, with the biggest grin you've ever seen. I got the chance to ask her a few questions about her book.
1. Out of everything you've ever knitted, what's your favorite, and why? (I know it's like asking a reader what her favorite book is, but give it a shot.)
Gee, you start with the tough questions. This is going to take some thought. (Insert dramatic pause.) Okay. I’ve got it.
When I was pregnant with my son I went through a nesting fit like most moms do. At the time I worked in a little needlework shop that featured needlepoint and knitting. There was a great knit group meeting on Tuesday mornings but I never joined in, I was a needlepointer then. I had stitched my baby-to-be a lovely needlepoint sampler and was just waiting for the name and date to finish it. But what I really wanted was something I could actually use when the baby was born. Barbara came to my rescue.
Barbara was the knit guru of the Tuesday morning group. She insisted that I could knit a sweater for my baby. I hadn’t knit in years, in fact I had to be reminded how to cast on. But Barbara helped me pick out a pattern for a tiny cardigan. Then she patiently helped me with each phase of the sweater. I was so surprised as the little sweater grew on my needles. The how-to of knitting was still within me. It was exciting to have this skill reborn just as my son was about to be born.
I finished the tiny cardigan. It’s (one of) my favorite knitted objects. I look at it and remember how scared I was to change colors, to set in the sleeves, and to make the buttonholes. I still marvel that it turned out so well. (It took me years before I knit myself an adult size sweater.) I love his little sweater. It reminds me of how knitting returned to my life, of my friend Barbara and of when my son was tiny. It also reminds me to be brave in my knitting, to take on a challenge.
2. What gave you the idea for your collection of essays?
I had read Betty Christiansen’s book Knitting for Peace and I was fascinated by all stories behind different knitting charities. I started out looking for local stories like that. What I found were a lot of knitters very passionate about their craft. Not everyone knits for charity but it seems that every knitter has a big heart and is willing to share her time and wool with the world in some way. The stories that emerged were a collection of knitters caring for each other in so many many ways. It’s my hope that these tales will help knitters celebrate their joy in the craft as well as inspire them to share their labors with others, in whatever form that takes. And some of the stories were just too fun not to pass on.
3. What's your favorite kind of fiber?
I like the fiber of the moment. I am more frequently drawn to the color of yarn than the fiber content. I love Pagewood Farms Denali, a cashmere sock yarn. Decadent. But this summer I knit a sweater and a skirt from cotton and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Cotton has this reputation for being difficult, stretching out and not having any give. And while those things can be true I had success knitting with it. My fiber of the moment right now is alpaca. I’m making an afghan for my son. He’s a freshman at Boston University and my California boy needs some warmth. I’m using Drops Alpaca in 15 different colors, my idea of fiber color bliss.
4. How long have you been writing?
I’m one of those girls who wrote angst filled poetry as a teen. I kept journals and poured out every minute thought on the page. But just as my knitting was reborn with my son, so was my writing.
We lived a time zone away from family when my son was born. And I longed for the grandmas, aunts and uncles to see him grow up, but geography was keeping us apart. So I started writing down all the little things that were going on in our world. I documented his first steps. I wrote about his adorable adventures in the park. I told them all the silly things that happened. This was in the days before we were all connected online so I actually sent letters to all my relatives. The first seven years of my son’s life are chronicled in detail. (He’ll die someday when I show a girlfriend or fiancée. teehee.)
In exciting news, Lisa's publisher has let me have FIVE of these books to give away, so leave a comment to enter.
(And now I'm off to my dad's luau wedding. Looking forward to the festivities! Aloha!)