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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knitting together a story-

I am near the end of my third book in the fantasy adventure series I am writing. Still not published, but getting closer every day. I had just resolved a scene and come up with a next scene, kind of an interlude. I have the final scene of the book finished in my mind. In between was a gap. What to write to fill that gap?

Due to some recent real-life matters largely beyond my control (much like life in general) I had some time to kill. The writing has been good in this time, since it has been productive. However, I rather like having something to do with my hands when I just "sits and thinks." I sometimes whittle to fill that need, but this winter I took up loom knitting.

So, being in need of some sittin' and thinkin', I took up my loom and began to knit a bit. It works wonders. I wrote the interlude in my head, or at least got a good outline with some flesh on it. I wrote the final scene and did a rewrite, also in my head. Dropped the knitting to make some notes. Picked up the loom again and started looping yarn and turning the stitches with the little hook.

While I looped and stitched I thought about my story so far, and some other stories that had influence on the tale. Tale. "Spinning a yarn." Yarn is used in knitting. Hmmm. Hercules is in a recent scene, though not really Hercules. Just a guy loosely based on Hercules. One primary character is a Pinocchio. What stories to look at in my memory and imagination for that next scene?

Snow White? Perhaps. Sleeping Beauty? Yes, that will work. A previous scene in the series would serve as foreshadowing for that idea. You know, where a hint of 'what is to come' is dropped into the story and later comes about and you as the reader go "Ahhh, yes!"

So I sits and thinks and sits and knits and this outline forms in my head and I drop the knitting and make notes and then I take up the loom again and knit on as I thinks.

The knitting is working really well. I can't cut myself, don't have to sharpen anything, and I don't get wood chips all over the place. When I need to drop the work to make a note or something it is a bit less involved, since I wear a protective glove on one hand when I whittle but don't when I knit. I don't have to find a safe place for the knife, take off the glove, yada yada.

The masculinity thing is no issue, since I have a creative mind and have read lots of stuff and I am as good at justification as anyone else. For a lot of centuries in a lot of cultures men were weavers and tailors and textile manufacturers more so than women, so who is to say that my knitting isn't a manly thing? Also, I can use manly colors to make manly scarves and blankets. Manly.

Now I have my bridge scene in mind and notes made, but I am making some progress on the blanket piece I am working on so I keep knitting. It is pretty relaxing, just looping and stitching and stuff... Oh. Here's an idea. Yes. I will make a note. Hmmm. That won't fit into the framework of book three.

I just knitted myself into book four. Cool! I think that book four should be about four scarves, three hats and at least one full-sized blanket long.

I need to pick up some more yarn!


jbchicoine said...

I think it's great that you're a knitter! I don't think it impinges on your masculinity one bit!

My sister keeps encouraging me to take it up because I love 'mindless' activities for plotting and planning. Perhaps she's right. I love the look of that little gadget in your post--does that just knit 'tubular' stuff?

Michael Lockridge said...

That's a round or circular loom. If you knit all of the way around it makes a tube, which can become a hat or thick scarf depending on how you finish it.

There are other forms called 'rakes' or sometimes 'rectangular' looms. They produce a double knit or single knit panel.

More sophisticated looms of this sort are available. I have not yet exhausted the creative potential of these simple models, so I keep knittin' and plottin' the basics for now.

Castle nuts manufacturer said...

Such a great post........

Carol said...

Thanks Michael, I'm going to try this, maybe some yarn and a little free time will help me over my writing hump. Where would I be without you?