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  • Erin 8:00 am on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Knitting Memories Into Yarn 

    Afghan

    Afghan for my niece… almost finished!

    The second guest post from author and knitter Erin Fanning.

     

    “Did you finish it?” my nephew Jonah asked me.

    No further explanation was necessary. I knew what he wanted; he’d been asking the same question for months.

    This time, though, instead of saying, “No, not yet,” I nodded and beckoned for him to follow me outside to my truck, where I dipped into the backseat and pulled out a red-white-and-blue knitted afghan.

    Jonah, excitement flitting across his face, wrapped it around his shoulders and swooped back inside, as quick as Superman, to show the afghan to the rest of his family.

    My nephew Max, standing nearby, asked, “Will you make me one too?”

    I hesitated. It had taken me more than a year to knit Jonah’s afghan, and I was ready to move on to smaller projects. But how could I say no to Max’s request, his expression so serious and voice tentative?

    “Of course,” I said, “What colors would you like?”

    Soon another red-white-and blue afghan clung to my circular needles. The choice of colors reflected Max and Jonah’s shared love for American history, as well as Jonah’s interest in super heroes. Next came a blue afghan for my niece Kadance, the yarn perfect for an outdoorsy girl with energy as expansive and boundless as the sky.

    In a sense, the blankets act as mirrors, a slice of my nieces’ and nephews’ personalities, perhaps even a form of storytelling, an approach to knitting I borrowed from my novella, Blood Stitches. In an early version of the book, the main character, Gabby, snuggles next to Abuela, grandmother in Spanish, as she knits. Together they interpret the yarn: green reflects the color of Gabby’s eyes, and specks of pink become tulips dotting a field. Gabby eventually learns that Abuela’s knitting has a deeper meaning with magical results.

    On a smaller scale, it’s an idea that can add a touch of magic to anyone’s knitting, from beginners to experts, making each project unique and memorable and, particularly for children, a way to engage the imagination.

    I hope one day my nieces and nephews will understand that the afghans I knit are reflections of them, our shared experiences woven together, memories, I pray, they’ll keep forever.

     
  • Erin 10:13 am on July 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Lyrical Press,   

    Interview with Erin Fanning 

    I am pleased to welcome Erin Fanning as my first guest blogger on this site!  Erin is the author of a new novel, Blood Stitches.  Erin will be posting once a week for the next few weeks talking about her work.

    Blood Stitches-highres

    When did you start knitting?

    I began knitting about eight years ago, after wanting to for years but thinking I wasn’t crafty enough to learn.

    What drew you to knit and what is your favorite thing to knit?

    My grandmother was an expert at needlework, and I always admired her ability. One of my greatest regrets is not taking her up on her offer to teach me how to knit and crochet, but school, activities, and insecurity about my lack of artistic ability got in the way. However, I finally forged ahead, and now my main knitting projects are blankets for my many, many nieces and nephews.

    When did you start writing?

    I’ve been writing forever: poetry when I was in elementary school and journalism in high school and college. From there, I branched out into magazines, primarily outdoor writing, including a mountain biking guidebook, then moved on to short stories and nature essays.

    What genre do you prefer to write in?

    My story ideas seem to gravitate toward young adult fantasy.

    AuthorPhotoFanningErinWhat is your favorite type of book?  Your favorite book?

    I love a literary mystery, but, as I get older, I find myself reading more and more nonfiction. Although, my favorite book of all time is Persuasion by Jane Austen, so I guess I would say that I just love to read.

    What made you decide to combine knitting and writing?

    Around the time I was learning how to knit, I read about an elderly woman, caught in an earthquake, who kept herself calm by knitting until she was rescued. From there, my imagination took over, and I envisioned someone with the magical ability to create a natural disaster through their knitting.

    Give a brief synopsis of your new book:  Blood Stitches.

    Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

    “It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

    Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.”

     
  • knitting1105 12:23 pm on July 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Slugging Along 

    July has been a trying month so far.  Started with some not so good personal news, followed up on July 4th by my twisting my left ankle and injuring it badly (kid ran out in the street right in front of my bike). My injury has definitely prevented me from spinning, and until recently it has hurt to sit at my loom also.  Thank goodness I did not sprain my wrist, life would not be pretty without being able to use my hands in some way. During this time I have been working on my Greta Garbo shawl, almost exclusively.

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    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    The knitting has been very slow going, it started with 475 stitches cast on, and then required me to rework the border as the stitch count did not line up with the pattern anymore.  While that took awhile, it was well worth the effort.

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    Then on to the knitting.  Every other row decreases by 4 stitches, so it incrementally speeds up.  I am really happy that I cast on for the extra width, as the yarn that I am using is finer than the pattern called for.  As you can see, I am getting close to the end. This time around, I have been much better at picking up all of the yarn in the nupps, or getting them on the following row.  Only a few to correct prior to blocking.

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    When I pulled out the shawl from my travel bag today, I was in for a surprise, as I had neglected to put the skein of yarn in a bag to protect it.  Hopefully this will not be a problem!

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    • elaine 1:33 am on July 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That is a beautiful shawl! Hope you’re ankle heals fast, and you are up and enjoying all very soon 🙂

      Like

      • knitting1105 9:20 am on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! The ankle is healing slower than I would like, but it did allow me to finish this! Just need to block it.

        Like

    • Linda 6:37 am on July 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a beautiful shawl!! Love how you did the border. Sorry to hear about your ankle….hope you’re better real soon.

      Like

      • knitting1105 9:21 am on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! I am really happy with the border also. Ankle thing has been a bummer for the summer. Last healing part is long, even with massage and accupuncture. Thanks for the encouragement.

        Like

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