Considering Knitting Process and Story Yarns

I have mentioned (from time to time), that I am incapable of sitting still.

How it started

How it started

Moving fingers prevent me from having to bounce a foot. A moving foot while I read allows me to keep my hands still for a bit.
Part of the bottom of a planned sleeve
Awake, I find myself randomly walking down the hall in the middle of work without any conscious awareness that I needed to move. I just did, so my right brain took over, got me up, and marched me down the hall to the living room.

Starting a side panel

Starting a side panel

It figures once I’m there, I’ll do push-ups to quiet down the fidgets for a bit so I can get back to writing. I had a hell of a time sitting still in school. And I am, even at the age of fifty-seven, a remarkably squirmy human being.

Main body finished

So, in order to keep my hands moving and the rest of me still, I have developed a couple of quiet down-time obsessions. I play video games.

Front neckline and collar I hated

Front neckline and collar I hated

And I knit. Generally only for a few hours a night, but I’m pretty quick, and even though I don’t use patterns (and do a lot of ripping back to change designs as I think of something I’ll like better), I still get a lot done.

Close-up: Design I ripped back

Close-up: Design I ripped back

So here are some pictures of my most recently completed project, and some things that are currently in progress.

The keeper front before I did the collar

The keeper front before I did the collar

One of these days I’ll show you some of the things I finished and kept.

Inside, with half of ends worked in

Inside, with half of ends worked in

I still had some sleeve ends to sew in after I finished steaming the finished sweater (after ripping back and redesigning the front once, the collar half a dozen times, and the sleeves eleven times.

And Sheldon keeping me company while I worked

And Sheldon keeping me company while I worked

Sometimes it takes me a long time to get a design right.

Finished sweated after pinning and steaming

Finished sweated after pinning and steaming

And the following are part of a new sweater I’m putting together.

This is the start of the front.

This is the start of the front.

Again, there is no pattern for this. I simply look at what I’m doing and decide to change colors when I see something I like. A fair amount of ripping back goes into this, too.

This is the back past the halfway point

This is the back past the halfway point

The technique that makes the curves is working in short rows. For this sweater I’m using the loop and turn method.

This is the pinned, steamed back center panel

This is the pinned, steamed back center panel

Yarn, incidentally, is Noro Silk Garden Light. Devilishly expensive, but I love it. So relatives got me gift cards for my birthday back in October, and I bought two different colorways with it, and am making one sweater from each.

Sweaters start as the idea of what I think I want to make. And they get a first draft, and a revision.

Like my fiction. And I do a LOT of story development and plotting while I knit. The process of knitting is pretty amazing for allowing your to connect story ideas into a threaded narrative.

Maybe that’s why stories are called yarns.

Want the Blog Posts to Come to You?
Get the blog digest once a week. Effortless, offbeat, and it comes to you.
I will not share, sell, or trade your personal information. I respect your privacy, and value your trust. - Holly Lisle
image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

3 comments… add one
  • Hanna May 8, 2018 @ 9:56

    Thanks for this post. It makes me feel more normal. I crochet, take it apart, crochet some more, take it apart. I do that with writing too. In fact, I tend to do things in fits and spurts. I am not a “sit at your desk every day at 9” type, other than my day job. I arrive on time, that’s about it.

    At a previous job, a co-worker wrote down the times he saw me get up and walk around. Turns out, I got up and walked around every 45 minutes, almost to the minute. I don’t know if I am still so regular about moving around, but thought it was interesting.

  • Christina Apr 11, 2018 @ 5:25

    Interestingly,I started knitting to stop playing Candy Crush Saga. My knitting was terrible so I progressed to crochet. Creating from yarn inspired me to recommence playing my cello which led me to wanting to write, for a living. Which is quite something.

  • Patricia Mar 30, 2018 @ 15:22

    I don’t really knit (I’ll dabble in a bit of crochet now and again), but I love how your process for knitting mirrors your writing process. And those sweaters you’re working on are works of art!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.