Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously
by Adrienne Martini
Adrienne's a blog-pal of mine, and I've known her virtually for years. But you know what's better than having good friends in the knit-world? Having friends who are good writers. Even better, having friends who are great writers.
I loved this book. In it, Adrienne decides to make Mary Tudor, Alice Starmore's Fair Isle classic, in a year, and while she's a knitter, when she makes the decision to do so, she's not really a Starmore kind of knitter. She's never done a steek. She's not really sure how the now-unavailable yarn substitutions should be made, or what they will do to the authenticity of a Starmore.
People, she's Julie, working her way through the cookbook. Let's face it. It's awesome. It's for us.
And she's funny as hell. She knows how we bond. It's kind of like how moms bond (although she knows knows that not even all moms bond, just mention breastfeeding in a room full of mothers).
HAHAHAHAHA. Seriously. I almost fell out of bed laughing.
So today, I'm over at her blog, answering questions about my book, and I'm hosting her here, answering some questions about hers.
In your introduction, you said that for a knitter who had only been knitting for thimbleful of years, "Mary Tudor would be a foolish, humbling choice to attempt." Have you always been someone who has chosen things that might be right outside your grasp or was this something new for you?
I've been pondering this questions for almost 12 hours now and still am not sure I've hit on the perfect answer. In short, I've always been of the go-big-or-go-home school but am also not much of a danger junkie. tackling a sweater that is just above my skill level is a low-risk endeavor that suites my personality well. Jumping out of an airplane strikes me as total madness. If I fail at the sweater, life will most certainly go on. It will still be a story, just not one that will keep you warm on cold days. Fail at skydiving and, well, the result are almost certain to be catastrophic.
I don't think you can really learn anything if you always stick to your comfort zone. You have to keep reaching or else you stagnate.
Which came first, the idea for the book, or the idea for the sweater?
The idea for the book came first – but only by microseconds. Once the idea popped into my head, the Mary Tudor sweater popped up next, which caused me to think about all of the issues surrounding Alice Starmore, Fair Isle and Fair Use. Then I was dashing out of the shower to write it all down before I forgot it all.
Where is the sweater living, right this very moment?
It's in a magnetically locked briefcase that I keep handcuffed to my wrist. No, not really. It's someplace far less glamourous, which is on the top shelf of my closet in a plastic bag from "Discount Liquors." I'll be bringing it with me to signings and whatnot, though, and I've been toying with the idea of raffling it off for charity. Not quite sure I'm ready to part with it yet, however.
What is your daily (or weekly) writing process?
I'm probably not the best person to ask about process, since I don't know that I really have one. I do blog everyday, which I don't really consider part of process as much as an eclectic diary of pictures and stories that I would otherwise lose track of. In terms of actual work – I worked for newspapers (and still frequently freelance for my local rag) for long enough that I can sit and write on queue and with little preamble. My work may lack gravitas and poetry but it is, usually, concise and quick. It's a skill that I was happy to have after having my first baby, when writing time was thin and my need to write was great. Now, with two kids and my day jobs, I appreciate those years knocking out copy even more.
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