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Knitting in literature: Barbara Kingsolver

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I mentioned in my previous blog post that American author Barbara Kingsolver was involved in the creation of the movie "Yarn" that is currently screening in various locations across the US. 

Knitting yarns: Writers on KnittingShe also wrote a literary ode to knitting titled "Where it Begins" which was published by Orion Magazine in late 2013 and later appeared in the anthology "Knitting Yarns. Writers on Knitting," edited by Ann Hood.

"Where it Begins", more poetry than prose, describes the beginning of knitting on a winter's day, when children's feet look cold and clammy and picking up needles and yarn is a way to keep everybody around warm. Or the long evening that is made satisfying through knitting: 

"You pick up sticks because time is just asking for it, already lost before it arrives, scattering trails of leavings. The frightful movie your family has chosen for Friday night, just for instance. They insist it will be watched, and so with just the one lamp turned on at the end of the sofa you can be there too, keeping your hands busy and your eyeshades half drawn. Yes, people will be murdered, cars will be wrecked, and you will come through in one piece, plus a pair of mittens. It’s all the same wherever you go — the river is rife with doldrums and eddies, the waiting room, the plane, the train, the learned lecture, the meeting."

She describes knitters getting together for a knit and chat, patterns forming, fibres, colours and textures created from fleece. And of course, the origin of the yarn itself, the sheep, the shearing, the spinning. 

In short, it's a beautiful piece of literature. You can read it online at Orion Magazine.

"Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting" is available from Book Depository.


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