Monday, July 17, 2006

Nancy and the Loose Ends

Nancy, now you've done it. You've made me think and it's way too hot to do anything except pray for winter to come as soon as possible.

The similarities between writing and knitting? I never know how either one is going to end up. I just pick up a gorgeous ball of yarn or let a fascinating character into my head and the process begins. Sometimes it's a disaster (see picture at the top of this post) and sometimes it's not. But I never know until I cast off . . . or type "The End." (Which, come to think of it, I've never actually typed. Does anyone really type "The End"?)

Both can make me so happy I want to cry. Both can make me so angry I want to cry. Both make great use of circular logic. I miss both to a frightening degree when I'm not engaged with them. I love all of the paraphernalia surrounding both activities almost as much as I love the activities themselves. (The Writer Magazine. Interweave Knits. Wonderful hardback notebooks with creamy white paper and pale blue lines. Austermann's new Step yarn which is, quite frankly, to die for. Highlighters. Stitch markers. Fountain pens with 18K nibs. Addi Turbos in shiny brass.)

Both require more patience than I sometimes think I have. Both require discipline . . . sometimes more than I think I possess. Both rely on that mysterious merging of the right side and left side of the brain.

After twenty years I still don't really understand how a book gets written anymore than I understand why circular knitting works the way it does. But books do get written and socks get knitted and somewhere in there is the secret to life but I'll be damned if I know what it is.

Let me lie down and think about it.

Barbara Bretton


Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Barbara, what IS that in the photo? A sock? A deformed purse? I give up!

Yes, I actually type "The End". Then I delete it before I send the manuscript to my agent. However, I need the sense of closure that "The End" gives me.

I'm so with you on enjoying the paraphernalia that goes with knitting and writing. I love just wandering the aisles of yarn and book stores. (I'm also a hardware store fanatic.)

10:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Nancy, believe it or not, I have even scarier disasters to share.

Be patient! There's a small story about The Sock From Hell. It began as a teaching tool to try double points then . . .

11:09 PM  
Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

Gosh, isn't it the truth! With writing and with knitting, beginning a project is so much more fun than sewing in all those little threads and correcting typos....

8:00 AM  

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