View Full Version : Nanowrimo knitting excerpt

11-17-2010, 03:52 AM
Thought a few of you might enjoy this.

OK so first off, if you're wondering what nanowrimo is: www.nanowrimo.org (http://www.nanowrimo.org).

My main character, Aura, works at an independent fiber arts store (they have fabric and yarn) called "Warm Fuzzies." She also designs and makes clothes which she sells in the store.

Her romantic interest, Cain, is fascinated by the idea of knitting, but when she offers to teach him, he scoffs that men do not knit.

"How would Aura get someone past hesitation about learning to knit?"
This is how:

“I learned from my grandfather,” Aura said. “Grandma knitted, too, and crocheted, but Grandpa was a better teacher. Most of my family knows how to knit because he taught them.”

She pulled a mismatched pair of long, wooden needles out of a canister that sat on a long, sturdy wooden table in the center of the store. “He used to say that knitting is like telling a good love story,” she said as she tied a slip knot and slid it up the needle. “It starts with the introduction, a cast on.” Her fingers moved rhythmically as she flipped loops of yarn around the needle, each loop laying perfectly beside the previous one. “Then you have to meet your main characters. The first is the knit stitch,” she stuck the second needle through the last loop of the cast on, wrapped the yarn around the needle, and pulled it through, “and the second is the purl stitch.” Cain could tell that the motion was subtley different between the two stitches, but he could not tell exactly what it was that was different. “Now, you can knit with just one stitch,” she said, “because they’re just two sides of the same thing. The back of a purl stitch is a knit stitch, and the back of a knit stich is a purl stitch. You have to let them find some kind of balance, or the finished item will curl at the edges. You might want that,” she admitted, “but it’s good to know both stitches in the beginning.”

As she spoke, she continued working. She had ten stitches on the needle, so it was not long before she had to switch the needles in her hands and work her way back across the row. Cain watched, fascinated, as the fabric slowly began to develop. She was giving it stripes, perpendicular to the needle.

“Now, after a while, we might want to know more about just one character,” she said. When she was finished with the next row of stitches, the stripes were gone. “But of course, we usually end up learning more about how that character interacts with the other characters, even when we focus on just one character.” The next few rows turned out bumpy stripes that ran parallel to the needles.

“A good story, even a good love story, has conflict,” Aura said. “Sometimes, the stitches cross each other, like cables.” She did something complicated that involved taking stitches off the needle without putting them on another needle, which seemed dangerous to Cain, but when the next section was done, a delicate design of twisted lines decorated the block.

“People work together, sometimes,” she slid the needle under two stitches instead of just one and combined them in a single stitch, “and sometimes people get left out.” She wrapped the yarn around the needle without putting it into a stitch. The next section had rows of little holes in it.

“Things can be bumpy,” she said, “or smooth.” She did side-by-side half-sections of smooth and bumpy stitches.

“In the end, though, everything always seems to work out somehow, and that’s what happens when we cast off.” She put an extra motion, taking the loops she had already knit over the newest loop and off of the needle, and when she was finished with the row, she cut the yarn, pulled the last loop through, and handed Cain a knitted bookmark.

“My grandpa used to knit like that every time he told us a story,” she said. “I’m not as good at it as he is… I have a scarf that’s about twelve feet long and three inches wide that he knit a story into.”

“Magic,” Cain said, amazed.

Now, keep in mind it's a first draft and not meant to have had any editing at this point, but I wanted to share because I really enjoyed writing it.