I’ve been away from my Knit. Peace. Sanity. blog for a while. Not because I haven’t been writing, and not because I haven’t been knitting. But I’ve been asking myself what I want to blog about.
Yes, the act of, the rhythm of, the results of knitting contribute to my peace and sanity. And I want my friends and readers to see the lovely (and sometimes not-so-lovely) fruits of my efforts.
I Confess: I’m NOT a Knitting Blogger
When I started this blog, I was also writing a fictionalized version of my life story. I’d created my “plot skeleton” and my “character arcs” and even outlined many “scenes and sequels.” Then, at a writers conference, I was asked a question I could not answer: “How does it end?”
That’s when I concluded I’m not a fiction writer. I didn’t want to try to create a novel and concoct other characters to tell my story. I needed to write my memoir.
“Is your story so fascinating that people want to read it?” you ask.
I hope so. I’ve been encouraged by friends who’ve heard my rambling story—about my upbringing as a “nice Jewish girl” who went to college 500 miles from home, became a pot-smoking gymnast, got arrested for participating in a protest, graduated magna cum laude, but felt aimless and guilt-ridden until asking G-d if Jesus really is the Jews’ promised Messiah, would He please show me.
Or maybe it’s because of all the other things He has shown me and taught me and continues to teach me since that turning point in my life 47 years ago.
Whatever the reason, I am compelled to get serious about writing my story and the stories surrounding it. I hope I don’t get so serious that I can’t make readers laugh (or at least smile) along the way.
Just so you don’t think I lied when I said I’ve been knitting, here are a few pics from my latest version of Andrea Mowry’s “Nightshift” shawl pattern. This is my third version of this pattern, and I love how easy it is to knit (since I have the simple stitch progression memorized) as I listen to podcasts or watch TV.
I’m using Universal Yarn’s Classic Shades Sequins Lite, an acrylic-wool blend I found at Tuesday Morning, my go-to shop for quality yarns at prices I can afford. I don’t want local yarn shops to suffer any more than they already are, but I’m grateful I can usually find more than a couple of skeins of matching lots at TM.
I bought these fluffy, sparkly skeins with myself and my gray hair in mind, but then my granddaughter Lucy asked me to knit her a cape. She adored the Olivia’s Cape pattern I found, but then I realized it would cost me a hundred dollars to buy the yarn and probably take me nearly that many hours to knit. For a cape … for an eleven-year-old girl … who might wear it once or twice and decide it didn’t make her feel like Red Riding Hood after all.
So now I’m knitting the Nightshift shawl for Lucy, and if she doesn’t want to wear it, she can give it back to me, because I know that I will.
And finally, an excerpt.
Here’s a taste from a possible chapter of my book:
My Mother Was Born in Vienna: The Reason for Everything
I pressed my cheek against the second-class coach window, twisting my neck in a futile effort to glimpse the sky. The Alps loomed, nearly vertical and precariously close to the railroad tracks. I leaned back into my seat, but the shoulder cushion (obviously designed with someone taller in mind) forced my head forward. I tried to adjust my position, but only the balls of my feet touched the floor. In the seat next to mine, Lynnie’s head drooped toward one shoulder, long eyelashes (such long eyelashes!) effortlessly closed, her chest gently rising and falling.
Maybe if I used my leather camera bag as a footrest—But I needed to get out my copy of Europe on $5 a Day. I’d stashed it with my passport next to my twin-lens Rolleiflex. Such an impractical camera choice for our travels. I never did master the art of moving in the opposite direction of the mirrored image in the viewfinder.
I bent forward to unzip the case, knocking Lynnie’s knee with my elbow.
“Sorry.” She barely stirred, and I continued feeling inside the dark suede interior. No book. No passport (with my Eurail pass inside!) Face flushing, heart pounding, I hefted the case onto my lap. I could hear my mother’s voice: “Only three days in Europe, and already you’ve lost your passport? That’s par for the course.”
Let me know if you want to read on.