“I never understand anything until I have written about it.”

- Horace Walpole

The Writer’s Garret is alive with the clackety-clack of knitting needles as I make my way through this lovely hat pattern, a present for a friend who could use a purple hat in February.

It’s most unlike me to follow a pattern. This is a radical departure from my last project, for which I had an idea, and, giving no thought to yarn gauge or needle size, I grabbed some leftover yarn and circular needles, and made a winter beanie. The knitting goddess was smiling that day; the hat worked, and I went on to make twelve more for Christmas presents before burning out on hats and then turning around and writing two short stories back to back.

It’s not unlike the way I write fiction. Often my short stories begin with “The,” and I’ll go from there. But occasionally I’ll overhear an interesting story, a tiny plot whose bones I’ll appropriate and then wrap my own fiction around them.

It’s been a discovery, knitting from a pattern. I’ve been paying attention and counting like mad (not unlike playing a Brahms symphony in my other life). Every time I reach the end of the row, the math works and a little fanfare goes off. The knitting lingo is starting to make sense, too, as abbreviated instructions come into focus: *K14, k2tog, yo*, for example. I now get this!

All of which is to say there are different approaches to creating things, and it’s fun to try them. I hope my friend will be as pleased with her purple hat as the Business Guy is with his beanie, which he dons every day before trotting off to work.

(For the longest time I thought “yo” was a cool knitter’s greeting.)

Categories: General.