Thursday, December 07, 2006

Literary Knit -erary

Forget celebrities who knit. This one is for the bibliophiles. It's not a meme. It's not a contest. It's...(drumroll).... just a list. But it's a challenge, too.

There are three categories: 1) Characters who knit (not on TV, not in the movies, in books), 2) Authors who knit (people who are only known for writing knitting books do not count) and 3) Other: literature about knitted objects? bad knitting inspired puns on book titles? original limericks? (keep it clean, we already know what knitting rhymes with) Haiku and sonnets also accepted. Extra points if it also involves cats (OK dogs, too)

Here's how it works:

I start out with a small list (below)

You add your contributions via comments. Or if you are really shy, email me. The link is at the top of the sidebar. I'll periodically transcribe them to the list, without saying who sent them. (But you really get better bragging rights if you post in comments.)

If you want to see how the list is shaping up, but can't find this post because I have been blathering on in the meantime, click on the "jump to Literary Knit -erary" link, right under the email link.

That's it. Here's the beginning of the list. Don't make me fall flat on my face. Start adding. Don't make me beg.

CHARACTERS WHO KNIT: Madame Defarge (personal role model-except for her bad end), Jo March (also role model), Miss Marple, the shopkeeper/sheep in Through the Looking Glass.

AUTHORS WHO KNIT: Virgina Woolfe, Barbara Walker (yes she does too count because she has also written books that have absolutely nothing to do with knitting)

OTHER: Well darn, Anacleta already has a great collection of knitting related poetry and misc. But you might have something that isn't there, and there's still room for the bad puns, limericks and whatnot.


CatBookMom said...

I love Miss Marple! OK, others - wouldn't Mrs March knit? Or maybe it wasn't said in the story; I don't remember. And then there's Cat Bordhi; besides her knitting books she's written a fantasy novel. Last year National Geographic had a page about the global nature of knitting, or at least yarn. Plus there were a couple of news stories this spring about the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics.

kmkat said...

Oh, boy -- limericks.

There once was a boy from Berlin
Whose knitting was all outside in.
His floats were so long
They resembled a thong.
Problem was, they were wool, not cott-tin.

More later...

Anonymous said...

Ram-eo and J-ewe-liet

Cindy G said...

Points to CBM and KMKat. I myself am trying to think up a limerick starting "A Chicagoland Sheep named Dolores..." But that's as far as I've been able to get.

Just dug this up, though
Joseph Addison (in The Spectator) makes reference to a young man knitting garters for his mother

Cindy G said...

Shasta2204 from the forum had this to add:
Kelly Flynn in the Maggie Sefton books (along with her pals at the House of Lambspun. The books are Knit One, Kill Two, Needled to Death, and A Deadly Yarn.

The characters in the Debbie McComber books--"The Little Shop on Blossom Street" and :A Good Yarn".

And don't forget, all of us characters who write here

Cindy G said...

Julie sent this:
I've got two for you - Hermionie (sp?) in the Harry Potter books. She knits clothes for the house elves at Hogwarts. Also, Ron Weasley's mum knits a really hideous sweater for Harry for Christmas in the first book.

MonicaPDX said...

Lurker here. ;) Character Betsy Devonshire of the Needlecraft mystery series by Monica Ferris (Mary Monica Pulver) owns a craft shop, sleuths, and as well as doing needlework, knits. (It comes out more in the later books. I think she learns as the books go along; in the first few she's more into various types of embroidery.) As the books feature plenty of her customers, several of the other characters knit, too.

I don't know about Ferris; she definitely does needlework, but I'm not sure if she actually knits. Couldn't find any mention of that in her bio. However, a funny - a few years back on the rec.craft.textiles.yarn newsgroup, Ferris had posted a research question for a future book. She wanted to know if it was feasible to use knitting needles to murder someone, and if so, what would the best method be and what kind would they use? [vbg] Most people emailed her back, I think, but I did see quite a few answers on the newsgroup!

MonicaPDX said...

Wups, forgot - Betsy also inherited an overweight cat, Sophie, with the craft shop. ;)

Cindy G said...

Thanks Monica! You reminded me that knitting needles did figure into the murder in Harry Kemelman's "Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red".

I had to do an Amazon search to remind me which one of the series this was in - thanks for the tip from MerigoldinWA on the forum

lunadog said...

Here's one for the sci-fi bunch. In Kate Elliot's Jaran series, Cara Hierakis, doctor and companion to Duke Charles Soerensen, is a knitter. She is travelling with a tribal society that knows weaving, but knitting is totally new to them. Check out "An Earthly Crown", Book one of "The Sword of Heaven". Yeah, it's obscure, but I love these books!

Cindy G said...

Thanks Lunadog! Obscure is good! I'll have to do a search for the books next time I'm at work at the library.

I have been trying to catch Harriet Vane (Dorothy Sayers' character) in the act of knitting. So far, no luck. But in "Gaudy Night" one of the Oxford dons, Miss Edwards, is knitting herself a silk jumper during a rather tense discussion among the faculty

Cindy G said...

"...'And she,' said Mrs. Smith, 'besides nursing me most admirably, has really proved an invaluable acquaintanc.-As soon as I could use my hands,she taught me to knit, which has been a great amusement; and she put me in the way of making these little thread-cases, pin-cushions and card-racks, which you always find me so busy about..."
Jane Austen "Persuasion"

kmkat said...

A couple more.

I had iTunes playing while I was perusing JenLa's knitblogger award winners and heard this: "You got to pick up every stitch / Must be the season of the witch." I don't know if Donovan knew he was talking about knitting, but he was definitely Talking Knitting.

And I just finished a braincandy kind of chiclit book, Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik. The three main characters, late-20-something best friends, knit together every weekend. But they are knitters, not Knitters; they fly to Hawaii and 2 of them can't bring their knitting on the plane b/c they have metal needles. Sheesh. What self-respecting knitter doesn't plan ahead for this?

kmkat said...

Got another one for you. I just read this over in the Welsh knitting topic in the Knitters Inc. group at
Interesting bit of trivia: We've been watching old Monty Python episodes this Christmas break, and Terry Jones (Welsh) in one of his old-lady personae IS ACTUALLY KNITTING (English, not continental style), not just faking. It's in the "Aliens turning people into Scotsmen" sketch.

My husband is an MP maniac. I'll have to see if he has this one on video so I can watch it.

Cindy G said...

Love, love, love the Monty Python

kmkat, library babe that she is, also sent me this link:

Good list of knitting novels

Elizabeth said...

I've got some kids books for you.
Mr. Nick's Knitting, about a man who knits on the bus and has a fellow commuter/knitter he befriends.

Angelita's Magic Yarn, a story about Angelita and the other poor mountain people of Oru who knit all week long for a substitence living. Eventually there's disaster and redemtion.

Then there's Derek the Knitting Dinosaur who survives the ice age because he knits. (Wonder how we'll fare in global warming?)

Also, I once saw a Perry Mason book in which knitting figured into the resolution of the case, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what it was.

Sara said...

I love this topic! Miss Marple (Joan Hickson) is who got me interested in knitting! Mrs. Fairfax, housekeeper of Thornfield in Jane Eyre, is a knitter. And knitting figures into Agatha Christie novels and stories even more than just Miss Marple -- in Mrs. McGinty's Dead (a Poirot story), the murdered woman was fond of knitting in her lifetime, and numerous village ladies mention or purchase "knitting pins" or "knitting wool." I will do some research and try to find whether AG herself was a knitter, but it seems likely! Especially since Miss Marple sometimes counts her stitches aloud ("2 purl...yes, that's right.") Thanks for starting this fun topic!