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Monday, March 3, 2014

Now, Where Was I?

Before I began writing a novel, I was knee deep (or wrist deep) in what I thought of as The Fairy Tale Project. This was only the project's working title--a quick way to describe what I was up to--but I didn't know exactly where I was going. I thought I'd re-imagine some of my favorite tales, design pieces for them, and do illustrations. This is how far I got:

Beginning in the lower left-hand corner and moving counter-clockwise: The Woodsman's Hat, Little Red Cap Mittens, The Briar Rose Blanket, The Briar Rose Sleep swatch (pillow sham).

That's pretty far!

But creativity works in fascinating ways, and if you stand back and let it do what it wants, it often takes you in unexpected directions--for instance: you thought you were going to be working on a major new knit design project, but suddenly you're writing a novel instead.

But how did that happen? I was reading about folklore and fairy tales for the knits, and the way our stories migrate. Here is a Wiki link to both the Aarne-Thompson classification system and the Uther. So cool! If you're unfamiliar with tale type indexing, the link gives you a bit of explanation.

As I began to rework the tales for the knitting project, I realized that I wanted to write something else--something more sustained. Words replaced stitches, and every day, though I told myself I was going to work on my designs, I would instead return to my novel.

Little Red Cap Mittens Pattern Illustration
Yesterday I pulled out all of my Fairy Tale Project knitting notes, opened abandoned files, and located half-finished designs. It was only then that I truly realized how much my knitting project had affected the novel. I should have seen it! But I didn't plan to switch directions, you see. It crept up on me, and sometimes I think that's when the best magic happens.

Little Red Cap Mittens. Kept in pristine condition.
Briar Rose Blanket Bird
Hopefully one day, you'll get to read the book, and you'll see how the tales influenced the story. In the meantime, perhaps I can still pull off a couple of these designs. They are sort of pretty and worthy of completion. Don't you think?


4 comments:

meg said...

Absolutely. Please do, Beth. And I bet they will only continue to inspire your novel and subsequent novels...

willowgreen said...

Oh please! The mittens are gorgeous!

NiteOwl said...

I couldn't agree more. I fell in love with those mittens and have been anxiously waiting for their release!

Beth said...

Thanks all! I went ahead and put the pattern for sale on Ravelry. I'll put a link up in a second. The pattern might have a few tiny tiny tiny errors, but I think it's basically clean. Enjoy.