Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knit The Season!

Despite my fears that the holidays will be on our doorstep at the next wake up, and endless sniffling over the fact that it is November already and I have not started any handmade gifts, much less decided upon them------ I do LOVE a holiday book.

Better yet is the third in the Friday Night Knitting Club series, holiday themed, "Knit the Season" by Kate Jacobs. A novel nestled into a holiday vignette with knitting! How does it get better?

Having read all of Kate's previous books (including Comfort Food) I was intrigued by another book from the characters I've come to know from past volumes. As in the past, Kate generously provided a sneak peek of Chapter 1 (below), follow the link for the entire chapter.

Chapter 1

New York seemed to be a city made for celebrations, and Dakota Walker loved every moment of the holidays: from the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds breathlessly waiting for the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, to the winter-themed department store windows displaying postmodern Santas, to—her favorite—the kickoff to a month of fun with that ruckus of a parade on Thanksgiving morning. ****** To read more Chapter 1, please click HERE.

I finished the book last night, having received an advance copy to review. I loved it! If you are a fan of Friday Night Knitting Club, or are just looking for a holiday read, look no further. A great read from cover to cover! Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas and New Years all represent, and as icing on the cake there is a wedding reception to remember. Yes, I do still miss Georgia Walker but her influence remains in this latest book as well as some great character development from the knitters we've come to know and love.

Kate was generous enough to stop preparations for her new book tour to answer a few questions, thanks Kate!


KC: Have the characters from the Friday Night Knitting Club stuck with you after the books have been written?

KJ: Absolutely. But I have characters haunting me who are in books I haven’t yet written, so that’s par for the course. For me, every character is just a real person who happens to be imaginary. That’s it. So I really think of them as friends, as people I care deeply about, and I forgive them all their mistakes and flaws. (Except for Cats’ ex-husband in the first book.) It’s exciting to me to have both Knit Two in paperback and Knit the Season in hardcover because I can talk about what’s going on with the series overall. You see, there’s five years between the narrative of the original FNKC and the setting of Knit Two, and the years in between have allowed certain characters to try to grow up. Yes, I mean Georgia’s daughter Dakota, but also Cat (who renames herself Catherine) and Darwin and so on. I like to say the characters are older but not always wiser, and that’s so true. They’re still making mistakes because that’s realistic, I think. So Knit Two is the story that answers some of the lingering questions from the first book, the what happens next of it all, and also looks at this idea of dealing with legacy and moving forward after loss. It also introduces some new characters and brings in some new elements. Knit the Season is the icing on the cake and not just because Dakota is serious about her pastry! Its set just over a year after Knit Two and is the book that really unifies the series. It is the happy holiday story the characters and the readers deserve.

KC: Did Knit The Season have a life of its own? That is, had the characters tell you where they were going?

KJ: Yes, characters can be bossy! Thing is, its important to follow them where they lead without letting them take over so much that the essence of the story I’m trying to tell becomes lost. That’s the challenge. To remain true to the characters and also true to myself. Knit the Season is a peek into the lives of the knitting club that I just had to share.

KC: What is on your needles?

KJ: My hat for the Lands End/Warming Families FeelGood charity drive! The goal is to knit 25,000 hats for people in need by the end of the year. We need your help, your energy, and your stash! Anyone can take part. There’s a free pattern (designed by knit guru Vickie Howell) available on my website or at http://www.landsend.com/lp/feelgood/feelgoodbeanie.pdf . If you’re an absolute beginner and want to do a simple scarf, that’s fine as well. The concept is to reach out and share something warm.

Also: I'll be collecting hats at book signings in November, there’s a full list of details on the Events page at katejacobs.com but the tour includes Atlanta, Dallas, Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Fullerton, San Diego. Or simply give your knitted donation to your local Warming Families chapter. (For more, go to http://warmingfamilies.ning.com/)

KC: Any special gifts from your creative hands coming up for the holiday season?

KJ: I am 100 percent
focused on the hats for charity right now! Everything else just has to wait.
Holiday gifts will likely require Internet shopping and I often send Sarabeth's jams because they’re delicious.

KC: Has the response of the knitting community toward your books and your characters been a surprise to you?

KJ: Life is full of surprises. Always. I am so grateful for the reaction from the knitting community. Its one of the reasons why I always try to include stops at knitting shops when I'm on tour. To say thank you. Not only do I telephone book clubs to talk with readers at their homes and in libraries, but I also telephone little yarn shops if they want to do Friday Night Knitting Club nights.

When the novel first came out, I figured my mom would read it. And after that, I just didn't know. so I went around from yarn shop to yarn shop, reading from the novel and
introducing myself to knitters. Readers word-of-mouth carried the book along. And I hope they also have a soft spot for this quirky group of smart, strong women who are just figuring out life as it happens. The Friday Night Knitting Club series is all about friendship and supporting each other. And I'm so appreciative of the support I've received in my life.

Thanks Kate! I know for a fact I'll see you November 10th, a week from TODAY here in St. Louis! With luck I'll bring along MY knitting group and our projects. Hopefully STL will represent with some beanies for your charity project, it's a good one!


Barbara-Kay said...

Oh, thank you! I didn't know it was out. Doing a happy dance, even as my printer prints out the Amazon receipt for Knit the Season.

Mereknits said...

Thank you so much. I love the books and I didn't know another one was ready to be read! Great interview. I can't wait to get the book.

Virtuous said...

This is so wonderful to hear about this new book! BUT a holiday knit book! YAY!!!

Off to try and snag a copy for the holidays! Since I am not knitting much I could at least READ about knitting Haha ;)

Thanks for the great interview and chapter preview!