Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Knitting Contrisstmas Day Three: Kate Jacobs

I love to read............ there is never enough time to fully indulge myself but when I do you can be sure I enjoy anything by novelist Kate Jacobs who has just published the sequel to "The Friday Night Knitting Club", "Knit Two". I was privileged to run chapter one on the blog some time ago and hope that if you haven't picked up the book to finish it, you will soon. Thanks for joining us Kate!

KC:How do you spend the holidays Kate? Work, Play or both? What do you do that make it that special holiday time?

KJ: I’m not very good at unplugging myself from the computer, so chances are that I will be doing work in some way. A little writing, to be sure. But I always carve out time to be with family – because that is what it’s all about. I look forward to it every year. And I love to wrap presents – I don’t find that a chore at all. Now, my husband I live in California, but our families are elsewhere. So we are often traveling. This year, for example, we’ll all be gathering in Atlanta to be with my husband’s aunts and uncles and cousins and brother. I know, for a fact, that we’ll be eating pierogi; his family has strong Polish-American roots! Then we’ll fly to Canada, which is where I was born, to spend a week skiing and ringing in the New Year with all the Jacobs side: my parents, my sister, and my brothers and their families. That week will be all about the baking and the hot chocolate. If there’s one thing I like about holidays, it’s the delicious food!

KC: When reading “Knit Two” (which I loved)---- I often found myself wishing that all of my favorite Kate Jacobs characters could all be in the same book! Do you have favorite characters in “Knit Two”, and do you take that favored character along a special plot line? (Favorite characters always seem to get the very best!)

KJ: Thanks for your kind words! I love the idea of playing favorites with my characters. But what is a best plotline to you? The happiest…or the juiciest? I am very attached to all of my characters, and find myself liking one best for a little while and then become guilty and then favor someone else. Though my favorite character to write from the knitting books is always Anita, because she has this amazing capacity to be loving. As odd as it may sound, I find that writing Anita makes me try to be more compassionate. My character sets an example for me.

KC: Did you run into Italian knitters while researching in Italy? I should perhaps ask if you took your knitting along for the long hours of travel?

KJ: I did run into Italian knitters, and every time it was just a beautifully spontaneous thing. There’s a scene in Knit Two where Dakota sees a woman knitting in the courtyard of a church. That’s real. It was an amazing visual, as this woman knit intently, framed from behind by this gorgeous architecture, and I just immediately knew the scene that would flow from that moment. I had not written a word of Knit Two at that point and it just felt good, like a sign. As for the plane travel, I tend to nap. I am on so many planes during a book tour that my brain seems to think all travel equals sleeping. I can barely get buckled in before I’m out like a light.

KC: I'm jealous, sleeping on planes has always been futile to me! I do get a lot of knitting or handwork done although it has been quite awhile since I've flown. I've found that when you are knitting or wielding a needle of some sort it is much easier to wrestle for an armrest!

The majority of the blog readers here are knitters, quilters or other creative souls. Do you feel the need to feed your creative side with any regularity? If so, what do you do?

KJ: I write, of course! I like to knit and I like to play around in the kitchen, but my main craft is and has always been writing stories and living in an imaginary world with my characters. It is my great joy and passion, and it is also the hard work that makes up the bulk of my days. I’m lucky that way to be able to do work that I love. And so I’ve written three novels in three years. But that also takes a lot of energy and focus. When I knit I just want my brain to fuzz out!

KC: When you are in the process of writing, do you keep a notebook at hand for things that jump into your mind, a voice recorder, or some other method that helps keep things moving along? Or maybe you don’t use any special tricks to help you keep on task?

KJ: I do keep a yellow notepad around to jot things down. If it’s really important I’ll tack it up to my bulletin board. I have two bulletin boards above my desk, just over my Tim Gunn “Make it Work” bobblehead doll. The other thing I do is nap. It sounds funny but images and ideas come to me in those moments just before falling asleep, and I’ll wake up enough to write them down on that notepad. Plus sometimes I dream about the characters and that can provide sparks for the story. I realize that’s the second time I’ve mentioned sleeping in this interview. Maybe I’m tired! But, seriously, getting enough rest is a crucial part of being creative. Every woman deserves a good night’s sleep. At night, I like to crawl into the covers and either read recipes or savor a chapter in a great book. To just relax and let go of life’s stresses.

KC: Thank you Kate--- happy writing and happy holidays! Did we tell readers that they can find you HERE or at the Friday Night Knit Club website?

On the knitting front here around Casa Contessa I have near to nothing to report. I'll confess to feeling really sniffly about it too! When you've been working on finishing up a plain old knitted dishcloth you know that to be true. I'll be hand-sewing the lining into the finally finished Brea Bag so it will be ready for gift giving today and taking very long overdue photos. And I've decided to choose a new sweater pattern and yarn ready for a new tradition. (It may be a tradition started by me, but still anticipated!) I'm going to cast on for the new project on Christmas Day, if I can get it together perhaps the irritating swatching bit will be completed as well. But, what to knit??? I know I want a cardigan, I think I want some cabled bits and that it needs to be long enough to cover---- stuff. The problem is that I keep changing my mind although I do have two Norah Gaughan's and a Sweater Babe on the short list.

So please----- if you have something in mind that might pique my interest, let me know. At this point all things are open for consideration.

If you are not a visitor of The Happy Zombie's darling quilting blog then perhaps you have not seen THIS. The cutest little project, "Pennie Pockets". Adorable, too cute and rather inspiring little bits of fabric that I have the sudden desire to make, time willing of course. Monica always has completely fabulous things (we won't discuss her Jingle Jolly table runner that has been a project at the top of my make me list FOREVER). If you sew or quilt make sure to see the project............... and even if you don't I think you will enjoy the eye candy and wish you did!

I can't wait for tomorrows Knitting Contrisstmas interview! See you then!


Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

Mmmm...another book to buy!!

Jenny Girl said...

More books to buy and read.

As far as a cardi goes, how about mr. greenjeans from knitty? It's knit in the round, has some cables, and you caould modify how you want. Longer, less cabley ribbing, use bigger needles.