Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Interview with Debbie Macomber!
If you are a knitter and a writer, it doesn’t get much bigger than Debbie Macomber. The pioneer of “knit-lit,” Debbie’s life-long love of knitting has produced some of the most beloved fiber-y fiction on shelves today. I was thrilled right down to my dpn’s to have the opportunity to sit down with her as both of us attended the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Denver this September. I'm on the left, if my height hasn't already given me away.
What’s on her needles? Vests for her granddaughters, Qiviut (musk ox underhair? How exotic!), a feather and fan shawl pattern she says is giving her fits (get in line, Debbie), and she’s just finished a pair of booties for a forthcoming grandchild.
New York Times bestselling status aside, you have to respect a woman who’s completed an intarsia blanket on size #4 needles. As you’d expect, she has some great stories. Like the time she asked her husband to unravel a stalled project so she could re-use the yarn, only to discover he’d unraveled her current sweater WIP. Or the less-than-enthusiastic reaction she received from her grandson when she knit him a sweater--in true Debbie Macomber fashion, that particular tale has been transformed into a children’s book: The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater . . .That Grandma Knit. With--of course--a child’s sweater pattern inside.
Debbie’s living a fantasy of many knitters--when I asked her about unfinished projects, what I believe to be the challenge of most knitters I know--Debbie admitted she normally finishes most things, but pays people to finish projects for her if need be. Imagine being one of Debbie Macomber’s personal knitters! Now I want knitting minions. I’d better sell a whole lot more books.
And her office is above a yarn store--her own! Called--naturally--"A Good Yarn" after her groundbreaking novel. Next to an ice cream store. I hear a new DestiKNITions episode calling...
Debbie’s love of knitting is fierce as anyone’s. “A gift from God,” she describes it, and it’s no cliche. Struggling in school as a young girl, Debbie say God planted the idea in her head one day to learn to knit (no one in her family had taken up the craft). Her mother took her to a yarn store, and knitting became her salvation. The sense of accomplishment and creativity garnered from knitting became a lifeline for her at a challenging time. How many of us would join her in saying knitting has been our lifeline? If we lined ourselves up, I bet we’d circle the globe. Sort of like my stash.
While we were talking, another woman came up and joined the conversation. Three strangers instantly, warmly bonded by what we do with yarn and pointy sticks. Makes you wonder how much better the world would be if more folks knit.
No, I don’t wonder, I know.
Debbie said, “I hope there’s knitting in heaven.”
I hope heaven’s like knitting.