Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Authors Who Knit: Erica O'Rourke

Once again, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an author who shares our love of yarn and needles.  This month we're getting to know rising star of young adult fiction Erica O'Rourke as she releases her new book (with a title we can all relate to...) TANGLED.

Want a chance at a copy of TORN or a copy of TANGLED?  Comment with your preference:  dark chocolate, white chocolate, or milk chocolate?

What’s on your needles right now? 
A cotton-candy pink gnome hat for my youngest daughter. I bought the yarn as a souvenir when I was recently in New York, and she’s been badgering me ever since. “Mama! Wind my yarn! Mama! Make my hat! Mama! I need a hat for my little head!”

How can you argue with someone so enthusiastic about knitting?

What feels like your favorite/greatest knitting accomplishment?

It’s a tossup: I test-knit a sweater for a friend’s book, and it was technically quite challenging -- multicolored stripes on size 1 needles, and a lot of frogging back when we found errors in the pattern. But the sense of accomplishment when the pattern went out into the world was fantastic. My other great feat was making a blanket for a friend’s son -- his “Bankie.” This enormous turquoise blanket was dragged all around our neighborhood as his constant companion. These days, Bankie is frayed and dirty and much, much smaller, due to repair. But I love knowing I made something that brought someone so much joy.

What feels like the worst knitting mistake/foible/wrong choice you’ve ever made?

Not checking for gauge. I always think, “how far off can it be?”

VERY FAR. Always.

This has resulted in re-knitting entire dresses, unwearable baby booties, and blankets with a decidedly asymmetrical look. I’ve figured out by now that my gauge is loose, so I typically go down a needle size or two even before I’ve started, and that’s helped. Still, I can’t bring myself to swatch regularly. Apparently I have a bit of a stubborn streak.

Straight or circular needles?

Circulars. The only straight needles I have are ones people have given my kids.

Metal or wood needles?

Depends: if I’m working on circulars, I like Addi Turbos or the Knitpicks interchangables. If I’m using DPNs, though, I like bamboo. The stickiness keeps me from dropping stitches off the end.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate!

Coffee or tea?

Coffee until my kids are home from school, and then I switch to tea.

Have you written a knitting character? 

Yes, although I don’t know that you ever see her knitting on the page! In the Torn Trilogy, Mo’s mom is a knitter and quilter -- but she’s also a single mom who runs a restaurant, so we don’t often see her with leisure time. But in my mind, she’s the one who knit all the afghans in the house as well as Mo’s mittens and scarves. 

What’s the last thing anyone would suspect about TANGLED?

The vast quantities of pita chips I consumed while writing it.

Give a shout out to your favorite local yarn store:

Every time I visit my mother-in-law, we head to her LYS:

Klose Knit
311 W Springfield
Urbana IL

Brigitte is super-friendly and helpful, the shop is cozy but not cramped, and the collection of yarn and patterns is both varied and deep. I never come away empty-handed. 

Thanks, Erica!  

Show a fellow yarnie some love and visit her website, give her a twitter shout at @erica_orourke, or buy her book through your favorite retailer.  Readers who knit love writers who knit!


Colin Smith said...

I'm not much of a knitter, but my mom and daughter both love knitting. The best knitting I ever did was a Doctor Who scarf. :) This was an interesting interview, however.

As for my chocolate preference... ideally I would just take all three and run. But if I had to choose, I'd go with dark chocolate. :)

Gina said...

I'm just learning how to knit, and I think I've ripped apart more than I've knitted, but all part of the process I guess. I'm still trying to create the perfect fingerless mitt. I tend to finish one and then move on to another pattern, thus leaving all of them unwearable. =]

Never white chocolate, ugh. I like a happy medium between dark and milk.

I agree with Colin, I liked this interview!

Ryann said...

Oh, my, I need some serious gauge tutorials. I also prefer the bamboo needles and now have them in nearly every size. I would never have tried them except my hubby bought some when his mom was teaching us to knit. I stayed with it and learned, so I got the nice needles. :-) I am reading Tangled now, and I look forward to looking for knitted items in the background.

bobbins said...

Interesting interview!

If I had to choose one chocolate...hmmm...

White Chocolate! specifically Lindt Linzor white truffles. YUM