Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Authors Who Knit: Deborah Cooke and Claire Delacroix

Like many in the publishing biz, this month's author writes under more than one name: Deborah Cooke also writes as Claire Delacroix.   When you see what she's working on, you'll wonder if she isn't actually two people--that's a lot of knitting going on!

Deborah--and Claire, what’s on your needles right now?
Wow. What’s NOT on my needles right now might be a better question! I have a bad case of start-itis, although I’m trying to get that under control. By the time this is posted, I should be finished my Irtfa’a shawl  - there are only a few repeats of the border left. I should also be finished my Hebrides cardigan in Kidsilk Haze Stripe. (Fingers crossed on that one.) I won’t be done the socks I just cast on for knitting on trains, planes and automobiles (and if I am, I will have cast on another pair. There must always be a pair of socks on my needles.) Next up will be finishing my Knit, Swirl cardigan, which had long skinny sleeves when it was completed the first time. Sadly (or maybe it’s not so sad) I don’t have such long arms, so I had to frog it back and reknit that part.  Sleeves seem to be an issue - I need to knit the sleeves on a circular jacket in KSH (design by Brooke Nico) that was in Vogue Knitting a few years back I have a bag destined to be felted which needs its handle knit - the pattern is the Sipalu bag from Knitpicks but I substituted Patons SWS and am knitting it at a larger gauge. Then I have three fair isle cardigans on the needles - Bute from Rowan 52, a variation of Anatolia from Rowan 54, and an improvised cardigan with reclaimed yarn using the chart from Eunny Jang’s Venezia Pullover

Phew. Looks like I should be knitting instead of blogging! LOL.

What feels like your favorite/greatest knitting accomplishment?
I like knitting lace, but I tend to knit lace patterns I can memorize, like Fiddlesticks patterns. Flirty Ruffles was the first lace shawl I ever knit, and I’ve also knit the Peacock Feathers shawl. Funny that mine are both red! Once I get my needles cleared, I have two more challenging lace projects lined up: Urdr and Fire Dance Circle. Both are round shawls using Unique Sheep Gradiance colourways, which are dyed sequentially so that the colour changes over the course of knitting the shawl and both have beads. I’m pretty excited about both projects and the timing is working out well: I tend to knit lace in the winter.

What feels like the worst knitting mistake/foible/wrong choice you’ve ever made?
I make a lot of knitting mistakes, but they don’t feel so terrible. The thing with yarn is that you can unravel it and start again - it’s seldom wasted. It’s pretty common for me to mismatch pattern and yarn, then because I’m picky, unravel the whole thing, especially if I really like the yarn. The first time I bought some Noro, I bought about 15 balls of Silk Garden. My husband couldn’t believe the price of it. But then, I knit it and frogged it about ten times over as many years before it finally remained a cardigan. He decided that the Noro was the best value yarn ever, because I had so many years of knitting from it. In that way, yarn is like words - you can keep revising and reworking until you get just the right sweater or story. 

Straight or circular needles?
Usually circular, but it depends on the project.

Metal or wood needles?
Usually metal, but it depends on the yarn.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?
Do I have to choose?

Coffee or tea?
Tea, please—with lemon.

Have you written a knitting character?

I’ve written several. In my Dragonfire series of paranormal romances, Eileen Grosvenor is an enthusiastic knitter. She’s the heroine of the third book, Kiss of Fate, and a continuing character in the series. Eileen knits furiously and there’s a sense that knitting is an outlet for her energy. She also has a role in my Dragon Diaries paranormal YA series, as she’s the mother of Zoë, the protagonist. 

In my contemporary romance series, The Coxwells, Jennifer Maitland, the heroine of book #4, All or Nothing, is a passionate knitter. Jen is also a cancer survivor and taking one stitch at a time has helped her to get through the challenge of treatment. She’s a bit obsessive about her sticks and string as a result, but playful too. I love the scene in which the hero finds her knitting an avocado. 

Hmm. None of my medieval heroines in my Claire Delacroix books have ever been knitters. Maybe I should fix that!

Give a shout out to your favorite local yarn store:
This LYS isn’t that local to me, but it’s truly wonderful. It’s my pilgrimage store - I make the trek in once or twice a year:

The Needle Emporium
420 Wilson Street East
Ancaster, ONTARIO L9G 2C3
Phone: (905) 648-1994

Toll Free: (800) 667-9167

If you’d like to be friends with our guest on Ravelry, her name is DCDKnits, and she tells me she has a couple of free patterns posted there, too.

As always, show our guest some DestiKNITions love by stopping by her blog

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