streettalk (2008-11)

Antje Gillingham, author of Knitting Circles Around Socks, in its third printing since August, and proprietor of the Knitting Nest in Maryville

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Street Talk

So ...why a book about socks?

Theyâ’re really popular because theyâ’re quick and you can sort of whip them out and start knitting anywhere. But it ordinarily takes four or five double-pointed knitting needles to knit just one sock. My book tells how to knit socks on two circular needles, both at once. Itâ’s for lazy knitters!

New York Times best-selling romance author Debbie Macomber writes about a knitting shop. Any similarities?

Iâ’ve seen those books, too, like The Friday Night Knitting Club, with women who meet and knit and conquer the worldâ’s problems. I donâ’t think itâ’s that heavy here. We laugh a lot...and we just want to be girls.

What about the guys who knit?

We do have a few and Iâ’m always fascinated by them. Imagine, just one guy, this ordinary adult fellow, in my class with 20 women. He made these gorgeous socks and soon he was the one helping other people. And I had a guy in his teens who came in and knitted beanies for all of his friends, nice ones, from pricey yarn.

He doesnâ’t knit, but I understand you had a celeb author exchange with Body Farm author Dr. Bill Bass?

His wife came in a year ago; sheâ’s adorable. I recognized her name and said how Iâ’d love to have his autograph and she said, â“Iâ’ll get you one.â” When my book came out, he came to the store to get two copies autographed. I figured out it was him, and I got flustered and started to babble and turned bright red. And because Iâ’m just babbling, Iâ’m like, â“Your wife told me sheâ’d bring me an autograph a year ago and I still donâ’t have it.â” Argh! But he was back two days later with it and told me, very laid back, â“You know, this is not exactly a knitting book.â”

Have you ever made a big knitting mistake?

I once knitted a wool cat bed. It was huge, like you could roll yourself up in it and lay down. But then I had to felt it, which brings it down to size. I was all proud, because that bed took me forever, but it turned out my cat was too fat to fit in it.

If you had $1 for every time youâ’ve said something was cozy or told someone their work was cute, where could you live?

Absolutely anywhere I wanted. â" Rose Kennedy

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