“Sitting here with one’s knitting, one just sees the facts,” says Miss Marple in The Blood-Stained Pavement, a short story from Agatha Christie’s The Thirteen Problems.
Throughout her long sleuthing career, the needle-wielding grand dame of British mysteries knits about 47 garments until, toward the end of her mystery-solving days, poor eyesight sadly forces her to give up her lifelong passion.
Yet, her influence can still be seen today as numerous crafty detectives continue to find the soothing influence of knitting helpful while solving crimes from knitting-store proprietresses, like Sally Goldenbaum’s Izzy Chambers, Mary Kruger’s Ariadne Evans, Anne Canadeo’s Maggie Messina, and Barbara Bretton’s Chloe Hobbs (half-human/half sorceress) to knitting clubs as seen in the Maggie Sefton mysteries.
Knitting fiction has also broadened over the years, no longer fitting neatly into a mystery subcategory, almost becoming a genre of its own. Literary fiction, chick lit, and romance abound with plots centered around knitting from authors like Kate Jacobs, Terri Dulong, Debbie Macomber, Gil McNeil, Ann Hood, Rachael Herron, and even my own small contribution.
I first discovered knitting in fiction shortly before I learned how to knit through Anne Barlett’s Knitting. Its simple title hides a complex story about loss, acceptance, and an unlikely friendship between two women.
The novel came as a surprise to me, the author unknown, discovered, as are many of my favorite books, at a used bookstore. I devoured it, fascinated as one of the main characters, a textile artist, creates a knitted three-dimensional sculpture of a horse. I had never heard of such a thing, didn’t even realize it was possible, and from there I began to knit, although on a much smaller, simpler scale.
But it was also the beginning of my adventures in knitting fiction, which continues today, and which I’ve decided to share through a Facebook page. It’s all for fun—trivia, reviews, author news, and the like. Take a peek when you get a chance and if you enjoy what you see, a “like” would always be appreciated.
“I imagine you knitting headscarves and that sort of thing,” one of Miss Marple’s clients writes while requesting her services. “If that’s what you prefer to go on doing, that’s your decision. But if you prefer to serve the cause of justice, I hope you find it (the case) interesting.”
And, luckily for readers, she didn’t have to choose, happily pursuing both knitting and justice.