Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chick Sticks - It's a Purl Thing

Click-swish. That is the sound of someone knitting. Two needles that meet and then slide a new stitch from one needle to the next. For those who knit, the process becomes very relaxing and almost hypnotic. Some say it is cheaper than therapy.

For me, knitting is relaxing but it is more than that. I like to make things. I like to make things that take a needle(s) and thread (or yarn). I like the satisfaction of making something useful and attractive. However, I would never overstate the zen I get from knitting. I can't elevate it over other useful crafts. It is what it is. In needlework geek-dom, knitting is something old ladies do while watching ball games. It is fun to see younger people becoming interested in the craft.

Chicks with Sticks by Elizabeth Lenhard is a young adult novel about girls who take up knitting. It helps one girl deal with the death of a beloved aunt, another with an identity crisis, a learning disability, a dysfunctional family, etc. The goddess-like knitting shop owner dotes over the girls. What is left is a story of overly stereotyped characters traveling through teen angst and life change. The knitting provides them the psychological crutch they need to deal with real life.

The story is a light read and typical of any novel that relies on a single craft to tie the characters together. I didn't hate the story but I wouldn't call it a must read. This is the first I have seen in the Young Adult category. There are a lot of adult novels that fall into the same category - they use knitting, cooking, quilting, and even scrapbooking as a common thread. Teens who knit would probably like this one.

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