Today is, roughly, this blog’s third anniversary. I say “roughly” because the blog’s initial launch was slowly through June, but today is close enough. Also, I’ve never been good at remembering important dates.
So today I wanted to write about something a little different: stories. Stories have been critical to my life — I wouldn’t have multiple degrees in literature if they weren’t. But my love of story isn’t limited to prose (I adore narrative verse) or even literature. Since I love design and image, I also find myself consuming more visual stories, whether static (comics!), dynamic (TV and film!), or even live (THEATRE!). My love of story is probably one reason I have an unabashed fondness for country music (well, that, and that I’ll listen to anything with a violin/fiddle in it).
More than anything, I love the casual everyday stories that we tell our friends when grabbing coffee, our family when we come home, our officemates over the cubicle wall. Oral storytelling is not dead. However, it’s taken a delightfully literate turn thanks to the internet, where what was once a personal oral narrative or self-important memoir has been transformed into egocentric social media (she says on her blog). As a literary scholar, my particular favorite is the read-through blog, where one person discusses a book chapter by chapter. It’s like all the best bits of a book club in re-readable form: sometimes scathing, sometimes fannish, sometimes analytical, sometimes critical, often a mixture of all these and more.
So where am I going with this?
First, story and yarn go together. You weave a tale. You follow the thread of the plot. You spin a yarn — literally and metaphorically. This concept was so intrinsic to this blog’s conception that I put it front and center: the header has always been literary quotations related to fiber arts.
Second, in many ways I can define periods of my life through stories. My childhood was undoubtedly Lloyd Alexander’s Vesper Holly series and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, college and grad school were Lord of the Rings and Terry Pratchett. The last few years are rather tenuous, though in hindsight will probably be A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones. However, there’s one series in particular that looms large in my life. In many ways I grew up with it — picked it up just on the cusp of teenage years, finished the series when I was a young adult. I haven’t touched it since — and that’s about eight years.
If you’re around my age, you may have figured out where I’m going with this. After all, many of us went through it together.
Folks, I’m going to re-read Harry Potter.
Now, this isn’t just any read-through — this is still a fiber arts blog, after all. I’m going to knit my way through (or weave, or spin, as the case may be). I’m planning one project per book, thematically chosen (more on this later). Dear readers, you may choose to join in however you wish. I would love you to read along, knit along, or both, as the whim strikes you. Contribute in the comments. Indulge in The Feels. Create in your own manner as the discussion and the journey takes you. We can all curl up with this yarn in our own way.
Third anniversary: Let’s put the text into textile. Mr. Potter, we’re starting with you.