It's funny how books inspire me.
Most of books I read are just really good reads.
But some inspire me - to learn more about a subject.
Recently I read two books by British author Gil McNeil. The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and the sequel, Needles and Pearls.
Neither are mind-blowing literature, and in The Beach Street Society, Ms. McNeil has the tendency to write one sentence paragraphs, which initially made me crinkle up my nose, and read them aloud to a friend, arriving breathlessly at the period at the end.
And then, realized I am kind of like her.
But it was her description of the knitting society that intrigued me. Both novels are centered in modern day Britain, where the female protagonist leaves London to return to her hometown village and take over her grandmother's yarn shop. In order to attract more new business to the old business, she creates a knitting club called The Stitch and Bitch, a group of mostly women, but with room for men, who get together at the shop and knit.
The old-timers teach the newcomers. Everyone dispenses advice, feelings are hurt and healed.
And a dying art - a craft - is passed on to just a few more people.
Because the novels are set in the here and now, the protagonist experiences the initial discomfort of slowing down from the breathless pace of London to the slower pace of her beachside childhood.
And since the author knits in her real life, she also gives a good description of using knitting as a way to slow down and open a door to creativity.
So I wondered as I closed the last book if anything like that existed in my real life.
As it turns out, it does. I first went looking for someone to give me knitting lessons, and found out that Little Rock isn't big on that.
So I thought I'd have to settle for teaching myself to knit by watching videos, and found a really delightful woman from across the pond who has the most soothing voice, and pauses often enough for you to be able to get it right.
But that seemed to miss the mark. As I told my friend to whom I read those long, breathless passages, I wanted to find a knitting society.
She remembered a yarn shop in Little Rock from years ago. I went to find it.
I'll mosey up there sometime next week, tell the owner, Cindy, how I want to start, and let her guide me for my first project.
And then sit down at the round table in the front of the store with the other knitters, and learn to knit.
The journey is good.
And it doesn't have to be completed at a gallop.