featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Aspiring author Debra Sennefelder has two constant writing companions, her Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy. She's been an avid reader since childhood and found writing came naturally for her. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, exercise (yes, really) and read. Learn more about Debra at her website. 

I am thrilled to be here today on Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers. Life is full of surprises. You’re never quite sure what will come your way when you least expect it. For several years I thought the only craft hobby I’d do would be counted cross stitch. I’ve been very content with stitching samplers on linen for years. I’ve accepted the fact that quilting wasn’t my thing, that scrapbooking was just too overwhelming for me (so many papers and stickers and glitter), that folk-art painting was messy, and that knitting would just end with a project discarded mid-way after tearing out rows over and over again.

Then life threw me a curve ball when I least expected it.

When that curveball came my way it was a beautiful spring day in Massachusetts. I had entered a yarn shop with my friend Megan. We were hitting some shops because we arrived a day early for a writer’s conference. Megan entered the shop looking to buy something; I entered solely as a window shopper—until I saw the most beautiful baby blanket. I was drawn to the blanket, white and pale blue, and then I touched it. So soft, so thick, so cuddly. Perfect for our new little nephew.

Megan shopped, but I stood mesmerized, wishing I could knit. Now, I’m not a complete stranger to knitting. I know my way around a circular needle and I’ve even stitched cables, but I’ve yet to complete a project that I was proud of.

Megan saw me staring at the blanket and came over. She agreed that it was a beautiful blanket and said that I could knit it. I laughed. She couldn’t be serious, could she? Before I knew it, she and the shop owner had the yarn and the project book in hand and were discussing my ability to make the blanket.

I was curious about how thick the blanket felt and Megan explained that it was knitted using double-strand yarn. Okay, that was foreign talk to me and there was no way I would be able to knit that blanket. Fast forward twenty minutes and I walked out of the shop with a bag of yarn and a circular knitting needle.

A couple weeks after the conference I settled down one evening, pulled out the yarn, needle and instructions and after several attempts, I finally was knitting the blanket.

Over these past couple of months I’ve pulled out my knitting bag and added a few rows each evening. And I’ve noticed that on the nights I didn’t knit, I was a little sad the next day. I missed knitting. Hmm…I wonder if I’ve unleashed my inner-knitter?

I think I have since I’m now obsessed with knitting blogs. I’m even following some of those knitters on Instagram, and I’m buying every knitting magazine I can find. I am also thinking about what I’ll tackle next once this blanket is completed. I’m confident I won’t have a problem finding a project since I have a list of patterns that I found on Ravelry that I want to knit.

Since the pattern is not mine I cannot share it with you. But, I can share with you the great satisfaction I am feeling as I knit to the last row of this blanket. This will be the first time I will be gifting anything that I’ve made that didn’t come from my kitchen (I’m a baker and I love sharing my baked goods,) and I’m super excited about giving it to our nephew.

When I began this project I was full of doubt; it was much like when I began writing the manuscript that landed me an agent a few months ago. I’m so glad that I tried knitting again. If there is a hobby you let go of at some point and every now and again you think about it, I encourage you to give it another try. You never know what you could create.


Angela Adams said...

From my grandmother I inherited a love for books and the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit her talent for knitting. I still have some of of the items she knitted for me when I was a child. Thanks for the post.

Debra Sennefelder said...

Hi Angela, How wonderful that you have those gifts from your grandmother. You must treasure them dearly. There isn't a knitting gene in my family, guess I'm the first generation knitter. :)And I'm very happy to share with my family and friends.