Published: 22 May 2017
Category: Romance/LGBT (F/F)
Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…
Fluffy Jewish f/f contemporary set in the author’s childhood home of South Florida.
Rating: 5 Stars
Knit One, Girl Two is artistically rich and features more than one brand of artistic endeavor. Clara is not only a knitter, but an indie dyer, looking all around her for inspiration for her next yarn line. Danielle also sees the beauty around herself in Southern Florida, translating these sights into paintings which inevitably inspire Clara.
Painters are hard workers and I’ve seen many styles portrayed in fiction, ranging from oil paintings to grafitti. Knitters don’t seem to get as much attention and seeing Clara featured, as well as her other crafty friends, brought new joy to my reading experience in 2017.
Aside from the artwork displayed by both Clara and Danielle, there’s a sweet romance that develops between them. Starting as a business relationship, it has the right balance between slow burn and instalove. Their interests aren’t stagnant, either, so we get to see other things they like, such as films. Both of them being Jewish also had an impact on the story and while the book didn’t have to teach me something about their Jewish faith, I found it neat to learn about a few aspects of it.
Things were a bit shorter than I would have liked, but within those pages the author told a complete, thoughtful story about Clara and Danielle. It was a pleasure to read this book, brief as it was. Seeing my craft (I do love knitting and new color lines are always inspiring) on the page in a recent, LGBT+ friendly novella was so good and I hope to read more by Shira Glassman, especially if Clara and Danielle make an appearance!
As a special treat, I have an interview with the author herself! Thank you to Shira for answering my questions and sharing some thoughts about seeing yourself on the page and her arty thoughts.
The Hermit Librarian: Do you ever find yourself inspired to write a story based on a pattern or a yarn line like Clara creates a colorway based on Danielle’s paintings?
Shira Glassman: I haven’t gotten story ideas from patterns or yarns before, but maybe I will now that you’ve put the idea into my head! Since my writing focuses on relationships between characters, most of my inspiration comes from just watching people interact.
THL: Can you think of the first time you saw yourself in a book, in any capacity?
SG: I’m not sure about the first time I saw myself as a queer woman, but the first time I saw a face like mine — and a nose like mine — presented as cute and pretty was in Dylan Meconis’s Family Man comic, with the character Liesl Levy. It was basically world-changing to realize you COULD DO THAT.
THL: When reading Knit One, Girl Two, it felt like it was written by someone who really understood what it was to be a crafter. What got you into knitting in the first place?
SG: I got into knitting when I was about nine because my grandmother thought it would help keep my fingers out of my mouth. (I have dermatillomania/dermatophagia, which I now manage by giving myself regular homemade manicures.) Knitting didn’t actually solve the problem but now I can make blankets and sweaters and all kinds of other fun stuff. It also provided most of my social life in grad school, where I met Caitlin, the indie dyer who inspired Clara.
THL: If you had to pick a type of pattern for your main characters, Clara and Danielle, such as shawls, fingerless mittens, etc., what type of project do you think best represents them?
SG: Clara, like me, likes stories — in her case, a made-up superhero fandom that’s getting its own book next year, and musical theater. I think she’d want to participate in that nerd event on Ravelry where everyone has teams — Buffy, Firefly, etc. — I’m blanking on the name?? Oh, gosh. The one where you make whatever projects you want as long as they’re themed for the “team” you’re on. So, lots of little things. Danielle, she’s a bold, artsy type who enjoys romantic style. She’d wear an outrageously fancy looking shawl. Or an asymmetrical scarf. (They live in South Florida, so fingerless mittens and knit socks are probably pushing it.)
THL: Follow up question: what colorway type would go with that? Speckeled, variegated, solid, tonal?
SG: Danielle would explore handpainted colorways and speckles and all the fun stuff — she’s an artist and she’d want to experiment. I’ll give Clara a tonal gradient since I really like them.
THL: If you could go on a writing vacation and set your book in that place, where would it be? Let’s throw time travel in there for fun, any TIME PERIOD. 😀
SG: I feel like Clara would want to go to any of the settings of the big musicals — Sweeney, Les Miz — and Danielle would have an edgy, feminist answer like “you think I’m gonna say 1940’s for the pinup clothes but haha no” 😛
THL: Last but not least, because I have to ask: will there be any more adventures for Clara and Danielle in the future? More sock club adventures, perhaps?
SG: I never know what my muse is going to throw at me! I have no further Clara/Danielle adventures PLANNED, but all that means is that I haven’t come up with them yet. I mean, when I finished A HARVEST OF RIPE FIGS I honestly thought Mangoverse was over, but I missed them too much and then out came OLIVE CONSPIRACY which is the best of the books because I had the most practice. So I can’t ever really “know” something’s over, especially when they had no time to get going, like Clara and Danielle. Maybe? I’m sorry I can’t say for sure! I can promise you this — there is more f/f coming. In general.
Thank you, Shira, for taking the time to answer my questions and for writing Knit One, Girl Two. Here’s looking forward to many more books in 2018. 🙂