Friday, 4 May 2018

Author's Creative Pursuits - Adèle Geras

Authors are a very creative bunch - and for many of them, this isn’t only with words on the page. From drawing to painting, pottery to needlework, composing to singing, here’s a look at some authors’ creative pursuits.

I am delighted to welcome 




Have you always been creative – and not just with words? 
No I'm afraid I've always been useless at art and other pursuits. Can do nothing else with my hands except basic crochet. Don't sew at all....I even have to give my jeans to an alterations shop to be turned up!

When did you first learn to knit and did you start knitting for any particular reason?

I first learned at boarding school, aged 12, and HATED it and was very bad at it, constantly dropping stitches and losing my place in the pattern. I didn't knit again till 1982. That was when I gave up smoking. My mother-in-law, a brilliant knitter, was with us at the time and she taught me to knit all over again, as a way of keeping my hands busy while I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms. It worked wonderfully well

How often do you knit and how easy is it to find the time?
I knit every single day that I'm at home. I find the time by doing it in front of the telly. I am addicted to box sets and tv in general and always spend the evenings watching something or other. I would feel very silly indeed just goggling at the screen all on my won with nothing to occupy me. It's as if my knitting ALLOWS me to be a couch potato in the evenings. If I go out in the evening, then of course I miss a day. I don't often knit during the day unless I'm in a non-writing phase. I have special knitting for trains: easy and using small, circular needles. Actually I always use circular needles and can't remember the last time I used straight ones.

Do you do any other arts and crafts?
None whatsoever....unless you count baking! 

Do you think knitting (or the time you spend knitting) helps with your writing and overall wellbeing?  
I'm quite convinced that knitting is tremendously good for mental health. It's very relaxing and therapeutic in all kinds of ways. I love wool and make an effort to use only natural materials. Never synthetic... the handling of the wool and the gazing at wonderful colours is great for allowing you to think. And writing does require a great deal of thought. Overall well-being? Definitely. I would recommend it to anyone. The repetition of a pattern is like a kind of mantra....knit two, purl two, say. Lovely!

What have you knitted recently?
I used to knit garments for myself: Aran, Fairisle, and so forth. Nowadays I do only scarves, shawls, cushion-covers and blankets etc.

Here's a "WORMY" pink cushion which I made at a cushion-making workshop. 

Here's also a beigeish baby blanket I have just finished.

Here's a pink scarf, and also a scarf in three different colours, lime, orange and silver.

Here's a HUGE blanket of squares which was what's called A KNITALONG.

I bought all the wool up front, for the whole blanket, and was then sent a different pattern every fortnight. I loved making that and knowing that there were lots of other people all over the world knitting it at the same time.

Any knitter who's reading this and who isn't already a member of the internet website is missing out on a lot of fun.



Adèle Geras was born in Jerusalem in 1944, the 7th generation of her mother's family to be born in the city. She was educated at Roedean School and St. Hilda's College,  Oxford, where she read Modern Languages (French and Spanish)She has published more than 100 books for children and young adults and six novels for adults, the latest of which is LOVE OR NEAREST OFFER (Quercus pbk). She lived for 43 years in Manchester but moved to Cambridge in 2010. She has two daughters and four grandchildren.

Find Adèle Geras on her website and on Twitter - @adelegeras

I'm hoping to feature more Authors' Creative Pursuits
on Off-the-Shelf Books in the future. 

So if you're a published author and have a talent for arts and crafts, music, photography, baking or other creative activities, and would like to feature on my blog, please do get in touch!

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