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An Idea With Every Stitch

Anna Katharine Green Weaves Her Plots While She is Knitting

From the New York Sun

Anna Katharine Green, weaver of mystery tales, never allows her manila paper pad to be far from her unless when she is working among her flower beds. When she works she interludes it with knitting—taking up first the woolen needles, then the pencil, knitting her shawl and knitting her brow appearing automatic to the observer.

She says that while a story is going on in her mind it is never lost track of, even though she be playing a close game of bridge; and it makes no difference what time of day or night an idea comes, down it goes.

“It is really interesting,” writes a friend, “to see her, as I do now, winding the yarn over a cardboard bobbin, stop suddenly, write a paragraph or possibly only a line, and quietly take up the knitting again, while all the time you know that some intensely dramatic situation is being developed or the one misleading word going down to make the reader guess again.

“I have seen this process go on for a number of years and have learned not to ask questions. The plot is never told to anyone in advance of the writing of the story. For this, the author says, would take away her interest in the work.

“When enough of the story is on paper to make you sit up and take notice it is read to one of the family, and it invariably happens to stop just where your head is throbbing to learn more and your way out is lost beyond finding until it suits the author to lead you further into the labyrinth and lose you again.”