Tied up in knots about Valentine’s Day? On pins and needles about what to get that special someone for Feb. 14?
Trixie von Purl is here to help. She’s the British author of a hilariously sweet and weirdly erotic craft book called “Knit Your Own Kama Sutra.” With detailed instructions and photos, Von Purl leads “naughty knitters” step-by-step through what she calls “twelve playful projects.” Those include “The Glowing Triangle,” “The Suspended Scissors” and “The Lotus Blossom.” This is a yarn you can tell only your most intimate friends.
Von Purl — known in real life as Geraldine Warner — responded to our questions via e-mail:
Who taught you to knit? And who taught you to knit like this?
My Mum and Grandma taught me how to knit, but I think it’s fair to say that this wasn’t the sort of thing they had in mind! But I don’t see what’s unusual about this. Surely, it’s everyone’s dream to knit miniature naked figures engaging in joyful acts?!
Till now, knitting has not enjoyed the sexiest reputation.
No, that’s very true, although I think that’s changing slightly. It’s not exactly a slinky fabric and doesn’t conjure up the fantasy of, say, lace. It has more of a cosy, practical image. It’s hard to feel sexy when you’re wearing a cable knit fisherman’s sweater, particularly after a downpour (although that can depend on which fisherman is wearing it at the time, of course). I’m happy to say it’s perfectly acceptable, if not de rigeur, for a new, younger generation to embrace the craft in public, and they in turn are casting off the weight of the dull, anachronistic imagery. I’m just saying, “Why not try it for something else other than sweaters?” And who knows, it might tempt a few more men into the knitting circles too to see what all the fuss is about.
I’m never going to hear the words “weft” and “warp” the same way. Has this project changed your attitude about sex? How about purl stitches?
Well, if you want to get poetic about it, the terms warp and weft fit in rather nicely: two strands woven together to make something lovely! I really had fun creating the brief character stories for each scenario. I imagined most of the characters as everyday folk trying to escape the stress and mundanity of everyday life, and sex can certainly do that, lift you above the ordinary and make you forget your worries, however briefly. I particularly enjoyed writing the story for the Vegas couple: two strangers, both past their prime and going through a bit of a mid-life rethink, meet on a road trip to relive their youth and successfully carry off the most difficult position in the book. It’s never too late!
With the big movie coming up, tell me about “Fifty Shades of Grey Wool”?
Do you suppose Christian and Anastasia can knit? Imagine if they met at their local yarn store (because really, Christian seems to me the kind of guy who’d hang out at a place like that): Their hands touch as they lean in to examine a particularly fine skein of slate alpaca, and things get a bit steamy from there . . . . So many possibilities. I think grey is an under-rated shade anyway.
Knitting needles and intimacy are a dangerous combination, no?
Good point. I must admit I’ve had no unfortunate experiences so far, although stray knitting needles do often find their way down the back of the couch so maybe there’s an accident waiting to happen right there. My poor figures did have to go through a lot for the photoshoots. Lots of cocktail sticks were harmed in the process, and there were a few sympathetic “ouch” noises around the room when we were putting them into position.
A personal question, if I may: Do you prefer flat knitting or circular knitting?
I believe there is room in the world for every kinds of people, so I’m equally at home with both – you might say I’m a bi-knitter. Variety is, indeed, the spice of life.