Handknit Heroes: A Very Short Review

And now, as those British guys say, for something completely different.  It is difficult to find truly original comic books, but I think this has never been done before:  Handknit Heroes.  Teen superheroes in fabulous handknits!  Ana and Alex are the twin offspring of Jen, the single-mom owner of a yarn store.  They join up with their friend Sue to, yes, fight yarn crime! 

Naturally each rather spendy issue includes a pattern for something knitted — a feature that  slows down the publication to a quarterly schedule.  But this is a feature, not a bug — on the home page are guidelines for submitting your own pattern!  The conceit is so attractive (at least for a certain subset of the comic book audience) that nobody will notice that as comics these things are not going to be of the caliber of Marvel or Image.  I foresee that it’s going to be difficult to find enough yarn-related plot to keep the pot boiling.  And there is an inherent difficulty in depicting knitted items in comic book form, because the art cannot go into the proper detail for us to appreciate the stitchwork — photography is the only acceptable method.  These fundamental problems will, I fear, make Handknit Heroes a short-lived project.   So we must enjoy this while it’s available!

Look at a sample promotional adventurelet here (good heavens, they got Lion Brand Yarn to run it — I bet that’s a first!) and get a pdf of a pattern to knit or crochet your own superhero mask here.  The comics themselves are available at select yarn stores around the nation — not in comic book stores.

A short story has just been added to my Bookshelf:


Or read an entire novel!


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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Handknit Heroes: A Very Short Review — 3 Comments

  1. As I recall, in the original Superman comic (before the 1990s Byrne reboot), Martha Kent knitted the famous red and blue outfit out yarn from indestructible blankets from Krypton so Clark could have a super suit that wouldn’t tear.

  2. Yes, but this is obvioulsly nonsense — written by men who would not know knitting from a ball-peen hammer. You cannot hand-knit that finely and that densely. Try it — as you drop the yarn and needle size, to get a fine knit, the fabric gets thinner and thinner. A swatch knitted on size 0 needles out of sewing thread is very nearly sheer — like pantyhose. Yet, when you look at Superman in his suit, you do not see his underwear (if any) or his elbows and knees grinning through the mesh with every flex of the joint.

    The out? Attribute special qualities to Kryptonian fiber, I suppose. This does not get you away from the fact that knitting a union suit for a tall man out of sewing cotton would take years and years.

    A commercially knit fabric (think of double-knits, or tee shirt material), is made on a machine that will stretch the yarn and fabric as it is produced. Then it snaps back and is denser; the garment is cut from this denser, relaxed fabric. If you are wearing a tee shirt now, you can look down at yourself and see it at work. You cannot see your belly through the tee, right? Put your fist under the shirt, and push outwards. Stretch it enough and it will get sheer — you can begin to see your fist through the holes in the knit.

    A more tenable idea is that Ma Kent seamed the suit, with Clark cutting and fusing the blanket fabric with heat vision. Since the seams are fused, they don’t show; since we don’t delve into the arcanities of fabric weaving on Krypton the suit can do whatever we want.