Thursday, December 12, 2013

For the love of… yarn.

A lot of times (well, sometimes) people ask me how long I've been making jewelry, and if this was what I always wanted to do,  and if I'm fulfilling my destiny, and if this feeds my soul, and and and . . . you get the idea.  And I think they're kind of getting to the point of, did I always know I wanted to do this, and did I engage in some educational activity that might have actually prepared me for it. And the answer to both of those is a resounding no.  I'm not exactly what you'd call a linear planner.  I'm more of a "sure, that seems like a good idea, I'm going for it!" kind of girl.

My actual education was in english literature and law.  Not so artistic. And my job experience before starting my Etsy shop was in mergers and acquisitions (that law degree), and growing flowers (that non-linear planning thing.)  And while growing flowers did lead to the jewelry, there was something else in the background that actually was more suggestive that I might be able to make something.  That someone would want to wear.  And that was knitting.

I started knitting right after my son was born.  Well, actually I sort of started in college.  My junior year in college my mom taught me to knit and purl and I decided to make a scarf for my then-boyfriend (now husband.)  I started on tiny needles and it took for. ev. er.  Because making a plain scarf with teeny stitches was so boring that I kept stopping for months (years) at a time. It took me 7 years to finish that scarf.  But eventually I did finish it, and gave it to my husband triumphantly, and he wore it proudly for several years, until he accidentally got it stuck in the escalator at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, and broke the entire three story escalator before ripping a chunk of the scarf loose so he could make a quick getaway.  True story.  So I like to think my first knitting project has a memorable place in our nation's capitol.

But back to my knitting reboot after my son was born eleven years ago.  I had a little more time on my hands than usual,  and I wanted to do more than knit and purl back and forth, so I bought a book.  And then I read every single page of it and made an exhaustive list of what I might need to make a sweater and what I needed answers to, and headed out to a yarn store.  The people in the store thought I was crazy - they clearly weren't used to a newbie with such an affinity for research.  But I like the details of things, so I was pretty thorough.  This time the knitting idea took - in a big way.  I loved it.  It turns out that the eye for detail that helps a transaction attorney is also a major asset for complicated knitting projects, but this time I could team it up with some creativity.  Score!

The warmest coat.  Ever.  You are basically wearing three sheep strapped to your person.

And so I embarked on lots of knitting, and dabbled in designing my own patterns.  Nowadays I don't knit nearly as much as I'd like, since I spend a lot of time making jewelry, but it's still my first love and what I go back to when the opportunity presents itself.  I'm 1.5 mittens into a project right now, and you'll rarely find me on vacation or at a family gathering without knitting needles in my hands.

Hey, dogs are people too.  And Great Danes get cold!  She always loved this sweater, and it always made me laugh to see people's reactions to a giant dog in a hand knit sweater.

So here's some photographic proof of my other favorite creative endeavor.  For a while I sold my knitting, but these days I concentrate on the fun of it.  Any other knitters out there?  I feel like my jewelry tribe might have a few knitters lurking among it. :)

Shorts.  Maybe a strange knitting project, but very comfy.
Oops I forgot to mention crochet.  I also like crochet - a lot.  And once made a memorable crochet bikini.  I'll spare you the pictures of that one.

A little color work knitting.  I think this was the project when I learned to knit from both hands at the same time.  Efficient!

Fear the dragon!

A little fake fur never hurt anybody.

Mittens!  Still a favorite project.


  1. I want that coat!! Beautiful work and photos and a great story!

  2. Lisa - Thanks!! The yarn came from a local sheep farm near Mars Hill - if you're ever in a knitting mood you should totally check it out:

    It's been a few years since I was up there, but it's beautiful and they couldn't be friendlier.

  3. I will check it out! I got my daughter a needle felting kit for Christmas so I can see many trips to the yarn shop in my future- I also dream of raising llamas or maybe just an angora rabbit.