I was born in England, surrounded by knitters throughout my childhood. Of course, at the time, hand-knitted garments were not coveted as they are today. Either the yarn was synthetic or so stiff and scratchy you couldn’t stand wearing it. Besides, hand-knitted clothes were not cool. It wasn’t until I’d lived in Texas for 20 years or so that I decided that perhaps I’d under-appreciated knitting. I originally learnt to knit from my grandma who always had her needles clicking away. I picked it up again much later when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I was inspired to knit him a sweater. Well, against the advice of the yarn store owner, I selected the most luxurious pure merino (she advised on my first attempt I should use a less expensive yarn. But why bother if it’s not gorgeous and doesn’t feel good in my hands?) The sweater was far from perfect, but lovely in its own way, and Quentin wore it proudly for the first few months of his life (I do still have that 14 years later!)
So when I began knitting again in earnest, I felt like a kid in a candy store every time I stepped foot in a yarn store. They were popping up everywhere by then (mid-90s) and I could hardly afford my yarn habit any more. An aha moment came when I starting hearing about these artisan markets around town. When my friend asked me to do one with her, I knew I’d discovered a way to buy all the yarn I wanted and potentially recoup my costs. I’d spend hours kneeling on the floor of my favorite yarn store surrounded by piles of yarn, mixing and experimenting with color and texture--bliss!
My process of designing and creating my pieces is very intuitive. I don’t mess with fancy stitch work much at all as I’m more drawn to yarns that speak for themselves, and I like a strong voice. I rarely use patterns and never make the same piece exactly the same. Later I grew a little bored with the commercial yarns I was using and longed to take a step back in the process. So I learnt to spin my own yarn.
|my infamous 1st sweater|
|at my wheel|
|a throw I knitted using only |
my hand-spun yarns
|gk scrappy scarf made from felted|
The adventure continues...