Emma

Meet Emma from the UK now living in the Yarra Valley, Australia!
Emma has been knitting for around 18 months and crocheting since she qualified as a social worker in 2011.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
Greedily, I have two! Knitworking based in Nottingham, UK and Crumbz Craft in Healesville, Australia. I love them both for the kindness and knowledge that they have shared with me, over and above that of ‘just a customer’. It’s helped me to feel part of this wild and woolly community!
Yarn: I have traveled to Bendigo Woollen Mills and their luxury DK and 4ply are smooth and easy to use (not to mention excellent value for money). For color I have to blow the trumpet for Travelknitter and her impeccable BFL sock yarn. The saturation in her colorways creates these vibrant yarns that I find really therapeutic to work with.

Why do you knit? For me, knitting and crocheting started as survival at a difficult time when I required total brain immersion. Slowly, it has metamorphosed into this act of radical self-care. For me doing anything creative is an act of self-esteem. Sitting down and knitting a few rows, reminds me that I am enough and I have everything I need. Oh and that I can do hard things, because sometimes in the middle of a project, just showing up is a miracle!

Most challenging project? In terms of actual knitting, the Rheinlust shawl by Melanie Berg had me debating giving up entirely (I’m terribly over dramatic at times). The pattern itself was written beautifully, but it was mainly fiddly back-loops work and the pattern repeat would not stick in my mind. I learned persistence and trying to find joy in being present with the knitting alone from that project!

What’s your new favorite thing? Working in the countryside! If someone had told me a year ago that I would love working outside in the rain and cold – I would laughed in their face. But I love being surrounded by all this crazy, living, breathing world and covered in muck at the end of the day!

 


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Stefania

Meet Stefania from Italy!
Stefania lives in Umbria, known as ‘the green heart of Italy’ in the town of Assisi. Since childhood she likes to knit and crochet for her family, friends and herself..She loves to go out hiking in the Umbrian valleys.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
Unfortunately there are no yarn shops here, only “mercerie” (haberdashery). I usually buy leftover yarn from knitwear factories. This yarn is very thin and has to be plied several times. It also requires knowledge of the yarn to recognize the most prized because it doesn’t usually have a brand. Maybe one day I will open my own yarn shop…
Yarn: All natural fibres.

Why do you knit? When I was eight years old, a neighbor who was deaf-mute taught me how to knit.She took my hands and guided them until I learned how to do it. I spent the most beautiful afternoons of my childhood with her. The feeling of peace and happiness that comes from knitting has stayed with me. I still have the doll with the first knitted garment I made.

Most challenging project? Lately I’m trying to make and write my own patterns. My first free pattern on Ravelry is called UMBRIA.

What’s your new favorite thing? My craft room, where I have all my treasures (stash).

 


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Laurie

Meet Laurie from New York, USA! Laurie lives in Syracuse with her husband and two boys. She is a social studies teacher.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
I’ve been pretty spoiled by my local yarn shop, Yarn Cupboard. Every October, though, all of my yarn love goes to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. I meet up with friends for schmoozing and lots of shopping. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Yarn: Um, all of them?

Why do you knit? Both of my grandmothers were knitters. One was practical in her knitting, with lots of (washable) acrylic blankets. The other was a sexy knitter. She made fitted sweaters and skirts with natural fibers. After she died, I took her collection of needles with the thought of taking up knitting someday. About five years later, I bought The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting. After many fitful starts and stops, I got the hang of knitting. Now knitting is my way to relax, to let my mind wander, and to make lots of beautiful things! (Though I still have the acrylic blankets.)

Most challenging project? Any project that requires me to do several things at once. My least favorite words in a pattern are “and at the same time.” I take excessive notes on when to increase, decrease, cable, etc.

What’s your new favorite thing? My hearing aids. I love not having to ask people to repeat themselves so often.

 


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Josep

Meet Josep from Barcelona, Spain!
Josep is a makeup artist and hair stylist for catalogues and fashion editorials. He has been crocheting for 28 years. He is self-taught, curious and without fear! He likes to create things people don’t believe can be done with crochet.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
I work with Katia Yarns, for their choice of materials and a sense of loyalty.
Yarn: I prefer light yarns. My projects use a fair amount of it and I must keep in mind the final weight of the garment.

Why do you crochet? Because I love creating with crochet using my hands and imagination. I also admire the traditional techniques, and I respect what craftsmen and women have done before. I also have so many things in my mind that want to be set free!

Most challenging project? All of my projects are challenging since I work without patterns. But, If I were to choose one, maybe the first collaboration I did with Spanish lingerie firm Andres_Sarda. It was the first time my creations were to be shown on a catwalk. It made the project more challenging than usual.

What’s your new favorite thing? Recently I discovered the marvelous fashion art by Iris Van Herpen. I’d like to make something similar with crochet. Impossible? We’ll see. Oh, and I’m making a jersey for me for the first time.

 


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Enrico

Meet Enrico from Italy who lives in Paris, France!
Enrico is a proud owner of the yarn shop Les Tricoteurs Volants. He is a compulsive knitter, enthusiastic spinner, newbie sewer and occasional dyer and weaver.

Enrico

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
Mine of course! Although there are many other lovely yarn stores in Paris, such as Lil Weasel and l’Oisivethé. Further afield, I really like Loop London and Kathy’s Knits in Edinburgh.
Yarn: All natural wool, especially from British breeds such as Shetland, Wensleydale and BFL. I prefer brands who care for animal welfare.

Why do you knit? I started knitting to make my own garments. I love the designing process and the way yarn transforms into clothes. Today, it has become like a physical necessity: a day without knitting is not a good day at all!

Most challenging project? A pair of mitts with zebra stranded colorwork. The chart was completely asymmetric and irregular, I had to count every single stitch. It was a nightmare, but I still am in love with my mitts. I’ve wanted to knit a matching hat with the same pattern, but I’ve never been so brave…

What’s your new favorite thing? My own handmade project bags made with my handwoven fabrics.

 


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Torill

Meet Torill from Molde, a small town on the northwest coast of Norway!
Torill splits her time between studying to become a speech pathologist in Norway and living with her boyfriend in South Africa, and, of course, copious amounts of knitting in-between.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store:
As with most places in Norway, there seem to be a yarn store on every street corner, and my favorite one is actually the closest shop to my house Inspirerende Hobby. I also often shop online, particularly at Garnius.
Yarn: At the moment I’m obsessed with merino and alpaca wool – it’s just so soft, especially Drops Air, but I also love Norwegian and Icelandic wool for its durability and quality. I’m also planning on exploring some more hand-dyed options as well.

Why do you knit? “If your grandmother could see you now” is what my mom always tells me because my grandmother was such an avid knitter, and in my family it’s been passed down through the generations. I learnt to knit a few years ago from a friend of mine and my mom, and it came quite naturally to me so I quickly became addicted. Now I knit because I can’t seem to be able to sit still without it. I also already have years worth of projects mapped out in my head so I can’t stop anytime soon.

Most challenging project? Writing patterns! Making them is easy and fun, but I just don’t have the patience to write them because in my head I’m already on my next project even before the last one is finished.

What’s your new favorite thing? Travelling, because the experiences are always new. I’ve also been living out of a suitcase for the most of my 20s so I don’t have a lot of material things, save for my knitting, obviously.

 


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Michelle

Meet Michelle from New Zealand! Michelle lived in Europe for the last 18 years, and this year moved to Sydney to take her Masters degree in primary teaching. She has the ocean at the end of her street, so spends a lot of time there knitting and day dreaming.

Michelle1.jpg

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: Skein Sisters is a new yarn shop in Sydney that has an amazing range of yarns.
Yarn: 
I love yarn companies that really care about the provenance of their product, the environment, and sustainability, so I have three favourites: Blackisle Yarns, Blacker yarns & Wool Days

Why do you knit? I began knitting because I used to be a touring musician, and there was a lot of time hanging around whilst on the road. It all started with a granny square amplifier cover… Now I love it because it is (mostly) a relaxing pursuit that ends up in a functional and beautiful item. I really wouldn’t know myself if I wasn’t making something.

Most challenging project? The biggest challenge is being balanced. I want to knit all the things, all the time. I’m not very disciplined and do tend to overindulge in my habit, but I know I’m not the only one!

What’s your new favorite thing? I bought an organic wool mattress and pillows which is absolute bliss, and I’m so happy that I’m surrounded by good wool day and night now.

 


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