Ami

Meet Ami from near London, UK!
Ami is an awkward Brit who loves to knit!

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: Sincerely Louise – the store is so quirky and unique, and I loveeee the faux taxidermy knits!
Yarn: Storyteller Fluff from Knits & Knots Tahoe! All the colors are to die for, and for me it is utterly brilliant that they are all hand-dyed.

Why do you knit? I adore coming home after a full-on day at school and knit after I’ve finished all of my homework. It really helps me unwind, and the sense of achievement I feel after completing a project is brilliant. I also love being able to make and customize presents for all of my friends (although I’m sure they must get quite fed up of receiving yet another knitted toy or beanie!). I was originally taught by my Grandma, although for around 2 years I could never seem to master the purl stitch – I am still not sure why and am now very embarrassed as it is so simple! However, after having being taught the basics, I figured out the rest myself, through various YouTube videos and books from the library.

Most challenging project (and why)? As strange as it seems, the project that I’ve found the hardest is a Miffy doll. I am not particularly used to working with 3-4 double pointed needles as well as a circular needle in the same pattern, and so was extremely confused when I attempted this project! However I would definitely like to try it in the future when I have improved.

What’s your new favorite thing? I was just recently given the ‘holographic stick’ cream highlighter from Milk Makeup and the pigmentation is absolutely gorgeous. I feel like a cosmic princess every time I wear it!


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Conny

Meet Conny from Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl), Austria!
Conny is a married, full time working mum of two (3yo and 7yo).

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: Unfortunately my local yarn store had to close this spring, so I mostly have to order online. But I definitely want to visit Stephen and Penelope when I visit Amsterdam in the near future!
Yarn: I love working with Pima cotton by We Are Knitters or BettaKnit. And I’ve just received new yarn by Black Elephant which I can’t wait to start working with. It’s so soft!

Why do you knit? Actually, I started with crocheting when my son was born 7 years ago. I wanted to have cool beanies for him. I started knitting last fall and now I’m really addicted to it! I love to create something that you can wear at the end!

Most challenging project (and why)? I guess that was a knitted skirt with a front pocket for my little girl. I really learned a lot while knitting it! But at the moment my first pattern release (Sunset Cardigan, the one I’m wearing in the pic) challenged me a lot…

What’s your new favorite thing? Nothing new at the moment, but I’m itching to try macrame, if i just had the time…


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Brandon

Meet Brandon from Michigan, USA!
Brandon is a composer and bassoonist who recently graduated with a doctorate in music composition.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: Spun in Ann Arbor, MI, where I work. Before working at Spun, I already loved the shop for its community, warm and friendly atmosphere, and of course its variety of yarn. And now I get excited to work every single shift and to help others find what they love!
Yarn: Currently, It gets cold in Michigan, so I love rustic yarn with lots of weight! Right now, I’m obsessed with The Fibre Company’s Cumbria yarns for their color and texture and Swans Island’s bold All American line. Also Sincere Sheep’s Cormo yarn too.

Why do you knit? I knit first and foremost because I love making things with my hands. Both of my parents both work with their hands, mom’s a candle-maker and dad makes custom photo frames. It makes me so happy to find out that a new friend is a knitter, and I’ve made so many awesome friends through knitting circles and knitting in public!

Most challenging project (and why)? My most difficult project is the current one. I normally stick to projects with lots of color, but simple stitching! I’m making the Evenstar Shawl by Susan Pandorf right now out of Anzula’s Cloud yarn, and while I am loving the project so far, I’m super new to lace!

What’s your new favorite thing? Throughout my career, I’ve worked with college level students. Recently, however, I worked with children in Chicago who are Syrian and Congolese refugees with my group the Trade Winds Ensemble, and I have a new-found love of working with young kids. Music has the ability to transcend SO many human boundaries between people. I can not wait for my next opportunity to work with children and to do so throughout my life as a musician!


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Patricia

Meet Patricia from NYC, USA!
Patricia has a full-time day job doing editorial work on books but always had her feet equally planted in a creative avenue, whether performing as a singer/songwriter, being a jewelry maker, embroidering spiders on everything, or writing knitting patterns.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: My LYS is Knitty City, which has a small-time vibe of friendliness but a big-city selection of yarn (shout-out to Pearl and Nancy!). I also like to find a yarn store whenever I travel so I can snag a skein or two (ahem) as a memento.
Yarn: I am a big fan of natural fibers, especially wool, and in usually a variegated color, but right now I am enchanted by speckled yarns and am knitting with Hedgehog Fibres and Q’ing Fibre yarn. I’ve knitted many projects with subtler variegated colors of Madelinetosh yarn, and the natural color alpaca yarn of Eden Cottage Yarns still makes me feel cozy all over.

Why do you knit? I need to do something with my yarn stash, right?! Really, I knit to relax, to work out creative ideas (I am inspired by all the colors!), to challenge myself with new techniques (next up: brioche knitting, which has intimidated me for a few years), and to create finished objects that I’ve made with my own two hands. My grandmother taught me to embroider and then to crochet when I was a child, but my life changed once a coworker taught me to knit. I quickly began to scrawl my own knitting patterns on graph paper and in the past year began formalizing them by typing them up and having patterns test-knitted, which has been another entire learning and growing experience. (As a rather introverted person, I’ve also appreciated the social nature online in the global knitting community, from shepherds and farmers to dyers and other knitters.)

Most challenging project (and why)? Starting to use fingering weight has been a challenge for me, as I’ve mostly knitted with DK and chunkier yarns for years, but I’m trying! The most challenging project was a Fair Isle vest pattern . . . in which I learned to steek and do a large-scale colorwork project. I feel like I could go down the rabbit hole with colorwork, because the results can vary greatly by changing a few colors or switching which color is dominant in a row, and I’d like to explore ALL of the colors (LOL).

What’s your new favorite thing? After playing guitar for decades (but mostly by ear), I’ve begun taking piano lessons and trying to read sheet music. Jeezy cow! I feel like so fumbly when I look at sheet music, but I try to sneak in piano practice before work, on my lunch hour, and in the evening, so it’s safe to say I’m hooked! Music has always made itself at home in my head and heart.


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Mallory

Meet Mallory from Kentucky, USA!
Mallory is an Art Therapist, currently residing in Louisville.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: Knit On! It was my first local yarn store in Newport, KY and is still my reigning favorite. The staff is always friendly and the selection is diverse and plentiful! They also have an adorable cat that wanders the store as you shop.
Yarn: Malabrigo and Noro provide such fun colors and textures to work with!

Why do you knit? I recently finished graduate school for art therapy and I’m currently working in a residential treatment facility for youth and adolescents. While I love my job a lot, self care is vital as a professional human helper and knitting is my go-to! I also knit because of my mom. She has influenced me so much and has taught me everything I know. She is a knitting and crochet wizard and is endlessly inspiring me to try new things! Together we have participated in two markets and donated all of our proceeds to charity. Being able to share our craft and give back to our community is another huge reason why I knit.

Most challenging project (and why)? I still fancy myself a newbie knitter and have not ventured into anything too complicated yet however I have been wanting to try my hand at my first garment and I recently cast-on my first garment project! I am using Caitlin Hunter’s Virgil top pattern which I hope will be challenging and will teach me new things!

What’s your new favorite thing? I just ordered the field bag from Fringe Supply Co. and I am way way excited about it. I love project bags and totes and probably have way too many!


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Adele

Meet Adele from Ottawa, Canada!
Public servant by day, creator/owner/head sheep for Louve de Laine by night. Whether she is driving her kids to hockey or karate practice, or snuggling on the couch with the doggies in her life, you can be sure there is a knitting project near by. She won’t leave the house without a project bag in her purse.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: I mostly shop at Michaels, but do also love the ease of the online shopping options such as Yarn Canada and through Lion Brand.
Yarn: I love a good chunky yarn but mostly work with Lion Brand Yarn – Thick and Quick.

Why do you knit? Back in 2007, cancer entered my life when my mother, Ginette, was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian and peritoneal cancer. One year later, sadly, she earned her angel wings and my life as I knew it stopped quite abruptly. My mother was a passionate knitter. Not an evening went by that she didn’t have at least a few minutes with her knitting needles in hand, a soft smile on her lips, and a sense of serenity and pride as she created something beautiful to give to my sisters and I. For years, my mother wanted to teach me, the “crafty one” of the family, how to knit. I kept pushing it back telling her that I would one day let her teach me.  “Why would I waste my time?” is what I thought back then… well, with her passing, my time ran out. I became obsessed with learning how to knit while grieving the loss of my mother. Perhaps I just thought it was a way in keeping her alive, in feeling close to her and what she loved doing. By knitting, perhaps her spirit, the essence of what made her so special would never die. What I did not anticipate is how this art – knitting – would come to heal me.

While still grieving for the loss of my mom, I received my own diagnosis of cervical cancer. Now cancer-free, it is my passion and goal to educate, raise awareness and raise funds towards cancer support programs and research. Proceeds from sales of my Louve de Laine’s hand knit pieces are donated to a range of charitable organizations such as Ovarian Cancer Canada, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Foundation. The Inspiration behind my work comes from different stories of those affected by cancer. Whether I hear a famous person just diagnosed or it’s someone I read about or meet online, I know I have to do something. So I am knitting!

Most challenging project (and why)? A few years back I found this pattern for cute little ‘sock monkey’ baby booties. I attempted approximately 3-4 times to make them but they never turned out. Perhaps I’ll try again some day.

What’s your new favorite thing? Travelling!. And yes, for me this is a new thing. I never had that travel bug that everyone talked about but having recently taken my first overseas trip to Greece with my husband and kids, I now have this deep NEED to travel more. Italy perhaps should be next? Although spending a week down south on a beach with some knitting of course could also be quite nice.  


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Raquel

Meet Raquel, originally from Zaragoza, Spain!
After living in Belgium, Seville and Sicily, Raquel moved back to Barcelona with her three cats and her partner. Making things with her hands makes her happy, more independent and closer to who she is.

What are your favorites right now?
Yarn Store: All You Knit Is Love in Barcelona.
Yarn: I like rustic woolen yarns – the stories behind them, the consistency and the smell! Hand dyed are my favorite. We have great wool here in Spain, from León or close to us from Portugal. I am currently working on a piece with the Portuguese yarn Mé-mé 20 from Rosa Pomar from Retrosaria and I am in love!

Why do you knit? I started knitting while living in western Sicily. I was running out of clothes and I couldn’t find a top I had in mind in any of the local shops. So one day, I decided to pick up a pair of needles and make my very first cotton top. From then on, I couldn’t stop. And it was only after a few years knitting, when I realized that being capable of creating an entire garment from raw material to finished item (that can warm me and others) makes me feel more independent and socially responsible. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but it is true. It allows me to decide how I want my knitted items to look like and what materials to use. And the most important thing, if the grid goes dark tomorrow, I won’t be cold!

Most challenging project (and why)? Probably the Cherry Bloom cardigan from Lene Tøsti. This pattern was quite a challenge for me as it required color-work (which I find fascinating and complex) and the steeking technique which I never used before.

What’s your new favorite thing? I would say contemporary dance and natural medicine. I have been focusing on both of them for a while now and they make me happy.


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