Craftzine has started a profile series on crafters, asking them to answer 5 questions. Here we go!
One project you are particularly proud of
It's so hard to pick one! If I had to, it would be this embroidered quilt.
Two mistakes you've made in the past
1) Thinking I'm not creative because I love rules and patterns. In college, I thought being creative meant being a cinema major and wearing crazy clothes and staying up all night making art. That didn't resonate with me, a preppy science major. Now, I recognize that there are all sorts of creative acts, from writing a paper to knitting a hat.
2) Setting different standards for things I make for myself and for others. When I'm making something for someone else, I want it to be perfect (or as close to it as possible). When I make it for myself, I'm much more likely to say "Oops! Oh well" but then I don't feel like I can take real pride of ownership. In the last couple weeks, I've been working on a cowl for myself, and I am consciously working to put as much effort into it as I would if it were for someone else, so that I'll really love the finished product.
Three things that make your work unique
1) My love for texture, which I think shows up in the Blustery Day Cowl and in most of the projects I do -- see, for example, the Serafina cowl and lace leaf scarf, both of which use a monochromatic palette to focus all the attention on the pattern and texture.
2) My love of text. I love words. I am a total sucker for a well-crafted sentence or image. Embroidering text brings it to life for me and adds texture and meaning.
3) My focus on creating gifts that have lasting meaning. Most of the things I make are for other people, and I hope that all of them will be enjoyed for years. I'm less concerned with what is fashionable today than with what will be enduring tomorrow.
Four tools you love to use
1. Bamboo knitting needles. I love how quiet they are, and I love that I can take them with me anywhere (including on the plane, without fear of confiscation by TSA agents).
2. A seam ripper. When I was learning to sew, my mom would always say "A seam ripper is a girl's best friend." Certainly, it's a beginners best friend.
3. My crane scissors, which were my grandmother's.
4. Our Nikon D90. I love documenting my projects, especially since so many are gifts. It makes each one feel so special to have a nice picture of it before I send it off into the world, and it's wonderful to be able to go back and reflect on the themes in my work.
1. My family. After all, the blog is named after the women in my family, who raised me to appreciate the handmade and whose hands seem to be in constant motion.
2. My friends. I am so lucky to have so many creative people in my life, who are always sending me links to say "Have you seen this?" Of course, I also love making gifts for them, so they're inspiring me to make new things all the time:)
3. Poetry and lyrics. My current embroidery to-do list includes e.e. cummings, Sara Teasdale, Wendell Berry, and Barry Louis Polisar (from the moment I heard "All I Want Is You" I've wanted to embroider "If I were a flower growing wild and free, all I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee".)
4. The cold. Like all knitters, I suppose, fall and winter are really my time. Where would I be without scarves?
5. Fiber. I am such a tactile person. I walk through a store touching the yarn, the fabric, the embroidery floss. If I find a yarn I really like -- which usually means a yarn that is really soft -- it inspires me to find something great to make with it, or, occasionally, to design my own pattern to use it.