It may seem odd to compare a recreational, voluntary activity to more serious aspects of life, but for me yarn, knitting and the fulfillment I derive from engaging in related activities is the closest I will get to a personal bliss in this life.
I feel strongly that by finding and following our individual passions, we can awaken the deepest part of our souls and will find the humanity and generosity to allow others to seek their own joy.
For myself, this involves yarn. For someone else it may involve music, dance, movement or maybe just walking in a straight line.
It is not our place to judge the direction each of our passions take us. The method a student uses to knit is entirely irrelevant when they create knit fabric. The way we choose to express our deepest joys is always a gift.
In the same way that it’s senseless to compel one human being to pray or live or love in one sanctioned “right” way, it’s anathema to insist that only certain methods of creating a knit stitch are valid.
I’ve based my professional life and teaching philosophy on encouraging folks to reach beyond whatever limits they’ve set for themselves (or feel have been set for them) and strive to knit in a world without boundaries.
For the past few years I’ve set aside many of my artistic goals to care for my husband, who is recovering from a long-term illness, and my growing-like-weeds children. Essentially, I’ve been the mortgage, leaving little time for non garment design art.
But I’m ready now to explore a few of the paths I’ve left un-walked.
I can teach anyone who wants to learn how to make the basic knit and purl stitch in a very short time.
Once a student can make these two basic stitches, I can help them fulfill any knitting passion they posses.
My unusual method of knitting has also allowed me a tremendous freedom of scope – I am as comfortable knitting (and teaching how to knit) furniture, fine millinery, basic sweater design or knit embellishments.
Personal Knit & Design History
In 1983 I taught myself to knit just as I was being transferred by my company from New York City to Dallas, TX.
I completed my first sweater in a weekend and realized that my destiny lay in fiber and needles.
Dallas was not part of my destiny, though, and upon my return to NYC I began knitting for designers and eventually submitted my own designs to knitting magazines. I was hired by Vogue Knitting as a technical writer but unfortunately my unorthodox, self-taught knitting style wasn’t – at that time – well received by the more established knitting world.
I continued designing for most of the major knitting magazines and yarn companies, but reaction to my knitting style (which didn’t affect the final look of a garment) led to my decision to leave knitting and move into Costume & Set Design.
After the birth of my 2nd child, during a hiatus from television and theatrical design work, I happened to read an article by Priscilla Gibson Roberts in the Fall 2000 Interweave Knits Magazine. It changed my life.
Her article was an outline of the major world knitting styles, and the method I’d been using was described as the “Combination (or Combined) Method.”
The legitimization I felt when reading the article was a turning point in my life. I re-entered the knitting world – not just as a designer but as an instructor.
I expose my beginning students the Combination Method as well as the various forms of the Western Method, but more importantly I stress the different ways of forming a stitch and convey an appreciation of how a stitch is seated on the needle.
Short Pithy Bio
A native of Ohio, I taught myself to knit at age 25 before a move from NYC to Texas. The Texas tenure didn’t last, but knitting did, and upon my return to the NY area I began knitting for other designers and designing for major knitting magazines.
My work has appeared in Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knitters Magazine, Cast On, Family Circle Easy Knitting, McCalls Needlework and many international fiber & yarn oriented publications.
I teach worldwide and across the United States. I knit using the Combination Method and believe that there truly is no wrong way to knit. I live in St Paul, MN with my husband, kids and assorted pets.