Crooked Elm Ravelry Pattern Store
2. Your Ravelry username?
3. What do you make?
I design and write knitwear (and occasionally crochet) patterns, and also make stitch markers, row counters, and slighty quirky office accessories like abacus bracelets, badge holders, lanyards, and jewelry suitable for office wear. I am in the process of putting up how-to videos for knitting and crochet techniques, to spread the gift of fiber artistry around.
4. How did you get into making stuff?
From the time I could stack a couple of blocks together, I've never not made stuff. For me, creation isn't something I do so much as something I am. From childhood, my grandmother and mother taught me a wide variety of crafts, and I always loved working with my hands. When I grew older, I realized I had a talent for design - my degree and
first career is actually in civil engineering. I bring the same principles to both infrastructure design and fiber arts - the key to human success above every other animal is that we are the only ones who change our environments to suit ourselves rather than adapting ourselves to suit our environments. What we build and surround
ourselves with is important. Beauty in the every day world is important. So, the things I make are about creating beauty that works, and a better immediate environment for our soft and vulnerable selves. Beyond that, creation has always been very soothing to me. I am a person who always feels the need to be accomplishing something, and so
for me there was always great appeal in the meditative qualities of quilting or knitting or crochet. It keeps my hands busy and my whole self engaged in a literally constructive act, which allows my mind to relax, and gives me time to process and mull on the things that have been going on in my world.
5. What is your favorite thing about the local fiber community?
Everyone is so friendly and supportive of one another. It's quite refreshing to be in a group of people who all appreciate the importance of the work of one's hands, and whose main uniting focus is the love of and delight in beauty and texture and color.
6. How does what you do/make influence the rest of your life, and vice versa?
I make incremental beauty in the world, and in small ways, that influences everything. Doing good little things and sending them out into the world makes other good little things happen out in the world, like dropping a stone in a pond makes ripples in the surface a long way away. I make physical embodiments of love and caring and warmth
for the people I love to carry around, so they will get to feel good more often and smile more often. Every time my best friend puts on the hand warmers I made her, she feels warmer AND she remembers that I care about her. She might be having a stressy day, but I'll bet it makes her smile a little every time, and whoever she smiles at is
perhaps a little bit happier than they would have been otherwise, too. I make patterns so that other people can make physical embodiments of their love for their loved ones to carry around, and the ripples go a little further. I think this makes me a happier person than I would otherwise be, and I think it makes the world a little nicer, which in turn makes my life a little nicer in perhaps unexpected or seemingly unrelated ways.
7. Any funny stories, words of wisdom, something else to share about you or your business?
It's okay to reinvent yourself, as many times as you need to. It's scary, but it's worth it.