Four of Interweave’s in-house team members share their fiber art stories.

Interweave Staff Q&A

Every fiber artist has their own unique story about how they fell in love with their craft, and we are excited to share the tales of how a few Interweave staff members discovered their passion for creating fiber art. We
hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!

Sara Dudek, crocheter
Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet

How long have you been interested in fiber art, and what sparked your passion for it?

“I learned to knit and crochet in third grade. My mom learned to knit first. I was mesmerized. I loved the idea that you can work up something useful or wearable stitch by stitch. She helped me learn to knit, then we took a crochet class together. She helped me alter my first crochet pattern, and I’ve been designing my own crochet projects ever since. My mom and I can still spend hours in yarn shops together.”

Do you remember the first fiber art project you made?

“My first crochet project was a beach bag. This was in the 1990s, when little backpack purses were popular—way more popular than beach bags. I made mine smaller and altered where I attached the straps so it could be a backpack purse. I was so little when I made it that the straps don’t even fit on my shoulders anymore, but I still have it. It was my first crochet project and the first project I altered to be exactly what I wanted. I was hooked after that.”

Can you tell us about some of the essential tools you use to create?

“I have crochet hooks in every size, yarn needles, stitch markers, a cute measuring tape, many pairs of little snips, and an entire bookshelf devoted to yarn. I also have every issue of Interweave Crochet (an almost complete set at home and a complete set for the office). A good pattern is essential for creating amazing things.”

 

Allison Korleski, knitter
Brand Editor

How long have you been interested in fiber art, and what sparked your passion for it?

“I recall being taught to card wool when I was around 8. It was part of a “Colonial America” reenactment, where the woman teaching me wore a wig, mop cap, and a dress that was suspiciously Regency-looking. I think there was a live sheep I got to pet outside. I made a mess and was covered in fluff, but loved it.

I truly came to knitting a bit later in life, in my early 30s. Knitting was suddenly popular. I got a copy of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch & Bitch and Fell. In. Love. While I sneered at the knitted guitar straps and eyelash yarn horrors that marked that period, I was so taken by the thought of making stuff. I learned more and started to appreciate that knitting was more than a hobby—it was a craft, a true skill, and not something to simply pass the time.”

Do you remember the first fiber art project you made?

“A giant shrug-sweater Yohji Yamamoto knock-off thing that would fit Hagrid, with a gauge of 1 stitch to 1 inch. It was the 1990s and grunge was a thing, even for knitters.”

Do you have advice for beginners who want to take a workshop at Interweave Yarn Fest?

“Don’t be afraid—just do it! Never listen to that voice that says, “that looks hard.” Most of the time, it isn’t. Challenge yourself and see what you can do!”

 

Deb Gerish, spinner
Editor, Love of Knitting and Knitting Traditions

How long have you been interested in fiber art, and what sparked your passion for it?

“I started spinning in 1996 as a (supposedly) economical way to feed my yarn habit. As a grad student, I needed the stress relief of fiber arts, but my budget couldn’t stretch to nice knitting yarns. Why not make them myself, I thought. I’ve written extensively about my spinning journey—see https://www.interweave.com/article/spinning/closet-full-my-spinning-to-knit-stories/ for the whole story.”

Can you tell us about some of the essential tools you use to create?

“Spinning requires minimal equipment—just a drop spindle and some fiber—but when you get hooked, you’re likely to want a spinning wheel (or two, or three, or four). Once you get obsessed enough to prepare your own fiber, you’ll need tools such as hand cards, wool combs, and a dru carder. Then there’s dyeing. It’s a slippery slope.”

Do you have advice for beginners who want to take a workshop at Interweave Yarn Fest?

“Whether you crochet, knit, or just love yarn, a spinning workshop at Yarn Fest will help you understand how it’s made and how it works. Spend an hour learning about twist, and you’ll appreciate yarn in a whole new way.”

 

Susan E. Horton, weaver
Editor, Handwoven

How long have you been interested in fiber art, and what sparked your passion for it?

“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in fiber. I learned to knit from my grandmother, to sew from my mother, wove potholders in elementary school, wove on a 4-shaft table loom as part of an art class in junior high, and wrote a paper about dyeing wool using natural dyes in high school.”

Can you tell us about some of the essential tools you use to create?

“Looms! I weave on floor looms, table looms, and rigid-heddle looms. My favorite loom is a 24-shaft electronic dobby floor loom. I rely heavily on weaving software to design projects because I am primarily interested in weave structures.”

Do you have advice for beginners who want to take a workshop at Interweave Yarn Fest?

“Take a class that pushes you in a new direction. Even if a class isn’t something you would normally be interested in, you might be surprised at what it sparks in you. We are all beginners at something!”

Thanks for reading!

We want thank each member of Interweave’s staff who contributed to this post. We are moved by their inspirational advice, and it was fascinating to have a look at their journey through fiber art. If you’re ready to get your start in fiber art, join us at Interweave Yarn Fest April 12-15, 2018.


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