I never know where to start when introducing myself. How much do people really want to know before they start tuning out but keep nodding to be polite? I’m not sure. I’ll just start with the basics: my name is Louisa and I’m the new Assistant Editor for Knitscene.
My mother taught me to knit when I was small and in Montessori school, where making things by hand was strongly encouraged. I spent my Maine college years knee-deep in Folk Art, and I started knitting non-stop when a friend and I decided we needed some “crafting time.” We realized we could watch old movies AND knit at the same time, and life was changed for the better. I also lived in Sweden in college and learned that along with amazing summer sunlight and delicious baked goods, the country has a beautifully rich handcraft tradition. My host mother and sister are avid knitters and introduced me to Nordic yarns and designers. Sweden was a tough place to leave.
I worked in a bakery throughout college and thought that culinary school would be a fitting next step after a few art jobs fell through. Food is art, really. You have to think about color and texture and design and balance. It was a positive experience, and I still use friends and family as (mostly) willing test subjects for new recipes. Over the years I have worked on farms, in museums, in all manner of food related environments, as well as in editing and photography positions. Knitting has really been one of the few constants in my life, my yarn and needles are the things that have always moved with me, used to make new things in new places.
This position is incredibly exciting for me because I am a Knitscene reader. I love working charted patterns and being introduced to new and unique yarns. The beautiful sweater patterns in Knitscene also give me something to work toward. While I occasionally tackle larger projects, I tend to make more compact items because I am rather daunted by things with sleeves.
I am addicted to historical fiction and all things Scandinavian, and am kind of a snob when it comes to cookies. I will discuss Sherlock Holmes anytime, anywhere, especially if over a cup of tea. I am a hiker and runner and gung-ho picnicker, and I am always looking for someone willing to play a badminton match or two. Living in Colorado is a new adventure for me, and thus far I have found the people, the mountains and the coffee to be just about the best I have ever encountered.
Some of you asked questions via Twitter so here are my responses!
From Ruth: What's the best and worst project you ever knit (and show photos, obviously!!)?
First, the bad. The first sweater I ever made. The yarn was a lovely brown and tan blend, super soft and super warm. I don’t remember a. what it was, b. where I got it, or c. what the pattern was that I made. But, suffice to say, the sweater was uneven and poorly put together because I thought I was above following directions. Think Robert Musch’s “The Paper Bag Princess” (one of my favorite childhood books) with sleeves. Sadly, or perhaps for the betterment of all, I have no photos of this one! It's in a bag, under a bed, waiting to be taken apart and repurposed.
The thing I am most proud of is my Lace Tiered Skirt from “Feminine Knits." I used really nice teal, organic cotton, and the skirt falls beautifully. I was concerned that it would not hang well on me, but I really like the way it turned out. This was one of the first times I did not try to fix mistakes by fudging my way through, but actually took the time to take rows out and do them correctly. I liked all the different lace patterns, and I discovered that I really do like reading charts. Here's a photo that Amy took of me this afternoon to prove the existence of the skirt. (I do not like being on this side of the camera!)
From Maria: The most important technique:
Part of the reason my first sweater was so horrible was that I did not take the time to learn how to put it together properly. I figured I could make it work by just kind of stitching, how hard could it be? I know how to sew, and I figured sewing was all that was involved. It did not turn out well. Kitchener stitch is one of my favorites for easily bringing pieces together, fuss free. I like the way it looks and I like how sturdy it is.
From Dana: When did knitting/craft turn from hobby to profession? (or did it go the other way around?)
With this new job, knitting turned from hobby to profession. I’ve been working in art on and off since high school, but this is my first full time, knit related position. I’ve done a fair amount of writing and editing work, but never before regarding knitting. Since most of my day is spent on the computer and reading print articles, I don’t feel like I’ll be burned out on knitting. It’s always worrisome to turn a hobby into a job because it can often lose some of its charm. With this position though, I don’t see that happening!
Thanks for reading a bit about me, I’m so happy to be here as a part of this great environment!