What is your shop name?
Susan's Knitting Socks
What is your blog name?
When did you learn to knit?
When I was in elementary school - a couple years ago. ;-) I think I was right around 10 years old or so. It instantly became an obsession as long as I had yarn to work with.
Who taught you to knit?
My mom. She and my grandmother (her mother) took a class through the local library. They learned how to make mittens. I didn't knit my first pair of mittens until I had children in the 1980s. I instantly went right to making sweaters for myself and my Barbie. My paternal grandmother crocheted and always bought extra yarn which found it's way to me. Later, babysitting money funded my obsession with yarn and needles. I still have all the knitting needles that I bought in my early teens. My mom would actually drive me to a yarn store or to JCPenney when they still had a knitting department. Our dentist was next to a yarn store so we would stop there after getting our teeth cleaned.
My mom now knits tiny beaded purses for each granddaughter or niece as they get engaged. She's 80 years old and using size 00 knitting needles. My youngest daughter Karen will be the next recipient.
What or who inspires your projects?
Just about anything that catches my eye. I've also become addicted to dying yarns so I've got eBay searches set up so when white yarn becomes available I can try to add it to my collection. Flowers, weather, fabrics, and textures also are influences. When I see something I take a photo of it since I travel with a camera (I own over 40 cameras - mostly film).
What is your favorite thing to knit?
When I feel as if I need something more conservative I knit cardigans using size 1 & 2 needles and fingering weight yarns. I am not a fan of bulky yarns like I used to be. Due to my current job in a Ford plant I layer my clothing due to all the various temperatures that we encounter daily.
Are there yarns/wools you love?
Are there yarns/wools you don't like to work with?
Yes. Noro. It's beautiful but I don't like working with it. It felt rough to me but was so vivid with their colors.
What would you like to say about your creations?
My creations? Now, that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. For the most part, they've been unique and out of my own head - not following a pattern other than a schematic with basic measurements. Instead of using different stitches I prefer cardigans in color and textures. Buttons are all over the place as well since my cardigans need to have unique buttons. Now that I'm in my mid 50s - 55 years old - I have been dreaming of not having a day job that gets in the way of some serious dying and designing. I sold my first sweater one morning in high school to another student who just happened to have a $20 bill in her possession. That was a good profit for an acrylic zipper-front hand knit hoodie in 1973. After that, I knew I wanted to sell more hand knits.
What other fiber arts do you enjoy?
I have a 4-heddle loom as well. Right now there isn't a project on it as I need to finish warping. Since I began sewing, knitting, and crocheting when I was a child my college education followed the same path. My degree is a BA in Fashion Merchandising and Design from Wayne State University. There are 4 sewing machines and 1 serger in my collection and piles of fabrics. Before I went back to work full time in the late 90s I made all of my clothing including jeans and jean jackets. No one had a clue that they weren't store bought. Lately, I don't have enough patience for sewing since I can't finish the projects as fast as I used to when I had all day with no interruptions.
I also enjoy dying fabrics for wall hangings and have a silk screen.
Is there another fiber art you'd like to learn?
Way back, a long time ago, I had some knitting books by the Pinguoin yarn company showing summer tops in filet crochet. More than once I tried to make one and couldn't seem to follow a crochet pattern. Now, when I see the lacy summer crochet tops I still would love to figure out why I can't get my brain around those patterns. Knitting lace is not a problem and I love it, but, that crochet just seems to make me crazy.
Spinning - now that's another challenge. I tried once. The woman who was teaching me told me to leave it to other spinners. I had twists and knots and a big mess.
There's still time for that - oh if I could only quit that day job.
Susan, of Susan's Knitting Socks
Visit her blog at KnittingJeepgirl