BNAFA – Jenn, Midnight Fibers
When Jenn agreed to be interviewed, I was super excited. Not only are her patterns amazing (LOVE the kitty photo BTW) but she is pioneering knitters foothold in the eReader market by being one of the first to offer patterns for your reader. That type of forward thinking is just what we need to maintain our control of the internet. And soon the world.
Please tell us how you became the amazing fiberista you are today. How did you fall in love with fiber arts?
I can’t remember I time I was ever NOT in love with fiber! I learned to knit as a kid, and ever since then have been knitting (and crocheting, tatting, weaving…) more or less nonstop. I even knit in most of my college classes! When I first started I sold handspun yarn- that was right about the time Etsy was starting up. Then I moved on to natural dyeing and selling hand dyed yarns and batts in addition to yarn. Now I mostly sell knitting patterns.
There are so many! I have had the chance to design rugs, intern with an amazing natural dye company called Earthues in Seattle, and worked in a yarn store. The most challenging part of what I do is tech editing- but how cool that other people also think I am awesome enough to have me edit their patterns!
I am really inspired by the small house movement- people who choose to live really simply in small places. I am far from a minimalist- you will never see me owning just 100 items- but do try and keep the idea of simplicity in mind. I like designing projects with simple but interesting details that don’t take tons of time, patience, or yarn to knit. Though I love a good complex shawl pattern as much as the next person!
I am a process knitter. I like making things, but the finished item is almost secondary. It is that unusual technique that keeps me up at night, that new yarn in the perfect shade that makes me drop everything for (another) new project. I more or less always have calluses across my fingers from where the yarn and needles rub.
I think we are finally reaching a point where technology will really help with knitting pattern sales. Now that more and more people have smart phones, Kindles, Ipads (or just getting more comfortable with the idea of finding patterns online)… they can look up and buy patterns (and yarn) wherever they are. There is a great opportunity out there now yarn shops and yarnies- online or off- to be able to really leverage digital patterns to sell yarn. It is getting so much easier for stores to carry the latest and greatest patterns, to help customers find patterns to fit their yarn, and to get patterns from indie designers.
I really, really want to see more yarn companies and shops leverage the increasing popularity of weaving and crochet. With weaving especially there is a great opportunity to showcase the many uses of novelty and specialty yarns in new ways- some people might be tired of fun fur hats, but it takes on a whole other level of interest when used in a scarf. Both weaving and crochet offer a great opportunity for classes and getting both old and new customers to the shop.
Lacy wrist warmers. My hands are always cold! I would knit them with a thumb gusset but totally open at the top no short fingers- since I like my hands to be totally moveable when I type. And I hate weaving in all those finger ends just for wrist warmers!