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Better Know a Crafter: Fancy Chevron Knitters

Two women hugging
Photo Credit: Kaite McGuire & Kjirsten Sauer 

With the release of our new Heirloom Romney, we knew that we had to have our classic Heirloom Chevron Throw. Since all of our Tigers have their hands pretty full these days, we were happy to hire some local sample knitters to make that happen. Today, we get to know those knitters, Katie and Kjirsten, a bit better!

How long have you been knitting? How did you get started?

KATIE: I learned to knit in 2010 and it continues to be a source of joy! I picked it up on a whim, one of my good friends was having her first child and it's just like me to decide to pick up a craft and make something with a hard deadline looming over me. Once I got started I couldn't stop, and I'm still knitting to this day.
KJIRSTEN:  I started knitting when I was 10 years old. My aunt taught me during a family vacation but she never taught me how to bind off. I could make a scarf that never ended but that was about it. It wasn't until I had met Katie in 2013 that I really got into knitting. She introduced me to the Denver crafting community, and showed me resources that I could use to expand my knitting skills. After that, I never looked back.

Woman with yarn
Photo Credit: Kaite McGuire & Kjirsten Sauer

What was the experience of knitting this Chevron Throw like for you?

KATIE: Knitting something with another person has its challenges. We first both made a separate gauge swatch to be sure our stitches would be similar in gauge, but after that it was just passing back and forth. The pattern is lovely, a good mindless knit with stellar results.
KJIRSTEN: The Chevron blanket was the first blanket that I have ever knit. I have always heard that they take forever and that your hands get tired while knitting it. Luckly, Katie and I worked on the project together so we were able to take breaks as we needed them. The one thing that we had to pay attention to is the gauge of the entire work. Katie is a very tight knitter and I am a loose knitter - we had to make sure that we were being consistent with our styles as we switched from one color to another and one knitter to another.

Has the quarantine affected your relationship to your craft? If yes, how so?
KATIE:  When we first went into social distancing, I stopped knitting. The pressure of all that time at home made me feel paralyzed, along with the stress of current events. As we develop a new normal my routines have evened out and I'm back to creating. Thanks in part to working on this behemoth! 
KJIRSTEN: At first, knitting was all I wanted to do. I was working from home and it took all of my self control not to sit on the couch and knit instead of answering work emails. I spent any time off knitting. After the first couple of months I got burnt out and needed to find a different way to spend my time. It is the first time that I have been that overwhelmed by knitting - it is usually the thing that keeps me calm and focuses my energy but quarantine changed all of that. I realized that I needed to spend more of my time being deliberate about what I was knitting. I realized that connecting with a specific project or with the yarn I was using would be the thing that brought joy to my knitting again. Knitting just to knit leaves my project empty.

Two women in bike helmets
Photo Credit: Kaite McGuire & Kjirsten Sauer

Describe your studio/workspace. What is your favorite aspect?

KATIE: Our house is small so we don't have dedicated workspaces. I knit on the couch or in my bed, sometimes I'll set up on the dining table. Luckily having a small house always puts me in close proximity to snacks and tea!
KJIRSTEN: At home I have a favorite chair that I like to knit in. I basically build a nest while I am sitting there and I try not to move. I have a blanket on my lap, my dog Winston is sleeping on my legs, and a cup of tea is within reach on a side table. I could sit there for hours and knit my life away.

What are your favorite types of items to knit?

KATIE: I love to knit just about anything, garments have been a favorite recently. Now that I have a few sweaters under my belt I plan to make some hats with the scraps.
KJIRSTEN:  Currently, my favorite items to knit are sweaters, specifically, colorwork sweaters. They are items that I know I will always wear, and colorwork always keeps me engaged with a project. The next colorwork sweater that I want to knit is the Ixchel sweater by Catherine Clark. Ever since the sweater came out in the Pom Pom Magazine in 2018 I have wanted to knit it. This year might finally be the year!

Woman in colorwork sweater
Photo Credit: Kaite McGuire & Kjirsten Sauer

What does a typical workday look like for you?

KATIE: My work day is hectic. I go nonstop until it's time to leave, and when I have a moment I daydream about getting back to home to work on my personal projects. Whether at home or at work, I have a hard time sitting still and like to have my hands and mind busy.
KJIRSTEN: My day job is from 9-5 and I don't typically arrive home until 5:30. After that, I take some time to decompress before I start or pick up any project. Knitting takes up about an hour or so of my evening each night. It is a time when I can sit down and focus on something different than my job and bring out my creative side.

Women with knitted blanket
Photo Credit: Kaite McGuire & Kjirsten Sauer

Just for fun: What is your favorite dessert of all time?

KATIE: Oh that's a tough one! I love a good fruit tart, pie, or cheesecake.
KJIRSTEN: All the desserts! I do not discriminate against different types of prepared sugar. If I can have my dessert with a cup of tea, that makes it all the better!

To keep up with the their knitting adventures, make sure to follow Kjirsten and Katie on Instagram!

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