I Knew How to Knit Before Knitting Was Cool!
As I've discussed in a previous blog post, I was always a little strange. I've also never been afraid to admit I was strange. The Dr. Sues saying "Why fit in when were born to stand out!" was my motto as a teenager and i'm sure my friends can attest to my weirdness.
What does this have to do with knitting you ask? Well, if i'm being honest, my addiction (yes, I've graduated from a love to an addiction) to knitting all began in grade 9 when I became obsessed with the 80's & wanted to rock my very own pair of leg warmers during skating practise.
Now, you're probably thinking, 'I don't see the issue with a nice pair of neutral colored leg warmers with a pair of tights during skating practise. But remember, I was obsessed with the 80's, and I really can't remember if you could buy leg warmers in the store at the time but I remember going to Walmart & seeing the most BRIGHTEST yellow, orange and hot pink yarn on the shelf & thinking, 'THAT'S IT, that's the colors I want my leg warmers to be!'
My Mom, who at this point i'm surprised she even agreed to let me pick up another crafting supply, bought me the yarn and needles, and her best friend (pretty much my second Mom) agreed to teach me how to knit. So, on our way back from the city, she cast on and knit the first few rounds, in what I thought was lightening speed, and handed me back the start of my leg warmers. I had HIGH ambitions. The project consisted of about 70 stitches, on round needles, and I had to learn to knit one and purl one immediately in order to complete the ribbing for the top of the leg warmers.
Three weeks & a few dropped and added stitches later, my "beautiful" legwarmers were complete! I was so excited to rock them & I wore them EVERYWHERE! Outside, to skating, to school. With jeans and flats, with sneakers, with my skating dresses & my Mom thought they were ridiculous but never the less, she never made me take them off. I was so proud of my awesome funky color leg warmers and now i'm sure you are starting to form a picture in your head of how I would have been Cyndi's best friend!
Fast forward to Grade 12 when I was required to take textiles as a course. I was stoked about it as how could I possibly get a bad mark in this course when I was a crafting genius. I was right, I also ended up pretty much teaching the class. We were required to knit a scarf as a project. I figured easy marks for me except one of my "friends" were quick to tell the teacher "Mrs, Katherine already knows how to knit, its unfair" I ended up teaching the majority of the class to knit and had to knit a hat instead of a scarf. My addiction to knitting was fed and from that point on, it never stopped.
I knitted everywhere. At home, at the stadium between practise, in the car (even while out with friends) and most certainly in English class. My teacher, who was incredible BTW, got so rotted at me one day for "not paying attention" and said to me "you'll never get anywhere with knitting!, stop that and pay attention to what were doing in class. How do you expect to get anywhere if you don't know how to write!" well, look at me now Mrs! My knitting is now my business & my writing how I talk has come in super handy!
During the first year on university I knit my bestie and roommate an awesome hat & mittens that she still wears from time to time. I don't believe the ends on them were ever weaved in as I didn't really know how and i'm sure where I changed colors i left gaping holes but I continued to knit whenever I found time.
In 2016, I had switch to crocheting, and while crocheting a mermaid tail blanket for my best friends little girl Mitchell suggested I "sell my things on etsy". I thought about it for days and posted a few of my items I had made on instagram & facebook. After many encouraging comments, Handmade Hippie Co was created in November 2016.
My skills have grown so much over the last two years; I've learned countless techniques, stitches, & methods for doing things. I've read and made pattern after pattern & even made my own patterns! (which can be found in the store under patterns).I've learned what good yarn and bad yarn is. I've went from following a handful of knitting accounts on Instagram to being part of an amazing community of creative people from all over the world. When I decided to make those leg warmers all those years ago, I never have dreamed it would have lead to this! I was just someone who loved knitting before knitting was even cool.