Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Knitter Feature

Hello Friends!

I thought we'd try something new today and feature a super cool knitter! Beth has her own blog and etsy store, but I think she's cool enough that you should hear even more about her. :)

She spins, she dyes, she knits! How cool is that? Oh, and she also has a tortoise that wonders around the house. You so HAVE to be cool if you ever have to say, "I can't spin because there's a tortoise in the way!"

Just sayin'.

Her Etsy Store, Blue Mountain Handcrafts, is just SO Gorgeous! She has a great variety of knitting and crocheting supplies! (Click on the pictures to be taken right to the store page.)

She even has a ton to say, which just makes her so much more interesting. :) Here's her thoughts on knitting:

Student Knitter: When did you first start knitting and why?
Beth: I first stared knitting about 6 years ago. I'd been crocheting for 15 years and kept seeing all the fabulous stuff you can knit but can't seem to get the same look using crochet......cables, socks, etc. After trying to teach myself to knit twice before with no success and wondering if I should just use the pointing sticks for staking my flowers up something clicked in my head and I finally got it. I've been hooked ever since.

SK: What made you first want to start spinning?
Beth: One addiction leads to another. I was hooked on knitting which means I was also addicted to yarn. I discovered the lovely hand dyed and hand painted yarns first. Then I saw some gorgeous handspun yarn and that was all she wrote. My budget for anything besides food and bills was pretty anemic but I'm super thrifty. I kept a look out EVERYWHERE and told EVERYONE I know I was looking for a spinning wheel in working condition. Months later, I was at an auction and they had for sale a vintage Ashford Traditional spinning wheel in fabulous shape. I told my husband I was going to get it. He didn't think that was a good idea and then he walked off outside 2 minutes before it went up for auction. Silly man. I got Ethel (my traddy) for $12. He couldn't argue with that and has since come to appreciate handspun yarn and the work that goes into it. And so, another addiction was added to my list.

SK: Where does your creative inspiration come from?
Beth: I get a lot of ideas for color combinations from my kids........they are a great source for wacky colors that at first you wouldn't really think go together and the kids come up with fabulous names for them most of the time. I also see a lot of colors in nature that inspire me. And, believe it or not, I will wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for color, a bag design (Caddy Sax were born at 3:30 am), needle case, etc. Sometimes it's as simple as I want an item for a specific purpose and can't seem to find anything that works for me so I make it myself.

SK: What is your biggest challenge right now?
Beth: My biggest challenge right now is space and time. Sounds like something out of Star Trek doesn't it? I have very little storage space for fiber and fabric and even less space for working on batts, drying wool, sewing, etc. Fabric and the sewing machine have taken over the master bedroom.......I wanted to use the dresser to store my fabric in but my husband wasn't keen on digging through a garbage bag to find clean underwear. All of my fiber tools and goodies are stored in a small room downstairs with the exception of my girls Ethel and Elphaba (my Ashford Scholar). Time is the other challenge I have. Time to actually sew, spin, card batts, dye wool, etc. With two kids, a husband, 2 Etsy shops, and life in general I have to steal time here and there to get things done. I'm looking into cloning myself.......they can do the laundry, housework, and taxi service while I play in fiber heaven.

SK: What kinds of crafts would you like to learn/try in the future and why?
Beth: I sew, crochet, knit, spin, and dye. I also love flowers, herbs, gardening, and plants in general so I think my next direction will be in dyeing with natural plant dyes. I have some background in aromatherapy and natural medicine and am familiar with a wide variety of plants that grown here on the mountain that could be responsibly wildcrafted for dyeing purposes. Now I just have to find my trowel and clippers.............and room to dry and store plants.

I hope you guys visit her store and her blog! She's a super fun person and her things are just so beautiful. Thanks Beth for agreeing to be featured! :)


  1. Beth is an awesome fiber artist and I'm so happy that you featured her....

  2. Wow, that was a really fun read! It's really nice to read about someone in a feature, I love to see what other people are inspired by.

    I'm really sorry to hear that your sweater didn't turn out as you had planned! If you're interested in trying to knit it from the top down instead, I can recommend "Custom Knits", a book by Wendy Bernard. She knits all her clothes in one piece without seaming, and the one perk about knitting from the top down is that you can try it on as you go along.

    I also have to ask you if it would be ok if we do the KnitPicks order at the end of october? I'm getting a bit low on cash this month, and I would prefer not to have to use up any savings money (we're saving up for a trip to Japan in a year or so...) to pay for food...

    / Jenny

  3. Thanks for the interview Sarah! It was lots of fun and my kids are laughing hysterically at the goofy picture of me in my Mad Hatter hat ;)

  4. WOW - that's quite the hat! :) I LOVE her knitting bags, though - they're so well made! :)