Monday, October 18, 2010

meet Elaine of GrannysKnits

i've struggled with writing about Elaine for an embarrassingly long time (this feature should have run in early September). it's a tough one for me not because i have to dig to find something to say, but because i have TOO MUCH to say.

i *met* Elaine about 2 years ago through Team EtsyBABY on Etsy. she seemed like a nice enough lady, and she surely was passionate about her work. so, when my 6th nephew was born, i ordered a sweater for him in black, gray, and gold (only time i'll say *Go, Army!* is for my brother-in-law's children). when it arrived, i was BLOWN AWAY. see, my guilty pleasure is knitting...and Elaine's knitting is the finest i've ever seen. nary a stitch out of tension. all ends invisibly woven in. absolutely incredible. then, i found out, Elaine does all her knitting...wait for it...WITHOUT A PATTERN!! she pulls this stuff out of her head! seriously.

read this interview. then read this article from the Storque (Etsy's blog). then, go to Elaine's shop. purchase warm wooly goodness with abandon. you won't regret it. i promise.

and when you're done with all that...leave a comment on this blog post. i'll use a random number generator to giveaway one of Elaine's superb doll sweaters...i'll show you 2 tomorrow...if you're the luckiest gal/guy on the planet, you can choose which one you'd like.

~When did you begin knitting?
I was six, and bought needles, yarn, and a "Learn How to Knit" book.

~Why did you choose your type of knitting to work with?
until Jordan and my grandson were born, I made a variety of sizes and items.
When I became mom to then 2 year old Jordan, my knitting time was sharply cut!
I started making baby sweaters here and there, and then decided to try to get enough together for a craft show.
That didn't happen, then five years ago I found out my older daughter was pregnant.
OK, GrannysKnits started to take shape.

~Do you have a favorite design of your own creation?
the blankie that I made four years ago, when my grandson was's his FAVorite!

~Do you also collect dolls?
I have a collection of one; my sweet sassy Willow!

~At what point did you realize your gift was more than a hobby?
Probably in the 80s, I was doing a few craft shows while raising my two girls.

~Describe your workspace.
oh boy, that's funny! ;)
You name it, it's a workspace. I carry knitting in my purse!

~What is your favorite part of the process.
Choosing what I'll make from a particular yarn, and the actual knitting!

~What is your least favorite?
finishing, finishing, finishing!
did I say finishing? ;))
ANYthing that requires me to sew, I'm NOT good at it.

~What inspires you?
more often than not, I buy a yarn, and then later decide what to knit from it.

~What is the best time of day for you to create?
morning (as long as I have enough coffee!)

~Tell me about your biggest fan.
at this point, I'd have to say my 4 year old grandson.
He loves the sweaters, and other items I make him, and since he's 3000 miles away,
I love that I'm the person who knits for him.

~What is your strangest request?
I was knitting at a craft show, years ago, and a woman stopped to ask if she could borrow my pattern.
I explained politely that I was using it!
she told me "Well, I'll photocopy it, and mail it back to you in a few days!"
(She was not nice about my turning this request down, either!)

~What is your favorite request?
Any request that Anna makes!

~Which similar artist do you most admire? Why?
Wow, there isn't just one. Anyone from whom I can learn .............
and grow, but not copy.
The late, great Elizabeth Zimmerman is a perfect example.

~What do you know now that you wish you knew when you began? (Or what piece of advice would you give to someone first starting out in your field?)
When I actually decided to try to sell my creations?
I wish that I had the time/ability/brain power to learn the world of cyberspace, and how to take wonderful photos ;)

~Tell me an artist you’d like to have subjected to these questions (someone you’d like to know more about)?
Jackie of Totzhatz

~What is your favorite flower? Why?
I love the color, and the fragrance ;)


amyv said...

Beautiful sweaters!

Olivia said...

A truly amazing woman...

KellyJ Dollylove said...

Oh they look so warm and cosy :)

Jackie said...

Wonderful interview Anna! Elaine is an OUTSTANDING lady and friend...I also am so glad I have "met" her ♥ She is an inspiration! love her work!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful sweaters and an incredible lady.

melissa said...

wow, no pattern! grannyknits is amazing!

Brooke said...

beautiful things... without a pattern! that is truly amazing!

Nico Alexa Schwartz said...

Please enter me I'm so entered and hope to win one for my bamboletta doll Sammy!!! Beautiful and quality knitting Elaine!


Nico Alexa Schwartz on FB

Alayna said...

I have had the honor of actually meeting - in real life - both Elaine and Jordan. AND I have seen first hand the wonderful quality of her work. My beautiful girls have modeled for her, and we have a couple of sweaters and hats.
Elaine is an amazing woman and does unbelievable work!

Tracy Diefenbach said...

What an amazing lady, and wonderful knitted goodness!

Meredith said...

Wow, they all look so warm and sweet <3 Great interview.

Jennifer said...

Gorgeous sweaters, no pattern needed, simply amazing.

groovinmama said...

Absolutely amazing woman - so strong and so talented. And such beautiful sweaters, too!