Friday, June 12, 2009

Etsy Knitters and Crocheters on Parade

Purple Bow Crafts, owned by Cheryl Burke, has been open on Etsy since February 17. Cheryl is a stay at home mom with an adorable little three year old girl (as anyone can see from the picture). Her profile states, "Knitting helps me stay sane when my three year old is being, well, three." I can relate to that, except when my boys were all little, there was precious little time for knitting. I might be more same today if there had been. Cheryl has been able to stay sane enough to be very creative and come up with some very innovative ideas. And, she tells us about it.

When did you learn to knit, and who taught you?

I learned how to knit in about 2001. I actually taught myself out of a book I bought at the craft store. I come by this talent honestly though as my aunt and both grandmothers knit. Had I not lived 1,000 miles away I am sure one of them would have been glad to teach me in person and I would not have knit my needles together. I'm better now.

Do you crochet?

Yes I do, but not quite as much. My daughter loves to play the colorful crochet hooks though.

How were you inspired to create knitted envelopes?

The inspiration is two-fold. I was watching Oprah around the holidays and she spoke of meaningful gifts. One of the gifts that she, and others, loved the most was the result of a group effort. Each person in the group wrote to each other person about why they were thankful for them, what they loved about them, etc. I loved the idea of having my family do this at Christmas. Since we all live so far from each other I thought that everyone would enjoy having ready reminders of our family's love nearby even if the actual people were not. Since I am a knitter, I decided to knit the card holders for each person and that is how the gratitude envelopes were born.

Do you have any other creative ideas in the making?

I'm trying my hand at knit necklaces and hope to have some more ready soon. I like the mixed media aspect of the necklaces. The one currently in my shop includes beads.

Can you explain your three stitch philosophy?

This is actually based on the prayer shawl pattern. When a prayer shawl is knit, the knitter prays into the shawl as s/he knits. I like the pattern but prayer shawls really aren't something that should be sold, they are knit out of love. Instead I knit health, happiness and wisdom into the shawls that I sell as these are universal needs. I really love how this pattern looks when knit on large needles, it is so simple but produces a beautiful and interesting garment.

Your daughter is very young, but has she shown any interest in your craft? At what age do you think would be a good time to begin teaching her?

Oh yes she has shown interest! She has been asking for the last 6 months or so for me to teach her to knit. I've purchased some child friendly needles and yarn. Every time she asks, I break out the supplies and show her how to cast on or knit. She "knits" for a little while and then goes off to her next 3 year old task which is frequently another crafty project. She'll be a knitter for sure but I think that she will need to be 5 or so to have the attention span and dexterity needed to really knit. Just this weekend I taught her 7 year old friend to knit and I took both girls shopping for more yarn just this morning! Not to worry all, the next generation is definitely interested.

What direction would you like to see your shop take in the next few years?

I plan for the shop to remain mainly a knitting shop but I hope to have a wider variety of items. I'm learning how to spin (slowly I might add) and I am looking forward offering items made of yarn I have spun. I am also a paper crafter and hope to include some of those items in the shop hence the name Purple Bow Crafts instead of Purple Bow Knitting.

I can't wait to see what new and creative thing will find it's way into her shop Click on the Title Etsy Knitters and Crocheter on Parade. It will take you to her shop. You know you have to have those envelopes for all your loved ones.


  1. Wow those are adorable envelopes. Great interview and blog feature!

  2. Thank you, isn't her little girl just too cute for words!

  3. Great job! Love the envelopes, too!

  4. That is such a cute photo and a neat interview, I'm loving getting to know my fellow etsyknitters :-)