Friday, June 25, 2010
Bobbi of Kitty Grrlz makes bright, colorful novelty and art yarns. When I browse her yarn shop, I feel like a kid in a candy store. She also has a shop full of beautiful knitted items made from her beautiful yarns.
Tell us how and when you learned to knit
I learned how to knit at the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago, Illinois (http://diytrunkshow.com). I was making jewelry at the time and did the show as the "Crafty Librarians". I had beautiful items from several librarians from across the country! It was a great show and I learned how to knit there.
The local Stitch n Bitch group was giving lessons up on the stage in the Auditorium. Our spot was very near there and since it is was quiet at first (and, a fellow librarian was there helping me) I went up to get my free lesson. They provided acrylic yarn and metal needles. They showed the cast on and then the knitting. I was all thumbs, seriously. I never thought I would get it! I felt like an idiot and was sure the girl trying to teach me thought I was too. BUT . . . when I got home I went out and bought some purple yarn (they had given me yellow, not really my favorite color) and started knitting. I just knit and knit and knit . . . I ended up knitting a long rectangular object that today most resembles a table runner (yes, I do still have it!).
THAT was the beginning. I jumped into knitting full speed ahead and by the next year at the very same show (2005 DIY Trunk Show), I was there with HAND KNIT items. Lots of them. AND, I wore the SWEATER that I knit. I still have that sweater and try to wear it to shows (though it doesn't fit as well as it did back then - I think it's time for me to knit a NEW sweater!)
You spin your own yarns, which are your favorite to work with?
My favorite fibers to work with are soft wools like merino and merino blends. I love merino/silk but lately have also really enjoyed spinning merino/tencel - the tencel adds a bit of shine to it but is still very soft. I enjoy spinning bamboo, too, because it is so soft and smooth. Sometimes spinning wool is tough on my hands, but the bamboo just slides and slips right through. My favorite yarns to spin are my "FunctionArt" art yarns, because I really get to play with colors and textures. I also get to use my large stash of novelty and specialty yarns for these types of yarns. (You can see them here -
Really, though, I love spinning all types and like to go back and forth for variety.
Would you rather spin, or knit?
Most of the time, I think I'd rather spin, but there are times where I get into the "knitting zone" and all I want to do is knit. This usually happens in early Fall, or sometimes, in the middle of summer. I don't remember if it was last summer or the summer before, but I just started knitting, even though it was June/July. I knit up a bunch of my art yarns into cowls/neckwarmers, which are my favorite thing to knit since they are fairly fast and I don't have to do anything too fancy - the art yarn does it for me. Right now, though, I'm definitely in a spinning mode as I'm preparing for a big show in July (Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair - http://fiberandfolk.com )
If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
Hmm, when I was in college the answer to this would have been the 60s because of the music and all that was going on at the time. But, now, I'm not sure. I'd probably be pretty content just living in THIS time. (The odd point is that if I *could* I'd just like to go back to my college years - the early 90s! Better music, less responsibility. ;) )
Tell us about Bug Juice.
Bug Juice is my boss! No, just kidding. She thinks she is, though. She is my second cat and one of the reasons for my name - Kitty Grrlz. When I was in college, I had a cat named Jinx, and she was the original Kitty GRRl, but then when I was working out in Roseburg, Oregon, the director brought a kitten into the library - a stray that she found by her house but couldn't take in since she had several cats already. The director was hoping to find a home for this stray kitten and even though I knew Jinx wouldn't be happy, I brought her home. That's how the Kitty Grrl became Kitty GrrlZ - and Bug Juice joined our household. I don't know what I would do without her - she keeps me company while I spin late into the night - her favorite spot is underneath my spinning chair. (You can see pictures of them both here -
You can get to Bobbi's shop by clicking on the title "Etsy Knitters and Crocheters on Parade. But you can get to her Etsy knit shop here. http://www.etsy.com/shop/kittygrrlzknits Her blog http://kittygrrlz.blogspot.com/ and her website http://kittygrrlz.com Please do check them all out.