Saturday, April 14, 2007

Today's featured artist is....Kittygrrlz

Have I mentioned that I love to knit and play with different textured and colored yarns? It is SO MUCH fun to create something that you can wear and get enormous satisfaction from.

With shops like Kitty Grrlz Knitz & Spins, it makes knitting that much more fun! She's been a knitter since 2004 but recently she learned how to spin and she now spins these wonderfully yummy yarns! And the best part, she has them available in her Etsy shop for us!! In addition to her knitting, she also creates beaded jewelry (she's a girl after my own heart!)

How would you describe your shop? "Kitty Grrlz Company" (named after my two kitties!) started as a catch-all for any type of crafting I would do and has shifted from jewelry to hand knit items and now handspun yarn . . . all with the idea of being fun, unique and expressive. My items are about fun, color, texture and individuality! I also hope to walk the line between function and fashion--I want yarn that "works" but is pretty and wild! Hand knits that look great while serving their intended purpose!

My shop will evolve and change as I discover new things--new patterns or fibers or colors or techniques. Kitty Grrlz is my outlet for creativity, enjoying the process of creating and I hope that others can benefit from the final outcome. Everything I make comes from the heart--I do it because I love it and hope others do, too!

How long have you been crafting? I started making jewelry about 4 years ago, but then happened to learn how to knit at the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago in 2004. I always say that's where it all began! Their local SnB group was there, right near our booth (I had jewelry at the time!), giving free knitting lessons, complete with free needles and yarn. So, I figured I'd give it a shot! It really wasn't easy at first. I felt like I would never "get" it, but I went home and just practiced . . . and soon, I was able to knit, purl and by the next Trunk Show in 2005, I had knit a sweater, along with many things for the show.

Then, things changed when someone forwarded the Yarn Wench site ( to a mailing list I'm on. I ordered some of her "Pirate Yarn" and thought, wow! This is wonderful! And that was my introduction to handspun yarn! I began knitting with her yarns and then she began offering hand dyed fiber! I immediately started plotting . . . I mean, planning . . . to learn how to spin so I could buy the fiber and make my own yarns . . . then I'd have yarn to knit with to make my items even more handmade and more unique! (I still love knitting with other fiber artists' handspun yarns, and I use them in my hand knit items often.)

I learned how to spin in December 2006, and now it's pretty much all I do! Though, I do try and knit a little, too, and plan on having lots of hand knits for Fall 2007 shows.

Where does your inspiration come from? Inspiration . . . . I'd say it comes from . . . everything! Though, color seems to be the starting point for me. Since I do not dye my own fiber (yet!), I am attracted to fiber in colors that just . . . speak to me! Then, each one sort of "tells" me what it wants to be (2ply? single? bulky art yarn?) and I go from there. I also think some of my motivation is from the process itself. The actual physical repetition of the spinning and knitting is sooo soothing to me! I call it my "therapy"!
What is your favorite piece? and why? "Tequila Sunrise" I love the colors and softness of the hand dyed Merino wool, and I spun in soft novelty yarns and plied it with thread . . . and it all just came together the way I imagined it and for me is my proudest moment as a spinner!

How do you spend time when you're not crafting? I'm actually a librarian by day! I work in a college library as a cataloger and for the past few years have been working on cataloging a HUGE donated collection of Children's Books! So, when I'm not working at my "day" job, or working at my "crafty" job, I hang out with my boyfriend and cat, watch more tv than I care to admit (but it's so easy to do while knitting and spinning! I always seem to need to be multi-tasking!) and just enjoy life!

What is the best advice you have received? Advice . . . hmm, I'm not really sure. I am very grateful for that very first knitting lesson and how patient she was with me . . . and the great spinning teacher I had . . . but now, advice on crafting, selling, etc. comes from varied sources and many wonderful people and usually just boils down to learning from others' experiences and being open to listening to what they have to say!

Final comments? I truly love knitting and spinning, and love that I can create something from, well, not really nothing, but something else. I love the tactile nature of working with fiber. All I truly hope is that others out there can benefit from what I do . . . whether it be to use my yarn in their perfect project, or to wear one of my hand knits . . . I just want my items to be . . . enjoyed!

Thank you so much for being part of my "Featured Artists"!! You do lovely, lovely work!

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