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2019 Women's History Month: Meet Rachel (Knits)

When did you start making things?
My first memories of truly enjoying making things are from early high school. I don’t remember how or why, but I became fascinated with jewelry-making. I started with simple beading projects on my own and later was lucky enough to take some more advanced jewelry classes as a part of my high school art curriculum.  

There were a few years when I was very busy and had less time to create, but I rediscovered my love of wearable art by teaching myself to knit when I went to college. I needed a way to keep from feeling discouraged during a lonely freshman year and I turned to “sticks and string”. I had no idea that it would still be such a meaningful part of my life years later. I certainly never imagined I’d have not one but two knitting tattoos and be working in my dream job at a crafting haven, yet here we are!

What's your favorite thing to make?
Sweaters! There is something deeply satisfying about spending so much time planning and creating a garment custom made for you (or someone you really, really like). I get so much joy out of working with the incredible yarn and patterns that others in the fiber community create. I’m proud of every stitch when I wear my sweaters.

I love showing non-knitters how versatile and modern handmade sweaters can be, too. I’ve found that some people have misconceptions about handknits being stuffy or outdated and proving those stereotypes wrong is really fun.

What are you looking forward to the most about being a part of the gather here community?
Being surrounded by so many makers! There’s an infectious energy in the shop. That little happy, creative spark that people get in their eyes when they walk in never fails to make me smile. I love hearing the passion in people’s voices when they’re describing their craft. I feel fortunate to help inspire and to be inspired by all the other gather here makers.

What's your favorite tool?
It’s a toss up between my cedar chest (where I keep my nice yarn stash) and my favorite project bag. The chest was a gift from my husband for our fifth wedding anniversary and I love that it keeps my most precious yarn safe until I’m ready to use it.

My project bag I think may actually be magical. I use it as a purse every day and it somehow has room for a full sized sweater project, a wallet, keys, phone, headphones, a book, a water bottle, a variety of snacks, and I’ve even been known to shove a spare jacket or pair of shoes in there for emergencies. It’s my constant companion.

What do you do when you aren't making things?
I’m an audiologist by day and a crafter by night (and weekend). In my down time, I’m a true homebody- most content spending time with my family, large books, and coffee.