Friday, 5 November 2010

Feature Friday - Duo Fiberworks

Hello there,
Its time for another friday feature! And this time, there's a nice reward waiting for you at the end!

Featured Artisan today:

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I left my job  at a educational nonprofit when my second son was born. I had been knitting for a while, but was inspired to make toys for my older son as well as figures for the nature table we did together.
I could not find patterns for the things I wanted to make so I started designing toys. I like the smooth, even look of knitting that has been felted and the sturdy, non-holey characteristics of felted knitting seemed to work well for toys. I put together a collection of knitted and felted toy patterns in 2008 and am still working to design toys and little things for our home.
It is extremely satisfying to figure out a new design and it constantly challenges and rewards me to work with yarn and needles to make new things. 
In 2007 my twin sister Laura and I began our blog, Duo Fiberworks to chronicle our creative projects. We were/are both stay-at-home moms and sometimes our creative side got lost or pushed aside. We wanted to record our inspirations and projects, remember what was important to our creative selves and participate in the online craft community. We haven't always blogged frequently, but our blog is something we always come back to and it's really great to share such a project. 

Where can I find your creations?

Can I be your fan on facebook, read your blog or follow you on twitter?

What does your day look like?
Laura and I each have two young boys and we homeschool them.  During the week, I get up early to get some work done before the kiddos are up. We do our homeschool lessons right after breakfast. Some days, we do something fun with other homeschool families but either way, we try to spend time outside after lunch, whether it's looking for minnows at a local creek, an excursion to our local farmer's market or just working in our family's garden. We are fortunate to live in Berea, Kentucky, an artsy, progressive community with a strong community of artists and craftspeople. It's good for us and good for our kids to be around creative folks on a regular basis.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
When beginning a crafting business, I think it's hard to get started and to identify your own aesthetic. But as you make projects that please you, you will develop it. When I look at my knitting patterns now, I see that I generally like bright colors, simple shapes and things that are not aggressively cutesy. 

Also, I am a very thrifty person, but I buy the best materials I can afford, it's not a place to scrimp. 

Find friends to share in your creative pursuits. My weekly stitching and knitting group is a great way to stay connected and inspired. It also provides accountability for finishing projects! 

We explore all kinds of creative things that are interesting to us, I don't define myself solely as a knitter. In addition to being a skilled fiber artist, Laura is an experienced natural dyer and I am learning to carve Swedish-style wooden spoons. We still thrill at learning new things! 

Do you want to give away something to the blog readers? 
I am currently putting up a free knitting pattern for a toy or gift every Wednesday for the next month. I have already up two, Little Birds, chubby knitted songbirds, and the S.S. Guppy, a knitted and felted sailboat.

Thank you so much for the great interview and for the free patterns, too! 


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