July 26th, 2013

WEBS Staff Spotlight – Greta

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Groove by Stephen West knit in Fiber Company Acadia

For Greta, knitting isn’t just a hobby she loves, it’s a tool she has used to focus and concentrate; as well as relax and express her creativity. Greta’s Aunt Mary Ann gave her a learn to knit kit one year. She had tried so many different crafts at the guidance of her artistic Aunt, but knitting really seemed to click. She’s been knitting for ten years now, and has created countless gifts while allowing herself to keep a few treasures for herself! Knitting even helped Greta get through college. While studying at Smith, she found knitting helped her ADD; “Giving my hands something to do allows my brain to focus. I was able to pay attention in class much better while knitting.”

Do you do any other fiber arts?
I’ve dabbled in spinning and rigid heddle weaving, but I recently took Sara Delaney’s crochet class this spring here at WEBS and now I’m hooked (literally)!

How did you learn to knit?
I initially taught myself the rudimentary skills using a Boye kit my Aunt, Mary Ann, gave me for Christmas. Then I picked up Debbie Stoller’s Stitch and Bitch and that was the beginning of my knitting addiction. When I was in college at Smith my knitting friends all used to joke that knitting was the perfect hobby for a Smithie, saying “you can be productive even when you’re relaxing!”

The Berry Bramble Blanket knit in Valley Yarns Northampton

What is your favorite yarn to work with?
It’s really tough to choose a favorite, especially with all of the choices we have available to us in the store, but I’d have to say my favorite yarn is Acadia from The Fibre Company. I really like all Fibre Company yarns; I’ve worked with Terra, Organik, Road To China Light, Canopy, Canopy Worsted, and Tundra. But I really like the light weight, fiber content, and ply structure of Acadia. Don’t even get me started on their colors, either, because I could go on for days.

Tundra Sailor Hat knit in Fibre Company Tundra

Do you have a favorite fiber project you completed or one you’re most proud of?
I think my favorite fiber project is my Daybreak Shawl. I made it out of Blue Moon Socks That Rock Medium in some truly beautiful colors picked by my friend Debbi. It’s my favorite handknit to wear and to this day it’s the project I get the most compliments on.

What fiber project are you working on right now?
Only about a million things! My main focus right now is a crocheted afghan for my cousin’s wedding in August. However, I’m really more of a process knitter (read: ADD knitter) so I tend to start a great many things but finishing them can be a real hurdle for me.

How else do you express yourself artistically?
I’ve never felt I had much in the way of artistic talent, so knitting (and crochet) really fills that void for me. When I was young my mom had my brother, sister and I take art lessons from a woman a few blocks away. We used to do all kind of projects in a wide range of mediums, but I never felt I had a knack for any particular medium until knitting came along. But she did teach me that there are no rules when it comes to artistic creation, and no idea too small.

Do you have a favorite non fiber related project you’ve completed?
When I’m not knitting and I want to make something I make these pretty origami paper stars. I did origami in high school and stopped for a few years, but recently picked it back up. It’s easy and quick and the results are beautiful. It takes about a minute to make each star.

How do you like to spend your free time?
It’s no secret to just about anyone who knows me that my main passion (other than knitting) is Roller Derby! I skate for the Pair O’ Dice City Rollers in Springfield, MA where I practice 3 days a week. Roller Derby is a great sport because it’s a ton of fun (we’re an awesome group of ladies) but also takes a lot of athletic skill. Plus, since Roller Derby grew out of a very DIY culture, you wouldn’t believe how many knitters/crafters there are on the team!

Greta has been working at WEBS for three years now, and has a wonderfully adventurous attitude about life. “I’m going to try all the things and if i don’t like something, I just won’t do it.” She’s taken juggling classes and has recently taken up kung fu. Greta really enjoys team sports, and loves the challenging, fast paced and aggressive environment. Roller derby has taught her great skills on how to work with people and win. Winning definitely isn’t everything to Greta though, “If we don’t win the game, at least we win the after party!”

Greta lives in the Pioneer Valley with her boyfriend Justin, while missing her nephew dog back home, Pretzel.

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4 Responses to “WEBS Staff Spotlight – Greta”

  1. Kristin Nicholas Says:

    Greta is always so lovely in the store – helpful and friendly. Nice to read about her life.

  2. Marcy Vandale Says:

    awesome article about a fun girl! go greta!!

  3. Minecraft Says:

    The knitting seems to me difficult, not because I do not know if it skillfully and meticulously because I have not focused on it.

  4. Greta Shaver Says:

    UPDATE: I totally finished that wedding afghan, with a week to spare!

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