Jamie lasted about a month of working at WEBS before diving in to knitting. Learning has been a combination of taking classes here, asking questions of patient co-workers and getting help from books and online videos. It’s never easy to learn a new skill, but Jamie jumped right in with the perfect attitude. “I have no problem trying something new and failing. I’m always trying to learn new things. I’m a lifelong learner. You just have to recognize that you can try something and not be good at it, and that’s okay.”
(Above) Bandana Cowl knit in Tosh Chunky in Amber Trinket.
How long have you been knitting? Do you do any other fiber arts?
I started learning to knit this past September (2012) by taking Knitting I and Knitting II here at WEBS. I’ve also had a lot of help from my wonderful and talented office-mates! I haven’t picked up any other fiber arts yet, but I’m hoping to take Crochet I in the near future.
What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I haven’t worked with that many yarns yet, but I have a not-so-secret fondness for Madelinetosh yarns. I really love the subtle variations in some of their greyed-out colorways like Opaline.
(Left) Eternity Scarf, by Michele Wang (published by Brooklyn Tweed). Knit in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran in Pebble.
(Right) Romney Kerchief, by Jared Flood (published by Brooklyn Tweed). Knit in Tosh DK in Antique Lace.
What is your favorite fiber project?
So far it’s really been that my favorite project is whichever one (or three) I’m working on at that moment. I try to pick a project that’s exciting to me, whether because of the color and fiber of the yarn, or new techniques I have to learn or how great the finished object looks. I’m really happy with a Romney Kerchief, designed by Jared Flood, that I made with Tosh DK (above right). I had to learn a Provisional Cast On, Kitchener Stitch and Elizabeth Zimmermann Sewn Bind-Off to complete it, and I love how simple but elegant the design is.
What fiber project are you working on right now?
Currently I’m working on a super-bright cowl using Manos del Uruguay Alegria sock yarn. WEBS’ own Greta Shaver designed a nifty little cowl pattern using a neon colorway of Alegria (above left). I think it’s a loud, silly and awesome accessory, and I’m making it for a loud, silly and awesome friend! I’m also working on an Irving Hat, designed by Melissa Labarre (above right). I love her hat patterns, and so far it’s been really helpful for me to get experience doing a more complicated lace motif with an easier-to-handle worsted weight yarn.
How else do you express yourself artistically?
I majored in Visual Art at a relatively small college, so while I mainly focused on photography, I studied a bit of everything, including painting, drawing and sculpture. Before coming to work at WEBS, I worked for a small hardwood furniture manufacturer. As a result, over the past three years I’ve spent less time making images and a lot of my free time learning woodworking (and now knitting). Making images continues to be important to me though, and I always keep a sketchbook where I’m working on or planning prints, paintings and photographs.
Do you have a favorite non fiber related project you’ve completed?
My wife, Elena, is a printmaker and painter, and this past September we worked together to make a large (6’ x 3’) woodblock print for BIG INK, a large-scale woodblock printing public art event put on for Northampton’s Arts Night Out. The print shows a scene from family friends’ blueberry farm in Maine. (above)
How do you like to spend your free time?
What’s free time? When not working on arts/crafts projects, I really enjoy spending time outside with Elena and our dog, Ginger. We like to go for day hikes up Mt. Skinner, Mt. Toby and Mt. Tom. I find exercise to be a great way to unwind and oscillate between running and playing ultimate Frisbee. Right now I’m training to do some triathlons this summer! While I do love to exercise, the secret reason I do it is so that I can bake and eat as many scones and muffins as possible.
When I asked Jamie what his dream job was, he had a hard time coming up with an answer. “I really like working here so don’t really spend any time thinking about it.”
“My absolute dream job would be working in Nick Offerman’s woodshop. He plays Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation and seems like a really cool dude. He has a woodworking studio in L.A that makes really beautiful stuff. I’m not actually experienced or talented enough at woodworking, but that’s why it’s a dream job, right?”
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