Welcome to another installment of ‘Fellow Fibre Friends’! This week, we meet Jennifer Riester, who is a knitter and tech editor (ie, she edits knitting patterns.) You can find her on her blog, Jen Knittng Around.
I guess I’ll start at the beginning.
When I was a child my grandmother taught me how to crochet. Sadly, it never caught on with me. I did a lot of cross stitching and have had brief flings with scrapbooking. Fast forward to the summer of 2003, my best friend was pregnant with twin girls and for reasons that are still unclear for me I knew I had to knit for them. Quick note – I was completely unaware of the big surge in knitting at the time, it was a feeling deep inside me. I did not know anyone who knit and I really was not into the blog or internet scene at the time. I was still a shiny new attorney and was trying to figure that out and who knew if the Internet was even going to catch on???
Anyway, there was a yarn store opening up across the street from my apartment so I signed up for lessons. I will tell you that the woman who taught me to knit was convinced I would never actually become a knitter. I may be a bit tightly wound and logical so letting it go to knit was a challenge to say the least. I was a very tight knitter because I was always afraid the stitch was going to fall off the needle. I managed to knit your requisite first scarf and then decided to tackle a blanket with no pattern, LOL! I thought knitting a bunch of squares and sewing them together was a good idea.
Fact: I’m still addicted to any pattern that requires knitting squares, circles, or any shape and I never finish them! And then, I knit two Santa hats for the girls who were born while I was at my knitting lesson. The hats were awful and way beyond my skill level. There were huge gaps where I lost tension between DPNs not to mention all the dropped stitches. Over the years, my gauge has loosened and I’ve learned that I just need to trust my knitting. The girls just turned 13 and I’m happy to say that I knit them winter hats this year that they both love. One of them may even pick up some needles soon, fingers crossed!
Eventually, I wanted to complete more projects (still an issue, by the way) and I found another local store that had an open knit night. I thought if I could dedicate 2 hours a week to my knitting I would definitely finish more things. Please don’t ask what else took up my time, I have no idea!!! There were so many people who came that I mostly sat in the corner and quietly worked on my project (hi to my fellow introverts!). But, the crowds thinned and this is where I really started to learn about fiber, patterns, and the entire knitting world. This is also when Ravelry came into being. I fell and I fell hard. Slowly knitting overtook my entire life.
Encouraged by friends I opened an Etsy shop to sell my finished products (confession: I’ve never made one sale on Etsy), I expanded my blog to talk about both my travels and my knitting, and I found out about fiber festivals, retreats and other events. I’ve made connections online with knitters all over the world which I love so much. I’ve even met some of them in person during my travels which was so amazing!
Recently, I made the decision to take all my knowledge and an online course and to start offering tech editing services. I don’t have a design mind – I could never imagine figure out how to design anything. But, I do have an eye for details and writing from all my years as an attorney. Those are great skills to have for a tech editor. I’ve also been doing test knitting for about a year which I think is a good building block for becoming a tech editor. My initial hope was that the tech editing could provide me with supplemental income to buy yarn and travel while I continue to work my day job (currently, I do contracting work so am basically self-employed) but a friend pointed out that it could become a full-time job as the pay rate is about the same so I’m just going to see where it goes. In the meantime, I’ll just keep knitting!
Blog : jenknittingaround.wordpress.com
Instagram : Instagram.com/jenknittingaround
Facebook : facebook.com/KnittingARound