Oh hi! It’s me, Knitting Sarah

Someone asked me in the Ravelry group this week to share a little about myself. Since the start of the Ravelry group & Socks with Sarah, I know a good number of you are new to the blog & while I know you can get the concise history of Knitting Sarah in the about section, I thought this might be a good chance for you to get to know just a little more of who you’re dealing with here.

I grew up in the countryside a couple miles outside of a town that’s sign as you enter literally declares, “No Mayor, No City Council, No Government — Life is good!” My parents built a home on about 10acres of land — a little marsh, a little swamp, a little woods, and a lot of room to roam. I grew up romping about, “working” in the garden, annoying my older sister, and daydreaming. I remember the most exciting days were those when my mom sent me to the garage to hang out with my dad. Today, with a six-year-old daughter of my own, I suspect those were the days I was especially chatty. In any case, my dad would set me up with a 2×4, some nails, and a hammer. When I ran out of nails, I pulled them all out & started over. Life was good.

Between this & the crochet & sewing & quilting & small engine repair that went on at my house as a kid, I’ve always been surrounded by & fascinated by building things — how small pieces intertwine & interact to make bigger things. While I have a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, my undergraduate studies included everything from my core courses in art history, to physical geography & geology, to weather & climate, to a lot of languages. I always felt a little bit directionless — I think that’s part of why I also traveled a lot during this time, but looking back I think it was all in attempts to understand how the world around me worked — from the physical world, to the social world both across the US & abroad, to the art world, to the history of the world. While not exactly practical as far as getting a job goes I learned a lot, especially about writing and how to talk about & convey to others how those small pieces work together to create bigger things.

It was after college that I finally got to learn to knit. I had been sewing & crocheting for as long as I could remember and while I’m capable in those areas, I lacked passion for them and really didn’t push myself to improve. I had always been drawn to knitting, the fabric it created and the look of the items you could create. Fresh out of college, newly married, and not exactly flush with cash, as a Christmas gift one year my parents gave me the funds for a knitting class. I jumped in the deep end, learning to knit via a simple custom cardigan & followed up with a finishing class. And I was on my way.

After having my kids, I commit to staying home full-time with them. My husband works long hours, so I can be flexible and always available for them as well as do all the things in & around the house that no one — not even me — wants to do. Everything from cleaning gutters to paying bills to scheduling everyone’s appointments to getting the kids to finish homework to making sure there’s mouthwash. I’m the lady who gets it done. You could say I’m the eye of the storm, the center that keeps all the beautiful madness spinning ’round. And it works for us. The fact that I do all this stuff means that when my husband has days off we get to have good ol’ fashioned unimpeded family adventures. It’s not without sacrifice for each of us, but — like I said — it works for us and we are a pretty darn happy bunch for it.

I came to spinning only a couple years ago. I started with a drop spindle, spending an inordinate amount of time dropping it while producing little to no yarn. Then I tried learning on a wheel and it went much better. I found my wheel, but had little time for lessons so I was lucky enough to have a couple spinning friends point me in the right direction to get me going. There was a long period of trial & error, then it all started to kind of click. I’m lucky to have some excellent voices that I follow online who offer great advice when I ask and I am just having the best time learning to make yarn.

It’s also true that I spent in the neighborhood of 3years as a knitting instructor at my local yarn shop, Firefly Fibers. I truly, truly loved the job & the people with whom I got to work. I was lucky enough to teach small groups & I loved that my classes revolved around helping knitters find their own path within the craft. I learned so much from my students and am so grateful for the time I spent in the classroom. I left the post last June to accommodate my family’s needs — a major job change and family illness meant that the time I was committing to my classes just didn’t work for my family any more, so sadly I signed off. It was one of those decisions in life that was awfully hard to accept, but that I knew in my heart was right.

To maintain a creative outlet, I opted to keep up with my writing here — documenting my knitting, spinning, & family life. The last year has really showed me how the two are irrevocably intertwined and it has further solidified my commitment to what has always been at the heart of my craft as teacher, writer, knitter, and spinner:Β  that it’s about finding your path, your passion within the craft. Learn to knit. Love to knit. That’s always been the theme, the dream. Take this craft, make it your own, and love it. That’s what I want to continue to inspire & pass on to all of you. That’s why I keep coming back to the computer and typing away. In return, I’ve been inspired by & grateful for all of you, my amazing global knitting community. Y’all are truly great; thoughtful, full of inspiration & laughter. You make me smile.

As you’ll notice both here on the blog as well as on the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry group, I pop on and off-line as life allows. Some days it will probably feel like I’m glued to the screen, sometimes I’ll be quiet. It all depends on where life takes me that day, so please know that if you’ve written a comment or contacted me I will be getting back to you just as soon as I can. I promise.

With all that said, how about a few random quirky tidbits about me?

1. Dark chocolate makes me sneeze (but I love it anyways).

2. I am an avid birdwatcher .

me horicon

This is me looking super tough on the trail. I’m one super tough nerd.

3. I sleep with a 90lb chocolate lab on my feet every night. Not at my feet. On them.

4. I swim laps for exercise. Poorly, but it’s the effort that counts I think.

5. I make playlists to spin by that are tempo specific to the speed I’m spinning.

6. I was a quintessential band geek in high school & could play almost any instrument in band at least a little.

7. I am not a great cook.

8. I am a pretty decent baker.

9. I love the smell of saltwater, but I’ll take any big water.

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This is a picture of one of my fave days ever, with my fave people & dog (who is swimming).

10. I still think going fishing with my dad is as much of a treat as I did when I was a kid.

That’s me, that’s Knitting Sarah. I can’t wait to get to know you, too!

moose tuckered

Oh, and this is Moose. The one who sleeps on my feet.

16 responses to “Oh hi! It’s me, Knitting Sarah

  1. so fun to get an in depth view of you and your life. I often wonder about the people behind the blogs I read on the computer.
    I sometimes think I might run into you at the LYS cause you occasionally shop at stores close to me.

    • Glad you liked! You never can tell; I’ve been known to show up in local yarn shops from Rapid City to Omaha to Milwaukee & everywhere in between. You just never know where I might show up!

  2. Such an enjoyable post! Thanks for the peek into the Sarah behind the Knitting Sarah. Totally get what you’re saying about staying home and being the anchor to all the chaos–my role exactly. I left teaching in the public schools in 2012 after my third baby for that reason….our lives were just spinning out of control with both of us working full-time. I applaud families that manage everything with both parents working full-time or single working moms & dads….I so enjoy your blog. Wish I had more time to spend in the ravelry group….this first year of homeschooling takes probably too much of my time during the day. Where did you go to school? In WI? Great to “meet” you in this post!

    • I whole-heartedly agree – I think each family just has to find their rhythm & path and I’m wowed by those that juggle two jobs on top of everything else — it is no small feat by any means!

      I believe homeschooling takes a lot of time to get settled into – kudos to you for the undertaking of it!

      I’m a Badger – a proud graduate of UW-Madison. πŸ™‚

  3. What a great introduction! I love the picture of you and Moose that showed up on my reader! I so would love to do this sock thing with you, but this month I’m painting everyday and I just can’t keep up. I might just jump in and try, though. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I love that picture, too. πŸ™‚
      The socks are super laid back – you can do as little as a stitch or a round a day. If you can find the time, I’d love it for you to join us!

      • I’m trying… πŸ™‚ This is like a whole new territory for me. I mean I don’t even know what KAL stands for but I’m going to spend some time today and get all this together. I am finally successfully knitting some leg warmers for my soon to be 1 year old grand-daughter with dpns. So I know I can do socks. πŸ™‚ Sarah, you are such an inspiration…thanks!

  4. LOVED hearing about you, your family and Moose!! Was wondering how old are your kids and where do you live? Thanks SO much for gathering this group of knitting “friends” together, it’s like a knitting facebook.

  5. Thank you Sarah for sharing snapshots of your life with us. Parts of it made me ache for similar times in my life (now long gone except in memory) but also feel so glad that those experiences are still happening everywhere. I would truly love to live in a place with a sign like the one where you grew up!

    • Life was good — and it still is! πŸ˜‰ Sometimes it’s already a bittersweet that my ‘babies’ are not babies anymore, but I try hard to focus on the wonderful little people they are becoming and my husband is pretty good at forcing me to see the good at every age. I am lucky to be surrounded by these folks — that’s for sure!

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