Maker Monday v. II: Abby of Goodstitch Fibers

Hello, all! I hope you are having a lovely start to your week. I know that sometimes Mondays can get a bad reputation, but I like to make them as nice as possible for myself. This interview is one of those "nice things" that happened today. Our guest today is Abby from Goodstitch Fibers, a self-described wool lover and homestead wannabe. She knits, spins, and even sews! I first discovered her lovely work on Instagram and fell in love with her stunning feed. I then began to follow her blog and her Etsy shop. I actually purchased some of her yarn recently (I mentioned it in my post on Friday). So, without further ado, here is Abby!

                                              Abby modeling her recently completed Fen dress.

                                              Abby modeling her recently completed Fen dress.

1. If we were able to have this conversation in a cute little coffee shop, what would you be drinking? Coffee, tea, or neither.

Although I do love tea, I would definitely be drinking coffee! My favorite drink I've ever gotten from a coffee shop was a lavender latte. Sometimes for a special treat I'll make lavender syrup at home and have it in my morning coffee :)

2. Tell us a little bit about what you make/do. What led you to choose that path? What first sparked your interest in and desire to create a sustainable, local product?

Goodstitch Fibers is a business I launched this fall with the desire to make domestically sourced handspun yarns. The journey that I took to get me here is long, starting with a high school interest in knitting. For many years, that was my main craft, but 3 years ago when I moved to North Carolina I had the opportunity to meet local farmers who raised sheep for a living, sold their yarn at farmer's markets and had a beautiful passion for living of the land. The carbon footprint of most commercial yarns is so huge, yarns flying between several continents before they land in your local yarn shop, processed with petroleum, chemical dyes and treated to lose a lot of their beautiful, wooly properties. With so many wonderful people in this country raising sheep, alpacas, bunnies, goats, it just began to seem crazy to me. 

3. Where do you go for inspiration?

This may be very obvious to many people, but Instagram is a huge source of inspiration for me. I've gotten to connect with and meet so many beautiful people through it and am always following new makers, weavers, potters, embroidery masters and many other artists who have created a beautiful aesthetic there. Right now, I'm also living with my husband in this tiny house off of a huge road in Chapel Hill that backs up to the woods. It's simple and beautiful and very inspiring. North Carolina has so much to offer agriculturally, and is a huge source of inspiration for my natural dyeing practice. Last year I foraged mushrooms and marigold near where I live, and I'm excited to plant a dye garden in my back yard and see what comes of it. 

I love Instagram as well! I enjoy following people who participate in a variety of creative pursuits and getting inspired and excited to create every day after seeing their gorgeous work.

4. Where do you most like to create?

Among friends. I have a beautiful knitting group that meets weekly, and I love when my husband and I are in our home working on different creative pursuits together. 

5. What does your creative process/daily routine look like?

I have a notebook where I keep ideas for future yarns and projects, and the list just seems to keep growing, which is wonderful! Most of the yarns that I spun are plied, and there is a time-specific process for most of them. I'll spin singles one day, then ply the next. I have a hard time just working on one project at a time. Currently I have 3 knitting projects and 2 spinning projects in the works, just for myself, not even for the shop! :) I try not to let my moods dictate my schedule in terms of what I'm making that day, but it's pretty cool when you wake up excited to work on a particular project, feeling inspired by what is going to come off the bobbin. I can spin for hours at a time and not get tired of it, it's very therapeutic. 

I love the idea of having specific activities for each day. I, too, always seem to find myself with multiple projects going on, not counting my basket of unfinished objects. 

6. Lastly, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Japan! I've always been interested in Japanese culture, and their knitting patterns and design aesthetic as a whole are amazing. Plus, anywhere that I can eat sushi at least twice a day is the place where I want to be. 

Abby, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I loved reading your answers! Be sure to check out her lovely blog, Instagram, and Etsy shop.

Natural, American made fibers are something I am slowly learning more and more about, so I always enjoy discovering artisans and creatives who are pursuing their passions for beauty as well as sustainable fiber.

 

 

Maker Monday v. I: Rachelle Marie

     Welcome to the first post in my "Maker Monday" series! The goal of this series is to introduce you to other creative people and small business owners that I have had the pleasure of "meeting" online. There are so many amazing people currently creating amazing products, and I am excited to share some o them with you!

     Also, I do realize that Monday was yesterday, but I was so excited to share this interview with you that I couldn't wait another week. 

     This week, I want to introduce you to Rachelle. I first "met" her through the wonderful ministry of Delight & Be. As I browsed through her shop and her social media accounts, I fell in love with her artwork and her whole aesthetic. She kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did!

 

1. If we were able to have this conversation in a cute little coffee shop, what would you be drinking? Coffee, tea, or neither?

I would most likely treat myself to coffee as this is a special occasion and I can always do with a little more caffeine in my day.

2. Tell us a little bit about what you make/do. What led you to choose that path?

I do a great many things and the list seems to be only growing longer. My primary passions are photography, cinematography, painting, adventuring, and music. I especially enjoy bringing together my passions for photography/cinematography with adventures and, in the case of cinematography, music. I do a great deal of watercolor illustration for my etsy shop as well as for the pure enjoyment of it. My family is full of creatives so it is something that I grew up around and in turn came to love. My parents used to run a photography business and they have been kind enough to let me borrow equipment and a lot of helpful advice in my pursuit of photography.

3. Where do you go for inspiration?

For me, the most inspiring place to be is outdoors. I constantly crave the mountains, the sea, the forest, and the open road. That, and people. And Jesus. Especially all three together. Music and the work of others also inspire greatly. I love seeing what other people have created and learning and taking inspiration from that.

4. Where do you most like to create?

For painting and any other type of illustration, I like to create right from home. Usually I'll set up my creative space at our kitchen table or at my desk if I need a quieter space. As for more active creative fields like photography, I love to go outside and explore. In that creative process, I like to think that the world is my canvas.

5. What does your creative process/daily routine look like?

In all honesty, there are many days on which I don't create at all, even if I'd like to. I go through frequent droughts of inspiration and sometimes don't paint for weeks at a time. So I can't say that I have daily creative processes - but, during the wonderful days when creativity is in abundance, I do have a few little routines! With painting, I first think up an idea. Oftentimes this looks like browsing Pinterest for inspiration, sketching, or even simply painting the first thing I happen to think of. I like to set up a space with my water jar, a cloth, my paints, a few sketchbooks, and some good music playing. As for filming and photography, I sometimes have visions for what I want to capture, but more often than not I try to keep an open mind and be willing to work with whatever I find. It is a messy and exhilarating process!

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Oh, boy. Is my answer allowed to be 'everywhere'? Well, there are a few specific places that I am longing to visit. One in particular is southern France. I don't know much about the region, but I do happen to know that the landscapes are incredibly picturesque and there are beautiful seaside highways. Yes, please! Another place is Norway. I'm not always one for colder weather, but Norway is so ridiculously gorgeous that I don't think I'd mind a bit! I also have strong Norwegian heritage and would love to visit some spots that I've heard of in old family stories. And the opportunity to snap a few photos of landscapes would be wonderful!

Thank you so much for the wonderful chat, Emily! The coffee was delicious and so caffeinated that I fear I've talked up a storm. wink emoticon It has been grand!

     Thank you so much, Rachelle! You can find her shop here, or scroll through her blog, Instagram, and Pinterest