From the Desk of Rhiannon
My sister Piggy knits. A lot. One might even say she knits compulsively. I blame myself: I taught her to knit when she was trying to give up smoking. Now she chain knits.
Having saturated the family market in personalized scarves, Piggy turned to other projects and finally settled on knitted, felted bags. So she now creates them – shopping or evening, sturdy or delicate, colorful or monochrome, furry or smooth, glittery or flat – anything you can imagine. Once she got the hang of it she was able to fill entire rooms of her home with felted knitting and random skeins of yarn.
So the natural progression of this industriousness was, of course, to start making personalized items for friends and family. This spread to people she met on the bus or at the supermarket (Piggy is very friendly), and now she has her own small but satisfying business making individualized bags for people who want to combine the practical with the extraordinary. She has an unusual approach to choosing her materials: she buys all her yarn at thrift shops, making her bags ecologically friendly as well as beautiful!
Her process is to invite a client to choose from a rainbow of colors and weights of yarn in her home and get an idea of the shape, size, and eventual use of the bag. Sometimes she has a similar example already made, to give the customer an idea of the finished product, and sometimes she just sketches out some ideas. Then she’s off!
Piggy tells me that the most satisfying element of knitting other people’s ideas is that she learns new things every day. How can she attach these straps? Would the bottom of this bag be better if knitted on circular needles? Exactly how many stitches should she cast on when making a tote bag? For her, the finished product is almost irrelevant. The joy comes in the creation, the artistry, which sounds twee when applied to handcrafts, but her satisfaction is as real as any cabinetmaker’s.
As I write this, Piggy is on the phone asking me if I think aqua goes with brown and would her client notice that her 3-year-old dabbed peanut butter on the bag. I can see her in my mind: sitting in her pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, glasses somewhat askew, and a pair of needles in her hands, always knitting….