Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gardiner Yarn Works

Gardiner Yarn Works is the creative outlet for otherwise full-time mommy Chrissy Gardiner. After learning to knit from her grandmother at age 10, Chrissy dabbled in the fiber arts (including knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch and needlepoint) for the past two decades before discovering her local yarn shop and the lovely luxury yarns therein. Knitting became her new obsession after discovering that wool is not always scratchy. You can also find her busily designing for Blue Moon Fiber Arts, The Sweet Sheep, Hip Knits UK and Y2Knit when she's not working on new patterns for her Gardiner Yarn Works line or fetching a sippy cup of milk for an impatient child.

How long have you been dyeing yarn/beading? I am a knitwear designer, and have been doing it for about a year and a half. My first published pattern was the Ziggy scarf in Feb '06 Mag Knits.

What motivates you? It's fun to come up with new designs, especially socks (my favorite thing to design), and it's really great to be able to share the designs with others. There's nothing like seeing a stranger in one of your designs!

What was your favourite product you have ever made? It was a design for the upcoming book Big Girl Knits 2 - I can't tell you about it since the book isn't published yet, but I am so proud of it! It turned out beautifully and was really fun to knit.

Have you ever been a participant in a Secret Pal swap? Yup - I've been in all of them since SP6.

Any advice for the fiber/beading artists? Follow your passion, and treat yourself as a professional right from the start. The great thing about doing a fiber-related business is that you can make it as small or big as you want, and can do it in very small chunks of time. I've got two small children at home, so it's important for me to have something very flexible. I love that I can bring my knitting with me anywhere and work on it a row or two at a time.

Are there any designers, fiber artists or any other artist you consider role models? I took a six-week sweater design class from Leigh Radford right as I was starting out and got tons of invaluable advice - she is such an incredible creative thinker. I am also a total Nancy Bush fanatic and really respect and look up to her as a designer.


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