Sharing My Journey…

Sharing my journey and why I’m creating these courses ~

A few weeks ago, an idea started dancing around in my head. The idea persisted and the dancing turned to tapping, that kept getting louder. That idea was to teach my method of designing knitwear. I’ve learned to listen to the tapping, so that is when I asked the question if anyone would be interested in such a course. Your response was immediate and an overwhelming yes, so I am working on developing these courses for you. 

Ten years ago this month, I was out for a walk, about a mile away from my house. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. During that time, I was knitting every minute that I could, and feeling guilty about it, because there were things I “should” be doing instead. I’ve been knitting since I was seven years old, when my grandmother taught me to knit, but for some reason, I was completely consumed with the desire to knit at that time. While out for that walk, it was as if a voice asked “why don’t you learn to design and maybe earn some money?” And then as an afterthought, “maybe you could work for a really cool yarn company.” Well, I couldn’t get home fast enough to learn how to design. I got on the internet, and to my dismay, there wasn’t one place to go to learn all that I needed to. So I started buying books, studying patterns I had purchased, and dove in head first. I learned a lot but at times I felt like I was reinventing the wheel. 

Then a few years later, I was contacted by Shibui Knits to fill in for their bookkeeper – my other job. That temporary position turned into a permanent part-time job. As fate would have it, I started designing a few pieces for them. Remember the afterthought I had on my walk?? Over time, it was decided to bring design in-house at Shibui Knits, and I was extremely fortunate to be the one chosen to take on that role. I designed for them for about five years. I learned so much while working there and will be forever grateful for that opportunity. I decided three years ago to go out on my own and develop my own brand and discover who I am as a designer. That’s when Shel Designs was born. 

If you are like me, with a burning desire to design, but don’t really have a clue how to go about that, maybe the courses I’m developing will be for you. Maybe you are a yarn store owner or an independent yarn dyer and would like to design knitwear to help sell your beautiful yarn. Or maybe you’re an avid knitter and would like to learn how to design pieces for yourself. I can help you with that too. I’ll be teaching my method and the steps I go through. I don’t know it all, and I’m learning all the time, but I have learned a lot over the past ten years and have a lot of information to share.

Most of my knitting and design work is a solitary endeavor. I thrive in that solitude, but connecting with and collaborating with others is also an essential part of the design process. My hope is that we can create a community where we can share our successes and support one another when we need support. 

My plan is to offer the courses sometime in the fall. I will definitely keep you posted. 

Thanks for being part of my journey.




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