Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Spotlight On: Jennifer of Poops

Yes, you read that right. Her shop name is "Poops."  I love people with a sense of humor.  I especially love knitters with a sense of humor.  And Jennifer is definitely one of them.  It is actually a craft I totally understand and appreciate as it's one I seasonally participate in myself (I only ever knit in cold weather), and my personal opinion is that all knitters undercharge, because the time and effort that goes into making each garment is just amazing.  She has not only some amazing items, but great knitting patterns, and an ability to make me laugh.

(And on a sidenote, please read all the way to the end of the interview for some special news about the April's Army charity). 

Tell us three things about yourself.
1. I think there is humor to be found in any and every situation, but only truly intelligent people can find it, and only geniuses know when to share it.
2. I'm from lovely, scenic central New Hampshire. I was born here, raised here, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to die here. And that, my friend, is a good thing.
3. I sometimes do what the voices in my head tell me to do.  But don't tell anyone.
Knitting Pattern for Felted Wool Mittens

What’s your medium and how did you get into it?
I'm currently a Knitter. I started in with the sticks and string in 2004 after a friend and neighbor of mine died of cancer. She was Norwegian and was probably born holding knitting needles (which I imagine was quite painful for her mother) and did some of the most exquisite knitting I've seen to this day. When she got sick, I felt the swift and sudden urge to learn to knit and I'm glad I did. As sick as she was toward the end, whenever I'd see her she'd ask how my knitting was coming along and did I love to do it. She is my inspiration and my muse.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made?
I don't really have a favorite. It's like choosing which child you like the best. My favorite thing to knit, for reason I can't explain, is mittens. I find making mittens relaxing.

From where do you take inspiration?
I love Norwegian knitting. Both the traditional style and the new, modern twists that designers put on them just amaze me.

Name one piece of art you wish you’d created and why?
It's not so much an "I wish I had" as it is "I wish to knit this someday" kind of thing. I've always felt that the day I can make a Norwegian ski team sweater is the day I'll consider myself an expert. I know there are other styles, other benchmarks of knitting success, but for me, that's what I want to make.

What are you doing when you’re not crafting?
Yarn shopping. No, but seriously folks, when I'm not crafting, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles. Really hard ones. If I look at the first five clues and I have no idea what the solutions might be, I'm a happy camper. I also write, though I seem to be inspired to do it only in fits and starts. Oh, and I also have three kids, so I might be paying attention to them, too. Maybe.

If you had to give up your medium and pursue another, what would it be and why?
I just learned to spin, so I think if I had to set the needles aside for awhile, I'd really go headlong into getting better at my yarn-making skills. And if I had to choose a hobby that's not fiber- related, I'd like to learn woodworking. Specifically furniture and cabinet-making. I love handmade furniture, and I've done some building that I've found very satisfying, so I think that kind of carpentry would be interesting to learn.
Handknit Lace White Baby Cardigan

Tell us about a time you were making something that came out better than expected and how it happened.
I was most pleased with my wedding gown. I had it made by a local seamstress, but I hand-embroidered fall flowers all around the neckline, from the shoulder seams, down the front and wrapping around the peplum of the jacket. I knew when I came up with the idea that it was a good one, but I was pretty impressed with how striking an effect it was when it was all done. It totally surpassed my expectations.

Who is one person living or dead, famous or not, who you wish owned one of your creations and why?
I would love to be featured as one of Oprah's favorite things. I bet I'd make sacks of cash from that kind of exposure.

How would you explain how to do what you do to an eight year old?
That depends. As a surface explanation to a simple question, as in "What are you doing, lady?" I tell them I'm knitting. I use a pair of pointed sticks called "needles" to turn yarn into mittens, sweaters, or whatever. Anything beyond that kind of turns into knitting lessons and I don't honestly know if I have the patience to teach an 8-year-old how to knit. I'm way better as a doer than a teacher.

What’s your favorite part of the process?
I think design is my favorite part. Ideas just come to me, and I love sorting through yarns to find just the right ones to make what's in my head a reality. I love being able to make an idea into a tangible item.

One random thing you think people should know.
I believe in all things in moderation, especially moderation.

Your shop address/facebook/Twitter/blog/website. Etc.
I blog semi-regularly at and I sell things at I'm working on transferring my inventory from Etsy to EvenBadgers over the course of the summer as my listing expire, and my new shop will I don't tweet, and my Facebook shop page is currently both sad and pathetic.

Handknit Strawberry Wool Baby Hat

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
Hmm. That's a tough one. All superpowers seem to come with a burden of some sort, don't they? I think I'd like the power to blink from one place to another instantly. I could be here one minute, at the yarn shop in the wool section the next, then home before the toddler looked up from his Legos. That'd be awesome.

Okay, folks, happy Memorial Day, and happy re-opening of the April's Army team shop as well!  If you've been paying any attention at all, you know I'm a member of this lovely team, which has a collective shop which opens for one week once a month.  During that week, everything sold goes to support a different cause or charity.  This week we are helping Katey and Ron, who lost everything in a fire, even their pet rabbit (you can read more about their plight here).  If you wan't to help, there are three ways you can assist.  You can either go to back to page I just linked, scroll to the bottom and donate via Paypal; or you can go to Katey's Etsy store Chickatey and buy something or you can visit the April's Army collective shop and buy something from one of the many wonderful sellers who have contributed (including me!) and know you're doing something great for a couple who really could use the help. 

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