Do you have a hobby or passion that you’ve returned to?
A million years ago (ok, about 25) I went to college for Fashion Design. One of my favorite things that I learned back then was how to use a knitting machine. I loved it so much so that I spent the equivalent of a month’s rent on a second hand one after graduation. A hand operated knitting machine is basically a loom with a bed of latch-hook needles. The yarn is threaded through a set of tension wires then down into a mechanism called a carriage. One push of the carriage across the bed knits one row. Simple, right? It’s actually incredibly complex and requires patience, perseverance and constant learning. But yeah, super amazingly cool!
I made plenty of things over the years before retiring the machine to the attic after becoming a mom. Fast forward 15 years. With the kids in middle and high school (and the use of the internet) I’ve been able to re-teach myself how to use this amazing contraption!
Matilda (that’s my name for her) is a temperamental thing but I love her just the same. She was manufactured in 1978, and since most machine knitting companies have stopped production, finding parts and service is another DIY pastime. But oh the possibilities are endless! There’s a punchcard reader that allows me to design my own fair isle patterns and textures. I’ve been playing with different yarns and color combinations, taking notes, making mistakes, trying new things, etc. It really has been mind expanding.
Sewing (designing patterns, writing books, teaching classes) is of course my main thing, my primary business and what drives me day to day. But on the weekends, I set that all aside to play. My new personal motto is, “Sewing is my bread and butter. Knitting is my jam.” I’m lucky to be passionate about more than one thing!
So where is all of this leading to? Who knows! But I will let you in on a little something. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen peeks and bits of projects I’ve knit. A cowl, a hat, some cute swatchie pincushions. This November I’m planning a little online pop-up shop, just for the holidays! I’m busy now creating items for the shop and wanted to let you in on it. If you are interested, you can sign up for the Betz White Studio Knits email newsletter for first-hand information on the shop launch! (FYI, this is a different newsletter than my current list for sewing) Stay tuned for more info and let me know if you have any questions!