Sandi Wiseheart, Knitting Daily
Today’s the last stop of the blog tour for Sandi Wisehart, Editor of the new web site from Interweave Press called Knitting Daily. I’ve already subscribed to their free daily newsletter in which Sandi gives us the scoop on special knitting techniques, patterns, and more, all with her fabulous sense of humor. The site also boats an extensive free knitting pattern library and this week we are happy to have Sandi’s Ms. Poppin’s Bag as part of our CRAFT Pattern Podcast! I got a chance to talk more with Sandi to find out more about her love of knitting and the new Knitting Daily. (Also, thanks to Crazy Aunt Purl I found out she has four cats!)
Nat: Please tell me more about the new site Knitting Daily and how it all got started.
Sandi: Knitting Daily is Interweave Press’s new gathering place for knitters online! Interweave already had a lot of great knitting information and patterns on the various magazine and book websites, but as the Internet grew and as we grew, we started to want something more interactive, more reader-centered, and just plain more fun! We spent a lot of time brainstorming, we looked at other craft websites and community-based websites, and over time we started putting together a wishlist for a website that would be part community, part free pattern library, part newsletter, and part knitting tutorials. We consulted the editorial staff of the magazines and books to see what they needed and wanted online – and we consulted our customer service experts to learn what types of things our readers ask for on the web. And here we are!
Nat: What’s the story of how you first learned how to knit?
Sandi: I feel so silly every time someone asks this question…because I don’t remember learning to knit! I know I was knitting sweaters in elementary school, and so I must have learned pretty early on. My mother doesn’t knit, and my grandmothers did not knit, so it’s a bit of a mystery who I learned from. The Knitting Fairy, maybe? In any case, I am extremely grateful to whomever it was who first put the sticks and string into my tiny little paws, obviously. If you’re out there: Thank you!
Nat: Why do you think knitting has become some popular?
Sandi: The last few years have been an amazing craft renaissance, haven’t they? Crafts of every kind – including the “virtual crafts,” such as podcasting, videos, website building, digital photo albums–are a way to create ourselves, if you will, and to communicate something unique and individual out into a very big, very complicated world. The bigger the world gets, the more we need to have a way to stand up and say, I’m not just a faceless number, I’m ME, and I’m unique, and here’s what’s special about me. I think knitting has a special place in the craft revolution that’s going on, because knitting connects us to our past – many knitters (not me, obviously, but lots of others!) have vivid memories of grandmothers, aunts, mothers, who knitted or taught them to knit. Knitting connects us to the earth, through the lovely yarns that are available now – bamboo, organic cotton, hemp, hand-dyed wool – and it connects us to a calmer, deeper part of ourselves with its rhythmic motions. Watching yarn grow into fabric, and the fabric into something you can wear as an expression of your own cool self, well. That’s pure magic.
Not to mention: Yarn is addictive. I dare anyone to go into a local yarn shop and come out empty-handed. (Double-dare you.) Stalwart, stoic non-knitters have been converted merely at the gentlest touch of a ball of cashmere, a tiny whisper from a skein of merino wool…
Nat: Do you have a special knitting tip you can share with us?
Sandi: Most knitters hate to rip out, and rightly so! It’s painful to watch all that hard work unravel. However, sometimes ripping out is necessary…so to dull the pain of ripping back a gadzillion rows, I remind myself of this happy fact: The more ripping out I do, the more knitting I get to do later!
Sounds goofy, but when you’re faced with ripping back a bunch of rows, it helps to remind yourself that what you love about knitting is the actual knitting part, –you really, really do love the actual knitting part, really you do– and ripping back just means more knitting.
Nat: What are some of the upcoming things we can expect from Knitting Daily this summer?
Sandi: We’re opening our Pattern Store later this month…very exciting! You know how frustrating it can be to see a photo of some great Interweave pattern, only to find that that pattern is in a sold-out magazine or book? Well, the Pattern Store is our solution to that…we’re going to have patterns from our sold-out back issues on sale, as well as special, exclusive-to-Knitting-Daily goodies for everyone.
In August, I’ll be talking with Teva Durham–she’s sending me samples of her new yarn line for me to knit up, so I can report back to all the Knitting Daily folks about them. And we’ll have an exclusive Teva pattern for our Knitting Daily readers at that time, too. It’s really cute. I can’t wait till you all see it!
Our Knitting Daily wishlist is pretty long…and every time I read our reader email, I add things to the list! I love hearing what everyone wants and hopes for, and what people are looking for in an online knitting from Interweave. If you have a suggestion for what you’d like to see, let us know! Your wishlist can then become our wishlist, too….and we can build Knitting Daily together!
Sandi’s Blog Tour Roundup: