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Robin Martin

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When did you first start knitting/why?

A year ago, after Knitche (near my home in Downers Grove) opened. I loved the environment in the shop and was inspired to go back and register for a class.

Who taught you to knit?

Mary at Knitche in Downers Grove – she’s a wonderful lady with infinite patience. She encouraged me to try German/Continental style after English/American was not clicking for me. Even though I’m right handed, wrapping the yarn with the right hand seemed really awkward and I couldn’t figure anything out until I switched hands.

What style of knitting do you practice?

I think it’s a variation on German/Continental in that I wrap the yarn with my left hand – I’m not as advanced as the true Continental style as I do take my left hand off the yarn to wrap it instead of just holding it steady and maneuvering the right needle under/over it.

Have you ever taught someone to knit?

Yes, actually I love knitting so much that I’ve taught three other people (so far!) I’d love to teach classes eventually (I teach accounting and tax classes now as one of my many occupations, but this would be a lot more fun!) The only problem is I can show people American/English style but am not proficient at it, so I typically show people using my method and tell them that if it doesn’t work for them, there are a lot of other options out there and none of them are “wrong” as long as the stitches turn out!

Do you knit for a living/have your own business?

No, but I think I would love to. Although I do wonder if it would become less of a passion if it were my livelihood.

What projects are you working on now?

How much time do you have to hear about them all? I think I am a little odd in that I always have at least eight or nine projects going at one time. Right now, after my holiday project of making each person on my list a knitted gift, I have the following “on the needles”:

  1. Noro Silk Garden #8 V-neck cardigan (from 2nd Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Noro book) – back is done and most of the front
  2. Ballet Wrap Cardigan in Colinette Prism (Sahara colorway) from Winter 2005 Interweave Knits magazine – back and left front are done
  3. Greek Pullover Cardigan in Rowan Kid Classic (Juicy) from Fall 2005 Interweave Knits – back and ¼ of front are done
  4. Big Wool “Gwen” cardigan (“Arctic” – gray/white variegated) from Rowan Bigger Picture book – just have to seam together
  5. Yellow/orange cork garter ridge sweater from Rowan Cork Collection – have to make the front and seam together
  6. Cotton Tape sweater from cover of Rowan Cotton Tape Collection – have to finish the left front and seam together
  7. Jaeger Natural Fleece V-neck with “fur” trimmed sleeves from JB 38 – have to finish sleeves

8.) Rowan Plaid cabled sweater from the Plaid Collection – have to finish sleeves

I feel exhausted writing about all of those!! But honestly – I am usually invigorated by having so many things going at once. I like knowing that if I get sick of working with one yarn I can move onto something else and come back to it.

What is your very favorite yarn?

Right now it is Colinette Prism – I’m really liking this Ballet Wrap Cardigan.

What is the best thing you ever knit?

Rowan Ribbon Twist capelet from their most recent semiannual magazine.

What is the worst thing you ever knit?

Rowan Cotton Braid sweater from their Cotton Braid Collection – it was one of my first projects and it drove me CRAZY. I turned it into an expensive cat blanket.

Why do you like to knit?

It unlocks the other (creative) side of my brain, and helps me relax. I also love fashion and get very excited by a great pattern more so than a great yarn.

When do you knit?

Whenever I have an opportunity!! Usually every evening and weekend – also during continuing professional education webcasts in my office at work.

What is your favorite part of the knitting process?

The knitting itself, although as I have gotten more proficient at seaming, I’m starting to like it too. It is a nice offset to the knitting and can be a good way to rest my hands by doing something else.

How long have you been knitting?

One year, believe it or not! I’ve taken to it with a vengeance and am never afraid to try something new!

What do you like about our guild?

I just joined so I have yet to attend a meeting, but I like the list of Chicago area yarn shops, the 10% discount offered by some of those yarn shops and the quality of the sample newsletter. I also am excited by the opportunity to be informed about and attend local workshops and events.

Do you engage in other Fiber Arts?

Not currently – I keep saying I “should” learn to crochet beyond the chain stitch, but I am just having too much fun knitting to take any time away from it.

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