As part of our series, Knit Luck Origins where we delve back into why we learned to knit and share stories from other knitters about how knitting changed their lives. Today we have Cyndi from The Twisted Purl talking about how she became a yarnaholic and how that brought her to owning her own business.
Hello, my name is Cyndi, and I'm a yarnaholic.
Let me start off by saying I love my kids and my life, but having two boys 15 months apart, a 5 year old step son, and finding our grove in a new marriage was STRESSFUL! Literally, I was losing hair. This is where knitting stepped in, changedmy life and made me who I am today.
A friend suggested I take up knitting to calm my nerves. Do I hear a collective chuckle in Knit Land? Most of you understand...knitting is not so calming, especially when you are first learning. My 2 year old ripped the needles out of my already 2 foot long blanket and rolled around with the loose stitches. What took me two weeks to accomplish, took my 2 year old twenty seconds to destroy. That was not my finest moment.
Knitting introduced me to yarn. Oh yarn! Adore the feel of yarn running through my hands, with all its glorious textures and colors. Oh Yaaaaarnnnn!!!! I became slighty the obsessed freakazoid. I can't ever tell you (or my husband) how much I actually spent on yarn...but I can share when we moved from our tiny home in Fresno, California to beautiful Arkansas, I filled 3 giant space bags FULL of yarn, and a couple boxes. Yep, I was a crazy yarn lady!
I knit scarves andsocks and purses and hats and dinosaurs and well just about everything I could. But, I was never really that good at finishing projects. One son isstill asking if his Owl is finished, the other is still waiting for a matching sock. Oh and did I mention, I actually twisted my purls for the first 2 years of knitting? Yes it's true, but it didn't really hinder my projects, I rarely followed patterns and just knit what I felt like knitting.
I eventually got to the point where I no longer knit to really make anything; it was more just a scientific experiment, my own scientific specialty. I was just knitting forthe textural experience. I'd put this yarn and that yarn together andsearch for the exact shade of blue to go with my sea green yarn. When Itook the few projects I did complete into pubic, I'd have total strangers chaseme down and offer to buy purses or scarves. I was getting more and more frustrated with the colors and textures on the market. I just wasn't finding what I wanted to see.
While on a summer trip in Vermont, we stumbled upon the most lovely yarn store in Stowe. Of course, I had to go in. Hanging on the wall was Hand Painted Yarn. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it...you could PAINT YARN?????
I had never thoughtabout how yarn was made or of myself making yarn but at that moment, the skies parted, and a whole new world opened to my eyes. I became even moreobsessed with the process of painting yarn then I ever was with knitting. I learned everything I could learn. Devoured books, websites, KnittiyGritty episodes, You Tube, if it had to do with yarn, I was all over it.
One fine afternoon,sitting and knitting in my local yarn shop, I mentioned to the shop owner I hadstarted painting yarn. She insisted I bring it in. The next day, I brought my box of yarn, right along with a huge bundle of nerves, into her yarn shop. She loved it! She loved it so much she bought it and put it in her store!
My fiber company, The Twisted Purl, was born.
There was still one element of my yarn creations missing. The texture! I could now reproduce any color desired, but was still limited to machine made yarns. The next step in my journey was learning how to spin my own yarn. That part came very naturally, like I was born to do it. Ialready knew what I wanted to see, so making it wasn’t too hard. I finally had it all. The colors AND the textures I wanted to see together. It was a happy surprise to learn others loved seeing those colors and textures together too.
My yarn and otherfiber creations now sell worldwide, my yarn is in several yarn shops, and I do Trade Shows, Craft Show, and Festivals nationwide.
Knitting changed my life. It showed me who I am. I love my kids and my life. I love my yarn. My name is Cyndi and I am a fiber artist and yarnaholic extremist.