by Monika Blichar
I’ve always been interested in knitting. There’s something really special about; it brings back memories of childhood and adds a really warm touch whenever you get a pair of knitted gloves or a tuque. Today, I caught up with Kelsey Koon from The Knitter Kritter in Edmonton and chatted about her work, her inspiration and her process.
What is The Knitter Kritter?
The Knitter Kritter is kind of my business persona; I chose the name so the shop’s initials would match my own: KK. I like to think of it as the type of boutique storefront where you could find something really special and unique, knowing for sure that it was made by the person you’re buying it from. Everything I sell is handmade by me, and it is all limited-edition and one-of-a-kind! I try to rotate in a few new designs or products every few months or so, so there will always be something new and interesting on offer. I specialize in high-quality knitted accessories and embroidery art, though I am always experimenting with new techniques, new products, and new designs. I also try to use or reuse as much of my materials as possible: many of my items are made with remnants and remainders, since I just can’t bring myself to waste anything. Coming up with the perfect project for my little bits and pieces is kind of like a fun puzzle for me. I really take my tagline, “fine handmade gifts”, to heart!
What is it about creating that inspires you?
I am really inspired by seeing the item progress. I always have a picture in my head of what it will look like when it is finished, but seeing it take shape is always a magical experience. Sometimes my craft surprises me! It’s always very fulfilling to see the finished object at the end of the process, regardless of how well it matches up to that pre-imagined picture. I think anyone who has made something in their life will relate to the little warm-fuzzy feeling of accomplishment in the finished project, and no matter how many items I make, I still get that little thrill from seeing it come to life and being involved in that process.
What are your favourite things to make?
My favourite items would have to be my one-of-a-kind lacework knitted scarves. I really get a kick out of matching up the colorways of the hand-painted yarns to the intricate lace patterns I use, and seeing the color patterning complement the pattern. Blocking the lace (setting the pattern by dampening the finished product and allowing it to dry flat) is always the best part, because up until that point, it can be a little hard to get a full sense of how the finished piece will look. After blocking, though, you can really see the lacework open up and the yarn bloom and it makes the whole piece really pop!
As far as a business owner of a crafts company, what are your goals for your brand this year?
I’d really like to find some new selling venues (either in-person or online) to market my products in. It always makes me so happy to have one of my items go home with someone who loves it, and I would like to find opportunities for all of my products to connect with people who love them! I’ve also been enjoying making some more connections on social media, so I would like to continue to expand in that arena as well. Being able to spend more time on creating is also an aspiration of mine, so one goal is to set aside time to spend on crafting new, unique handmade products.
Will you have any show specials at this year’s Art World Expo in Edmonton?
I’m planning on bringing at least one surprise show-stopper for the Expo! This will be a brand new handmade product that I haven’t yet offered for sale on the shop, so the attendees at the Art World Expo will get first crack at it!
What would you tell an aspiring crafts person about starting a handmade business?
I think my biggest piece of advice would be to enjoy your process. When I started out, I was very worried about the end result of my crafting, i.e., whether or not the item would sell. But as things went on, I learned that the process of creating is really the most important thing. It’s nice if you are able to share your work with someone who appreciates it, but ultimately, your art and your process is a reflection of you, and it’s important to love that as well. Enjoy seeing your work take shape as you make it!
Etsy Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/theknitterkritter