I am sure you all know that I like people in general, but I LOVE people who knit/crochet or generally love yarn like I do. Because of that, I am always searching through Instagram or Twitter for folks who knit. I believe that is how I found this super duper talent that I am about to introduce you. My only regret is that I have missed out on actually meeting him. I had a chance to meet him while he was still in Jersey and then while I was in California, but I am sure it will happen.
Last week I reached out and asked if he would be interested in being featured. Imagine my total glee when he agreed…So here is how the conversation went:
So tell me your story, when you did you start knitting?
Anthony: I started knitting about 8 years ago…because I was sitting at home and I was bored and needed a hobby. It started with a trip to Michaels (because I loved the idea of crafting, found the yarn aisle, grabbed some chunky yarn, a crochet hook and big knitting needles, took it home and thought now what? So I started looking up videos and instructions online, and went to town. I loved it. I made a scarf, it was not straight at all… the scarf totally was going in all kinds of directions to tell the truth. But I was determined to get this down…so I practiced and practiced and there began my love affair with crochet and knitting.
Who taught you?
Anthony: Actually YouTube taught me… hahahahahaha! Is that an acceptable answer? I used to see these beautiful crochet blankets around at different family members houses, but I never really did see anyone making them. Later in life I decided I wanted a beautiful crochet blanket. After researching sc, dc, hdc, etc….I made a blanket I wasn’t happy with it, however my Mother loved it and wanted it and so she became the proud owner of my 1st ever piece!!!! I made Momma so proud!!!!
Do you get the “you are a man and you knit” comments?
Anthony: Did I? hahahahahaha! Of course and I loved every bit of that attention. I am after all a Leo! All the time, I would tell people I knit & crochet! Most couldn’t believe it… I mean have you seen me? I’m a big guy, with a lot of tattoos…I certainly don’t think I fit the mold…. But I believe all molds are meant to be broken!!!! Once the initial shock value wore off, the request started coming in, “can you make me a scarf?” “Can you make me a blanket?” “do you make sweaters? I want a sweater!” on and on and on…!!! I did it, I made them, I love to give!!! Most of the pieces that I have made I’ve given away (or sold) hahahaha!!! But something happened along the way when I realized that I couldn’t be commissioned anymore. When there was a request for me to make something, I completely lost interest in the piece, it would take me forever to knit it, people who know me, also know that I’m fairly a fast knitter….but when it came to request it would take a lot longer. I love knitting for knitting, I love knitting for the creative aspect, the calmness that it brings to me. With request there is a timeline, a deadline if you will… and I’m just not one for deadlines hahahahaha. That stresses me out and for me that goes against everything that knitting is for me!
When did the designing start?
Anthony: The designing for me started one day about a year ago when I made a shawl without any patterns to follow, I’ve knit enough shawls by this time that I just kept the basics in mind, cast on a few stitches with Noro yarn a shawl came to life. Many of my friends loved and wanted it, people asked me what pattern did I follow, did I write the pattern out, etc… I didn’t write the pattern out, I didn’t know that’s what I was supposed to do while knitting, I didn’t know the 1stthing about pattern writing. So I figure I should try to duplicate what I did… and that’s when Mariposa was born…after her Trifecta came to life…and I was getting a little better at this pattern writing and designing… I like to say those are my babies…. I have to thank you Karen from Do Ewe Knit, in Westfield NJ for her constant encouragement that I could design and that I would be great at it.
Then I wanted something less basic and a lot more fun, short rows, wedges, great flow…and my super baby was born Tre o Molti, which has done very well…. the knitting community seems to love her!!!! I love her! There are KAL’s going on and some that will be going on starting in the near future at GatherDTLA here in Los Angeles. Now it’s starting to become very exciting for me and I can’t stop trying to come up with new ideas for designs. During the YarnCrawlLA 2014 I came across a new stitch technique (at least it was new to me) and fell in love with it!!! I created a new design based around this new stitch which is my newest design Serrati…. This is also receiving a great response on Raverly and the knitting community! I feel very blessed and happy to share these fun knitting designs with the world!!! Stay tuned my my new baby on the needles right now… her name potentially will be (Aerea) because she’s heavenly, divine, celestial, light, airy! Hopefully she’ll be ready to be introduced to the world by mid / end of June 2014!
Do you crochet too?
Anthony: Yes Yes Yes!!!! That’s how I started! For me in the beginning I couldn’t grasp the holding of 2 needles and yarn all together, my fingers wouldn’t work correctly… everyone told me crochet is easier… so Crochet it was for a long time all I did was crochet…and my thanks again will go to Karen from Do Ewe Knit for opening her shop in Hoboken, NJ that’s where my knitting became everything that I am today! From the yarns that she carried in the shop, all the needle options, the customers that went there and knit there… I was in love with knitting all over again!!! I still crochet, but at this time Knitting is my Life!!!
What are your tools of the trade? Needles you can’t be without and I know you will say hush your mouth if I ask about a favorite yarn. Let’s talk.
Anthony: Needles of course. I’m totally in love with the set of Interchangeable Needles by Signature Needle Arts that my partner gave me as a birthday gift last year….they are AMAZING!!!! They make me feel like I can knit faster when I use them… I have a few other sets of interchangeable needles as well (Audi Clicks, Knitters Pride) I think every knitter should have a good set of interchangeable needles. I must have a notebook with me at all times for pattern writing. I hand write all my patterns before uploading them into the computer. Stitch Markers are great… they help me not have to think so much when a stitch change, increase, or decrease is coming up! Yarns…..Oh Gurl, you are bad!!!! Tsst…tsst….tssst…. hahahahahaah I told you before “that’s like asking a women her age” hee hee hee! Ok I will be honest with this question. My favorite Yarn(s) are (Yes I said yarns, because I cannot only name one) NBK (Northbound Knitting), The Flying Kettle, MadelineTosh, Ito, Twist, Baah… I feel like I’m giving my Oscar speech and I am running out of time to thank everyone !!! hahahahahaha! Those are just a few of my favorites. There are many more!!!!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so very happy I found you in cyber space, hopefully one day we will meet.
Here is a link for GatherDTLA Designer KAL that they are hosting for Tre o Molti:
I am a confessed yarn addict, who also happens to be the mom of a beautiful, 24 year old, young lady. Welcome to my fiber diary. Come along with me as I obsess over all things fiber :). Contact me on Gaye@ggmadeit.com and most importantly, thanks for visiting :)