Handmade Conversations: Joan of Dark, Nerdy Knitter

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012

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Image courtesy of Joan of Dark


"Me and my nerdy mom."
CraftFoxes (CF): What was the first craft item you made?
Joan of Dark (JD): I am reasonably sure that we made our own paper in Girl Scouts. I would guess that was my first crafty thing. I actually loved doing it and have recently thought about trying to do it again. 

CF: What do you love about knitting?

JD: There are lots of reasons I'm obsessed with knitting. There is the obvious answer of loving to make things, but I also don't like having my hands unoccupied. I usually knit constantly! In long lines, at the movies, watching TV, reading books — I'm always knitting. If I don't knit, I have a tendency to talk with my hands a lot.

I think it's because I grew up with a mother and grandmother that used sign language a lot. I would try and mimic them, and it got me in the habit of using my hands. 

CF: Who or what inspires your creativity?
JD: My grandmother and my mother, easily. My grandma would create these intricate lace dresses and sweater vests. She was always knitting! My mom is an extremely talented knitter, as well. She always made me the most amazing cabled sweaters that I just did NOT appreciate enough when I was younger. 

Joan's "Aim to Misbehave" Jacket
CF: Which of your craft projects took the longest to finish?
JD: For my book, Knits for Nerds, it was definitely the "Aim to Misbehave" jacket. I went through several redesigns before what I saw on the needles was what I had pictured in my head. 

CF: Tell us about your crafting experience.

JD: The only time I'm not knitting is when I'm behind the bar at my coffee shop. Otherwise, it's a constant thing. Even in bars! It drives some of my friends crazy, but my crafty friends accept it. 

CF: What is your dream craft project?
JD: I'm working on two super-secret projects for a couple of friends. They are extremely time consuming and are making me pull my hair out at the moment.

CF: Describe your personal style in 3 words.
JD: It smells clean.

CF: In addition to crafting, what other talents do you have?
JD: I play bass reasonably well, my guitar playing is sort of okay, and I can sing well enough that the dog only howls along sometimes. I also skate (on rollerskates) and am pretty good about chasing other roller skaters around a track and knocking them down with my hips.

CF: What advice would you give to aspiring craft authors and professional crafters?
JD: Take advice and take criticism, but always trust your gut. I ask my friends and fellow designers for advice and input all the time, but each time that I've swayed away from what I thought was correct, I've regretted it.

Also, don't rush too much. Knit or craft everything you can from multiple designers and multiple styles. Then, work on altering patterns to suit your needs. After that, it's a short jump to designing yourself. 

CF: If you were only allowed to send out one tweet for the rest of this year, what would you say?
JD: I think I would go crazy if I could only send out one tweet for this year! I suppose it would have to be, "Go to JoanofDark.com so that I can keep in touch with all of you!"

I've made so many friends on Twitter. Heck, I was stranded overnight at an airport in Chicago and was rescued from the scary airport cots by a friend on Twitter! She let me stay at her house, and gave me cookies and coffee for breakfast the next morning.

JoanofDarkKnits is me on Twitter. Follow along. Say "Hi!"

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