Handmade Conversations: Stefanie Japel, Author of 'Mom & Me Knits'
In our "Handmade Conversations" series, we ask amazing people in the craft, food and/or fashion industries a few questions that provide you with a glimpse into their world. This week's featured professional is Stefanie Japel, knitter, quilter and author of "Mom & Me Knits: 20 Pretty Projects for Mothers and Daughters," published by Chronicle Books.
Stefanie began her knitting journey at the age of 8, after being taught by her grandmother. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Vogue Knitting Magazine and Interweave Knits. She has also designed patterns for Artful Yarns, Stitch Diva Studios and many more.
You can download a free pattern from Stefanie's latest book and enter to win a $50 gift card plus books from Chronicle in our "Mom & Me Knits" contest.
I'm the child of two artists/crafters, so it's really hard to pinpoint my first crafty moment. We made A LOT of doll clothes. In the photo on the left, the doll nearest to me is wearing a dress that I made.
What is your craft medium of choice? Why do you prefer that one?
I'm a knitter. I love knitting because it keeps my hands constantly busy. I knit at the movies, in the car and any time I'm sitting still. I also love the flexibility of knit fabric compared to woven fabric. It's really moldable and conforms so well to the body.
Who or what inspires your creativity?
In large part, I'm inspired by the generations of crafters who've come before me. I have a quilt from my great-great-grandmother and lots of hand-stitched, knit and embroidered projects from my great-grandmother and grandmother. I love the connection to my history that's wrapped up in needlecrafts. I feel part of a crafty lineage.
I'm a big fan of instant gratification, but the quilt in the photo on the right took me the longest to finish. I hand overdyed all of the fabrics and did all of the piecing and quilting myself.
Tell us about your crafting experience.
At this point in my life, I'm a late-night crafter. I have a full-time job and two toddlers, so I tend to do my crafting while catching up on "my stories" on the DVR after everyone else is in bed.
Describe your personal style.
Classic, with a punk rock twist.
In addition to crafting, what other talents do you have?
I am really good at math.
What advice would you give to aspiring craft authors?
Find your niche and build it out into an empire.
If you were only allowed to send out one tweet or Facebook post for the rest of this year, what would you say?
I'd love for my one tweet and Facebook post of the year to be, "Congratulations on your second term, President Obama!"