I have been knitting since I was 3 years old. I grew up in a time and place when knitting was not so much a pleasure activity as a necessity, and by the time I was eight years old, I was helping keep my family clad in handknit socks. When I was ten, I earned my first dollar from my craft knitting stocking caps for friends. I've been knitting nonstop my whole life, and always felt that working full-time interfered with my knitting.
I began designing when I had children and couldn't find the types of patterns I wanted. Over the years, I designed most of the items I knit for my family and for custom sales. Living in isolated areas made it difficult to market my designs, but the emergence of the internet eliminated that barrier. My first pattern, for a pair of colorwork socks, was published in 2005, and I've been publishing designs in various magazines, books, pattern booklets, and newsletters since then.
I've lived my whole live in relatively remote and rural parts of Canada, from British Columbia to Winnipeg and now outside Edmonton, near the Saskatchewan border. Living through brutal Canadian winters naturally fostered an interest in creating warm and stylish garments--hence my interest in knitting stranded knee-highs and long gloves. My family is of mixed heritage, including Ukrainian, Danish and Scottish, and my family loved to tell stories and cherished folk art. For this reason, many of my designs are influenced by various folk art traditions.
I have been teaching knitting classes since 1976. I teach at guilds, retreats, community colleges, yarn and fiber gatherings and other events. My classes include beginner knitter, first socks, first mitts, beginner lace, stranded knitting, and designing. I've also given talks on my theories of how design travelled through the world, as well as discussions of my great-grandmother's role in the spinning and knitting culture of the Cowichan Band.
In addition to knitting, I spin, do some weaving, and embroider a bit. I have two sons and one granddaughter.