Meet Your Maker: Soli Knits

Confession time. I've always been envious of people who make a living from knitting and crochet. I picture them snuggled up in a comfortable chair, covered in luxurious layers of warm wool and watching endless hours of TV. Of course this seems heavenly compared to hunching over a sewing machine, but this is no doubt a grass-is-greener situation, as I'm sure fibre arts come with their own aches and pains, frustrations and curse words. From the sounds of it, reality is a combo of both: here to tell us how it is, is the lovely Soli of Soli Knits

WHO are you? Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
My name is Soli and I have been knitting for as long as I can remember. In the past, I mainly knitted things for friends and family to give as a gift, but it wasn't until about a year or two ago that I started selling to the public. At a certain point I realized what my real passions were, which oddly were the same as when I was a little girl: knitting, sewing, reading, writing, and watching plants grow.

WHAT inspires you?
Nostalgia plays a huge role in everything I do. I am greatly inspired by the past and try to reflect this in my knitting with a strong sense of craftsmanship and attention to quality. I like the idea of there being a movement to bring back good old-fashioned skills. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than making something myself, whether it be dinner or a scarf. To be honest, you can buy a similar looking scarf at a store, but it is the careful and tedious attention to quality, craftsmanship, and detail that sets handmade items apart. Also, the option of getting something custom made is worth a great deal. You can order a custom made item from my shop and choose the exact color you like, the exact type of yarn, and the exact size or shape. I want my items to become a staple in your closet, something that you will have for years and years and will always go back to. I strive to create pieces that are reliable and classic.

WHERE do you work? Describe your workspace.
All my knitting happens while cozying up on the couch in my little apartment, surrounded by shelves full of yarn. I actually enjoy the clutter of craft tools — knitting needles, yarn scraps, crochet hooks, scissors — they make me feel at home.

WHEN do you feel most successful? frustrated/insecure?
I feel most successful I am busy. I love to be overwhelmed with special orders, a stack of packages to take to the post office, or piles of yarn waiting to be turned into scarves. I feel fulfilled when my scarves are in demand, and it feels even better when past customers come back for more or tell me how happy they are with their purchase.

WHY do you do what you do?
Knitting makes me feel sane. My hands and neck are constantly sore but still I sit and knit with a sense of urgency. I do this because I love working towards something that is mine, something that no one can take away from me. When you work for yourself, your business becomes an extension of you. I love that I am the production department, the photographer, the marketing department, the shipping department, you name it. It may sound strange, but somehow I feel that I can knit my way to a better place.

HOW do you do what you do? Describe your creative process and/or your typical work day?
The process is my favorite part. Typically, it involves me getting myself a large cup of tea, sitting on the couch in my little apartment, and knitting while watching old movies (mainly anything with Fred Astaire), until my hands can no longer take it. It takes me anywhere from two to five hours to make a complete scarf, depending on needle size and yarn weight. I like working with luxurious yarns: baby alpaca, angora, and wool blends are my favorites.

Thanks so much, Soli. If you have any more questions for Soli, fire away in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out her Etsy shop, as Soli is very generously offering Dear Edna readers 15% off their purchase with the coupon code DEAREDNA. Her scarves would make great Christmas gifts!

No comments