Thursday, December 18, 2008
Knitting Contrisstmas day 18: Suzan--- Knit Cafe
KC: Suzan thanks for taking time to chat with us! I know that I am not the only one in love with Knit Café (the book and the place). I never made it to the Knit Café before it closed but it always loomed large in my soul as a knitterly spot I’d love to visit!
Thank you Tina...it's so nice of you to contact me. I'm sorry too, that you never made it to Knit Cafe....I think you would have fit in very nicely!
KC: You started your work life as a TV exec with CBS, are there any similarities between this and having a knit shop, and of course that lovely book?
Wow....this question stumped me for a while. At first blush, there doesn't seem to be much in common but as I started really thinking about it, I realized there are a lot of similarities . Both jobs were largely creative and relied on me working with creative people. In television, I worked hands on with the writers, directors to help them create their vision of what CBS wanted, talent, art departments, sales department, promo department in trying to come up with the right campaign to "sell" the show to the viewer....in owning a knitting retail business, I worked hands on with knitting designers, yarn designers and helped customers to create their vision of what they wanted to create. In TV, I tried to come up with programs that I thought the viewer would enjoy ...with Knit Cafe, I made choices in the yarns, products and designs that I thought my customer would enjoy....and of course, both jobs dealt with the very serious concept of "the bottom line"....finances!
KC: As I mentioned, I’ve never been an in person ‘character’ at Knit Café………. What is the thought now about finding another space? Where in the world is your collection of characters finding to call home? Surely you stay in touch?
Some of my customers became very close friends of mine and we get together, email and talk on the phone regularly. I also have a knitting group at the Farmers Market every Wednesday night where we get together and catch up with each other. It's definitely not the same as having our music and candles and colorful gorgeous yarn all around like at the store but I love knowing that Knit Cafe is still "living" through our knitting group.
KC: What is your favorite thing to knit?
I have a pretty busy life so I tend to like quick and easy projects....hats, hand warmers, neck warmers, vests. Even though I live in California, I knit them all year round using different weights of yarns.
KC: You say you are a slow knitter, funny to me who is the only “thrower” left on the planet as everyone around me is knitting continental. Does speed matter? Hey,
I'm a thrower too! I can knit continental but as a kid I was taught to throw and that just feels more natural to me. Speed does seem to matter to some but it never has to me. I really prefer to lolligag....I like to take my time, get in my zone, look up once and a while without losing my place, listen to the radio or watch TV etc. If I were to concentrate on speed, my fingers would get in the way and I would make too many mistakes. I ski the same way....actually I think I do everything the same way....leisurely.
KC: Because you came to knitting “late in life” (har)-------- do you feel like you have to make up for lost time?
No, I've never thought of it that way. I do seem to always have something on my needles and my needles are never far away but it is due more to a physical need than a pressure.
KC: What knitwear designers most inspire you?
What a great time for knitting and knitters these past 5 or so years have been.....there are so many talented designers of all levels and genres right now. I guess if I have to pick a favorite, one would be Kim Hargreaves. I really like her intelligent and fresh mixing of old and new. I also love the cleverness and originality of Teva Durham.
KC: Is there anything in the world of knitting that you have not done and wish to tackle?
Ohmygosh yes! There is more that I haven't done than have. On the top of the list would be to go to Peru and learn from those amazing women. Their skills are phenominal....and, I have never steeked!
KC: Are you a part of the Ravelry world, and if so, what is your Ravelry name?
Yes, I am a member of Ravelry. You can find me at KnitCafeSuzan.
KC: What else do you do to feed your inner creative muse?
I seem to be enjoying my sewing machine an awful lot lately. I like to combine knitting and sewing....ie: sewing onto things I knit and knitting onto things I sew.
KC: What do you do during the holidays? Anything special?
I just love Christmas....don't you!!!! Usually we go skiing but this year my kids (who are now teenagers) need to be home for their various activities with friends. I'm really ok with that....my husband and I go all out in the house decorations and there are tons of good movies out to see ..... I just can't wait for the holiday to begin!
KC: Lastly, what is in the works for Knit Café? Surely I am not the only one wishing you to find a place to park your sticks?
"Greetings From Knit Cafe" is coming out in paperback this spring which really excites me! I saw an advance copy of it and I must say, I like it in paperback form....the amazing Melanie Falick was my editor and she has asked me to do some book signings at TNNA this year, which I look forward to and I have also been asked by various shops to stop by and sign some books for them....so that should be fun. Regarding the shop....I honestly, haven't made any decisions about it yet. The economy isn't exactly condusive to shop renovation etc and I'm really enjoying the time spent at home right now. I continue to keep my ear to the floor to hear what's going on and I love hearing from everyone about what they are up to. I promise I will keep you up to date, Tina! Merry Christmas!
KC: Thanks so much Suzan, it was great! I wish you all the best as well as a beautiful holiday season!