About Me

I have been knitting since I was a little girl. My Irish grandmother taught me when I was about 7 or 8 years old – slippers for a Girl Scout badge. I still have the pattern and I've been knitting pretty much ever since.

Growing up as a first-generation American in an Irish household, I think you can't help but learn hand work, although the love of it skipped a generation from my grandmother to me. I also crochet from time to time, love beading, have dabbled in counted cross stitch and needlepoint, and spent many years doing embroidery of various sorts. I've tried rug-hooking, but it's not for me - neither is textile weaving (but I do like continuous strand!).

I am also a spinner and have a wheel – a Lendrum .  I had a Lendrum Saxony and I also had a Louet Victoria for awhile, but both found happy homes with others in 2012 – I have had the pleasure (and luck!) of studying spinning with Toni Neil, Patsy Zawistoski, the late Anne Field, and Judith MacKenzie. I love to attend the Missouri Fiber Retreat and am a member of the Fiber Folks of Southwest Missouri guild. They adopted me after I crashed one of their spinning workshops.

In addition to the fiber art and madness that have pretty much taken over my sunroom (and part of my guest room), I raise and show African violets – they actually came before the spinning, but not before the knitting – and I produced a weekly podcast, All About African Violets, that ran for 18 months (76 episodes, all of which continue to be available on the website).  I travel as often as I can (most recently to Scotland), and I'm a bagpiper (yes, really).  

I occasionally teach beginning spinning, and how to knit socks on two circular needles, most recently at Fiber Daze, in Neosho, Missouri.  I live in Chicagoland, where my claim to fame is that I taught Linda the Chicken Lady how to knit. I am a champion de-tangler of necklaces, a transferable skill that has served me well on a number of occasions where the yarn swift went terribly wrong . . .

You can find me on Ravelry as Annie97 where I am a moderator of Year of Stash SocksFans of the Fold and African Violets Anonymous.

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