My Fiber Story: Loopville Staff Featuring Kendall Timko
Tell us your fiber story! How did you make your way into crochet and knitting?
I have always been an artist and crafter for longer than I can remember. I have dabbled in nearly all art forms but remember always being so fascinated with yarn. I would finger crochet and embroider on craft paper but never knew how to do anything beyond that. In my high school art class at the age of 15 I learned how to weave using a basic frame loom and found that I had quite the knack for it. After getting a driver’s license at 16, I drove myself to Joanne’s and bought a skein of yarn and a crochet hook. I learned how to crochet via YouTube that night and have never put the hook down since. I quickly became advanced with my crochet skills and started noticing knitting a little more. I spent a very short time in Colorado between 19-21 years old and during my adventure out west, I got the opportunity to work with Interweave Magazine. While working with Interweave I was introduced to this whole new world of fiber arts that I had never known. Ravelry, Quality yarn and an even deeper desire to knit. I finally learned how to knit, also via YouTube, and absolutely loved it. I love both knitting and crochet and could never choose one over the other. I like to say that crochet is my first language, but I am fluent in both. I believe there is always room for any and all arts and/or crafts you may be interested in. I couldn’t limit myself to just one.
What’s your favorite technique?
My favorite crochet technique would have to be assembling pieces to make a project. The best example of this would be granny squares. I love creating new, hip and modern garments, accessories and blankets using granny square techniques. My favorite knitting technique is the magic loop method. This technique completely changed my life when knitting socks and mitts. It has also been hugely helpful when not having the correct size 16” circs or DPNs for a hat or sleeve.
What’s your favorite thing about being at the shop? Why Loopville?
I love the casual environment, the enormous selection, and the welcoming family-like attitude from all of our staff and regulars. It is such a homey and comfortable work place and the mood is always happy and positive.
Do you have any rituals or routines around knitting?
If I am in the comfort of my own home, I take my bra off and put on an oversized t-shirt before working. Comfort comes first!
What are your tool preferences?
I recently discovered Furls crochet hooks and am sold for life. Addi Turbo Rockets are my top favorite knitting needles and I have come to find that I most prefer coco knits triangle stitch markers for knitting as well.
How many projects do you typically have going?
Usually no less than 4 and no more than 8. I typically have more than less, but always have a good variety in craft and skill level. Sometimes I feel like thinking a lot and start designing a garment and other times I really enjoy meditative knitting. I like to have my options open depending on the mood.
How would you describe your stash?
I wouldn’t consider my yarn stash to be very large. I have got 1 extra-large storage tub and one medium sized box both stuffed to the max with a variety of yarn. Many different fibers and weights. Although I like to shop through my stash every now and again, rarely does any of it actually get used.
What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to crochet?
I have discovered Furls crochet hooks and although they are pricey, I am building my collection because the best tools make crafting so much more luxurious. I also always like to pour myself a glass of wine when I work. I would consider that a guilty pleasure as well.
Describe your ideal time and space to knit!
Since I am a stay at home mother of a 16 month old aside from Loopville, I don’t have as much time to craft as I would like. Realistically, my favorite time to knit and crochet is when my husband leaves to play video games with friends after putting the babe down for bed. I get to drink what I want, eat what I want, watch what I want and work without being disturbed.
Which technique or type of pattern do you tend to avoid?
I have tried Fair Isle color work a few times in the past and have found that I am not much a fan. Unfortunately I don’t have fun knitting color work like I do with crochet. I tend to avoid making scarves and hats as well. I personally have no use for them, but will occasionally make one for a friend or family member.
When did you identify with “being a hooker and knitter” and not just someone who knows how to crochet or knit?
Although I quickly became very good with crochet, I would have to say that I didn’t become a true hooker or knitter until my short term job with Interweave Magazine. I was introduced to the much more professional, artistic and quality side of fiber arts while employed there. This is also when I decided to embrace my inner knitter for the first time.
What is your “speciality” at Loopville? What are you known for around the shop?
I am “The Crocheter” at Loopville. I’m positive that all of the Loopville staff know at least some basics of crochet, but I seem to be the only one that regularly uses and studies the craft.
What would you say to a stranger thinking about getting into knitting?
I am blessed to have the opportunity to meet new people on a weekly basis that have never knit or crocheted before and have become interested in learning. I get very excited to introduce people to the phenomenal world of fiber arts. I tell them that it is a wonderful skill to learn for anyone of any age for so many reasons. The few main reasons I typically share are that both are wonderful exercise for your brain, they are very therapeutic, relaxing and meditative, and they are very productive and useful skills to obtain. I encourage anyone and everyone to learn how to knit and/or crochet.
If you could only knit one pattern for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wow, tough question... without thinking into it, the very first pattern that comes to mind is Churchmouse Classic Cuff down Socks. I have knit a few pairs and know I will continue to knit that very same pattern throughout my life. Everyone needs socks.
Do you have a certain fiber or brand that you gravitate to? What draws you in?
Hands down, Shibui is my favorite brand. I love the clean and sleek presentation, the unique fiber choices, the light weights that work great for crochet, and the beautiful textures and affects you can create by mixing yarns. They also always have fantastic pattern support. Shibui got it right.
How does knitting compliment the rest of your life?
I live my life in ways that highlight creativity, inspiration, and not underestimating your potential. I believe that everyone has a god given gift that should be embraced and used. I have found that I have two very distinct gifts and one is being artistically inclined with fiber arts. I do use my primary gift on a daily basis and use it very seriously. The world of Fiber arts and natural fibers compliment my style of thought, my love for nature and animals, my passion for music on a deep and spiritual level, my appreciation for all forms of art, my fascination with cultures and experiencing as much of this planet as I possibly could, and the list goes on. Knitting along with all things naturally beautiful and creative compliment my life in every way I could imagine.
Do you keep a paper journal to track your projects or do you use Ravelry?
In all honesty, I have always done a rather poor job with tracking my projects and even photographing them. I have gotten much better recently but still slack. With my designing, I use a cheapo bullet journal for all notes, sketches, scribbles, etc. I definitely don’t use Ravelry as much as I could or should though.
Do you plan your knitting projects in advance or cast on impulsively?
Very much both. I like to try and be a disciplined fiber artist but every now and again you need to impulsively buy and create!
Tell us about a project that didn’t come out as expected or defeated you!
My first knit sweater design. It was an oversized, bulky weight, plain and simple pullover, but it was my first real attempt to size a mathematically correct sweater and knit it. Needless to say it turned out to be huge and the pattern never got published.
Are you mainly a garment knitter or an accessories knitter?
I much prefer to create garments, but have definitely made more accessories than garments over the years.
Do you like knitting alone or in groups? Why?
Alone. I usually work most on things I have to think a lot about. Being alone is much less distracting.
If you could go anywhere in the world to sit & knit for a week, where would you go?
My answer to this question seams to change as I grow and change. As of right now, my answer would be Norway.
If you could only use one word to describe the way that crochet and knitting makes you feel, what would it be?
Color palette: Neutrals and greens
Afternoon snack: cookie dough
Movie: The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Music: Classical: Bach and Vivaldi
Fiber: Linen and Alpaca
Coffee: A good dark and bold roast with a shot of espresso served black