Welcome to the first installment of the Hypno-blog Interview series!
If you're signed up for the Hypnotic Knits newsletter, than you already know I've been busy interviewing some amazing creatives, and I'm so excited to share their stories with you.
Every other Friday, we'll be flashing our stash, chatting about yarn, the projects we're most proud of, our fav resources, and all the ways creatives make the world shine a little brighter!
Today we welcome Rena of The Slow Knitter. She has has a website, blog, and a podcast. She makes me giggle. In one podcast episode, she mentions going to her beach house with the main purpose of finishing the endless number of WIPs, but she just ended up buying more yarn and staring more projects. Ha! Story of our lives, am I right?!
Q: Welcome to the blog Rena! We're beyond thrilled to have you as our very first guest. Tell us, why did you start knitting and how did you learn?
A: My Mom taught me when I was 10 or so and I kept at it on and off until my early 20s after making a disastrous boyfriend sweater, and gave it up. My mother taught me to knit in the continental style on straight needles. When I came back to it about 8 years ago, I was introduced to circs.
Q: I agree, circular needles are amazing! Do you have a favorite type of project or design element?
A: It seems I am attracted to shawl knitting, and recently sock and hat knitting. I made my first “wearable” sweater last year. My first sweater was done 7 years ago and I do not like it - no shape, etc.
Q: Ooh, shawls and socks are high up on my knitting go-to's as well. Do you have a favorite yarn weight? What types of colorways are you drawn to?
A: I love fingering/sock weight yarn. I also really like sport and some DK weight yarn. I love jewel colors and grey anything.
Q: Gray is the perfect neutral! And speaking of yarn, we need to know - are you a yarn hoarder or do you only buy with specific patterns in mind?
A: My stash is admittedly OUT OF CONTROL! I guess that makes me a yarn hoarder. I made a commitment to “curate” indie dyed yarn in 2017. Well, it seems like it’s continuing into 2018. That’s why I collect yarn and constantly enhance my “collection.”
Q: Do you have a favorite FO? What makes it so special?
A: My favorite FO is Drachenfels by Melanie Berg
It was my first full size shawl pattern and it had a fair amount of color work which I had never done before. Here is my project page
Q: The colors you chose for the Drachenfel are stunning! Beautiful work! What do you like most about knitting?
A: I am a process Knitter, so all the work that goes into starting a project - from selecting a pattern and yarn - to studying what others have done and the yarn they used, and eventually casting on. I find it gives me a sense of accomplishment whenever I finish a project. I also love having many different projects going on at one time.
Q: What patterns are on your short list to make in 2018?
A: The Boxy sweater by Joji, the Curlews sweater by Amy Herzog and the Indigo Frost poncho by Isabell Kraemer. And, of course more socks and hats, and maybe a couple of shawls. Whew - maybe I ought to rethink this (not really).
Q: That sounds busy and ambitious! Do you go to an in person or online knitting group?
A: I am a frequent visitor to an online knitting group - International Virtual Knit Nights.
Q: That might be the coolest sounding knitting group name! Do you have a favorite LYS or two? Tell us about them.
A: Most of the LYS’ I like in my area are more than 25 miles from my home. Therefore, I go only periodically. They are Eat Sleep Knit (great online store as well), The Whole Nine Yarns, and Cast on Cottage. None of them convenient to attend a knit night.
Q: Do you have a favorite knitting resource, link, video or any a tip / trick you can share?
A: My key knitting resources are knitting podcasts and YouTube.
Q: Do you crochet, weave, spin, or sew? What other crafts / hobbies to you enjoy when you’re not knitting?
A: Late last year I wrote a blog on my website about how The Grocery Girls influenced my knitting life (theirs was the first knitting podcast I watched). In the post I wrote that I don’t want to dye yarn, make project bags, spin, or weave. I just want to knit all the things. I still feel that way. I used to know how to crochet (taught by my mom) and I would like to dabble in it again - think Granny Stripe blanket.
Q: Is there anything you wished I’d asked and didn’t?
So secretive! ha!
Funny Quick Fire questions:
Q: Which Hogwarts house do you belong to?
Q: Go-to sock pattern?
Q: What color is your toothbrush?
Q: If you could be any animal what would it be?
Q: Who is your favorite super hero?
Q: Do you knit in public?
Q: Favorite snack food?
A: Crunchy foods
Q: Are you a morning or a night person?
Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?
Q: Do you block your socks?
My name is Rena Kilgannon and I am known in the knitting community as The Slow Knitter. I was born and raised in NYC, and moved to Atlanta many years ago - so I have dual citizenship .
I am active on IG, YouTube, Facebook as The Slow Knitter and on Ravelry I am TheSlowKnitterATL.
I have a podcast, The Slow Knitter and a website.
My fur babies are two rescued Weimaraners, Bella and Zoe.
I have a wonderful husband, Bob - we’ve been married for 35 years. No children.
I am fluent in American Sign Language as both my parents were deaf.
I had a successful career as the owner of an ad agency in Atlanta -over 35 employees-I sold the company in 2012.
I am the author of the book, What’s the worst that can happen? A book about my entrepreneurial experience.
I share my life with Multiple Sclerosis- I was diagnosed 11 years ago. I walk with a walking stick, but otherwise I’m fine. The disease exacerbates the tendinitis I get in my right hand and I have to take frequent breaks. This causes me to knit slowly- hence The Slow Knitter moniker!
After I sold my business, I consulted for awhile and hated it. My love for knitting and the discovery of this community has opened a door to creativity and community I did not know I truly needed.