What kinds of images come to mind when you hear the word knitting? Is it a granny in a rocker making wedding blankets for her grandchildren? Do you think of mittens and toques? While these traditional forms of knitwear are still popular, there are even more ways to make fibers fabulous. In the Knit Gallery, you can find a wide variety of handmade treasures, from knit jewelry and accessories, to sweater pins and even knitted stationery! Oh Canada puts the spotlight on Arly and her knit creations.
Oh Canada: Of all the things that you create, which item or style is your favorite?
Arly: Designing is rather new to me as I used to simply knit from patterns that I would find in books and magazines. Right now my favorite style is cables! I will knit almost anything that has cables in it from purses to Twilight inspired mitts.
Oh Canada: Where did you learn your skills?
Arly: I learned to knit as a child from a combination of forces! My grandmother taught me and this was reinforced by various Brownie leaders. An aunt taught me how to knit and another aunt taught me to needlepoint. All in all (with the exception of my mother) both sides of the family are pretty "crafty". I didn't really take up knitting until I was in my early 20s - right at a time when knitting was not "in" and yarn stores were closing every day! Poor timing on my part for sure.
Oh Canada: Everyone has different motivations for making their unique wares. What drives you to create?
Arly: I love the wool. The texture, the colours, the possibilities. My day job is not at all creative and if I didn't have a creative outlet I would simply go mad! As soon as I am on vacation and my brain is not in work mode it is as if a switch has been flipped and I can't stop coming up with ideas to try!
Oh Canada: If you could learn to use any new technique or material, what would it be?
Arly: I would like to learn to machine knit. I know that is shocking. Most handknitters shun the machines! I would just love to be able to see all of the different designs come to life in record time!
Oh Canada: Any plans to incorporate a new product into your shop this year?
Arly: Ahh, with knitting there are always new products! I want to make more purses this year. I have lots of lovely handles and lots of nice thick yarn. And yes, there will be cables on those purses! And I have four large hanks of yarn that are waiting to be made into toddler sweaters.
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing about selling on Etsy?
Arly: One of my first sales was to Tanzania. For some reason that just thrilled me. To think that something I made could travel all that distance to warm someone else (they were fingerless mitts). I also "chat" with a lovely bunch of crafters on one of the threads and I feel that I actually have these new friends in my life and that is really lovely.
Oh Canada: Do you have a number one tip for new sellers?
Arly: The best tips that I was given: Make sure your location is listed; use all of the allowable tags and all five pictures; take the best pictures you can; don't list all at once - oh wait - did you say number one tip?
Oh Canada: What is your favorite thing to buy on Etsy?
Arly: I would have to say cards, although I also seem to buy a lot of soap and earrings!
Oh Canada: What is the number one best item in your shop right now?
Arly: Mitts of all sizes!
You can see even more of these wonderful knitted designs in her Etsy shop, The Knit Gallery by Arly. If you love knitting, or want get started on a new hobby, she also has a selection of PDF patterns to try! You can take a look at Arly’s designs and inspirations by checking in with her on Flickr.
Copyright 2010 Oh Canada Team and Arly