Today is the first First Friday that A Gathering of Stitches has open doors for. So if you're wandering around town and want to come take a look at what we're all about, swing down to East Bayside. We'll have some libations and nibbles. I'll be answering any and all questions. A couple of teachers will be here to chat up, and you can get a look at what we've got on offer. We'll be having a blow out party in October to celebrate our beginnings, but for the time being we're still reaching out to you all to show off our digs, our tools and our people.
One of the people who will be here tonight is Michele Maks, who will be teaching crochet at A Gathering. Michele has been a professional in the knit and crochet industry since 1985. Designing knit and crochet wear for 23 years led to becoming the editor of Crochet World, the largest crochet magazine in the world. An MS diagnosis made leaving the corporate world necessary, and returning to Maine has been a lesson in healing. Not willing to leave the crochet world for good, she is now the publisher and editor, and yes, sometimes designer for www.mainlycrochet.com. Knowing that crochet is an empowering experience for many, she enjoys teaching the craft to anyone who thinks they might be interested. Here is Michele in her own words...
AGOS: What made you first take up crocheting?
MM: Although I had played with crochet since childhood, what really got me going was being asked by an editor to provide a crocheted hat to accompany a crocheted scarf I had submitted for publication. The scarf that was submitted was definitely about me playing with the medium. For the hat, I had to get serious and really learn how.
AGOS: Did you learn from someone dear or important to you?
MM: Library books! I'm one of those people that learns best with the printed word. I'm very much aware that people are different in their learning styles, and my teaching methods reflect this.
AGOS: Do you have a favorite project/design/collection, something that you are particularly proud of?
MM: Right now, I'm really proud of my website, http://www.mainlycrochet.com/. That is the culmination of being in the business for the past 25+ years, and incorporates both my design and editing skills, as well as promoting a heightened sense of the value of good pattern presentation.
AGOS: Why do you crochet?
MM: When I freelanced fulltime, I would laugh at the people who said they crocheted to relieve stress, because impossible deadlines and all-nighters were just part of the business- definitely stress producing, but now, I would have to agree. The flow of yarn through the fingers soothes like nothing else can. Though I still do a bit of freelance work for yarn companies, my main focus is on my website, and creating for that is just pure joy.
AGOS: Who are your design influences?
MM: Everything inspires me.
AGOS: Do you have a favorite material or fiber to work with?
MM: I am quite promiscuous- I love to use just about everything. Very fond of wool and wool blends for garments for Maine's weather, but I've never met anything in a yarn store I didn't like.
AGOS: Tea or coffee?
MM: Definitely tea, preferably organic Earl Grey, though I've been known to be talked into a good Irish coffee from time to time.