Welcome Shannon Cook

vs_logo1

We were so delighted that this month we got to chat with Shannon Cook, well known knitwear designer and creator of the stunning Songbird shawl. Read all about her start into knitting, her current favorites and what’s in store for Very Shannon, her beautiful brand…

How did you get started knitting/into fiber arts?

I got started knitting from my mom and Omi (my grandma) when I was a young girl. I’ve been hooked ever since.

KoyahniPhotography_VeryShannonCardigan-234

What led you to Very Shannon/designing?

I started as a full time blogger after my first daughter was born 11 years ago. That led me to start designing sewing patterns and then into knitting patterns and that’s what I’ve been lucky enough to still be doing to this day.

We love your fresh take on knitwear and accessories – your designs are so
lovely! Where do you draw inspiration from or what inspires you the most?

Thanks so much! I tend to find myself more and more inspired by my life if that makes sense. Certain things I’m experiencing or dealing with in my life I’ve now been using my designing as an outlet for healing or artistic expression. I’ve also always been heavily inspired by music, books and sometimes even storylines of tv/movie characters.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 11.11.53 PM
Charlie Ruddegger Cook is just the cutest!  Follow his Instagram!

When you’re not busy with your little ones and cute pup, what are some of
your other hobbies/interests?

I’ve recently gotten very into baking and have fallen in love with it. I started to learn to cook / meal plan for my families sanity (I was a complete newbie and dinnertime in our household was stressful) a while ago and slowly but surely I’ve come to enjoy and love it more and more. We’re currently getting ready to move in a few days as I type this and this summer was very stressful so baking became quite the soothing outlet for me. I also live with adult onset life threatening allergies to tree nuts (& peanuts) so eating out is not easy and learning to cook has helped me to regain control back over my meals and to make some of the yummies I had been unable to eat for years.

I also really enjoy sewing, reading (I’m a huge bookworm), drawing, photography, and other crafts like macrame, embroidery, and quilting. I also love yoga and a good cup of coffee…lol.

shannongirlmoregirls

What are your most favorite fibers and colors to knit with?

I looooove wool. I’ve got a real soft spot for any wool that is great for texture (my fave!). I enjoy loft and squish factor for sure! As for colours, I’m a gemini so one day I crave gorgeous neutrals and the next I’m yearning for golden deep mustards and tones of turquoise and blues.

shannoncookyarn

Current WIPs, FOs or any sneak peeks into new designs?

The last few months have been very hectic for our family so I have hardly had time to knit or design too much. I do have plans in the works for a sweater based on my Courage shawl as well as a few other accessories for next year. As for WIP’s I have a top and a pair of socks for myself on the go.

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 11.15.16 PM

We love taking peeks into people’s knitting & notion bags! What’s in your
notion bag? Or which bags do you like to use?

My current FAVE is my Project Tote from Bookhou – I take it with me everywhere! I also recently got the Moon Pouch from Ritual Dyes (my notions pouch is from her as well) and am so smitten with it as well as my Fringe Supply Co. bags etc for project storage. In my notions bag you will find stitch markers in a cute little flip open compartment container along with my darning needles, a wooden needle sizer/ruler, tape measure, my fave mechanical pencil, small dot journal, pen, my fave scissors and way too much more to type here…lol – I fill it to the max!

shannoncookreads

Favorite thing to listen to/do while you knit … podcast/book/movie/show/etc.

I’m a die hard tv/movie buff while working (esp while knitting) but I also read while knitting – I find I do that the most though when my kids are at classes or waiting for appointments etc. I do enjoy podcasts as well. When I have a lot of computer work or things like grading (I go with music…I’m a big music lover as well).

What’s next for Very Shannon? Any shows/events/workshops?

I don’t have many travel plans at the moment but what’s next for me is settling my family into our new home and continuing to work on finding balance in my life and more self-care. This helps to inspire and motivate my creativity & work life. It’s been an ongoing process after finding myself burnt out a few years ago from working too much for too long.

Thank you so much, Shannon! 

shannoncookfun.png

Portrait taken by Koyahni Photography and courtesy of Shannon Cook.  All other photos used with permission.  Visit Shannon’s website and Instagram feed for more!
Advertisements

Welcome Kjerste of Wax&Wool

kjerstestudio

It was an absolute pleasure to spend some time getting to know Kjerste, the powerhouse mixologist behind Wax&Wool. Read all about her start in the world of candle making, where she’s headed, and what’s currently on her needles…

What led you to start Wax&Wool?

Wax and Wool really grew out of a hobby that revealed itself over time to be a viable business option.  When we needed to add a second income to support our family of seven, I knew I wanted to work from home. Candles (and originally hand-knits) were a natural choice for me. They were both outpourings of my creativity that had a marketable value. The added benefit was knowing I would love my job. It was (and is!) a win:win proposition.

waxwoolpebblebeach

From ocean breezes (hello, Pebble Beach!), to floral hints from cherry blossoms to complex sophisticated aromas… how did you develop a love for candles?

I still remember the first time I walked into a candle store as an adolescent. I was captivated by the beauty of the pure white soy wax candles, and by the ability to capture a particular scent that brought back so many memories and feelings, and could transport me to anytime and anyplace. I walked out of that store with a small travel tin candle that I could take anywhere with me, and with a deep love for candles.

Do you have an absolute favorite scent?

Amber Noir, hands down. Runners up are Tobacco, Evergreen State, and Brown Sugar & Fig.

kjwaxandwool1

We love sneak peeks of your workspace! What’s a typical day like in your Studio?

Derek, my husband, aka The Shipping Department, fills Big Bertha, our wax melter, at 6 am. I wander out at 8am to get the heaters running and check in on what needs to be done for the day. Pouring starts just after 9am, and continues off and on through school pick up runs and nap time and after school activities. After 8pm when the kids go to bed, we start labeling stock, pulling orders and shipping. During slow season, we try to be done for the night by 9 or 9:30. During Busy Season (fall, holidays, and early winter), we try to make 11:30 our cutoff, but that doesn’t always happen.

waxwoolevergeen

When you’re not busy being the mixologist and hand pouring wax in your studio, do you find time to knit? Current WIPs, FOs or next knitting project?

I’m an obsessive knitter and never leave the house without a project. I even have an emergency sock project in my minivan! I knit when I’m standing in line or waiting for the kids, sitting at the library and the park, and always before bed. It’s a regular part of my every day, and I often tell people I depend on it for my sanity. I’ve recently branched out into pattern design, and I’m excited to be working with some magazines and stores to get some patterns published in the next 12 months.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests?

I love to entertain, and regularly host the neighborhood over for dinner. We eat together every Monday night, and I love feeding my people! Someday I want to publish a cookbook based on the recipes I’ve developed to feed a crowd.

kjwaxandwool3

Favorite thing to listen to/do while you work/knit …

I love audiobooks and British television: Current audiobook is The Hate You Give, Favorite shows are Foyle’s War and Father Brown.

You’ve hosted several pop-ups over the last year, so exciting! What’s in store for Wax&Wool next? (If you’re ever in Pacific Grove, we’d love to host you!!!)

I would love that! Our upcoming events include Knit City Live, Indie Untangled (fingers crossed!), Stitches West, and Vogue Knit Live Seattle.

Thank you so much, Kjerste!