On most days at the shop, you will find a cheerful, smiling, loving manager who is always ready and eager to help. Even amidst the piles of patterns to organize, shipments of new yarns to check in, orders to go out, shelves to be sorted, teaching classes, the list could go on – Koryn is there with a warm greeting to any who walk into Monarch. After taking some time off to be with her new little one, she is back at the shop and has indulged us here on our blog. We’ve all missed her so!
How did you get started knitting/into fiber arts?
I have always been interested in any craft I could do with my hands. I did a lot of macrame and beaded jewelry. I even worked part-time for about a year with a Venetian glass jewelry designer. The first thing I ever did with yarn was a big crocheted afghan that took me about 2 years to finish! While walking through a craft store looking for other projects to get my hands on, I found myself very attracted to the look and feel of some knitted items. I bought some yarn, needles and my first knitting book (Knitting for Dummies, ha!) and taught myself to knit a scarf….I was hooked!!! I could not put my needles down! I was so excited when I discovered Monarch Knitting in 2006. I started visiting often looking for new pretty things. I visited so often in fact, that I decided to ask for a part time job. I was shocked when I got hired on the spot! I had very little knitting experience but I made it a goal to absorb as much knit-knowledge as I could. I learned a lot from my co-workers, books and tons of practice, practice, practice! Turns out I was a knitting sponge! I was obsessed with all of the colors, textures and the endless possibilities. I had no idea my part time just for fun job would turn into my full time passion. I have been a part of Monarch Knitting ever since.
What’s it like to work at every knitter’s dream job?
I’m so happy to come to work everyday! I feel constantly inspired by all of the colors and possibilities. I also really enjoy teaching and sharing all of my knit-knowledge. My absolute favorite thing about my job is all of the talented wonderful people I meet everyday. We really do have quite an amazing knitting community here. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it. I was lucky enough to have met our Ann years ago and have since had the opportunity to help build such a beautiful shop we have today. I feel so proud of Monarch and how it has grown and continues to grow! (See some of us with Shibui below at Stitches West!)
When you’re not being a boss at managing Monarch, what are some of your other hobbies/interests?
I do love spending time with my hubby, Patrick, and my family. I love doing anything outdoorsy like camping and hiking. Yosemite is actually one of my very favorite places in the world! We try to visit once a year. On the flip side, I can also be kind of a homebody. I do enjoy my Netflix and knitting!
How do you keep from not buying everything in the store?
Oh my! That is hard!! I want just about every little thing in this shop! I have accumulated quite a collection of yarns over the years just like most crazy knitters.
What are some of your most favorite yarns/patterns?
These days I am really into anything Shibui. I recently finished a beautiful pullover by Elizabeth Doherty called Dillion (shown here). It is Shibui Pebble and Birch, held double. The fabric has the most coziest feel!! I am in love with Elizabeth Doherty’s patterns! Not only are they fun and interesting to knit from start to finish, they fit just perfectly. Her designs make you feel like a million bucks when you put them on! I’m hoping to add more of her sweaters to my wardrobe.
Hedgehog Fibres has caught my attention these days too. I’m in love with their colors!! I cannot resist! I have been knitting cute little ankle socks (Rose City Rollers, shown below) out of Sock Mini skeins. Quick and satisfying! I also have a collection of sock skeins at home to knit Andrea Mowry’s So Faded pullover. In case anyone hasn’t noticed… I love Andrea Mowry!! I have knit several of her patterns. I love her style! I am a huge fan of Caitlin Hunter too. Her pattern called Marettimo has caught my eye recently.
Oh Spincycle how I love you!! I can’t stop knitting with this yarn! I have now knit 3 projects with Dyed in the Wool. Andrea Mowry’s Harlow hat and Shift cowl have been my most recent. Its such a unique beautiful yarn. The self striping colors just grab me. I will definitely be knitting more things with it in the near future. I’m thinking a fair isle yoked pullover for winter perhaps. So many great yarns. I can go on and on!
We love taking peeks into people’s knitting & notion bags! What’s in your notion bag?
A tin full of markers! I have a lot of Cocoknits accessories (love their Maker’s Keep!). Darning Needles, pom pom maker (I LOVE making pom poms!) crochet hook, cute scissors, waste yarn (for provisional cast on or holding stitches), & pens.
You’ve taught countless workshops and classes at the shop, do you have any favorites?
I really enjoy teaching just about anything. My absolute favorite thing is Fair Isle. I love working with color and showing others how EASY it really is! Watching my students eyes light up when they finally get the hang of it is the best feeling. Fair Isle makes you feel like a genius. I’m excited to be teaching the Gretta Fair Isle hat class in January.
Also, I am having fun teaching brioche these days – it’s a little more of a challenge but I love a challenge! It such a fun & beautiful stitch. It’s has been so popular I see it more and more on Ravelry and Instagram these days.
Congratulations on your new adventure into motherhood. We are all so overjoyed that little Reid is here. He probably holds lead for the largest handmade wardrobe! We just love his little knitted Baby Smiles hat you knit for him. So precious!
I just want to say a really big THANK YOU to everyone!! You have all shown me so much love and support. All the well wishes and wonderful gifts I have been given for little Reid really mean a lot to me and my little family. I’m so lucky to have so many amazing knitting friends! All is well and I have adjusted comfortably to being back at the shop full-time again. It feels so inspiring to be back!