One of the things I like best about my job is being surrounded by bright, creative, friendly, enthusiastic, smart, warm, funny, talented people who all have a well developed sense of whimsy and a flare for the dramatic. My Minions, I love them one and all. And the thing I love the most about them is, though their skills and interests are wildly divergent, they are all passionate about learning more and more and more.
Allison, whom you are all getting to know almost always has a party in her shoes, has just made the local roller derby team, and is taking her first steps into formal designing. She has been a modify-it-on-the-needles or make it up as you go along kind of girl for a long time. She has not only the imagination and the vision to make design changes, she has the skills to make her visions come true. But writing it down? Thinking it through? Doing the math to scale for sizing? These are brand new skills for her and she’s going after them with her characteristic full steam ahead, no hold barred style. She has 24 projects on the needles, identifies as a cardigan addict, has samples and swatches and design books everywhere. She is a whirlwind and a law unto herself.
Jennifer is so much more meticulous. She allows herself to work on no more than two projects at a time. And each one evolves from hours of careful thought before she ever makes a stitch. But she also started with her very first project doing it on her own. Never a pattern dependent kind of girl, her very first project was a simple hat she designed herself. And she keeps making her own designs and using each new piece as an opportunity to learn a new technique. She asks lots of questions and tries everything until she finds the precisely right technique.
This is the desk Allison and Jennifer share in our office. Jennifer’s neat, organized pile of papers vies with Allison’s computer, yarn, coffee cup, roller derby helmet, design books, sample projects, box of tea, notebooks, etc.
They are so different. Jennifer is a soft drum beat. Allison is fireworks. And they both make every day an occasion to rise to. They both inspire and challenge me. Jennifer’s precise questions make me clarify my thinking and get down to the minutiae. She reminds me that every stitch counts. Allison’s bold imagination gives fuel to my own flights of fancy. She reminds me that there are an infinite number of ideas. Each in her own way reminds me of the better parts of my own process. I’m a better knitter, designer, teacher and manager because of them. And I wake up each morning wondering what they’ll do next.