Meet Naomi from Sew Knit Creations
I have recently had the pleasure of working with Naomi Bruette in collaboration to bring some training videos to life for her Whispers in the Wind Shawl. It’s been such fun working with Naomi I thought you may also enjoy learning a little more about the kind heart behind the designs at Sew Knit Creations.
Q Tell Us a little about yourself?
A Well, I always start by introducing myself as “I’m from Canada, I was born in Nova Scotia…” and the conversation launches from there. Lol I suppose it’s a big deal because usually I’m speaking with folks from the US and so it’s a bit of a novelty. Then when conversation lags and I need a bit of a shocker I tell them that I grew up foraging for berries in the wild woodlands of Nova Scotia. The reactions are priceless! I suppose you want an explanation too? Well, to make a long story short my grandmother (who raised us while my mother was in school) was either not a good cook or she got tired of all the complaints about her cooking!
Either way….we [my cousins and I] basically didn’t eat unless we ate directly from the garden or searched for raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries from the woods and fields around the house. I think there was always homemade bread available and porridge.
So now you know the most important stuff! LOL I also have my masters degree in Choral Pedagogy. When I had my oldest son I became a stay-at-home-mom. It was once I became a stay-at-home-mom that I really returned to my fiber roots and became engrossed in the online community of knitters and bloggers.
Q How old were you when you first began playing with yarn?
A My first memories of yarn were going to my great grandmother’s house and seeing her knit. She would sit there with her needles clicking away, having a complete conversation, without looking once at her knitting. Then when we left she would always let us pick something out of her basket of finished knits. Sometimes it was mittens, or socks, or slippers, maybe a hat or scarf.
Later on, I believe it was my grandmother, who first taught me to knit. I had this awful scratchy purple yarn but I knit this super long scarf with it. I was soooo proud of it and of course I don’t remember any mistakes! Although I am sure it was quite swiss cheesy!
Q Do you have any helpers?
A Hahaha, helpers? Yes! I have two wonderful energetic little boys who are the reason that I decided to focus solely on knitting. I used to sew mostly but hauling a 10lb sewing machine around after your toddlers is a bit difficult!
I needed something that would help me feel complete, accomplished (aka something that can be completed when you have children!) Because laundry and dishes never end!
I have a dog whom I have to go chase down on a daily basis because my toddler insists on letting her out everyday to run around the neighborhood. I also have a cat named Kitty who has traveled from Hawaii, to Nebraska, to Kansas, to Maryland, back to Kansas, and then to Missouri! Now she happily rules our back yard and enjoys leaving decapitated moles, birds, and rabbits on my back door step.
Q Did you undertake formal training in college or within the industry, or did you find your way into knitting/crochet via a different route?
A My college training was in music actually! Although I did take knitting to all my classes until one professor told me I needed to leave it at home.! (I still hold a grudge against him! 😉 )
I found my way into the knitwear design industry through a very round about means. I turned back to knitting in 2012 after my oldest son was born. It was sort of a means of therapy as I was suffering from severe post-partum depression. (Although I had now idea at the time.) We had just moved, I had quit my job, and of course all the hormones that come after pregnancy. It was really bad! The isolation was awful.
I started blogging in 2012 as a way of connecting with people. I felt like the link to the online world of knitters was my lifeline that kept me from sinking. I blogged about sewing, knitting, cooking…etc…I was definitely becoming a mommy blogger. Hehe. I blogged occasionally for three years but in 2015 I suffered from a herniated disc in my back after having my second son. This put me was out of commission for about 6 months but flat on my back unable to move for about two. Knitting was the only thing that I could do as I lay beside my six-month old son. I had a lot of time to reflect and decided that I was going to write a book in memory of my ancestors who gave me this skill to knit. The skill that had always been a solace for me in the dark times of life.
Then in 2016 decided that I was going to conquer this elusive concept of making money online with my blog. Realizing that I actually needed a product I started making project bags and selling them on Etsy. Somehow through Instagram I got connected with Frenchie of Aroha knits. She was doing a call for bata testers for her Swatch Studio. I sent her an email telling her my dream…and she chose me to be tester! That was really the catalyst for becoming a knitwear designer. Thank you Frenchie! I love you!
Q Who or what inspires and influences the designs you create for knitted/crochet objects?
A I suppose I see my designs as being easy relaxing knits that are like a gentle encouraging hug from me to you. I want you to know that when you are knitting them I am thinking of you…and I am saying to you “I have confidence in you! You can do it! Give it a try! We’ve got your back.” I guess I feel like my designs are like a self counseling session.
When a knitter picks up my pattern I really want them to embrace those small intimate moments of life that we often miss. The romantic ones we read about in books but lose in reality. I want them to feel the details of the wonderful brightest moments in life. I want them to remember hope during the darkest times of depression, loss, discouragement. As they knit my designs and then wear them I want them to feel the comfort of remembering. Remembering that the Grey Skies and rain make the flowers brighter. I want them to feel that fractured warm Sunlit Autumn and know that even in the shadows the sun will shine. I want them to stand on that desert bluff and hear the Whispers In The Wind telling them to give it [the thing they want most] a try. I want them to dance in the snow storm and smell the magic of snow. I want my designs to bring healing and encouragement.
Q What types of materials do you prefer to use?
A I love natural fibers! I simply swoon over a buttery skein of merino, cashmere, or silk! But I really love the coolness of bamboo! If you have not knitted in bamboo or a bamboo cotton blend you are missing out! It is simply lovely and so cool. Absolutely perfect for summer knitting!
Q What would you most like to create that you haven’t made so far?
A I really really want to knit a pi shawl! Or design one—either way. I feel like it would be my Magnum Opus. Also one of my ultimate goals is to publish a knitting book. One with patterns and stories!
Q What do you think of the hand knitting ‘revival’ taking place in the US and which has now reached Britain?
A Oh, I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Knitting is so portable, and I’ve already shared my views on the healing powers of knitting. I also love that you can feel productive while doing it. I love that knitting helps you focus on both the past, present, and future. I love that it keeps you engaged with what’s going on in the present and yet you are still keeping busy. One of my biggest peeves is when people are always on their cell phones! Like seriously, I will go to visit family and they all sit around with their cell phones in hand and their faces implanted on the screen. I’m like “why am I here?!” VISIT WITH ME!!! It seems like there is a polarization of technology. Like our society has become so unproductive! I’d be interested in studying the effect of this knitting revival on the productivity in general of those who knit vs those who don’t. I think knitters are more productive. So overall a very positive effect on society.
Q Do you prefer to design alone or in collaboration with another?
A Well so far I’ve only collaborated on two patterns. I was really really scared to ask for collaboration. I think because I feel so inadequate and I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect and line up. But I’ve been challenging myself to take imperfect action and just give things a try. This includes collaborating with yarn dyers, tutorials (like your amazing ones Babs), and podcasters etc. And you know what? It’s sooooo much fun! So I’m jumping on board with collaboration! It’s not so scary after all!
QIf you have collaborated with another how did that work out?
A It has been awesome! I’m so excited to collaborate in the future with Babs and some amazing indie dyers that I have lined up for my next two collections.
Q Whats on the horizon for you that we can look forward to?
A Well, I have a new shawl pattern coming in July called Grey Skies. Then later in the summer I will be publishing a couple of ebook/pattern collections. One will be a collection of designs based on herbs. I’ll be including some stories, gardening tips, and recipes with this collection. Then another pattern collection loosely based on Anne of Green Gables. Definitely a book publication within the next two.
I really enjoyed working with Naomi and look forward to collaborating with her in the near future! You can find more of her heartfelt designs at http://sewknitcreate.com/.
Naomi’s contact and social info is in the green box at the top of this post.