Jewell Christine is the lovely girl behind NorthKnits and has discovered both peace and beauty as knitter, crocheter and an all around creative DIY visionary.
Though she’s been knitting for nearly 10 years, in just a few short months she’s founded a knit and crochet maker movement that is not only challenging and advancing her own talents but is also encouraging thousands to creatively connect through handmade.
We met up with her to get to know her more and the vision behind why she makes. Read on to see what she said.
When did you start knitting?
I began knitting nearly a decade ago, in 2007. I taught myself how to crochet about four years later after starting (and re-starting) a few dozen scarves, determined and intrigued with learning how to perfect my starting chain and beginner crochet stitches.
Where did you learn to knit? Who taught you?
I learned to knit in college as an undergraduate student resident advisor in my dorm. I was in the midst of a bad relationship/breakup and my fellow RA’s mother visited our dorm to teach us how to knit and I was encouraged to cheer myself up and attend.
There I learned how to cast on 40 stitches and immediately after, headed to my local yarn store and bought loads of knitting books, yarn and needles to make my first scarf.
Though my grandmother sent me crochet patterns as a young girl, I did not understand it much at the time and ended up watching a lot of youtube to teach myself crochet in 2011.
Describe knitting to you in 3 words
Spiritual: Knitting is my way to relax my mind and be at ease through prayer and Bible study.
Creative: I get so excited in researching yarns and patterns and just coming up with various ways to share knitting for the art that it is.
Exciting: I’ve been able to truly communicate and creatively connect with the world directly through knitting and I consider it an honorable and thrilling adventure!
Do you prefer to knit for yourself or for others?
Honestly, I would have to say that I prefer both!
I absolutely love creating my NorthKnits collection and find so much joy in the fact that people discover one of my handmade pieces, love it, and choose to own it.
At the same time, knitting is such a happy peaceful outlet for me and I’ve learned that it is completely okay to reward and keep things that I make for myself as well. 🙂
Your favorite stitch?
In knitting, it is hands down garter stitch. Something about it is so organically beautiful and serene, and allows for you to make such classic and minimalist pieces.
Though I’m fast becoming a fan of moss stitch in making my very first cardigan, the yellowstone cardigan – when I’m feeling overwhelmed or in a creative rut I always return to the beautiful basics of garter.
For crochet, it would have to be the single crochet stitch. I love the versatility of how I can use the stitch to create beautiful blankets, slip-stitch scarves and even a cozy clutch for a trip to the beach or a night out on the town.
What is your preferred kit from We Are Knitters?
I find myself swooning over all of the beautiful WAK kits but my favorite thus far is definitely the Yellowstone Cardigan Kit.
We as makers can often stress over the best knitting projects, but I find myself happy and excited when I can set aside part of my day to work on my Yellowstone, the first cardigan I’ve ever made.
I also love the easiness and classic beauty of the Udon Blanket Kit.
The wool, petite wool, cotton, fabric yarn, or baby alpaca?
When the temps drops and I’m dreaming of falling leaves and apple cider, I always rush to the wool yarn balls – it’s classic, it’s warm, it showcases the most simplistic stitches so beautifully and I love trying new patterns with it.
I’m also loving the pima cotton yarn immensely! Its simplicity allows makers to create pieces perhaps once thought too complex (a sweater, a cardigan or a ginger dress) as now obtainable and really creates this give-me-every-skein-in-every-color kind of confidence.
What is your favorite time to knit? Your favorite place to knit?
My favorite time to knit is tied, first, between the wee morning hours on a weekday still in bed with a cup of coffee, my journal, and prayerful thoughts.
I also am productive on weekend afternoons curled up in bed with Bible study notes or a good christian music playlist going – my cat Winkers is always close by. 🙂
Any advice for someone starting to knit?
Believe in yourself and don’t feel like you are unable to knit or crochet because it looks difficult.
The best things are worth working hard to become successful at, so don’t give up – trust in what you can uniquely offer and know that your knitting skills can be connected to a great purpose.
Knitting has given me the confidence to begin both NorthKnits and with the amazing help of my fellow knitters, Our Maker Life.
The DIY community is grand and we all have the ability to define handmade as the best there is.