Knitters Series: Carmen

How did you learn to knit?

My grandma has always been a great knitter. Throughout her whole

life she made sweaters for my mom, my dad, and I. She was always knitting.

The truth is I can’t remember her without knitting needles in her hands. She

taught me whenever I spent the afternoon at her house, although she only

taught me how to knit. She did the purling and together we made small

scarves, both of us knitting one row at a time.

I stopped knitting for many years until four years ago when I went to

live in Sweden and the doctor recommended it to me to help with my anxiety

and stress. Since then I haven’t stopped knitting for a single day.

What is your favorite stitch?

I have many favorites, but without a doubt I like Moss stitch and

Double Moss stitch the most. They are simple and very lovely, they both

create an incredible texture, and they are very easy and quick to knit.

Do you prefer to knit for yourself or do you prefer to give your knitting as a gift?

Fifty-fifty. Generally I tend to give away my knitting as gifts more than I

knit for myself, but this year I set a new rule: after knitting a gift, I had to knit

something for myself, although the truth is I didn’t follow it very often. This

winter I created an “ONG so that no tour guide would be cold in the

cathedral.” I knitted hats and snoods for all my friends, each one different

from the other, a special design for each one. I love when I see them showing

of my snoods on the streets of Toledo, it makes me so proud… And they are

so beautiful!!

When is your favorite time of day to knit?

The truth? Whenever!! I usually knit almost the entire day, on the metro

when I go to Madrid, in the cafeteria while I wait for my friend Carmela (who

always arrives late) for our daily coffee, in waiting rooms…. But of course my

favorite moment to knit is when I finally arrive home for the night, finish eating

dinner, and sit on my couch with a blanket and my little Matilda on my lap

while I knit. Friday nights are another really special moment for me, they are

my “zen” moments of the week, complete with a crime series marathon and a

good Gin and Tonic made with G’vine.

How did you hear about We Are Knitters?

From the Internet: I was searching for chunky yarn and it was the first

link that showed up and I didn’t look any further, it was love at first sight. After

that moment, I found you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and I have

become your number one stalker.

What is your favorite We Are Knitters kit?

Without a doubt my favorite kit is the Nolita Sweater in the natural

color. It was the first kit that I saw and I absolutely loved everything about it.

The thing is that I’ve never bought it because I see it as perfect and mythical;

I’ve always wished that someone would just give it to me, and of course it

would be one of the most special gifts. It’s like a bouquet of roses – you don’t

buy them for yourself even if you want them. As for the cotton kits, I am

obsessed with the Napa Cardigan in aquamarine and wine, I’m sure that I’ll

buy it very soon… =)

What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever knitted?

Without a doubt, it was the sweater that I gave to my dad for

Christmas. It’s not that it was difficult, it’s that I knitted it without a pattern and

without a model, so it was a giant disaster: enormous sleeves, long in the

front, short in the back, way too wide…. a disaster. But my dad wears it every

day that he’s at home anyways. He lives in a precious little town in the

mountains and like he says: “it looks like it fits me poorly, but it’s cozy and

keeps me warm and that’s what it’s for.” It was the never-ending sweater, it

was giant and I used 4 mm needles… it had no end!

Do you have any knitting tricks that you want to share with the knitters?

Of course I encourage everyone to knit with the continental method, it’s

a million times faster and much less tiring for the hands and the back.

I have a small obsession, I don’t know if I would call it a trick, but I

normally don’t knit the first stitch and I always knit the last stitch so that it

creates little knots on the ends. The seams look much better when I join them

and they don’t twist.

What is your favorite city in the world?

My favorite city is New York for sure. I have been a couple of times

and everything about it absolutely fascinates me. I really like to travel,

although for the moment I can’t do everything I want to. I have a special love

for Stockholm. I was living there for a year and I feel like it was a little piece of

home. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, but when I was little my Aunt Pilar

told me that the first time I was to go to Paris, it had to be with a guy. Even

though I have had many opportunities to go, when I went I didn’t leave

EuroDisney! I’m still waiting for someone to carry me off to Paris.

What is your favorite song?

Without a doubt “As Time Goes By” and “Moonriver”. I am very classic

and romantic when it comes to my taste in music, although I don’t understand

very much. I like to listen to Frank Sinatra, a little bit of jazz, and all the

groups that my parents played for me as a child: The Beatles, The Rolling

Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Joaquín Sabina, etc. I have a special spot in my

heart for the song “Black is Black” by the Bravos. My father and I used to

dance and sing to it as loud as we could when I was young, time and time

again, until the neighbors complained (laughs)

My perfect date would be with…

Oh, that’s difficult! Rather than with someone specific, it would be with

someone like Eric Northman: elegant, knows how to act, intelligent, a large

knowledge of history, fun, seductive, a ladies’ man… What a shame that he’s

3,000 years old and he’s a vampire on a TV series!

The best advice that you’ve ever received…

The best advice is something that my father told me a long time ago.

He told me: “my daughter, in this life there will be thousands of people that

might be better than you at something, what you have to do is fight each day

to improve yourself a little bit more. Don’t compete with anyone else, compete

with yourself.” In addition, he told me something that is now my motto:

“Always be sincere, with yourself and with the world. Never lie, the truth will

carry you far and lies will get you nowhere.” They are two pieces of advice

that I always have in my mind and they have helped me many times.

Do you have a favorite actor/actress?

Without a doubt Audrey Hepburn. I have her entire collection of films

and her biography seems fascinating to me. I think she’s one of the most

elegant, strong, tenacious, and caring women throughout history, and of

course one of the most beautiful.

Which person, living or dead, would you like to meet?

This response will seem a little strange to you. I am a researcher and I

am doing my doctoral thesis about the Jewish quarter in Toledo. Even though

I don’t think that you will know who he is, I would love to meet Don Abraham

Bienveniste. He was a very important rabbi of Castilla in the 15th

could meet him and spend an afternoon with him, I could write my thesis in

one week and it would clear up any confusion regarding the history of the

Jews in Castilla during the Middle Ages… and I would have so much more

time to dedicate to knitting!

Carmen is wearing: Downtown Aquamarine, SJP grey, Juliet Tee Aquamarine, Vertigo Sweater Navy Blue.