Continuing the series "How Knitting Changed My Life", this week I'm talking with Ann Tudor from Ann Tudor LLC. Ann makes the cutes glass stitch markers. I have several of her wonderful markers and they are some of my favorite stitch markers to use.
I first met Ann in the Starship group run by Tara Swiger and was just amazed at the little works of art she was creating with glass. She's quite talented and I love watching the videos of her working at the torch on her Instagram.
So let's get to Ann's story of how knitting changed her life.
How Knitting Changed My Life.
That is quite a question! I have been crafty all my life. My mother painted, was a seamstress along with doing needlework and all sorts of crafts and my father restored antique cars. So I grew up surrounded by creating, some things for beauty and some for function. Over my life I have done cross-stitch, made paper, some scrapbooking, jewelry making and glass bead making. Over 27 years ago, when my husband and I were first engaged, his mother taught me how to knit. At that time, there were only a few local yarn stores so most of the yarn was acrylic or cotton. I made lots of scarves and baby blankets and even attempted a sweater which was a total disaster and never completed.
With children and a full time job, knitting was kind of forgotten. In 2000 or so I started knitting again along with making jewelry for myself. I made knit purses with lots of the funky fashion yarn and lined them with old jeans. Soon people started asking to buy my jewelry and bags so I decided to open a small business called Maudies Handcrafted Jewelry to recoup some of the costs.
In 2004 I decided to learn how to make glass beads at a half day workshop and I was hooked. I continued to knit and joined Ravelry in 2010 and that opened up a whole world of wonderful yarn and designers. In 2013 I quit my full time dental office job and changed my business to Ann Tudor LLC to do glasswork and jewelry full-time.
I joined Tara Swiger’s Starship business group in 2015 and that changed so many things. It was full of yarn dyers, designers, tech editor and so many others in the fiber community. In October of that first year, Lisa Barnes of LMB Designs asked me to make some of the glass charms I was making at that time, into stitch markers. I did not like to use beads as markers because of the headpins that stick out of the bottom and snag on the fabric so I figured out a way to make them that eliminated that and sent them to Lisa. I asked the other members of the Starship community if they would be interested in testing these for me. Within the next year, I was only making stitch markers during the day and knitting at night. I am so blessed that I have been able to combine my two favorite activities.
Over the years, my knitting has really become more and more a part of my life. I am in a knitting group that meets once a week and has grown from 4 members to over 30 members. Most of the things I have knit have been gifted or sold to others, until 2 years ago. I made a decision to knit for myself! That decision has changed so much about what I knit and what yarns I use. I made lots of shawls and then decided to give sweater knitting a try. I have fallen in love with color work and am currently almost exclusively knitting sweaters.
Knitting is something that I think I will always do. Depending upon the material and pattern, it can be stimulating or calming, exciting or boring, take lots of concentration or is mindless. It allows for you to express your style and creativity through the fibers and colors you choose. It gives everyone the ability to create and be creative, even those that think they aren’t.
If it were not for knitting, who knows what I would be creating and what kind of business I would have? The bottom line is that knitting changed pretty much every part of my life - business, social and personal! I am so thankful that my mother in law taught me how to use those sticks and string so many years ago!
Thank you so much Ann for telling the story of how knitting has changed your life. You can find Ann's wonderful stitch markers at www.anntudor.com, and go follow her on Instagram and Facebook. The videos of her at the torch are so much fun to watch. She also has a fun Facebook group called Marking Stitches.
Next month I'll have another story for you of how knitting changed someones life. And if you'd like to share your own story send me a message.
Until next time...
Carry a little joy wherever you go!