I'm Jenn, a 32-year-old graphic designer-turned-marketing director located in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania where I moonlight as a yarn-hoarder and obsess over craft beer, marketing technology, and my cats and dog. It's a living.
How It Started
Knitting and crocheting have been my hobbies for as long as I can remember. My oma taught me to knit when I was 11 years old because I was being myself - obnoxious - so she gave me something to do with my hands. I picked up the whole knitting and purling thing quickly, making a bunch of blocks that curled up on themselves and changed size halfway through. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship...
...that I promptly disregarded by high school and picked up again in college. Everyone in my sorority crocheted. I mean everyone. So I picked up my needles again (refusing to learn something new and thinking of myself more "elite" if I knit instead), got frustrated, and eventually caved in and started crocheting, too. To prove my age, this was back before we had wonderful sites like Ravelry and YouTube, so to say I fumbled through the learning process is an understatement.
With my friends' help, I learned to crochet out of a book - and almost killed things in the process. As a knitter, I couldn't wrap my brain around the fact you actually crocheted into the fabric - in knitting, all the stitches were right on your needle. It was mind blowing.
Despite those obstacles, I caught on to crochet and loved how fast my projects worked up. No more spending hours knitting blocks of fabric again, or figuring out how to work those nasty DPNs*! I could make a hat in under an hour, and afghans/blankets in the course of someone's lifespan. It was wonderful.
In May 2005, I graduated college and found myself unemployed for three months before finding a steady job. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I was able to do a lot crocheting and knitting. I consider that summer to be when I honed most of my skills, even though most of what I made was total crap.
Nevertheless, some of my items were really cute, and soon my friends and family caught wind of what I was doing and asked me to make them custom hats and scarves. It was that summer that Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the south, and I caught wind of crafters organizing an online shop to donate items; all proceeds went to help Katrina victims. This was when I fell in love with Etsy. I immediately donated a hat to the effort and opened my own shop. Two years later, I changed the company name and re-opened as JennyHats.
I hope you enjoy my blog and the projects I post. I want to make my website a viable resource for knitters and crocheters. Most importantly, I love connecting with all of you :). It helps to know I'm not alone in my obsession, so thanks for being my therapeutic release!
Yarn: Hands down, madelinetosh, specifically the vintage line. Love the yarns, love the colorways, and overall love the uniqueness of indie dyers. It's worth investing the extra money, especially if it's going into a project you're knitting for yourself.
Needles: ChiaoGoo (they have the best cables for a reasonable price) or HiyaHiya. I haven't tried Addi Clicks yet, but I know I'll fall in love. Just need to get over the price point.
Hooks: I recently purchased an ergonomic crochet handle from Boye, so I can use both Susan Bates and Boye hooks with ease. I haven't sucked it up and invested in designer hooks yet (though I want to).
Non-Yarn Hobbies: Singing (I'm a classically trained soprano, but I haven't sung regularly in years, so I feel like my voice is shot), playing piano, reading, beer snobbery, music (listening to, discovering, and going to live shows), hula hooping, and wearing my sassy pants daily.
Music: The National, The Polyphonic Spree, LCD Soundsystem, Tori Amos, Wilco, Handsome Furs, Sarah Brightman (my guilty pleasure), Morrissey, The Antlers, Belle and Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, Editors, Alex Winston, Eric Whitacre... it's a neverending list, really. I also have a thing for showtunes/Disney classics and am known to randomly break out into song. It's endearing, I think.
Songs: Blood (Editors), Lithium (Polyphonic Spree cover of Nirvana), O Magnum Mysterium (Martin Lauridsen version), Available (The National), Magick (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals), You Have Killed Me (Morrissey), My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire), Rookie (Boy Sets Fire), Sugar (Tori Amos), Annan Water (The Decemberists), All My Gold (Bat for Lashes)
Books: House of Leaves, The Anne of Green Gables series, Revolutionary Road, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, All the Light We Cannot See, The Fountainhead, The Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I'm completely not ashamed to admit that the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has played a role in the better part of 2012. Okay, maybe a little ashamed.
Celebrities: I don't get star struck, mostly because my opinions concerning today's popular Hollywood figureheads aren't flagrantly gratuitous (if you really want to know, Jon Hamm sums it up pretty well). But if anyone could make me pass out, it would be Vickie Howell. I'd probably foam at the mouth. No biggie.
My LYS Is: The Knitter's Edge, Bethlehem, PA