Beth Brown-Reinsel, Knitting Traditions

Beth Brown-Reinsel, Knitting Traditions visited us for the first time on the Yarn Thing podcast with Beth-highresMarly Bird! One of Marly’s first knitting book purchases was Beth’s Knitting Ganseys (available only through her website), so for Marly this was a wonderful opportunity to get to know one of her earliest inspirations.

Beth says she learned to knit at about age 7, not from anyone she knew or a relation. Her mom found someone to teach her to cast-on and knit. She found a knitting store and picked up a Columbia Minerva book and learned to cable and bind-off! A relative from Switzerland came to visit who knit Beth’s mother a sweater in a week! She also taught Beth to knit continental (picking the working yarn from the left hand) where she had been knitting English or throwing with the right. Beth says she was set, continued knitting through her teens as well as quilting, spinning, dying mostly with vegetables.

As an adult, Beth sold her yarn at craft shows, which was discouraging. She began a spinning guild, and with two friends began a business, initially to sell natural fiber but later offer what customers wanted. She also began teaching, as a means to show why natural fibers were more desirable.Little sweaters

Beth put together a workshop of Knitting Ganseys, beginning has been sharing them since 1989. If you look at her website, she has since added so many different learning opportunities! If you’re a Local Yarn Store or have a fiber event, you may consider inviting her to share one of them.

CraftsyTwinedKnittingIf you can’t wait for her to get to your area, you may consider her Brand-New CRAFTSY Class (***Marly’s affiliate link***) where she shares what she’s learned about Swedish Twined Knitting.

She continues to look for ways to teach the craft she loves, right now she says she putting together a workshop for Cowichan Sweaters. Beth’s patterns are also being converted to the Knit Companion ap which is another resource for knitters.

You can follow Beth Brown Reinsel at her website Knitting Traditions where she has a newsletter sign-up and calendar of upcoming teaching workshops, also you can follow her in Ravelry and Facebook. She also has an Etsy Shop for her books and kits, sometimes she makes yarn and puts it for sale there too!


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  1. Audrey says:

    Beth, I’m so glad that I suggested you as a guest on the show. I am one of the lucky knitters who has taken one of your workshops at Stitches, Nordic Mittens, and know the extraordinary teacher you are. Thank you for sharing so many Knitting Traditions!

  2. Amy says:

    Interesting show. I love learning about the history of crafts. There are so many crochet and knitting traditions from around the world.

  3. Katelyn M says:

    Thanks for another great show. I loved hearing about all of Beth’s classes. I hope to one day get to take on in person. I love to learn about knitting traditions and just traditions in general. There is something about knowing the history of something that makes me love it even more. Thanks again!

  4. Sheryl sanders says:

    Marly, how luckly you are to hang with a great group of knitting & crochet people.
    May you always be so blessed.
    Beths knowledge of knitting traditions is amazing.
    I cant wait to check out Beths classes!

  5. Thekla says:

    The discussion today makes me want to dive right in to all these historical techniques! I have the twined knitting class but it didn’t occur to me to go look for the Knitting Traditions website. Thank you!

  6. kathy says:

    Marly, thanks for interviewing Beth. I really enjoyed her calm demeanor and her story of becoming one of your “knitting royalty” group through her amazing work in the area of knitting traditions! Inspirational.

  7. Theresa says:

    I enjoyed hearing from Beth. I’ve only been knitting a few years but I love learning the knitting traditions from all these great sources: classes, books, videos etc.

  8. Amy L. says:

    I am intrigued by Beth’s unique focus on knitting traditions. Thanks, as always, for bringing attention to such a wide variety of talented fiber artists!

  9. bonniejane says:

    Thank you for this information and interesting interview. I am fascinated with the twined knitting and knitting traditions.

  10. Margo says:

    I’ve been to Beth’s Knitting Traditions website and would love to attend one of her VT retreats. I enjoyed learning how Beth became a knitter.

  11. joyce says:

    What an interesting interview. I did not realize that there was someone out there who delved into knitting traditions so much just to share with the rest of us knitters. Now I have another designer to follow. Thanks, Marly.

  12. Mary Anne says:

    My stranded colorwork greatly improved after reading Beth’s primer in an issue of Interweave Knits years ago. Her tutorial was wonderful. I now know that a huge component of excellent Knitting Traditions is using good wool. The better the yarn, the better the finished product. Thanks for a great show.

  13. Anita says:

    Thank you for introducing Beth to all of us. Listening to her talk about knitting traditions is fascinating. My only complaint was that the interview didn’t last for hours.

  14. Pam Bjerke says:

    Beth was very interesting to listen to and the podcast played so much better this time. I’d like to learn more about her knitting traditions. I’m going to sign up for her newsletter.

  15. Ashleigh Eden says:

    Beth’s workshops sound so interesting! I minored in history so heart big about the different knitting traditions was so fascinating! Historical knitting research is definitely not an aspect of the craft I have ever considered before hearing this conversation, but sounds like it would be right up my alley.

  16. Missy Schmidt says:

    Thanks so much for the podcast! I have been doing a lot of reading [and listening] to articles and stories regarding knitting traditions and other fiber arts. What a rich history! I loved the show!

  17. Lori Biamonte says:

    Very interesting podcast! I am happy to continue the knitting tradition my mother started in our family.

  18. ArtisanAtHeart says:

    I didn’t grow up with any knitting traditions in my family, so I love to hear about how yours started….and how you spread the love! I’m amazed at your teaching schedule, and I hope to be lucky enough to attend a class soon.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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