Teacher, Designer and Blogger Kellie Nuss was our guest today on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. It’s was a wonderful thing to get this busy, busy lady to make time for us in her busy, busy day.
We’re being redundant but it’s not an exaggeration. Married at 19, having 5 kids before age 30 (2 while hubby was in Law School) she says she got to a point where she just needed to get out of the house. She went to her local yarn store and begged to be allowed to help and became a Saturday Shop Girl at The Weaver’s Place. They noticed that she was great at helping customers with their tricky problems and had her start teaching. One of those at the shop sent her info to XRX Books to help at Stitches Expos, and in 2005 when it was in Atlantic City, which began her career teaching across the country.
At the events, she built relationships and one of those was with Gwen Bortner. They realized they had a harmony even though they seem different. Similar to the knit stitch which from a different angle is a purl but it’s still the same stitch, they each have a love of sharing their craft. They began blogging together with Two Sides — Two Points and in 2014 started an online subscription service, EduKnit which takes knitting up a level.
Kellie says she actually had a lesson in a girls group, like Brownies, but nobody else was as intrigued as she was and the lady never came back, so as a teenager she pursued it on her own. For instance, when she examined cables and realizing that they were just stitches that traded places. It wasn’t until much later that she found cable needles and realized their usefulness after having done without!
So when people would come into the shop, Kellie’s ability to read knitting and understanding the structure, the others in the shop would call her the Rain Man because she could figure things out so easily.
With Eduknit, Kellie shared that each month they try to find a topic and focus on that. For instance this month, they examined stranded knitting, first understanding how it works, then from each of their perspectives (does it have to be in the round), the third week brings in an expert (Beth Brown-Reinsel who we’ve met recently) and then close out the month with new patterns that are published through Ravelry, to try out the things they have been focusing on that month. Kellie says Gwen has been the teacher and Kellie has been the photographer. Then it gets sent to an editor and posted by their own Social Media assistant. The membership for a month is $10 or a for a year $100. This includes the patterns.
Kellie doesn’t really consider herself a designer, she has created information materials as part of her class that includes a pattern to follow for her class. Kellie’s personal favorite knitting involves playing with color, as in Alice Starmore‘s work. (Ravelry link to her designer page).
One of the things that Kellie became good at was Yarn Substitution. Because yarns aren’t always available everywhere, she found that knowing the attributes of what IS available was helpful to people. Craftsy looked at Kellie’s work, her catalog and online presence and put together this class with Kellie so that we may all get Kellie’s expertise. With Yarn Substitution Made Easy she says, they get empowered! The class includes a project where you experience yarns…. It is our opinion that this class and Sarah Peasley’s we spoke of last week on Getting Gauge (SWATCHING!) would work well together. (These are Marly’s Craftsy affiliate links.)
Kellie’s role in the yarn industry she hopes is as a cheerleader, that she is encouraging people to be creative, to relieve the stress we all experience in the society we live in.
If you missed getting to hear this LIVE you can always listen to the archived episode where you will HEAR the keyword to leave in your comments (HINT!) where it aired originally https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/10/20/teacher-designer-and-blogger-kellie-nuss or in iTunes.