Name: Kim Werker
Website links: kimwerker.com
What do you make?
I *start* making lots of things: crocheted and knit scarves, sweaters, toques; crocheted dolls; I’ve taken to dreaming lots about embroidery. The things I end up finishing are dolls, scarves, and mostly writing about this sort of stuff (and other sorts of stuff). I finish writing things more often than not; I don’t often finish crafting things.
What or who inspires you?
Craftswise, the projects I get most excited about are the ones that come out of a desire to go against what’s generally considered “normal”. It’s why I like making dolls – the uglier the better. Why? Because cute is expected! It’s very liberating to create ugly stuff. Also, there’s very little pressure. When success is ugly, what do you get if you fail? Cute? Beautiful? The horror!
I also develop an itch to make stuff when I’m stressed out. That’s when the double-crochet scarves in chunky yarns proliferate. The repetitive stitching and feel of the yarn relax me and making something useful makes me feel productive when otherwise I’m overwhelmed by teh suck.
When it comes to writing, there are just some days when I can’t keep my mouth shut. I love those days. The words come fast and sometimes furious. Other times, I enjoy writing just to work out some thoughts that have been swimming around in my head. And then there are the things I write on assignment. I love those, too.
How did you get started?
Forgetting about the times I learned how to crochet when I was in high school and then in college, I really got into yarn crafts in my mid-twenties. I started CrochetMe.com in 2004, and that’s when I sort of dove heart and soul into the crafts world.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. It was the thing in school I found easy and throughout my life whenever I’ve felt I needed to accomplish something, I’ve turned to words to do it.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Alpaca is simply the most wonderful yarn around. It’s soft and warm and makes me feel special. Addi Turbo hooks are my favourites, and I’m partial to their knitting needles, too, though I also love bamboo needles.
I have a fairly ample yarn stash I’ve built over the years, and I enjoy digging into it for odd balls to do quick projects with.
What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
The hardest part for me is to let go of the pressure. It was a very big deal for me to admit to myself, and then to everyone else, that I rarely finish a project. And you know what? People didn’t gasp aloud, “Good gods! The crochet author is a charlatan!” They said, “Oh, yeah. Ok. Me too.” So now my favourite thing is starting a project (my favourite thing has *always* been to start a project), and I’ve forced myself not to find it hard to let that project languish eventually. Every couple of years I dig up half-finished projects and go on a frenzy finishing some of them, and then I feel extraordinary. Really, I can’t understand why the universe doesn’t shower me in cookies when I do that. It’s a very big deal.
List 5 of your favourite links and why you like them
GoodReads: I read a lot and I love keeping track of my books here. Plus, it’s social.
xkcd: This comic regularly cracks me up.
Twitter: Of course. It’s like a direct line to the entire world. I love it. (I’m @kpwerker. You should follow me.)
Letters of Note: It’s amazing to see how people express themselves. And also to grab a snapshot from history.
Make & Meaning blog: Sister Diane of Craftypod and Paul of Dudecraft recently launched this multi-contributor blog, and I was really excited to be invited to participate. We collectively write about crafts and making and DIY with a decidedly thoughtful approach.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Don’t shy away from tough decisions, don’t fail to prioritize making a living and remember to have fun with your customers/clients. Also, stop complaining about the changing marketplace and start taking advantage of it.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
They are different, but one isn’t any better than the other. My favourite take on the distinction is from TV/movie writer/director Joss Whedon. He said, “[It’s] that little chaos factor. It's when the thing starts talking back to you. When you come up with something that is a little bit more than just a good reproduction of what was in the book, and somehow reflects you in a way that you didn't understand yourself: that's art.” Both art and craft take skill, but art has that extra something. The voice in your head that won’t shut up and forces its way out through creating. (I almost wrote, “that forces its way out through your hands,” but that would be a little too close to what a psychotic killer might do.)
I consider myself a crafter. There are some voices in my head, but so far they haven’t been ready to force their way out.
(photo images courtesy of Kim Werker)
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Check out our past features...
Haiiku - feature #30
Smidgebox Designs - feature #29
heyday design - feature #28
Smeeta - feature #27
ACageyBee - feature #26
Maked - feature #25
Firefly Notes - feature #24
Florence Ann - feature #23
Him Creations - feature #22
Jenny Hart - feature #21
district thirty - feature #20
tinywarbler designs - feature #19
telly designs - feature #18
Cabin + Cub - feature #17
Rachel Hobson - feature #16
Green Couch Designs - feature #15
Tanis Alexis - feature #14
Sweetie Pie Press - feature #13
Fibre Manipulator - feature #12
Sam Made - feature #11
All Things Paper - feature #10
Owl + Pussycat - feature #9
Bliss in a teacup - feature #8
It's Your Life - feature #7
Faythe Levine - feature #6
Coco Cake Cupcakes - feature #5
pomomama design - feature #4
GroovyGlassGirl - feature #3
Bueno Style - feature #2
The Beautiful Project - feature #1