Knitters You Should Know: lilydustbin

Meet lilydustbin.  You might know this knitter from her blog, the dustbin, or from her plethora of adorable knitted robots on Ravelry, but it’s even more likely that you know her from her popular blog Knithacker, a website that celebrates pattern modifcation, design, fusion, and unusual implementation of our craft.  I love looking at the beautiful, quirky, and funny items that are featured on Knithacker, and it is the first blog I send people to when they misconceive of knitting as a boring old sport for granny-square old-ladies.  From amazing and beautiful pieces to ‘fiber hacks,’  Knithacker is a celebration of the beautiful things that knitters around the world create.  I encourage you to both read, and submit to, Danielle’s site, subscribe to her blog, and check her out on Ravelry!

How did you get into knitting?

My granny taught me to knit when I was eight or nine years old. I knitted obsessively, mostly making Cabbage Patch Kid outfits to sell to my classmates at school; think teeny, little sweaters and booties made with some pretty squeaky acrylic.

Do you have a ‘real world’ job other than knitting? If so, what do you do?

Oh goodness, yes. Knitting and my knithacker.com blog are just hobbies. I’m a freelance community manager for several authors and I also do some marketing and communications on a freelance basis.

Where are you from? Do you have one or two interesting insider tips or observations about your home or hometown?

I’m originally from Kitchener, Ontario in Canada but have lived in or around Toronto for the last couple decades. As for advice … well, we Toronto folk may come across a bit stand-offish when you first meet us, but we’re really quite nice … you just need to give us a nudge and a smile to get us to open up. On the crafty side, visit Romni on Queen West for an amazing selection of wool and supplies. The staff are a bit like record store clerks in that they can be snobby in that I-know-and-you-do-not kind of way, but I have found that they’re incredibly knowledgeable.

What is your favorite knitting spot? Do you have an ‘artistic process’ when it comes to knitting, or do you bring the needles wherever you go?

Good question. I have creative cycles that come and go. Right now I haven’t been knitting because I’m in the process of moving to Brooklyn but generally I do keep a knitting bag going with 2-3 projects at varying stages of completion. I like to knit on road trips or while watching a movie in the evening. I’m very fickle with what I knit – when I’m ready to start something new I usually just knit whatever strikes me in the moment… i.e. the last pattern I liked from Ravelry or my RSS feed.

You run knithacker, which is one of my favorite knitting blogs. What gave you the idea for the site, and where do you get all of the awesome project pictures? 

Thank you. I’m having a lot of fun with knithacker and I’m really glad you like it. The original inspiration came from the Ikea Hackers site – what a fantastic resource and what a great thing for Ikea! I thought that it would be fun to extend that “hacker” ethos to fiber and build an online repository for all the cool knit hacks people create (and crochet hacks too … I’ll showcase any remix made with yarn or wool).

What is your favorite quote (or three)?

“The iron hand crush’d the Tyrant’s head
And became a Tyrant in his stead.” – William Blake

” Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Ghandi

“For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; that we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious–or whatever we please; we are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” – Naomi Wolf

Who is your favorite knitwear designer and why?

I like many! Vickie Howell is great, her stuff is fashionable and very accessible. Fun fact about moi: I made the buttons that you see on the Urban Revival Slouchie Beanie, a pattern that came out to accompany her new Sheep(ish) line of wool. I also love her Baby Granny hat which is knit and crochet – a true hack!

Ruth Sorenson is totally kickass – her work is beyond my skill level but one day I hope to be able to knit something from one of her patterns.

Brooklyn Tweed is amazing too. I’m going to try my hand at this Gudrun Johnston sweater this fall.

Do you have any hobbies other than knitting?

Yes, I make bottle cap jewellery and other resin-based items. I sell on Etsy (lilydustbin.etsy.com) but my shop is closed until September. You can see some of my work via flickr.

What is your favorite item to knit? (Shawls, sweaters, mittens?)

Ha! This one’s easy – Jess Hutchison robots! This was my first one:

What is the weirdest comment you’ve gotten about knitting?

I don’t know if it’s weird but I do get a lot of comments from people who are annoyed with the fact that most knit hacks are not practical or functional. “Wow, someone has a lot of time… ” or “why?” are comments I hear often. It bothers me because it’s a really great example of this either/or attitude that permeates our culture; like somehow somebody’s time spent knitting is taking away from charity work … you know? We can do both! Making art as much about the process and experience of creation as it is about the end result. The world is a better place when we’re making and creating – functional work or not!

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Comments
3 Responses to “Knitters You Should Know: lilydustbin”
  1. Julie says:

    So clever!! I love those little knitted robots, and her quotes are awesome. Great spotlight!

  2. I subscribe to her on Twitter on both my accounts. I think the only way her site could be better is a page with either all the patterns for sale, or a directory with thumbnails to wear the patterns can be bought.

    • A lot of the projects don’t have patterns written up- they’re freestyle, for inspiration! But if you check under each post there should be a link back to the original source/crafter where you can get more info about the project. If there is a pattern, that would be where to find it!

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