Meet the Maker: Willow and Twig
You may recognize Faith, as the smiling face behind our Door Desk when you enter the store. Not only does she spin around our little shop, but she spins yarn around her fingers as well! You'll find select items that she made with those two hands, love and care in the store now! We asked Faith to tell us a little bit about Willow and Twig, and this is what she had to say:
Well I Didn't Choose the Knit Life, the Knit Life Chose Me HaHa
If I were to squint my eyes all the way and try to place my finger on the very thing that started me on this Yarn Journey, I'd say it all started with my Little Horse Sweater. I still have it. It's hung on a hanger, smothered amongst my present-day chambray and cotton, looking rather small. I was that small once. Sometimes I still pull it out and rub the fibres between my fingers; make sure the zipper still works. Its a variegated wool, too worn to be itchy, all purples, browns and whites. And on the back there is the most majestic white horse head silhouette with a billowing mane.
My Grandma made it. Just sitting in front of the TV, as the Night Owl she was, whipping yarn over her fingers. Knitting was just so natural to her. She wasn't even looking. And then one day, there it was, my Little Horse Sweater. And I loved it! I loved it so much I wore it even when my gangly little wrists dangled below the cuffs. It was that good! I can vividly remember running through the wilderness of my backyard, or the the wild fields at my Poppy's, with my cheeks rosy from the cold and feeling invincible in my Little Horse Sweater. For someone as small as me, it was powerful. A totem. The envy of all my older female cousins.
Like some good totems do, it had to be retired. Once the wrists were out, and then the belly, then it didn't quite cross the expanse of my shoulders. And I remember the day I folded it up. I saved it thinking perhaps there would be another small person I could pass it along to (that's just how old a soul I am). Even though it was packed away, I never lost my awe of it. That my Grandma had made that with her very own hands. That she had taken a couple of nothing balls of yarn and made me this incredible something. I saw it as some great, super power. Magic maybe.
A few years later, convinced that perhaps super power magic was hereditary, after much pleading she taught me to Knit and Purl. The only thing was, my super power seemed to have holes in it. I gave the old college try to a baby blanket, that more closely resembled a large artistic replica of Swiss Cheese. Grandma would try to trace back and tighten up my mistakes after I went to bed. But I didn't have that natural ability I saw in her, so I gave it up. And I never really gave it any more thought.
Fast forward to about 12 years later (about four years ago) and I found myself continuously walking down yarn isles. Squishing skeins and wistfully twirling needles. I went home and dug out my Grandma's Knitting Suitcase. It jingled with the sound of cascading needles, and is filled to the brim with knitting patterns and magazines that date back to my Great Grandma Jessie. I thought maybe I'll give it a try.
I had just finished University and my now Fiancé had to travel away for months at a time to work; I had some down time. I had always been artistic and creative, but that Beginning-of-Life-Crisis that hits you around twenty-five was giving me an itch. I desperately not only wanted to create, but I wanted to be able to make something from nothing. I don't know if I needed to prove something to myself, or if I just needed the reassurance that some things were made from nothing every day. But, I picked up a pair of needles and with a memory and a book I nabbed from Michael's, I started knitting, and I haven't stopped.
The creative process is a weird thing. I was continuously working, I was practicing, I was putting the time in and was continuously getting better. I started to accumulate stacks of knits. There was a Christmas where I gave almost everyone I knew something knitted. But, I was never really sure if they were good enough. But I kept knitting away. After a while it became meditative and calming. I started whipping yarn over my fingers as I watched TV. I carried yarn around in my purse, should the opportunity happen to arise. I would hear people say: "she's not even looking," and I'd get a little smile. A little bit of magic after all.
And then I dared. I dared to consider that someone else, out in the great wide world, would love a little knitted thing, just as much as I had loved making it. Just like that, Willow and Twig was born.
At this point you might ask: why Willow and Twig? And I could give you the John Lennon version of how he named the Beatles (with an "A") as he had a dream a man appeared on a flaming pie, and proclaimed: "You will be Beatles with an "A"." (Or something like that). At first I probably would have gone with the man on the pie. But, if I really sat down and thought about it I'd say the real idea is that everything is connected. The Willow to the Twig, the Twig to the Willow. All the people that it takes supporting and lifting me up to be able to do what I do. Me to you, and you to me. All the little, important elements that come together to make the dream work.
"You are the result of the love of thousands." - Linda Hogan. Think about that for a minute. You exist because of a thousand other people that loved and paved the way for you. So am I. So many little connections that make a big picture. A thousand little strands to make all the glorious knits.
All connected, us, this place that was shaped by the ocean, that shaped me. That's why so many of my items names are inspired by this place I grew up, and the good hearted people that surround me. Everything is relative.
So here I am daring again, turning my Knit Life into a hustle. This little Willow and Twig is where I'm planting the seed of a dream and seeing how it grows. Where I get to be my own boss, and it feels good. It feels really good. So here's to Little Horse Sweaters, and to the warm and fuzzies a knit made with love and care can give! And here's to me and you, a thousand loves, and a growing dream!
We hope you get a case of the Warm and Fuzzies from Faith's Willow and Twig Work, just like we did! Feel free to come squish some exclusive knits in person in store, or check out her Etsy shop at WillowTwigCreative :)
Photos: Brittany MacLeod of Hind Hart Studios