Monday, September 14, 2009
Meet Kathy (Knitting for Two)
The unshakeable Kathy Bateman, a woman who has yet to meet a knitting mistake she can’t fix, can’t remember exactly when she started at HCW. She does remember feeling like she already lived there (in a good way) as a regular customer. Plus, she’d worked inventory once or twice. So when a slot opened up and Suzanne issued an invite-to-work, Kathy jumped on it. She’s been helping all of us to not pull out our hair ever since, as she patiently reconfigures those little (and sometimes big) errors we sometimes make. I caught up with Kathy recently and below is our interview.
Spike: I think I ask everyone this question—so I’m asking you, too. After all this time, is it still fun to work around yarn? And do you still want to knit when you’re off the clock?
Kathy: Mostly it is. I get to help people all the time. I like solving random knitting problems. And I get to put pretty colors together on the shelf. I still knit when I get home.
Spike: What brought you to knitting?
Kathy: I started in 1997. I was avoiding papers my last year in college. I thought what better way to do that than learn a new skill? My husband ended up with some very strange things. I think he still has those in a box. I made a hat that wasn’t a hat— I didn’t have a pattern. It was a lacy blob thing. That’s one of the many times I learned about gauge.
Spike: Pivotal knitting moment?
Kathy: The town we lived in when I learned to knit was very small. There was a Ben Franklin but it went out of business. Somebody bought the random arts and crafts stuff from them and rented a narrow storefront and put it all in there. That’s all we had access to—whatever yarn they had and stuff at Walmart. At least we were in Iowa where it’s cold and knitting made sense. Then we came back to Texas and I learned about real yarn and that was the most exciting thing ever.
Spike: Favorite thing to knit?
Kathy: I jump all over the place. I have a tendency to do a lot of hats. They’re quick and people pay me to knit them. I have a little business-- Platypusdreams.com.
Spike: What big project are you working on now?
Kathy: I have a baby coming, due December 10th. I’m knitting a little bit of baby stuff. I I have some interest in it, which I didn’t before. Renate is finishing a baby sack for me—it kind of looks like a dress and it zips at the bottom. It’s Shepherd’s worsted in brown, green and cream. And I’m making an E. Zimmerman baby kimono with soft wool. I’m trying to do girly patterns in boy colors and boy patterns in girl colors, but mostly staying away from pink and blue. Although the kimono has some blue in it—blue and purple and orange. I also made some purple cargo pants out of Classy—that’s a washable, worsted weight wool that Dreamy Color makes. I put penguin buttons on the pockets.
Spike: Most bizarre question you’ve gotten?
Kathy: Some people call and think we’re a hair weaving place. They want to know about that.
Spike: Best advice?
Kathy: If you make a mistake—it’s okay to come in. You don’t have to try to fix it if you don’t have a clue. Somebody will make a mistake and try to fix it themselves and spend three hours when we could’ve fixed the original mistake for them in five or ten minutes.