Good morning lovelies!
This week's guest blogger should have been last weeks guest blogger,
but I dropped the ball so here we are back on track! I think you will
love this guest blogger. Shannon is a fashion designer and brings some
cool variety to Darn Good Yarn. Shannon, thank you so much for being a
part of the Darn Good Yarn Guest Blogger Project!
My name is Shannon N. Hunter and I am a local fashion designer in
Seattle, WA. I draped my first evening gown in 5th grade, have been
unofficially studying fashion since high school and am now attending
school while designing clothing and accessories, writing and knitting on
the side. I own and operate High Maintenance Productions http://www.highmaintenanceproductions
where I freelance as a wardrobe stylist for film and individuals and
plan events. I also sell vintage clothing and accessories on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/fancyterrible
My clothing company is named Fancy Terrible Clothing http://www.fancyterribleclothing.com and my blog can be found at http://shannonnhunter.wordpress.com
10 Fun Facts About Me:
- Shannon's Mom! How awesome is that?!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dancer on Solid Gold. I took lessons and everything. It didn’t work out.
I was raised by my Army Colonel Grandfather (Hooah!). As an
Officer’s Wife, my Grandmother was obligated to entertain her husband’s
colleagues with lavish dinners and cocktail parties. It was through
this that I learned the Art of Manners & Proper Etiquette when I
was a wee one. We threw lots of elegant parties. I still throw grand
parties to this day. Go big or go home, in my opinion.
I flew to France by myself when I was 12 and stayed with friends of
the family for 3 weeks. My grandparents then joined me and we travelled
Europe for two months. I have also travelled around the U.S. during
three separate road trips, all before I was 14.
My Dad is a biker. Everyone in my family has owned a motorcycle
(including my Grandparents) and I grew up riding on the back. I would
love to have my own but I know myself enough to know I would have “too
much fun” and wreck. I’ve decided I want race snowmobiles instead. It’s
safer that way!
Even though I’ve been in Seattle for almost 20 years, I still
consider myself from California and am barefoot as much as possible,
even in the winter. (Inside always, of course, never outside. Ew.)
I love pugs! Someday, I want an army of white pugs with one black one named “Darth”.
I have a shoe problem. (I had over 50 pairs in high school
alone...call me Imelda!) And a jewelry addiction. I’m a sucker for
anything shiny and would rather have costume jewelry over diamonds any
day (especially if it’s vintage). And too many fashion magazines. (As
in several boxes worth...but in my defense I do sort through them to
make tear sheets for reference material in my work).
The Vampire Writing Queen, Anne Rice, once told me she loved my
sense of style! (I was wearing a white lace dress, black tights and
black bra with my Great-Grandmother’s huge silver and amethyst iron
cross pendant with Doc Martins in a sea of people wearing black. Oh,
and I had platinum hair. I might have stood out a bit.)
I organized and produced my first fashion show by myself at the
tender age of 19. I say “by myself” because I had zero assistants. No
one showed up to help and I lost 5 models the day of the show. I never
gave up (I couldn’t, the event had been airing on the biggest radio
station in San Diego all week!), and only one person ended up in the
hospital. True story.
At one time, I owned an Internet Cafe & Vintage Clothing
Boutique where I sold clothing I had been collecting since high school
as well as consignment items. It was featured in the local paper and I
continue to sell items online to this day.
The Teach: Be Happy! Or, How To Knit With Intention
When I first considered knitting as a hobby, I knew absolutely
nothing about it. I didn’t know a single thing about the various types
of yarn, metal vs. wooden needles and their different gauges, or what a
purl was besides a pretty bauble from the ocean. I bought the least
expensive yarn I could find in a color I liked, grabbed some needles
and then left them in a closet for three years.
A few months ago, I started learning to knit with a friend of mine,
who has been knitting for over 5 years. I became enamored with her
beautiful lace work and she took my (horrid) skein of burgundy acrylic
yarn and taught me to cast on (rather awkwardly since I was all
thumbs). I had finally begun to knit my first scarf. I was on my way!
After a few inches and many holes later, I realized I loathed the feel
of the yarn and that the scarf was looking more like a baby blanket
than a scarf. (The yarn was too thick, I had cast on too many stitches
and was using the wrong needle gauge!)
I kept knitting anyway because it was the same stitch over and over
and I clearly needed the practice. As I knit, I found my mind wandering
because I wasn’t having to think about what I was doing. Throughout
the day, I would put the knitting down to go do something and return to
it in a different mood. It was then that I realized I actually needed
to pay attention when I knit. I kept dropping stitches because I wasn’t
watching and checking my work.
As my day unfolded, my mind wandered through happy thoughts, and I
knit well. When irritating thoughts intruded, I became sloppy. If I
really let my mind go to a place of anger, I would get stabby with the
needles and jab myself or unravel a few stitches accidentally. Who
knew? What a waste of time!
I began to wonder about handmade items and what people thought while
making them. It may sound silly, but I really didn’t like the idea of
knitting a scarf that my husband would be wearing around his neck that
was infused with negative thoughts or feelings. It seemed wrong,
somehow, like my negativity would be strangling him! Not a good image
to have when seeing him in the scarf each day. Now, I am not a person
who believes in full on woo woo, but I was starting to understand the
concept of knitting with intention. I realized that at least to me, it
is a very important part of my process when working on any of my
If you are creating something by hand and love what you do, good
thoughts and juju will be infused into the item. Your positive energy
will flow and it will show in your work. If you are in a negative frame
of mind, you will inadvertently be putting negative energy into
whatever it is you’re working on and your art may suffer for it. Try to
keep your customer in mind and stay in a happy, zen-like state of mind
while working. This will keep you focused and as you constantly check
your work, you will see the profits of paying attention, of being
present. You will then see the profits in your bank account because you
are producing quality work which is ideal.
To end my story, I completed a square foot of fabric and tied it off
to give to a pet shelter as a kitty blanket. I couldn’t even bring
myself to donate it to the thrift store! I thought “Why would anyone
pay money for that?” I could have easily completed the scarf anyway
and given it to a person in need of something warm but it was so full
of odd energy, awkward revelations and holes that I didn’t want to have
it out there in the world for human eyes to see. I was mortified and
humbled. And slightly amused.
The next day, I started over with a new skein of yarn-this time a
blend of alpaca and acrylic as it was the best I could find nearest to
my home. I cast on half as many stitches and used a smaller gauge.
Things went much more smoothly after that and now my husband is the
proud owner of my first real scarf. It’s color-blocked forest green and
dark amethyst and we’ve dubbed it The Joker. (He’s a huge Batman fan,
and, well, my first knitting project clearly started off as a joke. ;)
The moral of the story is simply this: Don’t knit while angry. There
is a reason why there are knitting jokes about needles being stabby.
;) Be mindful of your thoughts and it will show in your work. Happy