Name: Emily McCarthy
Click here to view her website to view her website
Coffee, pom pom’s, and books. Three things you’ll be sure to see when you scroll through the Instagram feed of Emily McCarthy, or better known as @withlovefrommaine. When we saw what she was working on, we couldn’t help but want to curl up in every single picture she shared, whether it be into one of her classic pom pom hats, a cable knit cowl, or a cozy pair of mittens (and hey @withlovefrommaine… could we snack on some of those delicious pies and homemade bagels you’re making too?)
With the release of Emily’s first exclusive pattern (check out her hat pattern here) for Darn Good Yarn, we wanted to share the story behind how she began knitting, the first project she gave to her now husband (proof that practice makes perfect!), and her journey in foraging her own small business.
To make the Classic Double Brim Hat that Emily designed for Darn Good Yarn, using our soft, hand-dyed Aran Twisted Wool Yarn, check out the exclusive pattern and kit here.
1. When did you start knitting? How did you learn?
I taught myself to knit nine years ago during the winter break of my freshman year in college. I was (f)unemployed for break and had a considerable amount of free time on my hands - after seeing friends that had learned how to knit over the years I decided to try my hand at it! I used some tutorials off YouTube and have been knitting intermittently since then. In 2013 I moved up to Maine and rekindled my love of knitting and haven't put down a set of needles since.
2. What is your favorite memory involving knitting?
I don't have a single favorite moment, but there's something that is so rewarding about giving someone you love something that you've made them and watching their face light up when they try it on. I remember when my husband (boyfriend at the time) tried on the first hat I ever made it was about two inches too short for him and I'd gotten the decreases so wrong that the top of the hat looked like swiss cheese, but he still wore it with pride. Thankfully I've made him plenty of other hats to make up for those first few, his current favorite is a double brim hat just like the pattern I wrote!
Check out the “ridiculously tiny swiss cheese hat” below:
3. What inspired you to create your own small business?
I've had a food blog for about eight years (Kitchenintransition.wordpress.com was first and withlovefrommaine.com is my current blog) and last year I began writing down my patterns and posting them along with my recipes. This was a natural progression for the blog since knitting has become a sort of therapy for me over the years. It's something I do at meetings during work, when I'm watching tv, or even when I'm out with friends. Finally, after planning a wedding and finding I had plenty of free time on my hands I thought I'd dip my toes into launching an online business, and four and a half months later here we are!
4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your fiber arts career?
I've never been an "in front of the camera" kind of person. I started by shying away from social media because it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the amazing makers that there are in the yarn community, but once you dive in and realize how supportive and wonderful they are it makes stepping out of your comfort zone that much easier.
5. What tips do you have for other crafters who are looking to take their art to the next level?
Join knitting groups whether they're on ravelry, facebook, or in real life! There are so many different ways of approaching knitting that you'll learn more than you ever could have imagined just by following along on other people's journeys. It has been incredibly humbling for me to see the amazing work that so many people around the world are producing that it's pushed me to better myself and learn new skills. Plus I've reconnected with some old friends and even made some new ones (sorry Mom, sometimes talking to strangers on the internet isn't a bad thing)
6. What’s next for you?
I've got some more projects with Darn Good Yarn coming out within the next few months, and I'll be continuing to add more products to my shop and take custom orders! I'll also be pairing with my friend Emma Hamm who is an author. I'll be designing patterns that are inspired by characters in her Otherworld Series! Until then I'm going to keep busting my hump to make sure that I'm learning, working, and staying humble in this amazing journey...and listening to Harry Potter audio books, because that's about all I do.
Check back for more tutorials and patterns from Emily!