Knitter Spotlight: Joyce (TravelingPurls on Ravelry)
The Knitter Spotlight series a couple of months ago to learn more about the knitters behind those usernames we are friends with on Ravelry. After our recent stopover in Canada where we met with Ingrid, we’re now heading south of the US, to Florida.
Best known as TravelingPurls, Joyce spends her life traveling across the country in her motorhome, which is also a real treasure vault with skeins of yarn hiding everywhere. Not a single day passes by without a little bit of knitting, and, from the pictures featured below, it seems like Joyce draws part of her colour inspiration from the nature surrounding her.
First name: Joyce
Ravelry name: TravelingPurls
From: I’ve lived all over the U.S, but spent most of my life in Ohio. I now live in Naples, Florida for most of the year. Since I live in a motorhome we travel quite a bit and spend winters south and summers north.
I learned to knit… Miss Betsy was a retired school teacher who lived next door when I was ten. She taught me to crochet one summer while sitting in her front porch swing. She was the sweetest, and ever so patient with my earnest attempts with yarn. After almost fifty years of crocheting everything from afghans to critters, my grown daughter said, ‘let’s learn to knit!’ That was over five years ago, and now I don’t let a day go by without at least a little knitting.
I usually knit at/with… Most of my knitting is in the evening in front of the TV or while surfing the net – or my newest discovery- watching knitting podcasts. When time allows, I love to sit outside and do a little afternoon knitting. When I travel back to Ohio, I do knitting excursions with my daughter, and I still try to meet with my local SNB friends for some group knitting.
My typical day… It takes at least two cups of good coffee to start the day. I now work remotely and spend many hours attached to my computer and cell phone. I sneak little peaks at my Ravelry page for mental floss! Daily walks to enjoy nature renew my spirit more than anything, especially in the mountains. When my work is done, I curl up on the sofa with my yarn and my computer to wrap up each day.
My favorite things about the place I live… In Ohio I love the change of seasons, seeing nature awaken in the spring and the bounty of the harvest season when the heat of summer has passed. The trees turn crimson and gold, the air turns crisp, the skies are the clearest blue, the pumpkins turn orange and the apples hang ripe on their branches!
My favorite time of the year is… fall. It seems like a new beginning. The kiddos are back in school, cooler weather seems a relief. We go apple picking and start planning family gatherings and holiday baking! And very soon I realize I am already behind in my holiday knitting!
My favorite travel destination… Since we live in our motorhome most of the time now, we can spend long periods of time in our favorite places. I love the mountains of the American West with the breathtaking views of Colorado and Wyoming and the harsh beauty of red rock country in Utah. I love to take 4-wheel trails in search of ghost towns and old gold mines, or take a hike and have lunch with a view of towering mountain ranges and meadows of wild flowers. I might spot a moose or a bear along the way.
My favorite yarn is… I am in love with the hand dyed yarns – my stash is growing huge, and still I want more! I keep finding hiding places in the motorhome so it won’t look like I have a yarn problem (when really it’s just a space problem!)
The first project I ever knitted… was a simple kerchief type scarf with yarn from a big box store. I was hooked! Now it reminds me I’ve come so far, and learned so much about yarn along the way.
My favorite colour is… I love colour, lots of colour! I’ve always been drawn to reds and warm colours, but as I spend more time in warmer climates I find myself turning to more blues than ever before. The only colour I rarely buy is green. Since I understand that is the favorite colour of so many people, it is better that I leave it on the shelf for them to enjoy.
Right now I have on my needles… My newest bad habit is casting on new projects while too many are waiting to be finished. I blame it on all the beautiful yarn! I hate to admit how many are on needles, but I have at least six Janina patterns in the works right now, including Daydreamer, Flirty, Orbit, Moondust and Starlight. She designs patterns faster than I can knit them, which makes her my favorite resource!
My other creative passions include… I’m a maker and have always been fond of fibre arts. I’ve made my own clothes, even my wedding gown. I’ve made a dozen quilts, and many teddy bears; my cross-stitch is everywhere. Recently, I’ve begun creating jewelry for fun. Another hiding place in the motorhome is needed for beads and leather. I’ve dabbled in photography, and I wish I had space to dye my own yarn. There’s just not enough days in the week for all the things I want to create!
I’m very good at… I am an organizer – everything from closets to databases to production work flows! In fact one of the things I most enjoy about my knitting is the selection process, finding the pattern and choosing the yarn and imagining how lovely it will become. I plan ahead – then change my mind a few times before I cast on.
I make the most delicious… Did I mention I love to bake? Christmas Cookies are a passion! Together with the kids and grandkids we make hundreds of cookies! Everyone looks forward to cookie day!
I’m slightly obsessed with… Janina’s patterns. I want to make them all, then start over and make them in another colour!
I have never… I have a bit of anxiety over knitting a sweater. I keep saying I’m going to do it, but then I worry… will it fit… will I love it after all that work?
Something most people might not know about me… Most people probably don’t know I love to dance when no one is watching!
Something I’d still love to do in this lifetime is… I have made a mental note to learn brioche knitting this year, and someday I would like to publish a pattern of my own design. It would be fun to see other knitters use my pattern for their projects! I’ve been fortunate to see most of our country in our travels. I would still love to take a long and winding road trip across British Columbia and through Alaska. And just imagine the photos I could take along the way!
My favorite quote is… ‘Not all who wander are lost’.
All photos © Joyce /TravelingPurls