Knitting Pipeline with Paula Emmons-Fuessle was the featured guest on today’s for PODCASTER NOVEMBER, Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
Paula Emmons-Fuessle started knitting as a child, learning from her Grandmother, who was an avid knitter. Paula made a scarf and a hat and then put the craft aside until she went to Denmark to go to school abroad. On the train, she noticed everyone was knitting and so fast. They were all knitting continental (which her grandmother later admitted she purposely didn’t teach her because she worried it might be too hard). She said her Denmark ‘mother’ said everybody learned to knit in school, she took her to a yarn shop because she wanted to knit one of those beautiful chunky Lopi sweaters, that included steeking the armholes and colorwork. Talk about diving in! She progressed through socks, and made a sweater for her boyfriend (who became her husband ~ he doesn’t wear that sweater as he feels it’s precious), Norwegian Mittens… made her feel part Danish to knit with everyone else on the bus.
When Paula came home, she taught her friend, Tina, to knit, she didn’t know any other knitters her age. Her friend found Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman book and they got excited because ‘she knits like we do and she cuts sweaters, too!’ They began corresponding with Elizabeth, Paula feels EZ mentored her. Grandma kept telling her there’s a Busy Knitter on tv and as Paula and her husband didn’t have a tv so she never got to see it. She attended Knitting Camp in 1978 with her 5 month old baby (She had told Elizabeth she wanted to come to camp but she had a baby and EZ said “bring baby along!”) Previously she received a Baby Surprise Jacket knitted by Elizabeth, she read the note during this episode. Imagine, what a treasure!
Paula attended many of the knitting camps except when she was too pregnant. At the time, it was quite novel to go to a knitting retreat/event unlike today where we have so many choices. Paula also viewed Elizabeth’s camp as HER source for materials, too, and her notebooks from camp were her only reference materials for things that she was learning.
Paula started listening to podcasts after they moved to a more rural area and she used her iPod to listen to podcasts while she went for walks. She began to think what she could podcast about herself. She started thinking about her bagpipe music and sharing that, but worried about doing it alone. Rachel of the Knit Sense podcast made her think she could do it alone, she began by sharing the letters from Elizabeth Zimmerman and sharing bits about her piping. Her program includes ambient soundbites of birdsong from the backyard and visits with others who are around her to share their adventures and what they are working on. The episodes cultivates a community spirit by bringing people together or including listeners, engaging them with their letters and tips. The Knitting Pipeline can be found at this website: http://www.knittingpipeline.com/
She doesn’t consider herself a designer, but someone that occasionally comes up with a good idea. She began creating her own designs with a shawl that she created to knit in the car on a roadtrip, to keep busy but not get carsick. It became the beautiful Piper’s Journey and she humbly admits the adventure of working with Quince & Co, tech editing, etc.
Then, with her vast experience of the top of the line retreats, she began organizing affordable events herself. The Spring Retreat (at only $65) now fills to capacity at 150 people. (Paula is trying to keep it to two Spring and two Fall retreats.) She’s also had a fall Maine Retreat that Susan B Anderson came to teach near Quine & Co and working on one to Atlanta. The place to find them is the Ravelry Group.
If you didn’t get to listen live here is the link to where it aired originally and is archived: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/11/13/knitting-pipeline-podcast-with-paula-emmons