Hi! My name is Oleya. You may have seen me around the store, talked to me on the phone, or read the notes I’ve written for your online order. I wear many hats at Knit Purl, including handling the ecommerce and phone customer service, filling online orders, and maintaining the Knit Purl website. I also used to write a lot of the blog content for Knit Purl, and now I am back.
I first learned how to knit 12 years ago, while visiting a friend’s mom here in Portland, during a snowy Christmas holiday. I didn’t take to knitting immediately, but I picked it back up again during the latter part of college. One day between art school classes, I spotted the bright orange spine of the Stitch n’ Bitch book by Debbie Stoller. I ended up making several of the projects from the book, and loved my new portable hobby, that I’d often sneak into art history lectures during school.
(A picture of my very first handknit scarf!)
After college ended, I discovered Ravelry, which turned my hobby into an obsession! I fell in love with hand-dyed yarn, and I started queuing as many projects as I could. I wasn’t the best at finishing my projects, but I loved all the possibilities that pattern and yarn could bring. Gaining the ability to make my own fabric was really empowering.
When I moved to Portland six years ago, I found a job here at Knit Purl, which furthered my obsession. Working here has really increased my knitting knowledge, and allowed me to work with yarn of all types and experiment with colors (although I still buy an awful lot of gray yarn).
Being part of the knitting community here in Portland has been great - I’ve written a few knitting patterns, created a garment flag for the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and I was even in a knitting documentary! It’s amazing working for Knit Purl, and being part of such a vibrant, active community. This is a hobby that I’ll always treasure, and hope to practice for the rest of my life. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when I picked up my first pair of knitting needles that snowy Portland night 12 years ago.