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Hello

I'm Danyel - owner/proprietor of Idle Hands KnitWorks. Welcome to my little business's home!

I offer:

  • size-inclusive self-published knitwear designs

  • commission jobs for (mostly) knit items (some crochet)

  • pattern tech editing service

  • test and sample knitting service (find me on yarnpond! or email me, link below)

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  • Instagram

My Story

Growing up in Texas, I remember one grandmother was an avid and talented crocheter; the other was an excellent sewist and gardener, and she dabbled in painting as well. I tinkered around with fiber arts in my pre-teen and teen years, mostly doing cross-stitch and embroidery projects.

 

When I left home for college and found myself in the apartment a lot (introverted science type), I started quilting. My first quilt was done by hand, with not-the-best fabrics for the job...and I gave it to my mother for Christmas: a queen-sized bedspread. She was blown away by this, and the next Christmas, got me a basic Kenmore sewing machine, a cutting mat and blade, and quilter's ruler to encourage me to continue with sewing and quilting. About 20 quilts, my wedding dress and dresses for my matron of honor and mother, vest and tie for my husband's tux, and countless assorted garments, housewares, and tote bags later...I was living in West Virginia and convinced it was time to tap into knitting and crochet.

I took 8, 1-hour knitting classes in an after-hours adult educational program offered by the local tech school in 2011, and spent the next 7 years figuring out the ins and outs of knitting, not realizing there were abundant online resources and tutorials available. So, I made a lot of mistakes, many oddly-dimensioned throws and stacks of washcloths, and a few "ape-arm" sweaters along the way. But I learned a LOT, toughing it out and playing around with construction and design.

In 2018, I started test knitting for designers, to get a peek at how patterns are professionally written and published. This brought a coalescence of some basic skills I had previously overlooked (hello, swatching and blocking!), new construction techniques, and an introduction to some amazing humans. I got into Instagram and started to follow knit designers, small batch artisan dyers, and the knitting community itself. I bought tons of patterns on ravelry and just read pattern after pattern (knitting some up, while others are still waiting in the wings for future projects), supporting the efforts of these talented folks. [I also bought a LOT of yarn...the stash is now a sentient being in my home that continuously feeds on my pocket lint to get more yarn! :) ]

Determined to create useful patterns of my own, I took a shawl construction workshop offered by Stephen West/westknits, a pattern grading course offered by Tian Connoughton, and continued to test knit avidly. I picked up some commission work, and some tech editing jobs for Hannah Mann/dear ingenue, along the way. These few years, have been some of the most fulfilling in my creative half.

 

In 2021, I started to see Idle Hands KnitWorks as a potential business, and started to gather these skills into a business plan. I also submitted my first pitch for a published pattern (to Nomadic Knits) - it was accepted and is the Tahoe Tank pattern in Issue 12 of the magazine, published in 2022. In 2021, I self-published the Interjected Shawl on Ravelry and ran my first test knit as a designer. In 2022, I also published several garment patterns on Ravelry, including the Arbors Tee and several beanie patterns. When a friend invited me to sell some samples at her annual BlissFest in Morgantown, I jumped at the opportunity to try a craft show. Since I sold some items there and was encouraged by others to try for more fairs, I submitted for a juried show in October, was accepted, and spent 6 weeks knitting (straight) to prep for that show in December (the Moonlight Market, which required finally formalizing IHKW into a registered WV business - license and all).

 

So, Idle Hands KnitWorks has been a long time coming, but it's still really new in its presence. I am constantly working on new material and modifications to exiting patterns. Looking forward to what lies ahead, and I hope you will come with me!

Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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