meet your maker // crafty allie
As most know, 98% of our store is made locally. This year we wanted to spotlight one local artist in the store each month so that everyone may get to know them a little better. February's "Meet Your Maker" is Allie Kuehn. She is 22 years old with a nursing degree from OU. Whenever Allie is not working overnight shifts as a nurse, she is knitting wonderful works for our store and other's like us. We had the opportunity to sit down with Allie at Cuppies & Joe to ask her a few questions. She knitted an entire scarf over two lattes and gave us great insight to what it's like to be crafty allie.
Meet Your Maker Questionnaire
Allie Kuehn // Crafty Allie
What is your process? I have 2-3 gigantic books of pattern swatches. One of them my grandma gave to me when I was 8 and she was teaching me to knit. I skim through those pages and stop at the first one I think looks pretty. I don't make a swatch, I just go all in casting on the for whole scarf right away. When I'm thinking of a new sweater idea, I'll sketch it out in my journal, and figure out what stitches and yarn I want to use. I have a little moleskin journal that I keep jotted down patterns in, and I actually bought a PERFECT leather journal from DNA last september for me to put all my final patterns/photos in. Every day I go in to my studio and pull out all the colors I want to use for the day...and honestly I just like grabbing a bunch of yarn at once and carrying it to my couch..it's satisfying. Then I plop down on my couch and start working while watching some netflix series...right now I'm on Friends...but that will just as soon turn in to Scrubs (for the 3rd time). Once I finish crocheting or knitting something, I fold it up and toss it in a pile. I hate weaving in yarn ends, so I save it all for the end so I can just get all the unpleasantness over and done with in one sitting.
Where are you from? Originally from NW OKC. I went to Putnam city schools, and after graduation I moved to Norman for school. I just graduated in May with my nursing degree, and I work at the Norman Healthplex now.
What inspires you? Nature, being surrounded by colors, other makers on Instagram, & my pets. I name some of my pieces after my cats. My first cat, Binx, got really sick in January of 2011 and I wanted to knit him a chunky blanket to sleep on to make him more comfortable before he died. That's how I came up with the Binxy cowl. It is a chunky knit garter stitch cowl that is knit in a rectangle and joined at the seams. Whenever I'm designing something, I try to think if my kitties would like to cuddle up on it.
How did you get started? My grandma taught me when I was 8, but then I kind of forgot about knitting until I was about 17. I didn't start selling products until freshman year of college when I was 18. I made harry potter scarves because the premier was that summer. My grandma gave me her knitting machine from the 90s and I just went to town making scarves for everyone. That's how this all started.
How old were you when you started selling your handmade items locally? I started my Etsy shop in 2012 just after I turned 20. In 2013, I started making things for DNA. I could not be more grateful to have found a place like DNA that I can thrive in. I'm constantly creating, thinking, trying new things.
What are your goals for the future? This year specifically, I want to rebrand completely. New cards, new look, new tags, even a new shop name! Long term, I'd love to quit my day job. But I don't see that happening for years and years. I do love nursing. I can work 3 days a week, and that's full time. Then I get my other 4 days for knitting. It's a great combination right now.
How much time a week do you spend with your craft? During my busy season, 40 hours a week at least. During my off season, around 20.
Any advice for other crafters or those looking to become makers in the future? Just start doing it. Do what you love and allow yourself to be inspired by your surroundings.
What do you do in your spare time? Visit my family, play with my cats or have a date night with the boyfriend.
What is your favorite place to grab a coffee? My house.. I just got a keiurig so I use that religiously now!
What music currently inspires you? Band of Horses, Iron and Wine, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons, City and Color. And if I want to just JAM OUT in the car... country music is my weak spot.