There are some things that we just won’t apologize for, like stopping for Krispy Kreme donuts when the “hot” sign is on, or binging an entire season of anything on Netflix. And for Meaghan Schmaltz aka The Unapologetic Knitter, that something is knitting. She designs, she knits, and she inspires others to pick up needles, too. She loves color, she fondles fiber, and she knits a mean pair of socks. And you know what? She doesn’t apologize for any of it (see her Instagram page if you don’t believe us).* In fact, she does it all with unabashed gusto. Her passion for knitting is contagious, which is why we will always say “yes” to knitting one of her designs.
This month she treated our SockStitchers to a brand new pattern that pairs 2 colors of bouncy sport weight fiber with cool, stranded colorwork for a sock that is equal parts warm and fun. Cuddle Toes is a quick and addicting knit, which may have you casting on more than one pair. And for that we say, #sorrynotsorry.
Now, get to know a little bit more about The Unapologetic Knitter as we ask her our 9 favorite questions:
1. How long have you been knitting?
When I do the math, I’m shocked to realize it’s about 16 years all said and done. Wow! Where does the time go? I learned to knit in 2001 during my time at college and then put it aside for a while as I focused on being an adult and working my “real job” at an office of landscape architects. But it was in 2010 when I picked up my needles again – at the time, running my own business as a wedding planner – as I needed a stress reliever. And since 2013 or so it’s been a daily love affair between me and my needles.
2. Who taught you how to knit?
Initially, it was booklets I picked up from the shelves at Michael’s. But I reached a point where I wanted to interact with knitters instead of just the pamphlets so I sought out some classes at a LYS in Escondido, California (The Black Sheep). Following that I discovered the Interweave Knitting Lab where I was lucky enough to learn from some greats like Mary Jane Mucklestone, Anne Berk, Alistair Post-Quinn, Nancy Marchant and Kate Atherly.
3. What is currently on your needles?
Huh… the list is actually shorter than I initially thought. By no means am I going to wrap them all up quickly, but here we go: a Westminster Wrap by Jennifer Shiels Toland, a pair of Zigzagular’s by Susie White, a Sizzle Pop (triangular) and a Pop Twizzle, both by Lesley Anne Robinson and a new sock design that I’m SUPER excited about.
4. Where is the strangest place you have ever knitted?
Definitely while I was at my tattoo shop. I was getting some work done on the back of my neck and needed a distraction. My artist was surprised to say the least but asked all sorts of questions that we likely wouldn’t have discussed otherwise. It was weird and wonderful all at the same time.
5. Where is your favorite place to knit?
Curled up in the corner of my sofa with my two fur-babies: Peaches and Zoey. We have a very active backyard full of birds (and sometimes the dreaded squirrel which sends Peaches into a tizzy). I’m often listening to an audio book or watching Harry Potter movies while my fingers create.
6. What is your favorite thing in your notions bag?
A recent acquisition, actually: the Cocoknits Row Counter. I have two other row counters but the fact that this one locks so I can toss it in my project bag and not worry about mystery rows being counted makes me all warm inside.
7. What do you do when you’re not knitting?
Not knitting? Does that happen? I feel like I’m always knitting but there is some down time, so when I don’t have my needles in hand I’m definitely reading or drinking beer. I am a total sucker for tween romance novels and blaze through them (predictable though they may be) so I’m grateful for my local library’s access to the books on my Nook. And beer… we are lucky to live in a part of the world where beer is abundant and we can sample a huge array of styles nearby. So we love to go out and meet our local pour house folks and learn about the art of beer.
8. What is on your knitting bucket list?
I recently finished my first colorwork yoke sweater for the Hubbs so now I have one on my list for me – the Bjork Icelandic Sweater by Katrine Hannibal. I’ll be using Isager for the first time and I can’t wait. So that’s up next. And just a little further down the queue is the Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter and the Honey Drudger hat by Mer Stevens. So for someone who doesn’t normally do a lot of colorwork, I have a lot of it ahead of me and I can’t wait!
9. Who is your favorite knitting buddy?
I can’t believe I get to say this buuuuuut… my husband, Alan. He recently decided that he’d like to learn to knit (be still my heart)! So he worked on a worsted weight swatch where he tried garter and stockinette incessantly for a week and then he decided to move on to his first project – socks, natch! So he chose to knit himself a pair of my Mister Invested socks with a skein of Luscious Fingering in Dill Pickle (an MCN base, don’t you know?) by CandySkein. The man has expensive fiber tastes and I couldn’t be prouder!
*And for the record, we don’t blame her one bit.