Like most Spinnery Cooperative members, Maureen Clark does a variety of jobs. She is in charge of our shipping and inventory systems, assists with our 1916 carding machine, works with customers, and coordinates our knitters’ events. On top of all that, she is the main force behind organizing everything that comes with going to shows and festivals from booking the space to driving the truck to designing displays. Shows are very rewarding for Maureen because she gets to talk to so many knitters and find out what they are making and which yarns excite them.
Maureen learned to knit as a child from her grandmother, whose grandmother was a native of England’s Channel Islands – a region rich with knitting history. While raising her four children Maureen taught knitting classes and ran her own yarn shop in Carver, Massachusetts. This was how she discovered GMS by stocking the yarns; and then by attending one of the first Spinnery Knitters’ Weekends in 1992. That was the visit that changed everything. Maureen was in love with Putney and Vermont and was determined to move. It took several years for the right opportunity to come along. The family moved to a home on Putney Mountain in 1998 – and Maureen has been entwined with the Spinnery ever since!
When asked about all that she does being part of the Spinnery she says, “I love working at the Spinnery and I’m proud of the quality of our yarn, which comes from the way it’s made. The Spinnery has always felt like family to me. Every day there is something new waiting for me!”
Friends and fans of the Spinnery may already be familiar with Maureen’s pattern designs. Maureen is known for creating elegant functional designs with a straightforward knitting experience.
Maureen says “designs just show up in my mind” Her process is to cast on and start knitting, changing elements as she goes. Her colleagues have looked on aghast as she rips back ¾ of a sweater because she has changed her mind. The challenge with “designing on the needles” is making sure changes are recorded so that the pattern is written properly. Maureen’s tendency to jot notes down in no particular order on the back of an envelope has been a source of challenge to our tech editors. However this process has resulted in great designs including Maureen’s Cardigan, Kelly, Riley’s Hat, Capricloak, and many fun socks: Jelly Beans, Wessagussett Waves and Hanna’s Sock.
Maureen also loves crochet and finds the recent crochet revival quite inspiring. She has come up with several crochet/knit combos designs including the Kristy sweater and the Happenin’ Hat, as well as crochet only shawl Catalina. Maureen is working on a cute new top for spring, the Bella Veste. Her latest challenge is mastering a new technique – 2 color Tunisian crochet in the round – and inventing a new sock pattern. We are all looking forward to the results.
Are you a fan of Maureen’s designs? Beginning August 11 through the end of September there is a Jelly Bean Socks knit along taking place in the Ravelry group. There is still time to sign up for the Knitters’ Retreat Weekend, you are sure to find it just as inspiring as Maureen! As always, we love hearing from our readers and fans! Come chat in the Ravelry group and like us on Facebook!