Filed under: Staff & Teacher Spotlights | Tags: design, Knit, ravelry, rose city yarn crawl, staff, teacher, Yarn
All About Yarn’s first staff spotlight features the very creative Kathleen Fajardo, a woman with a true passion for fiber arts, teaching and travel.
Kathleen was born in New Hampshire and later moved to Southern California, where she met her wonderful husband. Upon his graduation from CalTech, the couple moved to Beaverton to start their life together. They now have their hands full with two sweet and precocious children, a 10-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son.
As a child, Kathleen was mentored by her grandmother, Nana Fernandez, in the ways of crocheting. This led her to the art of embroidery and later her aunt Maria taught her how to quilt. Before Kathleen’s daughter was born, she fell in love with the “smooth professional look of the knit stitch” and thus decided to experiment with knitting. From the first click of her needles she was hooked for life.
After her son was born, a lovely acquaintance invited Kathleen to join the knitting group PDX Knit Blogger. It was through this group that she was introduced to All About Yarn and eventually joined our little flock as a teacher and staffer.
Since then, she has designed and published many personal patterns, some of which can be found on Ravelry and on her blog Busy Digits. Kathleen’s lovely design Pasarela, a casual and comfy shrug pattern, was recently published in Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-On. Also look for her gorgeous Sweetwater Shawlette pattern (which she designed for the 2012 Rose City Yarn Crawl) in the crawl’s upcoming e-book.
One of Kathleen’s passions is teaching others the art of knitting. She keeps busy here at the shop with her weekly knitting class, monthly techniques workshops and bi-annual needle felting classes. Through an online job opportunity with Morgaine Wilder of Carolina Homespun, Kathleen also works 3-4 trade shows a year, where she demonstrates how to operate looms, hand spindles and spinning wheels (skills she was introduced to by the PDX Knit Blogger group).
Kathleen and her family have had the opportunity to travel and see many places around the world, such as Australia, New Zealand (the wool capital of the world) and most recently Manchester England, a “city rich in history” according to Kathleen. While visiting she got to watch a demo of the textile machinery used during the high point of cotton production in England. She said “the demonstration really highlighted the danger both children and adults endured at this time to make cotton textiles…items we all now take for granted.” One of her adventures took her to the local yarn shop called Purl City Yarns, where she purchased several British-made yarns. She reports that they also carry a nice selection of local indie dyers, specifically The Natural Dye Studio who produced a specialty yarn (which Kathleen of course purchased a skein of) in honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee. Kathleen also had the chance to visit the Design and Craft Center, a wonderful community of artists who share a studio space and sell their wares directly to patrons of the arts. Kathleen was happy for the opportunity to purchase a work of art directly from one such artist. She said Manchester was a wonderfully inspiring place to visit, with an art culture reminiscent of Portland’s.
Back home, Kathleen is looking forward to creating something special out of her British yarns. She is “so pleased to work in a city with such a strong fiber community, constantly surrounded by new patterns and products,” and feels “lucky to have direct access to so many wonderful local dyers and designers.”
In closing, we want to thank Kathleen for sharing a bit of her history with us. She is one of our local treasures and we are the lucky ones to have the chance to work with her and watch her creative mind at work.