Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My Needle Arts Journey

Good Morning Everyone,

Just recovering from my fabulous weekend at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. So many happy people in one spot is surely a very uplifting sight.  I saw many old friends and also made so many new ones. After talking to so many people (my hoarse voice the next day was proof of too much talking), I realized that people were curious and asking me many questions as to how I got started etc. 

 I did a blog post for another blogger quite some time ago, they acknowledged receiving it and told me that they would let me know when it appeared, and I have not had another word since. 
The post took quite an effort on my part to put together, so I thought that I would post it here.




Margaret Hubert
My son likes to say, “My mom is an overnight success after only 40 years in the business.” This is not far from the truth. My life in the fiber world has been an odyssey—a long, adventurous journey, woven throughout with beautiful textiles. The journey began when I was about 5 years old and my mother taught me to knit. My mother, who was born in Italy, also learned to knit as a very young child.
She told me that their knitting was done strictly for utilitarian purposes and she was knitting her own stockings when she was about 9 years old. The beautiful yarns of today and the fabulous garments that are made from these yarns, always surprised her. My mother and I made all the garments for my first book.

I have no memory of these early lessons, but my sister recently told me that I would sit for hours making doll clothes. As I grew older I learned to crochet, sew, and quilt. I loved it all. 

While I initially learned all these crafts at a very young age, my successes in the world of knitting and crochet came much later, with helping hands from lots of people. Through the years I have owned a yarn shop, I was a needlework instructor for Bloomingdale’s, and a partner in a hand knit sweater business.

At Bloomingdale’s, a yarn representative from Brunswick Yarns, saw a sweater that I had designed. He was impressed by my work and gave me the names of several editors and encouraged me to show my work. The very first day that I met with editors, I sold 5 designs. I was elated, and opened up new possibilities for my journey, which continues today.

My work has been a great source of pleasure in my life and I feel very fortunate that I love what I do, and at my age, I can still do it. In 40 years in this business, I have published over 30 books, countless designs in magazines, and contributions to many other publications. As I write this, I am working on another new book. My first book, One Piece Knits That Fit, published in 1978, was a big hit, and I still get letters about that book to this day. For the past 15 years I have worked with Quarto US, and editor Linda Neubauer, who is the best ever. Linda, along with my family, has helped me navigate the transition to doing everything digitally—years ago I did everything on a typewriter and had to mail all entries into editors, or take a trip into the New York City to have meetings in person. During this process, my brain was often overloaded, but I am getting better at it every day.

I think part of my success is the fact that I am very versatile in my designs. I have designed everything from doggie sweaters to men’s extra large - but my main focus has always been women’s fashions. I get genuine pleasure from the feel and texture of the lovely materials available to us today. 

One of my favorite things to do is teaching workshops. About 16 years ago I was invited to speak at Professional Development Day at the Crochet Guild of America Conference in Chicago. This was a huge eye opener for me. I had no idea that these events even existed. Seeing so many avid crochet fans, gathered in one spot, taking classes, sharing stories, enjoying each other’s company, it was mind boggling. The following year I proposed classes to teach at several venues and another whole new world opened. Many students tell me that, while they love the idea of making a uniquely handmade garment that fits and flatters, either for themselves or as a gift, they find the process difficult. I love teaching them how to achieve this. One of my most popular workshops is “Customize your Knitting or Crocheting.” The response has been so great that I recently did two books on the subject. I get emails from students all the time telling me of the great satisfaction they feel when they can accomplish this. They always include pictures of their work, which brings me joy. My other most popular workshop is Free Form Knitting and Crochet. Students love this class and we have so much fun creating fabulous items. In the Free Form workshop, I give students some homework to complete before class, and something really unusual happens. Fifteen people, working from the same set of written instructions, come into class and every one of their pieces is totally different. I have actually been criticized for writing instructions for “Free Form”, but I feel by giving people a little jumpstart, their imagination takes over and amazing things begin to happen.

There is something very calming about working with your hands, and it has helped me immensely over the years. It is very therapeutic and can be a great stress reliever. Many tell me that their handwork helps them to cut down on various addictions. At the end of a busy day, what could be better than picking up some knitting needles or a crochet hook, some beautiful yarn, and creating something lovely.


My books, written since 1978 to present, include such titles as:

ONE PIECE KNITS THAT FIT
WEEKEND KNITTING
WEEKEND CROCHET
MORE WEEKEND CROCHET
HOOKED HATS
HOOKED BAGS
HOOKED THROWS
HOOKED SCARVES
HOOKED FOR TODDLERS
KNITS FOR MEN
KNIT OR CROCHET HAVE IT YOUR WAY
PLUS SIZE CROCHET
RUNWAY CROCHET
THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO KNITTING
THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET
THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO KNITTING SECOND EDITION
THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET SECOND EDITION
THE GRANNY SQUARE BOOK
GRANNY SQUARE FLOWERS
10 SQUARES 30 BLANKETS
10 SQUARES 30 BAGS
CUSTOMIZE YOUR KNITTING
CUSTOMIZE YOUR CROCHET
LACEWORK FOR ADVENTUROUS CROCHETERS
CROCHET BAGS, TOTES AND POUCHES
LOVELY LACE CROCHET
CROCHET SHAWLS
QUICK CROCHET HATS
CROCHET BLANKETS
TODDLER SIZE CROCHET
FIRST TIME TUNISIAN CROCHET
CROCHET FASHION SCARVES
CROCHET ESSENTIALS

Some samples of my work:

My first Free Form Jacket, combining knitting and crochet.

 Crochet Quilt done for Alchemy Yarns


Autumn in New York Shawl

Made the cover of CROCHET! magazine


My experiment Embellishing a mesh base, Using several different yarns, making a lighter weight free form garment.


I hope that you had fun taking my journey through the years.

Have a great day!

Margaret





1 comment:

Samantha Murdock said...

I think you are Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge
And of course your Crochet Art with us! We are fortunate to have you as our teacher!
Keep on hooking it agrees with you!