Name: Crystal Van Dyken
When did you first knit, and who taught you? I learned to knit and crochet when I was 9. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Capps, loved to knit and taught the entire class. We all had to make one hat as a part of our art grade. After that if we wanted to continue she was willing to teach us anything we wanted and she helped me with socks, mittens, and my first sweater when I had her as a teacher again in 6th grade. My mom taught me to crochet around this same time. I’ve loved doing both ever since.
What are your favorite things to knit? Everything! It really depends on my mood at the time. I love socks and almost always have a sock on the needles. I also enjoy hats, mittens, shawls, and sweaters. Lately I have also been making toys for my nieces and nephews.
What has been your most frustrating knitting project? I was making a sweater once that was supposed to have a cowl neck. The whole sweater was done and the neck was the last part I needed to do. My gauge happened to be too loose and the whole cowl part didn’t stand up at all like it was supposed to– it was just really floppy. So, I decided that I would just rip it out and make up my own neck without the cowl. I was really excited when it was done and went to put it on and discovered that my head couldn’t fit through the neck hole! I had to rip it out again and knit yet another neck. That was probably my most frustrating project I have worked on.
When it comes to knitting, are you more about the process or the product? I have thought about this a lot and I think I fall somewhere right in the middle between a process knitter and a product knitter. I definitely like the process and always love to try new techniques. Sometimes I will even knit a pattern when I have no interest in wearing the finished product but the technique looks so interesting that I want to make it anyway. On the flip side, I very rarely ever have more than two projects on the needles (or hook) at any given time– generally a sock and one other project. It makes me cringe to not finish one project before starting the next. I have found that to be fairly rare among my knitting friends.
When not at Twisted, how do you like to spend your time? Mostly I just like to spend my time hanging out with my husband and two corgis, Lilliput (“Lily”) and Rudy. I also love SCUBA diving and spend quite a few weekends up in Puget Sound searching for giant octopus and other cool creatures. I was actually diving in Hawaii last month and got some cool pictures and videos from when I took my knitting underwater with me. That was fun!
Favorite color? Turquoise!
Beyond knitting, what do you like to create? Of course I like to dye yarn which turned into Lilliput Yarn when I started dyeing more than I could possibly knit on my own. Dyeing (in addition to my full-time job) keeps me pretty busy, but I do also like to crochet, spin, and cross-stitch.
What is the last book you read? I just finished re-listening to Harry Potter on audiobook.
One piece of knitting advice: Don’t let worrying about mistakes stop you from trying to learn a new stitch or technique– knitting is easy to rip out if needed. You’ll usually find that a new technique is easier than you thought it would be once you the hang of it!
Where can we find you online? I’m on Ravelry, Instagram and Twitter as “Lilliputyarn” and on Facebook as Lilliput Yarn. My website is www.lilliputyarn.com