You may have noticed we have a couple new faces around the shop these days. Today in Stitch Exchange, we're going to introduce Mckenzie, one of our new staff members and teachers. Mckenzie has been a great addition to the shop, and we look forward to her teaching debut in October. Without further ado, I'm going to let Mckenzie introduce herself to all of you lovely readers!
My name is Mckenzie and I grew up in Southern California (Valencia, where Magic Mountain is, for those of you who are familiar with the area!). I moved up to the Bay Area for college in 2010 and fell in love. I grew up influenced by my mother and grandmother (Yaya) who were both avid sewers and crafters. My mom's main focus has always been scrapbooking while my grandmother designed and produced an array of lingerie and children's clothing lines throughout my childhood. Both of them taught me an invaluable amount in terms of design, aesthetics, and creative processes not only with textile and paper crafts, but also in the kitchen.
Throughout college I hosted a monthly Stitch and Bitch where students gathered to knit and discuss current issues. This is also where I taught interested students how to embroider, make simple relief prints, and, of course, knit. My friends constantly teased me about the fact that I could never seem to go anywhere without my knitting needles. As I assume every young knitter probably experiences, the constant harassment about my age in conjunction with my craft was always present.
One of my favorite identifiers stemming from being teased about my age is "grannypunx.". The phrase owns what everyone already assumes, that, yes, stereotypically old ladies knit (and old ladies are rad!). But the phrase also resonates with me because there is an ownership of a younger generation using traditional crafts as a way to challenge systems that create things cheaply and mostly unethically. Knitting for me, along with the ability to create something beautiful and functional, has become a way to challenge opposition that I run up against such as: a lack of cute styles above a clothing size 16, a way to support local businesses as opposed to stores whose production ethics I cannot vie for, and a way to create an article of clothing that will (hopefully) last me far longer than anything I would buy from a store.
Working at A Verb is an exciting opportunity for me to be able to learn from all of my extremely talented coworkers and customers. I'm also extremely excited to be one of the teachers for our revamped beginning knitting series: Knitting 101, 102, and 103. Designing the projects for the first three knitting classes with Karen has me rearing to go! You'll definitely see me around the shop (I'm the one with the colorful hair) and I'd love to see what you're working on. Don't be shy!
-- Mckenzie M. Mullen
Emtothethird :: Ravelry
Mckenzie blogs at Emtothethird :: knitting. zines. plants. food.