Making Conversation with Leila Raven
Today we talk with Leila Raven. An artist, knitter, designer and maker, Leila leads a life where her creative and technical sides often converge in unlikely ways. Through personal connection and mindful process, Leila has found herself leading many creative endeavors in her career, pushing past personal and societal boundaries, into a space of self-love, spiritual, and physical healing.
Through her story, Leila shares her excitement and love for creating honest, meaningful work and digs deeper to uncover a need for connection and communication among a diverse range of voices and backgrounds. Leila's fingerprint is embedded in our Making publications, as well as in the hearts of our team and our community, through her contributions, creative direction, and open and honest friendship. You can follow her work at calloftheraven.com and on Instagram @leila_raven
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/ notes & resources /
- Leila Raven / calloftheraven.com
- Jasper Cardigan / Leila's design in Making No. 12 / DUSK
- Worsted by Peace Fleece (100% wool) skeins in Mesa Marble / Yarn used in Jasper Cardigan - Find it here
/ giveaway: peace fleece /
This week's giveaway is sponsored by Peace Fleece, and they're giving away a sweater's quantity of peacefully twisted yarn and the color of your choice. Peace Fleece comes in both DK and worsted weight. Perfect for color work projects, garments, hats and accessories.
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Ashley [00:00:06] Welcome to Making Conversation, a podcast for makers, where we share with you some incredible people within this community we love so much. Here's where you get to listen to a little part of their making journey. I'm your host Ashley Yousling. Today I'm talking with Leila Raven, an artist, knitter, designer and maker. Leila leads a life where her creative and technical sides often converge in unlikely ways through personal connection and mindful processes. Leila has found herself leading many creative endeavors in her career, pushing past personal and societal boundaries into a space of self-love, spiritual, and physical healing. Through her story, Leila shares her excitement and love for creating honest, meaningful work and digs deeper to uncover a need for connection and communication among a diverse range of voices and backgrounds. Leila's fingerprint is embedded in our Making publications, as well as in the hearts of our team and our community through her contributions, creative direction, and open and honest friendship. You can follow her work at calloftheraven.com and on Instagram @leila_raven. And with that, here's Leila.
Leila Raven [00:01:21] I have to say my earliest memory is three, four, or five years old - as soon as I could pick up a pencil or crayon or something to draw with, I was drawing. Drawing was my first love. And it really kind of started me just exploring everything. Like, once my brain connected that I could draw a picture of the things that I was seeing and experiencing. I was trying to get it down on paper, and it was any piece of paper that I could find. Pretty sure there are walls that were covered in drawings, but that, I would say, is probably the earliest that I really started feeling those creative pushes just to express something, anything. And then from there, drawing was my love for, I would say, most of my early childhood and that extended into painting and all types of image creation for most of my childhood. I would say I dabbled a little bit in writing. I really liked poetry for a brief period of time.
Just thinking about all of this is just amusing to me because I haven't really thought about that in terms of like a sequence, a progression of sorts. Yeah, so I think that that was pretty much the focus for most of my younger childhood. And then in my teens and my early twenties I got into music production - mostly electronic based, of course - because in the 90s, computers were much more accessible and a lot of really interesting things were coming out having to do with music creation and I was really into synthesizers and how those worked, and all of the sort of effects and filters, and just ways to manipulate sound. That strangely became my focus for a number of years. And again, I think it was a lot of just kind of observing the world around me and trying to sort of hone in on my place within that. That was always the question mark for me is, you know, how am I seeing this? And how does what I see or hear or whatever it is that I'm experiencing in the world? What does that mean, you know? And how can I share that? So that was always I think the driving force behind anything that I was really interested in. It was, how can I condense this down into something that I can share with others? After the music production came a really intense period of photography. I got into film for a while and learned everything about how an SLR works, how to take an exposure that you want, not just a good one. How to take an image that you see and kind of translate it into the camera and the lens that you're working with.
So I guess the common thread throughout all of that is, you know, taking the medium or the tools or the things that I have at my disposal and figuring out the best way to kind of get them to express what it was that I was thinking and feeling and seeing and wanting to show other people kind of what it is that I'm experiencing. And in a roundabout way, that all has a lot to do with my current work as a knitter, as a designer, and the way that I approach thinking about that type of creative expression. I got into knitting sort of randomly, I was bedridden for a while after surgery that I had in 2004, and I was bored out of my mind, and my hands were very restless. And none of the things that I typically do to stay busy and engaged and not bored were working. It was seeing my mother in law, sitting by my side in the waiting room with me with a mitten in progress on DPNs knitting away. That really made me think, wow, that is just the coolest thing I've ever seen. It makes no sense to me. I need to figure out what that is. That was the initial seed for knitting specifically that was planted in my mind. So I had my husband at the time pick up some needles and yarn for me from Joann. And that really kind of saved my sanity. In ways that was really, really unexpected. Aside from killing the boredom, I became completely obsessed with how to create a knitted fabric out of two needles and one strand of yarn. It was a completely new thing to me, and once I started looking around online at different patterns and different things that people were making, it just opened up like a completely unexpected world of possibilities of ways to be able to creatively express myself. So that's how all of that sort of funneled its way eventually into knitting and fiber arts.
Ashley [00:06:49] Tell me a little bit about where you grew up and the different places that you found yourself living.
Leila Raven [00:06:57] Well, my family moved away from Hawaii, which is where I was born, when I was five years old. We moved to Louisiana and my family is a fairly large one. I'm second in line of five children, four girls and a boy. And I think it was a pretty enormous culture shock for my parents to go from a place like Hawaii and the sort of family structure that is such a part of, you know, my family's upbringing and just our legacy. You know, Hawaiians are all about family. So are Filipinos. My mom is Filipino. And we had a very large extended family in Hawaii. So moving out to Louisiana was not just a culture shock, but it was also just a major shock on the immediate family level because that support was just very, very different, not having aunties and uncles and, you know, my grandparents there. So growing up in Louisiana was very interesting. I have such clear and sharp memories of that because it was like such a wonderful place to grow up. Again, I think a large part of it was that we we lived in a very rural part of the state. I mean, most of the state is pretty rural once you get out of the major metro areas. But that kind of worked in our favor because, you know, we didn't have malls or stores or any of the typical modern things that you would have, like a lot of social interaction with other families. We were out in the middle of nowhere, mostly left to our own devices. So we were pretty creative about, you know, play. There was a lot of tree climbing, a lot of making magic potions out of dirt and leaves and bugs and whatever we could find just playing outside.
Looking back on that, I feel very fortunate because it allowed us to really literally just be on the ground playing in nature in an uninterrupted way that I really just feel so fortunate to have had. We were very poor growing up. And so our parents often resorted to, I don't know, making the most out of whatever it is that we had. So, you know, we really just had to sort of get creative and find new ways to amuse ourselves with. And it was a lot of fun. I mean, Louisiana is a beautiful state. And I just have so many fond memories of living there. And then of course, from there, we eventually moved to Virginia, which is another beautiful state that I just really loved growing up in for much the same reasons, although the geographic appeal is very, very different from the swamps of Louisiana after Virginia. My family moved to Florida, which anybody that I've talked to about where I've lived and moved around, you know, and throughout my childhood and as a young adult, will never hear me say a kind word about Florida. But it does have its its pluses, I guess. But Florida was not a very good experience for me, and pretty much the second I was able to move away, I moved away, and that's how I ended up moving to New England and Connecticut. And now I'm in Maine.
Ashley [00:10:35] How long have you been in Maine for?
Leila Raven [00:10:37] Well, I moved to Portland back in 2012. At the time, I was still living in Connecticut with my husband at the time, and I was working remotely for the employer that I had worked for in South Florida. He was an architectural illustrator and he taught me everything that I knew about computers. One day I found myself in his office because–this is going to take a little bit of explaining–I was dating someone at the time whose father helped him start a screen printing business, and it was in a building that was shared with his architectural illustration company. And one day I was cleaning the screens and, you know, just basically doing a bunch of stuff for the screen printing company. And Ed needed help drawing some floor plans in a pinch for a client. And it was really basic line art computer work in Adobe Illustrator, which I had, at that time, no experience working in any way with computers whatsoever. So he gave me a quick rundown of of how to draw quick vector art, how to work with blueprints and how to get this digital file done. And I took to it like a duck to water. And again, I have this sort of habit of becoming completely obsessed with something new once I learned how to do the very basics. So he was like, there's no reason for you to be working with screen printing when you can be drawing these drawings with me. And so I actually got a job there and was working there for a number of years before I decided to move to Connecticut. And at the time, this was in the early 2000s, it was possible for me to move and continue to do that work remotely. So I did that for a number of years after I moved to Connecticut. In 2008, that was when the housing bubble collapsed and all of a sudden there were no more floor plans to draw. The clientele sort of dried up overnight. And so that job sort of vanished. I mean, there was just no reason to continue to try working remotely for a company that was kind of struggling.
So after that job, I kind of sort of floated around a little bit here and there. I got really accustomed to working remotely as opposed to going to a physical job, so I cast about online to see what options there were. And that's how I got into medical transcription for about two seconds. And that sort of carried me through that sort of question mark period of what am I going to do next? And it was during that time that I found knitting and started knitting my hands off. I mean, I was just knitting, knitting, like every chance I got was knitting. And since I spent so much time online, I was taking a lot of photos at the time of my projects and posting them to Flickr and met a lot of like minded knitters. I was also following knit blogs at the time because those were really popular. And that's how I came across Jared Flood. We sort of ran into each other on Flickr. I think he saw a picture of mine. It might have been the jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman that was really popular at the time, to spin a beautiful like multicolored yarn and then knit that with it. I can't remember the name of it at the moment, but it's the one that's sort of like an origami masterpiece where you're knitting this really bizarre shape and then you fold a few things, and all of a sudden it's a tiny little baby cardigan. So that was how I got to know Jared. We had some exchanges back and forth, and at the time he was starting up Brooklyn Tweed. I think he was releasing his Made in Brooklyn collection with Classic Elite and asked if I was interested in helping him out with some of the back end things that needed doing there that he needed help with. And the rest is pretty much history. I think at the time I had also designed one of my first patterns–my first real (in air quotes) pattern–which was the Shaelyn shawl. And that was something that I just published independently on Ravelry, and it gained a lot of traction.
So my first steps into designing and also starting to work at Brooklyn Tweed sort of carried along in tandem to each other. And then when his yarn line Shelter launched, my role at his company became a little more serious. And that was when I became part of his initial design team for the brand. And that was when my designing really took off, which is so crazy to think about now because it feels like three lifetimes ago. And so, of course, from there–I realize this is such a long, circuitous route to get to how I ended up in Maine–but all of that was happening while I was still living in Connecticut, and eventually he wanted to sort of consolidate his operations because fulfillment was happening in Portland, Maine, and I was doing a lot of admin stuff and design work from Connecticut. And of course, he was based in New Jersey / New York. So he had suggested a couple of different options. And I got this idea, why don't I move to Maine and we can consolidate at least your employee base to one state? And he was down for it. He said, OK, why don't you do that? So that's pretty much how I ended up in Portland. I moved there in May of 2012, and I lived there ever since, up until late last year. That was when I met Pam Allen, who shared a facility with Brooklyn Tweed back then. And yeah, those paths just sort of intertwined. Once Brooklyn Tweed moved to the West Coast again, the question came up of what it is that I want to do next. Where am I going to go from here? And of course, Pam Allen reached out one day and asked what I was doing and if I would be interested in doing something related to Quince in some way. So that was how I ended up at Quince, and that was, let's see. I think that was in 2015. I'm realizing all of these major changes happen tend to happen in these sort of five year chunks, which is really interesting to me because it was in 2010 that I started at Brooklyn Tweed. It was in 2015 that I started at Quince and it was 2020, of course, that I started at Making.
Ashley [00:18:12] Yeah. One of the things that I can't help but think about is that there's formative places and formative people. Maybe you didn't realize it then, but as a child, was there anyone that had some kind of creative spirit that you feel imbued you with? Maybe these early inclinations of being creative?
Leila [00:18:36] Well, it's interesting because neither of my parents are–well, neither of them would refer to themselves in any way–as creative. They're both very practical people and practically minded and I think it was always kind of a mystery to them where the sort of artistic side of me came from. Although in talking to my sisters about this as adults, you know, just thinking about each one of us and, you know, sort of that archetype that we each have sort of become and are known for now as, you know, the adult people that we are. My older sister is the mom. She's definitely just practical. Whereas I'm this weird, creative person who has chased after some type of creative endeavor throughout my entire life, and so is my younger sister as well, Kamea, who is also a just a really wonderful artist. She's always been just so creative and curious about learning new things. But in speaking with her, she is my sister who moved back to Hawaii. Out of all of us, she's the one who really sort of first sparked an interest in herself about our heritage and about the history of Hawaii itself and the history of the United States in relation to Hawaii. So she ended up moving back to Hawaii a few years ago and did a lot of digging into our family history. And, you know, she found a lot of really big things and a lot of really small things.
But one of the things that I thought was really interesting was that my grandmother, both of my grandmothers, were makers. My grandma Walker knitted or crocheted, and she would just knit these shawls, which I had no idea about. And the entire time that I took up knitting and became obsessed by it and really started getting serious about it, you know, I kind of thought that maybe I was the first in line with my family to really be getting into that sort of craft. So it was a really amazing surprise to learn that my grandmothers both were really into various crafts as well. My mother's side–My grandmother was really into sewing and I do have memories of her visiting us from Hawaii when we lived in Virginia and pulling out my mom's sewing machine and making us just a ton of clothes. These beautiful like patterned skirts. And so it was just, I don't know, I thought that was really neat to have someone in my family who I definitely look up to and admire a lot and revere. I mean, my grandmother, I can't even begin to talk about how important she is to me. And it's funny because she passed away from cancer when I was very young. Before we even moved away, but I've always felt a closeness to her that I carry with me. And it was just the best surprise to discover that she was actually a knitter and a crocheter as well. I think that is probably who I would retroactively assign as an inspiration for that making spirit. Although, you know, in a more immediate sense, I did have a lot of teachers throughout my school years–and my school years, I have to sort of just put a little asterisk there–I didn't have the best school experience, which I don't think we have nearly the space to get into here, but it only factors in as important in that despite that I had a number of very supportive teachers who, while they weren't necessarily pushing me to explore my creative side, they were very encouraging, very positive and very supportive just in making me feel important and pushing me to seek out whatever it is that interested me and to really, like, just go for it.
Ashley [00:23:02] How does the act of making make you feel important?
Leila [00:23:09] Well, learning a new thing always makes me feel like top of the world. In a way when you learn new skills you feel like you've expanded, you know, your knowledge and by extension, your usefulness. And I think that that's one of the main themes in my life, is that everything has a purpose. Everything is useful. It's just a matter of figuring out what that is, how that is. And that can extend, I think, to your sense of self. You know, it's like the worst feeling, right, when you don't feel useful that your whatever skills you may have aren't being utilized or if you find yourself in a position where you aren't really helping. And I guess that's sort of a worldview kind of angle to think about it. But yeah. You know, I think as someone who's kind of struggled with personal identity in various ways throughout my life, the act of making, whether that's knitting or learning a new skill or any of the things that I'm trying to find more time in my day to do just helps me kind of harness all of that in and gives like kind of a sense of purpose, especially when it comes to things that you're creating that then serve a need themselves. So, a lot of the things that we make are very practical. Sweaters keep us warm. The coasters that I sewed from the DAWN issue, they have a specific purpose. You know, these are all things that just kind of make me happy to think about. You know, not only am I creating something that was a lot of fun and that taught me a new skill that I may not have had before, or honed an existing one, but I also get to use them. And there's something just–that simple satisfaction–is just it's everything.
Ashley [00:25:11] So you you mention the word identity, and I think about our identity that we assign to ourselves and the identity that we feel is ascribed to us from others. I want to hear how and who you see yourself as, coming from a place of love.
Leila Raven [00:25:35] Oh, that's not a very small question at all, is it? The concept of self-love is a fairly recent one for me, and it's one that I've been sort of very consciously applying in my daily life. Yeah, I think for most of my life, I was pretty gun-shy about things like pride. You know, I think things that I see in other people as almost like things they take for granted, like self assurances. And I don't know where this originated from, but for most of my life I've struggled with feeling good enough, and I think that sort of has a lot to do with the drive that I have to learn new things and be as good as possible as I can at whatever it is that I do. Yeah, it's actually pretty difficult to talk about, but just that idea of being good enough. To exist is a concept that I really had to grow as a person enough in the past few years specifically, to be able to sit down and take an honest, direct look at. And I think this is something that came up during my time at Squam last month. Where I realized it was much more of a universal feeling than any of us have any idea about, which is that it's crucial to a person's identity to understand–not just think–but it's an important thing to understand and really, really feel it with every part of your being that you belong here, that. You are exactly where you need to be. No matter where that is. No matter what's going on. No matter what you're doing with yourself, there's a comfort in knowing that and, in my experience, most of us go through life like not really feeling that way, not feeling comfortable with the idea that they're good enough to belong anywhere. It's such a basic lesson that I think probably is good for people to learn early on. But it took me a very long time to to really even be able to think about it and think about like the underlying lessons there. And for me, this whole journey with learning different crafts. Learning how to make things and learning about the underlying reasons and importance for that is so much larger of a thing about identity, going back to that word, than I think we really give ourselves credit for. It's just so, so important we can be our best selves when we don't have any doubts about who we are or where we belong. And for me like, there's just been so much about being a knitter and also being interested in different types of creativity and making that really bring that fundamental essential understanding to the forefront.
Three years ago, I ended a long term relationship, and rather than jumping into a new one, which has been a lifelong habit of mine, I hit the brakes and said, "wait a minute, why don't you stop looking around you and start working on yourself?" Question: who are you? And how do you answer that? And that was a very intense number of years. I think in certain circles, you know, we call that shadow work. You know, we were looking at all the things that are very difficult to face directly and rather than thinking of them as enemies or challenges or shortcomings, make friends with that. Sit down next to it. Hold its hand. And you'd be surprised. I think one of the things that was very surprising for me was once I saw all of these things in myself it was so much easier for me to see other people going through it, and it just provides such an enormous space for grace to occur. When you do get that understanding, and again, like I think that there is a difference between an actual understanding and a theoretical exercise. That we are actually all going through it together, and that is another component about making that is really, really precious to me. You know, that whole idea of sharing our experiences with the things that we're making, the universal nature of the things that we're doing and the fact that other people feel the same way. Other people are undergoing the same experiences, having the same fears, the same triumphs. It really kind of crystallized what it is about my whole life experience that really is the rewarding part about it. I know going to school there was a lot of shared, you know, whispers of I'm worried that I don't belong here. I'm worried that everyone will look at me and see that I don't fit in, I'm not as good as other people, or, you know, all of the sort of self-defeating things that just whittle away our self-confidence and make us doubt that we are capable whole human being.
That retreat experience was so gratifying to me for that reason because we did share so much about that and we did also share that commonality that the reason we were there, this act of making, learning new crafts, and sort of sharing all of this enormous amount of information wisdom about these really beautiful crafts, was a shared experience, you know, in addition to all of the things that we were all sort of carrying with us when we showed up there. Yeah, I don't know. I think that there's something to that. I think that those things go hand in hand. You know, the self-doubt and the worry, and the sort of isolationist feeling that you get from worrying about your sense of place and self in the world. Everybody feels that way. And once you can share that, and especially if you're sharing it under this umbrella of we're all gathered here to make something together; it is absolutely transformative. It's not just Squam, it's any sort of gathering any sort of meeting of the minds where we can talk about this sort of thing. I've always come away feeling like I've grown so much as a person. Connection is everything and when that connection is made I just feel so grateful for that, because it's an assurance. It's an assurance that there is that understanding and that these things that are important to me are important to other people as well. We do coexist and we coexist in so many different ways and on so many different levels, you know, even if it's feeling like we're all alone.
Ashley [00:33:58] So transition a little bit. This upcoming issue, DUSK is really the first issue that you play such a huge role in. And I would love for you to tell the story of DUSK from your perspective.
Leila Raven [00:34:21] I'm trying to think of where my entry point was because the production on it was definitely underway when I came on board and I loved just seeing the lineup of projects. I mean, it was my first sort of getting thrown into the deep end of the making world, Making Magazine, and it was amazing just to see how you guys did it. You know how you structured the entire gigantic process of putting an issue together. It's no small feat. And seeing the groundwork that was laid for this issue was really, really amazing. I felt very fortunate to come into it for this issue because it really spoke to me. I mean, DUSK is my favorite time of day. So I thought that that was fortuitous. As someone who prefers a sort of monochromatic wardrobe, I love wearing black. I change things up every once in a while by wearing gray. Seeing all that purple was a shock to me, and I thought, OK, well, here's how you get out of your comfort zone and, you know, sort of see if you can rise to that challenge of all that purple. And then I saw what you guys did with the purple and just fell in love with it. I mean, I have a growing number of purple things in my wardrobe now, just from the exposure that I had to working on this issue.
Ashley [00:35:59] All credit really goes to Brandi Harper, who put together out of all the submissions that we had, we worked together with her during her time at Making, to curate the projects and the patterns. And so I just wanted to mention her name so that she gets due credit for that curation.
Leila Raven [00:36:19] Yeah, I mean, our time overlap was very brief, but I could see her fingerprint over all of the things that she sort of spearheaded for this issue. And everything just had this feel that was, I don't know, really impactful. And it definitely changed my mind about purple. Actually, I have the issue here, and I was looking through it this morning and just kind of remarking all over again just how special it is to me personally, it was really interesting to just see how you approached the process of all of the things that need to happen. All of the many, many hands that go into getting this, getting all of the content together, getting everybody's schedules aligned. There's just so much energy and activity that drives the final product. That is insane to see. It really is something that I think would be interesting for even the end reader to get a glimpse into because there's just so much that goes into the planning and execution of it.
When Carrie asked me if I would be interested in modeling, I think that was the point that I got really scared. I'm not a model. I, like I said, I was a photographer for a number of years and I always, always much preferred being on the other side of the lens. So that was another challenge that the universe threw my way was, you know, get comfortable with being looked at and get comfortable with being on a printed page and representing a number of really important things for the sake of this project. And of course, at the time, I was going through my own personal challenges for myself, and I recognized that this was the universe shaking me up out of my usual preferences for things, you know, turning things down was a constant, constant thing of mine. No, I don't want to be photographed. No, I don't want to take that important role. There's just a lot of self-doubt that comes into taking on such an enormous responsibility. And for this issue, there were–it was a list of like major responsibilities. And so fear was my immediate response. And, again, it's so funny to think about because this happens so much. I mean, it happened when I first started working for Jared at Brooklyn Tweed. It happened when you and Carrie started talking with me about my role here at Making, was that surely you mistook me for somebody else, that there was somebody else that you meant to ask that of, and that once you realized your mistake, you would sort of say, oh, I'm sorry, we've made a terrible mistake. We didn't mean to involve you in this. Again, that all comes back to self-confidence, and I definitely have a lot more of that now. And I can honestly say that going through the experience of the various things that I've done with Making since starting here have played a huge role in that.
I saw an Instagram post just the other day where some amazing person photoshopped adult versions of notable figures with childhood photos of themselves and the caption to it was what kind of conversation would you have with your younger self? Some of the examples were like Michelle Obama, they were just really like celebrities or really well-known figures. But it is an exercise that I have sort of taken into regular practice, is having conversations with my past self about the things that I thought I understood that I understand better now, and what I wish I could tell myself back then so that it didn't take me this long to understand. And this issue for me is definitely an example that I wish I could get into a time machine and show myself from even three, five years ago. Here's where you're going to be. Here's what you're capable of. Put the self-doubt down and just get out of your own way and just go for it. And it's not just the modeling that is important to me because of my struggles with self-image, and I have a lot to say about that as well, because I've forgiven myself for for a lot of that in coming to understand how deeply those messages that we get from society, from marketing, from capitalism, from patriarchy–all factor into that self-doubt. And we can take sort of personal responsibility for it to an extent. But we are working within this environment that we have that's informing us every day. About who we think we should be and where we think we are. And it's not in our best interests, necessarily. At least those loudest messages. So, the modeling was a big step. The sweater design that I have in the issue is another big one that was a design of mine that was returned to me by my former employer. I don't know how much we need to get into all of that, but it meant a lot to me to include a design of some sort in this issue. And it just ended up being such a perfect fit for it.
Ashley [00:42:36] So we work on a lot of different projects at Making. What are you excited about?
Leila Raven [00:42:46] Well, I was thinking about this just yesterday as we were all discussing all of the various irons that we have in the fire right now, which is so many. And it's remarkable to me what it is that we are accomplishing with what I think most people would still consider a pretty small, focused team. And I feel like we're on the cusp of whatever comes next of how we think about our community as a whole of makers. There have been so many candid and honest, and at times difficult conversations that have taken place over the past few years that have really dug a little bit deeper than where we were at when we all sort of showed up to look at the newest patterns that were coming out and getting to know knitwear designers and seeing all of these various projects and project types that Making cover, expanded my sort of viewpoint about making in general because I was before then, like, pretty tightly focused on knitting. There's just this need, and this is something I noticed even before the pandemic, which really magnified all of this to insane levels. You know, there's just this driving need for connection with other people and with ourselves. I mean, clearly, I think most of what I've been talking about is really kind of coming back to yourself and making that really important, but often overlooked connection to who you are and who you would like to be. Connection is everything to me. Communication and, you know, expression and sharing of ideas. And not even just ideas, but feelings like I want to show somebody else what it's like to complete something so that you feel this sense of joy or satisfaction or contentment, or any of the things that we get out of the act of making triumph. You know, if it's something that's particularly difficult that you almost threw the towel in with, you know, all of those experiences are so much richer. When you find like minded people to connect on that level with and share that look of like, you know what this means to me. And having another person be like, yeah, I totally get it. It's just that, I don't know what the word is. Transference. There's this this exchange, I guess, of being. It's not just making for me, I think it's being because I think that that's sort of the underlying energy of it all. And there are so many things about Making, the brand, that intuitively seeks that out and there's a sense of wanting to nurture that, but I just really, really love, it really speaks to me, and that's what I refer to when I say things like I feel like we're doing something really important here. Obviously with the app–being able to connect with other makers in that way, that is a space specifically created for that purpose, is everything. Like it's just such a cool idea. And I can see this like really just going in places we can't even conceive of at the moment. It's just a seed and it's going to be just amazing. I think it's going to be life changing for a lot of people. In many different ways, our new magazine is also another thing, it's a continuation of the growth that we've done collectively as fiber artists and people who are interested in, you know, making things with our hands. Those initial connections kind of paved the way for the opportunity to make those deeper connections about things like self identity and purpose and, you know, cultural and societal issues of our time. There's just so much that we can do to make the world a better place for everyone. And I feel like in spaces like the ones we currently occupy as makers and the ones that we're trying to create and nurture into a much larger thing. You know, these are just natural progressions of being.
Ashley [00:47:55] This week's giveaway is sponsored by Peace Fleece, and they're giving away a sweaters quantity of peacefully twisted yarn and the color of your choice. Peace Fleece comes in both DK and worsted weight. Perfect for color work projects, garments, hats and accessories. To enter this giveaway, download our new app, Making, and leave a comment on today's podcast episode post. Find us in the Apple App Store with a search for "Making." And if you don't have an iPhone–not to worry. We'll be releasing the Android app in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can enter by commenting on the episode blog post at themakingapp.com. I hope you'll join me as we talk and learn from more fascinating makers. For podcast notes and transcription, visit our blog posts at themakingapp.com and makingzine.com. If you're interested in being a part of this podcast as a guest or giveaway sponsor. Shoot us an email at email@example.com. Have a wonderful week!