Humans of Ravelry: meet Dana, dwj1978!

Posted by maryheatherb on

We’re excited to begin a new series on the Ravelry blog: Humans of Ravelry! KnittingFiend3010 (Em) came up with the idea for this feature. Thank you so much, Em - this is going to be fun.

Each month, we’re going to share a bit about a Raveler who is doing great things – from making beautiful projects, helping in our forums, spreading yarny love through charitable crafting or teaching others in their local communities, or doing other wonderful things in the name of yarn.

Ravelry user dwj1978 models some of her beautiful handknit sweaters

Ravelry user dwj1978 models some of her beautiful handknit sweaters

Our first Human of Ravelry feature is Dana, or dwj1978! Dana has appeared on our blog before, having been featured twice in Eye Candy posts with her gorgeous sweaters. You may have also seen her article this week on the Mason Dixon Knitting blog, where she talks about how to translate colorwork sweaters to matching dog sweater patterns! (Yeah, she does that. Yes, it’s awesome.) Dana’s Ravelry project page is sure to make you smile and inspire you, and her blog, Yards of Happiness, was created to spread the joy that she gets from knitting to others.

Thanks to her beautiful projects, adorable dogs, and enthusiasm for sharing her love of yarn, we were excited to ask Dana if she’d be willing to be our first Human of Ravelry featured member, and were thrilled and grateful that she said yes! We asked her five quick questions about crafting and life; something we will do with all of our Humans of Ravelry features (thank you to everyone who submitted question ideas to us via Instagram!). We hope you have fun getting to know Dana!

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What’s your yarny origin story: how, when, and why did you learn how to knit?

I’ve always been crafty and curious about knitting but I never knew anyone who really knew how to knit or was a serious knitter. I told my Mom I thought I wanted to take knitting lessons and she told me, ‘You don’t need to learn another thing, don’t you have enough hobbies?’ so I kind of pushed the thought aside. 6 weeks later she sent me a picture of a hat and asked me if I could make it for her, but she had just told me I didn’t need another hobby! LOL I found a Groupon the next day for knitting lessons at a yarn shop and the rest was history, that was in the spring of 2011.

Could you share one way that crafting has changed your life for the better?

Knitting is a very calming and soothing way for me to relieve stress, so I always have a project with me. In 2016 my job was really intense and stressing me out, so I would knit whenever I had a break, before work in the car, on my lunch break, on the commute home. That was the year I knit 27 sweaters, it was what kept me sane and calm.

If you were a yarn, or a fiber, what would you be?

A superwash dk weight wool, specifically a very colorful skein of Miss Babs Yowza. It’s one of my favorites, it’s a workhorse for sweaters, it’s softy and yummy, the skeins are huge and the colors always make me happy.

Did you make any mistakes as a newbie that you laugh at now?

I’m a bit rigid at times and I was so intense when I was learning how to knit I felt like I was going to vomit. I asked my teacher if that was normal and she told me I had to just learn to let it go and the yarn become what it was going to become, mistakes and all.

Aside from knitting, what hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy?

I love road trips with my husband and the dogs. I’ve always been into photography, so I’m always taking pictures. And I’m pretty darn good cook if I do say so myself.

Ravelry member dwj1978 in a scarf Ravelry member dwj1978 with her adorable dog

Ravelry member dwj1978 in a scarf Ravelry member dwj1978 with her adorable dog

Thank you so much, Dana, for jumping right in with us to start this series. We’ll be back next month with another Human of Ravelry! If you’d like to see more of Dana’s beautiful work in the future, add Dana to your friends and look for updates on the main friends tab.

As always, we love hearing about great things you all are doing on our site, so if you have a Ravelry friend you’d like to recommend we feature, please let us know!