The Ravelry community is a special place, made up of creative yarn lovers who share their talents in many ways. Today's Human of Ravelry, TimMc, is a wonderful example of a person who uses his skills and passion for yarn crafts to help others, here on Ravelry and in his local community.
Several Ravelers nominated TimMc as a Human of Ravelry feature, and we noticed that all of them made it clear that he makes their Ravelry experience better.
Tim knits almost exclusively for charity or for friends and family gifts. His project notes are unbelievably detailed and he seems to be an all around nice person.
She is right about the project notes - Tim's notes on his projects the kind of notes that any of us would be thrilled to find when we were looking up projects related to a pattern we wanted to make:are often part interesting background story, part reference, and usually beautifully detailed records of his process. His projects also often have large numbers of related favorites too, showing his propensity toward spreading yarny love here on Ravelry.
He’s a lovely guy, fine crafter and a really generous person in so many ways. He knits great footwear and housewares, and his crochet doilies are like beautiful mandalas. He does a huge amount with his local community center and their craft group, his ‘about me’ on Ravelry reads like a wonderful story, and even though he has literally hundreds of Ravelry friends, and even though I’m not the most conscientious person about keeping up my project notes, when I do put something new up, there’s frequently almost straight away a little red heart and/or a nice comment from him.
TimMc's Ravelry notebook shows that he has a talent for both crochet and knitting, and especially enjoys making socks and footwear, tea towels, doilies, table runners, and more. Many of his projects are made for "JBNH," or James Bay New Horizons, his local community center. I asked Tim what motivated him to do so much crafting for them, and he replied:
New Horizons is a community center located in the heart of James Bay, a neighborhood of Victoria BC (the other Victoria). It’s a not-for-profit organization offering programs and services to its members and the community. We get funding from all levels of government. We also rely on membership fees, room rentals and other fund raising activities like handicraft sales.
My handicraft group has about 25 volunteers. We gather once a week while making things for the center. Last year we raised $6200 through our sales.
I know the importance of having a good circle of friends and acquaintances, especially for people living on their own. As we get older, some people find it easier to just stay in their homes all the time. That can lead to loneliness and depression.
With its variety of programs and social opportunities, New Horizons can draw people out and bring them together. It provides an opportunity for people to meet for a variety of activities. Some folks have little to no other social contact, so New Horizons plays a significant role in their lives.
I recognize the value of having New Horizons here in my neighborhood. I also realize the value of my needlework and other skills. Through those skills I’m able to contribute to New Horizons. Supporting their objectives is my motivation to give in this way.
It is a pleasure to be able to share a bit more about TimMc through our Humans of Ravelry questions!
What is your fiber origin story: how, when, and why did you learn to knit, crochet, spin, weave, or make things with yarn in general?
When I was about 12 years old, I told my mom I wanted to learn to knit. I can only imagine it was because I saw my grandmother knitting. Grandma lived too far away, so my mom taught me instead, even though she never knitted herself. Mom then found a simple pattern for me to follow. I started knitting by making a couple of hand puppets, which used a few different stitches, not just knit stitches.
Later one summer, while on vacation from school, I stayed with my grandparents for a week. During that time, Grandma taught me how to cross stitch. She had an old burlap potato sack which she cut up, hemmed and washed. That was my first aida cloth. Then she showed me how to make the stitches. So there we were in the living room, I was cross stitching and she crocheting.
Decades later and a couple of years into retirement, I found myself itching to do something else after knitting a sweater for a friend’s dog. I couldn’t sit idle any longer. That’s when I decided to learn how to crochet. I missed the opportunity while Grandma was with us.
With all the resources on the Internet, I had no trouble finding tutorials on left-handed crocheting. I even learned how to hold the yarn properly, something I never picked up with knitting. The first thing I crocheted was a dog blanket.
Grandma used to crochet doilies, so I wanted to learn to make them next. It was easier than I thought, even with the fine thread. I wish Grandma could have seen them. I made quite a few doilies, including some special ones which were used as prizes in my community center’s annual Christmas raffles.
One of the women in my handicraft group makes wonderful socks. Her work inspired me to knit a pair. My first socks turned out pretty good. It was fun making them. I’m now on my 23rd pair.
(ed. note: since answering these questions for us a few weeks ago, Tim has knit more socks and has just started his 25th pair!)
What non-yarn hobby or hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy doing the daily crossword puzzle and Sudoku. I also enjoy nature walks and photography. Fortunately the two often go together. I follow many of the British detective, mystery and drama series. When not watching TV, I do a lot of my needlework listening to classical and new age music.
What's one way that crafting has changed your life for the better?
Community. Needlecrafting led me to and made me a part of the community of crafters. For many years, I knitted at home on my own. When I joined my community center’s handicraft group, I felt an immediate sense of belonging within a circle of kindred spirits. All of a sudden I had new friends and relationships, both within the group and outside. Bringing along a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies probably had something to do with it.
Shortly after that I joined Ravelry. Once again I found myself in the midst of a crafting community, only this time it was worldwide. I still felt just as welcomed. It’s amazing to think how many people have been brought together here, from all over the world.
I love how many of us share our experiences and insights, and give encouragement and consolation to each other. That has only further enriched my life, both on the needles and off.
Are you a product or a process crafter?
I’m always looking for new ideas and things to make, especially for my handicraft group’s sales. Once I get the idea to make something, I’m already digging for patterns.
However, there are some processes that fascinate me. I love the beauty of a sock gusset with its horizontal stitches emerging from the heel flap’s vertical stitches and then its tapering and merging with the instep. I also love the magic of a heel turn and the beautiful simplicity of (k2tog, yo).
If you were a yarn or fiber, what would you be?
If I were a yarn, I would be a handspun tweed, harvested from sheep farmed on Salt Spring Island or on a Swiss alpine meadow, hand dyed in a pumpkin orange.
The handspun tweed shows my down-to-earth nature with my quirks peeking through. The farms display my love of nature’s beauty, far removed from the trappings of the city, but still accessible. The dye reveals my warm, loving heart.
Thank you so much for your wonderful answers, and being willing to be featured as a Human of Ravelry, Tim! We are so glad you are a part of our Ravelry community. If you would like to keep track of Tim's work, just add him to your Ravelry friends and look for updates to his projects on our main friends tab.
We’ll be back in a few weeks with another Human of Ravelry. We love learning more about Ravelers and the wonderful things you are doing in our community, so if you have a Ravelry friend who you want to recommend we feature as a Human of Ravelry, please let us know!