Features at 52: Emmi at Agnes Lee Knitwear

I am so excited to be back with another Features at 52! This week I am featuring Emmi from Agnes Lee Knitwear, her products look incredible! I am so impressed by handmade scarves and hats, it is such a talent and must take such patience. Handmade items are the best knowing they are one of a kind. Before I started my blog I started my Etsy shop so I am always happy to help support and promote small business – handmade over brandmade!

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What is your craft/product? How did you get started?
I make handmade knitted and crocheted accessories. I have dreamt for several years of opening an Etsy shop, and I finally took the plunge!

I learned the basics of knitting and crocheting from my great-grandmother in elementary school. We spent winter breaks skiing in Salt Lake City, and she would sit with me in the evenings helping me make my first chains and stitches.

But knitting and crocheting didn’t become lasting hobbies until I was in high school. Interested in learning, I bought a book and taught myself how to cast on using its visual instructions. Since then, I’ve made countless cozy wearables for friends and family, and I now write my own patterns.

My shop is named after Agnes and Lee, my paternal grandparents. It was from them that I learned the value of handmade things.

Handmade items last not only because they’re well-made but also because of the intention that they’re imbued with. You can walk into any store to buy a piece of clothing replicated thousands of times. But when something is made for you with intention, its value increases. In turn, it reminds you of your value every time you wear it.⠀

That is my hope for Agnes Lee Knitwear – communicating love and value with every piece made.

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What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?
I like to keep things pretty simple, so I limit my tools to a select few. I use some beloved bamboo knitting needles and have one crochet hook that I can’t live without. Beyond those, a cozy place to sit, some warm socks, and a cup of coffee keep me happy while I’m crafting.
 
How would you describe your style? Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
My style is fairly basic, and I find a lot of beauty in simplicity, which I think also shows up in my logo. I believe that if a product is well-made, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. I love neutral colors, and many of my pieces are a neutral combined with a color that pops. It’s fun to find shades that complement each other well.
My family is full of craftspeople, which is how I fell in love with handmade in the first place. My mother is a talented seamstress, and my sister is following in her footsteps. My paternal grandparents, Agnes and Lee, both created beautiful and lasting things – baby blankets, swing sets, and more.
Outside of my family, I look up to Kelly Brooks of Knit Brooks. I love that she uses the crafts that she loves to reflect the world around her. That is a dream that I have for myself as well.
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What do you do to make your workspace an enriching and inspiring place to be?
Having yarn displayed gets me excited about all of the hats and cowls I have yet to make. And I love diffusing essential oils to create a specific mood. Right now, I’m blending earth and wood, spruce, clove, and bergamot for an earthy feel.
 
What do you find inspiring you right now? Where do you look for inspiration?
 
I live in Colorado, and all four seasons are so distinct here. No matter which one is coming up, I get excited about the way the world around me changes.
As we’re moving through autumn, I’m enjoying creating pieces inspired by the changing leaves, golden yellow and deep red. And looking ahead to winter and ski season, I’m envisioning products inspired by the mountains and all of the colors there.
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What do you do to keep yourself organized?
 
I’m all about the spreadsheets! They help me keep track of inventory, sales, and expenses. I like that they’re digital so that I can access them no matter where I’m making and planning.
 
How do you combat creative blocks?
 
When I feel stuck, it’s really valuable for me to take a break and clear my mind. It may be enough to go for a walk, or I might need to take a few days off from creating.
 
My sister, Laura, has also been an amazing creative thought partner. I run most of my ideas past her, and I trust her opinion will help me make a decision when I’m stuck.
 
Where do you sell your product? How can customers follow you? 
All of my products are available at AgnesLeeKnitwear.etsy.com. It’s also possible to request custom items there. Customers can follow along on Instagram @agnesleeknitwear.
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I hope you can take the time to check out Emmi’s beautiful products and help support small business!
For those interested in being part of Features at 52, please see here !
-MP

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