New wave knittingPublished 11:51am Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The knitting scene isn’t just for the older generation anymore. Young mother of four with baby number five on the way, Gretchen Ronnevik has taken her passion for fashion and turned it into her own successful business.
“I asked a lady who is practically a professional when it comes to knitting, specializing in hand knitted Norwegian sweaters, to teach me,” Ronnevik said. “Growing up, I always loved doing art and crafts. My sister used to call me Nerdy Gerdy, so that’s what I decided to call my business.”
Seven years later she has knitted everything from scarves to shawls to sweaters and a vest. “My kids have become my little mannequins; they are use to me trying out my designs on them,” she said.
“I started off knitting using the patterns and I found out I always wanted to change something, which led to me scrapping the patterns and creating my own,” she said.
Most knitting patterns consist of many abbreviations all typed out looking like a foreign language.
“The patterns I create are a little more step-by-step, so they are easier to follow. I usually knit as I go, stopping to write down parts of the pattern,” said Ronnevik. “Knitting patterns are similar to a huge math equation. I do a lot of my writing after the kids go to bed at night. After I have made the pattern, I grade the project so that it can fit anywhere from six to seven different sizes. That’s the part that can make my head spin.”
Selling her patterns online has become very successful for Ronnevik. “The pattern for the Carla Cowl, which is a scarf, probably gets over 100 hits a day alone,” she said.
Recently, her husband Knut, pushed her to submit one of her designs to Knitscene, a magazine based out of Colorado.
“I really didn’t want to because I wanted to wait until I had developed my skills more,” she said. “I submitted a swatch of a teal cardigan I had done. It was part of the single ply yarn theme that would be featured in the next upcoming magazine,” she said. “When they told me I would be featured on the cover I was just shocked.”
With her days consisting of home-schooling two of her children, this busy mom still finds time to do what she loves.
“My favorite things to knit, is anything that can challenge me,” said Ronnevik. “Being able to work on these is very stimulating for my brain.”
To see more of Ronnevik’s design go to www.ravelry.com or www.hesowsshesews.com and search under Gretchen Ronnevik.