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WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

I’m Jessica! The maker behind Wit & Purl. I live in Pittsburgh with my husband Anthony and my two cats, Winnie & Glenn. I work full-time as an attorney, and spend the rest of my time creating.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I’m primarily a knitter and macrame artist. I’ve recently started playing around with more fiber and fabric arts including fiber-made jewelry and quilts and I’m hoping to branch my business out into those areas a little more in 2018.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

I’ve always always loved making things but in my first year of law school in 2013 I was looking for a craft that I could pick-up consistently in the evenings to de-stress. I learned to knit and immediately fell in love. I haven’t put down my needles since. I learned to do macrame much more recently. This past summer, a friend had a huge elk antler, and asked if I could macrame off of it. I didn’t have any macrame experience, but I offered to give it a shot, and again, got sucked into the craft. I loved that I could wrap macrame into my business, since knitting had limited me to only selling in the colder months of the year.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

My creations are simple, classic pieces that will never go out of style. Nothing make me happier than meeting someone who tells me they bought a scarf from me and they’re still wearing it years later. I pour my heart into my work and I make items to last.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

I don’t exactly have a dedicated workspace in my house. We bought our house before I even learned to knit! So at the time, a one bedroom seemed like plenty of space for the two of us. Now you can find yarn just about anywhere you look in my house. We do have a loft space where I have a table for sewing and an antique armoire that I’ve tried to turn into a central space for storing all my odds and ends. I usually work on my knitting and macrame projects from my couch in front of a movie, but Anthony and I hope to move in a another year or two and a studio space for me is on top of the list.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? 

I have an Etsy shop which is usually stocked with at least some of my knits and macrame pieces! I admit I’m terrible at updating my shop though. I’m always posting new pieces and projects on Instagram and that’s also where I post about any upcoming craft markets or pop-up shops. And I always encourage people to reach out to me for custom orders!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was born and raised about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, and have lived in the city since starting college. I’m a yinzer for life, no question.

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Wearable quilts. I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for about 6 months and I just haven’t had the time to dedicate to it. Now that the holidays have passed, I finally plan to turn some of these ideas into reality. Quilting is so time intensive but so fulfulling.

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d love to learn to do pottery/ceramics someday but I don’t think I’d be any good at it. My grandmother used to teach ceramics classes and her creations are so special. She passed away when I was young but I have tons of holiday decorations that she made to remember her by.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee in the morning, earl grey in the evening.

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Night owl for sure. I should get to bed earlier but I’m always staying up just a little later to finish a project. And then I’m ALWAYS tired at work the next day.

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

I definitely alternate between things based on what I’m working on. My husband is a film collector so a lot of the time I’ll knit or macrame while watching movies with him. The movies range from 80s slasher films (his favorites) to films noir (my preference) and anything in between. I have a no subtitle requirement for obvious reasons. This past year I got really into listening to Podcasts too. Favorites are My Favorite Murder, Pod Save America and anything else from Crooked Media.

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I can’t swim. I took swimming lessons as a child, and it just never stuck. My parents even made me go back for a second round of lessons when I was in 6 th grade. I went to the local YMCA and took lessons with a bunch of toddlers for a couple weeks, and watched them all learn to swim while I continued to flounder. Maybe this is part of the reason I’ve always loved the great indoors? 

- I love what most people consider to be terrible weather. Give me all the doom and gloom. I prefer cold to hot and rain to sunshine. I think I have the opposite seasonal depression than most people. Luckily we have plenty of gloomy weather here in Pittsburgh.

- My dream job is to be an ACLU attorney. I interned with the ACLU in college and that’s the experience that made me decide to go to law school.

- I love to read. I only wish I could read and knit at the same time. I’m also a super fast reader. My husband accuses me of reading every other page…

- I had the stomach flu the day before my wedding and spent a few hours in the emergency department that night getting fluids and anti-nausea meds, luckily with my two best friends by my side. I couldn’t eat or drink at the wedding and I didn’t spend much time on the dance floor, but I made it down the aisle.