Artist Profile: Erica Schlueter

O.K., it’s time for True Confessions. Raise your hand if you’ve got an unfinished knitting project. Raise both hands if you have more than one. (It’s a bit difficult to type here with both hands in the air but I digress.) I have at least a couple garments that are still in pieces (affectionately known as a WPI’s or Works in Progress). I just can’t get the hang of those finishing techniques that would make these garments come to life. I wish I’d met Erica Schlueter years ago. She’ll be teaching “Finished Knitting” on Saturday morning, September 10th and a “Double Knitting Intro” on Sunday afternoon, September 11th.

Erica tells us that Double Knitting creates a reversible, two-layer fabric with stitches from each side of the fabric alternating on the needles. It’s like magic!

Erica is teaching a class on Double Knitting.

Erica is teaching a class on Double Knitting.

Erica has several patterns printed in Interweave and SoHo Publishing magazines and books (Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Vogue Knitting Knit Simple to name a few). Several of her designs have also published in Classic Elite Yarns pattern booklets. She has been teaching knitting for over 10 years. In the Fall of 2015 she taught at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Open Door program. Let’s meet Erica and then you can go read about and sign up for either or both of her classes here.

As we celebrate the tenth year of our Fiber College community, tell us how community plays a part in your life as a fiber artist.
The continued growth and enthusiasm for hand knitting provides me with opportunities to make part of my living from the community of knitters through freelance design work for hand knitting publication and teaching.

Erica and many of her fiber tools

Erica and many of her fiber tools

How did you enter into the world of fiber and the fiber arts.
The gateway may have been some bright yellow acrylic yarn and some knitting needles…

How do you keep your creativity fresh and new?
I run and spend as little time as possible on the Internet. Perhaps, having chocolate with breakfast helps as well?

Several of Erica's lovely finishing techniques

Several of Erica’s lovely finishing techniques

What have you experimented with in the fiber arts in the past year?
I grew flax last summer that I am slowly processing to be spun linen.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever given to a student or another fiber friend?
You would have to ask them . . .

The Kitchener stitch makes for a smooth finish

The Kitchener stitch makes for a smooth finish on the sweater’s collar, sleeve, and side seam.

You’ve hit a roadblock and need to get back into your creative groove. How would you do that?
By getting out of my workspace.

How do you imagine your work might change in the next three to five years?
Not a clue, but curious to find out.

A beautiful side seam

A beautiful side seam

How do you ensure plenty of time to be an artist?
It is my full time job.

Clean finishing techniques make such a difference!

Clean finishing techniques make such a difference!

If you could go back in time, what might you change about your fiber journey?
I used to think I made the wrong choice of which college I went to, but had I not made the choice I did make, I would not be where I am now, and where I am now is where I want to be.

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