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KNITS BY NEW YORK GRAND MOTHERS
 

HOLLIS
HILLHOUSE

I exchanged a few emails with Hollis before meeting her in Washington Square Park. She had told me I would easily recognize her as she was riding a bike covered with yarn.  And I did!  Her bike is amazing; it has a summer cover and a winter cover, displaying all kind of colors and stitches. Check our Instagram for pictures!  
–Faustine


What is your knitting specialty?
I love knitting unexpected, untraditional items.  I knit a sweater for my bicycle, including bike lock and basket, with different yarns, colors and stitch patterns.  I covered my sister in laws walker as well, garnishing  with pom poms, and hearts. I knit tiny chickens and tiny bunnies.  I can and do knit sweaters, hats, scarves and home décor items, but why knit a sock when you can knit a hat for a chicken?

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in the Greenwich Village, smack dab in the middle of the NYU campus.  Washington Square Park is 2 blocks away, it's like my own big backyard.  I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful historic buildings in town.

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
When I am not knitting I volunteer on the south end of Governors Island taking care of the 100+ chickens, 2 goats, 2 rabbits, and hoards of honey bees at the Compost Learning Center.   Whether it is 90 degrees, 3 feet of snow, or in nor'easters- someone has to take that ferry boat out there to feed and water the animals, collect the eggs, and make sure they are all ok.

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
My grandmother Hillhouse taught me how to knit more than 50 years ago. I wont' tell you how old I was when she did.

How long have you been living in New York?
I have lived in NY for over 30 years.

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
My passion is NYC and I feel immensely privileged to live in such a vibrant and historic place. Mr. Husband, another passion of mine, shares this never ending interest and we walk and explore different neighborhoods every weekend.


 
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IRMA SCHREIBER

"Coming together with women of the same generation, who share a creative spirit, is a major highlight"


What is your knitting specialty?
If I had to name one thing I would say recycling yarn from apparel that's no longer being worn. I love to take apart sweaters I've made which are out of style or don't fit, wash the yarn to restore it and create something brand new.

What neighborhood do you live in?
II live in Park Slope Brooklyn

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?Taking long walks, hiking, tennis, learning new crafts, reading, and hanging out with my grandchildren.  

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?My mother taught me to knit when I was 6 or 7.

How long have you been living in New York? I moved to New York shortly after my first child was born and have lived here for 48 years.  

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams? I am passionate about my loving supportive family. My husband and I have been married for 50 years, have 2 grown daughters and are blessed with 2 precious grandchildren.  I dream of being able to spend more time traveling 

What’s the craziest / longest / most difficult thing you’ve knitted?  I was asked to knit a sweater for a famous artist using the image of one of his paintings as the motif.  It was a multi-step process which required great precision and turned out to be a huge accomplishment.  Only problem - I was sworn to secrecy so I can't share more information than that!!!

 Why do you like working for WoolN?  Knitting is a true passion. WOOLN has given me an opportunity to do what I love using the very finest materials. Coming together with women of the same generation, who share a creative spirit, is a major highlight.  It is a very special feeling working with young women who value and appreciate what seniors have to offer

 
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ANNIE
GANTER

Annie's grand-daughters call her "Manou" and this is how she "signs" her knits. Annie is French and told us she couldn't read knitting instructions in English the first time we met her... She gave it a try and a few days later came back with the most perfect beanie made from English instructions ! 


What is your knitting specialty?
I like to knit especially for  children; I got back to knitting when my granddaughters were born.

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Manhattan, south of Sutton Place, between 1rst avenue and East River. It's a very calm street with a great View of Manhattan from our rooftop. It’s a very convenient situation : I can walk everywhere or take the Subway or take a Citibike ...

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
When I don't knit I love to spend time with my granddaughters and doing things together like going to museums, going to the park, doing homework and read, riding bike or doing all sorts of outdoor activities. But I also love classic music concerts, going to movies, art galleries.... I play also a lot of golf and tennis and love to entertain my friends and family.

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
I learnt to knit a long time ago, my mother taught me.

How long have you been living in New York?
I have been living in Manhattan for 15 years.

 
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TOMOE SATO

The first time I collected Tomoe's knits, I was impressed by their quality. I told her, "I have never seen an item knitted to this level of perfection". She just replied, "You know us, Japanese people….” - Faustine


What is your knitting specialty?
I knit small things like the hats, scarfs, vests, etc

 What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Greenwich Village, New York

 What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
I like walking around the city

 Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
My mother taught me when I was still a teenager

How long have you been living in New York?
For 32 years, when I moved from Japan

 What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
Whenever I have time, I like to travel


 

 

 

VELMA BASCOME

Velma is THE pro of the WOOLN team. "Go big or go home" is her motto. We realized that when she started using knitting tools we didn't even know could exist! Velma used to be a biology teacher... you know what we mean...!


What neighborhood do you live in?
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
Painting, drawing, doing anything creative

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
I taught myself by reading instructions from Good House. I kept knitting and crocheting magazine while living in Germany.

How long have you been living in New York?
Most of my life, however I have traveled to / lived in Europe and several states.

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
I have a wonderful daughter who also enjoys my passion for being creative. My dream is to be remembered by others.

 
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SARAH MAQSUDI

With Sarah we exchange finished items for yarn and money in the back seat of her car in Brooklyn. We feel like we are drug dealers! - Margaux


What is your knitting specialty?
Everything!

What neighborhood do you live in?
Queens, NY

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
Reading, Cooking

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
My mother since I was 7 years old

How long have you been living in New York?
For 32 years

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
My dream was to become a teacher and help, first my children then others (I reached that goal)

Travel the World (working on it) 

 
 

 

SHIKHA ROSARIO

The first time we saw Shikha, she was knitting in the lobby of a Senior Center, waiting for her serving shift in the Center kitchen. She was making a complicated sweater for her daughter, and we were posting a flyer saying: "Wanted: experienced knitters to join the Wooln crew". She immediately loved our project and was one of our first knitters


What is your knitting specialty?
I like knitting new designs and keep learning stitches

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Lower East Side, Manhattan

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
I enjoy cooking, being in my house, and spending time with my kids

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
I learned from my mum and my sister a long time ago but I didn't practice. Then I started knitting again 3 years ago

How long have you been living in New York?
12 years

 

 

 

GLORIA
HERMAN

Gloria is the most stylish grandmother we know; we always envy her bags and jackets! Always smily and thankful for life, Gloria is a pleasure to be around. 


What is your knitting specialty? 

I love smaller projects such as baby cardigans, hats, baby blankets. Like working with a variety of colors of yarns.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Roosevelt Island

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
Yoga, zumba, strength training, walking, tennis.Doing some of these activities with family and friends. I also enjoy baking. 

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
I don’t remember who taught me how to knit but my mother and aunts always had a knitting project going. Maybe I learnt sixty years ago.

How long have you been living in New York?
I’ve lived in New-York for 47 years. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, moved to the US in 1968 and then to NY in 1969.

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
I have a wonderful close-knit family. My husband and I have been married for almost 44 years. We have 3 adult children all married with children of their own. I plan to continue working on maintaining a healthy lifestyle through yoga and meditation. 

 
charmaine

 

CHARMAINE JONES

Charmaine is our most productive knitter: every month we collect a huge bag of items from her in the lobby of a Mid- town hotel, and people stare at us wondering what we are doing


What is your knitting specialty?
I love knitting simple sweaters, and crazy hats and snoods

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in Harlem

What do you like doing when you are not knitting?
I do cake sculpture, I make sugar flowers. I also like sewing and making my own clothes, oil painting!

Who taught you how to knit and how long ago?
When I was 4 years old I kept looking up knitting in the World Book Encyclopedia and finally asked my father to help me look it up and when we found it there were four illustrated diagrams and he showed me from that!!!...LIFE CHANGING!!

How long have you been living in New York?
33 1/2 years but who's counting????  NOT ME!!!!.....I LOVE IT HERE!!!!

What do you want to say about your family life, your passion, your dreams?
I have a very loving and supportive husband...I love keeping my blood pressure low by knitting and coming up with new and innovative designs with cakes, textiles and other mediums!!!!