Guest posts have always been a part of the plan for Redamancy Coop. I couldn’t be more excited to offer that first spot to Tressa and her first Design, Turquoise Rose hat. It has been an honor to work with her.
By Tressa W.
This month I am releasing my first pattern. I am excited and unsure at the same time as this has been a process that has taken me years! I have been knitting seriously for about eight years now (after having learned as a child from my Dutch grandma). At that time I never imagined I could come up with something like the Turquoise Rose Hat.
I was completely sucked into knitting when I helped knit a baby blanket for a friend. Then I made a sweater immediately after that to complete the obsession. The whole process made sense to me, and having always enjoyed math and logic in school; knitting clicked for me.
Before I knew about Ravelry, I went to the library and checked out as many knitting pattern books as I could find (which were not many). I started to try all different designs and techniques. There were many nights when I could not sleep because I was consumed in a project or puzzling over something I was stuck on. Eventually I found colorwork, and I knew I wanted to design something using this incredible technique.
I grew up in a multiracial home, and that is a defining thing about me. My dad is Navajo and my mom is Dutch. Both of my parents know a lot about their cultures and can speak their native languages. I grew up mostly in New Mexico on or near the Navajo reservation. I had the freedom to roam and live out in open spaces. My heart is tied to these spaces that are Navajo country.
I love the colors of the desert, the art of the Native people who live around me, and the patterns that are used to show Native American pride. This more than anything influenced my desire to make knitting patterns and designs as a Navajo and a knitter.
There has been so much discussion in the fiber arts community lately about inclusion. I kept looking for Native American designers but did not see anyone. I saw Native designs that were being created, but I saw most of those had been designed by white women (although there are many amazing Cowichan sweaters, there are no patterns).
The Turquoise Rose Hat is my response to this. I hope that this will show the capability of Native women in the knitting world. How the designs can work so well with art in their communities. I am not speaking for all Native women here, but sharing my own experience from my little corner of the world. I hope many people from all different cultures and backgrounds will knit and love this hat.