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Maker Feature: Jodi

Jodi Engler has been coming to MFY for years now, and she is almost always working on a project for a make along! We asked Jodi some questions about her crafting and what she loves about these events!

MFY: How did you get started in the fiber arts? What is your preferred craft?

Jodi: My mom taught me when I was about 7. I picked it back up again when my kids where in high school sports and I was sitting in the stands at events (2016 crochet and 2017 knitting). I prefer crochet and find it more relaxing and interesting, although I knit more because knit items are more portable. I prefer knitted apparel and crocheted blankets.

MFY: We heard you love participating in make alongs. What ignited that passion and/or what do you enjoy about these events?

Jodi: I stumbled upon a crochet along in 2016; I didn't even know make-alongs existed. Through this CAL I found out about Ravelry and Facebook groups that were devoted to crochet and knit. I wasn't on Facebook prior to that and only signed up so I could join in the community of crocheters and knitters.

I love make alongs and mystery make alongs because it is so nice to have a group of friends to talk about a specific pattern with. It is like seeing a movie with friends or being in a book club. Side note-one of my CAL groups has done two book-along/crochet alongs! The patterns were designed to loosely go along with the theme of the book. We'd read a chapter and do part of the pattern every 2 weeks and then we had some Zoom meetups to discuss the book and the pattern! This group is based out of the Netherlands so the worldwide participation is really neat.



Mystery KALs/CALs are another make-along type. The mystery can range from not knowing what colors the designer used (so you develop your own colorway) to not knowing when the pattern will be released (one that I do every year is one where the designer releases the first part of the pattern when the clock strikes midnight on December 31 (New Year's Eve) somewhere on the earth)! Around 7 am Dec 31 someone in the group will start saying, "hey, it's midnight in _____!" It adds fun to just getting a pattern. Other designers will change up what time they release the pattern, "sometime after my first cup of coffee but before lunch" again, it's fun to watch for it. Sometimes you know what you are knitting ("a big shawl"​) and sometimes you know what the pattern looks like but you still have to wait for the directions.

Sometimes a make-along lasts for a month or two and sometimes it's over a weekend (weekend sock challenge and 4-day sweater challenge).

For the past two years I have done a MWAL (mystery wool along) where the package included five different, unique types of undyed wool and either a scarf, shawl, or blanket pattern. For this MWAL the designer also held Zoom sessions where she gave us information about the type of sheep and where they came from so I not only made a beautiful blanket but I also learned about different sheep breeds.

With the Michigan Fine Yarns knit group night we even did our own make-along using a previously released pattern. We were all working on it at our own pace but it was so fun to see the same pattern in so many different color combinations!



MFY: What is the next make along on your schedule? Do you know approximately how many you've done to date?

Jodi: A couple of ladies from MFY knit night and I just started one that runs Dec 13-Dec 24 (yay, a mystery knit along with friends!), I'll be doing the NYE midnight one (I need Swaran to help me pick out colors!) and I'll be doing the 12 Days of Knitmas which starts Dec 26. The 12 Days of Knitmas will be extra fun because a couple of ladies from Michigan Fine Yarns knit night are also doing this make-along!

I don't have any idea how many I've done (more than 50 I believe)...and don't ask Swaran about my WIPs!!

MFY: Do you have a favorite yarn or brand or even weight of yarn?

Jodi: I prefer natural wool and I love trying different breeds of wool. I tend to find myself using mostly fingering for knitting but this might be because so many patterns use fingering. For crochet I usually go with acrylic, acrylic blends, or cotton because of washability and cost (crochet uses twice as much yarn as knitting).

MFY: How did you connect with Michigan Fine Yarns?

Jodi: I really don't know how I found Michigan Fine Yarns, I probably searched local yarn store; it was probably around 2017.  I remember the first time I went in I saw Swaran knitting a sock with DPNs and I thought it was very odd! Then I went in another time and asked something about picking up a sock heel and her and Anita laughed at how many lifelines I had in! It was a top-down sock and I was putting lifelines in every 10 rows and leaving them in! I started going to knit night in Nov 2022 and I absolutely love MFY and the group that is usually there at some point during the week. MFY (staff and groupies) are so welcoming, nice, helpful and just all around great!

Want to join Jodi at Community Nights? Join us on Thursdays from 6:00-8:00pm for stitching, inspiration and community.

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