Saturday, July 11, 2009

INCrowdteam Interview 7/11/09 - Donna a.k.a. donknits

Who loves knit items? Me, too - even in July! Here's another little gem bequeathed to me by Carolynn; all I did was put the finishing touches on it. Please enjoy this interview with Donna from Donknits!

Where were you born and raised? I was born in
Hammond, Indiana and raised in Merrillville until I got married at age 20. I have lived in the Indianapolis Metro area since 1973; I've lived in Johnson County since 1986. I am a Hoosier girl through and through.

What's the origin of your shop's name? I'm not very imaginative when it comes to these things... I tried to use 'Donnaknits,' but it was already taken, so I took out the 'na.' I am a faux finish painter by profession and use 'fauxdonna' and 'fauxphenom' as email handles, but they didn't seem right for my knitted goods business.

Where are you now, and what led you there? Exactly two years ago I was newly-arrived in
Portland, Maine to paint a house for a friend that was relocating there. I had taken all the yarn I had in my possession with me because I knew I would be living in a house that was virtually empty and wanted to put my brand new beginner knitting skills in practice knitting a simple afghan for another friend. When I was almost finished with that I walked up to the yarn shop in downtown Portland and came away with a pattern and yarn to knit a baby hat for a brand new grandbaby back home. As it turned out, the hat was a very difficult pattern (for my limited abilities), but I persevered through it. By the time I was halfway finished the knit shop was my best friend and I had another children's hat book, and more yarn! When I arrived back home I taught the afghan friend how to loom knit and she bought me ANOTHER baby hat book as a thank you gift. Eventually I learned to adapt the basic hat in that book to fit adults. She also bought me a starter jewelry-making kit. Since I am a painter and work with color all the time I wasn't too much of a leap to transfer my use of color to yarn and jewelry. At the present time I'm pretty much addicted to knitting; I'd rather be doing that than anything else.

What types of creations do you sell in your Etsy shop? Knitted hats and scarves will be my primary merchandise. The jewelry is on there because I already had about a hundred pairs of earrings made. I made my first baby sweater a few months ago, but don't really see myself making sweaters for a living. I like the quick gratification of getting a hat done in a few hours.

What's your educational background, as it relates to your work? I went to
Ball State as an Art major way back in 1970, but never finished. I was always crafty, doing whatever the latest crafting fad was. I eventually went to LPN school but my work was never more than a job. The artist in me was always screaming to get out.

Does creating stuff run in the family? Were you taught things on purpose or by osmosis from prior generations? My maternal grandmother always sewed. My mother never sewed but she did needlework. She was a knitter back when I thought I could never get the hang of it.

How'd you get started creating? From childhood on up I always got some kind of crafting kit for Christmas, so I guess you could say my creativity was always encouraged.

What's your muse, or what turns that little creative light inside you on? Waking up in the morning turns my creativity on.

Do you belong to any Street Teams (other than the INCrowdteam)? INCrowdteam is my only one; I'm so new to Etsy it's very time-consuming to learn everything there is to know.

What's your favorite thing about selling on Etsy? Etsy gives me a venue for sales that is literally worldwide. It has opened up the opportunity to find out about other sales avenues also.

Recommend your five favorite shops on Etsy.
KristysRedBarnBakery Are you sensing a pattern here? Hahaha.

Please show us three of your own favorite pieces, from your shop and work.

Rosebud Baby Hat Hey, look, this is the darling hat from Donna's Etsy user pic!

Loopy Baby Hat This is my favorite hat to make.

Autumn Leaves Scarf Just love that textured yarn! There's also a matching hat.

Do you sell on consignment? My son-in-law's mother owns a salon in
Decatur, Indiana and she carries a small amount of clothing. She has some of my knitted items and jewelry there. The salon is called Genesis and it is on the town square.

Anything else to brag on? I have been privileged to be in a Treasury already!

Do you blog?
Nope... no interest in blogging.

Last question: who are all those cute kids in your photos, modeling your products? The babies are my grandkids; the older kids are children of friends.

Thanks, Donna! Now I've got to go investigate some of your delicious-looking Top Five a little further! -- Stockannette


  1. Thanks so much for including my shop as a favorite. It was fun to read about you and learn how you got started knitting.

  2. You are very welcome. Most of my favorites seem to be food related..LOL One of these days I hope to be able to buy something from each of them. The toddler in the loopy hat is the baby that received my very first hat.

  3. I need to give some credit here..I had gotten on Ravelry a couple of years ago because of a post on an unrelated message forums. I became acquainted with Dragoncat on Ravelry and because of her I did my first Arts fair at Fountain Square and she encouraged me to open a store on Etsy. So she can be blamed for me coming to Etsy!!! ;-)

  4. Ha! Donna, did you know that Dragoncat is the person who told me about the INCrowdteam?