We’re getting to know our gang of makers a little more by sharing your stories and general awesomeness in our Meet the Maker series. This month, we chat with Claire Buyens – the scuba diver turned self-taught knitter from Atlanta!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Originally from Atlanta, I am currently a womenswear designer in New York. I’ve been in New York almost four years and love it here. When I’m not working, I love to travel and take awesome photos of my adventures.

What are three random facts about yourself that most people wouldn’t know?

I have been scuba diving since I was 11. I am currently learning French. (#1 goal in life is to be fluent in at least one other language.) I am a huge tennis fan – attended the US open around 6 times give or take, and the French Open once!

Who taught you how to knit?

Me, myself, and I! My own knitting story initially started with one stint when I was 10. I made the typical wonky scarf. Since that age, I thought it wasn’t for me until a friend of mine helped me see otherwise. In the beginning of my first year at university studying Fashion Design, I came across my friend, Jesse, knitting. After chatting about what she was making, I decided it was finally time to give it another go. I motivated myself to take the time to learn because I knew I could use the skill in projects during my time in school. Haven’t stopped since!

How does knitting help you?

First, it is a big creative outlet for me. I have always been making things. It also helps me keep myself centered and acts as a sort of meditation for me sometimes. You know, to get off your devices, get your mind off things, and focus on the task at hand.

Do you remember what your first finished knit was? If not, what project have you been most proud of?

Besides the previously mentioned wonky scarf, I think my first finished knit was a beanie with Shiny Happy Cotton. Or a much improved version of the wonky scarf in Crazy Sexy Wool. My project I am most proud of is my newly finished blanket! There was so much internal back and forth. I started it one way, wasn’t happy with it, put it in closet to almost forget about, took it back out, started taking it apart but got annoyed and put it back away… then finally had the spirit to truly remake it a year later! I love how it turned out. After all the struggle, it now lives happily on my bed.

What’s on your knitting wishlist?

The perfect summer throw on piece. Just got my hands on the Final Countdown Cardigan in Midnight Blue!

What’s your favourite stitch and why?

Seed/Moss Stitch! My favourite texture. It’s also is simple enough for me to zone out while working and not worry about making a mistake.

If you’re not knitting, what are you doing instead?

I love spending my free time in New York visiting museums and galleries. Viewing art can make me feel so inspired and rejuvenated. Taking a walk around the neighbourhood with some good tunes is another favourite activity. You get a good dose of people watching that way, too! Also, can’t beat a night at my go-to neighbourhood French wine bar with my best friends.

What’s your top knitting tip?

Keep your ball of yarn all in bowl on floor when knitting if it’s not center pull. No knitter should ever need to chase their yarn around the room!

WhERE’s your favourite place to knit?

My studio apartment. I get great light at my place. On rainy days, I might even put on some jazz and feel super New York-y. During the summer, a shady spot in Central Park is unbeatable.

What’s your favourite WATG piece?

I don’t leave the house most days without my big chunky Crazy Sexy Wool scarf in the winter. I’ve made at least 5 versions in different colours and different stitches.

What’s your favourite yarn to work with and why?

Crazy Sexy Wool, which you might have been able to guess! You can whip up a project in no time, as well as really see the texture of the work. And it keeps you the warmest in NY winters – take it from me!


Knit or crochet? Knit

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Netflix or Audiobooks? Netflix, as I am a visual person. Though I enjoy playing audiobooks when I’m knitting.

Knit or Purl? Knit

Sheep or Alpaca? Sheep

Jumpers or Cardigans? Jumpers

Chunky or Fine? Chunky

Neutrals or Bolds? For knitting – bolds! My wardrobe is mostly neutrals so I like to have pops of colour in my knits.

Knit for yourself or others? Others. My friends/family can attest to that.

Summer or Winter? Tough one… but I will go with winter :)

Want the chance to be featured in our Meet the Maker series? Simply use the hashtag #woolandthegang when you post pics of your WATG knits and we’ll be in touch :)

Submit a comment