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. FOR MAY, WE CHAT WITH LEAH HARAKAWA, SHE LIVES IN SAN FRAN AND SPENDS AS MUCH TIME OUTSIDE AS POSSIBLE. CHECK OUT HER INSTAGRAM HERE: @knit_slow.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF…
I am originally from Brooklyn, NY, but am currently living in San Francisco, CA. I work as an analyst at a startup, and spend my time outside of work knitting, eating and being outside. Right now a lot of my energy is spent looking for ways to make my life more creative! Also, I am an INFJ and my love language is quality time.
What are three random facts about yourself that most people wouldn’t know?
1. I’m in a long distance twin relationship! She and my other sister live across the country and I love to knit for them.
2. I’m an avid dog lover/enthusiast.I have never owned a dog, but I do have an impressive dog stuffed animal collection, and I like to think that counts for something!
3. Spam is one of my favorite foods. My mom’s side of the family is from Hawaii and I look forward to trips there so I can eat spam musubis every day.
Who taught you how to knit?
90% YouTube 10% family. I probably learned to knit 2 or 3 times from my Aunt before I really picked it up my senior year of college. In school we had something called Jan Plan where you take one class for the month of January. That year I created my own independent study with my friend Abby to teach ourselves to knit. I have been hooked ever since! Huge shout out to my neuro bio professor who sponsored us that term
How does knitting help you?
I love to make things. I never thought of myself as creative before I started to knit, but being able to make garments with my own two hands has been incredibly empowering. This is especially true as I improve as a knitter and change patterns to my own preferences and even start designing pieces myself.
Do you remember what your first finished knit was? If not, what project have you been most proud of?
The project I am most proud of is definitely my version of Cocoknit’s Emma sweater using WATG Feeling Good Yarn in Hot Punk Pink. This was my first top down sweater which I had be wanting to do for a long time, but was definitely intimidated. I changed the shaping and added seed stitch to the bottom of the sweater. The sweater came out just how I envisioned it (although maybe a little bit large), especially considering I knit the whole thing while recovering from getting my wisdom teeth removed.
What’s on your knitting wishlist?
TOO MANY THINGS! Now that we are changing seasons there are so many things I want to knit for summer. I am particularly excited about Pom Pom Quarterly’s new summer issue and can’t wait to make Deauville by Tina Tse using WATG Shiny Happy Cotton as well as literally everything else in there.
What’s your favourite stitch and why?
I would like to think that I am more of an exciting person, but in general I tend to like simpler knits. Therefore I am typically always drawn to pieces that use Stockinette Stitch. But every so often I do love a good Bobble Stitch.
If you’re not knitting, what are you doing instead?
If I am not knitting, that means I am either outside, sleeping but mostly eating. One of my favourite things about San Francisco is the easy access to the outdoors, whether that is hanging in the park playing croquet, walking on the beach or going on a hike. My favourite activity is to sit in the park and try to get dogs to come play with me! I would say I have a 5% success rate, so some room for improvement.
What’s your top knitting tip?
If you are knitting on the go (airplanes, buses, back of a motorcycle etc) I love using circular needles instead of straight. I never worry about my stitches falling off my needles and they are shorter and easier to manoeuvre which means you don’t have to worry about poking your neighbour.
What’s your favourite place to knit?
Anywhere where I can get a hot cup of tea. So typically my couch, bed or one of the many cafes in SF.
What’s your favourite WATG piece?
I’m so close to finishing the Rising Sun Cardigan in WATG Feeling Good Yarn, and I am in love! It has the feel of a classic cardigan, but with an interesting twist that makes it very unique. It is definitely a longer knit, but will be well worth it.
What’s your favourite yarn to work with and why?
Cotton! I find cotton to be super soft and easy to work with. I believe there is nothing better than a hand knit cotton tank top (mostly because there is less sewing involved and no sleeves to knit ).
Knit or crochet? Knit
Coffee or tea? TEA!
Netflix or Audiobooks? Netflix
Knit or Purl? Knit
Sheep or Alpaca? Alpaca
Jumpers or Cardigans? Cardigans
Chunky or Fine? Somewhere in the middle
Neutrals or Bolds? Bolds
Knit for yourself or others? 70% me 30% others
Summer or Winter? Summer
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