When I posted my first blog Saturday, I intended to add the following to my profile. But the profile only allows 1200 characters. Rather than chop out about 50% of what I wrote, I decided to just post the entire profile here. Thanks to Joe Hancock for taking photos of a very unwilling subject.

The youngest of four children, I was an unremarkable child and would have no story to tell if my father (see him in my first post) hadn’t dragged us all to Switzerland in 1968 when he had a one-year sabbatical. During that year, I attended the village elementary school where girls and boys were separated for a few hours each week to learn gender-specific skills. The boys learned woodworking, technical drawing, and mechanics; the girls learned needle arts and housekeeping. I knew precious little German, but I quickly took to the language of knitting. (The housekeeping part never stuck, although I did learn the proper way to sweep a floor, make a bed, and organize a drawer of socks and underwear.)

Rejecting anything that might be considered a traditional “woman’s” career in the 1970s, I studied science in college and ended up with a MS in geology in 1983. I worked in my local yarn store for a year while I looked for a “real” job. As it turns out, this temporary job was a pivotal part of my life—I learned to weave as well as alter and write knitting patterns for customers.

I finally got my “dream” job as a geologist for a research company, but continued to knit and weave in my spare time. The recession of the late 1980s hit the oil industry hard and in 1989 I married, reconsidered my career choice, and decided to pursue a job opening for an editorial assistant for HANDWOVEN magazine at Interweave Press. Not believing that I could be serious, Interweave put off hiring me for four months—I suspect they were hoping for another applicant.

I stayed with HANDWOVEN for a few years, then worked part-time in the book department editing knitting and weaving books while I had three boys (over the course of 17 months!). When INTERWEAVE KNITS premiered in 1996, I had the uncommonly good fortune to turn my favorite hobby into a career. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was designing projects for KNITS and writing my own books.

I now keep busy as a freelance editor, author, designer, and teacher. You can find all of my books and many of my designs at www.interweavestore.com (search for Ann Budd).

I’ve always been a private person. I never spoke out in class, I hid when a camera was near, and I never, ever kept a diary or journal. To be honest, I’ve never liked being the center of attention. So nobody is more surprised than I am that I decided to write a blog. But here I am, stretching beyond my comfort zone and putting myself out in cyberspace to talk about my many relationships with yarn and needles and what I’ve learned along the way.

To begin, I want to share five of my top knitting rules.

1. Do not leave projects involving double-pointed needles on the floor if you might walk across that floor in the dark. One of Murphy’s Laws of Knitting states that you will put at least one of said needles through your foot, which is exactly what I did when knitting the sleeve of this Norwegian sweater for my father. The knitting gods were smiling on me, though, and there was very little blood and none of it stained the sweater.
2. Always carry spare needle if knitting with bamboo needles on trans-Atlantic flights. Another of Murphy’s Laws guarantees that you’ll break one shortly after take-off and have to spend six hours reading and re-reading the in-flight magazine.
3. Keep at least one of your early knitting projects. This will keep you humble. My first project, a pair of baby of baby booties that would have fit a basketball player, went missing decades ago, but I still have the second—a hobby horse made out of a sock. I’m glad to report that my tension is tighter now.
4. If your stash makes you guilty, hide it (the stash as well as the guilt).
5. Sock yarn is not considered stash. Buy a ball at every knitting shop you visit and you’ll never need to wonder what to knit next.