As a knit kit business, we are always on the lookout for knit designers who come up with fresh ideas and we recently came upon Bernadette St. Amant. Thanks to the Internet, we do not have to reside in the same place as our designers or knitters so we never know ahead of time where our designers will live.
Bernadette St. Amant is one of our most recent designers and she has already designed and knit up some wonderful designs that will soon go on our website. I began to wonder about who she is and her knitting and life history.
She began to knit when she was 8 years old and, believe it or not, she taught herself. As a young adult she went to college for computer skills but was slowly distracted by the lure of yarn and found herself knitting things for people and eventually went to work in a yarn store. In that store she taught, repaired and knit up samples.
It is apparent that her developing skills led her to get noticed and many yarn companies such as Jamison’, Dale of Norway, HPKY, Misti Alpaca and Target were knocking at her door with offers to have her design and repair knitting. Target used to have knitting kits and she was the main designer so she has had years of experience in this area.
At that time her primarily work was in the daycare business and knitting became a full time venture. Eventually knitting drew her in very interesting ways.
Bernadette volunteers in a local hospital working in both the mental health and addiction units where she teaches knitting. Now we know from recent research, that knitting has quite a few benefits but she has learned about in childcare and seen the results of this with these two groups. It is the clients who come to her to tell her how knitting has helped them. They find that knitting helps them to focus and reduces their desire for drugs and decreases their negative thoughts. In fact, many of these clients are men and the fact that they are among men allows them to knit without fear of ridicule.
Of course, we knitters know how knitting relaxes us and helps our focus but I can’t help but think that, following Bernadette’s lead, we could spread the word around by teaching knitting on a volunteer basis. As you know, there are many venues that might use your skills to help others benefit from knitting just as Bernadette has done. We welcome her to Janes Knitting Kits and hope that you will like her designs as much as we do.